Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Valley of Decision: Author Interview

A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

The 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.

Website - Blog - Goodreads - Facebook

1) What advice would you give to novice authors?

First, keep on reading. Read what you like, read what interests you, read the sort of thing you wish you could write.

Second, keep on writing. Write regularly and with commitment. When you can’t do it by inspiration, then settle down and do it by discipline. If a story is truly hopeless, then you can abandon it, but don’t give up on a story just because it isn’t fun anymore. Try to finish what you start, and after you finish it, move on.

2) Who are three of your favorite authors?

G.K. Chesterton. I have very much enjoyed his novels, particularly The Man Who Was Thursday and The Napoleon of Notting Hill, and his poetry is rich in evocative imagery. His nonfiction is quite interesting, too, though his political opinions can get a bit loopy.

C.S. Lewis. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia and Till We Have Faces, and his nonfiction is fascinating.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Her fantasy novels are beautiful.

3) What gave you the idea for The Valley of Decision?

The Lord of the Rings, much as it pains me to admit it. In those books, Sauron had legions of human slaves whose only purpose in the story was to fight the good guys (and get beaten). It’s not that Tolkien was heartless in his use of these characters – remember Sam witnessing one of them being killed and sadly wondering what his name was and if he even wanted to fight – but I came to think how good it would have been if Sauron’s slaves had staged a revolt. Why should all the heroes come from the free nations fighting Sauron? Why not from the enslaved nations oppressed by him?

4) What is the best part about writing?

The moment of completion. When the story is, after so much work and time, finally a finished manuscript, and later when it has actually been published, a finished book – that is the moment of greatest satisfaction, because it is the culmination of so much effort.

5) What is the worst part?

The hardest part of writing is the marketing. You try this and that, go here and there and do whatever seems like a good idea, and at times it all feels like a shot in the dark, like you never know what will and will not work until you actually do it.

6) If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?

I don’t spend enough time in movie theaters to answer that. It’s sad but it’s true: I only go a couple times a year.

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)

Follow the Tour:

6/16 - Launch











6/29 - Grand Finale


  1. Great interview! Thanks for sharing it with us!!

  2. Lovely interview! Some great thoughts. :) And the book sounds interesting!

    And let's see... if I were to travel in a fantasy novel, I'd probably want to meet a griffin, unicorn, or dragon (all provide they were nice!).

    1. I agree! I would love to meet those creatures too :)