Monday, October 17, 2016

Jessica Marinos on Traiven's Pass

Jessica, welcome to Homeschooled Authors. Tell us a little about yourself.

My first spark of writing began in second grade with a well written dialogue between a boy and an octopus shoe salesman.  For the next ten years of homeschooling, my mom further instilled the art, excitement, and importance of writing. I like to immerse my mind in the rich, deep Truth of God through reading His Word and other Godly authors of the past such as Leonard Ravenhill, George MacDonald and many others. I also enjoy exploring quaint towns, the scenic outdoors, and castles when I get the rarest of chances. I’m 27 and live at home with my parents, sister, and Little Lord Felix, our cat. I have an old fashion secretary desk where I write. It is mysteriously filled with trinkets, letters, and notes I’ve written and received over the years. One day, I’ll have fun exploring what I have tucked within it. During the spring and summer, I attend homeschool conventions and curriculum fairs where I sell my book and speak on creative writing. While I’m likely to go many places and participate in a diversity of activities, my heart through it all will be found at the feet of Jesus and His Word. If yours is there too, then we already know each other well.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Not only did we homeschool, but we also owned our own family, classic car restoration business, so we were unbound and free to travel! My aunt dubbed our family the Gypsies. Our family roots began in woodsy Oregon. When I was young, we migrated to wild and dry Arizona to do ministry among the Native Americans. Then we bumped one state over to Santa Fe, New Mexico and gained some artsy culture. Our hugest leap was to enclose ourselves among the crowded ways of Massachusetts living where we shared a 100 year old estate house with two other families. The history and charm of New England was so enriching, now I think it is one of my favorite places. Currently our family has settled in Middle Tennessee.

I have one younger sister, and since it was just my mom, sister, and I for school, we did several of our subjects together. We got all our hard subjects done the first half of the day, like math and language. The second half we did more interactive creative subjects. My mom would also read to us a lot, even through high school. She read us books from Fox’s Book of Marters to Princess books. That was always a fun relaxing time.

We started with all Abeka curriculum but over the years branched out until every subject was from a different curriculum company. My sister and I partook a bit of everything, in terms of learning style, which I think was helpful to see subjects from different approaches.

We also took classes outside of the home such as drama, tap dance, drawing, gymnastics, and horseback riding. Connecting with homeschool groups in every state we lived in was awesome. With them, we were able to go skiing, camping, and on field trips.

A relationship with God permeated our homeschooling. Our mornings began with each of us personally spending time seeking God and getting to know Him through His Word. Our time with Christ flowed throughout the day in how we treated each other. We also enjoyed many theological discussions.

I  graduated nine years ago.  In this year of 2016 homeschooling memories are fond reminiscents, and I wouldn’t change the experience for anything. I’m so thankful it is the route my parents chose!
Question 2: How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?

My mom, as my teacher, had a huge impact on my writing. I’ll boil it down to four factors:

1) She wrote with my sister and me, thus proving to us at a young age that writing wasn’t just a school assignment, but fun, interactive, timeless, and for all ages.
2) My mom found fun, creative writing exercises and curriculum for us to do, so it wasn’t a boring endeavor to write.
3) We shared what we wrote with each other, so we wrote with an audience in mind which brought excitement and purpose into writing.
4) Being homeschooled put my feet on such a solid foundation in Christ and allowed me to know His Word. Because of it, my writing is produced from my personal time in the Word of God seeking Jesus. I want a clear, fresh river of Christ’s perspective and heart overflowing into my writing. A big part of being able to gain His prospective was from being out of the public school culture and by being homeschooled. Again, I’m abundantly thankful! Don’t give up homeschool parents! Your work and sacrifice are most worthy!

What caused you to start writing?
I didn’t grow up claiming, “I’ll be an author one day!” I claimed other silly things but not that. I always enjoyed writing, and I did have a natural knack for it, but I never dreamed I would write a novel. Writing Traiven’s Pass slowly unfolded before me step by step. The process was more of a discovery than creating the story.

When I perceived that I wasn’t going to be getting married for a while, I’m like, “Hmmmm, what am I going to do? I could go to college fulltime, get a fulltime job, or write a book.” I had given my dreams to God, so I was open to whatever. I had already taken some college classes, read a huge pile of “how to write good fiction” books, and dabbled in writing short scenes form a story idea I had nudging in my mind which I had shared with my family.

