Tessa Hall played a speech contestant in Providence. Although you can’t hear her, she was sharing about hew passion for writing and how she became a published author at such a young age. Now I’m excited to get to share her story with others.
Tell us about your early interest in writing.
I fell in love with telling stories when I was 3-years-old. At first, I would dictate stories for my mom, and she would write them down for me. Eventually, I begged her to teach me how to read and write so that I could pen my own stories instead.
I loved the fact that I could use a pencil and paper to create practically anything that I wanted! That’s how I entertained myself throughout my childhood. I would sit down at the dining room table with a stack of computer paper, crayons, and spend hours penning story after story. I found joy (and still do!) in becoming another person by “day-dreaming” through my pencil.
Tell us about your novel, Purple Moon.
Purple Moon follows the journey of 16-year-old Selena as she stays at her cousin’s lake house during the summer while her mom is in rehab. Selena’s committed to giving up her “bad habits” as well, and she hopes that this summer will mark the new beginning both of them have been longing for.
What has been the response to Purple Moon?
I was not expecting the feedback I’ve received from readers—teens and adults alike! I guess in an effort to protect myself, I prepared for the worst feedback, especially since I wrote the book when I was 16-years-old. (Many people aren’t supportive of teen authors.)
However, as I wrote the book, I prayed that God would use it to touch the lives of everyone who read it. I wanted teens to see themselves in the character, Selena, and for God to show them that He is able to heal the scares caused from their past. My number one desire was to hear that God used the book as a vehicle to someone’s salvation. You can imagine my excitement when I received letters from teens who said that they accepted Christ because of Purple Moon!
I don’t take any of the credit for that, because I know God was simply answering the prayers I prayed throughout writing the book. Still, I’m amazed at how He continues to use the story to minister to others—especially since I was not prepared for that at all.
When did you first develop a love for acting?
When I was really young, my two older sisters were involved in theater productions. I think my desire to act was birthed through watching them. The earliest memory I have of acting is when my sisters, cousins, and I would put on Christmas skits for our families. My friends and I also wrote several skits together and would film ourselves acting them out. I can remember begging my mom to “put me on a TV commercial”, haha =) Similar to writing, I loved the freedom acting gave me to become someone else and transport myself into another time/location.
When I was seven, I started taking acting classes taught by my mom. It was also then when I began to participate in a kid’s theater as well. In fourth grade, I joined Christian Youth Theater, where I had the chance to take acting classes and be apart of several theater productions until I was 16.
What was your first acting role?
Aside from the skits I was involved in through church and school, the role I was casted as in my first CYT theater production—Dr. Dolittle—was a Joliginki Guard. =)
What films have you been involved in?
In high school, I worked as an extra on set of The Blind Side and Get Low. Both were incredible experiences for me, because I had the chance to see what it was like to act on-camera as opposed to on-stage. When I was 16, I was cast as a teen mom in a short student film through Carolina Film Institute. Providence was the first full-length film that I’ve had the chance to be featured in. =)
What do you do when you’re not writing or acting?
This might sound silly, but I love making lattes! I can spend hours in the kitchen trying to discover a new organic and low-carb latte recipe. I love to bake healthy desserts as well. In the evenings, I try to carve out time to read a book or watch a movie. (I’m not much of a TV-watcher.)
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to continue to write YA inspirational fiction and non-fiction articles/devotions for teens. I’d like to venture into screenwriting as well. I also love teaching creative writing to kids and teens through workshops/conferences, my blog (Christ is Write), and my virtual writing mentoring program, Write Now.
Another passion of mine is speaking to teens and encouraging them to make the most of their youth and pursue God’s calling for their lives. I hope to have more opportunities to do that as well. I’m planning to launch a clean magazine for teens soon, too, which will also encourage them to live to their greatest potential and pursue their passions.
When I was in high school, I decided to enroll in an online school so I could pursue both writing and acting. Since writing took off sooner than acting, I’ve devoted the past 5+ years into that dream instead. However, now that I’ve created a career from writing, I would now love to launch an acting career as well—especially within the Christian film industry.
Even though I’m a firm believer in dreaming big, I’ve learned to hold these plans loosely. The future I have in store for my life isn’t always the one God has in store—but I’m excited to see where the journey takes me!
If you’d like to stay updated with my projects, be sure to connect with me online! I love meeting others who are involved within the Christian entertainment field.
My book: http://lighthousepublishingofthecarolinas.com/tessa-hall/
Thanks so much for having me! =)