It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Linsey Knerl, author of Homeschool Hacks: How to Give Your Kid a Great Education Without Losing Your Job (or Your Mind).
About Linsey Knerl:
Linsey Knerl is a mom of six who has been homeschooling since 2004. Her interest in small business and entrepreneurship led to a freelance writing career that complimented her own homeschool style. Linsey has been a trusted source for families since 2008. Her tips for budgeting have appeared in various publications, including Time, Shape, BetterHomes&Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, All You, and Woman’s World. Her media company (Knerl Family Media) has grown to include her better half in life and business, Sam. Together Sam and Linsey work to educate and support their growing family.
About Homeschool Hacks:
A working mother of six, who has homeschooled her own children for years, shows how any family can do it, with customized plans for every schedule, lifestyle, and educational goal.
More people are looking into homeschooling as an alternative to traditional in-person education, but many parents fear they won’t be able to juggle it on top of their own jobs and obligations. How can you create a lesson plan, manage a curriculum, and teach, all while keeping up with your own career?
Luckily, Linsey Knerl is here to help. As a mother of six and freelance journalist whose own children learn at home, she’s committed to making homeschool work for every family who wants it.
In Homeschool Hacks, she shares stories of homeschooling families with different backgrounds and motivations, dispelling the myth that it’s only for religious folks or stay-at-home parents. And she walks you through a complete plan for your child’s learning, including:
-Sample schedules to create a flexible framework for your own classroom
-Curriculum assessments to discern which program will best fit their needs and their schedules
-Tips for finding—and navigating—your local the homeschool community
-Online resources to continue your journey through graduation
Author Interview with Linsey Knerl:
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- What do you like about audiobooks?
I read a lot growing up but didn’t focus on the classics or books that I think would make me a more well-rounded reader today. Using the audiobook format, I’ve been able to play “catchup,” even when my eyes and brain are tired at the end of a long day. My most recent read has been “Anna Karenina” narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s been very interesting to hear her voice bring this classic work to life.
2. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes. I actually write thrillers and “quiet” horror fiction on the side, and while I haven’t been very successful yet, I played around with the idea of using a pen name. As a homeschool mom and non-fiction author, I worried that it would confuse readers to see my two sides. Now we see politicians writing thrillers and movie stars writing children’s books — and I think it shows that people are multi-faceted. For the kind of work I want to put out there, it’s not as important that I niche down, it’s more important that I show myself as a well-rounded human with passions and interests that may surprise people. So, for now, I’m shelving the pseudonym and working hard to get that first fiction book out there.
3. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Emotions are funny things, really. Just because you don’t feel them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I say this because I’ve written things that just seemed to be matter-of-fact observations, and then others have come to me and told me how much they connected with it.. How I must have felt so much emotion. And, I guess I might have, but when writing, it’s about getting the words down and the craft and the precision. I’m probably feeling things, but my writing brain might not see it. And I think that’s OK. So, don’t worry when you see other authors so choked up by their own words that they can’t possibly continue. If you don’t do that, there’s nothing wrong with you. You are just who you are, and you may still write brilliantly even if those emotions are pretty far under the surface at the time.
4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m blessed to have a journalist background, make a living doing copy and corporate stories, as well as writing fiction. In this way, my author friends list is varied and wild and may not even have much in common with one another but the written word. I won’t name drop, but my writer friends have won awards and had their things turned into movies and teach at colleges. What they’ve taught me is that you can always reinvent yourself if this writing life isn’t working out. The sky truly is the limit, and if the writing you’re doing now doesn’t make you happy, you can learn to do something else.
5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I work from home and homeschool, so that really is my base, so to speak. I do, however, rent a small office in a work-sharing space that gives me a place for my desk and library and knick knacks and helps me feel like I have a place to go when I need to clear my head and get serious. I wrote my first unpublished novel 15 minutes a day in my bedroom while the kids were being put to bed by my husband. While it worked, I crave more time on one project, so this is something we decided we would spend money on. It’s been a huge boost for my concentration and also makes it easy to take Zoom calls, be on podcasts, and do media interviews for my book.
6. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
The Winter of our Discontent by Steinbeck. I never heard much about it but picked up a copy at a sale and read it in a night or two. It’s a remarkable example of how he can paint a picture, and I remember feeling so much tension in the pages. I go back to it often.
7. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Goodness. I have one finished novel that was shelved when the publisher who bought it went out of business. I could never get anyone else to buy it. I also have 3 novels about halfway done.
8. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Like everyone else, I get excited when I see a good one, but the bad ones (provided they are written thoughtfully) can let me know a lot about what people are looking for. Unmet expectations are the hallmark of many bad reviews. If the book didn’t deliver on a promise, I take that into consideration for next time.
9. Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?
Writing is my full-time career, but it’s a mixture of corporate blog writing, journalism, and my books. If I’m writing, I’m happy, no matter what the genre.
10. Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what are the challenges in producing an audiobook?
Yes, my Homeschool Hacks book was made into an audiobook, and I think this is a really cool part of having a traditional publisher. I didn’t get to do the narration, but it ended up being a bit of a relief, as we were on a tight publishing timeline. I did get to listen to a sampling of narrators and pick the one I liked the most. I’m pleased with Mia Barron, the actor who ended up doing it. I think it sounds really good.