I am so excited to have Steve Rzasa and his book, Mercury on Guard featured on this week’s writer’s desk.
Writer’s Desk with Steve Rzasa
Steve Rzasa would be perfectly happy warping around the galaxy when he’s not writing. He’s the author of many novels of science-fiction and fantasy, gobs of short stories, and when he’s not writing, he’s running a library in Wyoming. Steve’s works encompass The Face of the Deep series, which includes the ACFW award-winning Broken Sight; the Vincent Chen novellas compiled in Lines of Communication, which follow after The Face of the Deep; the human-alien buddy cop adventure For Us Humans; and his newest endeavor, the Mercury Hale series, which includes the back to back winners of the Realm Awards Mercury on Guard and Mercury at Risk.
Be sure to stick around until the end of the post for more about Mercury on Guard and a chance to win a copy!
Q&A with Steve Rzasa
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
I try to write wherever and whenever I can. My daily routine is to write at home before I go to work—late morning start for me as a librarian—and also on my lunch break. But sometimes I’ll type for a bit at night while relaxing with the family on the living room couch, or on road trips when it’s not my turn to drive, or when we’re waiting at an airport, or on a weekend afternoon out on the front porch.
When are you most productive?
I would say I’m most productive when I have music in my headphones and I’m alone—whether traveling, or when the rest of my family is at school, or I’ve find a quiet corner at a conference where I can wall off from the real world. As Matchbox Twenty said years ago, “I wish the real world would just stop hassling me.”
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
I usually don’t snack, though I’ll often have a water bottle nearby. Snacking interrupts my fingers on the keyboard—and then the keyboard gets gross.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I think that depends on the definition of “writer’s block.” If you mean “coming up with ideas for a story,” I don’t have that problem, sorry to say. If you mean sitting in front of the keyboard and staring at the screen while your brain hollers, “Oh, no! What happens next? What do the characters say now?”, you bet I’ve wrestled with that. Real-life stress is the worst for me—it tends to make me denigrate my own writing. But if that’s the case, it’s best to walk away for a bit and do something else, anything else, because eventually ideas will dribble into your brain. Just be sure to have a notebook handy so you can write them down when they do!
What is your outlining process? Are you a pantser/plotter or something in between?
Definitely in between. I used to be a total pantser, but lately, I need to outline at least 2 or 3 major points that have to happen in a given chapter and arrange how the plot moves along throughout the chapters. It’s a very loose, flexible outline that usually changes halfway through the actual writing of the story, but it keeps me on target.
Best advice for someone who is just starting out.
Write a lot. Even if you think it’s lousy. All writing is great practice, whether you publish or submit or not. Try your hand at flash fiction—that is, extremely short stories of 700 to 1,000 words. It helps you hone your skill at getting to the point of the tale you’re telling. But most importantly, try not to worry about it, and have fun, especially as younger writers—you’ve got a long life ahead, likely, and it’s important not to sacrifice the joys of friends and family in pursuit of this writing dream. Like all dreams, it has the potential to consume you and push the rest of your life out, if you don’t balance the two.
Favorite thing to binge-watch? Loved Loki on Marvel’s TV lineup, but when I really want to binge, I go back and re-watch Agents of SHIELD when I want something lighthearted or Daredevil when I’m in the mood for something more serious and with a darker tone. Daredevil is the finest thing Marvel has produced in terms of its TV offerings to date, even if Lord Feige has deemed it no longer canon (Boo-hiss!)
What is your current favorite song? I got hooked on the song “Let’s Start” by Fela Kuti and the Africa 70, featured in the trailer for the Netflix Western The Harder They Fall. It’s got such a great beat to it I immediately added it to my playlist used whenever I write Mercury Hale stories.
Enter to win a copy of Mercury on Guard.*
Be sure to catch the video interview with Steve Rzasa on the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction page on Facebook, Thursday, October 21st at 1 PM CT. If you haven’t already joined, be sure to join the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction group so you don’t miss this and other fun LIVE author chats coming up!
More about Mercury on Guard:
Mercury Hale is not a hero. Not in his mind.
He’s happy spending his late nights slicing his way through monstrous astral fiends, using a weapon imbued with a mysterious power, at the behest of the secretive Procyon Foundation. It’s a strange way to earn a paycheck, but hey, he’s good at it.
The problem is, things are getting worse.
More attacks. More public exposure. None of which Procyon wants. When he tries to get to the bottom of the mess, Mercury is confronted by a tightly-guarded secret about Procyon – its true purpose, and what that means for the fate of the world.
Worse, Mercury is not who he thinks he is.
And he’s not alone.
Connect with Steve Rzasa
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