Back in November, I reviewed two sci-fi novels, The Word Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed. Author Steve Rzasa was kind enough to answer a few questions for an author interview. Enjoy!
Welcome to Leah’s Bookshelf, Steve! Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?
Steve Rzasa here. I’m a librarian and recovering journalist, educated at Boston University and a native of New Jersey—more specifically, the region we natives call “South Jersey.” It matters. I’ve lived there, Massachusetts, Maine, and my current locale of Wyoming. My wife is a teacher and we have two boys in middle school grades. Those boys are my biggest fans and when I come out with a new book, they’re ready to read. Does a dad’s heart good.
What do you write, why do you write it, and what inspires you?
I primarily write science-fiction, though I’ve also written steampunk, fantasy, and a superhero novel (the latter of which has yet to be finished). These genres all appeal to me because of their fantastical qualities. They make people dream, and exercise the imagination to the max. Most of my inspiration comes from history. There’s so many stories you can adapt from historical accounts and figures that it boggles the mind. I also draw inspiration from the real science advances these days.
Of course, with all my books, I try to touch on Biblical themes and the sovereignty of God. That is a vital theme that you can expect to find in all my work, whether blatant or subtle. Reader be warned.
What kind of research did you do while creating the world and tech of the Face of the Deep series? What are some neat facts you learned and how did you find out about them?
Ironically, most of my research was old-school. I read current and back issues of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics to glean near-future technologies and expand on ideas there into far-future concepts. For the Realm of Five, I played around with some historical governments and did my best to adapt that to a spacefaring confederacy/kingdom. One neat fact I learned was the existence of experimental plastics that, when electrical currents are applied, expand into a hardened shape. That formed the aerowings used by the Starkweather Lancers.
If Baden had to chose an alias, what would it be?
Given his sense of humor and newfound appreciation for the written Word, I’d say “Bill Tyndale,” in honor of the original Bible smuggler.
I know you have at least one cool new book in the works. Tell us about what you’re working on now and what we should be looking to add to our bookshelves in the future. 🙂
The real question is, what haven’t I been working on? Let’s see: I finished my rough draft of The Word Endangered, the follow-up in The Face of the Deep that continues the adventure 10 years later in the same story universe. Enclave Publishing will release it in July. I’m also self-publishing a novel tentatively titled For Us Humans, which is an alternate modern day of Earth occupied by aliens. There’s another sci-fi project I’m beginning this winter which is top secret, for now, but should be out in early spring. Add to that some short story plans and another book idea I started on a couple weeks ago, and it adds up to a very busy—but happy!—writer.
P.S. Steve gave me some inside info that he’s signed the contract for The Word Endangered to be published by Enclave Publishing in July 2016 and turned it over to an editor.
Thanks for the interview, Steve!
Do you have any questions for Mr. Rzasa?
6 Replies to “Author Interview: Steve Rzasa”
Hmm, interesting. . .
When did you start writing, Mr. Rzasa?
I just figured out what steampunk meant, that’s funny! What brought it up was watching the movie “Beyond the Mask”. Have you heard of it, Leah?
I have heard of Beyond the Mask! In fact, my family and I got to see it in theaters a while back. The Burns family made another movie several years ago, Pendragon: Sword of His Father. It’s very amateur, but I loved it as a tween, so my brother and I followed them on and off throughout the production of Beyond the Mask.
I wondered if you would have heard of it, it seems like a lot of homeschoolers have.
I’ve heard of “Pendragon”, and I would like to watch it, as I LOVE Medieval stories! It probably won’t bother me too much if it’s not super high quality. . .
By the way, how did you do italics in your comment??
I started writing around third grade–at least, that’s the earliest evidence I have. Some two page story about LEGO space guys on an adventure. Quite riveting.
I wrote a short novel in high school, and then another in college. “The Word Reclaimed” and “The Word Unleashed” were actually one manuscript that I started ideas for in 2002, and took a very long time to write. My journalism career of eight years made novel writing difficult; when you spend all day writing, it’s hard to make yourself write for fun when you get home.
One thing I recommend is having a notebook on hand at all times. I have two boxes full of journals I’ve filled over the past 20 years. Sometimes I pick one up and find an idea that gets incorporated into an actual project!
Thank you for replying, Mr. Rzasa! Being a young writer myself, I always wonder when authors started to write. Most writers seem to have started quite young.
I like taking notebooks with me to work on things, though I have never tried just carrying one around. That’s an interesting idea!