Monday, January 11, 2016

Interview with Kyleigh Dunn

Kyleigh, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a homeschool graduate currently living in Japan with my husband and 1 year old. In addition to writing, I love playing, composing, and listening to music, photography, cooking, and being outside.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I think two things gave me a one-of-a-kind homeschool experience. My dad is a pilot, so his schedule changed every day. This meant that he could be more involved in our schooling and that we could travel for very little cost.

Then the summer before I started high school, we moved to Dubai, where my dad continued to work for a commercial airline – similar benefits as before, but now the cheap flights could include anywhere in the world, so “field trips” could be actual historical sites in Greece and Rome. It also meant that we were daily being involved in cross-cultural experiences that shaped who we are and how we view the world around us.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
The one-on-one critique and discussion of writing assignments played a huge role, as did having free time to devote to my writing. My family, like most homeschooling families, also had a large library with plenty of good writing for me to read and learn from!

What caused you to start writing?
 In 6th grade I did a correspondence course on creative writing. That, along with books like Redwall and friends who were also starting to write, inspired my first stories. When we moved to Dubai I started a blog, which has now grown from simple updates on what I was doing to a place to share everything from daily life to story excerpts, theological musings, and articles on varied topics. Nanowrimo in 2006 was the starting point for my first non-fan-fiction stories.

What inspired The Christian Musician?
In 2013, I began to struggle with unsurety of what role music should play in my life as someone who was not pursuing it professionally yet still wanted to devote a lot of time to it. This led to numerous general questions about glorifying God, dealing with musical pride, and using private practice time to worship.

Would you give us a synopsis?
”The Christian Musician” is a discussion of the purpose of music, life lessons music teaches us, grace, pride, identity, worship, and the effect music can have on our lives. Although the focus is on secular, instrumental music, "The Christian Musician" will also touch on vocal and church music, drawing from the personal experience and struggles of the author. While these thoughts center on musicianship, they may be applied to any pursuit requiring practice and skill, be it writing, dancing, nursing, or engineering.

Who will enjoy The Christian Musician?
I believe any artist will be encouraged by my book, but especially classically-trained musicians who are trying to determine what place music has in their life, whether they are preparing for college or sorting out what activities to take on in the coming school year.

Do you plan to write more books?
Yes! I am currently in the process of editing one of four novels I have written over the past ten years. It’s the first in a fantastical, allegorical trilogy, set in the world of Edaled. If the Lord wills and the toddler behaves, I hope to release it in the second half of 2016.

Where can people connect with you online?
Apricotpie, a writing website for homeschoolers:

Do you have any final thoughts?
One thing I often struggled with (and still struggle with, at times!) was trying to decide if I should drop a hobby, always feeling that there wasn’t enough time for writing, music, sewing, photography, cooking, etc. While juggling it all can be tricky, it’s been so wonderful to see how God has brought some of those passions together in The Christian Musician, and even in my other writing, as skills I have and things I learn in my daily life find their way into stories and blog posts. All that to say: while there are times to leave something behind, you never know how God will use something you have been involved with! Keep writing!

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