Monday, October 16, 2017

Emily Benedict on Perception

Emily Ann Benedict, welcome to Homeschooled Authors once again. What have you been up to since you last time you were here?
The Vintage Jane Austen project has taken up all of my writing time since my last book was posted here. I’ve been really pleased with the reaction the series has gotten so far. It’s been both a challenging and fun project to be a part of. 

How did you become involved with the Vintage Jane Austen Project?
Sarah Scheele, who authored Bellevere House (Mansfield Park) originally brought me into the project. We had been corresponding for years and Jane Austen often came up. I immediately wanted to be a part of it. 

What was your favorite part about moving an old story into a new time period?
I felt like finding ways to change so many particulars and plot points from Regency England to Depression Era America was the most creatively satisfying part of this project. When I really started to look into the history of both times, I realized there were so many places they just suited, especially when it came to re-writing Persuasion. The return of the military from the Napoleonic wars and the back story of a once wealthy family dealing with financial difficulties fit so perfectly into 1930s American, which was populated with WWI veterans and plenty of money problems.  

What was your favorite part of this project?
I actually think having an excuse to re-read Austen was my favorite part of this project. She is one of my favorite authors, but it has been years since I’ve had the opportunity to get back into her work. Her writing style is so inspiring and so delicious at the same time.  

What was the most challenge part of this project?
I was often challenged by the need to make this both a unique story and remain true to original novel. I wanted the structure of Persuasion to remain the intact, because I felt like that was right for this project. But at the same time, I didn’t want the reader feeling like they were just re-reading the same exact story with just a few period details added. In some places that meant taking things that happened “off camera” in the original story and bringing them into the narrative and in others it meant adding new scenes or plotlines. I really agonized over this at times, but I think I finally found a good balance. 

What Jane Austen character are you most like?
I’ve always longed to be like Fanny Price from Mansfield Park. She was my hero when I was in high school! But I often tell people I’m more of an odd mixture of Elizabeth Bennet and Marianne Dashwood. In other words, I have a fondness for wit and I feel a little too deeply. 

Which one of the characters in Perception are you most like?
I guess I sympathize most with Abbey (Anne Elliot). We are similar in age, which helped my perspective when writing her and we are both the type of people who are more accustomed to being the workforce behind the scenes. 

Tell us the synopsis for Perception.
Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. Facing both the loss of her beloved home and the loss of a second chance at love, Abbey’s fate lies in her own hands for the first time. 

Where can people get it?
Perception can be downloaded on Kindle, through Amazon. The hard-copy will be available soon! 

To leave us off, please share a quote from your story.
"I'm not saying I'm still in love with Freddy Williams," Abbey replied in a rising voice. "I’m saying that after my experience with him, I can't settle for merely liking a man when I've known what it’s like to love one."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Rebkah Morris on Dylan's Story

Rebekah, Welcome back to Homeschooled authors. Tell us about your latest book.
Hi Sarah! Thanks for letting me join you today. It’s been a while since I’ve been here.

Here’s the synopsis for Dylan’s Story.
Terrified of telling too much, ten-year-old Dylan Sedano wishes his little sister, Fern, would stop talking. But when army reserve officer, Scott Wood, and his wife Autumn, tell Dylan that God is ready to help him, Dylan isn’t buying. If God did care for them, why hadn’t He been there months ago when the trouble started and his dad disappeared?

It’s a story about faith, trust, and forgiveness. There are two different perspectives: Dylan’s and Autumn’s.

What inspired you to write Dylan’s Story?
It wasn’t my intention to write it. But after writing what I thought was a short story for my blog, my readers demanded to know what happened next. They were very insistent that the story wasn’t done. So I started writing again and the story began to take shape. I don’t know if I could say any one thing inspired me more than others beyond the needs my characters had, but God had a plan for it.

Did you have to do any special research for this story?
I actually did. Usually for a story set in fairly modern times (1980s) I have to do limited research, but something came up that I wasn’t expecting. I’m not the kind of person who just randomly researches strange things, so this was quite unusual for me. I got to do research on the Mafia. It was rather interesting. Not something I typically read about, but yeah, that was most of my special research. :) I had to find out how it worked, and where it was, and many things about it. But don’t worry, I don’t tell you everything I found out. :)

What was the hardest part of writing Dylan’s Story?
I would say the hardest part was writing what had happened before the story started because I didn’t have a clue when I went into the story. Then, when I did find some things out, I didn't want to go into too much detail, yet I had to have enough so the story fit together. There was a lot of “Why?” “How?” and “Could it have happened?” asked during that time.
Another thing that made writing this story a bit of a challenge was that I was also working on a couple other stories at the same time about totally different things in totally different time periods. Switching from one to the other so often was a bit stretching for my brain.