My family collectively confirmed WRITE! Lol. So I did while I worked part time at our family restoration business.  Now, four years later, after agonizing over every word to achieve the culminating flow of characters, plot, and prose, I am pleased to offer, to all who like to read, the story and people of Traiven’s Pass.

What inspired Traiven's Pass?
The realities of truth and deception inspired Traiven’s Pass as I experienced both through life experience and my time seeking the Word of God. When I saw Truth and deception laid side-by-side, they looked nearly identical. Except… if you look closely, deception has a twist. I think it is important to study God’s Word to it and Him through it, so that we will not be deluded by many false teachings.  I hope Traiven’s Pass will give people a desire to seek out the Word of God for themselves.

Would you give us a synopsis?
Traiven’s Pass is a Christian medieval novel, layered with Biblical truths, intrigue, deep characters, and family values. It follows the unique lives of Lydia Tavish and Galen Lukemar.
Lydia is a young woman from the valley of Traiven’s Pass who is steadfast to the Truth from which the Kingdom has drifted. For her belief, she suffers greatly and is thrown into a dire choice where neither option could be right.

Galen is from the remote mountain village of Dresden where he is unaware of the greater happenings of the Kingdom. But as he is determined to win a tournament in the King’s City, he is presented with both Truth and deception. Galen becomes overwhelmingly torn between the two and finds himself on a course he never expected nor intended.

A story so compelling, it is best left told by the characters themselves.

Who will enjoy Traiven's Pass?
Traiven’s Pass is excellent, clean reading for adults and teenagers, both men and women.

Do you plan to write more books?
Absolutely! I’m working on the sequel, The King’s City, which is highly anticipated. After this Trilogy is finished, I have a whole list of intriguing titles that have come to me over the years that I would like to write. But next, after this Trilogy, my heart is aimed at writing a non-fiction book on Romans 6 – 8 because what one believes about these chapters will define your Christian experience. I want people to know the freedom and righteousness there is for them in their everyday life through Christ and Christ in them by His Holy Spirit.

Where can people connect with you online?
My website:  Traiven’s Pass Facebook page:  My YouTube channel where you can watch my writing tip videos is: . I’m also a vender at several of the Homeschool Conventions and speak on Creative Writing. Feel free to contact me through my website or Facebook for any comments or questions.

Do you have any final thoughts?
The desire of my heart, which naturally spills into my daily moments and my writing, is that I would know Christ and that people would know Him through Him living in me. Let’s go after knowing Jesus with all that we are. In doing so, we will find that in Him we have: Life, Freedom, Righteousness, Understanding, Love, Peace, Joy, Patience, and Truth despite anything going on around us. For Truth, who is Jesus!
I appreciate the people who put together this website. Thank you!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Victoria on Jonas and Olivia

Victoria, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Victoria Minks and I'm an Oklahoma-born MK living in Japan. I'm a confetti and chocolate loving extrovert with hundreds of ideas and plans. I am always laughing (can't help it!) and I desire to live a wholesome and whimsical life where all the glory goes to Jesus. :)

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
We don't use just one curriculum... different subjects are different curriculum, and sometimes different kids in our family do different things per subject too. My mum has done an awesome job figuring out what works best for each of us kids and giving us an education that we really love and benefit from. Besides that, for two years of my schooling life we were on furloughs back in the states. As we were constantly busy and traveling we didn't get to do a whole lot of "traditional" school, so we did school-on-the-road. The places I've been able to visit, experiences I've had, and things I've learned along the way has been priceless.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
With the opportunity to be schooled in a Christian environment we have grown up not only strong in our faith but also recognizing that God gives everyone various talents. Because of this my family has been exceptionally encouraging throughout the years towards my writing and allowed me from a young age to read, read, read, and scribble down all my stories. While my writing was only sometimes actually part of my schooling I would say that being homeschooled definitely gave me the advantage of more time to put into it and all that goes into self-publishing. (If I had been traditionally schooled here in Japan I wouldn't have had hardly any extra free time as their lives revolve around their school activities.) I'd also say that the ability to extensively research and learn about so many different things quite in-depth has payed off in allowing me to be that much better equipped when writing a book.

