Monday, August 26, 2013

Interview with Jason McIntire

Jason, Welcome to Homeschool Authors. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a twenty-five-year-old child of God, living with a fabulous family in a beautiful piece of Missouri. We work together, play together, and love life in Jesus. I believe we enjoy each other more in one day than some families do their whole lives. Anything good in me is the work of the Holy Spirit. For everything else, I take full credit!

Describe your homeschooling experience in three words.
Designed by God.
Our family started homeschooling in 1979, before it was even a word. There was zero support and no premade curriculum. That left complete freedom for the Lord to direct our schooling, just as He directed the rest of our lives. During twenty-six years, my older siblings and I went through the entire gamut of school experiences. In the early grades we had desks, a blackboard, lunch boxes, and wall decorations. Later it became less formal, with self-study taking over toward the end. But throughout, we lived in such a stimulating home environment that you simply couldn’t avoid learning every waking hour.

What inspired your family to start Elisha Press?
Back in the eighties, Mom wrote a series of Christian novels just for us. We always wanted to publish them, but never found a practical way to do so. The technology has been around for awhile, but it was hard to see a path for distribution.
Then, last fall, I read about another fiction book that was leveraging the homeschool blogosphere for reviews and promotion. I said, “We could do that!” Those were probably the four most time-consuming words I’ve ever uttered. Publishing is tough, but worth it whenever I hear that one of our books has impacted someone positively.

What caused you personally to start writing?
That was so long ago, I’m really not sure. Mom’s writing undoubtedly contributed, as did the example of my older siblings. My oldest brother and sister produced several long stories for us, including two fully-illustrated comics – one long one in English and a twelve-part series in Latin.
I don’t remember writing very much in school, beyond what was required. The first decent piece I ever finished was a novella – a sort of tract interspersed with comedy and concluding with a tornado. I wrote it when I was fourteen. The only copy is in a vault guarded by fierce lions, and it’s staying there. (Okay, not really – but don’t expect to see it published any time soon!)

What inspired you to write The Sparrow Found A House?
Nothing terribly interesting, I’m afraid. I knew I wanted to write about spiritual transformation, because I see that as the greatest need in the church today. I thought it would be interesting to put it in the context of a whole family and not just one individual. From there I played around with different scenarios. The basic premise and characters came together in two hours of brainstorming. I like to work with a very loose outline, filling in scenes and building sub-plots as ideas come to me.

What is it about?
The four Rivera siblings, public-schooled and ordinary in every way, find themselves with a new stepfather. Glenn Sparrow is not only a conservative Christian, but a retired sergeant in the US Army. He’s also kind, charming, and really quite fun. This makes things rather difficult for Jessie, the oldest girl, who has quietly vowed to resist the Sergeant and all his works. She watches in disgust as her siblings and her freedom gradually slip away into his hands. For her, homeschooling is the last straw – the compulsion to act. And act she does, but not exactly in the way she planned.

Who will like The Sparrow Found A House?
Anybody who wants a breather from the thrills and chills of fantasy and romance. “The Sparrow Found A House” is a very down-to-earth story; the characters could be people you know.
If you think about it, most of the Nineteenth-Century classics were about ordinary people and contemporary situations. Obviously I’m not putting myself in the same universe with Dickens or Austen, but if you like that genre of character-study fiction, you’ll probably like “The Sparrow Found A House.” I’ve been told that it’s rather entertaining and funny – but it’s not the ticket if you’re looking to smell gunpowder.
You’ll also like “The Sparrow Found A House” if you enjoy really clean, biblically sound fiction. Our decency standards and statement of faith can be reviewed on our website.

Where can people get it?
The best place is our website, If you have a Kindle or other e-reader (a phone will also work, or even a free program on your computer) you can download the e-book for free. Giving away products is not exactly standard industry practice, but we feel that this is the right thing to do for us. It’s about maximizing eternal impact for as many readers as possible.

If you decide to get the softcover edition of “The Sparrow Found A House,” you can also order it on our website. Use the discount code HSA62213 to take $4 off the price. That code won’t work at Amazon, but the book is available there in both print and Kindle editions. The Kindle is priced at their minimum level of $.99, for those who don’t want to load the file manually.

How does you faith effect your writing?
In every way. The Gospel is my guide, my goal, and my motivation. I try very hard not to “pop through the page and preach,” but I believe that there is something to be learned from every situation in life. In my writing, I like to explore how biblical truth plays out in those real-world scenarios.

Do you plan to write more books?
Lord willing, I hope to write another novel this coming winter. The cold months tend to be the best time for me, as there isn’t the temptation to spend evenings outside. Of course, even during the winter, there’s always the temptation of miniature pool, foosball, Catan, etc. And if I stay as busy as I am right now with editing and promotion – plus my full-time paying job – I may not have much time to write. Life is different every day, and that’s what keeps it exciting.

Do you have any final thoughts?
Sarah, thanks for having me on your site. If you don’t mind, I’m going to borrow a final thought from the best source I know. This is what guides all my writing, and indeed all my thinking. “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there by any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Philippians 4:8 forever!

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