Q&A: Steve Rzasa
Baden found a book in the broken hull of a wrecked spaceship. Now he can't seem to get rid of it. There are some who want the book kept hidden and safe. Among them is Jason, a man who has saved Baden's life. There are some who have waited a long time to see the book returned to them and its message proclaimed through the Realm. Now he has to decide what to do with this book - this "Bible" - before the secret police find him.
The Word Unleashed is the second book in Steve Rzasa's The Face Of The Deep series.
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE WORD UNLEASHED?
I was working on ideas for a space opera epic back around 2003 when I came up with a question: what if the Bible were illegal in the future? And what if someone found a Bible in space? From those questions and hours of world-building came a novel called Commissioned, about a son and his father who make an alarming discovery that eventually embroils them in a galactic conflict. Marcher Lord Press picked up the story in 2009 and the publisher, Jeff Gerke, had me split it in two – The Word Reclaimed (2009) and The Word Unleashed (2010.) The rest, as they say, is history.
I read many Star Trek novels in high school and especially enjoyed those by Peter David, such as Vendetta. Later I discovered Kathy Tyers’ excellent Firebird trilogy, which introduced me to the realm of Christian speculative fiction. Chris Walley’s Lamb Among the Stars series gave me a tremendous boost – it was yet another excellent space opera/sci-fi novel that reinforced Christian themes.
Now, I draw much inspiration from my fellow writers at Marcher Lord Press, especially sci-fi authors Kirk Outerbridge and Kerry Nietz. It’s great to have a support network of writers who enjoy similar tastes. But I’ve also tried to broaden my horizons in reading, from the classic sci-fi Mote in God’s Eye to the Holmes on the Range detective series by Steve Hockensmith.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
It keeps me focused on something more important than my own ego while I work. It also gives me – and other authors who share the Christian faith, I think – a different perspective on the world in general. There is a hope we long for that shows up in in all our work, I think – the hope of redemption.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
For a long, long time. Seriously, somewhere I have a short story I wrote for a fourth-grade assignment. It details the adventures of two space patrol-type guys in their starship, and is based on some LEGO guys I played with. I wrote a short novel in high school called Unifying Factors about an interplanetary adventure (which probably will never be published, thankfully!) and toward the end of college I self-published a novel called This Stirring Strife. I consider those grand experiments before I learned the finer points of being an author.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
My primary goal is to have people travel along with my characters and enjoy an adventure that leaps between the stars. But I also want to tell them of the power of the Word of God to change lives – I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. So they need to know it.