Nicole, welcome to the blog. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thanks Sarah! I am a homeschool graduate and am now in my early 20s. I currently serve as my 8-year-old sister's homeschool teacher and I love the rewarding (if challenging) job. Aside from writing, my hobbies include reading and theatre (my favorite roles to play have been Lina from "Singin in the Rain" & Yente from "Fiddler on the Roof"). I love to sing (especially with my siblings) and I also tap-dance!
What is your most cherished homeschool memory?
That would have to be the time my mom told us that we'd be making an ear for science. I was so excited as I pictured this big elaborate model that I was so sure would look like an actual ear. It turned out to be table, blankets, string, paper, and a hammer, and we crawled through to name the different parts of the ear. I was so disappointed it wasn't like I imagined, but now it makes me laugh to remember my expectations! A few weeks ago it was my younger siblings' turn, and I helped them make an "ear"!
What is your favorite part of being homeschooled?
I love that homeschooling parents have the freedom to teach their children more than just the typical subjects. They can teach character and introduce young ones to faith in Jesus Christ, better preparing the next generation for their adult lives. I also loved being able to go at my own pace in order to learn more efficiently.
What caused you to start writing?
My first book was an interactive picture book that I made out of a moment of inspiration :) After that, I learned that I loved trying to depict scenes so that others could share what I "saw" in my head.
What inspired you to write The Heart of Arcrea?
I wanted to write a book that would bring glory to God, and also be a source of wholesome reading material for all ages (whether as a read-aloud or simply one that a parent could hand to their child and know that it would prove safe & acceptable). My little brother, Caleb, came up with the name Arcrea and told me I could use it in my book if I wanted to. Now I have a trilogy finished and another series inspired by one of Arcrea's characters!
What is The Heart of Arcrea about?
How far would a young peasant go in search of justice? How far will his diverse companions go to follow him? And how far will his enemies go to stop him?
“He who discovers the heart of Arcrea and joins the hands of the seven regions will be king.”
Set during a forgotten age of kings and queens, knights and nobles, wise-men and warlords, The Heart of Arcrea follows the story of Druet the blacksmith, who, hoping to free his father from an unjust imprisonment, sets out on a quest that will solve an ancient riddle and crown a man as Arcrea’s first king. A host of memorable characters join Druet on his mission of justice, but opposition quickly rises to test their level of commitment and their faith in God. Will the dangerous wilds of Arcrea and her seven oppressive lords succeed in bringing an end to Druet’s quest and crush forever the kingdom’s hopes for a just king?
What is this heart of Arcrea and where is it to be found? “You must discover it for yourself.”
Who will enjoy this story?
Age-wise: The book is cataloged as a YA Christian Fantasy book. However, as I mentioned before, my hope & prayer is that it will be a blessing to all ages. I have a review on Amazon that supports this!
Genre-wise: The book has a definite Christian emphasis and is a non-magical fantasy. I have had the plot compared to "Narnia" & "Lord of the Rings". So I'd say anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction or Fantasy!
Where can people get it? There are a number of stores that carry it online, including: CreateSpace, Amazon (paperback or Kindle), B&N, BAM, Alibris, Paperback Swap, etc...
What writers have influenced you the most?
I have noticed that whatever I'm reading at the moment is sure to influence what I'm writing at the time. For influence in medieval writing, I like to try and read a book by G.A. Henty.
What is your favorite fantasy book of all time?
I actually haven't read very many fantasy books! But I did love Chuck Black's 2 series (The Kingdom Series & The Knights of Arrethtrae). While based on factual stories from the Bible, they are sold as fantasy allegories. Wonderful books!
What is the best writing advice you ever received?
Research. Whatever you're writing about, it can't hurt to know a little bit more about the topic. I must say that research is one thing I find tedious, but whenever I took the time to do it I was rewarded with details that made my story richer. Other advice: Write for the Lord, because He is the One that really matters!
Do you have any final thoughts?
I want to thank you so much for hosting these interviews and reviews for homeschool authors! What a wonderful ministry! Also, to those reading the blog, thanks for your support as well! Please continue to research homeschool authors! Contact them (or any of your favorite authors) and let them know you've read their book. Find them on Goodreads! Ask them questions! If they are like me, I know they would love to hear from you. Have a blessed day!