Mindfire is a redemption story centered around a young woman named Leia Hamilton. She develops super powers (telekinesis and pyrokinesis) and soon discovers that her father used to be a superhero and her biological mother is a supervillain. She has to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. The thing is, she’s been charting her own course since she was a teenager (she’s twenty now) and she finds out the hard way that she can’t figure out everything on her own, no matter how hard she tries. She needs the help that only the Lord can give.
Ooh, I love the idea of someone trying to figure out new powers and man, that twist that her mother’s a supervillain – so epic. I can also agree that we all need God’s help. He’s my biggest inspiration. Speaking of which, what or who was your biggest inspiration for your main character?
I created Leia as an original comic book character in 1981. I didn’t have a specific inspiration for her. But she was the first child born to any of my super-powered characters. And after I became a Christian in 1996, her comic book story deepened and became the basis for this novel.
Wow. I think it’s really neat that you created her long before Mindfire had fully been developed yet. I’m still so curious about her mother though. I mean, everyone loves a good villain. What’s your favorite part about the one in Mindfire?
There’s actually several but one main villain. Her name is Malevolence and she is Leia’s biological mother. I created her in 1980. She is the strongest telepath and telekinetic in the world. And she’s also a sociopathic murderer. But how did she become that way? What is her connection to Leia’s father, who was a superhero? Why did she give custody of her child to Leia’s father and step-mother? And can even a supervillain who has done so much evil in her lifetime find redemption, too?
Eek! I’m fangirling already. I love a good redemption story. Switching gears, let’s talk about you as an author for a bit. Before Mindfire, what were some of your other works?
I made a lot of comics starting in 1980. My first comic was an all-original superhero team called “The AR-MEN.” I wrote and drew one-hundred and forty-five comics from 1980 to 2000 and then made a final issue in 2006. There were also about six double-sized annuals and a few giant-sized issues. The AR-MEN are a huge part of the second story set within Mindfire, set twenty years in the past.
I also co-wrote and drew a Christian webcomic with my wife. It’s called “Due East.” It centered around a multiracial family coming back together after a divorce. The ex-husband was half-Chinese-American and half-Caucasian and the ex-wife was African-American. They had two daughters, aged 21 and 16. The younger daughter’s best friend happened to be a Christian and a strong supporting character in the series. It lasted from 2007 to 2009 and won two awards from The Duck Webcomics in 2008: “Best Spiritual Comic” and “Most Profound Comic.”
Wow! That’s very impressive and I’m sure you must be really proud of all your hard work. But do you have a personal favorite out of the other stories you’ve created?
Yes. There was a story within the Due East webcomic that started in Book One and developed throughout the rest of the series. The youngest daughter, Brielle, was home alone during a severe thunderstorm; a tree next to their house is hit by lightning and part of it crashes into her room and pins her to the floor while still on fire, threatening to kill her. She cries out for help, not specifically to God but to anyone to help her; she’s desperate. And the Lord sends a strong rain to put out the fire before it reaches her. And then her sister arrives to give her some good news about her own life. She ends up rescuing Brielle and calling 911. It’s a powerful scene and helps reunite the sisters, who had been estranged. It also sends Brielle on a search for answers about the miracle that saved her life. And that leads her to Christ.
Yep! I’ve got chills! I’m definitely going to have to read that scene sometime. It seems so powerful. On the other hand, what’s the hardest scene you’ve ever had to write?
The death of a wonderful supporting character during the upcoming Jordan series. When I was finished with the scene, I was actually crying because it was so moving.
Awwww. Well, the good news is, chances are, if the author is crying, that means the readers will too. But I totally understand what you mean, though! Let’s get back to some happier topics, shall we? Do you have a process when you settle down to write? If so, what’s that process like?
I set aside time to write during weekday mornings, as early as 4:00 am sometimes. I go to the living room couch and pray for a bit. Then I read in the Bible. And after that, I start writing. I may get the opportunity to write during the rest of the day or I may not. But that time is very special to me. I ask the Lord to help me with my writing, to inspire me. And He does!
When I read this, I smiled because I also try to invite God into whatever I write – although mine, I do in the late evenings, like 2 to 3 am sometimes. I love that you have God as a true inspiration and even pray about your writing. I don’t feel so alone now. So, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Just write. The first draft is always going to be bad or need a lot of help. Keep writing anyway.
That’s practically my motto! Now onto preference questions: Would you rather be invisible for the rest of your life or hear the thoughts of everyone around you all the time?
Funny you should mention that, as Malevolence is a telepath and had to deal with the latter problem. So, I’d say being invisible would be preferable,
Haha! After writing her character, I’d say you have lots of experience. My character, Jared, reads minds, so I also know how burdensome it can be and honestly, it’d be super fun to be invisible. Onto the next question, though. Most people ask if you prefer dogs or cats, so I’m here to ask you something a little different. Dragons or phoenixes?
Dragons. I have dragons in the Jordan series and they are far more preferable to Phoenixes.
Ooh, I agree! What’s your favorite type of pizza topping?
My ideal pizza has pepperoni, mushrooms, garlic and pineapple (yes, I’m one of those people).
Ewww, no offense. Then again, my stomach can only really handle either cheese, sometimes hamburger if it isn’t spicy, and chicken alfredo (yes, that’s a pizza toping). Do you have any unusual talents or habits? If so, tell us all about it!
I’m a musician and singer. I play electric bass guitar in a Christian band, along with my wife, who sings and plays viola and violin. In addition to that, I love taking sky pictures, particularly sunrise and sunset shots, and putting them on Facebook and Instagram. I just use my iPhone camera for it and snap a pic when inspiration hits.
I’ve seen a lot of your sky pictures on Instagram and I think they’re so beautiful! The sky always makes me think of God and His wonderful creation. What’s your favorite movie or one that influenced you the most?
I would probably have to say “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” from 1982. I’ve seen a lot of movies in my life, but I can almost always watch that one. I’m a Trek fan to begin with. But that movie has a lot of life lessons about growing older, dealing with crises, dealing with death and finding hope in the midst of hopelessness. It’s not perfect, no movie is, but it’s got a lot to say, even now.
Ooh, that’s awesome! My mom and uncle are huge Star Trek fans, so that’s really cool. I really need to get around to watching it sometime. What are you passionate about?
Everything? I really believe we should be passionate about all we do. I’m passionate about the Lord, about my family, about the work I do (whether my day job in I.T. or writing), about music and performing. Life is too short to settle for less, so we should live what we love. And to me, that means being passionate about those things that represent you.
That’s powerful advice. It reminds me of a verse in the Bible that says in everything that we do, do all for the glory of God. Like you said, “we should be passionate about all that we do.”
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”
Leia Hamilton can move things and set them on fire with her mind.
Leia’s father and step-mother tried to hide their past: a time when they were part of a team of superheroes. But despite being disbanded for over twenty years following a series of tragedies, their problems were passed to their children and Leia finds that her future collides with their past.
In the diverse world of human and superhuman, heroes and villains, friends and enemies, some of Leia’s choices have terrible consequences. For Leia, this leads to a personal crossroads and a search for redemption.
Not your normal superhero novel, Mindfire isn’t about secret identities, costumes, or evil plots endangering the world. Instead, self-discovery and adaptation is at the forefront as the reader follows the lives of the characters who are unafraid to show love and explore spirituality.
Can redemption and renewed grace weather the flames of absolute power and superhuman strength?
Mindfire except link: https://www.allensteadham.com/blog/monday-modicum-except-from-mindfire-by-allen-steadham
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