Monday, June 11, 2018

Emily Mundell on The Sorceress and the Squid

Emily, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! As stated, my name is Emily Mundell. I'm 20 years old and a homeschool graduate. I've always loved reading and telling/absorbing stories. I wrote my very first "book" at age 8 and haven't stopped writing since. I love fantasy fiction, particularly the classics of Tolkien, CS Lewis, and George MacDonald, who are my writing idols. In addition to writing, I love art and photography, horsebackriding, hiking and adventuring, singing, sprinting, and just being out in beautiful places with beautiful people. 

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I think there are a couple things that made my experience unique. For one, I grew up on a farm and spent as much time working and making money for myself as I did studying and learning. For another, I did spend a few years of elementary school at a public school and have had the chance to compare the two. I infinitely prefer homeschooling and am so glad of the path my parents chose to put me on.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
I always loved reading and writing, ever since I had just begun schooling. It was only natural to fit that love into my curriculum. Aside from taking an English 30-1 diploma course in grade 12 and a Lord of the Rings inspired curriculum in grade 10, I went through high school with no official LA/English curriculum to speak of - it was just reading and writing books. Because of that, I had so much extra time and opportunity to work on and perfect my craft. I think that was ultimately very beneficial and helped me refine my writing skills at a younger age.

What caused you to start writing?
I can't be sure because it was so long ago! As mentioned, I've always loved stories, and I think that when I read them as a child I was consumed with the idea of creating a world of my own. Although I was initially more of a copycat, I eventually became more and more original as time went on in my creations and I'm quite proud of my creative abilities now.

What inspired The Sorceress and the Squid?
A late-night Facebook conversation between myself and my then-boyfriend-now-husband, Jonathan, was what inspired this book. We were hypothetically discussing his secret "ninja squid" alter ego and later came up with a sorceress character to embody me. Eventually we decided I was the sorceress who had turned him into a squid. Being the writer I am, I took this plot bunny and ran with it, even farther than I initially anticipated! In the beginning it was meant to be a silly thing for the two of us, but as I wrote and the story grew, I fell more and more in love with the world and the characters I had created, and so I pursued publishing.

Would you give us a synopsis?
In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes sympathy on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard in hope he can be saved. But is there more to the unrest in Perth than meets the eye?

Who will enjoy The Sorceress and the Squid?
I think all ages can enjoy this book, depending on whether they enjoy light-hearted fantasy or not. I would recommend a mature ten year old or higher reader, due to some heavier subject matter and some more intense personal themes, but it is not dark or any sort of moral quagmire.

Where can people buy your book? 
Here is a link to the Amazon sales page where you can purchase Kindle and paperback copies!

Do you plan to write more books?
Absolutely! The Sorceress and the Squid is my second completed story, and I'm currently working on my fourth. I plan to write for a career and will keep telling stories probably until I am too old to type!

Where can people connect with you online?
My blog/website is I also can be found on Facebook @emundell97, Twitter @e_mundell, and Instagram @emundell97.

Do you have any final thoughts?
If you're a homeschooler who loves to write, take advantage of the extra time and opportunities you are given by being away from the public school system! Take your free time to write and better your craft while you're young and have the chance! I cannot stress that enough - it's so much harder to get into this lifestyle when you're older as opposed to continuing a habit started in youth. Persevere and push ahead in your work, the world needs to hear your stories. :)

Monday, April 30, 2018

Isaac ben Levi on Our First Locomotive

Isaac, weclome to Homeschooled Authors. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 16-year-old, born and raised in the suburbs of Indianapolis, who now lives and writes in the Ozark Mountains.  I’ve been homeschooled my entire life and am now a sophomore. When not reading, writing, doing school work or homestead chores, you’ll find me researching railroad history, model railroading and target shooting.  I also love spending time with my family and animals.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
My experience is unique because I’m an only child. This allowed my chief instructor (mom) to devote her full time and attention to me, and I got the full benefit of it.  My dad taught me how to be a man, and many other practical life skills as well.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Being homeschooled prepared my attitude in writing a book. That is, desiring wholesome content that is family friendly, and allowing parents to not worry about having to “censor” or about anything inappropriate.  Being homeschooled also brought me a love for history, and this definitely influenced my choice of era (about 1948) and subject (a steam locomotive)

What caused you to start writing?
That is a rather interesting story, because up until recently, I didn’t enjoy writing.   My desire to begin to write was a good example of the power of having a story that I really wanted to tell, and wanting to tell it until I finally sat down, wrote it for a little while, and then discovered that I enjoyed writing.

