Another in a continuing series of blog tours featuring authors and stories from Splashdown Books, your source for the finest in Christian speculative fiction, and publisher of my novels The Muse and The Seer, and my short-story collection Odd Little Miracles.

Today, we’re spending a few moments with Kat Heckenbach, author of Finding Angel, a young-adult fantasy novel about the adventures of a young lady who discovers her magical heritage and the dangerous destiny that goes along with it.

From the back cover:

Angel lives with a loving foster family, but dreams of a land that exists only in the pages of a fantasy novel. Until she meets Gregor, whose magic Talent saves her life and revives lost memories. She follows Gregor to her homeland…a world unlike any she has imagined, where she travels a path of self-discovery that leads directly to her role in an ancient Prophecy…and to the madman who set her fate in motion.

A sequel to Finding Angel, Seeking Unseen, debuted this month from Splashdown Books. Together, they’re the first two books of The Toch Island Chronicles. Here’s the back-cover copy from Seeking Unseen:

It may be Angel’s wish…

It’s been two years since Angel learned the magic chip of wood inside her locket would grant any wish. What is taking her so long to choose? An alarming discovery about her beloved foster brother Zack makes the decision easy…but everything else gets complicated after she runs into her old friend Melinda, who demands to go along for the return to Toch Island.

…but it’s Melinda’s journey.

Melinda doesn’t fit in with the magical freaks any more than she did with the losers back in Florida, but she never wanted to belong before. A secret world surrounds her where even the bugs have magic… She’s more of an outsider than ever. So when ex-con Doran Ashe slinks out of the shadows and offers her an easy road to powers of her own, Melinda follows him despite-or maybe because of-everyone’s warnings.

Now, a couple of questions for Kat…

Why did you decide to write fantasy?

I have always just loved it. My earliest memories of beloved books are fantasy. The Phantom Tollbooth, A Wrinkle in Time, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (which I suppose is really more sci-fi), and anything that had magic and/or other worlds. It stayed my favorite genre my whole life. I was a huge Piers Anthony fan in high school, and more recently I’ve fallen in love with J.K. Rowling’s writing, and Cornelia Funke’s, and so many others. It simply comes natural to me.

Your taste in reading sounds very similar to mine. Perhaps we should start a book club…

Oddly, though, most of my short fiction is horror. Even more oddly, it’s published mostly in the secular market, even though I consider my horror stories more “Christian” than my fantasy. How can that be?

I’ve had a similar experience. My short stories tend to be a little darker, on average, and those have had the most success in the secular market. Can you explain to our readers why the term “Christian horror” isn’t contradictory?

God is Light, but what He battles is anything but. We can’t forget that there is evil in this world. Christian horror shows that God can reach into the darkest places.
And I write like that because I tend to see God more brightly in the dark places of my life. The bright sunny days of life are made even brighter by God, but the dark days are when His light is necessary just to survive. I suppose I write as a reminder of that.

Believe me, the world is a better place because you do. I’ve greatly enjoyed your stories, and your artwork…which is featured on the covers of your books and is also well worth a look for anyone who isn’t familiar with it. Thanks for dropping by, Kat!

Kat Heckenbach grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her “reading tree” with her nose buried in a fantasy novel…except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet…

She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own…but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away…she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies.

Now she shares that life with her husband and two kids. Ok, maybe “share” isn’t the right word–more like lives that life in her writing and tries her best to be normal the rest of the time…

 Kat is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom—everything from Art to Algebra II—and now homeschools her children.

Kat’s Website:

Check out the other fine stops on the Splashdown Blog Tour:

R. L. Copple

Kat Heckenbach

Diane M. Graham

Travis Perry

Paul Baines

Caprice Hokstad

Keven Newsome

Robynn Tolbert

Frank Creed

Ryan Grabow

Greg Mitchell