Allen Steadham is a Christian author published by Ambassador International. He’s known for his superhero novel, Mindfire, and his Science Fiction Series, the Jordan of Algoran Series.
I invited him to write in my Republic Chronicles galaxy because he’s a very creative author who seeks to honor God with his work, which is highly important to be. He writes in many different genres and I felt that he would have a great story to tell within the galaxy.
Welcome, Allen! Tell us a bit about your story.
This is a space western that looks at both redemption and doing good for others. Jelae Lanna was a con artist who was caught and nearly paid for her crimes with her life. She was sent through a portal and left for dead on the ocean world Diveen. She was found and cared for by a Dolphinmer named Kammdar. He helped bring her back to health and gave her a second chance at life. That’s what sets the stage for the rest of the story.
That’s such a great set up to an adventurous story. Where did you get the idea?
I was inspired by Jesus’s tale of the Good Samaritan in the Bible.
Oooh, I didn’t know that, but now that you mention it, the story does parallel with it. I love writing fantasy or sci-fi stories that parallel with the Bible because there’s so much to learn. But for this story, in particular, you did a lot of culture building for the different races, specifically the Dolphinmer. Tell us about them and how you went about building their culture
I wanted to show that the Dolphinmers have a well-developed society. Dolphins are intelligent, curious, and playful. If they were more humanoid, it’s believable that they would have different roles ranging from familial to defense and even spirituality. I imagined a lot of their culture would be based on spoken history and music.
Wow! I think it’s creative that you took the concepts of an animal—how dolphins actually act—and applied it to how they would act if they were human. What a creative approach to it. Now, in your book, you had several spaceships, so how did you go about coming up with the ideas for them?
That was more challenging. Since this was an ocean world, it made sense to me that any ships would be powered by natural elements from their world. And what would be plentiful on an ocean planet? Sea shells! The ships “operating system” would also reflect their culture. It was interesting to develop.
I just love the idea of naturally-powered spaceships. It’s amazing that you were able to take a vague concept I had and expand it into something so creative. On that note, did you have any difficulties writing in someone else’s galaxy?
No. I’ve done it before. And when I made webcomics, I had a main idea and invited other writers and artists to be a part of it. I love collaborating.
I do too—I did it a lot when I hosted or joined writing competitions. A lot of authors these days seem wary of it, but I think it’s fun putting creativity together to work on a single story idea or world. Or galaxy, in this case. Switching subjects here, you write with purpose in your stories, so what was the main theme or focus of this story?
It’s essentially the Good Samaritan with a “pass it on” message.
The Good Samaritan is a great message—to help others in need, even if they’re different from us. I love how, in Sea Change, Jelae and Kammdar are very different. Kammdar is a Dolphinmer and Jelae used to be a scammer. Then, the story ends up on this backwater town called Desert Bloom, which is where the western side of the space-western genre comes in at. How did you come up with the idea to combine the two genres?
I’ve wanted to do a Western for a few years now. But my love of science fiction has a way of working its way into my stories – lol! Anyway, I took some basic framework ideas from Firefly and Serenity and combined that with inspiration from the Lord. It was a fun challenge.
Combining ideas is always great when writing a story—blending what you as a writer love with your own spin on things. Then, of course, praying to see where God wants to take the story. That’s how it usually goes for me as well. Which can make it a super fun process. So, what was the most enjoyable part of your story to write?
The comedy. I wanted to make likable, relatable characters and using humor really helped in this tale.
Well, you certainly did that! As I was reading, I laughed and felt like it had a perfect blend of comedy, creativity, and storytelling. But let’s get to know you a little bit more. If you got to live on any type of planet that you wanted, what kind of planet would it be?
I’d love a mountainous world with lush valleys and generous lakes. I wouldn’t want it to be too technologically advanced, just a lovely natural world.
That sounds beautiful. I’m a country girl through and through, so I’d love the idea of a beautiful, open-nature. Lastly, what’s the most important thing to you when you’re writing a story?
Praising the Lord through fiction and pointing the reader towards Jesus as the solution to all of life’s problems.
You can find out more about Allen Steadham and his other books through his website.
Allen’s story, Sea Change, will be in Lights in a Dark Sky coming on August 9th. Join our Facebook group to stay updated!
Do you like space-westerns? Have you ever read any? Comment below and tell us!