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 withgodsspeed.wordpress.com 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 Tebo.com 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.” 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Closed for a Season

Hey, everyone!

Sarah Holman here! I'm putting Homeschooled Authors on summer break. This blog will resume normal posting in September.

You can still contact us at homeschooledauthors@gmail.com

Sarah

Monday, April 10, 2017

A.J. Sky on Firestorm


A.J., welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me!
I'm a contemporary Christian fantasy author with a passion for page turners full of mystery, adventure, fantasy, faith, friendship, courage, and light that shines in even the darkest places. I'm also a horse-loving Northwoods girl with a weakness for coffee, a graduate from a 30+ year veteran homeschooling family, and the fifth of six kids.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
The biggest thing that made my experience different from the other homeschoolers I know was being raised by a single mom, which meant facing a lot of extra challenges. Everyone had to pitch in to take care of each other and make ends meet. We went without a lot of things and went through some tough times, but it made us closer as a family and taught us invaluable life lessons like hard work, perseverance, creativity, teamwork, thankfulness for even the smallest things, and compassion and generosity toward others in need. It's also taught us to find humor and fun in seemingly dreary circumstances, such as when we couldn't afford heat. It got so cold we could see our breath inside, but everyone just laughed and joked about getting toughened up to the cold like our Viking ancestors. So hard times can make you strong and adaptable! The secret to getting along in all circumstances is simple: We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

For a lot of years it felt like we were alone in our situation. Then my family participated in the Homeschool Legal Defense Association's single parent survey (January/February 2011 cover story of HSLDA Magazine, Single, Not Alone). That's when we discovered there are actually about 20,000 single parent homeschool families going through similar struggles across the country.

I wouldn't wish being fatherless (or being a single parent) on anyone, but God is the best Father in the universe, and He can work all things together for good.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
It allowed my education to be adjusted to my personal learning style. It nurtured curiosity and a love for learning. It gave me freedom to jump ahead in areas where I excelled while lingering on things I struggled with until I got the hang of them. I am very much a learn-by-doing girl, and homeschooling gave me the kind of educational environment I flourished in. I'm so thankful that my strong and selfless mom chose to keep homeschooling us despite the mountainous hardships of being a single parent.

I also got a lot of hands-on and unique life experiences, which is fantastic food for a writer's mind! I've worked a wide variety of jobs, lived in a wide variety of places, and interacted with all different age groups. Many of those experiences have seeped into my stories and the lives of my characters.


What caused you to start writing?
Some things are just part of who we are. The passion for stories was always one of those things for me. I guess books are in my blood, because for as long as I can remember aloud reading and listening to audiobooks has been a favorite way to spend family evenings. Growing up, even when everyone was quietly doing their own thing while listening, it was a bonding time as we were all together and engrossed in the same world of the story. I can't remember a night when we didn't all beg for 'just one more chapter' when it was time for bed.

I remember looking through books when I was little and dreaming up my own tales to go with my favorite illustrations. Sometimes after watching a movie or studying a certain historic event, I'd make up a retelling in my head and tell it to my siblings. I scribbled bits and pieces of stories and poetry while practicing penmanship, which usually led to me getting caught up in my imagination and forgetting all about making my handwriting pretty. . .or readable for that matter. Then when I got older, I found myself choosing names for my future characters while other girls were picking out names for their future kids. When other girls wanted to go shopping for clothes I groaned, but no one could drag me out of a bookstore!

The older I got, the more I started to realize how my favorite books and movies, both fictional and true stories, had a profound impact on my own character and the shaping of my dreams. They were some of my greatest role models. Even Jesus himself, our ultimate role model and hero of the greatest book ever written, used stories to illustrate his teachings. Stories are powerful. They can literally shape people's character and even entire cultures.

Personally, great books have given me a lot of the same things that great friends bring to life. Inspiration, comfort, laughter, hope, encouragement, perspective, an escape, good memories, something to look forward to after a long day, etc. So in a way, being a storyteller allows you to be a friend and light in the lives of people you will never get to meet another way. And best of all, stories can outlive their authors and go on to touch future generations. A story told today can be treasured by a heart that starts beating a hundred years from now.

That's what really drew me to writing.


What inspired Firestorm?
A variety of things, including current issues such as human trafficking in the USA. The dragons themselves were inspired by a number of different things. I've always been fascinated with dragons, dinosaurs, mysterious beasts, etc. So when I started studying the King James Bible and discovered several mentions of dragons that newer translations had changed to things like 'crocodile' (which I found far less epic), it really excited my imagination. I love studying creation and the bizarre 'superpowers' found in many animals and decided to incorporate some of those things into my dragons. So although they are fantasy creatures, the inspiration for them came from a mashup of real-life animals.


Would you give us a synopsis?
Dragons were once considered mere legend. . .
but some legends live and breathe.

