Author Interview with Ronie Kendig!

 

Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing one of my all-time favorite authors: Ronie Kendig! Her books combine some of the most intensely real characters I have ever read with stunning un-put-downable action scenes.If y’all out there haven’t tried any of her books yet, you really should. You won’t regret it! 

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Author Bio:

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author of a dozen novels. She grew up an Army brat. Now, she and her husband, an Army veteran, have an adventurous life in Northern Virginia with their children and a retired military working dog, VVolt N629. Ronie’s degree in Psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

 

 

The Interview

What is your favorite hobby?
I would probably say crocheting or decorating.

Which do you prefer? Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Um, depends. Haha. I think coffee as long as you’re talking Stabucks lattes. And tea – well, that’s pretty much always good. I’m not big on hot chocolate, though.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I’m a 2nd degree black belt in tae kwon do

What are the hardest scenes for you to write?
I think action scenes are tough because I really work them hard–I make sure every action has a reaction. Ever impact a resonance. They take a lot out of me, and I’ll rewrite them as many times as possible to get it right.
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Of all the characters you have written, do you have a favorite?
I do not – because each of them are a favorite for a different reason. I am really fond of Tox right now, but perhaps that’s because I’m immersed in his story still.

All your characters have an incredible amount of emotional depth. How do you write them so realistically?
I think that having a degree in psychology has really helped me a lot–and understanding people. I’ve got a sixth sense about people, and that drives my stories. I’ll never start a story without exploring the character first.

Are you an outliner, or a seat-of-your-pants writer?
Yes. Ha. Sorry, I’m not being difficult but there are times I plot and times run by the seat of my pants. Depends on the story and/or the demands of my publisher.

Is there anything specific that you hope readers take away from your writing?
You said in the question–HOPE. I want readers to see and believe there is ALWAYS hope, especially hope in Christ.
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What is one piece of advice you would like to give aspiring authors?
It’s very important to take the time to learn the ropes of writing, learn the rules and they why of those rules. It’s so easy to say, “they just don’t get my story,” or to want to push and be “edgy” or “real,” but perhaps that really means you are still growing into your authorial skin. Even with fifteen traditionally published novels, I know I still have a lot to learn, and I pray I never stop learning/growing. So, learn those rules. Master them. But in the end, down the road, don’t let them strangle your story or your voice.

 

Thank you so much, Ronie, for taking the time to do this interview with me! It was great having you!

Conspiracy of Silence: a book review

Author Website: Rapid Fire Fiction
Author Facebook Page

The Reward of Anavrea Blog Tour!

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We all like a reward, don’t we? But, not all rewards are what they appear. That’s the case in the latest installment of Rachel Rossano’s Theodoric Saga. Rachel created an intriguing Historical-like Christian Fantasy as she tells the tale of Jayne and Liam. Find out more and be sure to check out the giveaway!

About the Book

web2-rossano-reward-finalShe couldn’t hide forever.

A hard life taught Jayne to avoid men, powerful men most of all. When a new nobleman arrives to take over the vargar, she takes her family and hides. But the new baron seeks her out and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: protection. However, once they were sheltered behind the dark stone walls of the vargar, who would protect her from the new master?

His reward isn’t what it seems.

King Ireic of Anavrea charges Liam, a former bodyguard, with the task of retaking and taming a corner of the northern wilds. Upon arrival at Ashwyn Vargar, Liam finds challenges beyond his military experience. The keys to the vargar are missing and so are the field hands who should be harvesting the fields. Once he finds the keeper of the keys, she raises more questions than answers.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2JATTB/

Short Review

Trust is a difficult thing for Jayne after being let down by every man in her life up to this point, with the exception of her brothers. Liam, newly made Lord of Ashwyn, desperately wants her to trust in him, but he doesn’t know how to win a girl who questions his motives and his every move. And to top it all off, their village is threatened with starvation and a neighboring Lord is determined to get the lands he believes to be his – through any underhanded means neessary.

Reward was a sweet new addition to Rossano’s Theodoric Saga series. While a bit short, all the characters are well developed and interesting. There were also got to see some fun cameos from main characters in past books.

Heat Ratings:

Romance: There is mention of a former nobleman’s mistresses and illegitimate children. The villian attempts to force a woman to marry him
Language: clean
Drinking/drugs: clean
Blood/violence: several fight scenes and some injuries. Very little blood.

