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Friday, April 09, 2010

Spotlight on Steve Rzasa and The Word Unleashed

Don't forget the new rules of the spotlights here. Random questions will be inserted in each spotlight for you to find and answer in the comments in order to be entered. So, be on the lookout!

And today, I'm pleased to feature an author published by the same company as my husband. Marcher Lord Press is a fantastic science fiction and fantasy publisher that is giving a presence to those authors of amazing stories who couldn't find a place with other traditional houses. The demand is high on the reader end, but most publishers don't take the risk. Jeff Gerke, with Marcher Lord Press, does. If you're a fan of this genre, be sure to check out this publisher for all of the books available.

Question MODIFIED. What other 2 books released along with The Word Unleashed in April 2010 with Marcher Lord Press? The answer is on the main page of the publisher site. :)


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 and his wife, Carrie, have two boys and live in Buffalo, Wyoming. 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.

by Steve Rzasa
Published by Marcher Lord Press


The Word Reclaimed, Book 1 of the Face of the Deep

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.

The Word Unleashed, Book 2 of the Face of the Deep

Baden’s book won’t leave him alone.

He’d like nothing more than to get rid of the Bible he found in the wreckage of a derelict starship. It’s brought trouble – the secret police are closing in on him. He’s fighting more with his father. And he fears that the young woman he loves may be falling under the book’s spell.

But he can’t seem to let it go.

Now he’s sharing what he’s read with believers who have awaited the return of God’s Word for decades. His mysterious rescuer, Jason, wants the Bible taken to a safe place.

So now it’s his choice. He can hide it, or proclaim it.

With Kesek in control of the Realm and coming after all its opponents, Baden will have to trust not only in his friends but in a contingent of elite soldiers determined to save the king.

He’ll have to come to grips with the power he has unleashed on the Realm of Five. And that power has plans of its own.

Readers, buy your copy of The Word Unleashed today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I came up with the idea for The Word Reclaimed and its sequel, The Word Unleashed, about eight years ago. They were both originally one story called Commissioned. I was fiddling with ideas for a space opera and started thinking about a kid and his dad running their own cargo ship. Not sure why, but it just popped into my head. In any case, I wondered, “What would happen if he found a wrecked ship containing the last known Bible?” It all kind of snowballed from there.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

My personality traits appear in several characters. I tried to apportion some of those emotions out to – for example, sense of humor to a few, faith to a couple, even anger to some. There are a few aspects that are theirs alone. For example, Professor Tara Douglas-Verge’s zeal for freedom is tempered by her disdain for anything religious. And Baden Haczyk’s bitter animosity toward his father is entirely his own trait.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Oh, that’s easy – Rocky Road. Baden’s journey, both physical and spiritual, is a difficult one. There are many obstacles he must overcome, enemies he must face, and decisions he must make.

4. Are there any themes in The Word Unleashed that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

The most blatant theme is the power of God’s Word. The Bible can be a tremendous instrument for change. It is the guide to a relationship with God. I hope to show the reader how it changes people. That is not to say everyone changes in the same way or has the same “Hallelujah!” moment. No, God uses everyone in different ways, according to the abilities He has given them, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can accept our place in the body of Christ.

Other themes that arose are the influence of family, both for good and for ill, and the importance of loyalty and friendship. Religious freedom is a theme that came to me late in the development of the original Commissioned manuscript, but one I feel is important nonetheless. I’m not talking watered-down “tolerance” as we know it in our politically-correct society, but true freedom to worship as you please – and proclaim the Gospel as you please.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The most difficult parts to write were the little bits of budding romance! I’m a guy. It just doesn’t come naturally.

My favorite parts to write were most of the action scenes, which required a great deal of focus. I also had a great time writing every scene involving Detective Chief Inspector Nikolaas Ryke of the king’s secret police force. I poured every bit of anger and hatred I could imagine into one character to see what he would be like. It was a challenge and thoroughly enjoyable to create a guy you love to hate.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Well, I’m not sure! I’ve got a book that I’ve just started on, based on a short story from The Face of the Deep universe. It involves a Rescue Corps officer getting a new command and taking it on a deep space rescue mission. But that’s in its infancy. So there should be something within a year or so (hopefully!)

* * * * *

Thank you, Steve, for being in the spotlight with us.

NEW!! Readers, find the question buried somewhere in the spotlight and answer it in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of The Word Unleashed. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Kerry Nietz said...

Nice interview, Steve & Tiffany!

Rosalie Patience said...

The other two books are, The Superlative Stream by Kerry Nietz and To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson.

The World Reclaimed sounds amazing!! It's definitely on my Have to read list.


abster . rose @ yahoo . com

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and since there was only one comment, that is:


Congratulations! I have sent your mailing address to Steve so he can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.