What was the most fun?
Autumn’s perspective. I’m not completely like Autumn, but it was fairly easy to put myself in her shoes and know what she was thinking or feeling. Another thing was deliberately putting no coffee in this story. Yep, I made it a point to keep coffee out of it. :) But I’ve been told I made people hungry. You’ve been warned!

Where can people buy it?
Dylan’s Story can be purchased on Amazon in paperback or Kindle, or on Light of Faith. If they want a signed copy, Light of Faith can get it if you just ask.

Any final thoughts?
I hope that anyone who reads this book will be reminded that no matter what happens, God does have a plan. And it’s better than we could have dreamed.
I’m also looking for a few reviewers, so if you are interested in reading and reviewing this book, let me know. I will take the first 10 people.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Two Giveaways and an opportunity!

Five Fall Favorites Giveaway.
Click HERE.

 Fall into Reading.
Click HERE.

 Review and blog part opportunity.
Click HERE.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tanner Froreich on Blue Blur

Tanner, welcome to Homeschooled Authors. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in February 1997, at Kaiser Hospital in San Diego, Californa. My family moved to Arizona in 2002, then back to Cali in 2009, and back again to AZ in 2011 and have been here ever since. I guess you could summarize my childhood has There and Back Again: A Froreich Tale. When I was about 7, so 2004, I was accepted Christ as the Lord of my life and was baptized. Granted, it's been quite the journey since those days when life was simple. I have grown to learn that there is nothing I can do to save myself from my sin, but must completely lean upon the Saviour of my soul. I am a huge science enthusiast, specifically Paleontology. It was about 2014 when I started writing and 2015 when I got serious about it. I didn't know anything about writing other than I loved it. I started working on my first book and 3 years later have self-published said book.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
 Since my family moved a few times during my education there was a constant state of flux in my schooling. I don't remember much about my schooling before we moved back to California. While we were in Cali, we had a large co-op that we attended, but I never quite fit in. It wasn't until we moved back to AZ and started getting involved in Heritage Baptist Church that I really found my nitch in the world. It's funny when I think about it. Living in Cali, where all my biological family was, I felt the most alienated and even among the home-schooler felt like the odd ball. But once we came to Heritage, separated from extended family, I finally understood what the Apostle Paul meant when he called us all brothers and sisters. Now I wouldn't trade my adopted family for anything because it's our fellowship in Christ that allows each of our unique personalities to shine through.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
 Funny you should ask. I actually did terrible at English, there were even a few grammar assignments I got F's on. I had graduated before I started seriously writing. So I had to re-teach myself English so that I could write better.

What caused you to start writing?
 I'm not sure. I have always been flamboyant in personality and a bit of a goof. Something else though, I was always daydreaming when I was younger. When ever I would awake from a dream I would finish the story. I guess all those factors finally condensed to make me the writer I am now. I started writing The Blue Blur after my dad suggested me to write a book about the Blue Blur. I had come up with the character months before. I was always making short little snippets of what his life would be like. Eventually, I decided to grab a notebook at start writing. Here, 3 years later, I now have the completed copy, self-published and everything.

What inspired The Blue Blur: A Mission Given?
 The original inspiration came from a Ninja Turtles mask and a frisbee game. For humor sake, I decide to wear the mask during the game, calling myself the Blue Blur. A few weeks later my brother came up with the character of the Troll, who would turn into the Blue Blur arch nemesis. Like I mentioned above, my father was the first person to tell me to start writing. I'm not sure if we would be having this interview if it wasn't for him.

Would you give us a synopsis?
 It's about a young man named Arphaxad (Arf), his life is exactly according to plan. However, tragedy pushes his Faith to its limits. He rebels against the wishes of his parents and partakes in an unsafe experiment. By God's grace, the experiment is a success and Arf is given the ability to run at unimaginable speeds. At first, Arf plans to use his powers to get revenge on the man who ruined his life, but over the course of the story, he learns God didn't give him these powers for revenge, but instead to use them to advance the Gospel. But Arf still must wrestle with the anger within before he can become of any heavenly use.

Who will enjoy The Blue Blur: A Mission Given?
 Even though this book was written for boys 10+ as an alternative to the worldly super-hero books and movies, The Blue Blur is a great story for anyone who enjoys a good adventure.

