Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday Chat: Elsie Park, author of "Shadows of Valor"

Today I’m lucky enough to have fantastic author and all around fabulous person Elsie Park stop by and talk to us about her new book, “Shadows of Valor” (seriously, people, go read it – it’s exciting, classic romance at its finest). First, though, sit back and listen to the story of how she made the magic happen.

1. What first gave you the idea for “Shadows of Valor”?
A bunch of medieval ideas that I thought might make a good movie or story came to me over a period of days and weeks, but at this point, I’d never written a novel in my life. I’d done essays and short stories in school and for personal enjoyment, but nothing serious. But this time, on a whim, I decided to jot them down. As a stay-at-home mother of a 10-month old, I was looking for something to do other than chores, dishes, laundry, groceries shopping and changing diapers. Not that those things didn’t take enough of my time, but I needed something a little more exciting – LOL.

2. What was the research process like for the book?
I spent days, weeks and months researching books and online about the specific medieval time period in which I chose to write (1300 A.D. England), and I had pages of notes and bookmarks marking piles of books up the wazoo. And then, when once I felt like I could proceed with my story, I’d run into countless other things later on that I had to look up and clarify before I could again continue writing the details. Sheesh. Even with all the research I did, I still don’t feel like any kind of an expert. There’s just so much to learn. I only researched what applied to my story and time period.

3. What was your favorite thing about writing “Shadows of Valor”?
My favorite thing was writing a cool mystery/drama/romance/plot that weaved together create an intriguing story. Creating characters that I liked and that held a tiny piece of myself and my loved ones and friends was really fun. That’s the fun of writing. An author can write whatever they want and use whatever inspiration they receive and from whomever. Reminds me of a humorous statement I saw about authors. I’m paraphrasing, but it was to the effect of: “Beware, I’m an author – Anything you say or do may end up in one of my books!” *laugh* So true.

4. What would you say was the hardest thing about writing “Shadows of Valor”?
It was difficult to write my dialogues in the old English (which I didn’t end up using in my final version anyway because it read somewhat like Shakespeare and readers tripped over it). All that work for nothin’ *shrug*.

5. If you could go around to everyone who buys the book and tell them one thing, what would it be?
I hope you love and appreciate the tale of Sir Calan and Elsbeth. I hope you can find similarities within yourselves that bring you closer to the characters’ struggles, triumphs and feelings of love.

6. Fictionally speaking, what are your plans for the future?
I’m writing another medieval story set in 1300’s England/Scotland involving a minor character from SHADOWS OF VALOR and giving him his own story. There will be mystery, intrigue, trials, triumphs, villains, action and, of course, a love story (always PG-rated, like your cute novels *smile*)

7. Does it bother you how much I apparently love the word “what”?
*LAUGH* To be honest, Jen, I hadn’t noticed at all so I can honestly say it hasn’t bothered me. But now that you’ve brought it to my attention . . . *smile*
Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog, Jenniffer! I await your next tale, BEAST CHARMING with anticipation!

SHADOWS OF VALOR overview: Taking place in 1300 A.D. England, The Shadow (aka Sir Calan), a knight-spy working under the direction of King Edward I, hunts down and arrests smugglers who defy the law and evade paying their taxes. The Shadow’s duty is fueled by vengeance from a childhood experience against smugglers. Dealing with society at its worst, The Shadow becomes cynical and struggles to rein in his desire to execute lethal justice before turning the perpetrators over to local authorities. He feels his soul turning black with hate in his continual fight against evil. A childhood acquaintance, Lady Elsbeth, enters his life years later, bringing light to his soul once again, but she has a story of her own, accompanied by physical and emotional scars. Calan feel he needs Elsbeth in his life, but in an effort to keep his identity and duty secret, he must deceive her. This creates distrust and uncertainty between them, as she accepts another man as her suitor. But Calan must ask the question: What’s worth fighting for more? His long-standing desire to avenge a childhood friend or the woman who may be his salvation? What entails is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and most of all—love.

SHADOWS OF VALOR was released September 7, 2013 through Jolly Fish Press. It can be ordered from any bookstore including Barnes and Noble and and will be available in hard cover, paperback and on e-readers (including Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, as well as any tablet, smartphone, or computer).

About the author:
Growing up in a small mountain town outside of Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A., Elsie Park enjoyed playing soccer, playing piano, reading, writing, art and spending time with family and friends. Years ago she spent 18 months in Italy teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing the castles and old Roman cities only added to her fascination for ancient and medieval culture. In college she studied zoology, botany and criminal justice. She’s worked as a wildland firefighter, security guard and a police officer, but she is currently a stay-at-home mom, spending time with her children and husband. She loves thinking up new ideas for interesting stories and musical compositions to go with them.

Twitter: @elsiepark1
Author Facebook:
Barnes and Noble:

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