Wednesday, October 15, 2014

One year anniversary

Hello everyone, this is Mikayla. Wow, it has been one year since I started this blog with three other lovely girls. Since then two of the organal girls have left, one other has come and gone and now we have a team of three, myself, Ysa and Lisbeth.
To celebrate one year of Future Homeschool Authors we've brought back Nicole Sager, our organal hosted author.
Before I share the interveiw with her I'd like to just say thank you to all of ya'll, you're all amazing followers and writers! I look forward to another year with ya'll!

Note, this is the organal interview we did with her from a year ago.

Hello and welcome to Future Homeshool Authors! Thank you Nicole Sager for being our first interviewed author!
Thank you so much for having me - what an honor!

First could you tell us a bit about yourself? 
I'm a graduated homeschooler in my mid-20s, currently living in Texas. I'm the 2nd of 6 kids, and I love to read, tap-dance, and perform in our local community theatre with several of my siblings. I love (LOVE) coffee and hot tea. As a really random tidbit, I also love babysitting and have done so for the same family for 4 years now!

How did you begin writing? 
I always loved describing the things I saw around me, and with a truly active imagination a story was sure to be produced with my mental wanderings. I started with an interactive picture book about an ant, and then later wrote a short novel about a girl and her horse in dedication to a friend. Those stories will never greet the public's eye (in all of their simplistic and badly-written glory), nevertheless they were stepping stones that taught me early lessons in writing!

Why do you write non magical fantasy? 
Ha! This question always make laugh, because the answer is so very shameful :) I originally decided on fantasy because I didn't want to have to do research on accurate history/locations! I figured if I could make everything up on my own, writing would be so much easier. Boy, was I wrong. However, now that I know better, I do still enjoy the liberty that fantasy allows - I can make things up and it;s still ok.
As to the other half of the question, I write non-magical simply because I don't like magic and mysticism. I believe God is very clear in His Word about His opinion of witches/wizards, and His power is so much greater anyway. In short, I see it as a choice to have my characters rely on their own man-made strengths, or on the power of God (through prayer, faith, etc.). I prefer to strive for the latter.

What inspired you to write The Heart of Arcrea? 
I was coming to the close of another series (which I'm hoping to edit and publish) and was trying to feel around for ideas for my next book. I came across the name Druet and knew that I wanted this to be the name of my next hero. Then my brother came up with the name Arcrea for a game and told me I could use the idea if I wanted to. So I did! I started with a name and a kingdom, and prayed for the rest!

Do you do any research for you books? If you do what are your main sources? 
Yes! Though, as I said before, my hopes for a research-free hobby, I have done a lot of research for the medieval time period I've modeled my books after (What tools did blacksmiths use? What were some healing herbs? What were the habits of shepherds? Etc...) I usually do a google search and find articles, pictures, or entire websites devoted to the question at hand. You'd be surprised at how many people have asked the same questions as you!

What piece of advice would you give to writers of non magical fantasy? 
Keep your purpose focused on the Lord. Always pray through your writing and seek to serve Him through it. "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind" (Acts 20:19a) "Let God be magnified" through your work (Psalm 70:4b).
One other thought - No matter what genre you write, think of the story through each character's perspective (What would this person think, say, or do with this situation?). Learning this really helped me feel like my characters were more realistic!

Any final thoughts? 
I have so enjoyed the journey through writing that God has led me on, and I look forward to more! My abilities are currently being focused on writing, but not everyone has that desire or gift. Seek the Lord and His purpose for your life, and then let Him take you on an adventure greater than any book! Have fun within the talents and avenues God has given you to serve in.

Thank you so much for giving up some of your time to interview with us! We loved having you! 
Mikayla, thank you so much for letting me "stop by" to chat! May the Lord bless you and use you and your work for His glory!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October Contest

I can't believe it is October already and we are excitedly giving away, "Hebbros", by Nicole Sager!
For this contest I would like you all to write a short story about siblings. It can be about siblings in a far off land, siblings in the future, siblings of historical characters... Be creative! Have fun! Make sure  your story is between 400 and 800 words.

