I'm very excited to welcome back Christian Scifi/Speculative author Steve Rzasa. Steve visited last year to talk about his debut book, The Word Reclaimed, and its sequel, The Word Unleashed. Steve has a third book out now, Broken Sight, which he's here to tell us about, and also about what else is going on in his life. Be sure to leave a comment because Steve is giving away a signed copy of his book.
Steve, I know I asked this question in our first interview, but it's been awhile. Will you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and
raised in South Jersey, and have loved to read from an early age—adventure,
history, and especially science-fiction. My wife and I live in Wyoming with our
two grade school-age boys, where she teaches and I am a librarian. Prior to
working at a library I was a reporter/editor for eight years in Maine and in
What have you been up to since you last
Since last spring I
finished writing Broken Sight, my new novel, in December 2010 and just last
week finished a fantasy/steampunk novel, tentatively titled The Bitter
Crosswinds (more about that at the close of the interview!) When I’m not busy
preparing new books for library circulation or writing the newsletter, I’m
helping folks find the books they need. In my “spare time” I write, draw, watch
movies and play video games, play LEGOs and soccer with my boys, and cook
dinner with my wife when we’ve got a minute.
Tell us about your new book?
Broken Sight is the tale of Lt.
Cdr. Brian Gaudette and the crew of his new rescue starship as they respond to
a distress call from a remote planet. Little do they realize they're being
plunged into a race against evil forces that could result in a powerful weapon
falling into enemy hands. It takes place two years after my previous two
novels, The Word Reclaimed (Marcher Lord Press 2009) and The Word
Unleashed (Marcher Lord Press 2010.)
What inspired this story?
I always enjoyed writing about Brian
Gaudette, the main character of my 2009 short story Rescued. He was a
character I wanted to revisit in detail, and to give a shot at a grander
adventure. Well, he got it. My purpose was also to explore the world of the
Face of the Deep series after the restoration of religous freedom, to see how
things had changed.
Is there an underlying theme?
Themes are not my strong suit, but if I
had to pick two, it would be faithfulness and teamwork.
What's your favorite scene/character?
Charlotte Ruby Bell. Ex-pirate, former
pirate-hunter, and all around crude individual. She's ill-tempered, rude, but
also one very good starship commander and someone who can bully her crew into
getting results. She can be cunning and smart. Just an all around fun
individual to write.
What do you hope reader take away from
reading your book?
I hope they can experience this
adventure with a sense of wonder, and not worry too much about the details of
sci-fi that sometimes bog down the casual reader. And if they come away from
this tale realizing that there is a one true God who cares for them and is in
control of all things, even better.
How did you get started as a writer?
I wrote ever since I was little, and
even then science-fiction was always on the brain. Somewhere in our house I
have a story I wrote for fourth grade about two space explorers on an adventure
-- I think they were based on LEGO guys I built. From there I expanded into
writing a novel in high school and working for the school newspaper, and penned
some short stories in college. There's still a stack of notebooks with
fragments of stories and ideas stashed in a drawer in our back room. And after
college I self-published a short novel called This Stirring Strife, a
space opera that can still be obtained used on Amazon, I think.
Finally, I worked on the project that
became The Word Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed -- a single,
large novel called Commissioned -- for about six years until I finished
it in February 2009. A few months later I was blessed to have Marcher Lord
Press publisher Jeff Gerke agree to publish the story as two books.
Do you have any particular method to your
writing, any quirks that help you along in the creative process.
I’ve found that
listening to music inspires my writing, especially when working on an action
scene. The particular song can make a big difference in helping straighten out
the flow of action in that scene—for example, if it’s a dramatic scene I don’t
want lighthearted music playing. I also am compelled to draw characters,
starships and settings to help visualize. Oh, and I’m a huge sucker for maps.
Have you always loved science
definitely the genre with which I’ve had the strongest relationship—can’t tell
you how many evenings during my high school years were spent watching Star
Trek: The Next Generation. (Me too!) And I went to see the re-released Star Wars in
the 1990s when I was recovering from a fever. So that tells you my level of
obsession. As for literature, I devoured books by Michael P. Kube-McDowell,
Kathy Tyers, Chris Walley,
I think it's very exciting to
see Christian fiction broadening into new genres. What are your thoughts on
this and where do you see things headed in the future?
I'm encouraged by the raft of new
Christian speculative fiction authors who have appeared in recent years, and by
the creation of new small publishing houses dedicated to the genre. No longer
do writers have to fret that their somewhat odd or out of the ordinary tales of
space opera, fantasy or the supernatural have to remain unpublished because
they're too weird. We have several publishers who like weird. The genres
available to Christian readers will hopefully continue to grow and the
selection and quality of writing keep getting better.
What's up next?
Well, I just this week finished a
fantasy/steampunk novel called The Bitter Crosswinds and started in on
the prologue for the sequel. Not sure when or if those will be published, but
I've got more stories to tell. I'm also putting notes down for an alternate
history/alien invasion -- hopefully sooner than later! Anyone who's interested
can keep tabs at my website, www.steverzasa.com, or find me on Facebook. My
books are available at www.marcherlordpress.com and Amazon.com.
Purchase from Marcher Lord
Purchase from Amazon