NBHE: Tell us about your family. (Who are you/ how long have you been homeschooling/etc)
PT/JT: We are a Christian homeschooling family of 12, and live in Boyertown, PA. Our family consists of dad, mom, 6 boys and 4 girls, including a set of twins. Our oldest child is thirteen and our youngest is nine months. We’ve been homeschooling ever since our first child was born: reading, instructing, loving and nurturing. Our children have never attended public school; however we did Cyber Schooling for about three years. It was wonderful, but because of the growing family and needing more flexibility, we reverted back to traditional homeschooling.
NBHE: How long have you been writing?
PT: I would say my writing career started in elementary school, after winning my first poetry contest. I grew up as an only child in Greenville, NC, surrounded by a healthy array of cousins. I loved books even before I learned to read them. As a family member read to me, I would hold the words in my mind, and afterward “read” the book back to them. As I became older, I continued writing poetry, but ventured into short stories and plays. I used my writing as personal gifts or comfort for others or myself.
JT: I am a native of Philadelphia, PA, and unlike Pam, I grew up the youngest of seven. I did writing assignments in school, but didn’t consider becoming a writer. After seeing my wife’s love for writing, I encouraged her to do more with it. Once she became more serious about her writing, and learned more about the world of writing for children, I developed an interest as well.
NBHE: As homeschooling parents, how did you manage your time to write?
PT/JT: When we decided to write the novel Color Struck, we used the project as our “quiet time”. After dinner, we allowed the children to have free time. They entertained themselves for a few hours by reading, playing, listening to music, etc. while we wrote. Since the story is told as a frame story (a story within a story), switching from the contemporary to the past, one of us would work on the contemporary part, while the other worked on the past. We’d bring our ideas together and edit each other’s work. While we didn’t have a lot of time during the day to write, we covered at least two chapters at a time with this process. We continued off and on with this pattern until the novel was complete.