Monday, January 22, 2018

Millie Florence on Honey Butter

Millie, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.         
I am very adventurous and love to try new things, whether new foods or new experiences. I love cooking, hiking, ziplines, travel, skateboarding, acting, and backpacking. I drink lots of tea and am the oldest of five, and a hardcore lover of the color yellow. Last year I published my first book, Honey Butter, at age thirteen.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I think my family and my homeschool has a great balance of both technology and nature. My dad has a technology-based job, and my mom is really into nature, health, and art. My mom usually takes care of the literature side of things in my family’s learning: reading, writing, history. My dad generally does the science, math, and logic. I’m learning about both medicinal herbs and robotics.

We’re a perfect team.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Homeschooling gives me the freedom to go at my own pace, to discover my talents and strong points as well as take some time to strengthen my weak points. Homeschooling lets me be creative and flexible. I can do math in my treehouse or compose a rap about the scientist I’m studying. Just talking with my parents over lunch about something interesting that I read can be school, and the things I love to do, like writing, count towards my education. Plus, not being surrounded by the pop culture of public school lets me see the world in a different way, and seeing the world in a different way is what writing is all about.

In other words, homeschooling prepared me to write by giving me the time, the freedom, and making me, me.

What caused you to start writing?
I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. Even when I was only around four years old I can remember telling stories under the covers at night when I was supposed to be asleep. I read constantly, and even before I could read well I listened to classics like A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Anne of Green Gables. Before I could type I would have one of my parents stand by the computer and type down everything I said, telling my story aloud. Once I grew better at reading and typing there was no stopping me, I read voraciously, and wrote as much as I could. Honey Butter was the first book I ever finished a complete draft of. For years that was my big problem; I had too many ideas and sticking with one was a huge challenge. Add that to the fact that I was a perfectionist with words and therefore very slow to get them down, and you can see why for many years I made very little headway with any book. With Honey Butter I was finally able to let myself write messy with the first draft and leave the revisions for later. After finishing the first draft I didn’t see any reason not to move forward and make it publication worthy. Honey Butter went through many major revisions to become the book it is today. It was a lot of hard work, but definitely worth it!

What inspired Honey Butter?
 It started with the paint cards. About a year and a half ago my family was doing some work on our house, which meant a lot of trips to the paint store. While my parent discussed colors, returned samples, and looked at prices, my four siblings and I usually hung out in the sample card area.
Having nothing better to do, I spent the time reading the names of the colors and was soon enchanted by how the simple word combinations could call to mind a picture in my head. I love wordplay, and had written many stories before I started Honey Butter, so the interesting names naturally appealed to me.
At first, I started taking a few home, making sets of colors as a sort of character development game. After a while, I had a small collection and then came the idea that started Honey Butter. What if I created a story about a character who was obsessed with paint cards? Before long I discovered a picture in my head of the main character, a stubborn seven-year-old girl with a battered blue shoebox under her arm. And from that small seed of a story, my book grew.

Would you give us a synopsis?
Jamie Johnson is a seven-year-old girl with an annoying older sister, a short attention span, and an odd hobby of collecting paint sample cards.

Laren Lark is an almost thirteen-year-old girl with a love of books, a talent for poetry, and a past full of road school adventures.

This book is a whimsical story about what happened to them one fateful summer, with a pound of friendship, a gallon of family, and a ton of everyday joy.

Who will enjoy Honey Butter?
Honey Butter is a children’s middle-grade novel, but I wrote it to be enjoyable for the whole family. It’s a great option for parents to read aloud with their kids.

Do you plan to write more books?
I can’t imagine not writing more books! Currently, I’m working on a children’s poetry book, and a fantasy novel. Both are in the early stages, so I can’t reveal much about them yet. ;)

Where can people connect with you online?
My Blog:
My instagram:
My Goodreads:
Honey Butter on Amazon:

1 comment:

  1. Honey Butter sounds like such a sweet book. Great interview, Millie!