Author No. 6…C. R. Hedgcock!
Once upon a time, a group of sisters clicked onto an Amazon.com link while surfing online. That single action led them to Summer of Suspense, a novel that soon captured their hearts and infiltrated their minds every waking moment. The excitement and intrigue in the book never waned. They read, re-read, and re-re-read the dog-eared volume. Over the years as the sisters grew, the Baker Family became as dear to them as their own.
A few years later, and with a little more cash to spend—the race is on. Who was going to get the most Baker Family Series novels? They asked their parents, aunts, and relatives to buy the books for them: when their family members failed to buy enough to satiate their hunger, they turned to their own wallets, and dug into every crook and cranny of the digital universe, endeavoring to find as many of C. R. Hedgcock’s books as they could find.
As of this writing, the race has reached its apex–the last book of the series has not yet been bought. Who would buy it? The question awaits the test of time, unanswered…
Ahem. I admit I may have exaggerated parts of the story above, but…you get the idea. My sisters–all of whom are very proficient readers–love C. R. Hedgcock’s Baker Family Series, a series of novels that takes the reader on adventures all over the world with a Christian homeschooling family that rides horses, lives by the Word, and finds themselves in all sorts of exciting situations. It goes without saying that the suspense, excitement, and intricate plots get us turning the pages as quickly as we could: but what makes these books stand out are the unwavering Christians truths, values, and principles woven boldly through the stories themselves, brought to life by the characters, well-quoted Bible passages, and the author’s admirable dedication to bring glory to God.
I had the honor of doing a Q&A blog interview with C. R. at the beginning of January: I hope you will enjoy reading her answers and glean from her wisdom!!
Soli Deo Gloria.
C.R. Hedgcock became the published author of four full-length novels while still in her teens. She lives in England’s picturesque county of Hertfordshire, and enjoys stumbling across story ideas or tapping action sequences into her laptop. Her travels have led her across England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Southern Africa, France, Germany, Spain, Iceland, and a handful of US states–so far! Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram for snapshots of what she’s up to.
Visit her website at: crhedgcock.com
And—check out the gorgeous book covers! Makes you just want to buy them all right away…
And without further ado…
How and when did you start to write? What (or who) influenced you to go down this road? In the sense of a full-length project I was committed to finishing, I was sixteen. I had enjoyed creative writing for some years, and by my mid-teens I was still scribbling down fragments of fiction in spare time. My parents encouraged me to put that passion to good use; they opened up my schedule for an hour or two every day to allow me to write a book … on condition that I’d finish it 🙂 This was exactly the kind of freedom and structure that I needed to stretch my literary wings … and the result was Summer of Suspense, book 1 in the Baker Family Adventures series.
Tell us about yourself in one sentence. By grace, a traveler of the world in search of characters, events, settings, cultures, adventures, and history to include in stories, seeking to appreciate the beauty in everything, live life to the full, and present educational fact in a thrilling, fresh, and inspiring way. (Whew! That is a long sentence!)
What is most important to you when writing a book? Great question! I’d say that while my techniques have changed over time and on a story level certain skills have become more important (and hopefully more refined), what is most important is that by ‘The End’, the reader will feel like he has taken the journey himself, he will have been warmed by the Light, and he will be inspired to seek the Lord more closely and purposefully, thirsty for truth. If I can glorify our Father in that way, that’s first prize.
This aim is summed up really well in a quote by Douglas Bond: “Good writers don’t moralize, nor do they preach, but they do create a longing for the true and the beautiful, and that is why you must write with Christ at the center of your reason for writing. That does not mean that every book must be a retelling of Luke’s gospel, however, every worthy book written by a Christian will direct readers away from self, and sin, and put them on a quest for God and his gospel. Create longing for these things.”
What writing advice would you give to Christian young authors out there? Firstly, I would encourage young Christian writers to get as technically accomplished as they can while their audience is limited, and secondly (which should really be firstly) to diligently hide His word in their hearts (Ps 119:11) and grow in Him. The better you get at writing, the more effect your words have—and this is both a blessing and a responsibility. You really don’t want to have the wrong impact!
Favorite quote on writing/life in general? There are many that I like, but one that has stuck over the years is G. K. Chesterton’s “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
Which of your various novels is your favorite? Why? Each novel has its own set of challenges and behind-the-scenes backstory; each project takes up a lot of time, attention, and energy, sends me on research rabbit-trails, and causes me to grow as a person and lean on the Lord. I have a soft spot for a few of them, but it would be difficult to choose a top favorite! 🙂
How do you use your free time—if you have any? My non-writing time usually involves traveling, playing in orchestral concerts, gardening, taking our dog for a walk, enjoying time with friends, studying, or researching an interesting new topic.
Are you a “Panster”(writing the story as is and cleaning up the plot afterward) or a “Plotter”(organizing the plot and scenes before diving into the actual book-writing)? There’s usually a bit of both “plotting” and “pantsing” going on. I use plotting a lot more now than I used to, but often find the story grows in a direction I’m not expecting, and allow myself to run with that.
And I have to ask this, since horses are a significant part of almost every book in the Baker Family Series, especially in Summer of Suspense. Do you ride horses yourself, or live close to (maybe even on!) a stable? Being a horse rider myself(a while ago), I find your descriptions and horse-riding details too accurate and realistic for an inexperienced person to be able to write. Thank you! 🙂 I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed those parts. Horses are my favorite animals and I used to ride English-style regularly when I was younger. Including horses and riding scenes in the stories (when I can manage it) is a real pleasure!
Thanks for stopping by, C. R. Hedgcock! I enjoyed working with you on this “Author Interview” post, and look forward to reading more of your books whenever my sisters could pause their reading long enough for me to take a peek. 🙂
(And I hope you all enjoy this little surprise, dear sisters 😛 )