Monday, February 12, 2018

Daniel Helland on More Than Conquerors


Daniel, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a homeschool graduate, the oldest of ten, and a twin. I love working on the farm, speech and debate, reading, history, video making, gospel music (southern and bluegrass) and apparently writing books of adventure and intrigue. I am what some might refer to as an unsophisticated simpleton: one who believes strongly that the Bible is God’s Word to us and is true in everything it says.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
There was probably no one thing that made it unique. Really, homeschooling is a unique thing on its own in today’s culture. People tend to be surprised when they meet a family as large as mine and hear that we were all educated at home.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
It gave me a lot more time to write, and pursue certain subjects in greater depth, like the Reformation and the Huguenots.

What caused you to start writing?
Since I was a young kid I have always considered myself a writer and a storyteller. How this originated, I don’t know – but I was always writing stories, and fancied I was going to be the next Tolkien or Lewis. I used to be proud when I pumped out a 20 page story – my book More Than Conquerors is over 400 pages.

What inspired More than Conquerors?
First and foremost: the underlying history of the Huguenots, who were the Protestants in France during the Reformation. The King waged several wars against them to get rid of them because of their perceived threat to his ‘divine rights.’

Secondly, a growing desire to help people in our day, especially young people, see the epic and heroic nature of the Reformation – one of the most important moments in history – and realize that there are things worth fighting for, and battles worth fighting on principle, even when you are the losing side, the minority, and there is no victory in sight.

Would you give us a synopsis?
By the time the book ends, the reader will have traversed all over 16th century France, walked the halls of cathedrals and palaces, beheld giant armies on the field of battle, seen a beautiful coastal city under siege by a massive royal army, and trekked in the untamed jungles and forests of the New World. Nonetheless, the story starts small with three main characters living in Geneva, Switzerland. Theodore, an ordinary young man who wants to fight for the French Huguenots, Charles, an old veteran soldier who is still up for another adventure, and Johanne, a self-proclaimed man of reason who doesn’t want his nephew, Theodore, to waste his life in a war-torn country. The threesome embarks on an adventure far wider in scope than anything they had ever imagined.

Who will enjoy More than Conquerors?
I think regardless of your age, your interests, or the genres you usually read, the characters and times in More Than Conquerors will captivate you as they did for me. Some older people read the book and helped me edit it and they enjoyed it, and I have also received good feedback from audiences younger than myself. Even Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, said the “best of all were the Huguenots.” I’m inclined to agree with him.
Buy it here.

Do you plan to write more books?
I do – More Than Conquerors took two or three years of brainstorming, writing and revision, and the next book might as well, so be patient!

Where can people connect with you online?
Website: Danielinthewritersden.com
Facebook: danielhellandjr
Youtube: Daniel in the Writer’s Den

Do you have any final thoughts?
I’ll just leave with some advice for other writers and upcoming authors who, like me, have been writing for a very long time but perhaps have not yet published something – actually a quote on recycling from C.S. Lewis.

“When you give up a bit of work don’t (unless it is hopelessly bad) throw it away. Put it in a drawer. It may come in useful later. Much of my best work, or what I think my best, is the re-writing of things begun and abandoned years earlier.”

Monday, February 5, 2018

Angie Thompson on Bridgers


Angie, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I'm Angie, and I'm a homeschool author...  :D

I count homeschooling one of the greatest blessings of my life, mostly because I got to spend so much time surrounded by my wonderful family!  I'm the oldest of eight (six boys and two girls) and was homeschooled for most of my life, minus a brief public school stint in sixth and seventh grade when my mom was dealing with serious health problems. 

I've always enjoyed "making up stories"--although I'm not always diligent about writing them down--and I've loved books ever since I taught myself to read at three years old.  (True story.)  Although I've been writing for years, this is my first venture into the world of publishing, and it's been both scary and very exciting!  When not writing or reading, I enjoy crafting, working with kids, and spending time with my family.

Most importantly, I'm a child of God, saved by His grace, whose deepest desire is to honor and please Him, and my prayer is that He will use the words I write to touch and bless others.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
This probably isn't unique in the one-of-a-kind sense, but my favorite part of my homeschool experience was getting to help my younger brothers and sister with their schoolwork.  I have one brother who used to do his work lying on the floor under my desk and pass his book up through the keyboard tray if he had a question.  I also got to help teach my three youngest siblings to read with the assistance of a cute red panda puppet.  Okay, maybe that part is pretty unique!  I also had quite the reputation for calling my mom with a question, then figuring out the answer myself as I was trying to explain it to her.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Of course, I did all the normal (and probably some abnormal) writing exercises in school.  I still can't bring myself to use an "and then," and I'm pretty sure that stems from the writing checklist we were supposed to use in one curriculum or another!  But I think the biggest influence from my time in homeschool was that I was allowed (read "more-than-strongly-encouraged") to read good and wholesome books instead of the questionable-or-worse content I would have been subjected to in public school.  When I realized how small the pool of good and "safe" literature really was, I was all the more motivated to try to write the kinds of books my parents and I would have been comfortable having me read.