About the Author

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Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

Giveaway

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Rachel is giving away one of her favorite CDs to listen to while she writes. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of music she likes to listen to, you can check out the CD on Amazon and then come back here and enter the giveaway. https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Guys/dp/B009EAO38C/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview

Rachel, hello and welcome to Ember’s Reviews! Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Hi! It is great to be here. Almost half my lifetime ago, I married my hubby. I am a homeschooling mother to three children who challenge me every day with their inquisitive minds. As an avid reader in my childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood, I have explored many different genres. Now with all the activities on my plate, I don’t get nearly enough time to read anymore.


Do you have a favorite hobby? (Besides writing ;-)) 
Reading, book cover design, and Lego Xbox 360 games are all my current hobbies, though I also do love a good movie. My favorite movie genres are old classics, old musicals, and superhero flicks.



What is your story’s spiritual theme?

Learning to trust God and others despite past and current pain.

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your pants writer?
I fall somewhere in between. I plot far enough to know where I am going in the short term, for a few chapters ahead, and I have a decent idea of where I am headed in the end, but I don’t plot every little bit. My characters need room to be themselves and grow. It keeps the story organic and character driven, which I love.

What scenes were the hardest for you to write?


The highly emotional scenes where I need to get a number of things accomplished in one conversation. I also struggle when my brain/character throws me a curve ball that I didn’t plan. I usually have to stop and decide if I want to keep it or not.

Describe your book in five words.
Trust and love intertwine tightly.

What’s coming next?


For this series, there is one more book to come. The Servant of Anavrea is finished in rough draft, but it needs an intensive edit before it is even ready to be seen by beta readers. But it will have to wait.

The next novels on my writing desk are an unlikely pair. The next novel in the Novels of Rhynan series (set in a kingdom to the north of Anavrea) is about two-thirds finished. My other current WIP is a Science Fiction novel that is promising to be a long one. I am excited about both stories and eager to finish them.

 

Tour Schedule

January 2
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Intro and Book Review
Julie Coulter Bellon-Review
Bokerah-Guest Post

January 3
The Overactive Imagination-Guest Post
Queen of Random-Book Spotlight
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Book Spotlight

January 4
Stephany Tullis-Book Spotlight
Ember’s Reviews-Author Interview and Review

January 5
Frances Hoelsema-Book Spotlight
Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview
Author Franky A Brown-Guest Post

January 6
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Review
Shout outs-Guest Post
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Book Spotlight
Rebekah Lyn Book-Character Spotlight

January 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

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Author Interview: Lea Doue

Those of you who follow my blog may remember my recent review of her new release – The Midsummer Captives. It was such a fun novel. And today, author Lea Doue has so kindly agreed to do an interview with me!

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Author Bio

Lea is the author of The Firethorn Chronicles, a series inspired by fairy tales and other classic stories. Homeschooling and writing take up most of her time, but she also enjoys directing a small puppet team at her church. A native of south Georgia, Lea currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, their two boys, a rescue greyhound, and three cats. But, sadly, no dragons.

 

The Interview

If you could trade places with any book character (your own or someone else’s) for a day, who would it be?

That’s so hard! The first thing that pops into my head involves dragons, of course, so I’ll say someone from the Pern series who owns a telepathic dragon. They also teleport, so I would be able to visit as many places as possible in a day.

What is your favorite fairytale?

If I have to pick just one, it’s Beauty and the Beast, but I like many of them. I have to say The Twelve Dancing Princesses, too, which inspired the first book in my series. I blame that one on the book becoming a series at all. The twelve princesses started talking, and they each wanted their own story. Who am I to argue with royalty?

Those are two of my favorite fairytales too! 😀
How about favorite reading genre?

Fantasy all the way, especially retold fairy tales or stories inspired by them.

Favorite movie?

The original Star Wars trilogy.  midsummer-captives

Describe your latest novel in five words.

Don’t mess with the princess.

Now that Midsummer Captives has been published, what’s coming next for you?

Firethorn Chronicles 3 will be next and will follow Melantha, who is the fourth princess. I kind of skipped Hazel, who appears in the second book and may still get her own story down the road. Melantha’s story is (for now) inspired by Rumpelstiltskin.

