Young Writer Interview: Aci Enrica

This is part two of the young writer interview series. If you haven’t yet, go check out part 1.

And now, get ready to meet young writer Aci Enrica.

About Aci

Bio

Aci Enrica is a young author looking to leave her mark on the world through the power of storytelling. While her true passion lies in writing, she also loves reading books, theatre, dance, and caring for her many plants.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write predominantly science fiction/futuristic and fantasy. This is because I enjoy a good creative challenge and crafting whole worlds, magic, technology, and new species, and then spinning stories that bring all that to life.

What genre do you read in and why?

I read the same genres I write in because it has often been stated that you have to read the type of books you want to write. If you want to write a dark fantasy, action-adventure type story, then those are the types of books you read so you can get a feel of what that audience enjoys.

What do you blog about?

My blog is about writing, books, and story science. I post reviews about my writing exploits, and just writing in general.

Who or what inspired you to write?

My family has been friends with another family for as long as I can remember, and when I was ten, one of their teens was writing a book. I was so fascinated and inspired that I resolved that if he could write a book, I could. As a child, I always made up stories in my head and with my stuffed animals. It never occurred to me that I could write those stories down and he was the wake-up I needed to see that I could bring the stories to life. He doesn’t write anymore and has moved on in life, but I can see now that God used that short time of his life to set me on the path of an enthusiastic writer. Nothing we do goes to waste.

What is the biggest thing you've learned through your writing journey?

Self-discipline. Writing isn’t easy by any stretch and I spent a good part of a year teaching myself to write regardless of whether motivation was present or not. Self-discipline is a huge part of writing because most of the time you won’t want to write, and it takes steeled determination to sit down and meet your daily word goal. I can now use that skill on any hard project I need to complete.

How has being a Christian affected the way you write vs. the way you used to or probably would otherwise?

I know if I wasn’t a Christian, chances are my books would have a language, sketchy scenes, and morbid elements. As a Christian, I can write good, clean fiction that Christians can read without compromising their Christian morals.

What do you want to accomplish with your writing?

I want to fill a void in the market—providing clean fiction that isn’t strictly “Christian fiction” but conveys Biblical themes and certainly isn’t written from a worldly perspective. I also want my books to make people think. Stories carry a lot of power to change perspective and I’d like to use that power for good.

How do you define success, and do you think you've reached it yet?

Success is different for every individual. It changes with each step in life I take. I don’t believe it’s riches or fame—but I will know I have succeeded when readers are telling me my books are conveying exactly what I wanted them to.

What is one thing you want to tell other young writers?

I don’t have much experience but I will say this: It’s okay to love something flawed. Your book will never be perfect. Especially the first draft. Someone once told me that as the writer, you know what your book’s potential is. But the reader doesn’t. They only see the book as it is and if it’s truly a good story, they will love it. As the writer, you will always think it could be better, but that’s just your perfectionism talking.

Conclusion

That’s the end of the interview. If you want to see the interview Aci did for me, check it out on her website.

Aci’s website: https://acienrica.com

Aci’s author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/acienricaauthor

If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to head over to Aci’s website and subscribe to her email list.

Moving on from High School

Since posting about my graduation, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what I plan on doing next. Jobs, college, independence—that’s what comes next for most high school graduates. Still, I am left wondering, what am I going to do with my life? What do I want to pursue?

Keep writing

I love writing. It is a gift God has given me, and I want to use it for his glory. I am currently working on four projects, but I’m not ready to publish yet. I’ll need to learn marketing and social media skills first. Nevertheless, writing is something I want to pursue—just not as a career. (But if God turns it into something I can make a living off of, I am in no way opposed.)

Get a job

I do want to get a job. I want to be able to move out at some point in the future, so a job is one of the first steps. I have several interests, but I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet.

Freelancing

Right now, freelancing in design, website related stuff, and writing seems like the most manageable job option for me. Once I turn 18, I will pursue this and see where it gets me. There are a couple reasons this is ideal for me.

1. I work best on my own and in creative activities. Freelancing gives me complete control of what I want to do, how much I want to work, and where I want to work from. Since keeping up with deadlines and getting things done is no problem for me, freelancing seems to fit the bill.

2. I don’t drive. Freelancing (online) allows me to work from the comfort of my own home, without having to spend time or energy on transportation. I don’t like driving, and I don’t want to have to have someone drive me around. If I freelance, I don’t have to worry about any of that.

