Imagine looking outside and seeing a wall that stands over 30 meters high and 5 meters thick. This wall encircles the entire village. It keeps the danger out…but it locks you in.
Humanity was pushed to the brink of extinction when legions of demons crawled from beneath the earth and devoured two-thirds of the world’s population in a single night. For centuries, humans have been locked in a war with monsters—and they are not winning. There comes a day when the evil supernatural creatures break through the village walls and this time they hit with a vengeance.
Sixteen-year-old Fox Fire watches as her home is reduced to rubble. Desperate to protect her loved ones, she joins Cross Academy and devotes herself to destroying demons. But her loyalty is tested when she learns her best friend is possessed by one.
Fox must decide if she will be loyal to the Cross or spare her only companion. Slaying the monsters doesn’t seem so easy anymore.
Cross Academy is a clever fantasy set in the village of Wee, years after much of the world’s population was destroyed in the Demon War. Fox Fire, the heroin of the story, comes of age in a white-knuckle adventure, where she battles demons and witches in living color.
Valicity Garris carefully crafts her characters, and it is impossible not to fall in love with them as the story races faster and faster. KI is the outsider and protector that is wholly inadequate for the task. Cole is the untamable, hardened warrior. Each character is his/her own work of art, and they are certainly worth investing oneself in.
Perhaps most remarkable is the creative, imaginative setting, a fantastical world unlike anything on earth. While this story is outside of my genre of choice, the magical setting alone makes the trip to Wee a worthwhile adventure. I believe that Valicity Garris has a bright literary future ahead of her.
- Tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
Cross Academy is a YA dark fantasy novel set in a post-apocalyptic world engulfed in demonic warfare. That sounds like a headful of crazy when I say it out loud but the reason I decided to write it was pretty simple.
I’m a huge fan of American comics, my favorite being DC’s Teen Titans. There was a cartoon version on TV when I was a kid and one day I was just watching some reruns and reminiscing in its awesomeness. Teen Titans was a show about teenage superheroes who lived in a giant T-shaped tower protecting the innocent citizens in the surrounding city.
While I was watching I just thought, how cool would it be if that were twisted into a Christian show? Instead of having teenage heroes we could have war hardened Priests, instead of living in a T-shaped tower they could have a militaristic faction within a giant cross shaped tower, instead of protecting the citizens from bank robbers and whatnot, their main enemy could be demons. Then I just thought, whatever, let’s throw in the end of the world and bam. Cross Academy was born.
I do realize that sounds just as crazy as the description but I’ve gotten good feedback so far!
- What is your favorite genre to read and why?
Even though I write YA fantasy, I love reading contemporary fiction. I feel like a lot of the issues in our society could be best addressed and presented to the people—as in the people who aren’t necessarily politically apt—through an intriguing story. Things that are often seen as controversial could be made into something that’s easier to talk about or simply brought more awareness if there was a character and a story with it that audiences could relate to.
- Who are some of your favorite authors? Why do you enjoy their books?
Definitely Kathryn Stockett, she did an amazing job with The Help. Her writing is funny even though she’s talking about something that’s very serious and even painful for some to think about.
I also enjoy Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor and Park, simply because she’s increasingly using minority characters in her work. Diversity is something that definitely catches my attention as a reader.
- What would you like your readers to know about you?
I feel like readers take a look at my blog and my bio and think that I’m strictly a Christian author writing for Christian readers. I’d like them to know that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, Christ comes first in my life, and my writing definitely brings in Christian references and themes but my aim is to blur the lines between secular fiction and religious fiction. CS Lewis did it perfectly with The Chronicles of Narnia, JRR Tolkien did it with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I’m certain it can be done again.
- If you could have one wish fulfilled, what would it be?
You know, my wish is really to write. Sure, I’d love to be on par with some of the famous authors today. I’d like movies made and crazy fandoms dedicated to my work but really … I just want to get my ideas out there and still have time for my video games ahaha. So my wish is being fulfilled with every stroke of the keyboard. All that other stuff would just be a bonus.
- If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
One piece of advice about life? Gosh … the words of Winston Churchill keep me going, I’d have to share his famous quote; “Never, never, never give up!”