Please include the following sentences, phrases and words in your story: 

"It's a disaster..."

"I just want you to know..."

"Trust me...."

"Never ........ again."

This contest will end on the October 22nd, and the results will be posted on October 29th.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

September Contest Results

Hey everyone, sorry this is late, but the winner of Ransomed by Elizabeth Ender is...

Lois Newton!!!!! Congradulations, I will be contacting you soon!
Her entry:

The Cruel Queen

I shall waste no time with trivialities. I am Queen Resilia, you may address me as Your Highness, Your Majesty or Your Royal Highness. I have been queen for twenty moons, but for all my forty years, royal blood has flowed through my veins. I have the brown skin, dark hair and eyes, characteristic of my people, I therefore stand out from the people of my husband, King Udram, with their tan skin and almond shaped eyes. I wear the clothes of this country I rule, though. The robes, which wrap around the body and are tied with a richly embroidered sash, have long, wide sleeves. They are usually made with a stiff, simple material, but mine are made with silken cloth imported from my home state.

I have little time away from my duties as queen, but during those times I enjoy reading books on strategy, politics or of great people of the past. Besides that, I take walks with my Gesta, my tiger. I love those walks, especially if it is raining. Thunderstorms are beautiful, powerful things. They frighten most inhabitants of the world. Do they not realize that they benefit from the rain brought by the storm? People are sometimes so foolish. They fear things that are good for them. That I should shrink back from doing what was necessary is my greatest fear. I dislike being around the masses who do not think, but simply do as they feel. No patience, no intelligence.

My brother understands. He became king of my home country shortly after I married King Udram so he knows of the hardships of ruling. My time with him has become more important since I came to live in this foreign land. He understands the hard decisions one must make to keep a country safe.

Since the rising threat of the Southern Lands, being a wise queen has become quite essential. Every move must be carefully thought out, this is no time for mistakes. I will do whatever it take to protect our lands, even if some if my actions are criticized as cruel. I am intelligent, diplomatic and wise and I shall use all my skills to prepare for the coming conflict. Our culture, our advances, they must be preserved from these barbarians. We will prevail and history shall remember us, this is my greatest hope. I suppose I am unique in my desire to save my country, while disliking the people who populate it.

I could never understand the group that call themselves the "Believers." They trust in a God they cannot see and are bound to obey His commands. I can accomplish my plans better without Him. I would not know what to do if He were real.

"It is for the best."

"Do you? Do you really understand?"

"I shall build an empire that no one will dare stand against. We shall fear nothing!"

Queen Resilia would kill her own guards if she felt it was necessary.

She would make a false alliance to get an enemy to lower his guard.

If she had a free day, she would spend it studying about a great general.

Her favorite color is pale blue, because it reminds her of the sky during a thunderstorm.

Second place is....


Name: My characters Full name is Irene Arianwyn, Third of the Relinquished

Nickname: Irene is what my character is normally called because that is the only name she knows she has, at first. Later she also comes by the title of Smooth-Horn.

Age: Irene is only a few days old when we first hear about her, but most of the story takes place when she is about 17.

Physical Characteristics: Irene is of medium height and build, with extremely blue eyes, the thing that is really different about her is her almost white skin and most of all her silver hair.

Commendable Character Traits: Irene is truthful and discerning she has the ability to sense the intentions and feelings of others. She is alert to what is going on around her, and can be very caring and sensitive.

Flawed Character Traits: Irene is very free spirited which can mean she is disobedient at times, especially when younger. She is also dissatisfied with who she thinks she is, but she is not actually who she thinks she is, which could be the cause of her discontent. She is also persuasive, which she finds useful, but she uses it to do things she was told not to do.