That sounds like fun! I can’t wait to read it!
What are your hardest scenes to write as an author?

I would have to say maybe descriptions. I have to stop and “look around” a bit before I can pick out the details to include, which takes longer.

How long does it usually take you to write a novel?

If I could sit down and just write all day, it would take about two months. But I homeschool two boys, and other things inevitably pop up (my husband had bypass surgery this summer, for instance), so the first two have taken around a year from start to finish. I would really like to have the third out sooner this time.

What kind of research did you have to do while writing Midsummer Captives?

Besides rereading A Midsummer Night’s Dream a few times, I did some research on bugs. The antagonist has an unhealthy fascination with them, as well as other critters.

firethorn-crownTell us a bit about your journey to publication.

I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, even when I never wrote anything down or shared the stories. About a year before a milestone birthday, and after reading countless indie-published books on my husband’s Kindle, I decided to finally jump in and go for it. I read dozens of how-to books and website articles as I was outlining and writing the first manuscript. Once that was done, I hired a cover artist and an editor, which finally led me to the finished product and publishing on Amazon. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’ve met some incredible people along the way.

 How many drafts do you usually have to go through before the manuscript is complete?

Two or three? I’ve never counted. I start with notes and plotting in a notebook, and then I move on to a detailed outline of all the scenes (usually 60-80 pages, typed). Once the outline is done, I write the whole first draft scene by scene in order, adding details and little changes along the way. After that is a second draft and a few polishing runs before sending it off to the editor. The Midsummer Captives needed some big rewrites and another pass with the editor before being finished.

Thank you Lea, for taking the time to do this interview with me! It was a lot of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Interview with K.M. Shea!

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author K.M. Shea. Some of you might recognize her from all the book reviews I have been doing on her lately. I have become totally addicted to her fairytale retellings. Her books are like potato chips. You can’t read just one!

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Short Author Bio:

I started writing as a kid, and it became my obsession when I reached college. I am partial to the fantasy genre, but what I really love writing is stories that people find humorous.

The best part about being an author, in my opinion, is connecting with readers. My passion can’t be realized without you, and I genuinely want to know you and brighten your day. Check out my blog for the various ways you can interact with and contact me!

The Interview:

What originally inspired you to start writing?
I am a reader at heart, which is what prompted my passion for writing. I have two favorite authors, Diana Wynn Jones and Vivian Vande Velde, and they write humorous fantasy stories usually with a dash of romance. That’s exactly what I love, but unfortunately they didn’t release books very often, and besides the two of them no one else (at the time) was writing anything like that. So I first wrote because I wanted there to be more stories humorous fantasy stories with a touch of romance. (Since then my style has morphed, so now I emphasize the romance much more.)

Of all the books you have written, which one is your favorite?
Usually my favorite is whatever book I am working on at the moment, or whatever book I’m about to start. When I’m working with characters and a specific setting, I really immerse myself in the world so it’s hard to picture loving anything else besides that particular story at that moment.

Click for the Amazon link!

However, if I’m being entirely honest… I have to say my least popular book, Life Reader, is probably my favorite book. Most of the story takes place in the library, and the main character and all her friends work there. I was once a library page, so libraries are really special places for me.

I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t love Life Reader. That one’s one of my favorites too! 

So, what’s coming next?
I’ve spent the last few months investing in my brand, for instance I just got a new website–which is a lot more work than you would think! So for the next few months I’m finally getting a chance get back to writing, and starting in November/December there should be a flurry of books released.

YAY! I shall be eagerly anticipating their arrival! (Rubs hands together greedily) 

What are your hardest scenes to write as an author?
Hands down, the romance scenes. I get to know my characters so well I feel like some kind of creeper whenever I write anything at all romance related. It’s not so much that I don’t know how I want the scene to play out, as much as I am always fighting the prevailing sense that I should not be watching this really sweet, personal moment between the main characters.
Ironically, fight scenes are probably the easiest.

LOL! I don’t think i’ve ever heard anyone describe writing a romance scene quite like that! It’s always the fight scenes that give me the fits!

Amazon Link

Where do you get your inspiration?
That’s hard to pin down… For the fairytales usually I’ll read the original story and go, “Wow that was weird. How do I make that halfway normal?” The King Arthur stories are similar, though there I concentrate a little more on making the stories funnier and explaining the Knights’ weird behavior. Almost all of my books begin, though, as questions. I ask myself “what if?” a lot, which is a great way to flex your imagination.

