CHAPTERS 1-3: My Answers
1) On the first page, we meet Samantha Harris. What is your impression of her in these initial chapters?
Bold, discerning, wise, godly, judgmental, and a bit harsh. It was my intention to have Samantha be Type-A from the start. Matt’s impression of her as a Bible-thumper with a good heart is pretty accurate, as Samantha quotes the Bible frequently and can come off as aloof…even superior. Yet she’s also a character we admire, because she fearlessly and confidently fulfills her calling as God’s prophetess. She boldly makes a stand, declaring a message that’s far from popular. She generally makes wise choices and is a good judge of people. Samantha is the protagonist most unlike me, but even with her flaws, I still like her initially.
2) Samantha offers everyone an invitation (at the Andersons’ wedding) to follow her and live. How is this similar to hearing and responding to the Gospel? How did you feel when Kaity’s parents refused to go?
Her invitation resembles this because the Gospel offers us a chance to follow Jesus and have eternal life. If we refuse this gift, we are subject to God’s wrath. Those who went with Samantha lived, while those who didn’t perished. I actually never realized this metaphor until putting together these questions, so I thought it was pretty neat!
Ugh. Since Kaity is the character most like me, I had ALL the feels writing that part! Her parents chase after stuff rather than heeding Samantha’s call, and it’s heartbreaking. I’m happy to say my own parents wouldn’t do that! However, it just made me sad. I’ve seen others make excuses rather than obeying God, and I myself am guilty of it. I think we—as readers—can sympathize with Kaity when she realizes she’ll never see her parents again. 😢
3) James boards the shuttle despite his hostility toward Samantha. Why might he have done this?
If you’ve read Starganauts before, you know the ultimate answer to this question! But some reasons he might have done this are 1) his best friend is going, 2) Vogul’s gunship in the sky is legitimately frightening him, or 3) he wants to prove Samantha wrong. I could also see James going because of the scene where Samantha tells him details about his own life that nobody else could know. That blew his mind, so that’s definitely a reason he accompanies them.
4) Why do you think I showed Earth’s incineration from Kaity’s perspective? Have you ever experienced a life-shattering event that overwhelmed you?
As the author, I don’t feel it’s fair to just tell you why. I want to hear your thoughts on this! However, I will answer the second part of this question. I have experienced trials that shattered and overwhelmed me, all in the last 3 years! I’ll share about the first: when my husband came down with fibromyalgia.
I say “came down” because it was a slow, gradual decline. I had a full-time job providing for us (as my husband couldn’t work), plus a part-time job calling medical departments to ensure they did their jobs. I was also taking care of my worsening husband. We were constantly going to doctors’ appointments and getting the same news: his labs looked perfectly normal. Nothing for my husband or I felt normal, and it took 1 ½ years before we finally got a diagnosis. You can read more about our journey on my website (Blog article: “Using my Pain to Write”)
This period of life was SO overwhelming, and it shattered my dreams, my hopes, and my cheerful personality. Fortunately, God got me through it. He provided miraculously, from strangers giving us appliances to random checks in the mail. My husband also got a little better. God truly is good and, as you’ll see, He gets my character Kaity through a lot, too.
5) In the maw of the gunship, we meet Vogul. What did you think of him, and did anything about him surprise you?
Voguuuul!!! He’s truly the first Starganauts villain I invented and probably my simplest. You might notice that I describe Vogul striding “like an emperor of ancient Rome.” His presence suggests power and malice, and I hope it was a surprise to you that he was human. Obviously, *I* saw it coming. 😉
Thanks for clicking this link and taking time to read my answers! I hope you enjoyed them.