1) What does Samantha tell Kexid that unsettles her? Have you ever learned a terrible truth from an unexpected source?
A: The name of the janitor Parcund, who was involved in the Base attack. Kexid is jarred by this because she thought Grunn abandoned his scheme to have Parcund steal the orbs, and this contradicts her assumptions. It makes her start seriously doubting Grunn.
Yes. I learned one time, from an acquaintance, that a close friend of mine had been leading a double life and lying to me. I hadn't even imagined something like this could be happening, so it was devastating. Yet ultimately, knowing the truth helped.
2) The Starganauts board the Vandorlel and come face-to-face with Grunn. What do they learn about his identity, and did you see this twist coming?
A: He’s Jixa, the nephew of Tormac Durag. Durag was the guy who financed Vogul in Book 1 and was killed by a Myd bombardment. Thus, Jixa swore vengeance for his dead uncle, and that’s been driving his actions this entire time.
Obviously, this didn’t surprise me. Author’s privileges. 😉 It was fun to write, though! This plot thread is also the primary source of the book's title, Retribution.
3) What Skull Warrior ability puts even Lexur in a panic? How does the fleet battle end for Vexador?
A: Plasma Wave! A Skull Warrior unleashes one on the team as they’re escaping from the Vandorlel’s hangar.
Sadly, in defeat. The Trylithian armada is too powerful, and the Guard is driven back. Grunn’s forces make planetfall! Chaos is unleashed.
4) How does Kaity’s view of being a Starganaut change when God confronts her? Have you ever needed a perspective-shift from God?
Kaity realizes it’s a calling and a privilege, as well as a burden and responsibility. She finally comes to accept that being a Starganaut is what God wants her to do for this season of life, and thus prepares to rejoin the team.
I had to deal with a particularly toxic person during a time of my life that was already hard. At first, all I could feel was the pain and injustice of the situation. Yet gradually, God shifted my perspective. I began to see what lay behind this person’s hurtful behavior, and came to forgive them. I’ve since moved on, but this person will probably remain stuck. For that, I feel sympathy for them.
5) Grunn reflects on Durag after his generals stop him from bombing Syvoric. Why did Jixa love his uncle so fiercely? Which member of your family has/had the biggest impact in your life?
A: Because Jixa lost his parents and was a slave. His uncle freed him and took care of him. In answer to the second part, that’s a tough one. I’ve been blessed with SO many wonderful family members that it’s hard to choose! Narrowing it down to one, I’d say my earthly father. He’s a godly man of integrity who reflects our Heavenly Father. He was always there for me, protected me, and set an example spiritually, emotionally, and work-wise.
My dad was the first big fan of my stories and he's been my editor since I was 13. Without my dad (and M.H., for that matter), I might never have published any stories. My father's edits grew me as an author, and his belief in my ability to write well gave me the confidence to eventually publish Starganauts. I am so grateful to God for him, on so many levels. ❤️