Monday, October 17, 2016

Jessica Marinos on Traiven's Pass

Jessica, welcome to Homeschooled Authors. Tell us a little about yourself.

My first spark of writing began in second grade with a well written dialogue between a boy and an octopus shoe salesman.  For the next ten years of homeschooling, my mom further instilled the art, excitement, and importance of writing. I like to immerse my mind in the rich, deep Truth of God through reading His Word and other Godly authors of the past such as Leonard Ravenhill, George MacDonald and many others. I also enjoy exploring quaint towns, the scenic outdoors, and castles when I get the rarest of chances. I’m 27 and live at home with my parents, sister, and Little Lord Felix, our cat. I have an old fashion secretary desk where I write. It is mysteriously filled with trinkets, letters, and notes I’ve written and received over the years. One day, I’ll have fun exploring what I have tucked within it. During the spring and summer, I attend homeschool conventions and curriculum fairs where I sell my book and speak on creative writing. While I’m likely to go many places and participate in a diversity of activities, my heart through it all will be found at the feet of Jesus and His Word. If yours is there too, then we already know each other well.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Not only did we homeschool, but we also owned our own family, classic car restoration business, so we were unbound and free to travel! My aunt dubbed our family the Gypsies. Our family roots began in woodsy Oregon. When I was young, we migrated to wild and dry Arizona to do ministry among the Native Americans. Then we bumped one state over to Santa Fe, New Mexico and gained some artsy culture. Our hugest leap was to enclose ourselves among the crowded ways of Massachusetts living where we shared a 100 year old estate house with two other families. The history and charm of New England was so enriching, now I think it is one of my favorite places. Currently our family has settled in Middle Tennessee.

I have one younger sister, and since it was just my mom, sister, and I for school, we did several of our subjects together. We got all our hard subjects done the first half of the day, like math and language. The second half we did more interactive creative subjects. My mom would also read to us a lot, even through high school. She read us books from Fox’s Book of Marters to Princess books. That was always a fun relaxing time.

We started with all Abeka curriculum but over the years branched out until every subject was from a different curriculum company. My sister and I partook a bit of everything, in terms of learning style, which I think was helpful to see subjects from different approaches.

We also took classes outside of the home such as drama, tap dance, drawing, gymnastics, and horseback riding. Connecting with homeschool groups in every state we lived in was awesome. With them, we were able to go skiing, camping, and on field trips.

A relationship with God permeated our homeschooling. Our mornings began with each of us personally spending time seeking God and getting to know Him through His Word. Our time with Christ flowed throughout the day in how we treated each other. We also enjoyed many theological discussions.

I  graduated nine years ago.  In this year of 2016 homeschooling memories are fond reminiscents, and I wouldn’t change the experience for anything. I’m so thankful it is the route my parents chose!
Question 2: How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?

My mom, as my teacher, had a huge impact on my writing. I’ll boil it down to four factors:

1) She wrote with my sister and me, thus proving to us at a young age that writing wasn’t just a school assignment, but fun, interactive, timeless, and for all ages.
2) My mom found fun, creative writing exercises and curriculum for us to do, so it wasn’t a boring endeavor to write.
3) We shared what we wrote with each other, so we wrote with an audience in mind which brought excitement and purpose into writing.
4) Being homeschooled put my feet on such a solid foundation in Christ and allowed me to know His Word. Because of it, my writing is produced from my personal time in the Word of God seeking Jesus. I want a clear, fresh river of Christ’s perspective and heart overflowing into my writing. A big part of being able to gain His prospective was from being out of the public school culture and by being homeschooled. Again, I’m abundantly thankful! Don’t give up homeschool parents! Your work and sacrifice are most worthy!

What caused you to start writing?
I didn’t grow up claiming, “I’ll be an author one day!” I claimed other silly things but not that. I always enjoyed writing, and I did have a natural knack for it, but I never dreamed I would write a novel. Writing Traiven’s Pass slowly unfolded before me step by step. The process was more of a discovery than creating the story.

When I perceived that I wasn’t going to be getting married for a while, I’m like, “Hmmmm, what am I going to do? I could go to college fulltime, get a fulltime job, or write a book.” I had given my dreams to God, so I was open to whatever. I had already taken some college classes, read a huge pile of “how to write good fiction” books, and dabbled in writing short scenes form a story idea I had nudging in my mind which I had shared with my family.

My family collectively confirmed WRITE! Lol. So I did while I worked part time at our family restoration business.  Now, four years later, after agonizing over every word to achieve the culminating flow of characters, plot, and prose, I am pleased to offer, to all who like to read, the story and people of Traiven’s Pass.

What inspired Traiven's Pass?
The realities of truth and deception inspired Traiven’s Pass as I experienced both through life experience and my time seeking the Word of God. When I saw Truth and deception laid side-by-side, they looked nearly identical. Except… if you look closely, deception has a twist. I think it is important to study God’s Word to it and Him through it, so that we will not be deluded by many false teachings.  I hope Traiven’s Pass will give people a desire to seek out the Word of God for themselves.

Would you give us a synopsis?
Traiven’s Pass is a Christian medieval novel, layered with Biblical truths, intrigue, deep characters, and family values. It follows the unique lives of Lydia Tavish and Galen Lukemar.
Lydia is a young woman from the valley of Traiven’s Pass who is steadfast to the Truth from which the Kingdom has drifted. For her belief, she suffers greatly and is thrown into a dire choice where neither option could be right.

Galen is from the remote mountain village of Dresden where he is unaware of the greater happenings of the Kingdom. But as he is determined to win a tournament in the King’s City, he is presented with both Truth and deception. Galen becomes overwhelmingly torn between the two and finds himself on a course he never expected nor intended.

A story so compelling, it is best left told by the characters themselves.

Who will enjoy Traiven's Pass?
Traiven’s Pass is excellent, clean reading for adults and teenagers, both men and women.

Do you plan to write more books?
Absolutely! I’m working on the sequel, The King’s City, which is highly anticipated. After this Trilogy is finished, I have a whole list of intriguing titles that have come to me over the years that I would like to write. But next, after this Trilogy, my heart is aimed at writing a non-fiction book on Romans 6 – 8 because what one believes about these chapters will define your Christian experience. I want people to know the freedom and righteousness there is for them in their everyday life through Christ and Christ in them by His Holy Spirit.

Where can people connect with you online?
My website:  Traiven’s Pass Facebook page:  My YouTube channel where you can watch my writing tip videos is: . I’m also a vender at several of the Homeschool Conventions and speak on Creative Writing. Feel free to contact me through my website or Facebook for any comments or questions.

Do you have any final thoughts?
The desire of my heart, which naturally spills into my daily moments and my writing, is that I would know Christ and that people would know Him through Him living in me. Let’s go after knowing Jesus with all that we are. In doing so, we will find that in Him we have: Life, Freedom, Righteousness, Understanding, Love, Peace, Joy, Patience, and Truth despite anything going on around us. For Truth, who is Jesus!
I appreciate the people who put together this website. Thank you!

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