Thursday, March 4, 2010


Welcome Ronie:

Thanks so much for having me. I’m delighted to be here!

Ronie Kendig has a BS in Psychology and is a wife, mother of four, and avid writer. Her novels include Dead Reckoning (March 2010, Abingdon Press) and Nightshade (July 2010, Barbour Publishing), Book#1 in The Discarded Heroes series. She speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers. Ronie can be found at

SKC: We are anxious to hear about your newest project, what inspired you to write it, and when we will have the pleasure of seeing it.

RK: I am so excited to share this story wit you. I had a lot of fun with Shiloh and Reece in Dead Reckoning. This is the story of a young woman battling for independence from her father’s career that shattered their family. Unwittingly, she’s embroiled in a nuclear arms clash that propels her into the path of a covert operative trying to rout the masterminds behind a dead drop in the Arabian Sea. Staying alive means surrendering her heart and becoming what she vowed she’d never be—a spy.
Honestly, the reason Dead Reckoning came to life was because the story of Shiloh’s parents never found a publishing home. In looking at the arsenal of story ideas I had to work on next, Shiloh’s story appealed to me the most. I loved the idea of a girl, almost completely shattered by her father’s espionage career, finding her footing in life and through a career eerily similar to what her father did. Yet it wasn’t a repeating cycle, but the way she found wholeness and healing. Dead Reckoning is available now at, B&N, and Amazon!

SKC: When did you know writing books would become the passion your heart, Ronie?

RK: I never really knew it would. In all honesty, it just sort of happened. I’ve always loved making up stories, and when my husband, sometime shortly after we married, that I try to get published, I rebuffed him. I did not want to jeopardize my love of writing with going through the pains of seeking publication. But eventually, he convinced me, and in 2002, I started the journey toward publication.

SKC: Besides that thought we all have to get our work published, what inspires you to keep going?

RK: Besides spiritual breakthroughs and touching the heart of the Father?...My family. Seeing the glimmer of pride in their eyes at seeing Mom published, knowing they are witnessing an example of hard work and dedication in bringing a big project to completion, and knowing that I am also sharing with them how to use the gifts God has given us in a way that glorifies Him . . . it’s enough to keep me writing.

SKC: Starting and ending a book is often the most difficult, for many writers. Describe how you begin and end your stories. If it’s easy, hard, seat-of-the-pants, or carefully thought out.

RK: For the most part, I’m a SOTP writer. I rarely ever start a story without developing the characters, interviewing them, sorting out their personalities/archetypes, and then I will pen the first three or four—sometimes six—chapters of the book. That’s when I’ll stop and develop a very loose synopsis just to get an idea of the story development. Then, on the sage advice of my “big brother” John Olson, I toss that aside and write. The story might adhere to the synopsis, but more often than not, the characters reveal to me how little I knew of their lives and character.  In all honesty, I’m “ending phobic.” I do not like writing my endings for two reasons: 1.) I’m terrified the ending will be awaful, which will mean I’ve let down the entire book/story/characters as well as myself, but also because 2.) it means the story is over. And that’s always a bittersweet day.

SKC: What do you believe is the KEY to writing a good book?

RK: Besides the requisite knowing the rules and knowing how to use them, I think deep POV is one of the most integral elements of a good story. If you don’t dig deep, if you aren’t in their head, the story will be flat.

SKC: I enjoy the deep POV that jumps out at the reader too. What do you do when you discover your daily writing time and time spent with other writers begins to interfere with your family time or quality time with God?

RK: The two don’t interfere. Sometimes a conflict of time might arise, but God and family come first. Of course, my family does realize that writing is my career, so there are concessions made. Evenings are mine to write (usually after the twins go to bed), and the family understands and supports that. If there’s a conflict of time (assuming I’m not under deadline), family comes first.

SKC: That's great to hear. On another subject, what would you say is the reason why so many authors have a difficult time coming up with their proposals?

RK: If I were to venture a guess, I would say they have hard time more out of a lack of experience. Proposals are just a dump of information—marketing, blurbs, bios, etc.—the challenging content is in the chapters. Good proposals take time and a careful, strategic eye. This isn’t necessarily your time to gleam and be flowery. Proposals are the tool to convince the publisher/agent/pub board/editorial board that you have considered the business end of publishing and have thought it through.

SKC: After you finish your present project what plans do you have?

RK: I am in the throes of working on The Discarded Heroes now. Nightshade, Book 1, is at the galley stage, Digitalis, which is book#2 is being critiqued, and I’ll soon start book #3, Wolfsbane.

SKC: This blog, A Pen for Your Thoughts, is just that. Others' thoughts or reflections. We love to learn the what others think about any particular subject. It could be about your style of writing, about a believer’s walk, whatever. As we prepare to make available your new book for one of our readers, what reflective question would YOU like to ask, Ronie?

RK: Not a question so much as a challenge—where is your focus when you write? For me, that was the question that changed my life. To quote from my dear friend, Jim Rubart’s manuscript:
God does not give us our gifts so that we can find meaning in success or power, but for the sheer pleasure of seeing His child use that gift.
The greatest gift is not the contract or success (although they’re both very nice), but the true prize is the gift itself. Write to bring God joy in the fact that you are writing because He gave you a gift. That makes His heart glow!!

SKC: It has been a joy having you here! Please tell our readers where they can find you and your books online, will you, Ronie? And God bless you for being a part of the blog!

RK: Just about anywhere:
Twitter: roniekendig

Did you catch Ronie's challenge for you to try to win one of her books?
Where is your focus when you write?
If you are a writer, we would love to hear your thoughts about that.
And if you simply enjoy reading and NOT writing, let me add to the question as a reader.
What do you come across when reading that takes you OUT of focus in a story?

CONGRATULATIONS to our winner of Dead Reckoning, Linda Wagner of St Paul, Minnesota!
Be watching for your book, Linda. And thanks for following the blog.


  1. Great interview, Shirley and Ronie!

  2. When a new character comes in unexpected. Have to figure out how he/she is related to the storyline.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  3. Ronie's writing and story telling skills are wonderful, but even greater than those is who she is as a person.

  4. I am the aspiring writer. And I love to read. What keeps me in focus when I write is God. But as a reader anything can take my mind off the story if it hasnt grabbed me. Especially food.
    Please sign me up. I'd like to win.
    Janice Ian

  5. Thanks for the interview. I am still waiting to get published. So far, I'm trying to stay Very focused.
    Betty Frampton
    Windsor, CA

  6. My focus is on the story most of all and the message I want to get out. If that message deals with a person's relationship or lack of one with God then that is the direction I go. How can I say what I want to say creatively and in a way that will not be preachy but will still hit to the heart.
    I think I do that with both my fiction stories AND my devotional books.
    I like that question Ronie. It made me really think about what I am doing every day as I put my fingers on this keyboard.

  7. Your post is entertaining to read and to the point.

  8. Thank you for the interview! Dead Reckoning sounds like its filled with excitement and I haven't read a book like this in a long time! I need to check it out for our book club for sure!


    LucieInCA at aol dot com

  9. Thanks so much for the interview, Shirley. Loads of fun!

    Love everyone's comments on the focus. Food challenges me too! :-D

    Lucie - Please let me know if I can help with anything regarding the book club reading Dead Reckoning!