Kaycee, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thanks for having me! I'm a sixteen year old homeschooled girl living with her awesome family in North Carolina. I started writing when I was twelve years old. I have since completed the rough drafts of four novels, and I have completely edited and published one of them. When I'm not writing, I enjoy reading, skeet shooting, hanging out with my friends, blogging, and eating peanut butter.
Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
That's an interesting question! I suppose it might be the variety in my family and friends. My parents are both more math oriented, my brother is the tech savvy guy in our house, one of my sisters is an artist and the other loves science and cooking. There are even more preferences and differences in the group of friends I have been homeschooled with for years. I doubt this is much different that any other homeschooler, but it has certainly had an affect on the way I think and write.
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Oh, there are so many ways it has prepared me. The most obvious way is that being homeschooled gave me the time to write. I could finish my school work early in the afternoon and then spend the rest of the day writing. My parents also bought me, among other writing curricula, the "One Year Adventure Novel" curriculum which taught me about novel writing when I was thirteen.
What caused you to start writing?
When I was twelve, my mom bought me the 'Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings' curriculum by HomeScholar Books. It was an amazing study! The very last assignment, after a brief section on the legend of King Arthur, was to write a short story focusing on an invented knight of the round table. Before, I had always been too scared to try writing a book, but I thought a short story wouldn't be so bad. I invented a character and began writing. 23,000 words later, I had completed my first "short" story and I had overcome my fear of writing. I still had (and still do have!) a lot to learn, but it was certainly a start.
What inspired Ember Flame?
'Ember Flame' was inspired by the Book of Judges in the Old Testament. I found it incredible that God could repeatedly use broken, confused, doubtful, socially inferior, or cowardly men and women to help lead His people back to Him. He took weak and ordinary people and made them strong in His name. As a fourteen year old, that truth stuck in my head and continued to resonate with me. During a discussion with one of my best friends, I tried to explain how amazing I found this to be. I made the comment that someone ought to write a fantasy based on it, she gave me an eyebrow-raised smirk, and suddenly, 'Ember Flame' was born!
Would you give us a synopsis?
Sure! Here is the synopsis from the back of the book:"Orphan outcast Les has longed to discover her true self outside of the dense forest of Grel. However, her own insecurity keeps her permanently trapped ... until soldiers incinerate the forest and slaughter the other woodcutters. Vowing revenge, Les is forced to escape the forest and enter Holdinus- a world plagued with an all-powerful dictatorship, a tyrannical lord, and scattered children with dangerous powers known as the Leverage. Les must accept her place in the world as Ember Flame, one of the six Leverage. If she cannot find her destiny and the other Leverage, the souls of the people will perish. Will she sacrifice her desires for a world that has been nothing but cruel to her? Or will she succumb to the wills of a tyrant and live a life of numbness?"
Who will enjoy Ember Flame?
Anyone who loves fantasy, action, and/or adventure with a good Christian message will probably enjoy 'Ember Flame'! However, there is some violence in the novel that might be problematic for someone under twelve.
Do you plan to write more books?
Absolutely! I have already completed the rough draft of the sequel to 'Ember Flame', and I'm nearly finished with the rough draft of the third book as well. I have many ideas for other stories unrelated to the 'Ember Flame' world. Frankly, I hope to continue writing books for the rest of my life!
Do you have any final thoughts?
I said this on the awesome Future Homeschool Authors blog, but I feel like it's something worth saying again. So here it goes! I know there are many who have qualms concerning fantasy, and rightfully so. It's sad how dark and dreary the genre has come to be in recent years. However, I don't believe the solution is giving up-but fighting harder! If more authors and publishers would focus on hitting the market with good, wholesome fantasies, perhaps the macabre and horror aspects would fade and disappear. I'm simply asking all Christian to not give up on fantasy, but to at least encourage the authors and publishers who are trying to return the genre to the original depth and light that J.R.R.Tolkien and C.S. Lewis popularized.
Thanks for having me! It's been a blast!
Kaycee is giving away one copy of her book! Enter to win below.