At what stage is this characters story: The story is currently in the planning and story board stage. I haven’t actually written more than three paragraphs of the actual story, but I have lots of notes and ideas floating around.

Some of the things she would say: “Who am I then, please tell me?”
“You just don’t understand me, no one understands me, I don’t even understand myself.”
 “I will do as I am meant to; I will bring back the unicorns, I don’t know how, but that I shall do.”

Some of the things she would do: I pushed my way into the hedge, then used the branches to climb upwards until I stood on the wall. A guard walked past underneath, I heard his footsteps fade and I began to push myself into the bushes on the other side of the wall and climb down. I couldn’t fall, the branches interlocked underneath me, I had to push hard to get through, even going down, twigs scratched at my arms. 
I ran towards the bubbling stream and jumped down the bank onto the large flat rock. Pulling off my shoes I swung my feet into the water.
The grass swished against my legs, soft like winter sheets or rabbit hides. I bent down and broke the tops of the grass, the feathery tips brushed along my arm as I gathered more and more until I had a whole bundle of the sweet green stalks.

Important parts of her life: When Irene is first left ‘relinquished’ by her true parents and then found by Lord and Lady Du Cassis. Later her finding out who her true parents are would also be very important, and in so doing deciding to fulfil her purpose as one of the ‘relinquished’.

What makes her unique: As before mentioned Irene has silver/white hair and very pale skin, whereas most people in the area she lives in have skin on the swarthy side.

Is she clumsy, graceful or in-between: Irene certainly fit in to the graceful category. She has a certain air of nobility about her.

What your character is passionate about: When she finds out who she is, she becomes passionate about the unicorns; she has a passion to help a treaty be drawn up that would mean the unicorns can return.

Why she is so passionate about these things: Because she sees bringing about the return of the unicorns as her purpose in life.

What she likes: Irene likes the forest, she likes its stillness and peace, and she feels safe there. She also likes the water. All her life Irene has liked ponds, streams and rivers. She likes to feel the water flowing over her toes and all around her. Swimming and wading are some of her favourite things to do.

What she dislikes: Irene dislikes Lord Morlan's son Malgethen. He likes her too much for her comfort and she senses evil intent behind his sweet words. Irene also hates being stuck in the Du Cassis Manor which is her house, and though it is large she feels cramped inside and dislikes being surrounded by walls.

What she likes to read: There are but a few stories that Irene could read, most books in her wold are history books, or written as such. The people have histories written down of events that happened long before they arrived, most men count these ‘stories’ because of their fantastical nature and the creatures in them, but Irene thinks they must be true. These ancient histories are what Irene really likes to reads whenever she can get hold of any of them.

If your character had to keep a journal, what sort of entries would she write: Irene would spill her feelings into her journal, she would write down her discoveries and musings on the workings of the world and life. It would become a book of memories, both sweet and bitter.

Your characters hobbies: Irene sews things as all ladies must and does enjoy it if she is making something useful. She also likes to practice the art of self-defence.

Does your character have any weapons: Yes she fights/defends herself with her staff of Silver Light Wood. Silver Light Wood comes from trees that are very hard to find as they grow only in the ancient parts of forests. Staffs made from the wood of this tree are almost unbreakable and are said to have magical properties.

Her job: Irene’s Job is to stay safe and eventually agree to marry someone, which she has no desire to do. Later in the story Irene is trying to make the return of the unicorns possible.

Her best friend (s): Irene has no best friends as far as I know, though she may meet some along the way. She could become friends with the second and first of the Relinquished if she meets them (I am not sure if she shall). Some of her parent’s servants are quite friendly with her but none are best friends.

Her pets: Irene does not have any pets, she does have animal friends though, wild animals. Animals are not afraid of her as they are normally afraid of humans. Her family also owns camels; camels are the normal form of locomotion.

What are her Parents names: Irene’s parents are Aurelia (Aw-REEL-ee-uh) and Farnear the Lord and Lady Du Cassis. Irene does not find out the names of her true parents for a long time.