What caused you to start writing?
Writing in the sense of putting words on paper?  Probably my desire to share and preserve the stories I was always creating in my head.  Writing in the sense of weaving stories and exploring imaginary characters?  I don't think anyone could tell you that; according to my mom, I've been doing it since I was a toddler.

What inspired Bridgers: A Parable?
 I was listening to a kids' audio drama that I discovered through the Audio Theatre Central podcast (not necessarily relevant, but I do consider the podcast the start of my inspiration chain), and I came across an episode that was modeled after the parable of the Good Samaritan.  That story got me thinking and wondering how I would choose to frame the parable if I was translating it to a modern-day setting, and after some thought and prayer (and quite a bit of writing), the result was Bridgers!

Would you give us a synopsis?
 Three boys. One choice. No turning back.

Peyton is a rising star in the church who is well on the way to reaching his biggest dreams. Levi is a pastor's son struggling to live up to his faith under pressure from all sides. DaVonte is a kid from the wrong side of town who would be content if he and his friends were just left alone.

When an act of violence presents a sudden decision, each boy's answer will shake the community to its core and shape its future forever. Love and truth face off against fear and pride in this modern extension of one of Jesus' best-known parables.

Who will enjoy Bridgers: A Parable?
 I think the target audience is probably young teens, although I admit that I'm not really good at picking a target audience--mostly because I've read just about every level at just about every age.  I do know that the adults who have read it have really enjoyed it.  There's a note in the front of the book listing issues that parents of younger children should be aware of--a few references to life in an inner-city-type setting that were hard to avoid--but I think that with appropriate guidance, it would be enjoyable for preteens and high-reading younger children as well.

Do you plan to write more books?
Definitely!  No sequels to this book planned at the moment, but I have literally dozens of ideas in my files, and new ones keep popping up all the time--a lot like this one did.

Where can people connect with you online?
 My website (also contains behind-the-scenes insights and trivia)-- https://www.quietwaterspress.com/
 My Goodreads page-- https://www.goodreads.com/AngieThompson

Do you have any final thoughts?
I'm so blessed and thankful to have been allowed to share with you all.  I'm very excited to have discovered this site and can't wait to explore the work of my fellow homeschool authors!  If you have any other questions or comments about me or my book, I'd love to hear from you.  God bless!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Millie Florence on Honey Butter


Millie, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.         
I am very adventurous and love to try new things, whether new foods or new experiences. I love cooking, hiking, ziplines, travel, skateboarding, acting, and backpacking. I drink lots of tea and am the oldest of five, and a hardcore lover of the color yellow. Last year I published my first book, Honey Butter, at age thirteen.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I think my family and my homeschool has a great balance of both technology and nature. My dad has a technology-based job, and my mom is really into nature, health, and art. My mom usually takes care of the literature side of things in my family’s learning: reading, writing, history. My dad generally does the science, math, and logic. I’m learning about both medicinal herbs and robotics.

We’re a perfect team.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Homeschooling gives me the freedom to go at my own pace, to discover my talents and strong points as well as take some time to strengthen my weak points. Homeschooling lets me be creative and flexible. I can do math in my treehouse or compose a rap about the scientist I’m studying. Just talking with my parents over lunch about something interesting that I read can be school, and the things I love to do, like writing, count towards my education. Plus, not being surrounded by the pop culture of public school lets me see the world in a different way, and seeing the world in a different way is what writing is all about.

In other words, homeschooling prepared me to write by giving me the time, the freedom, and making me, me.


