Kelsey, welcome back to Homeschooled Authors. What have you been up to since the last time you were here?
Well, I’ve been doing lots of fun things in writing and in the other aspects of my life … I’ve met new writing friends, taken a copy editing course and gotten into freelance editing, set up a website, published a short story, and seen new places.
You have just published the second book in your Six Cousins series. What can people expect from this story?
All six cousins return, but the rest of the characters are brand-new, as is the setting. I had a lot of fun really delving into England and its wealth of history and fascinating and beautiful places. The differences run deeper, though: In the first book, Family Reunion, set in Central Texas, I was exploring a limited setting—the kind of environment most young teenagers live in, where they have to learn how to handle family and friend relationships with grace. It’s that environment that really forms character and prepares us for a wider life. In England Adventure, set a few months later, my MC Marielle’s world expands when she and her cousins travel to England and she meets someone whose life and family are really falling apart. She uses the lessons she learned during her family reunion to deal with this situation and the stress of traveling abroad for two weeks. (I’ve traveled like that before, so I know how much it stretches your character!) In general, all six cousins grow to some extent or another, and they also get to tootle around with Mr. and Mrs. Endicott and Paris, an older couple and their granddaughter, all of whom possessed new and really fun personalities to write.
You took your own trip to England. What was your favorite part?
I’d always wanted to go; that desire was where the inspiration for England Adventure came from, and before I published this book, I was blessed to be able to go on a historical costume tour with a dear friend. I got to experience a lot of incredible things, but one of my favorite memories was actually outside the tour ... my friend and I met up with another homeschool author and her mom who live in England and visited Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, about an hour from the borders of London. It was like a scene out of my book; I felt just like Marielle as I walked the wooden floors, admired the curios from my favorite author’s life, and imagined her living there. The entire village of Chawton was beautiful, and we had such a sweet time together as friends. We even had a cream tea at Cassandra’s Cup, the tea room right across the street from the House. The whole afternoon is a memory I’ll savor forever.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in writing this book?
It may be impossible to narrow it down to one lesson, I’m afraid. In the Six Cousins series, I try to write naturally (without “preaching”) about lessons that I’ve (supposedly) already learned, which is a sure way of cementing them in my own life. One of the most important, then, would be to stay close to God even during stressful, distracting times so that you can always be ready to do His work—whether speaking to someone about Him, reacting rightly to a certain situation, or something else.
What challenge do the cousins face in this story?
Once again, the six cousins have to work together … this time to have a fun, fulfilling, and amiable tour. It isn’t always easy. Paris, the bold, fashionable, yet friendly granddaughter of their guardians, is a challenge for each to determine how she’ll relate to her. Marielle especially is affected when she learns about Paris’s troubles … and she wants to help her. But it will require courage and sensitivity to God’s direction … maybe more than Marielle possesses.
Will we see more of the cousins in the future?
Lord willing, you will! I know I’d like to see more of them. I have plans for two more books that follow Marielle when she’s older, and all the cousins will at least make cameo appearances. Tentative plans include another trip to England, new friends, and the big questions of what Marielle will do after graduating high school and whom she will marry.
Thank you for having me, Sarah!
Where can readers connect with you?
I would love to see and interact with you on any of these sites!
Win your choice of a signed copy of Family Reunion or England Adventure! Open to USA residents only.
Congrats on pursuing your dream as an author! I just arrived home from a long trip to the UK. So the idea of a book set traveling there is definitely intriguing. Best of luck!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Susanna! A long trip to the UK sounds delightful. Mine was just two weeks. : )Delete
Hello Kelsey! I really enjoyed reading this interview!ReplyDelete
As to what country I would like to visit, hmm....I'd probably like to visit Holland where Corrie Ten Boom grew up. I'd love to be able to tour her house someday.
Thank you for doing this giveaway!
Hello Bekah, and thank you! Holland and Corrie Ten Boom's house would make an amazing trip. She's one of my heroes.Delete
I would love to read your series, Kelsey! My to read list is ever growing thanks to this website :DReplyDelete
Oh, if I could travel to another country it would be Germany :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Eliza! Germany would be a beautiful place to visit. The Black Forest and the castles especially intrigue me. : )Delete
Ooh... it'd be hard to choose just one! Ireland, Japan, and New Zealand are all alluring! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting, Amanda! Those three countries would be on my to visit if possible list, too. Especially Ireland!Delete
You went to England? No fair! If I could go to any country it would be the United Kingdom. And I would go to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Because I wouldn't be able to decide which ONE to chose. :)ReplyDelete
:D I was amazed it worked out for me to go! I was so thankful! I would love to visit the rest of the United Kingdom, too. I was sorry to not see more of it while I was there. I hope you get to go someday!Delete
I think it would have to be Norway for me! :)ReplyDelete
Ooh, Norway! That sounds like such an interesting and beautiful country. Good choice!Delete
That's so cool that you got to go to England! I've always wanted to go there. If I could go to any country it would be Scotland, England or Israel! It's hard to choose between those!ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed your first book! Keep up the good work!
How neat! England, Scotland, and Israel have always been at the top of my list, too. I really hope Israel is next for me. :D And that you get to visit those countries, too!Delete
Thank you so much for your encouragement, Holly!
I think I would like to visit Scotland :) England Adventure sounds amazing!ReplyDelete
Scotland would be so intriguing and beautiful. I love Scottish accents ; ), and the culture, landscape, and history seem fascinating.Delete
Thank you, Mikayla!
That is really cool that you got to go to England! I think I would want to go to either Scotland, Ireland, England, or Norway. :) But if I had to choose one to go to first, I'd say Norway, I think.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the giveaway!
Thank you, Micaiah! Those countries are great choices! Norway is probably the most exotic and different from the US. : )Delete
Hi Kelsey! I marked both your books as "to-read" because that was the option. But I've actually read and reviewed them both on Goodreads. That should count. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, definitely, Sarah! You get the points for that. :DDelete
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I want to go many places...Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Russia to name just a few. ;)ReplyDelete
How exciting that you were able to go to England! I would also love to visit there and N.Ireland as well (Northern Ireland because that's where a dear friend lives!) =)
Brrrr, all in the cold north! :D They all sound so fascinating. The friend I went to England with went to Russia earlier and thought it was really neat. And it'd be lovely to go to a foreign country where a friend lives! That makes the experience richer.Delete
Ireland, Scotland, or Israel. It's hard to decide! :) I like a lot of places.ReplyDelete
Beautiful choices! And yes, it is hard to decide. I was just asked this question last night and I had a hard time picking. : )Delete
I loved your first book! I especially enjoyed the "one big family" atmosphere of the cousins, since I haven't had the privilege of experiencing that myself. The message was very refreshing for a girls' book and also super convicting. I can't wait to read your second book and find out how they work it out even farther.ReplyDelete
I would love to travel back in time and visit Dunton Station even though I don't know where in the US it is! : ) My sister made it up for just a random place in her WWII story and allowed my World War II story to be set in the very same town!
Thank you, Anna! I'm so glad you did. It was fun for me, too, to see the cousins together again, and for them to make new friends and expand the "family." : )Delete
A fictional place is cool! It must be really special for you to choose it over everything else. Hopefully that story will be coming out so other people can experience it, too? ; )