Elsie, welcome to my blog. Tell us where you were born and where do you live now.
I was born in Hollywood, California. I lived most of my life in a small town outside of Yosemite National Park, California until I graduated high school and then moved to Utah to attend college and study zoology, botany and criminal justice. I currently reside in Northern Utah with my husband and three (soon to be four) children.
Sunny California, nice. How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
I feel that if I have enough ideas that come to me (or that I can research) about a certain subject, then it’s a good subject. Also, if it’s interesting to me, it’s got to be interesting to at least one other person, and that’s worth writing about.
Sure…What is the name of your book?
SHADOWS OF VALOR, a fictional PG-rated medieval romantic adventure. It is appropriate for adults, young adults, teens and pre-teens. SHADOWS OF VALOR is a stand alone, but I’m currently working on a spin-off.
Great. Tell us more about it. Perhaps a back cover blurb.
Something dark stirs within the peaceful walls of the prosperous city of Graywall, something only the mysterious vigilante known as The Shadow—a man torn between a sense of justice and the desire for revenge—can overcome. In reality the nobleman Sir Calan, The Shadow is sent to hunt down smugglers who have run rampant after the levying of a harsh tax by King Edward. When he learns of a plot against the just ruler of the city, Lord Shaufton, on his mission, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Shaufton’s daughter under his guise of Sir Calan, even as he wrestles with emotions stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton’s niece. Elsbeth may be the only person who can heal Calan’s troubled soul, but she has secrets of her own. Rife with deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and love, this page-turner will grip readers from the opening lines.
So interesting. Is there a book trailer for your book?
Yes. There are two on Youtube, both of which I composed the music for:
Official trailer by Yelena Baykova: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWewq758un4
My personal trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFgwPcsgEu0
Awesome. Do you have a favorite character, why?
Besides my two main characters being my obvious favorite picks, I’d have to add Sir Giles (my hero’s cousin) to my list of favorites. He’s easy going and has an insatiable appetite for food and snacks (like me). But unlike me, his figure remains trim and muscular (I have to diet and exercise). Sir Giles adds a little comic relief and light-hearted feel to the story .
What kind of impact do you expect your works to have in the reader’s lives?
I hope that readers will related to my characters problems and see that they, too, can learn from them and overcome them through hard work and perseverance. I also hope they see that no one is perfect, but that we can each strive to be a better person than we were yesterday.
Amen to that Do you have any advice for authors trying to break into the industry?
Don’t give up! Write what’s in your heart, but don’t ignore the rules of grammar! When rejection letters arrive in the mail, learn from them, but don’t get discouraged. Keep plugging away at your work and keep sending it out to agents and publishers. Also, don’t shrug off your critics. Learn from them to make your work better. Learn all you can and apply the knowledge you gain from other writers and conferences. Don’t ever think you’re too good a writer to learn something new.
Great advice. What genre does your book fall under?
Historical/medieval sweet romance. I learned recently that a “sweet” romance means PG-rated.
🙂 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Mixing adventure and romance, a knight-spy with a dual identity hunts smugglers, resisting his vengeance-driven desire to execute lethal justice, until a physically scarred woman attempts to bring balance to his life once again.
Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?
SHADOWS OF VALOR is represented by Jolly Fish press.
Good for you. What is your typical day like?
I get up and feed my kids, do the laundry and dishes and clean the house. I run errands as needed and then, if the kids are behaving, I try to get some writing in. I often just have to fight my fatigue and stay up late after they have gone to bed in order to write, though.
Do you write with music or not?
I do write music. I’ve played piano for over 30 years and love music as much as I love writing. I wrote three ballads into SHADOWS OF VALOR and composed the music for them as well. A shortened version of “One Brave Knight” was included at the end of my book. My music for SHADOWS OF VALOR can be viewed on my blog at: http://elsiepark.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_16.html
As stated above, I also composed the musical score for my book trailers.
Do you outline your manuscript first?
YES, YES, and YES AGAIN! I cannot keep my plot, characters or settings straight without a good outline.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
My fans have related SHADOWS OF VALOR to a medieval Batman, the Scarlet Pimpernel and Robin Hood, all of which I LOVE!
Elsie, who or what inspired you to write this book?
My love of all things romantic and adventurous. I love Jane Austen as well as all medieval stories such as Robin Hood, King Arthur, Ivanhoe and the like. I also love and revere JRR Tolkien’s works, especially The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s poems and songs in his stories inspired me to write ballads for SHADOWS OF VALOR.
I love Tolkien…What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My main female character has physical scars. She’s not the typical “perfectly-looking” heroine, because let’s face it, no one is truly perfect, but we must all learn to work with what God has handed us in life and make our lives better for it. I also don’t include bad language or sex in my books. They touch upon adult themes but remain clean.
Where can we find your book?
SHADOWS OF VALOR can be found wherever books and e-books are sold and can be ordered from any bookstore.
Barnes and Noble: Paperback and Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-of-valor-elsie-park/1114940696?ean=9781939967077
Tags: adults, fictional PG-rated medieval romantic adventure, historical, Historical/medieval sweet romance, Ivanhoe, Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, King Arthur, knight-spy, medieval, medieval Batman, robin hood, SHADOWS OF VALOR, sweet romance, teens and pre-teens., The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, the Scarlet Pimpernel, young adults