Elisabeth, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m twenty-two years old, the oldest of four, and a homeschool graduate. I love reading—Westerns, mysteries, historical fiction and nonfiction, and especially old books—both the classics and the obscure forgotten gems. I love music; I sing with a choir and play piano (not too well) and harmonica (not too badly) for my own amusement. I also enjoy crocheting, old movies and spending time outdoors.
What is your funniest homeschool memory?
We have a swing set in our yard that happens to be under a walnut tree. Every other year the tree bears nuts the size of golf balls, which can be pretty dangerous missiles falling from that height, so in walnut season the kids wear their bicycle helmets on the swings. One day my two younger sisters took their schoolwork outside, and my mom snapped a picture of them sitting on the swings, both wearing helmets and engrossed in their books. To me, that adorable picture captures the whole essence of homeschooling!
What was your favorite part of being homeschooled?
Well, aside from being able to be at home and take an active part in family life, the freedom it gave me to pursue subjects and interests that were most important to me. Homeschooling taught me how to educate myself. When I was about ten or eleven, we shifted our curriculum from just filling in the blanks of textbooks to one that was based more on real reading, and I think I learned more in that first year than in all my previous years of schooling combined! I think homeschooling also gave me a little more independent mindset that made me ready to take on being an entrepreneur—self-publishing, after all, is running your own small business in addition to the writing part of it.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Through my whole childhood I loved stories, whether it was reading them or making them up myself, and writing them down naturally followed. My first books were made of drawing paper stapled together, illustrated by the author in blue ink. I used to daydream about getting published one day, but it was in the last four or five years, I think, that I really got serious about writing and publishing.
What is the story behind War Memorial?
Sometimes I can at least remember what first suggested a story idea to my mind, but this is one of those things that just came into being out of nowhere. I can’t really remember what I’d been thinking when I first said to myself, “Civil War story…a girl meets a young enemy soldier…” and then the rest of the story just seemed to tell itself.
What is it about?
It’s a short story, about a young girl’s experiences in the days surrounding the battle of Gettysburg—the effect that an unexpected encounter with an enemy soldier, and the things she witnesses in the aftermath of the battle, have on her heart and conscience.
Where can people get it?
Right now it’s available as a Kindle ebook at Amazon.com.
What is the best piece of writing advice that you have ever received?
I couldn’t tell you exactly where I received it from, because I’ve heard it many times and found it to be true by doing it myself: Read. Read good books and observe what writing works, and what doesn’t. Even if you don’t draw ideas or inspiration directly from whatever you’re reading, just the process of reading it refreshes your mind and stimulates your creativity.
Do you have any final thoughts?
Thank you so much for having me here—I think creating a place like this for support of homeschooled authors is a wonderful idea, and I’m happy to be a part of it.