What inspired Our First Locomotive?
There were several factors that influenced the decision to put pen to paper and write.  The way things truly began was wanting to write a book series about a railroad through the Ozarks.  What really started the ball moving was finding a photograph, and drawings, in an old book from 1950 of Cotton Belt #412.   In reading that section of the book I found that the locomotive had formerly operated in Arkansas, and probably was retired in the era I wanted the book to be in.  So, it was a perfect fit.  Worked in an area reasonably close.  Likely retired in about the right time.  In addition, I just flat out liked the engine.

Would you give us a synopsis?
The book is 5 short stories about the retirement and sale of Cotton Belt #412 followed by his use in the construction of the Ozark Mountain Railroad.   The book ends shortly before the line opens, just after the engine is named after one of the line’s initial investors.  (Coincidentally, my great-great-grandfather Andrew).

Who will enjoy Our First Locomotive?
Parents and children who desire wholesome entertainment as well as train lovers of all ages.  Being a train fan myself, I’ve tried to, with the exception of the trains talking, make the stories as realistic as possible to the way a real American railroad operated.

Do you plan to write more books?
Most certainly.  I am working on book 2 in the series as I write this, which should be out soon.  I hope to venture into non-train subjects sometime in the future (fiction and non-fiction both).

Where can people connect with you online? is where you’ll find my blog and information about upcoming books.
Great Railroad Series: Our First Locomotive - Kindle edition by Isaac ben Levi.

Do you have any final thoughts?
With only one book published, I have much to learn and am grateful when others are willing to share.
In all things, I seek the Lord’s will.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Taylor Bennett on Porch Swing Girl

Taylor, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a seventeen-year-old daydreamer with a love for literature, music, travel, and, most importantly, my Lord Jesus Christ. I live in the beautiful state of Oregon with my mom and dad, as well as a handful of rambunctious animals. Though I’ve been telling stories since before I could write, I got serious about pursuing publication just before I entered high school. When I’m not writing, I’m most likely playing violin, taking walks, or snapping pictures for my Instagram.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
My homeschooling experience was unique because of my amazing teacher—my mom. She was my first and only teacher, and she was the best one I could ever have asked for. When I “went to school” every day, she didn’t just make it educational—she made it fun. Though we weren’t one of those families where I studied science by feeding chickens and learned math by counting their eggs, I had plenty of hands-on educational opportunities.

I also had a lot of fun. We went on field trips to the beautiful Oregon coast and every week ended with a “Fun Friday,” where learning and playtime connected. I might have dressed up as a pioneer or Southern belle, then spent the day getting an in-depth look at life in a past era. Or maybe it was time for me to don a lab coat and become a mad scientist for a day…whatever my mom came up with was always a hit—and I was learning, too. Even if I didn’t always realize it.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Aside from allowing me to travel and explore the world more than a publicly schooled child, homeschooling prepared me to write by teaching me how to write. When I was about eight years old, my mom discovered the Institute for Excellence in Writing and I began studying English under the astute and sagacious Andrew Pudewa. After only a few years under his instruction, I was fully enchanted by the world of writing.

What caused you to start writing?
I started writing before I could write—when I was just a tiny toddler with a brain full of ideas and a love of stories. I would sit with a parent and dictate stories while they typed them up at the computer. When I was finally old enough to write by myself, I was indomitable. No one could keep me from scribbling out pages and pages of prose. I wanted to make my own stories—and more. The older I got, the longer my stories got, until I attempted my first novel at the age of thirteen.

What inspired Porch Swing Girl?
Porch Swing Girl was inspired by just that—the title. I woke up one morning with those three words rattling around in my brain. I’d been chasing after half-baked story ideas for weeks, trying to find one that I could grow into a full-fledged novel, but Porch Swing Girl—elusive as it was—was the first thing to truly spark my creativity. I spent a few hours asking myself questions about this strange girl on the swing. Before long, I knew exactly what I wanted to write.

Would you give us a synopsis?
 Of course! Here’s the back cover copy…a synopsis might give away too much 😉

What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.

Who will enjoy Porch Swing Girl?
Porch Swing Girl will be enjoyed by teen-and-preteen girls who love contemporary fiction, as well as a good cry. While Porch Swing Girl is considered a YA book, the cleanness and lack of mature content make it appropriate for younger readers, as well. Girls who dream of traveling the world, walking on the beach, and trying new, unusual things, will be intrigued by the book’s Hawaiian setting. If readers are drawn to quirky characters with a bit of sass, they will fall in love with Olive Galloway, a grief-stricken teenager with a short fuse and a big heart.

