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Interview With Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig burst into the writing world this year, after years of preparation and dogged determination . . . much like the heroes and heroines of her books. Her writing is quick-paced and powerful, and her characters reflect her love for God, for freedom, and for the men and women in the armed forces who battle each day to make sure our freedoms are preserved. It is my pleasure to feature Ronie as this week’s ACFW featured author.

How did you know you wanted to write fiction and suspense in particular?

When I was in my first writer’s group, they heavily promoted writing articles and devotionals. While that was great and fine, I quickly discovered that I did not like writing them. There were, in fact, pretty painful for me. (LOL) Through this realization I resolved to focus on fiction and getting my first book published. Even in that, I attempted a thriller and had someone comment, “Are you sure this is where you should be writing?” I allowed that influential person’s comment to veer me off in another direction. . .something I shouldn’t have done. I love the fast pace of suspense and thrillers. Attempting a new genre recently reinforced how much I love writing action—it’s what I thrive on!

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
My “adventure” in discovering how to write for my Audience of One. I thought I understood this concept, but God used two amazing friends, Dineen Miller and Jim Rubart, to bring this to a new level in my life. When I start thrashing, I realize my focus is on me, not on God—on giving Him pleasure by using the gift He gave me. . .writing.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
What is this “balance” of which you speak? ::grins:: Balance is probably the biggest challenge in and of itself, but in the end, things find their own place. I spend my mornings/days with my four children, and then after dinner, I lock myself away and write. Some days I can get 2-3 chapters done, others, 2-3 pages.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
As you can probably detect from my Audience of One answer above, faith and my spiritual life are vital to my journey with storytelling. In all earnestness, I do not want to write if I am not writing with purpose and meaning found only in Christ. To do so would be to pen empty words. It’s my prayer that everything I do brings glory to God. Some days, I’m weaker than other days, but God gave me a gift, and I return it to Him by using it to the best of my ability. Every story, every series, I turn to Him in prayer.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
In a Ronie Kendig book, you (generally) won’t find thick blocks of narrative or explanations of events. I trust the reader to figure things out and that allows me to focus on the characters, the story, and (of course) the action! One reviewer, Rel Mollet of Relz Reviewz, said this about my stories: “Ronie's incomparable ability to express the emotional depths of her characters sets her stories apart.” I think I must agree—I work very hard to put the hearts of the characters on the pages, bleeding and hurting as they are. To me, that’s what people relate to—characters with dimension and pain—because we all have faced that in some fashion or another.

If you were to change anything about your journey to publication, what would it be?
To try to enjoy the view more. I’ve always had this tendency to rush forward toward my goal, with only that goal in mind, all the while missing some very beautiful moments along the way. I wish I’d savored more and perhaps rushed a little less.

Finish this question. The best writing advice I ever received was . . . when my agent, Steve Laube, told me (in response to some very critical critiques I’d received around that time that had paralyzed me), “Ronie, you know when a story works. Trust that.” In a sense, Steve helped me find my footing as an author, and through that, my confidence grew and so did my writing.

What’s next for Ronie?
Right now, I am finishing up Wolfsbane, Book #3 in the Discarded Heroes series. I’m also working on a couple of series proposals to send my agent, and of course, I’ll need to get Firethorn, Book #4, written and turned in to the amazing team at Barbour.

Any parting words?
Enjoy the journey. For all of us, no matter at what point we’re on in this journey, there are brilliant points along the way that will shine with God’s love. I strongly encourage you to find as many “diamonds” as you can on this path wrought with thorns and rocky mountains.

Thanks for sharing with us, Ronie!
Thank you so much! It’s an HONOR!!

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