This may sound odd, but I think one thing that made my homeschooling experience unique is the amount of time our family spent together. My Dad is a pastor and my Mom is a writer, so it was quite normal for all of us to be studying at once in the same room. Many times the parsonage, not the church, had a study for Dad, so we all crammed into one room and worked together. While there were issues of Dad talking on the phone to people, or listening to my brother complain about Shakespeare, I remember this being a blast. Dad, who can seem very serious, would often start throwing paper balls at us or stirring up trouble some way. Later on, I remember sharing the kitchen table with my sister. Homeschooling created a connection between my family that we would have missed if we were in separate rooms or classes. In many ways, it made a place for us to develop friendships. Another way that my experience may be unique is that Dad tailored my schooling to fit my interests more. Instead of forcing me to take classes that I would hate and never use, Dad found college classes I could take. Of course, this was in the late 1990s so that was a bit harder to do than it is today. Thanks to this, I was able to start taking psychology classes which is my college degree.
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Great question! The program my parents use for our curriculum (A.C.E.) developed the skill of setting goals. Every day, when I was done with a subject, I had to set new goals for what I was going to do the next day and write them down. My parents often checked these to make sure it wasn’t too much or too little. When I completed all my goals, I was finished for the day and could choose from a variety of activities. This created a discipline that I believe is vital to writing. I set goals of writing a certain amount of words a day or editing a certain amount of pages. I may do more, but I strive to always hit my goal before I decree the work day finished.
What caused you to start writing?
I played around with writing most of my life. In college, if I could write a short story instead of a paper, I did. However, I never found a story that stuck. Every once in a while I would think of a story idea, write it down, and then it would fade away before I did anything with it. Then a few years ago, I tried to buy a book for my nephew who was turning 15. I couldn’t find anything that I thought he would like. That’s when I hit upon a story idea that stuck, and now I have a backlog of about 20 more books that are waiting to be written.
What inspired Rancid?
Rancid is the second of the series, but I actually started it as a short story. I wanted to explain who two characters were that show up at the end of the first book. I thought it would take about 30,000 words to tell their story. The main character of Rancid, Aric, took over and before I knew it, the story was at 50,000 words, and I had to figure out how to wrap his story around what was happening in the current time line. Let’s just say, Aric likes attention.
Would you give us a synopsis?
In the sequel to Toxic, Kai battles Seekers and Unwanteds alone, desperate to save his family from Belial's evil schemes. Lizzy attempts to save a friend from death with help from two strangers, and Taryn wrestles with the desire to use magic when he knows that it is wrong. Aric can see the deceit from one who is highly favored, but can he convince others of what he knows is true and fix the problems before it becomes too late to save his friends and the kingdom?
Who will enjoy Rancid?
If you’ve read Narnia and the Lord of the Rings, you will enjoy Toxic and Rancid. I wrote it for teens and young adults who enjoy fantasy with a lot of action.
Do you plan to write more books?
Oh, yes! Like I said, I have about 20 more books plotted out and a few nonfiction books planned. I have 70,000 words written on the next book which I hope to release this year. I wish my fingers could type faster to get these stories onto paper!
Do you have any final thoughts?
Thanks, Sarah, for uniting all homeschool authors! Keep up the great work!
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