1. Who inspired you to start writing?
I always say that I hope it was the Lord, because if it wasn't, I am definitely barking up the wrong tree! But in practical terms, I was most likely following the example of my mom, Rachael. She wrote some books for us when we were kids (among them The Reunion, which was the first one we published under Elisha Press), and so I guess it's natural that I came to think I might like to do something similar.
2. What part(s) of your home education do you find most valuable now that you're out in the business world?
We've found that business is mostly about relationships and integrity. Most skills can be learned as needed, but integrity takes many years of patient training to establish. The same goes for relationship skills. Thankfully, the homeschooling environment tends to be very conducive to both. If I were to pick an academic subject most important for business, language would be the only choice. You may have awesome ideas and great skills, but if you can't express yourself in English, it's tough to get anyone to buy them.
3. Do you have favorite character in Flight School, and if so, who?
I tend to like the characters best who are easiest to write; like the "good" children in a family, they endear themselves by giving me the least trouble. In Flight School, they are (in ascending order of ease): Jessie, Dalton, and Izzie. Izzie is downright fun to write, but she wasn't in the book as much as I would have liked. Dalton is easy because he is guileless and understands the world in very simple terms. I can't exactly tell you why Jessie is easy; she just is. The parts I write from her perspective almost always flow perfectly, where the Chris parts often have to be written again and again. It's probably no surprise that my favorite scene in Flight School (the end of Chapter 23) features Jessie and Dalton.
4. What is some of the best advice your parents gave you while growing up?
My parents had no advice to offer but that which is found in God's Word - which, surprisingly enough, has proven to be sufficient so far! Many, many Scriptures characterized my childhood and training, but I'll just give one of the most important: "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23). Death to self was "the bottom line" (another favorite phrase) of the way I was taught to follow Christ, and I'm still learning all that it means.
5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
Scotland, South Africa, or Israel. Scotland to see a dear friend we know on Skype but have never met in person. South Africa to meet Angus Buchan (the farmer and preacher whose story was told in Faith Like Potatoes), and just because I think South Africa is a really cool place. Israel for all the usual reasons!
6. Tell us a little bit about your family.
I'm 28 years old and the youngest of six siblings. We are all unmarried to date, and live in one house with our parents and some other family members. Except in the event of marriage, I don't think we're busting up anytime soon! Our church, Hebron Christian Fellowship, meets here in our Missouri home. We're involved in a lot of personal one-on-one ministry, behind-the-scenes work, and prayer. The Lord has given us the privilege of gathering most days for that purpose, and not just on Sundays.
7. What motivates you on a daily basis?
Well, of course I have all the usual small motives for the individual things I do and say throughout the day. Some are good, like the happiness I feel when someone has been helped and I got to play a role; some are bad, like the pride I might be tempted to indulge by taking the credit for that role. But in the final analysis, I'm motivated by one thing above all others: I want to hear Jesus Christ say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I can't earn that commendation by any effort of my own, but Jesus can earn it for me Himself, working through my life by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:13).