Precious Possessions: Irene’s most precious possession is her necklace she always wears, in particular the pendant.  The pendant is a silver/white stone, or some sort of material (No one is sure what) set in a silver clasp. It is precious because when Lord and Lady Du Cassis found her she had the stone held in her hand and she connects it to her True parents.

What makes your character laugh out loud: When she is alone in the forest, near the stream, and feeling joyful. She also laughs when she first sees a unicorn.

Does she have any secret places she likes to go: Irene often goes into the forest, it is a secret place in itself, but she is not really meant to go there alone. Other than that she has two special places, the circular top and battlements of one tower of the castle that no-one else ever goes to because the stairs are broken but there are other ways to climb up there, that she found. Irene also has a place on the wall that surrounds the manor (the wall looks like a really thick hedge but has a high wall in between the bushes). In one place a bush died and left a gap making a space in between the hedges.  Irene leans on the branch of a bush and sits along the wall; enough light comes down through the thin canopy to read or write by.

What does she eat for breakfast: Irene likes to eat fruit for breakfast, whatever is in season, sometimes she will go out and pick them fresh and eat them in the open air.

What makes your character visibly angry? Irene gets angry when people are fighting, with weapons and hurting each other.

Her clothing style: Irene lives in a medieval-ish setting so she wears dresses and often nice ones, as she is in the position of a Lords daughter. Her favourite dresses are long white ones. She also likes to wear a darker coloured cloak with a hood and done up with a silver broach at the front, when it’s cooler or she goes to town or neighbouring castles.

Is she saved? No not exactly

Why: There is no Christianity in Irene’s world, I am not yet sure how I am going to do this I would like to add elements of a creator God who is supreme over all, or at least that there is a something guiding the world, like there is providence and not just chance or fate.

Do you think this character will become saved? If there is any elements of God/providence in the book (which I really do hope to put in there) Irene will believe in them or come to.

Third place is... Nathanael!
Name: Erik Jones.
Nickname: none.
Age: 26. 
Physical Characteristics: fast, grey eyes, tall and lanky, neat hair, agile.
Commendable Character Traits: Loyalty, quick thinking, resourcefulness, optimistic, he's funny.
Flawed Character Traits: stubborn, impulsive, hot tempered.
Some of the things she/he would say (write at least 3 things he/she would say): "Theres a place for everything." "Wow! I never knew that leaping off of an overpass could be so...exhilarating." "I'm not leaving you!" "We're stuck in quicksand in the middle of a jungle. This seems hopeless, but at least there aren't any tigers around!" "I've never flown over an erupting volcano before, but there's a first time for everything." We'll just order out again. I don't feel like cooking anything, I feel like playing video games for another two hours!"  
Some of the things he/she would do (describe at least 3 things she/he would do): hang glide over and erupting volcano, jump off an overpass onto a truck, swim in shark infested waters, and play video games for a day non-stop.
Important parts of his/her life: his faith in God, organization.
What makes him/her unique: his high knowledge of computers.
What your character is passionate about: being organized, his faith in Christ.
Why he/she is so passionate about these things: being unorganized frustrates him, he loves God.
What he/she likes: all kinds of fruit, being organized and clean, the ocean.
What he/she dislikes: bell peppers, most cheeses, and pecan pie, dirty messy things. 
What he/she likes to read: fiction novels and dystopias, and spy novels.
Your characters hobbies: writing books, playing video games, fishing, camping.
His/her job: he is a secret agent, computer technician and programmer.
His/her best friend (s): Isaac Greene.
His/her pets: A dog and a parrot.
His/her clothing style: Leather and dark blue clothes.

Is  he/she saved? yes.
If so: 
His/her spiritual gifts: he loves God and he finds the good in everything. 
Favorite Bible Verse: John 15:5.

Thank you to everyone who entered and again, I'm sorry this is late. Our new contest is up please check it out!