Sarah, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am the second born of seven children. I have four brothers and two sisters(three brothers and two sisters still at home), and was homeschooled from birth to graduation here in beautiful Northeast Ohio by our wonderful teacher – Mother! It was a special blessing and a great start in life to grow up in a first-generation Christian homeschooling family. There was always something exciting to learn, and we always had more things we wanted to do than time to do them in!
I currently live and work at home: helping keep house for our family of eight, writing books, and sewing for our family enterprise, Gathering of Goods. In my spare time, I like to crochet, play the piano, and, of course, read and write...mostly history!
Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
The fact that my nearest brothers and I were part of The First Wave of the homeschool movement.
My older brother was one of the first homeschooled students in our city. Our earliest years were very different than homeschooling today! My younger siblings can’t even imagine not being able to go out and play until after 4:00 so that no one would call the truant officer. Or the discomfort and almost fear that would come over us when we would be out and someone would ask why we weren’t in school. Back then, we didn’t proudly announce we were homeschooled; we just said our school had a holiday that day(which it did!) and hoped they wouldn’t push for more information. There were so many enemies and so few friends of home education!
I’m very glad that today’s students can home educate in peace and freedom. But I think those early days have made me more aware of how precious freedom is and more conscious of the need to preserve it.
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
It gave me a chance to write. A lot. And read. A lot. It exposed me to the best of literature instead of the most popular at the moment. Homeschooling also gave me a chance to be with a wide range of age groups, which gives you an added depth as a writer. And since we went everywhere with Dad and Mom, I was able to experience so many different places, people, and time periods. I trace my intense love of history to the historical trips and tours we took together as a family throughout the year(another benefit of homeschooling!). You didn’t just learn names and dates; you learned that it was real and it really happened. And since we weren’t part of a big distracting group of other children, there was time to pause and really get the feeling of place and time.
What caused you to start writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write, except when I was reading! Words have always fascinated me, and the simple act of shaping letters on paper is a joy even when writing the most mundane things. I am also a storyteller by nature; the result of the two mixing is predictable!
What inspired The Apprentices?
Early one morning I was musing about what it would be like for a young ‘apprentice’ servant to be introduced into the household of an elderly aristocrat with elderly servants. It didn’t take long for the apprentice to become a footman in training, and to mutate into identical twins! The best part of researching for this book was learning how much went into the life and work of a Victorian footman; I really came to respect them and the incredibly long and hard job they had. It was nothing like the purely decorative role depicted in most modern works.
The Apprentices is a salute to some of the least understood men of the Victorian period!
Would you give us a synopsis?
Old James is dead, and Lady Luckley has no recourse but to hire a new footman. She is elated to be given the priceless opportunity to get two perfectly matched footmen at the same time.
George and Geoffrey are young, teachable, and eager for work.
But is Dunderlee House ready for identical twins?
Meticulously researched, The Apprentices will give you a glimpse into the servants' quarters of an old house - and an idea of how two innocent boys can turn an elderly household upside down!
Who will enjoy The Apprentices?
The Apprentices would appeal most to young readers – 12-18 – but adults will also enjoy the story and its many adult characters. It makes a great family read-aloud.
Do you plan to write more books?
Absolutely. Both fiction and non-fiction, and all with a strong thread of history. My goal is to publish clean, historically accurate books with a strong Christian perspective and worldview.
In the future, I would like to focus on telling true tales of people from the past through historical fiction and biographies - similar to my book Compliments of W. T. Sherman, but full length. I love to uncover the story that is unknown or forgotten; and there are so many amazing stories waiting to be told, lost in dusty old volumes of memoir, pedigree and heredity. I can hardly wait to tell them!
Where can people connect with you online?
You can find me at www.gatheringofgoods.com or www.thehomegrownhistorian.yolasite.com. You can browse books for sale in the bookstore and get an opportunity to read previews for my books. I also have an author page on both Amazon and Goodreads. Feel free to stop by and say hi!
Do you have any final thoughts?
For readers, my personal motto: You are what you eat. Only read the best.
For writers, my personal motto: You are what you eat. Only serve the best!
Sarah has placed The Apprentices on sale for $0.99! Check it out, HERE!