Tuesday, September 17, 2013


WELCOME!  Elsie Park stopped by today to talk about her new novel.  SHADOWS OF VALOR, recently released by Jolly Fish Press. Action, intrigue, romance, and mystery are intertwined in her book, keeping you reading because you not only have to know what will happen next but also the identify of THE SHADOW and what plots are afoot endangering Elsbeth and those she cares about.

SHADOWS OF VALOR is a medieval fiction novel that immerses you in the time period so well, you start looking around for your own sword and lance. 

We were intrigued by the 1300 AD English world that Elsie Park created and asked her to answer a question for us. Take it away Elsie!
"Why were you drawn to write historical, specifically medieval, fiction, and what is its lure for readers today?"
I have loved stories (real and fictional) about princesses, knights, ladies, heroes, heroines, pirates, Vikings, wizards, dragons . . . anything adventurous in another time. Beloved classics such as Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast take place in or around a castle with a prince of some sort and have the unified themes of adventure and love driving them forward. I’m drawn to these tales because they are magical to me, even the ones without actual magic written into them.

These aspects lure a modern reader to these stories as well. Anything that’s not our own time period is fascinating to us. We’re already living a contemporary life, so we often want to read about times and places far from our own. We like to get lost in unknown worlds . . . places we don’t experience every day. I chose 1300 A.D. England because I like the clothing, the stone strongholds housing lords and ladies, this period of knights, courtly love and respect (not that everyone held to these things high morals - LOL) and that King Edward’s wool tax (an actual event in history) caused people to smuggle their goods, creating a great backdrop for an exciting story.
But historical characters must also connect to the contemporary reader somehow. Modern readers don’t wear kirtles, wimples, hauberks or knights’ armor (unless they’re actors or frequent medieval fairs, of course – lucky devils *smile*). But even though people back then dressed and talked differently than we do today, the basic themes of life generally remain the same: To overcome our weaknesses, to become a better person today than we were yesterday, good versus evil (especially in the choices we make), implementing humanity and kindness, love versus hate, virtue against vice. These are topics that can be written about over and over again with new plots and characters for they never get old. They are issues the human race has dealt and struggled with since the beginning of time and which we continue to face today. This being said, however, it’s still helpful to put a little modern twist on the medieval characters, allowing a greater connection with the contemporary reader. Writing FICTION allows me that freedom. 

On another note, music and poetry played a huge role in the past, not just as entertainment, but in the sharing of real events that took place. They were a way for people to learn and remember their history. So I wrote ballads into my story as well. Being a student of piano, I composed the written music for them, and at least one of the songs in sheet music form will appear as an addendum in SHADOWS OF VALOR. I’m excited for that. The complete collection can be found on my blog at: Shadows of Valor Piano Sheet Music  (thanks for letting me slip that in, Berk and Andy *smile*) 

I hope contemporary booklovers will appreciate reading about the same struggles we face today, but enjoy the medieval setting. I loved writing SHADOWS OF VALOR and hope readers adore the tale of Sir Calan and Elsbeth as much as I do. 


Thanks Elsie!

If you haven't read this book, you're in for a treat.



About SHADOWS OF VALOR: 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.

About Elsie Park:
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.
Elsie is a fantastic person. Get to know her. You can find her here:
Twitter: @elsiepark1
Author Facebook:

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