Coffee or tea or hot chocolate?
I’m a big tea drinker, but I do love those flavored coffee drinks that are basically just sugar and ice, and I love a cup of hot chocolate in the winter!

Amazon Link

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your- pants author?
I am an outliner. I used to be a by-the-seat-of-your-pants author, but outlining saves so much time and frustration, particularly in the editing process as you don’t have to correct as many changes.

Favorite and least favorite parts of writing?
Writing the book description is probably my least favorite part. It’s really stressful because you’re trying to make this books sound interesting, and still summarize it in a paragraph.

For favorite parts, I really enjoy the writing. In particular, when I began to write a new book I usually have a few scenes almost completely planned that I’ve been picturing for at least a month or two. These scenes tend to be the more passionate or important scenes of the book. Writing those specific scenes is incredibly fulfilling, and so much fun!

What is one piece of advice you’d give aspiring authors?
I have a resource guide on my website with a lot of references, in particular a lot of different podcast shows listed. I’d really suggest picking through a bunch of those podcasts and listening to how other authors have made it and become successful. If you really want to do well as an author, you need to innovate. Listening to the different ways other people innovate will help you think of your own ideas.

Also, I’d remind do authors to take care of themselves. Being a writer can be really stressful, and it also keeps you fastened to your desk for hours at a time. This can seriously affect your health, so be sure to take care of yourself!

Have you ever cried over one of your own characters?

Amazon Link

Yes, usually if there is a great scene between friends it gets me teary-eyed. In Sacrifice, book 2 of The Snow Queen, there’s a very touching scene between the main character and her best friend. I was crying just about the entire time I wrote the scene. (I’m pretty coldhearted when it comes to the romance scenes, but those friends scenes get me every time!)

Thank you for having me on your blog!

And thank you so much for coming!

Check out my previous reviews of K.M. Shea’s novels here:

The Little Selkie: a book review
Heart of Ice: a book review
Sacrifice: a book review
Princess Ahira: A book review

Author Website: K.M.Shea.com
K.M. Shea’s Facebook page

Author Interview: Chawna Schroeder!

Today I’m interviewing Chawna Schroeder, whose debut novel –  Beast – was published this July!

102_0074b Short Bio:
Chawna Schroeder loves stretching both imagination and faith through her novels. Living in Minnesota, she dreams of far-off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, and princes in disguise, just like her favorite Disney princess Belle. When she isn’t committing her dreams to paper, you can find her studying the biblical languages, working with fiber, or teaching about the importance of discernment.

Interview:

What was your original inspiration for Beast?
This story sprang out of an emotionally down time, when I was feeling especially unlovable. I knew God loved me and loved me unconditionally, but I couldn’t understand why or how He could.
So God gave me the image of Him standing with His arm outstretched, ready to catch me. But for Him to catch me, I had to let go. I had to let go of my need to understand or explain. I had to let go of my view of myself to see me as He did. I had to accept His love simply was.
Then as I mulled further the difference between how I saw myself versus how God saw me I developed the first line and the last lines of the story. And from those things Beast grew.

How long does it usually take you to write a novel?
That’s hard to say. Every novel I’ve written has been a bit different. Amount of time also depends on what you mean “write.” From the day I decide to write a novel to the day I consider it presentable, not counting periods of major interruptions, I currently guesstimate that I average around eighteen months.

What are five words you would use to describe your novel.
Whimsical. Emotional. Personal. Intense. Satisfying.

What is your Favorite fairytale?
Film: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Written: Either Photogen & Nycteris by George MacDonald or The Wild Swans/The Six Swans (Anderson version/Brothers Grimm version)

 Beauty and the beast is my favorite too! 😀

What about favorite hobbies?

Fiberarts (weaving, spinning, crochet, etc.), playing piano, translating Greek & Hebrew, and hiking/camping.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Tea, hot chocolate or mulled cider, depending on the season and mood.

What is you biggest challenge when writing?
The challenge changes with every book I write. With Beast, getting Sarah’s voice right and striking the right balance between symbolism and story proved my biggest challenges. In the current story I’m working on, the world building and description have given me the greatest headaches thus far.