Do you plan to write more books?
I absolutely plan on writing more books! Sand Castle Dreams, the sequel to Porch Swing Girl, is already in the works, and my publisher and I are throwing around ideas for a third book, as well. If Porch Swing Girl and Sand Castle Dreams both perform well in the market, we’ll discuss the possibility of another series, too!

Where can people connect with you online?
People can connect with me just about anywhere! I blog once-a-week-ish on my website, and I’m kind of an Instagram nerd. You can also find me hanging out on Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’m also working at getting my YouTube channel off the ground.
Do you have any final thoughts?

If you’re interested in learning more about Porch Swing Girl, you can read a sample for free by signing up for my newsletter. ( You’ll instantly be sent the first chapter. I know this might sound like a marketing ploy (okay…it kind of is…) but I promise I won’t flood your inbox with emails that beg you to buy my book. In fact…I have been known to forget that my newsletter even exists!

Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, which will be released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Order on Amazon:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ruby Mae on Seeking Refuge

Ruby Mae, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thanks so much! I'm feel so excited and blessed to be here! Okay, well, I was born into the kingdom of God when I was eighteen, in the year of 2012. I have a wonderful dad and momma. I'm the eldest of eight children in my family. Besides writing, I love to sing, read, draw, paint, craft, fish, hike, camp, etc. . . Just about anything really. Let's see, oh, and I also write romance while never being on a date before in my life.

Everyone's homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Oh wow, tough question. Like most homeschool families, I'm sure it's hard to compare because everyone has their school, their way, in their homes. But my journey as a homeschool student was an amazing blessing that I wouldn't trade for anything. I traveled to many different states while homeschooling; seeing a lot of God's magnificent creation. The flexibility while doing homeschool allowed me and my family to go on many fun adventures, abundant with unique experiences I wouldn't have experienced otherwise. Including: singing southern gospel at the Great Smoky Mountains Welcome Center, Singing to and visiting folks in the nursing homes, helping the poor and homeless, doing a traveling children's entertainment business, and many more. Of course, many of those scenarios end up in my stories in some way or another and those that haven't, will probably sneak into my future novels. Homeschooling with a large family for me has also allowed me to teach my younger siblings so I continue to learn and prepare for my future family.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Oh, it has prepared me for this in many ways! By being homeschooled, I experienced so many more adventures than I could ever imagine, which has inspired many scenes in my novels. I always had plenty of time for my favorite hobby—reading,  which every writer knows is crucial to being a good writer. I was always encouraged to be creative in my studies and it passed into my love for arts and crafts, which helps me to pay attention to the details. Most importantly, if I hadn't been homeschooled, I may not have received Christ as my Lord and Savior and without Him, I couldn't write any of the novels I write. I'm merely the pen in God's hand.

What caused you to start writing?
The simplest answer is: God. Shortly after I got saved in 2012, I felt called to teach others teens and young adults the importance of purity—a vow I've made myself. So while studying on the subject, I found myself writing the study notes in sort of a story form so-to-speak. I've always loved to read for as long as I can remember and I found myself thinking, it would be so cool to write and publish a book. So, I wrote the opening of what would come to be my debut novel, Hidden Treasures. After the first couple pages though, doubt that it would ever be good enough crept in, so I hid those pages. Two years later, I was working in Tennessee, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge to be exact, when I stumbled upon those hidden pages. I tweaked them a bit and wrote a couple more, then I let a friend read them. She said they were a bit cheesy for her taste(she didn't like romance, but I still felt discouraged and not good enough), then shortly after, my papaw passed away and my seedling of a dream was put on hold once again. Two more years passed before the desire to write came back full force after coming across those pages again. In August of 2016, I studied and researched all I could on the topic. My parents' anniversary was coming up the end of the month so I decided to write a short story version of their wedding day as an anniversary gift(and also to test the waters of what they thought of my writing abilities). They absolutely loved it, everyone who read it, loved it! It gave me the courage and the confidence that this was a gift God had given me and wanted me to use to bring glory and honor to Him.

