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Monday, February 27, 2012

Give a Warm Welcome to...

Hannnah Mills!!




My PhotoThank you for coming to Homeschool Authors today Hannah, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Well, my name is Hannah Mills and I am a senior in highschool. I live with my family of seven, and have four brothers, all of whom are younger than myself. I recently started my own website/blog, Sword of Ink. The most important thing about me is that I am a Follower of Christ. My ultimate end-goal in writing is to honor Him and spread Truth.

In 2009, I started writing seriously when my mom suggested that I try out the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum. At first I didn't like that idea--I didn't want anybody telling me how to write! But I looked at a sample lesson and fell head over heels in love with it. OYAN has completely changed my life and revolutionized my writing. I would very highly recommend it to anybody who enjoys writing fiction. Before OYAN, I'd dabbled in writing, especially in poetry.

Since 2009, I've self-published one novel, am almost ready to publish a second, have two more waiting to be editing, another being currently written, and quite a number of other ideas waiting in the wings, along with various short-stories and a lot of poetry.

As of early 2011, I also started writing for the new, free e-magazine for Christian teen authors, Kingdom Pen. A friend of mine (whom I met via OYAN) started the magazine and I've been on board from its initial start-up.

 I am definitely right-brain dominate, because math is sometimes my worst enemy. If I have the time, I'll read a 300-400pg book in one day. My bookcase is crammed, and while I don't have an all-time favorite genre, some of my most-loved genres are Historical Fiction, Mystery, and Thriller/Legal Thriller. I also like old books, and one of my absolute favorite books was written in the 1800's. One of my favorite authors is Tim Downs, author of The Bug Man novels.  

When I'm not writing, you'll find me working on school, reading, riding horseback, doing some form of photography or art, spending time with friends and family, listening to music, bargain shopping, and drinking good coffee.

What is your favorite part of being homeschooled? 
I would have to say that my favorite part of homeschooling is the flexibility. Up until last year when I (not my mother) began having a panic attack over my looming graduation, I had been given a lot of time to pursue and develop the interests and talents God has given me instead of being forced to study X, Y, and Z excessively at the expense of other subjects that I have more inclination for.

                                                           What caused you to start writing?
It's either 1, because I've always loved writing, 2, a God-Thing, or 3, both. I remember reading my first chapter book by myself when I was around six years old, and I've been a hopeless book-addict ever since. Books are my friends. I've been writing little bits of poetry and short stories for as long as I can remember, and three, almost four, years ago is when my writing really exploded. When you have something to say, what better way to say it than through the written word?

Tell us a little bit about your books. 
Okay, sure. Called and Plague of Darkness are the first two books in The Arindraen SeriesCalled should be read first, even though Plague of Darkness is its prequel.
Called follows the story of young Victoria "Tori", a peasant girl growing up under the heavy-handed ruling of Mirus, king of Dakron. Tori had always thought she and her twin brother were nothing more than peasants, but her life is turned upside-down upon the arrival of the knight Cedric de Kaspia and his squire.
 
Plague of Darkness is about Teague Sparhaouc, a tall redhead with a burning desire for freedom, justice, and family. He wants nothing more than to escape from the illegal slavery that holds him captive, and to find and rescue his siblings who are held in the same dark chains. One thing leads to another until his dreams are shattered into pieces, and the one possibility for fixing them might demand more trust in a stranger than he is willing to give.
    
Where can people buy your books?
At the moment I am looking into a way I might be able to make them available on Amazon. Right now they can be found on Lulu.com, but because of the Amazon possibility, the best place to get links to my books is from my website.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to write a book?
Read, read, read. You can't be a good author unless you read a lot.

Know your plot line. Yes, some of us can write by the seat of our pants, but I really wouldn't recommend that for a first-time novelist. I would suggest brainstorming and writing down your brainstorms as they come, then piece together an outline. It doesn't have to be detailed; it can be nothing more than "Chapters 1-6: Hero's sister is accused of murder and Hero sets out to prove her innocence. When Hero goes to investigate, his car blows up, his house is broken into, and his laptop stolen--the laptop with all his evidence notes. et cetera.

Theme is important. The theme can be anything from Trust God with your life to Being a stuntman without training will get you killed, but whatever it is, make sure it's good, solid, and works for your book.

Research! You can't be afraid of research.

If you are serious about writing, I'd say, get the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum.
Find one or two other writers and/or critical, honest readers that will give you honest feedback on your work, then take their suggestions seriously.

Practice! Your first draft will stink. That's what revising is for. But don't give up, and write, write, write.

Do you have any final thoughts?
God gives everyone gifts, and if your gift is in the writing field, wow. You have so much power! The pen really is mightier than the sword, so with that gift comes a lot of responsibility. Words have caused wars and created peace, saved lives and taken lives, advanced cultures and destroyed cultures.

So be careful, but don't be afraid. Write Truth in love. This nation--this world--needs Truth, and it needs writers who stand on the Truth and proclaim it.

I know a lot of Christian teen authors, and I'm telling you, this upcoming generation of novelists/journalists/screenwriters/poets/etc. is going to rock our world! It is so exciting to see so many young people like myself who love to write, who have a gift for it, using it to honor God and spread the Truth. Don't let anyone discourage you. Just keep writing.

3 comments:

  1. Loved this interview. Hannah is my daughter; I am so proud of her using her God-given passion. Hannah is correct that this next generation will change this world because they have a passion to spread Truth.
    OYAN is the best money I ever spent on her for curriculum!
    Amanda

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  2. I'll agree with Mr. Mills that OYAN was some of the best money my parents ever spent on curriculum! It is fantastic.

    Called is great too. Teague (minor character in Called and main character in Plauge of Darkness) is one of the best characters out there.

    Great job with those books, Hannah! I'm looking foward to reading more.

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  3. Neat to see this interview!
    I met Hannah through OYAN and have enjoyed her friendship and watching her grow in her writing and begin to publish her work!

    It is awesome and exciting to watch young people rise up and make a mark on this world for Christ's kingdom.

    Avi

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