Have you ever cried over your own characters?
Upon occasion, though I’m more likely to get mad at them.

LOL!

What scene was the hardest to write?
I’m not sure which one was the hardest, but one of the hardest was the short exchange between Tabby and Gwen in Chapter Twenty-Three. While not the most emotionally intense, the scene required a very delicate balance of emotions. It took several rewrites to get these few, short paragraphs of dialogue right.

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your- pants author?
I’m mixed. I like a broad outline when I start—the beginning, the climax, and a few major turning points between—but then I want to fly by the seat of my pants for he rest of the story. I like the security of the big-picture structure and great flexibility in how I get from Point A to Point B.

What are you working on now?
Another adult mixed-genre fantasy set in a world mirroring the WWII time period. It’s about a young girl who gets herself intentionally arrested in order to escape from a prison camp reputed as inescapable.

What do you want readers to take away from you book?
We don’t have to earn, explain or understand God’s unconditional love. Only accept that it is.
The truest thing about us is what God says about us.

Thank you, Chawna, for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Beast

Description:

I am Beast. I serve the Master.
For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold, she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.
When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers,
hunting down the loners. They are so strong, and she is only a beast. . . isn’t she?
For anyone who has found a monster within, Beast is a tale of truth and transformation.

Amazon Kindle Link: Beast
Amazon Paperback Link: Beast

Website: www.chawnaschroeder.com
Blog: www.chawnaschroeder.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChawnaSchroederAuthor/

Faith is the Victory Blog Tour!

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Have you ever felt like too much was going on and you just couldn’t handle anything more? Or maybe someone has bothered you so much that you avoid them as much as you can, but they still keep coming back. David felt that way in Faith Blum’s short story, Faith is the Victory, and she’s here today to tell us more about her book.

About the Book

Winninfaith-is-the-victoryg story in Perry Elisabeth Design’s short story contest.

I don’t like change. I know most people get used to it, but I have never been able to. When Dad announced their move and I couldn’t go with them, I didn’t handle it well. Would I ever find the faith to be victorious?

Content warning: A character does attempt suicide, so please read with caution.

Available on Amazon and other platforms such as Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Scribd.

Paperback coming soon!

About the Author

Author Picture 2015-2016 croppedFaith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.

When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.

There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: http://FaithBlum.com. On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs.

Sale

free-promo

This book doesn’t have much to do with Faith is the Victory, but if you like Westerns or stories about mail order brides, you might just like this novella. And it’s written by Faith Blum.

 

Author Interview

What was your original inspiration for this story?
The book cover. My cover designer, Perry Elisabeth Design, announced she was having a short story contest. There would be two winners and the winner would get the cover their story was written for. At first I didn’t think I would enter, but then I came up with a small snippet of an idea of what that young man was doing and I started writing it.


What five words would you choose to describe this story?
Poignant, challenging, victorious, Faith-filled, and intense.


Are you a plotter, or a seat-or-your-pants author?
A little of both, actually. I usually do a little bit of plotting, but then I write without too much regard to the plotting. I try to follow my outlines, but my characters sometimes don’t let me.


Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.
I very rarely go barefoot. I don’t like the feel of whatever dirt is on the floor.

What scenes do you find hardest to write?
The ordinary, day-to-day happenings like a family dinner. It’s hard to write those without the action dragging.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Just because you grew up in a Christian home, does not mean you are a Christian or that you will have a perfect life.

Thank you, Faith, for a great interview!

 

Tour Schedule

September 26
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Ember’s Reviews-Author Interview
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Excerpt
Karan Eleni-Excerpt

September 27
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Excerpt
Melanie Snitker, Author-Excerpt
In the Bookcase-Book Review

September 28
Keturah’s Korner-Book Review and Author Interview
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima-Excerpt
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Why this story and theme?

September 29
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Wrap-up

 

Truth Through the Ages Party

 

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Faith and her friend, Amanda Tero, are hosting a Facebook party on September 30th to celebrate their new releases! There will be giveaways, games, fun times, and a grand prize. They are also giving away a set of 4 eBooks to the person who invites the most guests. So head on over, invite some friends and then ask them to vote for you in the poll. The Party link is here and the link to the poll can be found here. They are also doing some fun pre-party posts and on September 26th and 27th, they are taking questions from the guests.
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Author Interview with Steve Rzasa!

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!