Growing up as a friendless kid constantly bullied for his disfiguring facial birthmark, Caiden Blade always dreamed of becoming a heroic defender of mankind. So when he gets an exciting job that promises to protect a small mountain city from the impending spread of a dangerous, newly discovered species once thought to be mythical, he couldn't be more thrilled. But the illusive mountain creatures he is sent to help capture are far from what he expects. . .

The small city of Paikka had been struggling in the aftermath of a terrorist attack when Doctor Maverick Blackwood discovered and captured dragons in the nearby mountains. That discovery transformed Paikka into a booming tourist hotspot. Everything from dragon claw jewelry to dragon fight video games are all the rage as dragon fighting becomes one of the nation's top televised sports.

But there is more to Doctor Blackwood than the droves of tourists and busy souvenir shop owners know. Something more than brutal battles between the dragons in his arena is going on inside the walls of Blackwood Tower, but no one in the now flourishing town wants to know what it is. . .except for Caiden Blade.

Who will enjoy Firestorm?
Anyone who likes a clean, fast-paced contemporary fantasy or action adventure read could enjoy it. The characters range in age from early teens to sixties, so even the grandparents will have a hero to root for!

Do you plan to write more books?
Absolutely! A StormBreathers companion book, The Dragon Diary, will be published shortly. Icestorm, the sequel to Firestorm, is already underway.

Where can people connect with you online?

My website: AJSky.weebly.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16033700.A_J_Sky
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/AJSkyAuthor/

Firestorm is currently available on:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/firestorm-aj-sky/1125511440?ean=9781538014851
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/A.J.-Sky/e/B01M5ION0E/
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/firestorm-71

Do you have any final thoughts?
A family snuggled up in the living room, listening intently as their mom reads a well worn and loved book that she cherished growing up and is now one of her children's favorite stories. A book that was passed on from generation to generation. A book that outlived its author and was a light in the lives of those who read it. . . That is my ultimate writerly dream.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Benita Prins on Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass


Benita, welcome to Homeschooled Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me! I’m delighted to be here. I’m a homeschooled highschool senior whose favourite things in life are my faith, Baroque music, Middle-earth, and silence. Besides my love for reading and writing, I enjoy studying theology and philosophy, and I’m looking forward to studying liberal arts at a small Catholic college next year.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
My greatest debt to homeschooling is the emphasis that was placed on proper grammar and especially learning to write well. I won’t say I liked writing essay after essay, but I’m very thankful for it, since it taught me to give structure and eloquence to a piece of writing.

What caused you to start writing?
All the stories I acted out with my sisters had to be written down eventually! I was enamoured of Little House on the Prairie for several years and every day after school we would go outside and pretend to be Mary, Laura, and Carrie. Unsurprisingly, my first books were mostly pioneer stories. Reading is a big thing in our family – my dad is a secondhand bookseller – and creating my own books seemed like the most natural thing in the world, I suppose.

What inspired Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass?
I am passionately pro-life, and the initial spark for Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass came when I was pondering on how our society unquestioningly accepts that abortion is a good thing, because it’s been established and promoted by the elite. In my book, the people of Kelyan follow the cult of the Illyrië, a key point of which is child sacrifice. The sacrifice is simply accepted by everyone, because they are familiar with it, and because everyone else seems to think it’s fine and they may as well go along with the crowd! I took this idea and the rest of the story flowed from it.

Would you give us a synopsis?
When faced with the impossible and the unthinkable, choose the impossible.

All that fifteen-year-old Einur Landman has left in the world are his flock of sheep and his beloved little sister. His entire life's purpose is to keep Lody safe from the evil ruling class. But he never expected that it would be his own name that was drawn for the child sacrifice. Leaving Lody with his promise to return, Einur escapes into the wild where he meets a stranger with a plan to bring down the Illyrië. Forced to choose between the unthinkable – Lody’s probable death – and the seemingly impossible, Einur takes the latter.

In his quest from his mountain village, through countless dangers, to the sea itself, everything Einur believes will be tested. For Lody's sake, can he make a final crucial choice and stand firm to the end?

Who will enjoy Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass?
Readers of all ages and faiths have enjoyed Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass, but the main audience is Christian teens. High schoolers who enjoy Tolkien, Narnia, or The Hunger Games will also enjoy Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass.

Do you plan to write more books?
Certainly! I am working on three projects at the moment. The first two are fantasy; the third is a contemporary YA fairytale romance. The storyline is the ‘common girl meets prince and they fall in love’ one, and it takes place in Holland, where my grandparents are from. Although I love writing fantasy, I’ve had loads of fun exploring a completely different genre.

Where can people connect with you online?
benitajprins.wordpress.com
twitter.com/benitajprins
goodreads.com/benitajprins
facebook.com/benitajprinsauthor
plus.google.com/+BenitaPrins
pinterest.com/benitajprins