Monday, March 21, 2011

Shannon Van Roekel's "Desert Fire"

We're happy to have Shannon Van Roekel with us today talking about her book Desert Fire. To learn more about Shannon and her book, read on!

Title: Desert Fire
Publisher: Kregel Publications

Cover blurb: On assignment in Darfur, Sudan, journalist Julia Keegan hopes to open the eyes of average Americans to the atrocities taking place there—and to distance herself from the shadow cast by her father. Even as she steels herself to face the horrors of genocide, Julia isn’t prepared to face her own past.

In the United States, Fred Keegan, a convicted murderer dying of cancer, asks young lawyer Joel Maartens to deliver a letter to his estranged daughter, Julia. When Joel and Julia meet in Sudan, they find their lives suddenly redefined by the injustice and violence around them, and both are forced to face truths they would rather leave concealed.

1) How did this story come to you?
Brainstorming with my family on the way home from a summer vacation. I had the first chapter written before we got home.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I attended the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference and proposed it to several editors there. Steve Barclift listened to me describe it over supper one night and told me to send it to him. Six months later (after some editing and rewriting), I had a contract. 18 months later, and lots more editing, the book was published!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I wrote most of “Desert Fire” in the middle of the night.
I homeschooled my five kids.
I’m training to run 10 km.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am working on a sequel to “Desert Fire” wherein Julia and Joel enjoy an increasingly complicated relationship and Julia goes to Burma, reporting on the longest on-going genocide in the world.

I desire to grow in obedience to and in the knowledge of the love of Jesus Christ and to persevere in my craft, writing with greater effectiveness the stories God leads me to tell.

5) Parting comments?
I am available to speak at retreats and/or conferences on writing, homeschooling and/or writing.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?


  1. This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the interview and giving us a chance to enter the giveaway.

  2. Thanks Dawn and Shannon for the interview and the chance to win Desert Fire - i subscribe to your blog via email and follow you on Facebook!mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com
    marianne from Arizona

  3. I have five daughters and I have homeschooled each of them as well. Thanks. gahome2mom/at/gmail/dot/com

  4. That blurb grabbed my interest right away. Thanks for entering me.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  5. I have a question for you, as a Christian Fiction Reader: what book has stood apart from the rest this, in your mind, that you have read in the last year? Christian or secular?

  6. I love to read fiction based in foreign countries! I learn so much. Linda

  7. would enjoy reading this wonderful novel...thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. Shannon, your book sounds like one I'd start to read then not want to put down! Thanks for doing this interview and giving us all a chance to win a copy!

  9. Sounds like a good book. Please include me. Thanks for the chance!

    email subscriber

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  10. please enter me thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  11. Shannon's book sounds like an intensive story and I'd like to read it. I'm impressed that she has homeschooled five children and wrote a book as deep as this one promises to be. Thank you for offering this book as the giveaway and for the chance to win it. I hope I win!!

    Sharing His Faith,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  12. Please enter me in this giveaway!

  13. Replying to Shannon's question: I would say out of the 7 or 8 books I've read so far this year, it would have to be The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund. It was different for me, but in a good way. It had a lot of truthful history to it and I really enjoyed reading it. However, I will say my all time favorite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Your book sounds very interesting and I'm sure I would enjoy reading it.

  14. Wow! Shannon, just reading the little bit in the blurb makes me want to pick up this book. :) Your story to publication sounds like one that God truly sped along. :)
    As for me and reading, I've read a lot of Christian fiction over the last year, and I am not sure which one stands out in my mind the most. I gravitate towards romantic suspense and women's fiction. I like a story where the characters learn and grow. :) That doesn't exactly answer your question, but I hope it helps a bit. :)

  15. Sometimes as a writer I feel I miss out on just plain old wonderful READING! I'm reading all the time, but for research, not FUN, if you know what I mean.
    Thanks for the responses! I am making notes of your faves so when I do have time I won't waste it on less than wonderful reads!! Thanks Everybody!!
    (If you haven't mentioned your favorite book from the last year's reading, there's still time!)

  16. Sounds intriguing and I would love to read it! I'm very happy to suport fellow Christian writers.