What caused you to start writing?
I've been writing ever since I could form words with a pencil. :) I can't remember a time when I didn't have a story forming in my brain, and I had collections of tales in notebooks already at six or seven. I can't say anything caused me to start writing at the very first except that God just put it in me. At fifteen-sixteen I had a slump, wondering if writing was really worth it when there were already so many books out there. I spent a lot of time praying on it, and that's when God convinced me that what is most important is to do what He wants me to do. Whether the "results" are big or little doesn't matter if you're in God's will, and I knew that God wanted me to share the gospel and Christian values in my books.

What inspired Jonas and Olivia?
It sounds funny but I sort of "met" one of the main characters, Jonas, in my head one day. I wasn't brainstorming or anything... he just popped in my head and was like "Hey there! My name is Jonas!" From there on out I slowly learned more and more about who he was, his story, etc until it was finally pretty much a fully formed plot-line.

Would you give us a synopsis?
Fourteen year old Olivia Wilkerson is left desolate and grieving when her patriot father passes away. Directed by his will to be placed in the care of an old friend, Olivia is forced to venture away from all she’s ever known to make her new life among people who are strangers to her.

Unaware of the new responsibility about to be thrust on him, Jonas Carmichael lives the life of a reclusive in an attempt to ignore the painful memories of the past. His heart has grown hard and bitter over the past thirty years of solitude, and his hatred towards people has only multiplied.

Suddenly burdened with Olivia, Jonas’s only burning desire is to shove the girl off on somebody else. But Olivia, still suffering from her loss, is only looking for someone to love her as her father did-- and soon realizes that there is more to Jonas than meets the eye.

With the Revolutionary War pressing closer around Jonas’s secluded bubble of safety and threatening to burst it at any moment, Jonas discovers that there are choices to be made--choices that will not only affect himself but those around him as well.

Who will enjoy Jonas and Olivia?
I think it's the kind of book that most any age would enjoy. It's family-friendly, but maybe the age range that would like it the best is 12-18. As far as the kind of people who'd like reading it... Christians, Baptists, folks who want clean Christian books, History buffs. :)

Do you plan to write more books?
I sure do. :) I have a few books somewhere along the stage to publication and a long list of ideas...I hope to keep writing till my finger's won't "hold a pen" anymore. And by that time technology will come to the rescue and I'll speak my manuscripts. lol.

Where can people connect with you online?
I blog over at -- free flash fiction, book updates, writing tips, tricks, and workbooks, writing challenges and more. :)
I'm on pinterest at,
I'm on twitter at
and on Goodreads as

Do you have any final thoughts?
Thank you so much for featuring me! :) If you're a writer and you've been feeling discouraged or frustrated, please stay strong. While sometimes writing and the process of self-publishing can be one of the toughest things ever I can't even describe how wonderful it is to be in God's will. ;) To God be the glory.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Camille Esther on Dorian the Daring

Camille, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thanks for having me! Well, I was homeschooled, obviously. I grew up on a little homestead in Kansas, where we raised goats and chickens and apples. "We" being myself, my four siblings and my parents. About three years ago, I got married and moved to Georgia, which is where I currently live on a similar little homestead with goats and chickens. I love milking goats, and I love writing, and I love being able to illustrate my own novels.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Hmm, well, the most unique thing I can think of is how isolated we were. A lot of homeschoolers grow up going to support groups and maybe even co-ops or homeschool sports. There were probably only three or four other homeschool families in our  area at any given time, so our meetings were pretty sporadic. That's not a bad thing, of course, and I hope I don't sound like it is. But I think that is why I prefer completely fictional settings in my writing -- I don't feel like I have enough experience in a modern setting to sound plausible.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Being homeschooled gave me time to pursue what I really wanted to do. I didn't have to go anywhere to do it; I could learn at home and easily use my free time for writing. I would carry a notebook with me when we went on car trips, and write as we drove. Also, a big plus was having the sibling fan club at my disposal for beta reading and editing.

What caused you to start writing?
Actually, my first moment of inspiration happened when I was nine years old. I came across some books that I wanted to read, but my mom told me that they were not good books. I was shocked that there could be such a thing as books that were not good, and I thought to myself "Well, I'll just write books that are good, then." So I found a notebook and pencil and wrote about one page of nine-year-old nonsense. Then I ran out of stuff to write, and I thought "Hmm, this is harder than I thought. I'll just try again when I'm a little older." So I did. Every so often, I would start a story, only to flop again and again. Finally, when I was fifteen, I went through a course called Learn to Write the Novel Way, and finished an entire book. That gave me the boost I needed, and I was able at seventeen to write the books I really wanted to write, the most recent completed novel being Dorian the Daring.

