Hello everyone! We hope you’re having a great Labor day! So, today we have a another written interview for you that our friend Abbi, was kind enough to do. We’ve had the pleasure of reading some of Abbi’s writing and guys, she is really good! Like we love her stuff! We met Abbi on a fan-site for *ahem* The Green Ember Series, if you don’t know what that series is look it up, please don’t judge, and give the books a shot. (and yes we are total geeks about this book series…*all three blush*) So, back to how we met Abbi. We started chatting over on New Seddleton, then we exchanged emails and now we email just about everyday!
Sadly, we haven’t been able to met Abbi in person as she lives in Canada and we live over here in the South…but we’ve become the best of friends through email. She’s a great girl, knows how to cheer us up and just what to say about our writing to make blush. So, enough about how we met Abbi and how totally awesome she is…it’s time for the interview!
(Sorry, another thought…isn’t A. R. Befus an awesome author name….like we’re jealous of how cool that sounds!)
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a homeschool graduate who has an obsession with reading and writing! I love sneaking peeks at books, when I’m at the store or at a friend’s house, and can be VERY overprotective of my books. Hmm, what else… I love anything that has to do with history, languages, and far-off countries. I also love music, and have a very odd taste for many different genres, from country to metal to soundtracks to Celtic… I could go on, you know! 😉 I’m a quiet, timid sort of person, but once you get to know me, I can talk and probably do way too much! Oh! And I am a born again Christian, who has been redeemed by the Only One who could ever save me!
2. Why did you start writing? What’s the story behind it?
Well, I think my interest first started when I was 8. For some reason, I absolutely loved how paper scrolls looked, and because I was learning more about spelling, grammar, and whatnot, I’d write stories on loose leaf paper and roll them up into scrolls. Gradually over the years, I continued to start little stories about girls with neat names (like Alaska… c’mon, who wouldn’t want a name like that?!). With school, however, sometimes it was annoying and not something I liked. But things eventually changed.
When I was in grade 9 or 10, our semester project was to write a short story. So, I decided to write a story set in medieval Sweden about the adventure thirsty daughter of a chieftain and how she uncovers a plot against her home and how she saves her people. Looking back, I cringe at what I wrote and would love more than anything to rewrite it and start from scratch! But that started something that just stuck with me since. I have so many stories or small ideas that I keep going back to read, and many ideas to put into words and eventually, books.
To me, writing is an escape, and also a way I can be myself. I don’t have to worry about being judged (most of the time) and can let my imagination go wild. It’s a gift that God has given me, and I am so so thankful that He blessed me with it.
3. What author inspires you the most and why?
Ooh, this is a little tough… I mean, as a homeschooler, we read a lot of the classics like Little House on the Prairie, the Mandie Shaw collections, those sorts of books. So a lot of those older books definitely set a stage. But nowadays, one of them would be Karen Witemeyer. I love how her novels take place in the 1800s, and the journey her characters go on, whether the day-to-day lives or their journey of faith in God.
Another one that really set the fire underneath me would be S. D. Smith. I discovered his Green Ember series back in… 2020, I believe, and became quite obsessed with his books. It was while I was reading his third book in The Green Ember Sage, Ember Rising, that a story idea just hit me. I don’t know how else to really explain it, but it was just so sudden and exciting that I immediately scribbled as much of my messy thoughts as possible. During the Easter long weekend and the remainder of that week in 2020, I finished my first book, a fantasy novel! I was so stoked about it, it just started my writing life and took it up a step… oh dear, I’m starting to ramble, lol.
K, Karen Witemeyer, Jocelyn Green, S. D. Smith, Janette Oke, Laura Frantz, and… well, I better stop there, this list will get too long!!
4. Do you have a favorite book? One that you go back to again and again. (It’s okay if it’s a book series 😊)
Hmm, favourite book… Uhh, I have a lot, haha. But to narrow it down, I’d probably say The Hobbit (well, audiobook… that’s a comfort book for me, to be honest with you guys). Umm, another would be Pride and Prejudice (another audiobook). And that I actually read, would most likely be The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz or Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke.
5. Are you an outliner or a pantster? Or maybe a mix of both.
Uhh, I think I’d call myself a pantster. That’s how I usually write. I’m famous for thinking to myself, listening to music, or waking up from a dream, then all the sudden a burst of inspiration comes to life and I sit down and write for hours on end. Occasionally, I’ll have specific scenes I want to include; then I do some outlining. But not a lot.
6. Could you tell us about some of the projects you are working on?
Absolutely! So, my current project is a three novella trilogy that I’m hoping to publish before the New Year, Lord willing. It’s called (for now) ‘The Three Sisters trilogy (I’m the oldest of three sisters… and then there’s Kayti, Rissy, and Jaidie too, wow, lots of three sisters!).
The first book, The Guardian, follows the eldest sister along her journey of letting go of the pain of the past and allowing God to take control. (Now, a disclaimer: the three books feature each sister, but the moral and issues it features are a mix of things my sisters and I have experienced over the years.)
7. What project are you most proud of, excited about, at the moment?
Well, the one I’m most proud of would be the fantasy novel I wrote in a week. I originally planned to publish that first as my debut novel, but the editing process was beginning to stress me out, and I found a lot of places that needed work. So for now, that document is sitting and getting a break while I work on something that doesn’t cause as much grief.
Then the excited one would be The Guardian! As of today, I’m close to finishing the draft, then will send out a few copies to some friends to get feedback. While that happens, I’ll be looking into copyrighting my work as well as the little details like professional editing, domain name, all the pre-publishing prep stuff that kinda scares the dickens outta me!
8. Do your books have lessons in them? Morals? Or do you just write fun and engaging stories?
Yes! The majority of my books have morals, like learning to trust, letting go, and having patience. But sometimes it’s nice to write fun stuff that has no morals whatsoever. Take off some pressure, ya know? 😉
9. Do your characters seem to take over the telling of the story or do you feel like you have complete control?
Umm, I think it goes back and forth. I plan on being the one in control when writing. I’m a perfectionist, and I like to be in control a lot of the time. But sometimes I’ll read through what I’ve written, think about the character, even imagine myself as the character and explore different scenarios. When that happens, my characters take the lead and I just write.
10. What gives you inspiration for your stories? A good book? Music? Social interaction? A quiet place alone with your thoughts?
Hahaha, Well, lots of things give me inspiration. I’ll see things, like from a movie, or just life around me; I’ll be listening to music; I’ll be reading a book and something will jump out at me, or I’ll just be talking with someone (like my sisters) and I’ll get an idea flowing. It’s great, but if you were to look inside my mind, I can guarantee you that it’s a scattered, colorful mess of ideas!
Thanks so much, Abbi!!!
Ahhh, you’re welcome!! And thank you guys so much for having me!!! It was so much fun!!
Hope you guys enjoyed this interview as much as we did! And another shout out the incredible, awesome Abbi for letting us pick her brain. Have a great day everyone!
Kayti, Rissy, and Jaidie