Today Steve Rzasa, author of the (totally awesome) Face of the Deep series was kind enough to answer a few questions for my blog’s first interview!
What was your original inspiration for The Face of the Deep?
The idea itself came when I wanted to do a story about a son and a father running a cargo ship in deep space. What if they found something everyone else didn’t want them to have? What if that item wasn’t money or secrets, but the Bible?
Tell us a little bit more about your latest book, and will there be more in this series?
The latest book is The Word Endangered, which follows the adventures of surveyor Zarco Thread and his crew as they uncover a new danger to the Realm of Five. It takes place 10 years after the events of The Word Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed.
How long does it usually take you to write a novel?
It used to take me about a year, but when it came time to finish the last 3/4s of The Word Endangered, I challenged myself to write 5 pages a day – or as close to that goal as I could get. Found out, it’s doable. I had 100 pages of TWE done by September of 2015, and wrote the remaining 350ish in about 2 and a half months. Since then I’ve written two more novels, of 400 and 250 page lengths, and am currently writing a third.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Flight, couple with superspeed. Though I’d rather not hit something at hundreds of miles an hour. But since I’m not a comfortable flier, I imagine flying myself would help me overcome such anxiety.
What is your story’s spiritual theme?
The overarching theme of The Face of the Deep series is the supremacy of God and His Word. Mankind’s efforts to get rid of it always fail, and it has a power beyond our understanding.
What kind of research did you do while writing The Face of the Deep series?
I did a lot of research on theoretical technologies, advances in spaceflight, and the like. I also read a lot of history, because so much of our past repeats itself.
Was The Word Endangered easier to write than the others? Or harder? And if so, why?
It was easier to write than my first two novels, simply because of how many years had passed and how much practice I’d had since then. What surprised me was how quickly I was able to get back into the story world, after having been “absent” for four years.
If you could trade places with any character from any one of your books for a day, who would it be and why?
I would probably trade with Caz Fortel, the hero of my independently published book For Us Humans – not because Caz is a lapsed Christian with questionable impulse control, but because his job is recovering stolen artwork. Getting those works returned to the rightful owners appeals to me.
Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pants author?
When I started out with The Word Reclaimed, I was definitely a pantser. But as I’ve progressed, I outline more and more. Still, there are large portions of a story in which I have no idea what’s going to happen until I get there. The surprise to myself is part of the fun.
What are the strongest influences on your writing?
Pretty much all the space opera I’ve watched and seen influences, especially (but not in any particular order): Firefly and Serenity; the Star Wars movies and the trilogies of Heir to the Empire and The Black Fleet Crisis; Star Trek in all of its media forms; books of David Drake, David Webber, Ben Bova, and Frank Herbert, not to mention The Martian by Andy Weir and The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters; and superhero movies, such as the three Captain America films, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, and the TV shows Arrow and The Flash. Whew!
And finally, what do you want readers to take away from The Word Endangered?
There’s been a lot of debate about Christian speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi and horror included), which boils down to whether or not books are too preachy, not preachy enough, and whether or not they are “clean” – as in devoid of swearing and sex. (Violence is okay, it seems, but I digress.) My goal isn’t to preach, but to show Christians living their lives and their faiths in fantastic environments, whether they’re traipsing across the galaxy or using magic to protect the innocent or partnering against crime with an alien. At the same time, people should understand my writing will always have those people interacting with other characters who don’t share the faith; how those interactions impact the characters is just as important.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me, Steve!