What inspired Dorian the Daring?
It's hard to say where an idea comes from. Growing up I preferred reading books that were written for boys, and I think Dorian the Daring is my attempt to emulate and build upon the kinds of books I loved.

Would you give us a synopsis?
Here is the one that is written on the back of the book: Kicked out of the only home he has ever known, Dorian is forced to decide whether to move on, or make things right. To make matters worse, he discovers someone is trying to kill him. Is it his best friend or his proclaimed enemy? Dorian The Daring is a story of adventure, from swordfights to contraband, assassinations to the rescue of fair maidens, including Dorian’s own sister. Finally, after escaping a dungeon torture scene, Dorian realizes what he has to do – and has the chance to do it.

Who will enjoy Dorian the Daring?
It is written more for the age bracket of teens and young adults, but I've had people from teens all the way to elderly folks tell me they couldn't put it down. It was funny, a copy was given to a local nursing home, and everyone there read it. I'm glad they enjoyed it.

Do you plan to write more books?
Oh yes. I have several WIP's, and I'm not sure which one I'll finish first.

Where can people connect with you online?
You can find me on by searching Camille Esther, or the titles of my novels, Royalty in Disguise or Dorian the Daring. (By the way, if you have any questions, you can leave a question for me on goodreads. And I would LOVE ratings or reviews on goodreads or on amazon.) You can find me and ask questions on Facebook or you can look at my author website.

Do you have any final thoughts?
You know, I want any future authors to know that writing is not just about entertainment. When we write, we have a unique ability to influence another person through the medium of story. I feel like the power of story has been exploited by hollywood and other story-telling people. As Christian writers, we have the opportunity to change that. I would encourage anyone who is currently writing or is considering writing to keep in mind what kind of influence story has, and to use it accordingly.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Isabella Morganthal on I Dare You

Isabella, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me! I’m nineteen years old and I’ve been writing for ten years. Writing is my passion, but I also love music. I’m a drummer, singer, creative arts director, and blogger. I love Scripture memorization and participated in the National Bible Bee for five years. I love whipped cream, pizza, summer, and the ocean!

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Wow, I think the biggest reason my homeschooling experience was unique is that my mom was a single parent for the majority of the time that she homeschooled my twin sister and I. She had her own business, so the both of us got to learn a lot of things through that having to do with money, business, marketing, etc. My mom also made God and our Bible time the focal point of our homeschooling. We had our Bible time before anything else which allowed me to grow up with a love for God that has led me through every area of my life.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
My mom focused our homeschooling on what we loved to do and she made it fun. As a young girl, she had me write a lot of creative stories for English and as I got older she had me write a lot of essays, which helped to deepen my love for writing. Because I was homeschooled I had the freedom to explore the things I was interested in and I loved. Homeschooling gave my mom the opportunity to help me grow in my interests and dreams.

What caused you to start writing?
For homeschool one day, my mom had us sit down at the kitchen counter and write a creative fiction story about anything we wanted to. I wrote a story about a little girl and her horse “Midnight.” When I wrote this story, I realized that I could create something that people might actually like to read. I loved the feeling of creating a story that expressed my own hopes and dreams. I decided from that time on that I wanted to write and give people the gift of a story that inspires them and leads them to Jesus.

What inspired I Dare You?
The inspiration behind my first published book “I Dare You: Finding Your Passion and Lighting Your World” is simply put: my relationship with Jesus. I’ve written several fiction books, so to write a non-fiction book was very different for me, yet I felt God’s leading to write this book. I knew it was what He wanted me to do. I’ve always wanted to inspire someone and encourage young people that they can make a difference in their world. I just never knew how I could do it. Then one day God said to me “If you could only ever write one more book for the world to see, what would you say?” So I started to write my book. I wrote with the intention of inspiring my generation. I poured my heart onto every page and wrote as if I were writing to my close friends.

