Grace, Welcome to Homeschool Authors. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! Thank you so much for having me. My name is J. Grace Pennington, and I?ve been reading and writing almost since I can remember. In other words, I love stories! I also love my family. I?m the oldest of nine kids, living with my parents and siblings in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. I also love my Savior Jesus Christ, who gives me life, grace and purpose in my writing and everything else.
What is your favorite homeschooling memory?
We always had lots of kids of various ages and grade levels doing school together, and that was so much fun! We?d have plenty of separate activities (math and reading, for example), but we?d do unit studies together, and fun projects--once when I was little we even had a pet tarantula while we studied spiders! And when my aunt and uncle visited Africa, we learned about each place they visited. We?d always have lots of fun doing things together, and are very good friends.
What caused you to start writing?
I was reading novels by age four. I particularly remember reading the Little House on the Prairie series and Anne of Green Gables. Then when I was five, when my mom was taking her afternoon nap, I suddenly thought: Hey, books are just words. I know how to write words. I should write a book!? So I sat down and wrote my first book, If I Had Three Wishes.
What inspired Firmament: Radialloy?
I am a big fan of Star Trek, and I love the fascinating scientific plots, deep themes, and memorable characters, but am always frustrated by the humanism, evolutionism, and other unbiblical messages rampant in the stories. One night, I had a dream that was loosely inspired by the third Star Trek film, and I loved the scene so much I wanted to use it in a story. Then it occurred to me--why not make a Christian series that shared some of the good traits of Star Trek without the ungodliness? I typed out the first chapter that day, and the Firmament series was born. I came up with twenty-four ideas in all, which I later whittled down to a mere eighteen. Radialloy is the first book in the series.
What is it about?
Andi Lloyd is content with her life as the assistant to her adoptive father, a starship doctor, but her secure world turns upside down when she begins uncovering secrets from her past. When her father mysteriously starts losing his mind, she finds that she can no longer count on him to guide or help her. With mutiny breaking out on the ship, and two factions desperate for a valuable secret she holds, she must race to help her father and herself before time runs out.
Along the way we meet the commanding Captain Trent, the timid, polite August Howitz, the cocky but charming Eagle Crash, the warm, motherly Almira, and many more. And we join Andi as the desperate journey of fear and doubt shows her that sometimes the only way to win is to let go.
Where can people get it?
It's available as a paperback and ebook on Amazon.com, and it can also be purchased from me. Both options can be found on the book?s page on my website.
Do you plan to write more books?
Plan? I've written five novels already. The first, Handprints in History will probably never see the light of day, though it might be salvageable. Firmament: Radialloy is next, and then Firmament: In His Image. I've also completed two standalone books, Implant and Never, the latter of which is a historical fiction mystery that is next on the publication list. Right now I'm in the middle of Firmament: Machiavellian, and am in the planning stages with Chroma, a standalone novel, and Rumpled, which is part of the steampunk fairytale series I am co-writing with fellow homeschooled author Aubrey Hansen. And I have dozens more floating all around in my brain waiting to get out. So much to write, so little time to write it in!
Do you have any final thoughts?
The most important thing I've learned about writing is perseverance. A great plot, compelling characters, and beautiful prose mean nothing if you're not willing to focus and stick with your story to the end. To press on when it's hard, when you're tired, when ideas aren't coming, when writer's block threatens to bury you under a heap of uninspiration. If God has given you a story tell, don't let anything keep you from seeing it to the very end.