Q: Why “Stories for the Quest”?
A: I believe everyone is on a quest in this life. Sometimes, though, we’re not aware of it. Or maybe we’re aware of it, but we’re not sure what we’re questing for. And sometimes we find out that what we’ve been questing for isn’t something we really want to find after all. And then there are the times when we nearly break our hearts against the obstacles that divide us from that holy grail or that kingdom of light or whatever it is that we long for most.
I’ve found that certain kinds of stories encourage me on my quest. May you find the same, even if they’re not my stories!
Q: Who is your intended audience?
A: Readers who enjoy speculative fiction written from a Christian perspective. So far I’ve uploaded and/or tagged my stories as “Christian” (mostly in fantasy and allegory categories) on Amazon and other retailers, because I want to make it clear to readers that I’m writing from a Christian perspective. I’ve been tremendously encouraged by reading speculative fiction, and I hope to encourage others.
Q: What do you mean when you say you’ve been encouraged by reading speculative fiction?
A: Speculative fiction asks interesting questions and then seeks to explore possible answers in the form of a story. Here’s an example: I’ll never forget the first time I read Out of the Silent Planet (the first volume in C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy) as a teen and thought about what it might be like if God actually has created other planets (in whatever galaxy) that are populated by sentient creatures. And about the roles various angelic beings might have in relationship to such worlds. Nothing I’d read before that had given me such a vivid mental picture of the cosmic scope of God as a creative being.
Q: What is Strange Country about?
A: I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that Strange Country was originally inspired by The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton subtitled his story “A Nightmare,” and as the plot unfolds it does have that kind of bizarre, surreal feeling. I clearly remember how moved and surprised I was by Thursday’s ending the first time I read it. I wanted to try to create something like that – although Strange Country‘s plot is quite different, and of course I’ll never be the writer Chesterton was! Recently, I realized Strange Country echoes themes from certain fairy tales, especially King Thrushbeard (because fairy tales often contain kernels of great truth), and so I added the “fairy tale retold” tag to help readers who love this type of story find it.
Q: What Is Monster about?
A: Monster is a retelling of Shelley’s Frankenstein, set within the context of the contemporary interest in life extension through science (or pseudo-science, depending on one’s perspective). The original Frankenstein has been described as a black comedy, and I tried to recreate that, using my own version of the mad scientist as the narrator. He has a very high opinion of himself and his abilities, but he runs up against a few obstacles he didn’t anticipate. It includes one rather gory scene (also consistent with the original), written to depict the seriousness of the situation.
Q: What is Dragon Slave about?
A: Dragon Slave was inspired by The Pilgrim’s Progress. While the original was written within the context of what many people would consider a Christian society, and features a protagonist who is convicted of his sin and wants to make the journey to the Celestial City from the very beginning, my version is about a teenage boy who doesn’t know anything about a journey or a Kingdom or a King. He just wants to be left alone so he can play video games. (I think most of us have been there at one point or another in our lives!) This story is about what it might take to shake someone loose before they’ll even consider the possibility of starting on the quest for the Kingdom of Light.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: In addition to the sequel to Dragon Slave, I’ve been working on a futuristic retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in space, as well as a contemporary retelling of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So many stories to tell!
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