I’m happy to introduce you to Unmasked, an anthology by young YA authors. Unmasked is a collection of short stories and poetry about finding hope in darkness, navigating seasons, forgiveness, and wholeness despite brokenness. In the midst of a global pandemic, this indie gem of a book seeks to uplift readers through the beauty of words.
It’s been a privilege getting to know the authors and their heart for this book! Read on to find out more as we sit down for a Q and A with them. 😉
Why did you want to write Unmasked?
I wanted to write Unmasked because I was sad about the state of the world around me during 2020. I wanted to change it, but I didn’t know how. Then God told me… WRITE ABOUT IT. So that’s just what I did. ~ Olivia G. Booms
I had actually written my short story for something else, but those plans had failed. I wanted to show that there was hope through my writing, and I was wondering how I could do that if I couldn’t get my story to people. Then I saw the opportunity to join, and I was nervous, but I wanted to join others in showing hope. ~ Lori Ann Nelson
Well, I wouldn’t say it was really my choice. (Not that I was forced XD) When I heard about it from Olivia, I felt like I had to be a part of it, just a stir in my heart. A little nudge. My story blossomed from that nudge. ~ Hannah Grace
I’ve always wanted to touch people with my writing, to help them through the difficulties in their lives, and show the Lord’s hand in their lives. When the opportunity to submit to Unmasked, I saw it as a chance to do just that. ~Lydia Kendall
I saw the post about it and thought it looked like a fun opportunity! And the idea that some of my writing could actually be published was a crazy thing to think about. I can’t believe that some of my writing will be out in the real world for anyone to read! ~Madeline Grace Fuehrer
What is the reason for titling your book Unmasked?
I think it was born from wanting to “unmask” the truth that is so often covered up, especially with the chaos of the world today. But honestly, I don’t remember the exact origin. ~ Olivia G. Booms
How has writing Unmasked changed your perspective on our world today?
It’s helped me see that there’s still some light, still some hope that can be shared and held in the dark of night. ~ Olivia G. Booms
It has helped me to see that even while storms rage, there is hope to spread to others. ~ Lori Ann Nelson
I started writing some about this concept before I even knew about Unmasked, during quarantine. Writing about this, and bringing a biblical view into it, always helps me redirect my focus to what matters eternally. ~ Anna Grace
It has really helped me see the brokenness of our world, the hurting and hopelessness that so many people carry on their shoulders. I think it broadened my perspective, taking me away from the very narrow lens I had grown up with. Through seeing the brokenness and the hurting, it helped equipped me to bring hope and light into the world the way the world needs it, not just the way I thought it did. ~ Hannah Grace
It has helped me to see that though our lives are broken, shattered even, that the Lord will always be there to pick up the pieces and make something new. That through our brokenness and hurting, the Lord is always there, working behind the scenes to make something beautiful. ~Lydia Kendall
I am not alone. Everyone is struggling. I’m not the only one. And I’m surrounded by people who care about and love me. And I’m protected by a great God, who has a good plan for me. ~Madeline Grace Fuehrer
What inspired you to write your short story or poem in Unmasked?
What inspired me to write Together, my short story, was actually a natural disaster me and my family went through and the aftermath of its effects. Almost everything I described in that story had happened to me, or people I knew, from the unbearable heat, to hiding with the scared dog, to the dead bird, (Including Albert’s brother with the broken bone! That was me!). What stood out to me the most was how our church came together in only a couple days like a family to help others with or without being asked. They all had problems of their own but still helped everyone and loved everyone. It was amazing. It was exactly why I wrote it. ~ Olivia G. Booms
I was inspired to write Our Shattered Hearts based off of a friend I lost in my life. I remember how shattered I felt, how each cruel word spoken to me left a crack on my heart. But I also remember people telling me there was hope and that those who hurt others were often already hurt themselves. I wanted to show that not only can shattered hearts be put back together by God, but that He would turn them into a beautiful masterpiece. ~ Lori Ann Nelson
My poetry actually started out as concepts I threw on paper one day while doing school in our family’s guest room/office. I was so frustrated with the way things were at that point, in my life and in the world, but I remember God reminding me of Himself. My concepts turned into prayers, and God kind of just used my pen to translate them into words. ~ Anna Grace
I don’t know. Honestly, I can’t say I was inspired by anything other than the Spirit of the Most High. I wrote my story in about an hour and a half. I didn’t really even think about the words, I just wrote, letting the Spirit move my fingers and my mind to write what He wanted me to write. ~ Hannah Grace
For the short story, I can’t quite remember; I think it was a feeling of loss, a pain that I wanted to write and see where it took me. For the poetry, it started out just me feeling inspired to praise God for the goodness in my life, to show others that they are beautiful, that God is good, and they can trust in him. I wanted to show the truths that You Are Beautiful and You Are Loved. ~Lydia Kendall
When I heard about Unmasked, I was automatically inspired. I jotted down some poems quickly and was surprised to see they were actually worth something. After having them all critiqued, one of my poems, Longing, was accepted into the Anthology. I was thrilled. I wanted to show God’s love in the midst of the trials the world is facing right now, from the viewpoint of someone who felt like their voice meant nothing to anyone. I wanted to show people like you that God loves you and that you do matter to Him. ~Madeline Grace Fuehrer
Who were the readers you had in mind while writing Unmasked?
The readers I had in mind were people who were feeling like me; lost, maybe scared, confused, and longing for light. Even though it was written by Christian authors, it’s not necessarily just for Christians. I hope that everyone can enjoy this and feel the hope and light we all wanted to convey. ~ Olivia G. Booms
The readers I had in mind were those who wondered if they would stay broken forever or if they were alone. I wanted people to know they aren’t forgotten or alone. I pray that all who read this see that there is hope for healing. ~ Lori Ann Nelson
I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling totally lost, confused, and broken, and when I had a written reminder of the Truth, I wanted to be able to share it with those who may need it. ~ Anna Grace
Ordinary people, because ordinary people are hurting, they’re broken. No one has a life entirely without pain or hardship. At least for myself, I wrote it for people, as broken and hurting as they are, to bring hope and light to them. ~ Hannah Grace
People who are hurting, doubting themselves, unable to see hope in this dark time. Whether they are any age, I hope that readers will be encouraged by the words within Unmasked ~Lydia Kendall
I wanted to speak to anyone who was suffering facing the trials life was throwing at them in this day and age. I wanted to show them that God’s power and love is greater than all of that. I wanted to tell them to cry out to Him in the midst of all these trials, because He cares about you, and He has a plan. ~Madeline Grace Fuehrer
If you’re interested in checking out the Unmasked Anthology, preorder it now on Etsy or Amazon to get a preorder discount and send your receipt to the email address below to get exclusive preorder goodies!
- Ebook Preorder: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08ZL77M46
- Paperback Preorder: https://www.etsy.com/listing/972265890/unmasked-an-anthology-paperback-preorder?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1
- Preorder goodies email address: email@example.com
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57637789