What inspired Seeking Refuge?
Again, the simple answer is: God. My Savior Yeshua is my sole inspiration for all my novels. His Holy Spirit is who whispers the stories in my ear so I can write them down. He does this in so many miraculous ways! It may be a member of my family, meeting and talking with a stranger, something I've experienced first hand, even something from a broadcast. In the instance of Seeking Refuge, I honestly have no explanation; I have no idea where the idea came from, other than from God. I just felt led to write this story(perhaps I overheard a news' story or something and forgot). In my debut novel, Hidden Treasures, I introduced my readers to the eldest Sawyer child, Sheriff Isaac. I knew he was to be the hero of book two but the plot line came as a surprise to me and I hope it takes my readers by surprise as well. So far, Seeking Refuge is my favorite and most inspiring to me. Especially, where the topic of faith is concerned.

Would you give us a synopsis?
I'd be happy to! Seeking Refuge is a romantic Christian mystery following the story of Joyce, a young woman on the run from Maine to escape a troubled past—but trouble seems to have followed her to Tennessee. Then there's faithful and caring Isaac, the sheriff of the small town of Cascade Valley, Tennessee where Joyce ends up. As the story unfolds, Joyce must learn to trust God again and this man He has placed in her life to overcome the danger-seeking to destroy her.
Here's the blurb:


Running for her life, Joyce Watson has a very short list of people she can trust—God and herself. Because she has discriminating evidence against him, her pursuer will go to extreme measures to silence her before it’s turned over to authorities. Despite the nosy sheriff living on the property, hunkering down at an isolated guest ranch feels like the safest option. Drawn to the handsome sheriff, she struggles to keep her heart under lock and key. What if he’s working for her enemy and plotting a way to capture her?

Sheriff Isaac Sawyer can't help but feel suspicious of the Cascade Valley Guest Ranch's newest lodger. It's clear she's hiding something, but what? Her bright, blue eyes are so full of fear, his heart longs to take care of her; but Joyce doesn't trust him. Can he win her trust before her fears become reality? Will he be able to protect her without risking his heart?

Murder, secrets, and danger throw Isaac and Joyce together. They must learn to trust God and each other to overcome the dark clouds of peril circling around them. Will evil prevail, or will God pull them through and kindle a love both believe is impossible?

Who will enjoy Seeking Refuge?
Almost anyone. Everyone who has read it so far has said they loved it! My sisters, parents, friends, costumers young and old, men and women alike. I write my novels clean and friendly for all ages. The romance level is even or lower with the amount of suspense and action in the story and faith always exceeds every other characteristic of the plot.

Do you plan to write more books?
Oh, absolutely!!! I can't imagine not writing more and more books! I actually have eighteen I'm working on right now. Seeking Refuge is only the second installment of my Faith in the Valley series, which is a series of twelve novels. So ten of those are part of that series. The other eight are part of two other series I'm working on and a few independent novels as well. Ha, ha, ha, with God supplying the stories there's no telling how many novels I'll write! The adventure awaits!

Where can people connect with you online?
I love to connect with fellow authors and readers! The can connect with me on my website/blog at: or the can email me a:

Do you have any final thoughts?
I would like to say to all who read this, may God be with you and bless you in all that you do in honor to Him. I'd also like to share my favorite verse with you. Luke 12:34, which says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” is very special to me. As I wrote in my debut novel, Hidden Treasures; That verse tells us that whatever treasure we seek, with the most time and energy, is where our heart lies. It serves as a reminder to ask myself now and then, “What treasure am I seeking? Knowing God and His will? Or worldly goods that won’t last?” It helps us to continuously seek the most valuable treasure we can possess, a close relationship with God Himself and serving Him by following His will for our lives.
My biggest prayer for all my novels is that they will encourage others to seek the true treasure: Salvation through Jesus Christ and living a life close to Him. May God bless all who read them and remember, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Many Blessings to you all!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Big Announcement

The website for the Colorado Christian Writers Conference:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Nicki Chapelway on A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses


Nicki, Welcome to Homeschooled Authors. Tell me us about yourself?
I'm a High School senior and have been Homeschooled my entire life. I'm the second oldest of six children. Lover of windy days, animals, and waterfalls.  I enjoy reading, writing, and, on occasion, coloring. During my free time not spent reading or writing, I can be found daydreaming, watching Lord of the Rings among other exceptional movies, or watching Period Dramas with my mom. Fantasy is my favorite genre and I love dragons.

What inspired you to write A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses?
My older sister was a writer and like any dutiful younger sibling, I wanted to be just like her. I grew up wanting to write, but I wasn't inspired to write A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses until I read Percy Jackson I was pulled in by Riordan's writing style and wanted to write a book similar to that about ordinary teenagers living through abnormal experiences.

You are republishing it. What led you to decide to do that?
When I first published this book, I was fifteen years old and only just starting off as a writer. I realized how much it needed to be changed, as I was trying to write the third book in the My Time in Amar series and saw that I had written myself into some corners. So I decided to go back to my earlier works and smooth out the writing.

