Allen Steadham is a Christian author and good friend of mine. His books, Mindfire, Jordan’s World, and Jordan’s Arrow have all been published by Ambassador International, the same publisher who published Hunter and Shifter, books one and two of my Valiant Series. His work is inspiring and I love finding good fantasy books to read that are also clean and filled with the Christian faith. Allen’s books are a great example of this.
Where did the idea for Jordan’s Arrow and this series come from?
I wanted to explore a new Christian fiction genre. Initially, I thought I would write a fantasy trilogy. But considering most of it was taking place on an alien world with alien humanoids and animals, I realized it was actually science fantasy that I was writing.
I started with the simple idea that the young woman main character, Jordan Lewis, was abducted at the age of seventeen and taken to another world. Then I included her mother, so at least she had some connection to Earth and her family.
Next, I brainstormed with my wife and spent a lot of time praying about how to make the central theme of the book (and series) a Christian one, something I could expand on through the series. The theme turned into a simple but powerful one: God reigns over the entire universe and there’s no place He can’t reach you. That covered the first book, Jordan’s World.
Jordan’s Arrow takes place six years after the first book. Jordan has established her roles in her tribe. She’s a wife and a young mother, with a five-year-old son and a newborn daughter. She is also the new Chieftess over the Mountain Mokta tribe.
But war has come to Algoran from a tribe known as the Gulstaa, old enemies of the Mokta. Jordan finds herself a key player in a world war, which is terrifying for her. She’s inexperienced and unfamiliar with this new foe. But she has a unique perspective and some special abilities no one else has, the result of a blood transfusion from a legendary Mokta figure. She also is determined to protect her family, her tribe and restore peace to Algoran…if she can.
Wow! That definitely sounds exciting. It’s amazing how stories end up after praying and brainstorming. The titles are really creative – Jordan’s World and Jordan’s Arrow. What meaning does the title Jordan’s Arrow (as well as the others) have with the story?
To give the full meaning would give critical spoilers. However, I can say that the “arrow” is symbolic. It is far more devastating than any physical weapon.
Jordan’s World was about Jordan deciding which world was her home, Algoran or Earth.
Ah, I understand. That makes perfect sense. Everything seems to have meaning in this story, even the title. So, what was your process when building this world and the people in it?
Since Jordan took a journey across Algoran (in Jordan’s World) to find the aliens who took her and her mother and marooned them here, it gave a chance to show the physical environment and a number of different animals and peoples. Each race and tribe had their own culture, many had their own languages. It was fascinating.
I was able to go further in Jordan’s Arrow, showing how those different peoples during wartime. Alliances were tested to the extreme. Enemies became new allies, when faced with destruction by a mutual foe.
I love coming up with new races and creatures in the fantasy genre. But how do you balance out the inclusion of God and faith with the plotline in the story?
I balance it by including God and faith from the beginning, entwining elements of both into the foundation elements. Jordan may have been taken by aliens to another world, but God allowed it (in this story) for a reason. And once on Algoran, God has a plan to use Jordan for His purposes. She has free will and is faced with a choice in Jordan’s World. After she makes that decision, the entire course of her life changes. She doesn’t become a Christian yet, but she knows God is real and working in her life.
She sounds like a strong and well-developed character. Out of all of them, who are your favorite characters and why?
I love the main cast: Jordan, Bopol (her mate/husband), Zoska (Jordan’s best friend) and Reiban (Zoska’s mate/husband).
Jordan is pure-hearted and determined. She makes mistakes but tries to learn from them. Bopol is strong and courageous, super-protective of Jordan, his close friends, and his tribe. Zoska is the snarky rebel character. She’s hilarious but also very practical and downright dangerous when provoked. Reiban is a natural leader and a great storyteller. He has a lovable cluelessness at times but is very brave.
Aww. They sound like such loveable characters. For now, though, let’s talk about you a bit. What books do you have planned after this series is done?
I’m working on a Christian Steampunk trilogy. It’s set on an alternate Earth in the present day.
Oooh that sounds cool! Did you intend for this series to be more than one book or did it start off as a stand lone at first?
I always intended the Jordan of Algoran series to be a trilogy. I imagined it that way from the beginning.
You’re earlier book, Mindfire, was a Christian superhero, so Jordan’s World and Jordan’s Arrow are two completely different books. What made you jump from a Christian superhero novel to a Christian fantasy-sci-fi?
I wanted to make a fresh start. Mindfire (my superhero debut novel) was familiar territory for me. I’d written superhero comics for most of thirty years, mostly around the same characters. I knew their histories and storylines. It was wonderful that the Lord let me craft them into a modern Christian novel, but now I wanted to do something completely new.
The idea of jumping into a new genre was exciting. As I mentioned before, I thought it would be fantasy at first. But I’m a sci-fi geek, specifically a Star Trek geek. I suppose it was inevitable some of the sci-fi would leak into whatever fantasy story I’d come up with.
Combining the two genres must have been exciting for you! If Jordan’s Arrow was a movie or TV show, what actors would play the main characters?
That’s a really tough question, even though I think the Jordan series would make fantastic movies!
Here’s my thoughts at a quick glance:
Jordan Lewis/Jordan SnowFire: Lindsay Morgan (Raven from The 100)
Bopol: Greg Finley (Drake on Star-Crossed, Tony Woodward/Girder on The Flash)
Zoska: Tati Gabrielle (Gaia, Indra’s daughter, on The 100)
Reiban: Hartley Sawyer (Ralph Dibney from The Flash)
Chieftess Kitranor: Morena Baccarin (Inara on Firely/Serenity, Vanessa in Deadpool)
SnowFire: Gina Torres (Zoë from Firefly/Serenity, Jessica Pearson on Pearson)
Ilsketh, leader of the Gulstaa: Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia from The 100)
It’s hard to think of but also exciting too! Last but not least… Where do you see yourself and your books in the next ten years?
Lord willing, I’ll still be writing novels. It’s hard to say where the books and I will be. That depends on God and His Will for my life. Wherever it is, I’ll be satisfied.
God’s will is always what’s best for us and our lives! Thank you so much for coming here to be interviewed!
Jordan’s Arrow will be released on February 7th!
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die . . . A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
War has come to Algoran. The Gulstaa nation is determined to expand their territory with merciless resolve. Their end goal is revenge for a past defeat-they want to conquer the Mountain Mokta and anyone else in their way.
Jordan SnowFire is now the Mokta Chieftess. She has the daunting task of stopping a conflict she never asked for. Will she seek the wisdom of God or the wisdom of her tribe? What impact will the blood of SnowFire flowing through her veins have on the way she conducts this war? How far will she go to protect her family and the Mokta people?
Meanwhile, Erica Melendez finds herself trapped in the middle of the hostilities. Tragedy forces her away from the Ullvarr village and into circumstances she never imagined when she came to this world. Can she survive long enough to be reunited with Jordan?
Loyalties are tested. Decisions are made. And Algoran will never be the same after Jordan’s Arrow finds its target.