Monday, September 14, 2015

Interview with Sara-Anne Kichenmaster

Sara-Anne, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a writer, adventurer, farmer, and outdoors-woman. I am a home-school graduate, twenty years old, married to my best friend. I love writing, outdoor youth ministry, and learning about people. My dream is to write great books, so that whether my readers share my faith or not, they can enjoy the story, and hopefully gain a greater knowledge of God's love in the process.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I love the way that my mom really focused on using real life to teach us the skills we needed to know. She didn't stress out about making sure we were academically ahead--she made sure we knew what we needed to know--but she used our interests and the events happening in our lives to teach us those things. We weren't too busy "doing school" to live life, and my siblings and I all have a love for learning. That is one of the biggest gifts that home-schooling has given me.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
More than any other academic pursuit in home-school, I read books. I started young: I can't remember a time when I didn't know how to read, and I read voraciously all through childhood and my teenage years. Reading fiction taught me how to tell a story, and reading non-fiction gave me examples of real-life stories in action. Being home-schooled allowed me to have time to absorb priceless lessons about writing through osmosis.

What caused you to start writing?
I used to wander around the back yard (usually when I was supposed to be doing chores) telling myself long, character driven, serial stories. I remember my mom encouraging me to write stories, since I read so much, and one day I just did. I wrote a couple of short stories and then a few years later I started writing the kind of stories I wanted to read, and I haven't stopped.

What inspired Something Broken?
There were a couple of things. A picture in my head of a boy paddling a canoe through a channel of reeds in a clear, remote mountain lake. A girl named Ilysa, "daughter of no one; tough, sensitive, graceful, resilient," who slipped into my head while doing chores and stuck there. Prohibition, rum runners, and the illegal booze trade. Some books I read that were set in the Appalachian Mountains. Celtic etymology. All those things combined in my head, got jumbled, half-forgotten, and eventually coalesced into Brady's Cove and the people who live there.

Would you give us a synopsis?
 Ilysa Hayes is a survivor. She knows how to navigate the volatile relationships and difficult living conditions of Brady's Cove, the remote mountain community she's grown up in. But when her older brother Isaiah's desire for something greater leads him to accept a strange and confusing book as truth, Ilysa's confidence is shaken. Isaiah starts talking about love, forgiveness, and following God. Ideas that Ilysa is sure will get them both killed. When she finds out that he's been ignoring family taboos, she goes right along with him. But when he insists on forgiving their alcoholic, violent father, Ilysa wants nothing to do with it. Yet she realizes that she has to make a choice. A choice that will come to define her.

Who will enjoy Something Broken?
It's targeted to teens 12-18, but I've found that people of all ages enjoy it. Ten-year-old boys to grandparents. It does deal with some difficult situations so I would encourage parents to read it first before giving it to young children to read.

Do you plan to write more books?
Absolutely! I don't think I could stop if I wanted to. I'm working on following through and finishing one to three more books right now. However, I do not (at this time) have a plan for a sequel to Something Broken.

Where can people connect with you online?
On my blog!

Do you have any final thoughts?
Thank you for the interview! I'm passionate about writing well-crafted stories for the glory of God, and it's awesome to meet other people who share my interests!

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