What is Chelsa Welling's most endearing quality?
Her perseverance, she doesn't let anything get her down. Whatever life throws at her, she'll keep going. For her, giving up isn't an option.

What is her most frustrating characteristic?
Probably how dense she can sometimes be (as I'm sure many of my other characters would agree), how she can be so blind to what is going on around her, and her inability to accept change.

What have you enjoyed most about revisiting this book?
Getting to know my characters all over again. I was able to put in traits that I recognized in Chelsea, Easton, Clint, and Bobby while writing the second and even third book, making room for even deeper character development.

What is next for you?
Rewriting and republishing the second book in My Time in Amar: A Time of Trepidation, Pirates, and Lost Princesses; writing the third book in My Time in Amar; and I'm currently working on a couple of series that I hope to see published in the next few years.

Where can people keep up with you?
My Website:

Where can people buy the book?
Barnes and Noble:

Monday, February 26, 2018

Rachel Starr Thomson on Your Kingdom Calling

Rachel, what have you been up to since your last visit to Homeschooled Authors?
Wow, so much has happened since then! In my writing life, the most significant things have been starting a new blog (Revelatory Creative, located at in 2015, releasing several new fiction series, and finally making the leap to "full-time" writer in early 2017. It's been a crazy ride with lots of ups and downs, but I've loved it.

What inspired Your Kingdom Calling?
The biggest inspiration for Your Kingdom Calling came in a pretty roundabout way. When I went full-time as a writer in 2017, I shared my story with my readers and used the language of "finding my calling" several times. I was caught off guard by how many people responded strongly to that -- so many just had questions and comments about the whole idea of calling. At the same time, so many people struggle with understanding where their natural gifts, talents, and abilities "fit," or even how they have any value at all. I think we all know instinctively that we were born with a higher purpose, and we're on a journey to figure it out. I decided to teach a course on the subject because I wanted to help people uncover their own gifts and callings, and also get free of a lot of false guilt that comes with lumping all "calling" into certain categories of ministry or similar things. Calling is a really powerful and freeing biblical concept when we really understand it.

What is one of the stories that has come out of the Your Kingdom Calling video course that has touched your heart?
I've been really touched by people who've written to say, "I've been doing this thing for thirty years and I never realized it was service to God and my calling in life. All this time I felt guilty that I wasn't doing ministry, and yet God has been using me here." I love helping people lift off that condemnation and expand their vision for the kingdom of God. I've also heard from several people that the course inspired them to launch something concrete, be it a new blog or a whole new career!

Where can people get their hands on the book and/or video course?
The book: (full disclosure: this is an affiliate link)
The course:

The course is a great investment in understanding your place in the kingdom of God, but it's not inexpensive, so I'd highly recommend reading the book first to see if it's a good fit for you. The book is free on Amazon and elsewhere :).

You are also about to release a fiction book, Seeds. Would you share they synopsis for that?
SEEDS: A Christian Fantasy actually released on January 21-22, so it's out and ready for purchase! Here's the synopsis:

In the fantasy world of Kepos Gé, a young woman flees her past by joining a frontier settlement on the edge of the wilderness. But she can’t escape the threats abroad in this new world — or the wild things growing in her own heart.

Something is deeply wrong in Jerusalem Valley, where the persecuted religious faction called Tremblers are trying to create a new society. As Linette Cole struggles toward acceptance and newfound faith, friends turn to enemies and enemies become friends.

Soon Linette will face the greatest challenge of her life:

Because words have been spoken.

And words grow.

SEEDS is page-turning Christian fantasy by acclaimed author Rachel Starr Thomson — a novel about a wild frontier, monsters in the shadows, and a world trying to hold onto a fragile peace even as dark forces conspire against them.

Rachel’s signature spiritual parallels make SEEDS a journey that will not only keep you reading, it will also strengthen your faith.

Buy it today.

What is next for you as a writer?
I always have several things on the go, but the sequel to SEEDS is high priority. I'll also be cowriting a nonfiction book in February along with my coauthors for FEARLESS: FREE IN CHRIST IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY. By the way, this last is another book you can get free from Amazon, for the time being--our goal is to give away 10,000 free copies, and we're halfway there! You can grab your copy here: (affiliate link as well).

Any final thoughts?
Being a writer is a huge blessing to me, and I'm grateful for everyone who has helped make it happen. Thanks to you and the HA readership for being a part of that journey as well!