Claire, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Howdy! Thanks for having me! I grew up in West Texas with seven other siblings. I was homeschooled K-12. I went to Texas A&M to get my Bachelors in Kinesiology and I’m now working on my Doctorate in Physical Therapy through Texas Tech.
I played volleyball in high school with a homeschool team and still love to play. I’ve been riding horses since I was 12. I also love playing the piano, watching the Boston Red Sox, football (mostly the Aggies), reading, and especially writing. I also love science and can’t wait until I’m a practicing physical therapist!
Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
The schooling in itself was tremendous. I have to thank firstly my mom for teaching and secondly the program we used, but I think what was also great was that my parents encouraged us in a lot of different activities. For me those activities included volleyball and horseback riding. We all read anything we could get our hands on and, while we might not have appreciated it at the time, we got taken to a lot of museums that helped give us a greater education beyond homework.
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Fundamentally it gave me a solid foundation for grammar and composition (though I will admit, I wasn’t the greatest student of grammar). It exposed me to some good books. It gave me the time to write once I was finished with homework for the week, or not done for the week. We use a Catholic curriculum that strongly helped shape me as a person and also made me want to incorporate the Christian themes that were important to me into my stories.
What caused you to start writing?
I grew up with Tolkien, Lewis, Brian Jacques, and other similarly talented fantasy or fiction writers. Seeing the LOTR and Narnia movies also really helped inspire my imagination to create adventures and fictional lands. And who doesn’t want their own adventure? So I sat down to write my own. I thought I had a story worth telling and eventually when I showed it to some of my family members they demanded I finish the story. This seems to happen with all my stories. It’s a vicious cycle.
What inspired The Rise of Aredor?
The above authors, especially Lewis. It’s a fair assessment to say that The Rise of Aredor started out as a sort of a fan-fiction set in Narnia. You can still see some similarities to the Narnia stories. Then I decided to make it my own story and started plotting out characters, geography, and story lines. It stayed in daydream phase for several years before I actually sat down with a notebook and started writing.
Would you give us a synopsis?
Lost in a foreign land and separated from his family, Corin does his best to survive as a slave in the household of a Calorin lord. His future looks bleak until one day he is bought and taken under the care of Lord Rishdah. There he joins the legendary Phoenix Guard and is trained in their efficient military ways. With newfound friends he fights for survival in ambushes and wars. For one act of bravery he is awarded his freedom and returns to a home that has been invaded and ravaged by the Calorin armies. When Corin sets foot on Aredor’s shores, he has one goal in mind: find his family. He is driven into Aredor’s forest where he is reunited with childhood friends. From the shelter of the woods they begin a spirited rebellion against Corin’s former cruel master who now holds sway over Aredor. Corin’s closest friends from Calorin, bands of mercenaries, and the Clans of the north all cross Corin’s path in his quest to free his imprisoned brother, find a father who has vanished, and ultimately free his country.
Who will enjoy The Rise of Aredor?
It’s geared towards teens or anyone with a liking for non- magical fantasy, adventures, healthy doses of action, or characters with a propensity towards sarcasm in daring situations.
Do you plan to write more books?
Yes! I already have the sequel for The Rise of Aredor written, as well as several other books in the writing and/or editing phase. I have plans for a longer series of strongly Christian based fantasy stories. The first book in this planned series has already been written and has gotten some good reviews from my team of readers, so hopefully you’ll get to see it in stores someday.
Where can people connect with you online (social media, websites, blog)?
Where can I even begin?
Blog- http://clairembanschbach.wordpress.com/ - fondly subtitled “Thoughts and Rants”.
Book Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/theriseofaredor
Author website- http://clairembanschbach.tateauthor.com
And for the brave, I’m also on twitter as @TheRiseofAredor
Do you have any final thoughts?
Thanks so much for having me! I really love getting to connect with other homeschool authors! And hopefully I wasn’t too long winded!