I said I'd be back with an interview with Morgan, so here I am!
About the Book
“No one can mysteriously disappear leaving no trace. It isn’t realistic.”
“You’re right, Emily,” her grandfather said thoughtfully. “It isn’t realistic. However, a good many things happen in this world that are not realistic, things supernatural.”
Emily, Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna have grown up on their grandfather’s tales of ancestors who mysteriously disappeared from Creighton Hill, the plantation home that has been in their family for centuries. When Grampa’s death forces them to move into Creighton Hill, the truth about the supposed disappearances is the first thing on their minds. Allan, Jill, Joey, and Anna’s, that is. As for Emily, why must they keep at their supernatural hogwash?
Could it be that their family really does just have an unusual history of early deaths? Most people seem to think so. But Grampa’s research has uncovered something different.
When mysterious writing matching descriptions found in ancient accounts begins appearing to the children, they know something’s up. They must find out what really happened to their ancestors, and work together to discover the reason behind the mysterious writings.
Creighton Hill is the first book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.
About the Author
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment.
1. Welcome to Knitted By God's Plan! Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m a Christian nineteen-year-old homeschool graduate, the author of three books and counting, an aspiring violinist who recently completed her first semester of playing in a student orchestra at a local college, I love kids and babysitting, I tend to spend too much of my sleeping time reading, Walt Disney World is my favorite vacation place, I love American history, have been involved in politics since I was eight years old and recently worked on Barry Loudermilk’s congressional campaign, can almost always respond with a quote from something, and I could probably go on with random facts for a really long time, but I’ll stop now.
2. Tell my readers why they need to go buy and read Creighton Hill right now.
So now you’re telling me to brag on my book? ;) In the words of our illustrious host, it’s a very unique take on portal fantasy. It’s a fun adventure story with mysterious disappearances, long lost ancestors, an oppressed land, many variations on sibling relationships, and a message woven throughout that I didn’t even see myself until I was close to the end. If you like Narnia, Tuck Everlasting, or Return to Gone-Away, you’ll like Creighton Hill, and if you happen to love all three like I do, you’ll love it. Everyone who’s read it so far has.
3. Who was your favorite character in the book?
I’m going to cheat and say Eleanor because she’s one of my favorite Time Captives characters, even though she hardly shows up in book one. I ruined her life and I love her for it. Characters who have a storyline in book one…Maybe Abigail, followed by Joey. (Sympathize with me here, I can’t pick favorites out of my babies.) Abigail’s story was so interesting to explore, and I randomly made a (turned out to be important) decision that she, like me, plays the violin. I didn’t ruin her life as badly as Eleanor’s but I did a pretty good job. Now, Joey’s fun. He’s a ten-year-old boy, and that kind of speaks for itself. He’s my baby boy, and I was both sad and proud to realize how much he’d grown up by the end. He’s also the primary point of view character for book one.
Eh, well, ruining a character's life is part of the job description.
4. How would you say your writing has matured since you published your first book?
It definitely has matured. I feel like my stories aren’t quite as fast-paced as they used to be, though Time Captives is faster paced than the outer space dystopian I’m also working on. I used to zoom through my plots at record speed. I’ve learned a lot about deep character point of view, and about showing vs. telling, and while I can’t promise that I’m perfect at it, I’m certainly far better than I used to be. I also think I’ve improved at what I call the “Once Upon a Time effect,” which is basically using flashbacks to tell the whole story, rather than just the present timeline. I’m still not as good at it as Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, but even they aren’t using it as effectively as they used to. My characters have also matured. Rebellious slave Adriel (Time Captives book two) is a far cry from chivalrous, book language talking, perfect gentleman Felix Walker (Across the Stars), and while I still love Felix, I think Adriel is more realistic.
I agree with you on those flashbacks. They were handled much better in Creighton Hill.
5. Which authors would you say had the greatest influence on your writing?
C.S. Lewis, for sure and certain. Nearly everything I write has a decided Narnian influence, though readers have confirmed (thankfully!) that my writing is at the same time very original. (I’m deathly afraid of accidental plagiarism, solely because of The Story of My Life by Helen Keller.) Martha Finley had a huge influence on my writing style. While her books certainly have many literary flaws, I love the type of old-fashioned language she uses, and the way she structures sentences and phrases. I don’t exactly try to emulate it, but I don’t try not to either, since I quite like it. And I blame the writers at the BBC for making my American characters sound British, and causing me to do extra editing to make them reflect their own nationality. I suppose I should really blame Netflix and ultimately myself, but Doctor Who and Merlin are so good.
6. Any specific books?
Obviously The Chronicles of Narnia. There’s no escaping their influence. :) I would say A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle has colored my writing as well, if only simply by being a childhood favorite. Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight inspires me, and Jayrin is just the kind of fictional romance that’s perfect and what I want to write when I finally write about characters who are old enough for that. But really, I’ve read SOO many books in my life and they’ve all affected me in some way, so it’s hard to choose specifics.
All good books, all good books.
7. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Hmm. I’ve already been to Disney World six times (perks of having a dad who absolutely loves that place), so I suppose I should pick somewhere else. Probably the U.K. There are a lot of cool things to visit there, like C.S. Lewis’s house and J.R.R. Tolkien’s house and the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, and all the other more history related things over there. My sister is always telling me about all the castles in Wales, and that’s definitely a big draw. Plus, I have a little bit of English blood on my mom’s dad’s side, and even though I’m mostly German, I’d rather visit our English ancestors’ home than our German ones’.
I'm a German/English blend as well! (Fun fact: My Grandma has traced our ancestry back to one of the daughters of John of Gaunt - you know, Richard II's uncle - so that makes me almost royalty!) Personally, I'm a bit more interested in Germany, though.
8. What does your Ankulen look like? ;)
I keep it well hidden from the Polystoikhedron. ;) I’ve never really thought about what mine is specifically, but I obviously have one since I have my imagination. Though come to think of it, I had imagination trouble when I was getting to be a teenager, so I think I must have had a fight with a Polystoikhedron, and won. About when I got my Narnia audiobook set that sits as a backdrop on my desk where I do my best writing…It may not be a typical Ankulen…
Thanks for having me!
Join in the excitement of Time Captives and enter to win a special prize! The first prize winner will receive a signed copy of Creighton Hill as well as a signed copy of Across the Stars, for its anniversary. Second prize is a signed copy of Creighton Hill. The third prize winner will receive an eCopy of Creighton Hill in the eBook format of his/her choice. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.