Acting

Another interest I have is voice acting. I enjoy voice acting and would like to pursue this as a job, but it isn’t a stable one. The industry is very competitive, and work is in no way at all guaranteed. Ideally, I would love to work for Christian audio drama production companies. The only problem with this is that I have a low chance of getting into exactly what I want, and most likely, I’d have to start out doing small gigs with no spiritual importance. I’d be working just to work (as compared to reaching an audience with a message I support).

The same goes for normal acting. I’d love to try it out, although I think my strengths are more suited for voice acting. Still, any type of acting would be fun to do, and even though I’ve never tried it, maybe I’d be good at normal acting…maybe? Again, I’d love to work for a cause I believe in. I wouldn’t be comfortable acting out things I believe are wrong, so it’s important I don’t do things just for the money or experience. *Chances of ever getting a job in acting plummet 90 percent*  Hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right?

I don’t plan on pursuing acting (of any type) yet, as it requires putting myself out there and traveling, two things I am not yet comfortable doing. I want to figure out who I am as a person and what I am capable of before jumping into something so big.

Modeling

Similar to voice acting, modeling isn’t a stable job. It is competitive as well, and although I haven’t done anything with modeling, I think it is an interesting opportunity. Like voice acting, you are doing something new every day, meeting new people, and interacting with strangers. I think modeling could be a fun job (or side job to freelancing), but I’d have to look into it more. Chances of landing gigs are probably a lot higher in this industry.

Honestly, I don’t want to get into modeling yet for the same reasons I have for voice acting. However, I think I’d be more comfortable jumping into modeling rather than voice acting, just because anxiety plays less into how you perform. I think I will stick to freelancing and writing for now.

College

People have asked about college. I don’t plan on going, as there isn’t anything taught there I plan on doing. However, this could change in the future. It just isn’t on my agenda at the moment.

Conclusion

For now, I am going to focus on my writing and blog. When I turn 18, I will try freelancing, and from there, we’ll see what happens. Stay tuned to join me as I go through this journey, and don’t forget to comment and subscribe if you haven’t already. As always, happy reading, everyone!

Young Writer Interview: Allie Jo Andersen 

I recently joined an online community for young writers. As I was newly launching my blog at the time, I decided it would be a good idea to interview other young writers to see how they viewed writing and following Christ.

Starting off this brand new series is an interview with Allie Jo Andersen. Everyone, meet Allie!

About Allie

Bio

Allie Jo Andersen is a follower of Christ who loves weaving tales of adventure that entertain while instilling truth in her readers’ minds. If she’s not coming up with new worlds to explore, she’s probably playing with one of her bunnies, exploring someone else’s fictional world, or planning victory in the latest family game. Her work has been featured by Havok Publishing and The Young Writer blog as well as the anthology Imagine : A Collection Of Short Stories And Poems.

What genre do you write in and why?

I currently write in speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, etc) and mystery, though it wouldn’t be unusual for me to write in other genres too. 😉 I write these genres because they are genres I’ve grown up reading and love to this day. I love the intrigue of mystery, and how whatever crime has been committed eventually gets brought to light. Fantasy is special to me because there are so many opportunities to show truth through allegories (much like C.S. Lewis). I like sci-fi because I like exploring things that could happen in the future or what could have happened.

What genre do you read in and why?

I will read in virtually any genre, as long as it’s clean and God-honoring. I love contemporary (middle grade, usually), mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, etc. 🙂 I read those genres because… well, I’ve always read and enjoyed those genres! There are great things about each of them and I’m always up for a bit of variety every now and then.

What do you blog about?

I blog about writing and reading books that have messages that are clean and have messages that last. I also occasionally share some of my own writing, and you can also find back episodes of my podcast and blog serial Sci-Fi Fridays (which is currently on hiatus for an unknown amount of time).

Who or what inspired you to write?

What originally inspired me to write were the books that I was reading. I was about eight years old and decided that I wanted to write a book that I could read later on. After that I got hooked on the feeling of being in someone else’s shoes and dictating what happens while you’re writing about a character.

What inspires me to write now is the fact that I can reach other people through my writing and encourage them and give them hope. I love that I can let people know that they’re not alone, even if it may feel that way. <3

What is the biggest thing you've learned through your writing journey?

