Thanks for having me! Well, I was homeschooled, obviously. I grew up on a little homestead in Kansas, where we raised goats and chickens and apples. "We" being myself, my four siblings and my parents. About three years ago, I got married and moved to Georgia, which is where I currently live on a similar little homestead with goats and chickens. I love milking goats, and I love writing, and I love being able to illustrate my own novels.
Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Hmm, well, the most unique thing I can think of is how isolated we were. A lot of homeschoolers grow up going to support groups and maybe even co-ops or homeschool sports. There were probably only three or four other homeschool families in our area at any given time, so our meetings were pretty sporadic. That's not a bad thing, of course, and I hope I don't sound like it is. But I think that is why I prefer completely fictional settings in my writing -- I don't feel like I have enough experience in a modern setting to sound plausible.
How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
Being homeschooled gave me time to pursue what I really wanted to do. I didn't have to go anywhere to do it; I could learn at home and easily use my free time for writing. I would carry a notebook with me when we went on car trips, and write as we drove. Also, a big plus was having the sibling fan club at my disposal for beta reading and editing.
What caused you to start writing?
Actually, my first moment of inspiration happened when I was nine years old. I came across some books that I wanted to read, but my mom told me that they were not good books. I was shocked that there could be such a thing as books that were not good, and I thought to myself "Well, I'll just write books that are good, then." So I found a notebook and pencil and wrote about one page of nine-year-old nonsense. Then I ran out of stuff to write, and I thought "Hmm, this is harder than I thought. I'll just try again when I'm a little older." So I did. Every so often, I would start a story, only to flop again and again. Finally, when I was fifteen, I went through a course called Learn to Write the Novel Way, and finished an entire book. That gave me the boost I needed, and I was able at seventeen to write the books I really wanted to write, the most recent completed novel being Dorian the Daring.
What inspired Dorian the Daring?
It's hard to say where an idea comes from. Growing up I preferred reading books that were written for boys, and I think Dorian the Daring is my attempt to emulate and build upon the kinds of books I loved.
Would you give us a synopsis?
Here is the one that is written on the back of the book: Kicked out of the only home he has ever known, Dorian is forced to decide whether to move on, or make things right. To make matters worse, he discovers someone is trying to kill him. Is it his best friend or his proclaimed enemy? Dorian The Daring is a story of adventure, from swordfights to contraband, assassinations to the rescue of fair maidens, including Dorian’s own sister. Finally, after escaping a dungeon torture scene, Dorian realizes what he has to do – and has the chance to do it.
Who will enjoy Dorian the Daring?
It is written more for the age bracket of teens and young adults, but I've had people from teens all the way to elderly folks tell me they couldn't put it down. It was funny, a copy was given to a local nursing home, and everyone there read it. I'm glad they enjoyed it.
Do you plan to write more books?
Oh yes. I have several WIP's, and I'm not sure which one I'll finish first.
Where can people connect with you online?
You can find me on goodreads.com by searching Camille Esther, or the titles of my novels, Royalty in Disguise or Dorian the Daring. (By the way, if you have any questions, you can leave a question for me on goodreads. And I would LOVE ratings or reviews on goodreads or on amazon.) You can find me and ask questions on Facebook or you can look at my author website.
Do you have any final thoughts?
You know, I want any future authors to know that writing is not just about entertainment. When we write, we have a unique ability to influence another person through the medium of story. I feel like the power of story has been exploited by hollywood and other story-telling people. As Christian writers, we have the opportunity to change that. I would encourage anyone who is currently writing or is considering writing to keep in mind what kind of influence story has, and to use it accordingly.