Would you give us a synopsis?
“I Dare You: Finding Your Passion and Writing Your World” is my dare to young people to do something big with their lives. I dare them to not waste their lives on Snapchat, Instagram, or video games, but to instead put away the chains of apathy and stand up to make a difference in the world. I discuss major issues wrong in our world today such as abortion, human trafficking, and bullying. I dare the young people reading to rise up and do something about these issues, because they can make a difference. My book shares my own personal journey of how God called me to make a difference by serving Him one day in Uganda, and I share the lessons He taught me along the way. I encourage readers to push through fear, throw away the lies they believe, and have faith that nothing is impossible with God.  

Who will enjoy I Dare You?
“I Dare You” was written specifically for ages 13-19, but many adults have also enjoyed reading it.

Do you plan to write more books?
Yes! I am always writing. :-) My second book released in April 2016 and my third book is going to be released this fall 2016, Lord willing.

Where can people connect with you online?
Answer: My website is: and my blog is: Twitter: @authorbella2015. Facebook: Isabella Morganthal

Do you have any final thoughts?
I just want to encourage anyone reading this that you are never too old or too young to pursue the dreams God placed in your heart if you use them to glorify Him and make a difference for Him.
Thank you for having me do this interview!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Willowy Whisper on The Letter

Willowy, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a seventeen year old homeschooler, saved by the grace of God. I am also a passionate writer, a pianist, guitarist, photographer, cover designer, and incurable romantic. Willowy Whisper is my pen name. I am the author of six novels, five of which are published, and numerous short stories.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Get up, eat, do the chores, then delve into school work. Nothing too unique about my homeschooling life, I'm afraid.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
I was taught grammar with an amazing curriculum (Analytical Grammar), and I'm quite positive I would never have survived the rules of writing had I not been taught so well. Also, having my teacher (my mother, of course) at home and available all the time helped immensely, because she was not only my cheerleader, but also my editor.

What caused you to start writing?
I had a cousin who decided to write a novel. After hearing about it, I was intrigued and decided to do it myself.

What inspired The Letter?
The Letter (Hills of Innocence #2) is my latest novel. I can't pin-point anything that really inspired me, however.

Here is a list of my other published work:
The Innocent
Whispering Leaves Saga
Here All the Time
Silly Feeling

Would you give us a synopsis?
At first it was just a letter, maybe a joke, a coincidence. Now it was a living nightmare, threatening everyone he loved, pulling his greatest fear into a reality…
As the letters keep coming, Brock Sumner watches his world shatter at his feet. Building a wall around his heart seemed like the only answer. Is there any other way to protect the woman he loves?
A drunk, with no incentive to change; a runaway, with a price on his back; a young child, afraid in the dark…
Will the letters, perhaps, pull their lives together? Or will the killer find a way to destroy them all?

Who will enjoy The Letter?
The Letter (as well as The Innocent) would be enjoyable to anyone who enjoys mystery, western, romance, suspense/thriller, Christian, redemption, and of course, fiction. It is intended for ages 13 and up, but appropriate for all ages, although there is some violence and kissing.

Do you plan to write more books?
The Lord willing, I will never stop writing books. I am currently writing The Pursued (Hills of Innocence Trilogy #3).

Where can people connect with you online?
My Blog:
My Goodreads:
My Youtube:

Do you have any final thoughts?
It is so nice to see so many other homeschool, Christian authors. Thank you for the interview.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ethan Hill on MSPX

Ethan, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sallo! My name is E. Howard Hill. I've been homeschooled off and on since Kindergarten, and I love every second of it. I live in the middle of nowhere, and I enjoy this fact as well. I'm the oldest of four siblings, two brothers and two sisters.

I'm a truth-seeker, and that's, to be honest, the only title I'm proud of. When it comes to my other titles, however... I'm a writer, musician, fanboy, animator, artist, photographer, computer programmer, graphic designer, snow cone-maker, and a list finisher (like right now). For fun, I enjoy taking care of rabbits, writing, photographing food, more writing, taking apart computers, writing, playing guitar, and writing. Have I mentioned that I like writing? I've written one novel so far, previously operated two YouTube channels, earned a Photoshop certification, survived a year of public school, and have jumped on the same platform in Doodle Jump over two-hundred times. Additionally, I have completed all of the levels in Tetris for the original GameBoy.