I would say the biggest thing I’ve learned through my writing journey is perseverance. Writers have a lot of areas where we have to persevere: while writing the first draft, while editing, while submitting for publication and receiving rejections. One of the recurring things that I continue to learn through my writing journey has been to persevere and trust God with the results.

How has being a Christian affected the way you write vs. the way you used to or probably would otherwise?

Being a Christian affects my writing in a huge way. My goal in my writing is to create stories that are both entertaining and point people to God’s Truth. My favorite thing about writing is how God can use it to touch people’s hearts and show them that they’re not alone. If I wasn’t a Christian, I think my writing would be… a lot emptier, and probably a lot more lost, too.

What do you want to accomplish with your writing?

I want to give my readers stories that are both encouraging and life-giving. Stories that show that dragons can be conquered and share the light of Jesus.

How do you define success, and do you think you've reached it yet?

For me, I’ve succeeded when I follow God’s leading and guiding in my writing. Right now I don’t have a lot of set-in-stone specific goals, but I know I’ve done well as a storyteller when I’ve written a story that tells the truths that God has laid on my heart.

What is one thing you want to tell other young writers?

There are so many things I would love to tell my fellow young writers! Don’t give up, no matter how hard it may seem. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask questions. Take a leap and step outside of your comfort zone–whether that means sending an email or hitting “submit” for a story submission. I’ve received a lot of rejection emails for my flash fiction over the past couple of years, but that has pushed me to keep working at it, and I learned so much in the process. Remember that success isn’t always the best teacher; but failure often teaches you a lot about life and yourself, if you let it. 🙂

Conclusion

That’s the end of the interview. If you want to check out the interview Allie did for me, check it out on her website.

My interview: https://allieandersen.com/young-writer-interview-with-kayla-naomi-wong

Allie’s website: https://allieandersen.com

Allie’s published works: https://allieandersen.com/published-works

If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to head over to Allie’s website and subscribe to her email list for updates from her.

Introduction: The Fire Trials Series

Some of you may have already heard about this, and some of you may have not. Since I’ve been talking about this WIP for some time, I think it’s time for me to do a formal introduction. Everyone, meet The Fire Trials trilogy.

Series Blurb (temporary)

A City….
Firefuge was built by our ruler, Lucifer, to save us from the fires that ravaged the land decades ago. With tall, stone walls and technology Lucifer invented to keep our air pure, Firefuge is impenetrable. It has become a refuge for those of us the fires left living. In here, you are safe.
 
A Competition…
A competition known as the Fire Trials is held every decade, and youths ages sixteen through twenty-five are required to participate. The Trials root out the weakly and less intelligent beings and make sure future generations will be strong, smart, and healthy. At first, it was a way to reclaim land for our city, but eventually, it became a battle for life, fame, and wealth. Every Trials, teenagers and young adults fight to be the only one standing. To do that, you must triumph over nature, your peers, and the fires. If you are the only one, you don’t have anyone to split the prize with.
 
The Outcasts…
The Regents are the outcasts—not because of anything they did, but rather because their parents were traitors. Orphaned as children and adopted by the orphanage, the Regents train alongside everyone else in preparation for the Trials. They face unjust prejudices. As a result, Regents are at a disadvantage when it comes to…well, everything.
 
I am Eire Regent. This year, I am sixteen and the youngest participant in the Trials.

Genre: Sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian

As you can probably tell, this is going to be a trilogy. I plan to release all three books around the same time in three or four years. It could be sooner, though. Since some of the contents in this series are gory and violent (for a good purpose), I’m aiming this toward a slightly more mature audience. I’m thinking right above middle grade or below YA.

Age range: 12—16

I hope you guys liked this blog post. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me. I will be releasing updates on my WIPS in the future, so stay tuned by subscribing to my email list at the bottom of this page. Happy reading, everyone!

I Graduated High School

I am 17 years old, and I recently graduated high school. You may be thinking, “Hey, isn’t that early?” but let me explain a little bit.

Homeschool

I was homeschooled, so grades weren’t really grades. If you are being technical, I graduated when I was in grade 11. However, there are some reasons for this.

I skipped a grade of math when switching from brands (not sure what to call them). This is because the first math I was doing taught me quickly, and when I took the test to figure out where I was in Teaching Textbooks, I went straight up to pre-algebra.

