Hello, Sarah, and welcome to the Writer’s Lair! Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Thank you for having me! I am a Christ Follower first and foremost. Following Christ has led me to some wonderful and exciting places in my 22 years on this earth and I try to share some of my adventures on my blog (http://destinyofone.blogspot.com/). I have two amazing parents, six awesome siblings, and two adorable nieces.
Writing is my passion. I spend many hours every week in front of my computer writing and editing books. Currently I have two book published with the third one to be published soon.
When not writing I can be found at my job at my Representatives office, reading, chatting with friends, and hanging out with my siblings.
Remember how I said that God has led me on many adventures? Well Homeschool Authors was a God inspired idea. As a self-published writer, I am always looking for ways to market my book. One day I did a search, trying to find a list of books by homeschool authors to put me book on. I couldn’t find such a list, so I did what every good homeschooler would do in that situation, I did it myself.
I already knew about six or seven authors so I put them on the list. After that I started asking the authors I knew if they would be willing to do an interview. I was amazed at how quickly the list grew and how many authors were eager to be interviewed.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Finding the time to keep up with the demand. I get between five and ten e-mails a week for Homeschool authors all of which I have to respond to. I am so pleased with how many authors want to be interviewed, have their books reviewed, and the be added to the list. However, at times it can be overwhelming.
What is the most rewarding moment you’ve had as a result of starting Homeschool Authors?
You asking for an interview? *Wink* Seriously, I think the most rewarding part has been to connect with the writers. I have met so many wonderful men and women through e-mails, each of them with stories to tell. Their enthusiasm for Homeschool Authors, and bursting desire to tell stories is both rewarding inspiring to me. Their appreciation and friendship are all the reward I need
The book standard requirements at Homeschool Authors are pretty high (and there’s NOTHING wrong with that!). Is it ever difficult to find books that come up to par?
My personal reading standards are very high and sometimes it does feel like I can’t find a book. However, through Homeschool authors, I have found some wonderful authors (Elisabeth Allen, Molly Evangeline and Rachel Coker, just to name a few) that also have high standards in their books.
One thing I do understand though is that different people have different likes and dislikes. Although I don’t like fantasy and dark books, I don’t think they are evil so I list those. I think that if people with high standards would look harder for good books and connect with others that share their standards; they would be surprised at how many good books they would find.
There seems to be a strong sense of community and support among homeschooled authors. What are your thoughts on the reason(s) behind that?
Isn’t amazing? I have had some people buy my book just because I was a fellow homeschool author. I think that it is because homeschoolers have a sense of community wherever they find themselves.
I have been to many political conventions and every time I have met homeschool students and graduates. We may have many differences and we may not be great friends, but we will stick together because we have something in common.
The last few years have seen a big influx of homeschooled writers into the literary world. What do you think the reasons behind this are?
The number one reason is that there are more homeschoolers. Homeschooling is not only becoming more accepted, but as more and more homeschoolers graduate, they are shining a good light on homeschoolers in general. Publishers are finding that homeschoolers have a lot of talent and have an eager community of readers waiting.
I think another reason is that self-publishing is easier and not as frowned upon as it used to be. Many homeschool authors can test their literary wings by publishing a book. It costs them nothing, so they have nothing to lose, except for their pride if it fails.
Also, homeschoolers tend to have higher/different standards then non-homeschoolers. Many Homeschoolers start writing because they see a need and want to fill it.
Do you have any thoughts on the future of this trend?
I hope it continues! I not only hope we get more homeschool authors. I hope we start forming communities like Homeschool Authors to help each other get better.
Writing and publishing both come with a lot of challenges, and the literary world can be a tough place for anyone to break into. Do you think there is a unique set of challenges facing homeschooled writers, or are the struggles pretty much the same across the board?
I think homeschoolers actually have an advantage; an eager homeschool community. If we can get the word out about sites like homeschool authors, and about the authors themselves, I think that they will go far. The biggest obstacle to homeschool authors doing well is the same as any author, getting the word out. Anyone can help overcome this! Your readers can buy homeschool authored books and post reviews, tell their friends, host interviews and giveaways, anything they can think of to get word out.
What advice would you give a homeschooled writer who was just getting started?
Get a team of readers/editors to help you and be ready to accept criticism. I know it can be hard, especially at first but it helps make your book better. People say my books keep getting better, and I tell them it is because I listen to those around me. Don’t have any friends willing to read your book? Get plugged into the online writing community.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Authors; published or not published I urge you to join the Homeschool Authors Yahoo! Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschoolauthors/).
For readers; support homeschool authors by buying their books and leaving feedback on sites like Amazon and Goodreads.
Bloggers; help us spread the word by adding the Homeschool Authors button to your blog.
Thanks so much for taking time to share with us, Sarah. You have a great ministry going at Homeschool Authors, and I hope to see it continuing to thrive!
Thank you for having me Mary! I look forward to the day I can add your name and books to the Homeschool Authors list.
I'm looking forward to that too, Sarah!
You can learn more and join the growing community of homsechooled authors by becoming a follower of the Homeschool Authors blog.