In our on-going series of homeschool grad interviews, this week I’ve asked Christina Grubb to join us. As a fellow author, Christina and I have enjoyed exchanging a number of e-mails pertaining to writing, publishing, and general homeschool topics. I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know her as well!
How long were you homeschooled?
My parents had decided to homeschool their children by the time I was three years old. So, I have never been to a public school!
What are some of your favorite memories of homeschooling?
Learning was regarded as a special treat by us children. When the winter months set in, we could hardly wait to get the change of clothes sorted through so that we could sit around the kitchen table together for school. My favorite thing was to take evaluation tests for spelling (because I always graded higher than my older brother?:-))!
What piqued your interest in writing?
At an early age, my parents instilled in me a special appreciation for history and the people who lived it. As I grew older, that appreciation transformed into a desire to tell others about the “good ole’ days” and how it could still be lived today.
What are some good outlets you’ve found for developing and utilizing your writing skills?
One of the things I’ve found helpful is to join several secular writing contests. Though they may not have the same objective I have in writing, they have had some good reviews for my writing that has made me think more than once. (These are the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and websites such as www.writing.com and www.createspace.com.)
Other outlets are to read an old classic and jot down words that I like or that I didn’t know what they meant. Later, I would go back and research those words. I also love to use a Thesaurus while writing.
Can you tell us a little about your books?
So far, I have completed two novels and have about ten dozen others in the works! I have been creating stories since the age of eight or so, so you can only imagine how many story-lines are stored away, waiting for a rainy day. 🙂
The first of my novels, The Vicar’s Daughter, tells the story of a young woman growing up in late 1800’s England. (For some reason, my sisters and I have been infatuated with Old England!) Esther is an only child who thinks that life would be much better off if she were to elope with her lover. Almost miraculously, she is saved by the Lord before she does the irrational, and comes instead to revere her parents as her God-given authority.
The second, The Warmth of His Eyes, is based on my mother’s life story. Though she was raised a Catholic, she did not come to know the Lord until I was 1 year old. She grew up thinking that her life was her own and that she should “enjoy” it before settling down and having children. The story is filled with a bunch of fiction, but the core of it is true. The contrast between both main characters’ families is based upon facts as well.
(Both of these are available as eBooks on our new online store.)
My desire in writing such stories is not only to entertain readers, but also to illustrate how great our God is, Who alone can redeem His children to Himself.
What did you do following your high school graduation to further your education?
Several months after my graduation, I was blessed to go to India on a short-term mission trip. Two years later, after taking some courses from a Bible College via correspondence, I moved to South India as a full-time missionary. To make a long story short, the Lord brought me back home and I have been enjoying the extra time (if I find any!) to write more.
Immediately following my graduation, though, I found great delight in devoting my time to reading the classics of the English language. Some of my high school requisites were history books and autobiographies published before 1900 (as per the Robinson Curriculum, which we used). Because they were so published, they were filled with Old English that has helped to increase my vocabulary. Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and John Buchan are just a few of my favorite authors. I have also loved reading presidential diaries and autobiographies (namely, The Diaries of George Washington, Volumes I-IV, and the Autobiographies of Theodore Roosevelt and David Crockett – both very entertaining!) that have been very educational. But Dickens’ work is probably the most influential to my writing.
Are you working on any other projects – writing or otherwise – right now?
For the past few months, I have laid aside any writing projects to devote my time to building our family’s house (add-on to our original 1,100 sq. foot farmhouse). When it is completed in the next couple of months, God-willing, I hope to tackle those ten dozen stories!
How do you feel about homeschooling your own children someday?
There is no doubt in my mind that my children will be homeschooled. There is something so special, so unique, about the thought of teaching my own children. I will always treasure the one-on-one experiences with my own father and mother that I probably would not have experienced had I been in public school.
Is there anything you would you do differently?
There isn’t very much that I would change… the only thing that I detested was having to do my math in tears because I just didn’t get it!
The one thing that I would probably do differently would be to have a more precise schedule than my mother did. 🙂 Though, I do not anticipate having to pressure myself just so that a schedule would be followed perfectly!
Thank you, Natalie, for conducting this interview. It has been a pleasure looking back at my homeschool years. Of course, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!