Monday, July 30, 2012

Joining us today is...

Katie Hepner!

Welcome to Homeschool Authors! Please, tell us about yourself.
Thank you!  I am eighteen years old and was homeschooled all the way through, graduating in 2010.  I published The Teacher at age 15 and The Tiphereth Trilogy at age 17.  I am currently taking classes at a community college in Early Childhood Development because I love working with kids and hope to someday also become a Certified Professional Midwife.  Besides writing, I love music and working with children.

What is one of the best things that happened during your homeschooling years?
I remember studying ancient history and archeology and the “Wood age, stone age” etc.  I was given the assignment to write what a futuristic evolutionist archeologist might think if he dug up one of our current houses.  I remember really enjoying writing it, as I created an arrogant scientist believing wholeheartedly in the plastic age.

What caused you to start writing?
I’d always enjoyed making up stories but never liked to write them down until I learned to type.  I finished my first story at thirteen and tried to get it published, but it was  mostly pictures and so would have been expensive for me to publish.  I had the idea for The Teacher and wrote it with the intention of publishing it.

What inspired you to write The Tiphereth Trilogy?
I had been thinking a lot about how we are to do what is right before God, and leave the results to him.  I thought of it in the context of a war,  and how God determines the outcome, all we are responsible for is to fight the battle he has placed us in to the death.  And that is the premise of the book.

What is it about?
An epic battle to decide to whom the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong…

Enemy forces are advancing on the kingdom of Basileia.  The kingdom is also at peril from within.  The cities are warring against each other, and the families are not following in the ways of the High King.  All hope will be lost, unless young Prince Aramoth can lead his people not only to victory, but to repentance.

Where can people get it?
Purchasing information can be found at my blog,  I also hope to publish my books as ebooks on amazon soon.  If you know of anyone who would like to sell them, leave a comment on my blog or email me!

Are you planning on writing more books? If so, when can we expect the next one?
I have several ideas I am working on, and hope to publish more books in the future.  However, I doubt that I will be publishing any more books for a few years, with the exception of ebooks, due to high costs and the fact that I’m pretty busy.

If you could tell beginning writers one thing, what would it be?
From Tales and Novels, or, Moral Tales (by Maria Edgeworth) : Preface (preface by R. Edgeworth)
“It has been somewhere said by Johnson, that merely to invent a story is no small effort of the human understanding.  How much more difficult is it to construct stories suited to the early years of youth, and, at the same time, conformable to the complicate relations of modern society—fictions, that shall display examples of virtue, without initiating the young reader into the ways of vice—narratives, written in a style level to his capacity, without tedious detail, or vulgar idiom!  The author, sensible of these difficulties, solicits indulgence for such errors as have escaped her vigilance.
  “In a former work the author has endeavoured to add something to the increasing stock of innocent amusement and early instruction, which the laudable exertions of some excellent modern writers provide for the rising generation; and, in the present, and attempt is made to provide for young people, of a more advanced age, a few Tales, that shall neither dissipate the attention, nor inflame the imagination.”

I think it is important when writing for children, to write stories that will not “inflame the imagination”.  Many children’s books today do not understand the concept of there being consequences to any action.  It is important when writing for children, that we praise the good and show that there are consequences to wrong behavior, as well as good consequences to good behavior.

Do you have any final thoughts?
I hope you all enjoy reading my books!  Sarah, thank you for interviewing me!  I enjoyed it!


  1. What is your favorite part about writing Katie?

  2. Sounds like a book I'd like to read! What was the hardest part about writing The Triphereth Trilogy?

  3. Hey Katie, really liked your advice for writing for children. It's important for children to read such stories that will form them... but subconsciously. My feeling growing up was that if I had morals and goodness stuffed down my throat and I knew it, I would be more apt to react negatively to it. But there are those glorious books whose morals are well hidden and yet so accessible, like E. Nesbit's or Brian Jacques's tales.

    Just my thoughts. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Looks neat! Katie, do you plan on writing more books when you're older, or focusing on midwifery? Being a midwife sounds like it would be wonderful. :)

  5. RJ: My favorite part about writing is being able to thoughtfully express the things that have been on my heart. And it is an extra bonus when other people read what I've written;).

    Jenna K.: The hardest part was coming up with a realistic premise. It is a fake country but the people are Christians, so it must be our world because Jesus died once and it was on earth. It was difficult to figure out how to work in everything I wanted within the limits of planet earth.

    Marlene E.: Thanks for the thoughts! I have always liked the way Louisa May Alcott would insert little tidbits of instruction into her stories. The most notable examples I can think of would be in Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, and An Old-Fashioned Girl. I try in my writing to do as she did. I probably am far from achieving that, but it is something to work towards.

    Bethany: I would like to continue to write all my life! I don't know how things will turn out, as I've had to take a break from writing due to my current busy circumstances, and certainly as a midwife I would be very busy, but I hope that I will always have the opportunity to continue writing books!

  6. Ha! The Plastic Age! I love it! This sounds like something my parents would have come up with. My dad actually buried stuff in the ground to make an archeological dig for me. He made it so realistic!
    I really appreciate your comments about writing for children. I completely agree. I usually write "gentle adventures from the real world."

  7. Oh, and for the giveaway I'm supposed to ask a question!

    Do you have siblings? If so, did you "test" your stories on them?

  8. Thanks Perry! I have brothers, no sisters. The very first actual "story" I wrote was called True Princesses and was about 30 pages long. When I caught my little brother engrossed in reading it, I figured I must not be too bad a writer if I could get my brother to read a princess story without even asking.:)

  9. That's great! ;)
    I had a similar experience when I came upon my brother completely engrossed in a discarded early rough draft. He was supposed to be using the pages to start a fire in the woodstove!

  10. This looks like a very interesting series! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!