Q&A: R.J. Larson
In R.J. Larson's newest book, Judge, Kien Lantec has been training his whole life to be a soldier and a judge. Now, he's been told by the Creator that his life is going to follow a different path entirely - a path he doesn't want (and that he feels he's unequipped) to follow.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN JUDGE?
My main inspiration for Judge, and for the Books of the Infinite series, is the Old Testament. In book one, Prophet, I focused on the heroine’s role as a prophet. Judge explores the theme of obedience and presents beloved Old Testament accounts in a fantasy realm.
The research for all three books has been challenging and rewarding beyond my expectations! I hope readers enjoy the results.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH STORY TO WRITE?
While studying notes and commentaries for Prophet, I found several references to obedience vs. the classic theme from the book of Judges 21:25, when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes”—the exact conflict I wanted my main character to face. Several Old Testament stories tied into those themes perfectly and worked together so well that my choices were easy.
WHEN MAKING UP STORIES, HOW MUCH DO YOU DRAW ON YOUR OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES AND PEOPLE YOU KNOW, VERSUS DRAWING ON RESEARCH ABOUT COMPLETE STRANGERS?
I love people! I love studying human quirks and listening to my friends and family as they visit. However, I’d like to think that my characters are their own people—each with his or her own quirks.
My own life experiences are a different story. I might look like a mild-mannered writer, but I’ve been robbed, I’ve had a knife held to my throat, I’ve contracted some illnesses so exotic that the doctors have celebrated my miseries. I’ve also been dragged by a horse, caught in an undertow, and threatened by a law enforcement officer, as well as protected by others. I borrow from my adventures and mishaps freely, weaving my own reactions into my characters’ emotions. It seems to work—though I hope I’m finished with the active research!
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
I’m revising King, the sequel to Judge, and I’m tossing around ideas for more books, yet unnamed.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS GET OUT OF YOUR WORK?
A fresh look at the Old Testament and its relevance to our lives. I also hope this series makes each reader pause and reflect on his or her relationship with our Creator!