There was no science for grade 12. I am not sure why, but I do know I did a whole bunch of challenging science before graduating. In fact, here’s a list of everything I did for math and science in the last four years of school:

Math: algebra I, geometry, algebra II, pre-calculus

Science: physical science, biology, berean chemistry, physics

What I did for my graduation

As in celebration? Nothing, unless you count the celebration in my heart. I was happy—very happy—to finally be finished with school. I could go on and talk about everything I liked and disliked about school, but we’ll save that for another blog post.

Other than that, I made a graduation certificate on Canva. This was just so I could apply to jobs that required I have a diploma. I know Canva isn’t an official diploma, but hey, if God wants me to get the job, he won’t let that stop me.

I also created a resume in Google Docs for fun. However, I ended up applying to two jobs with it and having to write two cover letters. I got rejected from one job. The other one still hasn’t contacted me back yet, so maybe they’re considering me.

Aiden graduated with me

Yep, you heard that right. Aiden, my 16-year-old brother, graduated with me. Our mom started us in school at the same time (since we’re only a year apart), and ever since then, Aiden has been doing the same grades as me. Right now, he enjoys producing music, playing chess, biking, and crocheting.

My next steps

I am working on my writing and website. Currently, I have four books that I’m working on, all in different stages of the writing process. I’ve been working on rebranding my website, as well as some other website things that aren’t public yet. Oh, and blog posts.

Besides this, I’ve applied to two jobs. I’m kind of looking for more opportunities, but I’m not sure yet what I want to do. I’ll do a blog post that goes more into depth on this topic. For now, I’m mainly focused on my writing.

A Walkthrough of My Old Books

Get ready, because I’m about to roast my books. Since I am a naturally frank person (especially toward myself), expect this to be brutal. Savage reviews and ratings. From me. On my own books. Let’s get started!

Lyle's Revenge

This is the first book I ever wrote with the intention of publishing. If you read it, you can probably tell. Historical errors, cringey plot, and unoriginal names attest to this fact. Strangely enough, it is also the only starred book of mine on Amazon, with two five-star ratings. Don’t ask me why, since I have seriously contemplated deleting this from existence.

Rating: 0 stars (Wait, can I not give 0 stars? I’ll change it to 1.)

The Kingdoms Series (2 Book Set)


Both of these books began with school assignments to write short stories. There were very short, but I expanded them into slightly longer (but still short) stories. These would do good as picture books, I think, but I’m not a good artist.

As for what I think of these: I don’t see much  spiritual value in either book, but God can use anything he wants for his glory.

Rating: 3 stars

The Enchanted Garden

When I was saved, I wanted to write something that would glorify God. This allegorical tale is what came to mind. Heavily inspired by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, I wrote this short story before I began self-publishing. Overall, I like the idea, but I think execution could have been better. As of now, it appeals to younger children.

Rating: 3.5 stars

The Gospel in Poems

Again, this is something I wrote right after I was saved. It consists of a few poems and is so short, I couldn’t publish it without adding in pictures. I like the variety of types of poems, but there are too few for this to be a book. Maybe I’ll make a blog post with all the poems in the future.

Rating: 3 stars

Haiku

Is it weird that I don’t especially like haiku but decided to write a book of them? This came from a LA assignment to write a haiku. Probably because I knew certain relatives would enjoy it, I turned the assignment into an entire (short) book of poems describing objects in nature, seasons, and animals.

Rating: 3 stars

Ninjas of the Mountains

Sigh. Another book that came from a school assignment? The original short story was a mystery, but since I don’t do that genre, I turned it into this. I think this book shows how much my writing improved compared to my previous books. Still, I could’ve worked on plot, and the characters’ names are original but not authentic.

I’m going to give it three stars for content. I think I did my research fairly well for this, and the plot is interesting. Because my writing improved so much for this book, I will add on another half star, giving it a grand total of 3.5 stars.

Rating: 3.5 stars

I hope you guys liked this blog post. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me. I will be releasing updates on my WIPS in the future, so stay tuned by subscribing to my email list at the bottom of this page. Happy reading, everyone!

Becoming a Self-Published Author

The Origins

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved writing. When I was younger, I always had a notebook that I would fill with stories. Once one was used up, I’d send it to a family member and move on to the next.

