This month, we’re pleased to welcome author Steve Rzasa to the Lightning Blog! Steve is the featured author in the October 2017 issue of Havok magazine. (Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a chance to win a copy of Steve’s latest book, The Word Endangered!)

Give me a spaceship and a blaster and I’m a happy author. 

What stories have inspired your writing the most?

Star Wars and Star Trek influenced my earlier space operas. Of course, so did Firefly. I’ve read tons of books by authors like David Weber, David Drake, Timothy Zahn, C.J. Cherryh, Ben Bova, and so on. Historical non-fiction provides great story ideas, too.

Dune by Frank Herbert, however, had the greatest impact on my sci-fi writing. His world-building is incredible, and I love how he borrows from ancient and contemporary sources to create a fantastic new environment. It makes me put a lot of consideration into the same world creation for my works.

 

What classic are you ashamed to admit you haven’t read?

Well, I wouldn’t say ashamed, but I’ve never read the Wheel of Time series. My thing’s always been sci-fi. I’ve read some fantasy in recent years, but it’s never had the same attraction. What can I say? Give me a spaceship and a blaster and I’m a happy author.

 

Which hero/heroine/mythological/medieval character do you most admire or despise? Why?

My admiration for such a fictional person varies from time to time, depending upon which books I’ve recently read or movies I’ve watched. At this moment, it’s a tie between Cassian Andor from Rogue One and Matt Murdock from the Netflix show Daredevil. They’re heroes, yes, but they’re anything but typical. Cassian is, at the start, a thug and a killer, who we later find is desperate for redemption. He gets it, I’d argue, but not through any effort of his own. Jyn Erso is more the hero than he is, and we never know whether the Rebellion does anything to memorialize him for the sacrifices he’s made.

Matt Murdock is in a similar situation. He’s given up more and more of his life to protect New York City, and while he’s got more of a conscience than Cassian ever did, he’s also made more mistakes. Matt is, for all his super abilities, an average person—he has friendships, romantic interests, worries about paying the rent. These things are piled atop his planning the latest battle against the evil ninjas of the Hand. I love it when heroes are portrayed as the kind of guys who, at the end of the day, would collapse on their couches and say, “That was a rough day.”

 

What are your writing quirks?

I have several of those. I prefer buying cool notebooks, rather than relying on the typical ones you’d use for school. And usually, I buy American-made notebooks, though I have cheated in the last year for the Zequenz brand flexible ones based out of Bangkok. Yes, I am a notebook snob.

I always carry a mechanical pencil with me: Pentel, 0.9 mm lead, yellow. Have done so for several years now.

I write best with music. Whether that music is the 25th Anniversary soundtrack to The Legend of Zelda, or Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC, tunes help me move the story along.

 

Tell us what’s coming for you in the rest of 2017.

The rest of this year is devoted to editing and short stories, so far as I know. I’m in the midst of edits for The Lightningfall, sequel to my fantasy novel The Bloodheart. It’ll be released in January 2018. Plus, I’m working on another project with several current and former authors from Marcher Lord Press (now Enclave Publishing), the aim of which I hope we’ll be able to announce soon. Meantime I’m writing a few short stories and prepping for the next full-length novel work-in-progress. Oh! I’m also re-packaging my steampunk novels Crosswind and Sandstorm, in hopes of re-releasing them in 2018 along with a third installment called Broadside. Whew! When it gets busy, it gets busy.

 

Read Steve Rzasa’s flash fiction, “Hallowed Cargo,” in the October 2017 edition of Havok.

 

Enter to win an autographed copy of The Word Endangered.

So much for peace and quiet.

Now that the government overthrow is said and done, a new frontier awaits colonization.

That’s where Zarco Thread and his wife enter. He and Ria head up a surveying crew, commissioned to report on worlds with potential for settlements. However, nothing is settling about what they discover.

A conspiracy threatens to unravel the progress the Five Realms made in the last decade. Not to mention, strain the development of Zarco and Ria’s marriage.

This time it’s more serious than revenge…

A dominating force exists in the Realm that has recruited their long-time enemies, tempting them with a greater plot, one that will endanger the Word once again.

 

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Meet the Author

By day, Steve Rzasa works as your local technical services librarian in Buffalo, Wyoming. By night, he dons his spacesuit and authors speculative fiction. Steve has written eleven novels, including Broken Sight, which won an American Christian Fiction Writers’ Best Speculative Fiction award in 2012. He’s a fan of all things sci-fi and superhero, and a student of history. You can follow Steve at SteveRzasa.com and on Facebook and Twitter.