As mentioned before, I'm a fanboy. I'm a fan of The Neverhood, Sonic the Hedgehog, Over the Garden Wall, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Microsoft, the Ender Series (especially 'Speaker for the Dead',) Portal, and almost any Pixar film (except for The Good Dinosaur, Brave, and Cars 2).

My favorite musical artists (alphabetically) are alt-J, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Beatles, The Black Keys, Buddy Holly, Club of the Sons, Coconut Records, Foster the People, Glenn Miller, Hot Chip, Jon Foreman, La Roux, Metronomy, MGMT, Miike Snow, Modest Mouse, Mutemath, Owl City, Passion Pit, Ratatat, The Shins, The Submarines, Switchfoot, Tame Impala, Two Door Cinema Club, and Wax Tailor.

Now to the next questions!

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
When I was very little, I loved words. In fact, when I was in kindergarten (I attended East Texas Christian School for half of the year), my teacher requested that I be homeschooled because I was already reading third grade readers. Ever since then, I've loved being homeschooled. Some of my very best friends are homeschooled, and I'm a proud member of CHEC. Not to say that I haven't tried other options, I attended Union Grove High School for my freshman year of high school, but I'm not intending on returning any time soon. So there, that's my story... so far.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
As every writer knows, you write what you know. Because my field of view has been substantially broadened through my experience as a homeschooler, I believe that I've been able to experiment with incredibly diverse topics. Not only have I been given the opportunity to hone down on grammar, but I've been able to read and comprehend works from Homer's Odyssey to Homer Price. It's helped my life and assisted to my well-rounded-ness (if that isn't a word, I think it should be), and it's drastically made my writing less cookie-cutter.

What caused you to start writing?
Everyone has a story. Everyone, no matter who you are. It's not a fictional story, but everyone has been given a life thanks to the Lord complete with characters, setting, backstory, and his or her own personal role to play. In a way, we're all editors, as the Lord writes our lives and we're given our own parts to play inside of it. This realization made me want to write. Plus, it was more productive than photographing food and hacking into Linux.

What inspired MSPX?
It's a long and complicated story as to how I got the idea for MSPX, in fact, it's so long that I might even write a book on it. However, to summarize it for all of you awesome people, I'll just admit that, believe it or not, but it's an incredibly personal story. MSPX is loosely based, in the environment, off of a variety of ideas, included but not limited to Orson Scott Card's "Speaker for the Dead", Doctor Who, music from bands such as alt-J, MGMT, Owl City, Wax Tailor, and the Dire Straits, the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, Disney's "The Fox and the Hound", American politics, Lord of the Rings, Portal 2, a few really cool Windows 7 background pictures I found, the "Tarin Wanderer" series by Lloyd Alexander, Fantastic Mr. Fox (the movie), Over the Garden Wall (the television series), and people I know in real life.

Would you give us a synopsis?
It's the year 2237. In the twenty-first century, an epidemic hit known as the Zenith, a virus that affected humanity so badly that only a few thousand scientists and a race of genetic mutants, known as chimeras, managed to survive. However, it's been two-hundred years since then, and after two wars have been fought, we've finally come to the (relatively) stable Kingdom of Quercasia.

The first book, like the next two, is a snapshot of two weeks out of the lives of two people, Tod Washington and Sylvia LeBeouf. They're both chimeras, they're both aristocrats, and they're both fifteen. However, they're also very different. Tod is an orphaned red fox chimera and lives by himself in a ratty, old apartment complex that once was owned by his late godfather, Winsor "Seattle" Washington. As for Sylvia, she's currently an Artificial Intelligence and is trying to find a way to become a real girl again (think Pinocchio, but in this case, she used to be a real girl when she was young).

I won't spoil any more. No worries. Though it sounds kind of depressing, I've been told that it has its fun moments.

Who will enjoy MSPX?
The best answer to this question is... well... to be honest, I have no idea! I didn't exactly write this with any one specific audience member in mind. In fact, I've been told by a friend of my cousin, who is a lady in her sixties, that both she and her twelve-year-old grandson enjoyed the work. If you're a Science Fiction fan, you'll enjoy the realism I presented in every aspect of the book. If you're a fantasy fan, you'll enjoy all of the bizarre, rich landscapes and characters I've painted. If you're a fan of romance, you'll probably enjoy the clean, wholesome (but still adorable, I've been told by friends) self-sacrifice I've turned into a plot. If you like action or mystery, I've included that too. This work, no joke, was as hard to label as it was to name.

