I’m old enough to remember the days before the Internet made cartoons available anytime you wanted them. For me, Saturday wasn’t just a break from school. It was the one day of the week dedicated to cartoons. It was my chance to watch the Justice League defend mankind from the nefarious schemes of villains like Lex Luthor and the Joker.
Every Saturday I watched the Justice League, and on Sunday mornings I learned about the heroic feats of God’s people. Samson brought down the Philistines’ temple with his bare hands. Elijah outran Ahab’s chariot. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked in the fiery furnace without getting burned, and Philip “teleported” from the Gaza road to Azotus.
Sunday mornings sparked my imagination as much as Saturdays ever did. The Justice League made me wish I was a superhero, but those Bible stories made me think it was possible to be a superhero.
That thought stayed with me growing up, and it was still there a couple of decades later when I was struggling to rewrite a novel. I’d been working on the novel for so long that I felt totally burned out. I decided I needed to work on something different for a while—just long enough to get my creative juices flowing again—and then I’d finally be able to finish those rewrites.
A story concept had been simmering in the back of my mind, one inspired by my childhood. These heroes would be chosen by God and given a supernatural ability or “superpower” to help them protect innocent lives. The idea was completely different from what I’d been working on. Exactly the change I needed.
I started working on that new idea and never looked back. Over the next couple of months I got to know a girl named Kate, and I fell in love with her story. Kate was given the chance to be a real-life superhero. She was living my dream.
Kate’s journey became my debut novel Into the Fire, and I’m writing the sequel while I wait for my own superhero calling from God. Hey, it could happen. Nothing is impossible with God.
Kim Vandel is a grownup who loves to read and write teen fiction. She worked in the field of environmental science before pursuing her dream of becoming a novelist. Her first book, Into the Fire, is a double semifinalist for the Realm Award (debut and young adult categories). You can learn more about Kim on her website (kimvandel.com). Click here to read the first chapter of Into the Fire.
More on Into the Fire: When Kate meets Nathan, he reveals the existence of the Guardians—men and women with God-given “superpowers.ˮ But not all Guardians honor their calling to protect innocent lives. Some choose to prey on the innocent instead.