1. What motivated you to want to start writing the Our America Series?
I was never really interested in history in school because it was mostly memorizing
dates and reading from a textbook. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized
how interesting history really was, and also how important it was to learn about
our past and where we came from. So when I started homeschooling my son, I
didn’t want to teach him in the standard public-school way. Instead of textbooks,
we did lots of history unit studies, and I found as many chapter books on history
for him to read as I could. Unfortunately, I never found exactly what I was looking
for in a chapter book, so one day I decided to try my hand at writing a chapter
book history series myself.
2. Did you use the personalities of any child you know (such as your own) when
you created “Finn and Ginny”?
Actually no, not intentionally. However, I realized somewhere in the middle of
the second book that both Ginny and Finn are different aspects of me as a child. I
hadn’t intended this at all; it just happened naturally. I was a bit of a tomboy, so
that part of me is Finn.
3. What does your own child think of this first historical book, “The Pilgrim
Adventure”? Does your child like to write?
He was actually the first person to read it! I had decided to use my writing as a
teaching tool for him (typical homeschooler), and hired him to help me proof-read
the book. When I gave it to him, he started proof-reading, and then had to stop for
a while because he liked it so much that he just wanted to read it first. That was
Yes, he likes to write, but he didn’t like being given writing assignments until I
started a homeschool newspaper. That really made a difference in his ability to sit
down and write about any subject.
4. What made you decide to home educate? Have you always homeschooled or
has your child attended public school?
We’ve always homeschooled, my son’s never attended public school. I hadn’t
planned on homeschooling, but the part of the country that we live in doesn’t
have that great a school system. Plus, I wanted my son to develop a love of
learning, and I don’t feel that public schools do that very well. And of course
there’s always the socialization issue. I don’t like the socialization that kids get inschool these days. All of this combined helped us to decide to homeschool.
5. When did you first start writing books for homeschoolers?
The first edition of “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers” came
out in 2010. I can’t remember exactly when I started writing it, but it took a couple
of years. I hadn’t even planned on writing a book when I started; I had just wanted
to write down the units that I had taught my son in case I ever wanted to teach
them again. The book flowed naturally from that.
6. Did you like learning about history when you were in school?
No, not at all. I first developed a love of history through doing genealogy, and
also through reading historical novels. Genealogy was the main reason though–I
started wanting to learn more about the time periods that my ancestors lived in.
7.Have you written any other books and if so could you tell us a little about them?
I wrote “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers” to help parents
and teachers who might either be too busy to plan their own unit studies, or be
nervous about teaching science. My goal with that book was to make teaching
science easy for parents and fun for students. I have two free units from the book
available. One is on Atoms & Molecules and is for ages 8-13 and the other is on
Plants for ages 4-7. Here are the links to them:
I also have a short Kindle book out called “How to Teach a Newspaper Class
for Middle and High School Grades.” This book came about because a non-
homeschooling friend of mine asked me to write up the methods that I use to
teach my newspaper class. She’s on our homeschool newspaper’s Email list and
wanted to see if her daughter’s school could start a similar program.
8. Do you have a website where people can learn more about your books?
Yes, http://funtasticunitstudies.com/ The site also has lots of other things for
homeschoolers, such as reviews, links to freebies, and a list of historical chapter
9. Do you have a favorite author from your childhood?
I loved reading when I was a child, so I had lots of favorite authors. I started with
Nancy Drew books, but I think my very favorite books were the Narnia books by
C.S. Lewis, and the Edward Eager books.
10. Did you want to become a writer when you were a child?
When I was really young, I wanted to be a “Mommy,” which I have to say has
been my all-time favorite job. But yes, in high school I wanted to be a writer,
though I ended up going to college for biology.
11. My daughter and I really enjoyed reading The Pilgrim Adventure and I was
wondering when your next book will become available?
Very soon! I’m finishing up the final edit of the manuscript this week! It’s
called “The King Philip’s War Adventure.” I’ll also be putting out “The Pilgrim
Adventure” in Kindle at the same time.
12. Can you give any advice to other homeschool parents like myself that would
like to start writing books?
If you are still homeschooling, be careful that you are not taking too much
time away from your child(ren) to do this. I have to keep reminding myself that
teaching my son is the most important thing in my life right now, and the books
have to come second. It is very easy to let the whole writing process take up too
much of your time. Also, marketing takes up a lot of time. I probably spend as
much time marketing my books as I do writing them. Writing these books has
been a lot of fun though, and it’s been an unexpected bonus of homeschooling.
If you have read this book, leave a comment to let our visitors know what you thought of it too!