Hello Ivy, and welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you so much for having me! What an honor.
I am eighteen years old, a recent homeschool grad and college freshman, and the oldest in my family of seven children. Swimming in our lake, playing with my dogs, reading, and TaeKwonDo, are some things I love to do. I also enjoy playing bluegrass music with my siblings and friends.
Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I love that I was able to tailor my schoolwork to my interests. Because I have been interested in going into the medical field ever since I was a small child, my parents allowed me to skip high school physics and do an advanced biology course, instead. Also, my Mom was sure to pick out curriculum that was heavy on reading.
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Most of all, I had the time to do it. Had I been in a traditional school setting, I certainly wouldn’t have had the time to spend working on a novel. The other thing is that my mom never had me to do grammar, spelling, or language arts. In fact, I didn’t take a formal English course until my freshman year of highschool. I think that this prepared me in a way that most people think is backwards; by not being obligated to write, it made me want to do it more.
Another thing is that my amazing mom incredibly blessed me by was teaching me to read at the age of 3. This gave me a substantial jump-start on writing because by the time I was 10 or 11, I had some sense of what makes a good story, what makes an attention-grabbing synopsis, and other such things.
What caused you to start writing?
Writing has always been a huge part of my life. Keeping diaries, writing letters…I have always felt that I am able to convey my thoughts through written words rather than spoken words (which is saying a lot because I love to talk). :)
What inspired The Old River Road?
The inspiration for The Old River Road came when I was around ten years old, when I discovered the memoirs of my great-great grandmother in a stack of paperwork. The little eight page memoirs held the story of how my ancestors were forced from their sheltered life in Chicago and came to pioneer the western frontier. At age ten, it sounded like Little House on the Prairie. I remember thinking how much fun it would be if someone would write a story about my great-great grandparents. Little did I know… :)
Would you give us a synopsis?
From the back cover:
When seventeen-year-old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was near perfect. The journey before them as newlyweds in the great city of Chicago was promising and exciting. But a frightening disease soon takes William in its grip, forcing them to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life. But pioneering doesn’t prove to be easy, with miles between neighbors instead of fences. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.
This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.
Who will enjoy The Old River Road?
Anyone aged ten or older who enjoys Laura Ingalls Wilder and Janette Oke style stories.
Do you plan to write more books?
I have a few works in progress currently, including the second book in the Long Lake Legacy series.
Where can people connect with you online?
Do you have any final thoughts?
For aspiring authors:
1. Don’t give up writing. It is very easy to want to stop and go onto something that is more instantly gratifying. There were a truckload of times I told my family that I was going to shelve The Old River Road and be done with it. But they encouraged me to keep trying. The result is so worth it.
2. Don’t write books based on what you think your readers will like or not like. Accept the fact that not everyone is going to love your book. Don’t be scared to boldly speak about Christ.
3. Give your book to the Lord. Trying to write a book without His help is like trying to swim across the ocean without a life vest. It is impossible.