Do you plan to write more books?
Without a shadow of a doubt, yes! The second book, which I believe is better than the first, will be released sometime in late 2016. And then, who knows? Maybe after my trilogy is uploaded, I'll go back to photographing food.

Where can people connect with you online?
You can find me on Wattpad, my website, my Amazon author page, and on Blurb.

Do you have any final thoughts?
In case you're wondering, yes. Tod is based off of me, like, heavily, and I am an enormous Microsoft fan. Oh! Also, I don't care what people say, Yellow is a good color... and stuff. Just saying. As for an inspirational message, it has come to my knowledge that, perhaps, people will be checking this section to learn how to not repeat the mistakes I made. Here is my advice to aspiring authors:

- Lather, rinse, repeat.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
- Make sure to keep your mouth closed when you're underwater.
- Sleep is important, make sure to do it for at least ten minutes everyday.
- Take frequent breaks from having to take breaks.
- When driving, make sure that you're facing the windshield.
- It's easier to walk on your feet instead of your hands.
- Teeth only come out once. If a permanent tooth is loose, that's not good.
- Never go to without your parent's permission.
- Microwaves and eggs don't go together.
- Do not be a tree-hugger during a lightning storm.
- Even if it's organic, food that is several years old is probably bad.
- Squirrels and cigarettes are alike in one way: bad things happen when you light them and put them in your mouth.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Tricia Mingerink on Defy

Tricia, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Michigan a short drive away from the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, though I'm not a big fan of beaches, swimming, or sand. I enjoy camping, hiking, and road trips. So far, I've been to 47 of the 50 states, missing only California, Alaska, and Hawaii. I've been writing since I learned how to write, and I was drawing picture books before that. I currently have three published books, including Defy.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I tend to think of my schooling experience as “hybrid.” My mom homeschooled me through fifth grade and during those years, she really pushed me academically, especially when it came to reading and writing. By 4th grade, I was reading at a high school comprehension level. Funny thing is, I didn’t really realize that wasn’t normal. At the time, it was just what my mom expected out of me, so I did it. 

In 6th grade, I went into a private Christian school. It was a good experience, and I’m still friends with the group that formed through junior high and high school. It was an adjustment from the very independent form of learning I had as a homeschooler to the teacher-guided learning. Let’s just say, I did a lot of doodling and story-writing in the back of my notebook. 

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
My mom saw my potential at a very early age, so she really encouraged me in my writing. I also think learning to be independently disciplined while young also helped. My mom would prepare our coursework each weekend and give us a schedule of what we had to complete each day. We each had a stack of books about a foot tall with all our courses. Some days, my brothers and I would have everything done by noon. Other days, we’d dilly-dally until it was supper time. 

What caused you to start writing?
I started drawing picture books when I was two years old and telling the stories behind the pictures to my parents, so I honestly don’t have any memories of a time when I wasn’t writing or telling stories. 

When I was really little, my dad read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to my brothers and me. When I was 6, we visited Mansfield, MO where she wrote the Little House Books. I have a distinct memory of standing in front of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s desk and deciding right then and there that I was going to be a published author someday. Nineteen years later, I returned to the site a few weeks after my first book released. 

What inspired Defy?
The year before I began writing The Blades of Acktar series, I had done a lot of research into Dutch history for a family history project I did for college. Several eras in Dutch history, especially the Dutch Revolution in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s and the experience of the Dutch Resistance in WWII had a huge impact on the series. 

Defy is the third book in The Blades of Acktar and it wraps up the main conflict. 

Would you give us a synopsis?

The war for Acktar has begun. 

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades. 

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected. 

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands. 

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope: 
The Leader is ready. 

Who will enjoy Defy?
Young adults and adults who love books with lots of action, adventure, tension, and deep, impactful faith. In my books, I don’t shy away from the darkness and violence in the world because it pushes the characters to reach for the Light found in Christ even in the hardest situations. 

Do you plan to write more books?
Of course! Currently, I’m working on Book 4 in The Blades of Acktar. This book is a sequel/continuation that deals with the aftermath of Defy. Even victory can get a little messy, especially with the amount of bitterness that lingers in Acktar. 

Where can people connect with you online?
You can connect with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and my blog.

Do you have any final thoughts?
Thanks so much for having me!