A chat with author Marissa Shrock
Welcome to this online chat with author Marissa Shrock. Jesus has given Marissa a part in His own story. He’s made her a character who tells of His goodness through writing.
Recently Marissa’s The First Principle placed as a finalist for ACFW‘s 2016 Carol Award. (Tweet That!) Gather ’round as Marissa responds to three questions: What was your pre-author life? How would you describe your debut novel experience? Where are you on your writing journey? (Add your own question to the Comments section below.)
Marissa Shrock’s Journey to Publication
First of all, my journey started with voracious reading. When I played outside as a girl, I read on the swing set—while swinging.
As a middle school teacher, I didn’t consider writing until I’d taught a few years. I toyed with the idea of a novel but had no idea where to begin.
Later, I signed up in 2008 for the Christian Writers Guild’s Apprentice course. I wanted a mentor who would hold me accountable.
In addition, I took the Journeyman and Craftsman classes while I wrote the story that eventually became The First Principle. The skills I learned and the people I met paved my way to publication.
Publication for Marissa Shrock
The First Principle is the futuristic story of a teenager who refuses to comply with her country’s pregnancy termination law. (Tweet That!) In time, she seeks the help of the Emancipation Warriors who are plotting a revolution. They plan to restore a government that protects its citizens’ rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The First Principle debuted as the first in my three-book Emancipation Warriors series. The Liberation released in February, and The Pursuit will be released in October. The Agitator, a companion novella, presents a different perspective of the Warriors’ battle for liberty.
From the beginning, writing this series has been an adventure. I found an agent and publisher very quickly. But my road hasn’t been easy since. Surprisingly, book blues set in after my books arrived from the publisher. My grumpiness and mild depression shocked me because my dream had come true.
However, mounting pressure replaced elation. How would my book be received? How would it sell? For months, this burden crushed me as I prayed and promoted. The First Principle received many positive reviews and was a finalist in the debut category of the ACFW Carol Awards. But sales did not meet my publisher’s expectations. They opted not to publish the other books in the series.
But I wanted to tell my readers the rest of the story. So I published the remaining books independently and am thankful that option exists.
Marissa Shrock’s Current Journey
Ultimately, God holds my career in his hands. It will be what He wants it to be. Now that the Emancipation Warriors series is finished, I no longer have obligations to a publisher or literary agency. But I’ve arrived at a crossroad.
Presently, God is leading me to a phase of rest. The soil of my creative life has been depleted. It needs to remain fallow for a season. Afterwards, I pray I will emerge restored and ready to face the next step God has for me.
Finally, I encourage every writer to seek God’s will for his or her life and obey it, no matter what everyone else is doing.
Thank you, Marissa, for joining our chat and sharing your story. We pray the Lord will bring a hearty harvest from your work.
Readers may reach Marissa through her website: http://bit.ly/2db1rrs. Sign up for her newsletter and get a free short story!
Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing for a *free copy of The First Principle, Shrock’s young adult novel in either print or ebook version. (Tweet That!)
*Update: Congratulations to Clarice Gregoire James, winner of the drawing!
Dear Lord, we stand in awe that You would stoop to write faith in our hearts, that You would use us, feeble and crumbling flesh, to tell Your story. Lift us up. Strengthen us. For Jesus’ sake.