Hello Jessica! Tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I am a wife, a mom, a homeschool graduate (and now second-generation homeschooler), a baseball fanatic, and an author of Young Adult fiction. I have been married to my husband, Ed, a Worship Pastor, for a little bit over ten years and we have two children. Maddie is almost four, and James is almost three. I was homeschooled from third grade through high school. I graduated from high school in 1996. I have a degree in English with a minor in History from Vanguard University of Southern California. I am a life-long Californian, but recently moved to Montana and am still adjusting to the change in weather and pace of life!
What was your favorite part of being homeschooled?
My favorite part of being homeschooled was the freedom to pursue my interests. Not many kids in traditional school take Library Science as an elective, or get to design their own Shakespeare course. Both of my parents are extremely dedicated and smart, as well as incredibly encouraging and supportive.
What made you start writing?
I started making up stories before I could write. I was raised with amazing literature being read to me and/or being given to me to read. I grew up on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, L.M. Montgomery, Austen, and so many others. My parents guided us in good directions, but also allowed us to make our own reading choices. Writing was a huge part of my early education, both in the traditional school I attended through the second grade, and in our homeschool.
What is Awake about?
Awake: A Fairytale is a Young Adult fantasy / retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It explores the idea that Sleeping Beauty was awakened in modern day Los Angeles 850 plus years after she was first cursed. However, instead of breaking the curse, the kiss instead just transferred the sleeping spell to the kisser. The heroine Alexandra (Alex) and her best friend, Becca, are now stuck with a twelfth century princess and an enchanted sleeping man who just so happens to be Alex's childhood friend.
Where can people get your book?
Awake: A Fairytale is currently available as an ebook for Kindle or Kindle apps on Amazon. The paperback will also be available shortly on Amazon.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have been given?
The best piece of writing advice I have been given is to write what you love and learn what you donâ€™t know. I know a lot of people say write what you know, but if all authors only did that we would be reading very dull books. My book is about a fairy tale. There are, by default of the original story, fairies and magic in it. Obviously, because these things don't exist, I cannot â€œknowâ€ them. If you write what you love, though, you won't ever get tired of it. Even though the writing (and editing) process can be tedious.
Do you have any final thoughts?
Thank you for having me! I appreciate the opportunity to share about my writing here and appreciate that you are supporting homeschooled authors. I've been doing a lot of writing and speaking about fairy tales recently as part of telling people about Awake. One of my favorite quotes is from C.S. Lewis (he has several about fairy tales, actually, all of which are stellar) which I would like to leave you with.
When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
- C.S. Lewis