What caused you to start writing?
I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. Even when I was only around four years old I can remember telling stories under the covers at night when I was supposed to be asleep. I read constantly, and even before I could read well I listened to classics like A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Anne of Green Gables. Before I could type I would have one of my parents stand by the computer and type down everything I said, telling my story aloud. Once I grew better at reading and typing there was no stopping me, I read voraciously, and wrote as much as I could. Honey Butter was the first book I ever finished a complete draft of. For years that was my big problem; I had too many ideas and sticking with one was a huge challenge. Add that to the fact that I was a perfectionist with words and therefore very slow to get them down, and you can see why for many years I made very little headway with any book. With Honey Butter I was finally able to let myself write messy with the first draft and leave the revisions for later. After finishing the first draft I didn’t see any reason not to move forward and make it publication worthy. Honey Butter went through many major revisions to become the book it is today. It was a lot of hard work, but definitely worth it!

What inspired Honey Butter?
 It started with the paint cards. About a year and a half ago my family was doing some work on our house, which meant a lot of trips to the paint store. While my parent discussed colors, returned samples, and looked at prices, my four siblings and I usually hung out in the sample card area.
Having nothing better to do, I spent the time reading the names of the colors and was soon enchanted by how the simple word combinations could call to mind a picture in my head. I love wordplay, and had written many stories before I started Honey Butter, so the interesting names naturally appealed to me.
At first, I started taking a few home, making sets of colors as a sort of character development game. After a while, I had a small collection and then came the idea that started Honey Butter. What if I created a story about a character who was obsessed with paint cards? Before long I discovered a picture in my head of the main character, a stubborn seven-year-old girl with a battered blue shoebox under her arm. And from that small seed of a story, my book grew.


Would you give us a synopsis?
Jamie Johnson is a seven-year-old girl with an annoying older sister, a short attention span, and an odd hobby of collecting paint sample cards.

Laren Lark is an almost thirteen-year-old girl with a love of books, a talent for poetry, and a past full of road school adventures.

This book is a whimsical story about what happened to them one fateful summer, with a pound of friendship, a gallon of family, and a ton of everyday joy.


Who will enjoy Honey Butter?
Honey Butter is a children’s middle-grade novel, but I wrote it to be enjoyable for the whole family. It’s a great option for parents to read aloud with their kids.

Do you plan to write more books?
I can’t imagine not writing more books! Currently, I’m working on a children’s poetry book, and a fantasy novel. Both are in the early stages, so I can’t reveal much about them yet. ;)

Where can people connect with you online?
My Blog: millieflorence.com
My instagram: www.instagram.com/millieflorenceauthor/
My Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17097163.Millie_Florence
Honey Butter on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vi2b9e

Monday, January 15, 2018

Priscilla J. Krahn on Mission of a Lifetime.


Priscilla, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I graduated from Krahn Homeschool in 2015 and am currently living on our family farm, helping where I can and writing in my free time. Growing up as the youngest of seven, I took advantage of my older siblings' books and reading became a part of me at a young age.  My first book was self-published when I was seventeen, and now, at the age of twenty, I have six books self-published, and one traditionally published through Ambassador International. Personality wise, I like to describe myself like my purse, bling on one side, camo on the other side, and the cross in the center. Depending on what settings you know me in, you might think of me as a loud tomboy who likes ice hockey, hunting and fishing, or you might think of me as a shy girl who likes bling, shopping, and coffee drinks.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
One thing that really sticks out to me about my homeschooling experience, was how organized it was. My mom would write out lesson plans for us that went through the whole year, and kept us on schedule. Also, growing up on a farm, we got lots of 'field trips'. My parents took our farm, and in my high-school years, the family corn maze, and used them to teach us about running businesses, and having employees. A lot of the lessons in my school were backed by real-life hands-on experiences. I also feel that my parents did a great job with making time to incorporate travel into our schooling. Through different competitions and conventions, I had the opportunity to travel all over America learning things that I would never have learned from behind a desk.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
My mom knew that I liked to write when I was still pretty young, so all through my homeschool years, she made sure to have me do a lot of curriculum geared towards writers. When I was thirteen, she got me the One Year Adventure Novel high-school writing curriculum, and that's what really started helping my writing improve. I'm very grateful that my parents didn't make me stick to the traditional education and schooling hours, but instead, they customized our school experience, to help us in what we were interested. For some of my brothers, it was taking extra mechanic classes, and for others, it was taking intense music classes. For me, it was allowing me to have the time I needed to write, and the material to help me improve.

What caused you to start writing?
I've always like to write, and even my earliest childhood notebooks have stories scribbled in them. I always dreamed of being published some day, but I knew it probably would never happen. Then, one day, one of my brothers told me I would never get published. He went so far as to say that if I ever did get published, he would help with the expenses. That's when I KNEW that I was going to get published. I had him write out his promise and sign it, and when I was seventeen, I returned the note to him stamped 'Paid in Full'. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today if it weren't for my supportive family. They all encourage me, inspire me, and help as much as they can.

