Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Valley of Decision by Shannon McDermott Interview & 2 Giveaways

A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

The Valley of DecisionThe Valley of Decision
by Shannon McDermott
Adult Fantasy
Paperback, 416 pages
May 31st 2014 by SALT Christian Press

“A solid fantasy that wears its spirituality lightly yet effectively.” 
~Kirkus Reviews (read the entire review here)

Where the Black Mountains pierce the sky, they divide the south from the north, Alamir from the kingdom of Belenus. Belenus, the undying master of the north, commanded Keiran – the Captain of the Hosts – to conquer Alamir. But the Captain is deep in conspiracy, and he has his own plans.

The Valley of Decision is a fantasy novel, a saga of slavery, freedom, and choices.

Shannon McDermott is a Christian author of speculative fiction, as well as a humorous detective series called "The Adventures of Christian Holmes". She has written both fantasy and science fiction, and has yet to decide on which one to like better.

She was born to Wisconsin, expatriates in California, grew up on the East Coast, and now lives in the Midwest. Her principal hobbies are politics, history, novels, and coffee.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was eight. I had gotten a school assignment – write a Thanksgiving piece – and my parents responded so positively to what I turned in that I just kept writing. I completed my first novel when I was twelve (not very good), my second when I was fourteen (somewhat better, but still not good). Over the next three or so years I wrote short stories and attempted another novel, but never finished my beginnings. When I was seventeen, I began a new book that, years later, would become The Last Heir, my first novel.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t know, really. For most of my life I’ve been writing something, even if it wasn’t good, and I can’t say when I made the transition from “someone who writes” to a writer. There was a transition, though, however gradual; I wouldn’t have called myself a writer ten years ago.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to write (to finish!) another manuscript. While I was developing a story, a new idea emerged from my ponderings, and I ran with it. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have never really sought my own style; my concentration, whenever I write, is on telling the story, expressing the thought, in the finest way I can. And you know something? Style emerges. I like dialogue, and I enjoy creating atmosphere through descriptions of the settings; I try to balance long and short sentences, for rhythm and flow; I like similes and metaphors, and I often find myself using ones from nature. I seek the meaning of who the characters are and what they do.

How did you come up with the title?

When I began writing The Valley of Decision, I had no title for it. I named the computer file “A Novel”. I soon established the theme of the book as one of choices, which led me to a verse from Joel, a book of prophecy in the Old Testament: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

If there is one message in The Valley of Decision, it’s that we all have choices to make, and we can’t escape it. Not making the choice is itself a choice. My principal character, Keiran, faces the ultimate choice: Rebellion or obedience, God’s way or his? But all the characters have to choose, and their choices mean risk and sacrifice and (sometimes) reward – just as our choices do.
What would you like my readers to know?
That they can buy The Valley of Decision on Amazon, or request their local libraries to purchase a copy.

Just being honest! But you know, I want as an author to find those people who will enjoy my books. I am honored when anyone reads one of my stories, but if they’re not what you would like, then move on to what it is. 

Tour-Wide Giveaway

- INT Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and ebooks of The Valley of Decision and The Sunrise Windows
- 2 print copies of The Valley of Decision (US only)

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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