Do you plan to write more books?
 You bet! I am currently working on a sequel to The Blue Blur: A Mission Given. In fact, I have a total of 4 books planned to continue Arf's life as the Blue Blur. Aside from The Mission Series, I also have 3 separate stories that I simply can't wait to do.

Where can people connect with you online?
 Readers can find my blog at where I post updates on my stories and what God is teaching me in life. Be sure to check it out!

Do you have any final thoughts?
I would just like to give a shout out to all my friends at Generation Rising who help and encouraged me in my writing and provided some much-appreciated criticism. Like if it wasn't for my dad, I would've never wrote my book, if it wasn't for Generation Rising, I may have never published! Thanks and God' Speed!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: Branwen's Quest

Buy it Here
Description: When the royal herald came announcing a mandatory Tournament of Warriors, Branwen was the last one to get excited. Sure, she was a good enough archer, but why should she be forced to go to the tournament just because the king said so? She had nothing to prove by going! Yet when she got there her competitive spirit took over and she succeeded well enough to be singled out by the king to take a difficult journey with three others who were as different as night and day from each other. Why? To recover the king and queen's missing crowns. Will they ever be able to overcome their differences and get along to complete their mission, or will they fall prey to an unexpected danger posed from within?

A girl who is an archer yet is trapped by the hurt in her past. Four strangers banding together on a quest. Sounded like a pretty interesting plot to me! While fantasy is not my favorite genre, I enjoyed this story. It felt a little like the fantasy level one found in The Princess Bride, yet with a little more serious bent.

Branwen was one of those characters that you feel sorry for sometimes and want to shake at others. She feels she is responsible for her sister’s death and had never recovered from that fact. Her personality seemed to match someone who carried that kind of guilt and trauma.

The other characters within the story were interesting and had their own personality. Buxton did an amazing job at creating an interesting and diverse cast of characters. I was surprised at some of the turns that the characters took, yet they made sense. Buxton has a grasp on the inner working of people that few authors seem to possess. This fact alone will take her far in her writing.

The setting was fun. There were elements like giant eels, a huge booby-trapped castle, and a curse that had to be stopped, without magic. In fact the only caution I would have is for some violence. Although not too detailed, younger children who are not used to fantasy might not like it. Yet, for those who like mild fantasy, they will find this an interesting world. I look forward to my next visit (I have the second book on my Kindle).

There wasn’t any romance in this book, but I expect that to change later in the series. There were a couple of moments when I thought that a faith element might be about to introduced, but in the end nothing had come of that.

I recommend this for younger readers who love fantasy, adventure, and realistic characters.

I received this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. All the thoughts in this review are my own.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Katelyn Buxton on Branwen's Quest

Katelyn, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, thanks for having me! I'm a Christian, born, raised and homeschooled in southern Oregon. I started writing when I was about fourteen, but it wasn't until I graduated in 2015 that I was able to self-publish the first book in the Warriors of Aralan series, Branwen's Quest. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, spending time with friends and family, listening to music, watching movies, baking cookies, and helping out at my church.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Well, I was homeschooled through all twelve grades, but in my high school years my mom allowed me to choose which classes I wanted to take. For example, I took entomology for science one year, and wrote a novel for English in another.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
It prepared me to write by giving me a firm understanding of the English language, and fostering my love of reading. Both of those things have played a key role in my choosing to be an author.

What caused you to start writing?
A school assignment that called for me to write the first chapter of a story, and end it with a cliffhanger. Up until that point I actually hated writing, but that cliffhanger hooked me. When I read it out loud to my family, they weren't the only ones that wanted to find out what happened next—I did, too! So I wrote the next chapter, and the next, until that first story was finished. After that, I couldn't stop.

What inspired Branwen's Quest?
Honestly, nothing but a sheer desire to write something. At that point, I had fallen into a really bad habit of not reading, and I was running low on inspiration. My sister and I cooked up the basic plot of Branwen's Quest one night, and the rest is history.

Would you give us a synopsis?
When the royal herald came announcing a mandatory Tournament of Warriors, Branwen was the last one to get excited. Sure, she was a good enough archer, but why should she be forced to go to the tournament just because the king said so? She had nothing to prove! Yet when she got there her competitive spirit took over and she succeeded—enough so that she was singled out by the king to take a difficult journey with three others who were as different as night and day from each other. Why? To recover the king and queen's missing crowns. Will they ever be able to overcome their differences and get along to complete their mission, or will they fall prey to an unexpected danger posed from within?