What inspired Mission of a Lifetime?
This sounds kind of funny, but I actually got the inspiration for Mission of a Lifetime through a dream I had! The dream, while NOTHING like the book, got me thinking about the intense and dangerous situations that missionaries face, and ideas began flowing. I was working on some other books at the time, but I knew I was eventually going to write Mission of a Lifetime.

Would you give us a synopsis?
A missing airplane . . . Hostile tribes . . . Mysterious kidnappings . . .
Responsibility falls upon twenty-one-year-old William Rodriguez when his missionary parents disappear in the hostile jungles of Columbia. Willie knows that he has to go find them, but what will it cost him? When his dreams and his very life are on the line, Willie doesn’t know who to trust. Will he be able to overcome his past mistakes and the present failure that seems set on destroying his mission?
When Willie finds himself in the midst of a drug smuggling ring, difficult decisions are thrust upon him. Can he escape his captors before his family is killed? Can he find forgiveness in his heart for the very people who ruined his life or will it only bring back more painful memories? Will he be able to survive the mission of a lifetime?

Who will enjoy Mission of a Lifetime?
If you enjoy intense drama, and adventure, you will enjoy Mission of a Lifetime. It is specifically written for 14-25 year old guys, but has been enjoyed by both men and women of all ages.

Do you plan to write more books?
Yes! As a writer, I'm ALWAYS writing something, and I'm currently working on a trilogy of mystery adventure novels for ages 9-14.

Where can people connect with you online?
I blog at - www.priscillajkrahn.com
My business Facebook page is - https://www.facebook.com/PriscillaJ.KrahnAuthor/
I can also be found on Goodreads, Google+, and my Amazon author page.

Do you have any final thoughts?
The world of writing is both difficult, and rewarding. If you're a beginning writer, or a parent trying to encourage a young writer, don't give up. Keep at it! Even if you never get a word published, don't get discouraged. One of the things that has kept me going over the years is my favorite verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this IS THE WILL OF GOD; in Christ Jesus concerning YOU." When we realize that God's will for our lives is to be thankful in EVERYTHING, then whether we're writing or not, we can have the joy of the Lord, which is my strength.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Maggie Joy on The Star Under the City



Maggie, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm just a Christian girl who loves humans and to write their stories down ;)
I can often be found spending time with people I love, reading WWII stories, in the thick of a mud fight, writing, staring at the night sky, or dancing in the occasional rainstorm we get.
I love Christmas and ice-cream (i'm still looking for someone who will let me put those two things together btw..) and I love to sing.
I couldn’t be more thankful for my wonderful life and the ones in it.♥
With my writing I long to glorify God, capture the special beauty, joy, tears, stories, and moments of life, speak the truth --even when ugly, and inspire others to hope again.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I think one thing that made my homeschooling experience unique and priceless was the extreme focus on God and His word. It put the schooling into perspective and along with every single subject, we were being taught to live more like Christ.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
One of the ways that homeschooling prepared me to write was all the great literature that I always had access to. Along with the fact that I ALWAYS had at least one of my six siblings around to get inspired with and bounce dreams and ideas back and forth. (priceless btw!)

What caused you to start writing?
I found out I loved writing through creative writing school assignments. That coupled with the fact that I soon realized there were hundreds of amazing stories all around me that needed to be told.

What inspired The Star Under the City?
Well, I think I've always loved WWII stories and as I grew to love writing, I wanted to write one from that time period. Then I got the idea for the two main characters in The Star Under the City, and basically everything progressed pretty quickly from there! Finding the Bible verse, Psalm 147:2-4 really got me going and I couldn't stop. :)

Would you give us a synopsis?
When Ellen is suddenly orphaned and dropped alone into a strange city under tight Nazi control, she struggles to survive form day to day.

Her life takes an unexpected turn when she finds a mysterious, metal six-point star that is slightly different from the "Star of David" all the Jews are forced to wear.

Not only does the star feel like a sign of hope, but it sets her on a mission to find out what it really means. As she begins to wonder if she'll ever find answers, she meets Lenz, and her life is flung into a whirlwind of Danger and hardship, new friends and new enemies, and opportunities to learn trust and true sacrifice.

As she attempts to find her place in the conflict, she discovers she is part of something so much bigger than she could ever imagine.

Who will enjoy The Star Under the City?
Readers from all ages have enjoyed The Star Under the City and I was thrilled to get such enthusiastic responses from so many. But it was originally written for teens.

