Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Author Interview: Steal Fire from the Gods by Clint Hall

About the Book 

Book: Steal Fire from the Gods

Author: Clint Hall

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: November 7, 2023

The Human Alliance knew the war was over when the machines started using magic to cast fire, shake the ground, conjure storms, and part the seas.

We fought back anyway.

22-year-old soldier Gunnar Graves lost his faith and his family when a platoon of AI-driven war machines—led by an android fire mage— destroyed his unit. Forced to live in a machine-controlled village and hiding a dark secret, he spends his days trying to learn elemental power so he can take his revenge. After years of failure, his ability ignites when he least expects it.

On the run and hunted by the war machines, Gunnar discovers that an ancient, life-based strength has awakened to help humanity fight back. Joined by the other life mages, Gunnar is thrust into a mad world of android overlords, cyborg clans, and evil forces bent on his destruction.

To protect his newfound family, Gunnar must discover the truth behind a power he doesn’t understand and wage a war he doesn’t believe they can win.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Clint Hall is a storyteller, speaker, and podcast host. He has been writing stories since middle school, where he spent most of his time in class creating comic books. (Fortunately, his teacher not only allowed it; she bought every issue.) Known for instilling a sense of hope, wonder, and adventure, Clint’s work has been published across multiple anthologies and magazines. Find him at ClintHall.com or “The Experience: Conversations with Creatives” podcast, available on all major platforms.

Author Interview with Clint

Q: What was the inspiration behind this novel?

Clint: Thanks for having me on your blog!

Steal Fire From The Gods came from a bizarre idea I had driving home one day. I have another (unpublished) series in which multiple worlds are at war. The most powerful planet is inhabited solely by war machines, although the other worlds have various magics to fight back.

One day, I asked myself what would happen if the war machines had magic and immediately realized that wouldn’t be a fair fight at all. I came up with this line: “The Human Alliance knew it was over when the robots started using magic.”

The sentence made me laugh, and I called my wife to share the silly idea. Trying to write a compelling story in which an already overwhelming enemy becomes even more ridiculously powerful became a challenge for me.

After that, I came up with everything else – the characters, the backstory, the world, everything. Fittingly, a modified version of that original line is the first sentence that appears in the final book.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this novel?

Clint: “In most, I saw fear. In few, I saw hope. Those few were enough.”

Every chapter from the book begins with a (fictional) quote from someone who lived through the war against the machines, which took place before the book starts. This one stands out because it reminds me that we only need the slightest spark of hope to keep moving forward. The tiniest spark is enough because it can ignite fires that burn brighter than we could have ever imagined.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

Clint: This is a weird, fast-paced, action-packed story about a hero fighting an army of AI-driven war machines that harnessed elemental magic. If the only thing people take away from this book is an entertaining story with many surprises, that’s great.

But among the deeper messages of the story, one in which I hope some people find comfort is that often our deepest secrets and darkest shames can turn out to be our greatest sources of power, particularly when we use them to help someone else.

Q: What are you reading now?

Clint: Right now, I’m reading Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson at the recommendation of a friend. It’s a fantastic book about creativity from a spiritual perspective that I highly recommend. The audiobook is excellent because it includes excerpts from Peterson’s songs to demonstrate some of his points.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Clint: Outside of writing, most of my time is spent with my wife and our two sons. I also spend a lot of time creating podcasts and even music.

But when I can, I like to go out to my driveway and play basketball. I could stay out there for hours just taking shots. I often listen to a sermon, an audiobook, or a meditation, but sometimes I let my mind wander. It’s a peaceful place for me. I first started attending church in high school only because I got invited to play for that church’s team. I think that’s why basketball will always be special to me; in many ways, it brought me to God.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your novel?

Clint: Just go to clinthall.com. That has links to my social media channels, my podcast, my books, and much more.

More from Clint

When I first heard the song See A Victory by Elevation Worship, I assumed the lyrics, “You took what the enemy meant for evil and You turned it for good,” were pulled verbatim (translated, of course) from the Bible, probably one of Paul’s letters.

Despite not knowing exactly from where they came, the words stuck with me. It’s inspiring to believe that God can take the terrible things that have happened to us – or even because of us – and use them to bring about something beautiful.

When I looked them up, I found that the lyrics are actually a derivation of what Joseph said to his brothers years after they sold him into slavery. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)

Placing the words within the context of a story makes them even more impactful for me. It’s astounding to think about Joseph’s faith and spiritual maturity to not only offer forgiveness in this moment, but also to recognize the immense benefits that have arisen from such a horrific injustice against him.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much this passage is related to my book. That’s the funny thing about writing stories. You often don’t know what they’re about until you’re done.

Steal Fire From The Gods is the most faith-based story I’ve ever written. It’s also the darkest and certainly the weirdest. It’s an action-packed book in which AI has discovered the secrets of elemental magic and used that power to overthrow humanity.

But that’s just the concept. This story isn’t about magic robots. It’s about a person undergoing a crisis of faith. And you could hardly blame him.

Gunnar Graves and his family did everything the right way. They were faithful, devoted, and kind. They prayed, studied God’s Word, and followed His laws. Then, they were decimated. As a result, Gunnar is angry at God and even at his late parents for their blind faith that – from his perspective – ultimately failed them all.

Gunnar spends much of the story trying to harness magic for what he believes is a righteous cause. But despite his altruistic intentions, it eludes him, causing him even more anger and frustration. How could an all-powerful, all-loving God place such an awesome power into the hands of oppressive machines instead of mankind?

To make matters worse, Gunnar and other characters in the story have secrets that I won’t spoil in this blog. Suffice to say there are aspects of who they are and what they have done that would cause most people to cast them out if the truth became known. So instead, they hide themselves from God and other humans. More separation. More shame. More darkness.

It often feels that way for believers. In our weakness, we can simultaneously be angry at God for what we perceive as injustice – getting what we don’t think we deserve, or not getting what we think we do – while also being convinced there is something about us that will prevent us from ever connecting with His love, joy, and peace.

But there is always hope. God often reminds us of His presence by not only saving us from our circumstances but also using our weaknesses as tools to create wonderful outcomes. Paradoxically, good comes about not in spite of evil, but seemingly because of it.

As believers, we understand this is not a function of necessity. To bring about this good, God did not need evil to occur. But He will use it to demonstrate His ability to turn the enemy’s own weapons against him.

These occurrences wouldn’t make sense outside the knowledge that there is an all-powerful, all-loving Father. That reminder of His presence – that He must be with us because otherwise, such good springing from such evil would be impossible – is in many cases a greater blessing than the good itself.

But He will not force these blessings upon us. We are free to choose whether we will trust and accept them. We do so through faith, selflessness, and surrender.

That’s where we find the power. That’s where we find goodness. That’s where we find hope.

That’s what I want readers to take away from this book.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Artistic Nobody, November 15 (Author Interview)

Exploring the Written Word, November 15

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, November 16

Guild Master, November 17 (Author Interview)

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18

Through the Fire Blogs, November 19 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, November 20

Beauty in the Binding, November 21 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Simple Harvest Reads, November 24 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

Labor Not in Vain, November 26

Fiction Book Lover, November 27 (Author Interview)


To celebrate his tour, Clint is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Link for giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/29094/steal-fire-from-the-gods-celebration-tour-giveaway