ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Rzasa was born and raised in South Jersey, and fell in love with books—especially science fiction novels and historical volumes—at an early age. He worked for eight years as a newspaper reporter and editor before moving to Buffalo, Wyoming, with his wife, Carrie, and their two boys. He now works a county library. Steve’s short story, “Rescued,” which is set in the universe of The World Reclaimed, won the 2009 G.K. Chesterton Award in the Athanatos Christian Ministries Writing Contest.
JA: Congratulations on your debut novel, The Word Reclaimed. Tell us a bit about it.
SR: Baden Haczyk lives in contention with his father aboard the family cargo starship Natalia Zoja. His routine existence is turned on its head when he finds a book in the wreckage of another ship. Suddenly the omnipresent religious police are on his tail, and will stop at nothing to seize the book. Baden finds himself confronting a powerful faith, and runs in to allies who are fighting to stop the overthrow of the royal Realm of Five.
It is set in a future where all printed materials are banned – only electronic media are allowed, and the royal family owns the companies that make all computers, handheld devices, etc.
JA: Give us a glimpse of your road to publication. Was it a long and winding road, or are you an overnight success?
SR: It took me about six years to finish writing The Word Reclaimed, which is part of a much longer novel called Commissioned. As a weekly newspaper reporter and editor, I didn’t spend much time writing outside work – it took a lot out.
JA: What do you hope people take away when they finish reading your book?
SR: First of all, I want them to have fun. This is a space adventure, full of intrigue and battle both in space and on new worlds. Second, I want them to see the power of God’s Word and the effect it has on people.
JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
SR: Well, since The Word Reclaimed is the first half of what was originally one long novel, the sequel – so far untitled – will come out hopefully sometime next year. Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press wants to do the sequel but we haven’t set a firm date yet. I also have at least two more novels in my head (and partially on paper) for this universe.
JA: What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
SR: Though my taste in entertainment runs more toward spaceships, explosions and gunfights, one of my favorite movies is a D.B. Sweeney 1990s flick called “The Cutting Edge.” It’s a great movie.
JA: As a fellow Firefly fan, I have to ask: What did you think about the movie, Serenity?
SR: It was action-packed, but not as funny as the series. There is nothing that beats the episode “Jaynestown” – hysterical! I was disheartened to see them kill off Wash and Book in the movie – mostly because now we’ll never know Book’s secrets! – and I missed the interplay between Mal and Inara.
JA: We think alike, Steve. And I so agree about Wash and Book! Okay, now back to you...
JA: What’s the one far out sci-fi technology you’d most like to see become a household item?
SR: That’s easy – holographic systems! Think “Star Wars” only cooler and less grainy-looking.
JA: The current theme on my blog is The Year of Dreams. If you could realize one life-long dream right now (other than being a published author), what would it be?
SR: I think that dream would be to visit Poland, which is where my bloodline on my father’s fraternal side originates. We here in the U.S. of European descent have a very brief history – 400 years at max. I’d love to visit a land where the people’s language and traditions have roots thousands of years old.
JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
SR: I’ll keep everybody up to date at http://www.steverzasa.com/.
ABOUT THE BOOK – The Word Reclaimed
Baden picked up the wrong book.
In the far future, the civilized worlds have finally been freed of the curse of religion. Tolerance now rules the five colonies.
Thanks to the secret police, no one has been bothered by so much as a hymn in two generations—much less a Torah, Koran, or that most dangerous of books, a Bible.
Baden is a young man with an attitude. He spends his spare time salvaging wrecks in deep space, claiming for himself whatever the pirates leave behind.
One day, Baden finds a book. A strange and very old book, preserved carefully against the ravages of deep space. Thinking he’ll become rich if only for the value of the paper, he takes it. He counts himself lucky beyond all imagining.
Until it begins talking to him.
Amidst an interstellar war that threatens to overthrow the monarchy and drive great families to oblivion, Baden must evade the secret police and their attempts to get that book.
Baden never had much use for religion. But, it seems, one has use of him.
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of The Word Reclaimed, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on October 23rd. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!