Who will enjoy Branwen's Quest?
Branwen's Quest is great for anyone that enjoys a clean, fast-paced fantasy read, but twelve to fifteen is the target age range.

Do you plan to write more books?
Oh, always! Currently I have written ten books in the Warriors of Aralan series, with seven of them published, and at least one more on the way.

Where can people connect with you online?

Do you have any final thoughts?
Only this quote, which I would like to share with every Christian writer. It's something I stumbled upon not long after I became published for the first time, and I actually have it set as the wallpaper on the computer I use for writing. It helps keep me focused on what's important—not selling books, as nice as that is. It's about serving Him.
"He is at work on your behalf, not to make you a best-seller, but to make you the best tool for His work. As much as we'd like to think this whole gig is about selling books, it's not. It's about obedience. About writing, because that's the task He's given us. It's about seeking to serve Him and others through the gifts He's given us." ~ Karen Ball

Monday, September 4, 2017

Allison Tebo on The Reluctant Godfather

Allison, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Christian, homeschool graduate in my mid-twenties. I work part-time in sales and operations as an agent for a major transportation company.  I am a graduate of London Art College – I studied drawing and painting for several years then spent another few years studying cartooning.  Aside from writing and art, I also pursue singing, voice-acting and baking.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
 I think it was the fact that I wasn’t forced to be mastering in science or math when I was such a creative person.  My parents realized that I was never going to be a mathematician or a zoologist, and I wasn’t forced to consume excess knowledge that would be superfluous to me and the path that was so obviously marked for me.  I was an artist, and I was allowed to be creative day and night.  I was able to focus on what I was meant to do very early on, as opposed to focusing on a major after graduation.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
First of all, it gave me the freedom to be myself and to explore many different pursuits.  We also read a LOT, I grew up seeped in good, quality stories.  Plus, everything was a learning experience.  Last of all, being homeschooled made me very close to my siblings and I learned a lot about writing by bouncing ideas off of them and talking about stories, characters and plotting.

What caused you to start writing?
My big sister! I wanted to be just like her, and – I’m embarrassed now to admit it – I wanted all the accolades and attention that her stories were getting. Since then, I’ve learned that I don’t have to compare my stories to other people’s writing, and I don’t have to do something just because someone I admire is doing it.  I don’t write for accolades anymore; I write because I must. I write because it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. Writing has become as much a part of me as breathing. The words are there, and they must come out.

What inspired The Reluctant Godfather?
I honestly can’t say one thing in particular inspired The Reluctant Godfather – one night the entire story popped into my head.  All I had to do was write it!

Would you give us a synopsis?
Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care…a cinder girl and a charming prince.  A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.  A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.

Who will enjoy The Reluctant Godfather?
 Even though it’s a retelling of Cinderella, it’s from a male perspective, so I think that will make it more accessible to guy readers.   I hope that many  different people will enjoy my book.  But I think my book will probably appeal most to ladies from 14 to 30.

Do you plan to write more books?
 Absolutely!  I have already published a short story—The Key to the Chains.  The Reluctant Godfather is the first book in a series—The Tales of Ambia—and I have already started working on the sequel.  And I have many more novels and novellas in the works.

Where can people connect with you online?
 Yes!  You can find me at Allison or my blog Allison's Well.  You can also find me on Goodreads, Pinterest, Youtube, and Facebook.   

Do you have any final thoughts?
First – thank you so much for the interview – it has been a dream of mine to join Homeschooled Authors for years and I am thrilled to be joining the ranks of Christian Homeschooled Indie Authors.

Lastly – for other authors or aspiring authors, I would like to share a quote from C.S. Lewis – this quote is my chief source of inspiration to guide me in my own writing.

“We must not of course write anything that will flatter lust, pride or ambition.  But we needn’t all write patently moral or theological work.  Indeed, work whose Christianity is latent may do quite as much good and may reach some whom the more obvious religious work would scare away.

The first business of a story is to be a good story. When Our Lord made a wheel in the carpenter shop, depend upon it: It was first and foremost a good wheel.  Don’t try to ‘bring in’ specifically Christian bits: if God wants you to serve him in that way you will find it coming in of its own accord.  If not, well—a good story which will give innocent pleasure is a good thing, just like cooking a good nourishing meal. . . .

Any honest workmanship (whether making stories, shoes, or rabbit hutches) can be done to the glory of God.”