Do you plan to write more books?
I do plan to write more books and will begin on my next novel, currently titled, Alexis Accepted, this November!

Where can people connect with you online?
You can contact me through my blog https://myatticcorner.wordpress.com/, Generation Rising, or on Goodreads. :)

Do you have any final thoughts?
I've also written a companion short story called, A German, which you can find for FREE on Amazon (or other places like, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, etc) through my Pronoun page.

Thank you, Sarah, for the interview.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Interview with Kelsey on Suit and Suitability


Kelsey, welcome to Homeschooled Authors once again. What have you been up to since last time you were here?
Thank you for having me! The last time I was here was over two years ago, after I had published England Adventure (Six Cousins Book 2). Almost that entire time, I was working on Suit and Suitability. I’ve traveled to some interesting places (England and Prince Edward Island, for two), gotten into freelance copyediting, and been enjoying a new member of the family (a nephew).

How did you become involved with the Vintage Jane Austen Project?
One day, Hannah Scheele (the series’ cover designer) and Sarah Holman (the author of Emmeline) were talking and somehow formed the scheme for the Vintage Jane Austen Project. Knowing me well as a Janeite, they asked if I wanted to write one of the books. I have hardly ever felt more excited to say yes!

What was your favorite part about moving an old story into a new time period?
I think it was discovering how personalities from Regency England (c. 1811) could be adapted into 1930s versions of themselves. For example, responsible, hardworking, organized Elinor Dashwood (who is Ellen Dashiell in my novel) made a perfect secretary, one of the steadiest jobs available to women during the Great Depression. Romantic, passionate Marianne Dashwood, her sister (aka, Marion Dashiell), would unequivocally be an aspiring actress in the days when girls like her dreamed of becoming Hollywood or Broadway starlets.

What was your favorite part of this project?
Can I pick two? One of them was working as a team to write a series of books we’re all excited about. The other was getting to write a retelling of one of my favorite novels, Sense and Sensibility, by one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, using one of my favorite fictional characters, Elinor Dashwood!

What was the most challenging part of this project?
Well, besides the normal frustrations of tying up all the threads and actually weaving Suit and Suitability into a cohesive, satisfying novel, I would say Marion’s character was the most challenging. (Which is quite appropriate, as she is the most challenging person that her family knows, too.) I wanted her to be liked by at least some readers, but I also didn’t want to diminish her personality. Writing her was a tricky balancing act. Also, some of her interests, such as the way Broadway worked in the 1930s, were rather difficult to ferret out details for accurate portrayal. But she and I made it through okay, and I love her as much as I love Ellen, even if I still don’t relate to her as well.

What Jane Austen character are you most like?
I’d like to think I’m most like Elinor Dashwood, but maybe that’s because I just want to be! I do share a few traits with her, such as her carefulness and her reserve, but I also see myself in Fanny Price, who is shy and unsure of herself sometimes.

Which one of the characters in Suit and Suitability are you most like?
Since this narrows down the options, I can unhesitatingly say Ellen Dashiell. Even then we aren’t extremely alike; she’s more competent, more organized, and more of a workaholic. But I used large pieces of my personality to inform hers.

Tell us the synopsis for Suit and Suitability.
The mystery surrounding their father’s criminal accusations is almost as hard to solve as the many puzzles springing on their hearts.

Canton, Ohio, 1935. Ellen and Marion Dashiell’s world crumbles when their father is sent to prison. Forced to relocate to a small town, what is left of their family faces a new reality where survival overshadows dreams. Sensible Ellen, struggling to hold the family together, is parted from the man she’s just learning to love, while headstrong Marion fears she will never be the actress she aspires to be. When a dashing hero enters the scene, things only grow more complicated. But could a third man hold the key to the restoration and happiness of the Dashiell family?

Where can people get it?
Suit and Suitability is available from Amazon as a paperback or eBook.

To leave us off, please share a quote from your story.
May I share two quotes? One is a quote (out of Ellen’s thoughts), the other is more of an excerpt (out of Marion’s thoughts).

“Fictional mysteries were well and good, but in one’s own life they were a nuisance.”

“Marion slipped slowly, purposefully, from room to room of the house, her footsteps echoing on the wood floors and every door opening and closing with a heightened click. The emptiness was eerie, like her childhood memories had been burglarized and she was left with only their ghosts. Her room seemed a stranger, all of its furniture gone: her little-girl vanity, her bookshelf, her dresser, her reading chair. It had been a dream house…”