It's my pleasure to welcome back science fiction author Steve Rzasa.
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 earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communications in 2000, and then spent seven years as a reporter and assistant editor at weekly newspapers in Maine. Steve moved to Wyoming in 2007 to become the editor of a weekly newspaper there, and now works at the local library. He and his wife Carrie have two boys and live in Buffalo, Wyoming. His favorite authors include C.J. Cherryh, David Drake, Robert Heinlein, Kathy Tyers, Chris Walley and David Weber.
More information about Steve’s books is available at http://www.steverzasa.com/ and http://www.marcherlordpress.com/
HANGING OUT WITH STEVE
JA: The Word Unleashed is a sequel to The Word Reclaimed. What are the challenges and blessings involved in writing a sequel as opposed to something totally new?
SR: Well, part of the blessing of writing The Word Unleashed is that it and The Word Reclaimed were originally one book. So the beginning, middle and ending were already there. The challenge came in splitting Commissioned (as the manuscript was originally titled) into two – it necessitated the writing of whole new chapters, scenes, as well as the removal of old and creation of new characters. It was an overall rewarding process to conclude the two-part story.
JA: How do you come up with your story ideas?
SR: Well, I just kind of daydream, I guess. A lot of times I happen to think of a scene or a combination of characters – or a starship – and then it all kind of flows from there. Once I put pen to paper and write down that idea, more ideas seem to come naturally. But many times I troll through the current events and see what can be adapted as a future plot.
JA: How does your faith impact your writing?
SR: My faith drives me to present what I believe about God rather directly. It enhances my creativity and gives me the freedom to address topics not necessarily just for a secular or Christian audience.
JA: After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
SR: The biggest surprise was that people other than my family and friends read my book and liked it! I’ve been gratified that men and women of varying ages – from 70s right on down to middle school – have enjoyed reading The Word Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed.
JA: What do you think about writing contests? Have you participated in any? What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?
SR: I won second prize in the 2009 Christian Writing Contest held by Athanatos Christian Ministries for my short story, Rescued. It serves, I think, as a way to show potential publishers that an unbiased source read and liked your work, so I would encourage submitting to such contests.
JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
SR: I’m working on a novel set in the same Face of the Deep universe as the first two, except taking place a couple of years later. It is a kind of follow-up to my short story Rescued, which you can read at http://christianwritingcontest.com/entry/2009-joe-keysor-gk-chesterton-19-up-steve-rzasa/154.html. I’ve also got some short stories from the Face of the Deep universe in the works.
JA: What’s your idea of a dream vacation?
SR: Let’s see – eating donuts from Dot’s Pastries at 7:30 a.m., spending the first half of the day on the beach, lounging around, reading, writing, drawing, playing with my boys, visiting my family – wait a sec, that’s what I do every summer in Ocean City, NJ!
JA: Sounds like you're living the high life, Steve! Thanks so much for visiting with us today.
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of The Word Unleashed , just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on June 7th. (No, you're not imagining things... I extended the contest to give more people time to enter. Tell your friends!) 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!