My stories were usually based off of a picture I saw, a book I’d read, or a thought I’d had. To make them come to life even more, I would embellish them with drawings or stickers. My tales, characters, and settings varied drastically by notebook, but no matter where a story had originated from, it was always imaginative. Think straight out of a dream. Here are two short examples.

Panda Playground

Once, a family member gifted me a sheet of puffy panda stickers, so I wrote a story about a panda. It was in a Hello Kitty notebook. I think she may have been involved in the story as a result, but I can’t quite remember. However, I do vividly recall a page where I drew a panda playground and stuck panda stickers all over it.

Cat and Fish Bone

Another time, a family member gave me a blue notebook with a cat and fish skeleton on each page. Most people would think the cat ate the fish and make a story out of that, but I was maybe eight years old. That wasn’t even on my agenda. Instead, my brilliant mind decided the cat should get married to the fish skeleton (which I called Fish Bone), and they would have abnormal children. I think all their girl children were cats, and all the boys were fish skeletons.

Writing Evolution

Growing up, I was an avid collector of pencils and pens. Every Friday, I was allowed to choose a prize for finishing a week of school. Pencils were my go-to for a while. I used them for everything. Eventually, I discovered that I preferred pens, and the pencils became a decoration for my desk. I think most of my early writing years were spent using notebooks and pens.

When I was around twelve years old, I decided that I wanted to become an author when I was older. With that intention in mind, I created a writing binder. The binder was pink (not sure why—I don’t like pink) and filled with college-ruled papers. Every day, I would open up the binder, take out a few sheets, and either edit or add to a story. My writing started off as crazy figments of imagination, but over time, it evolved into more put-together, realistic plots. Most of the stories I’ve published have their beginnings in that binder.

Technology

Technology was a game changer. My family had a Kindle we shared and almost never used. When I was allowed to use a writing app on it, I discovered how much easier things could be. It was love at first use. I began transferring all my pre-existing books from my binder onto the Kindle, and from there, I edited. It was amazing how easily I could erase and add words without having to rewrite an entire page by hand. A new world of endless opportunities had just opened up for me. Writing had never been easier.

Self-Publishing

That’s when I seriously began thinking about publishing my books. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but my mom helped me set up an email, bank account, and KDP (Amazon self-publishing) account anyway. My dad found me a website host. From there, I designed my website and released six books. My parents graciously allowed me to figure out things on my own, and I am very thankful for that. I learn best through trial and error, and these years were so helpful for me. Even though I regret what came out of that time, God used it to teach me so much I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

My biggest mistake was probably releasing semi-edited stories with plots I now cringe to think about. My mom warned me to edit more first, but I didn’t listen, and sales dropped from a couple a week to nothing. I’ve seriously contemplated taking half of my books down. However, I don’t want to forget where I’ve come from and how much I’ve grown since becoming an author, and I think others should get to see that as well.

Manifesto

Glorify God in everything

As a Christian, I believe my aim in life is to bring glory to my creator. God has given me the gift of writing. He’s given it to me for a purpose, so I am going to use it for him. Even if I am just writing for myself (say, a journal), I want my words to praise my heavenly father.

Encourage and entertain

I want to bring joy to others. I want them to read what I write and feel encouraged and uplifted afterwards. My gift is not just for me; it is for others. Whether it encourages or entertains people, all that matters to me is that other people benefit from what I am able to give. God calls us (as his church) to help, uplift, and love one another, and I hope my writing can do that for other people.

Draw others to God

There are people out there who don’t believe what I believe, and that’s fine. However, I will do my best to share the truth through my writing.  I will use it to entrance and entice other people, hopefully leading them to see the bigger picture and the deeper meanings hidden inside. God is in control of everything. I will write what I believe he wants me to write, and he can use it how he wills. One thing I want to make sure I never do is turn people off from the gospel by being judgmental or unloving. Jesus gave me the ultimate gift of love, and that’s something I want to share with others—not hate.

Make a lasting impact

Life on earth is temporary. I will only live for a certain amount of time. I want my works to live on even when I’m gone, continuing to fulfill the purpose I’ve intended them to. I want people to remember not me, but what I stood for and whom I believed in. My life is a testimony of God’s love and faithfulness. I want people to remember that, and I want them to turn to God because of it.