Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Elsie Park. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her debut novel Shadows of Valor from Jolly Fish Press. Although this book is for adults, teens will love it too. I love unique interviews and today I thought it would be fun to talk to the novel’s main characters and ask them a question or two. Enjoy!
Sir Calan Beaumont: Where do you come from? I was born and raised in Northern England, on my family’s land in Castle Egbert.
Tell us about your family. My noble father and mother, Lord Walter and Lady Katherine Beaumont had one natural son (me) and adopted my cousin, Giles, into our family when he was just a little boy. We grew up as brothers and best friends. My parents were of the highest caliber, fair and loving. I’d trust with my life and deepest secrets. My father and cousin are aware of my dual identity as The Shadow, but we have kept that information from my mother only on account of her fragile health and desire to keep her from worrying over her my dangerous duty.
Describe your physical appearance? I have shoulder-length brown hair and green eyes. I’m 6-feet, 2-inches tall with hardened muscles rippling down my arms, torso and legs. They were molded and strengthen through years of training and fighting as a knight. My features are handsome, but often hold a wary expression due to the malicious people I must contend with.
Give us 5 words that describe your personality? Cautious, honorable, hardened, lonely, inner-struggle
What is the thing you want most in this life? To escape my cynicism and heal my darkening soul.
What/Who do you fight for? Justice for a childhood friend and for true love.
The Shadow: Where do you come from? From the very depths of Hell!
Tell us about your family. I have none, being the product of the overactive imaginings of a highly superstitious world.
Describe your physical appearance? I wear all black attire, complete with a black hood, cloak and a black face mask that covers my nose and mouth in order to keep my true identity concealed and my form hidden in the shadows and dark of night.
Give us 5 words that describe your personality? Stealthy, vengeful, strong, justified, merciless
What is the thing you want most in this life? To rid of the world of the scum who break the king’s laws and who hurt innocent people in the process.
What/Who do you fight for? For the King of England and to protect the innocent.
Lady Elsbeth Rawley: Where do you come from? I’m from Castle Fairhaven in my noble father’s lands in the north-western part of England.
Tell us about your family. My father and mother, Lord Erik and Lady Gwenneth Rawley were kind and loving parents who doted on their only child (me), but were sure to reprimand and discipline when necessary. They died in a fire when I was thirteen. I went to live with my mother’s brother, Rupert Shaufton after that, who lovingly treated me like I was his own daughter. My cousin, Genevieve, Rupert’s only daughter, is my good friend and we get on quite well.
Describe your physical appearance? I am of average height and have bright blue eyes and medium brown hair that I keep folded into a long braid that hangs down my back. I might have been considered pretty had my arms not been burned and scarred in the same fire that killed my parents. I dress in peasant’s attire (a drab-colored kirtle and surcoat with a wimple covering my hair) to better mingle with the villagers and serve them as a midwife and herbalist.
Give us 5 words that describe your personality? Humble, lonely, educated, mindful, trusting
What is the thing you want most in this life? A man who will love me despite my scars.
What/Who do you fight for? Humanity, fairness, repentance and restitution
Lord Rupert Shaufton : Where do you come from? I was born in the very castle I rule in today, Castle Graywall, in the north-west of England.
Tell us about your family. Lord and Lady Shaufton, my parents, had three children: Myself, my sister Gwenneth and a boy who died as a baby. My sister married Lord Erik Rawley. When Gwenneth and Erik died in a fire, their only child, 13-year-old Elsbeth Rawley, came to live with me. I have one daughter (and a son who died in infancy, taking my first wife with him), and year later I was remarried to the beautiful Cecilia.
Describe your physical appearance? I have graying hair with a graying beard and mustache. I have bright, mirthful eyes and a ready smile. I’m strong in my middle age and have the energy of a youth. I love watching a good tournament.
Give us 5 words that describe your personality? Happy, fair, just, loving, hopeful
What is the thing you want most in this life? To enjoy life to its fullest, and to look after my people with a fair and just hand so that they might enjoy the same. I love my daughter and niece, and I hope that the continued love I show toward my wife will someday change her withdrawn attitude.
What/Who do you fight for? For a happy life, a law abiding community which I look after, and for England’s King Edward I.
The King (Edward I): Where do you come from? I was born at the Palace of Westminster, England, on the night of 17-18 June, 1239 A.D.
Tell us about your family. I was born to England’s King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, the latter of whom was renowned for her beauty. She had dark hair and fine eyes. She was known for her cleverness, her skill with poetry, and as a leader of fashion. Little is known about my father’s childhood, as he was raised away from court. My father’s father (my grandfather) was King John, who storytellers associate with the tale of Robin Hood.
Describe your physical appearance? I was dubbed “Longshanks” by the Scots for my 6-foot, 2-inch frame, a very tall man for my day. Michael Prestwich stated that my “long arms gave [me] an advantage as a swordsman, long thighs one as a horseman. In youth, [my] curly hair was blond; in maturity, it darkened, and in old age it turned white. [My] features were marred by a drooping left eyelid. [My] speech, despite a lisp, was said to be persuasive.”
Give us 5 words that describe your personality? Fair, firm, but ruthless to enemies
What is the thing you want most in this life? To rule England with a firm, but fair hand and to keep the Scots and other countries from invading and breaking our treaties.
What/Who do you fight for? To keep my own country, and also Scotland, in line! Another of my nicknames was “The Hammer of the Scots.”
Shadows of Valor is available on September 7, 2013 where eBooks and paperbacks are sold. Pre-order right now through B&N and Amazon.
Genre: Adult Romance/Historical
Description: On the surface, Graywall is content and booming. Lord Shaufton, who presides over the city, is a fine ruler. The poor are well-cared for, the area is popular, and morale is high—but within Graywall’s roots, something dark is stirring. This darkness threatens to overpower the once-peaceful town, until a mysterious figure appears: The Shadow.
As much a figure of fear to the unruly as legend to the innocent, The Shadow is an enforcer of justice and aid to the King. Due to an outrageous export tax set by King Edward, smuggling has tainted the kingdom, so The Shadow is sent to hunt the smugglers down. Contrary to legend, The Shadow is simply a man known as Sir Calan who, although talented and just, struggles to keep his dark thoughts of revenge from becoming ruthless action.
Due to sheer coincidence, The Shadow learns of a deadly plot against Lord Shaufton on a journey to Graywall. Now, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Lord Shaufton’s daughter under his original guise of Sir Calan, all while old emotions are stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton’s niece. Elsbeth, it seems, is the only woman who can heal his troubled soul, but she has a story of her own. What transpires is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and most of all—love.
Author Bio: Growing up in a small mountain town outside of Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A., Elsie 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.