If you don’t know who Ronie Kendig is, you need to. She’s one of Darci’s and my favorite people. She’s known for writing amazing military fiction, but has now taken a leap into the world of speculative fiction she’s loving it. So let’s dive in as well. (And if you haven’t already bought her book Embers, stick around to the end of the interview for a chance to win a copy.)
Q: Give me once sentence why you think readers will enjoy Embers.
A: I think readers will enjoy Embers because, when you boil it down, it’s about family, it’s about love and loyalty, and I think we can relate to or desire that.
Q: You and I “graduated” at the same time in terms of getting published back in 2010. Yet I’ve only written eight novels and you’ve written, what, 14,000 at this point? You’re a great mom, wife, friend … how do you develop and write all those great stories so fast?
A: Haha! Okay, that’s too funny. I have twelve novels and four novellas—and honestly, I think I overdid it. Initially, I had a great rhythm working two books each year, but then things got tangled up with different projects. I’m almost done digging myself out of that mess of blessings. Do I have regrets? No, not really. Do I wish I’d done things differently? Maybe, but that’s unfair because hindsight Is 20/20—but yeah, maybe.
Q: Ever since we first met, I’ve known your passion is writing stories that have elements of fantasy and science fiction, and now you finally have one in print. Is this the right timing? Or do you wish it had happened earlier?
A: I think it’s absolutely the right timing. About eighteen months ago, a flurry of “messages” from the Lord started prodding me. I’ve known for a long time that speculative fiction is where my heart was, but I was immersed in fulfilling contracts. I felt God telling me it was time to make the other a priority, to get it published. And honestly, I think if publication happened earlier, I might have lost my way.
That might sound weird, but it’s just this inkling I have about how things might’ve gone down. I’m confident enough in my writing and my deep love for speculative, that I know to rest my joy and define my success not in reviewers or approval of readers (though both are supremely nice), but rather embrace success as being the simple act of obedience to write what God has given me.
Q: Favorite Bond?
A: I think it’s a tie – I’ve long loved Sean Connery (yes, Brian knows) but the other is one I was convinced would never pull it off, never convince me he was James Bond—Daniel Craig. But he has brought a wonderful rawness and intensity to Bond that I think the franchise needed. He’s my favorite now. I’m so anxious to see Spectre!
Q: Readers are going to be swept away when they read Embers. Did you find that happening to yourself as you wrote it?
A: Yaaaaassss. In fact, God challenged me to write without an outline, to simply rely on Him to bring the story together. And I was so amazed at how something in the beginning ended up being a catalyst at the end. It was so thrilling to be a mere vessel, the words and story pouring out through my fingertips.
Q: Favorite season?
A: Fall. I’ve loved fall since I was a little girl, and it’s been great since we moved from Texas, where I spent 20+ years, to Northern Virginia, which actually has four full seasons. It’s so gorgeous out here, and I feel the splendor of the Lord’s creativity here.
Q: Will the new Star Wars movie coming out in December be epic? Or a mess?
A: Oh please—please be epic or my entire family will need therapy. But seriously—I do think it’s going to be good. Abrams has created top-notch shows/movies many times before, and I do trust him to get this right. Is that called faith? Ha!
Q: Which character in Embers will most people be able to relate to best, and why?
A: I think they’ll relate really well to Haegan, the main character, because he wants one thing: for life to be normal again. I think there are many of us who have situations explode in our face and wreck “normal,” and there’s this craving in us to go back to that.
Q: I’ve heard people say, “Ronie Kendig can write like a guy.” They mean that as a huge compliment. In other words, women love your books, but so do men. Is that something you think about, or does it come naturally?
A: Truthfully, I have no good explanation for it, except to say that it’s the way I’ve always written. Perhaps my deep desire to never write a story that would make my husband cringe if his guy friends found out is what shaped my writing. Or maybe it was growing up being a tomboy. I guess it comes naturally? I remember in 2009, I think, an editor at ACFW was amazed at how I wrote the male POV so well. She asked to keep my proposal so she could read the rest, something she normally didn’t do.
This editor didn’t buy my novel, but it was the first time anyone had ever mentioned that aspect of my writing. I’m now living in a house with five guys—three human and two canines. I’m outnumbered, and I think I’m okay with that. I prefer action flicks over chick flicks, although I do inject myself with the occasion dose of Pride & Prejudice on occasion.
Q: Reading the back cover copy for Embers makes it sound epic. Yet at the same time it hints at intense relationships within a royal family making the story sound quite character driven. Or maybe it’s both. How would you describe the story?
A: My publisher calls it an epic fantasy, so I’d probably say that…but I am notorious for starting every story with a single character, then growing plots, relationships, etc., out of that character. That is true of Embers. I started with Haegan’s sister and her sacrificial act, then allowed the story to bloom from there. In the end, it’s over 130k and quite sweeping in terms of lands, peoples, and plots.
Love it! Thanks, Ronie.
- Ronie’s website: http://roniekendig.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RapidFireFiction
- Twitter: @roniekendig
Ready to grab a copy? Here are a few places (but you can get it just about anywhere books are sold.)
Want to win a copy of Embers? Just leave your e-mail in the comments and give a short blurb on why you want to win, and you’re entered!