In which Marissa Shrock tells all

Marissa Shrock Headshot

Okay, she doesn’t really tell *all* but she does tell us some–about herself, her writing, and her life.

It is a pleasure to welcome Marissa today to talk about her debut novel, The First Principle, which is dystopian fiction at its finest. If you know me at all, you know I’m a dystopian junkie. I jumped at the chance to read The First Principle as an early reviewer based on the premise of the book. From Goodreads:

In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For fifteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same–until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall.

When Vivica speaks out to defend her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Marina Ward, she has no idea she’s sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. But it isn’t long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory abortion–or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother’s chances at becoming president.

A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. Can Vivica trust these rebels to help her or will they bring everything crashing down around her? Accepting their help may come with consequences she isn’t ready to face.

Marissa Shrock’s debut novel crafts a chilling story of what may be to come if we allow the economic and moral crises currently facing our country to change the foundations on which we built our independence–and of the difference one person can make when they choose to trust God’s lead.

Interested? Come and meet Marissa, read an excerpt from her book, and enter to win a free copy from the author (details below).

Hi, Marissa! It’s the beginning of a new year so I’m changing up my interview questions. Let’s start with pets. Do you have any? If so, how many and what kinds?

I don’t currently have pets. My family had a chocolate lab named Cocoa for fifteen years. I still miss her!

Aww. We lost our Rhodesian Ridgeback (14) over the summer, but we still have another (6).

What is your favorite Bible story and why?

I like the story of Rahab (Joshua 2) because she demonstrated great courage and faith. This story shows God can work in the heart of any person no matter what they do or where they live. She was a prostitute in a city slated for destruction, but she’d heard what God had done through the Israelites, made a profession of faith (Joshua 2:11), and acted on her faith by hiding the spies and helping them escape. As a result, God spared her life and the lives of her family members (Joshua 6:25).

That’s always been one of my favorite stories too. And I love the way you summarize it.

Which part of your book was the most difficult to write – the beginning, middle, or end? Is that always the case, or only for this book or story?

The middle was the most difficult to write because I had to find a way to maintain tension. I don’t think struggling with the middle is unusual, and that’s been the case for the other two novels I’ve written.

Sagging middles–it’s not just our waistlines. 😉

Which comes first for you, the characters, the story, or something else?

Usually a concept for the story comes first. For The First Principle I had the idea, What if there was a society that forced teenage girls to have abortions? Would all of them willingly comply with the law? What would happen if they didn’t?  From there I developed a character who would question the law and created a society that would make such a law.

So you started with the story question! That’s a fantastic place to start, because a story that asks a good question captivates me from the beginning, just like your book did. Great work!

Can you tell us something about your book that you know but isn’t in the book? Perhaps share some back-story on a character?

Vivica is multilingual. She can speak Spanish that she learned from her nanny. Vivica’s mother also made her take lessons to learn Mandarin. She can even speak a smattering of French from helping her best friend Tindra study for tests.

I’m horrible at languages, although I was a French major with a German minor for a while in college. I ended up changing my major to science because it was something I was actually good at. LOL But I’d love to be able to speak multiple languages.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a sequel to The First Principle. I hope to finish and get a proposal to my publisher soon.

I hope you do too because I can’t wait to read it!

Before you go, what is one thing you’d like your readers to know?

I like hearing from readers, so feel free to contact me at

Thanks Marissa! You can keep in touch with Marissa at her website and on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Click on the link below to read an excerpt from the book!


GIVEAWAY TIME…If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win a copy of The First Principle, tell us in the comments below. We’ll select one winner at random and post the results in next Monday’s blog.

TALK TO US: Abortion is such a sticky issue, and a fringe one for Christian content. I like books that tackle gritty issues. What about you? How clean do you like your fiction?


4 thoughts on “In which Marissa Shrock tells all

  1. I like gritty issues so long as they don’t wallow too long in the dark or despair. Ex: The Atonement Child was good but I’ve never felt inclined to read it a second time – it’s colored with too much sorrow in my memory.

    The First Principle sounds exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. And very believably possible the way the world is currently heading.


    1. Is the world heading toward forced abortions, or anything goes? It’s so hard to predict the future. I think that’s why I like dystopians. You get to play out what might happen as the result of certain decisions/legislation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooh, this sounds good. I’d love a copy! I too like gritty, real issues. But “wallowing” is bad, as Sparks mentioned. Abortion is an unfortunate reality of our world and Christians are not immune. Write about the tough stuff and in doing so, shed the light of CHRIST on these issues.


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