Who am I?

Who am I?

As the author, I mean. Who is this “person” behind “the book?”

This was often the question I asked myself as I grew older and started to contemplate who exactly was the individual behind the books I so loved reading. What were they like? How did they grow up? What was their education? How did they live?

Some of my personal collection of Beatrix Potter's charming children's stories
Some of my personal collection of Beatrix Potter’s charming children’s stories

The life of Beatrix Potter was the first author biography I read when I was in late elementary school to middle school age. Much later, at the age of the internet, I delved into learning more about the lives of the Brontë sisters, Rosemary Sutcliff, and anyone else who piqued my interest, such as J.K.Rowling.

So, who is the individual behind The Lost King’s Daughter?

By now, you have probably gathered quite a bit of various insights into who I am as an author, as I have left little snippets of information around in various bios. But today, I thought I might provide you with a little more background into my own personal story. 

As you know, my education was very classically-oriented. I listened to a lot of the classical composers typically well-known and loved by those who have ever been exposed to it. My favorites still are Mozart and Vivaldi. My father, in particular, made classical music a must on rainy days because, according to him, it calmed the brain and turned a whole household of rambunctious kids, confined by the weather, into quiet ones, reading calmly from the sofa or armchair. This effect even amazed my mother, and I find myself fascinated by this story, even as an adult.

Three medieval books I love.
Three of the best medieval books ever. In Freedom’s Cause and The Sword and the Circle are especially great reads for boys!

As you may also imagine, given a more classically-inspired education, I read prolifically, anything and everything from the obscurest, strangest children’s books to the inevitable classics, such as The Scarlet Letter and Jane Eyre. I even raided my brothers’ bookshelves and read In Freedom’s Cause (a book about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce) and Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Sword and the Circle. It was at this time that I fell in love with medieval stories. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Tristan and Iseult is still one of my most favorite medieval romance stories; I highly recommend her books not only for the stories she so magically weaves but for the stunning and captivating beauty of her writing style. One word: breathtaking.

The Secret Garden, "my" book my mother read to me as a child before bed
“My” book my mother read to me before bed as a child

My mother was also very influential in strengthening the depth and breadth of my reading experience and introduced me to a wide variety of literature by reading aloud to me in the evenings before bed. I specifically remember (when there weren’t as many of us kids as there are now) how my mother would spend time reading aloud to us—each individually—a chapter or two from a beloved children’s book—before bed. My read-aloud book during that time was The Secret Garden. I loved that brief time in my childhood with my mother before bed, reading that special book together that was just ours for the half an hour allotted to us. It was a nightly routine that is still a good memory in my mind, even as an adult. 

Later, when there were more siblings in the mix, this individual story time became a communal story time in which my mother read a classical-type book to us, one that everyone would be interested in, such as The Borrowers or one of the series in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. I especially remember The Silver Chair being read aloud on a dark autumn evening while us kids perched on the sofa or sat on the floor and listened intently.

So, my exposure to literature was always very profound and memorable and was what I looked forward to the most during my formative years. As a result, from an early age, this emphasis on exploring various worlds and adventures, overcoming trials, tribulations, and adversity, and building strength of character vicariously through reading, fully engaged my imagination, which has always been quite wild and vivid. I loved losing myself in each book I read and fully imagining myself as the main character, in whose adventure I was so fully immersed, thanks to each author’s descriptive and brilliant turn of phrase.  

My interest in being a writer, however, didn’t occur until much later in my life, mainly because the thought never occurred to me that this was even a possibility. It was also not listed amongst the “approved” list of careers when I came of age, namely because a creative endeavor is a hard one and a volatile one to pursue, and so the “opportunity,” as I’ll call it, to be a writer fell upon me purely by happenstance and completely without calculated pursuit of it. But that is a story unto itself, and one I will have to share with you in another post. 

For now, I will leave you with the conclusion that my education was taught solely in the home from the earliest years of my life through Junior High. After this, by choice, I attended a small, private, Christian high school and then a public university. It was at university that I really delved into writing (as I briefly mentioned up above, this is a story I am looking forward to sharing with you later).

I hope you enjoyed this short chronicle of how my homeschooled education produced the creative foundation that fostered a genuine love for reading and eventually led to the creative exploration of writing. 

Have you had a similar experience to my own? What feats and accomplishments have your homeschooled years laid out for you? 

Until the morrow, God bless, and may the joy and peace of solid, uplifting reading fill your quietest hours wherever you may be.

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