Monday, February 25, 2013
Interview with Elizabeth Ender
Elizabeth, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you! Well, I am the second oldest of five children, was homeschooled all 12 or so years, and have been in love with stories since before I can remember. I grew up in a home with too many books to count and have library cards in three counties. Storytelling is in my blood and writing is one of my favorite things to do! :)
What is your funniest homeschool memory?
Hmm... What classifies it as homeschool? :) I remember my older brother and I fighting our way through the American wars, using our swing-set as a fort, painting my younger brothers's faces with wild berries so we could play pioneers, only to find out they were allergic to the berries,¦ paddling across spring ponds using snow sleds as boats - which sank far too quickly. One memory that I probably could not have gotten anywhere else I happened to write up as part of a short story I did for a contest once. Here is the excerpt. :D
Warmth at last! Wishing the fire was closer to our school table, we take advantage of every opportunity to get closer to the heat. Every time she [our mom] answers the phone, we rush to the wood stove. I climb on top and lean against the stovepipe. My younger brother joins me. This is comfort. Luxury. Our little sister sees us and comes over, trying to join us.
"I don't think that's a good idea. You're too little."
She doesn't agree with me. When I reluctantly get up to do something, she clambers up to take my spot. I let her. It was nice, and the stove isn't too hot yet. The next time I look over at her, her clothes are smoking.
"Get up!!" I pull her off, realizing she had allowed her hot pink wind-blocker pants (they're like snow pants; I said it was cold in here!) to touch the glass door of the stove. Yeah. I guess that part of the stove is too hot there are big black holes melted in her pants now.
"Somebody's clothes are on fire," my mom tells her friend on the phone. "I really think we need to get back to school."
What caused you to start writing?
My mom. :) And good old ABeka language books. One assignment was to write about a picture of three kittens knocking over a flowerpot, while a fourth sat and watched them. That became one of my earliest stories, as the assignment morphed into a tale about a sweet little kitten who came to live with three naughty kittens and told all that she had learned as the pet of a little lame girl - i. e., how to get saved. (The theological correctness of that story I will not now attempt to unravel.) I printed it out, got a yellow binder from my mom, and gave it to my little brother for his birthday. :) Ever since I can remember I've been telling or acting out stories, and once I knew how to write, it was simply a matter of putting a pencil to paper or, later, fingers to a keyboard. :D
What inspired Ransomed?
I don't remember what all went into it, but I do distinctly remember sitting down one day when I was somewhere around the age of thirteen, heart overflowing with what Jesus had done for me as my Savior. Before I got up, I had set down most of this story. Over the years it has changed somewhat, but at its most basic, it is the written form of my awe at what He has done for me.
What is Ransomed about?
It is the story of a girl who finds herself having to make a choice in the middle of a battle - who will she trust? Whose command will she follow? And what happens after she makes her choice...
Who will enjoy it?
So far girls between the ages of 8 and 24 have read it and asked me for a copy. And now I finally have a copy to give them. :)
Where can people get it?
For information on the release date, giveaways, and where to buy it, please visit firstseekhim.blogspot.com
What authors have influenced you?
The shortest (and truest) answer to that would probably be all whose books I've ever read. I have read widely and much, and I'm sure they've all influenced me in some way, even if only providing me with a determination to never again to touch a similar book with a ten foot pole.
As far as which authors most influenced me in the writing of this story, I'd have to say first of all, John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew - the authors who were given the incredible and awesome privilege of writing down the greatest story ever lived. Next I'd have to say Jessica Greyson - it is because of her initial reaction to the story and the encouragement, advice, and much-needed nudges that she has given me over the years that it is now finally published. Rachel Starr Thompson also influenced the final story - she was the editor, and it is now 100 times better than it was before she worked on it. :)
What is your favorite allegory of all time?
I'm terrible about picking favorites. :) I do love looking at how Jesus told allegories though - like that of the Prodigal Son. It's just fascinating to see how He used stories to help us understand who He and the Father are.
What advice would you give a beginning writer?
Read good writers. Pray. Write. :)
How does your faith effect your writing?
What I believe, Who I have faith in, is very much part of who I am - as is writing. I'm not sure I could separate the two. I think most of my earliest stories had "lessons" or "morals" in them, when I started writing novels I was consciously writing them so my younger siblings would have something decent to read. :) At the same time, as I grew older and started writing simply for the story (which is certainly not to say I was not still attempting to write good stories), I would find salvation scenes and theological arguments cropping up at random - because I know Christ as my Savior, I have a hard time solving problems or fixing lives in my stories without bringing Him into them in some manner.
Do you have any final thoughts?
All net proceeds from sales of my story will be going to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a Christian organization that provides "a safe place for children, horses and families to experience hope, healing and encouragement." It's an amazing place, and for every book sold they will be getting most of the sales price of my book! That's pretty much the main reason I happen to be self-publishing as well - so more money can go straight to the Ranch, and not to any middle person. So, if you'd like to help out an incredible ministry while getting a book. :)
You can find out more about Elizabeth and know the minute her books come out by following her blog