Tricia, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Michigan a short drive away from the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, though I'm not a big fan of beaches, swimming, or sand. I enjoy camping, hiking, and road trips. So far, I've been to 47 of the 50 states, missing only California, Alaska, and Hawaii. I've been writing since I learned how to write, and I was drawing picture books before that. I currently have three published books, including Defy.
Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I tend to think of my schooling experience as “hybrid.” My mom homeschooled me through fifth grade and during those years, she really pushed me academically, especially when it came to reading and writing. By 4th grade, I was reading at a high school comprehension level. Funny thing is, I didn’t really realize that wasn’t normal. At the time, it was just what my mom expected out of me, so I did it.
In 6th grade, I went into a private Christian school. It was a good experience, and I’m still friends with the group that formed through junior high and high school. It was an adjustment from the very independent form of learning I had as a homeschooler to the teacher-guided learning. Let’s just say, I did a lot of doodling and story-writing in the back of my notebook.
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
My mom saw my potential at a very early age, so she really encouraged me in my writing. I also think learning to be independently disciplined while young also helped. My mom would prepare our coursework each weekend and give us a schedule of what we had to complete each day. We each had a stack of books about a foot tall with all our courses. Some days, my brothers and I would have everything done by noon. Other days, we’d dilly-dally until it was supper time.
What caused you to start writing?
I started drawing picture books when I was two years old and telling the stories behind the pictures to my parents, so I honestly don’t have any memories of a time when I wasn’t writing or telling stories.
When I was really little, my dad read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to my brothers and me. When I was 6, we visited Mansfield, MO where she wrote the Little House Books. I have a distinct memory of standing in front of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s desk and deciding right then and there that I was going to be a published author someday. Nineteen years later, I returned to the site a few weeks after my first book released.
What inspired Defy?
The year before I began writing The Blades of Acktar series, I had done a lot of research into Dutch history for a family history project I did for college. Several eras in Dutch history, especially the Dutch Revolution in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s and the experience of the Dutch Resistance in WWII had a huge impact on the series.
Defy is the third book in The Blades of Acktar and it wraps up the main conflict.
Would you give us a synopsis?
The war for Acktar has begun.
With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.
Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.
Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.
War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?
Acktar rests on one hope:
The Leader is ready.
Who will enjoy Defy?
Young adults and adults who love books with lots of action, adventure, tension, and deep, impactful faith. In my books, I don’t shy away from the darkness and violence in the world because it pushes the characters to reach for the Light found in Christ even in the hardest situations.
Do you plan to write more books?
Of course! Currently, I’m working on Book 4 in The Blades of Acktar. This book is a sequel/continuation that deals with the aftermath of Defy. Even victory can get a little messy, especially with the amount of bitterness that lingers in Acktar.
Where can people connect with you online?
Do you have any final thoughts?
Thanks so much for having me!