Saturday, 6 March 2010

Getting to know Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig is an author you just want to get to know, for her brilliant writing and lovely nature! Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning, has exploded out of the blocks with fast paced action, an exotic locale and sigh worthy interaction between protags, Shiloh and Reece!

I am delighted to have Ronie here - I hope you enjoy getting to know her and her books some more!


If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

I would've loved to have had my Irish Nana's name--Kathleen. Instead, I was named after the saint who wiped the face of Jesus as He carried the cross . . . and I suppose, it really reflects me in that I'm a very compassionate person.

Your first pet's name?

Cotton Ball (“CB”) an almost pure-white cat.

Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?

My father was in the military during my childhood, so we moved around a lot. I went to five schools in six years . . . so, I don't really have a friend who was a “best” friend during that time. When I was 8-9 we were back at Ft. Devens, and the only friend that comes to mind was a Girl Scout friend named Joanna Willett.

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

No, not really. Although, I did love my Clem & Clara stuffed animals that I got while living in Germany, and the doll that played these tiny little records that fit into her hard-bodied back.

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

Denzel Washington ~ He's a quiet man with a lot of strength. It carries into the characters he portrays, but one thing that really won my heart was hearing about him visiting the VA hospital here in Texas and helping fund the facility to house family while the soldier is going through medical treatment or therapy.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

Uh . . . a secure sat phone to call Reece or the Nightshade team to come rescue me. J

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

From Cold Stone Creamery, “The Pie Who Loved Me” J Signature Creation (cheesecake ice cream, Oreo cookie, graham crackers pieces, and fudge),

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher, a secretary, a pastry chef, and/or a wife/mommy.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

ISRAEL (with a stop to see this fabulous friend in Australia too!)

Rel: The spare room is at your disposal ;-)

Your favourite lollies (candy)?

Perhaps Mike & Ikes . . . but really, give me a cinnamon roll or a chocolate cake donut any day (or minute)!

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

Wow, I could get in a lot of trouble with this one, so let me play it safe--my mother. She died in 1996 but by far she had the most lasting impression on my life, and the most significant impact: she lived her life as role model of what a Christian should be like--always seeking God, carving out quiet time, and trying to approach life from a godly perspective.

For a “writer” reference to that question, there are so many to consider . . . but one person does stand out: “big brother” John Olson. He has encouraged me, after plucking “me” out of the slush pile of a contest. He brainstormed the story concept of Nightshade with me, and has been such an ardent supporter. It was John who taught me not to take myself so seriously, tortured me with making me learn how to write a good synopsis, and then applauded me when I got contracted. I've never met an author with such a passion for helping other writers, so humble, and so incredibly talented.

Rel: John's Fossil Hunter is one of my all time favourite reads :)

What's your favourite book?

Do I get to do this by genre? LOL No? Sigh. You're so difficult, Rel. I guess, then, I must say Wuthering Heights.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

I hope this doesn't sound rote--but my quiet time. If I don't get some quiet time with the Lord in, I am not a very fun person. Seriously. :-P

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

It's a tie between visiting my cousin in County Trim Ireland and seeing the castle that portions of Braveheart were filmed at just months before my arrival, or seeing the cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Oh--okay, let's make it a three-way tie and include when I went to Dallas and saw the King Tut exhibit--never felt so impacted by history as I did walking the cliff dwellings or seeing the artifacts.

What's your favourite movie?

Have you noticed a recurring theme? I can't pick “Just one” on anything. LOL So, here's my cheating list:

Speculative: Serenity or the new Star Trek

Romance: While You Were Sleeping

Classic: How to Steal a Million

Action/Adventure: (tie) Bourne Ultimatum & Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Scrapbooking, cooking or deep sea diving?

Um . . . I'm okay at scrap-booking but it hasn't caught my fancy. I am not a great cook, though I love making desserts, and since I can't swim (I know--shoot me!), I'm guessing deep-sea diving would be a bad idea. HOWEVER--if I could swim, I'd absolutely go diving! J

Rel: We can throw some swimming lessons in with the spare room!!

Lost, The Mentalist, 24 or Castle?

I guess I'm being obstinate--how about “Lie To Me”. If I can't have that, then I guess Castle because it has Nathan Fillion who played in Firefly, which I dearly love (Shiny!).

What's your most fervent prayer?

That I would honor God in all that I do and say.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

After my mother died, I inherited her Waterford crystal. Those pieces were precious to her, and they will always hold a bit of the sparkle I saw in her eyes.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Isaiah 61:1-2 - The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

I have a beautiful portrait on my entry hall that shows “Jesus” embracing a person who is huddled and crying. When I first saw that picture in a store, I stopped in my tracks and bawled. Which is weird because normally, I detest any picture that tries to convey the likeness of Christ--because to me, that's impossible (and often, they're frail-looking white men!).

Could you ask each of your children to share one thing they love about you?

Ciara (Pronounced Kira) - “probably that you're an author; I think that's really cool.”

Keighley - “you're nice.” ::giggle::

Ryan - “I love you cuz you're love (sic) and kind; and you like the same hazelnut syrup in your coffee that I like in my hot chocolate.” (yeah, don't tell his dad about that!)

Reagan - “your love.”

So there you have. Eloquent, aren't they? J

Rel: They sound like sweethearts! Just don't tell the boys I called them that ;-)

Dead Reckoning

Shiloh is a great character ~ fearless and adventurous. How much of you is there in Shiloh?

OH man. I wish I could say I'm Shiloh embodied, but that'd be a bold-faced lie! LOL Perhaps she's what I would like to be--adventurous. I wasn't raised to go places and do things but that part of me is starting to rise to the surface. I'm yearning to visit the places I write about. Shiloh wants honesty and forthrightness--and I'm pretty much like that except I tend to prefer peacemaking to troublemaking. :-D

Please describe each of your characters with one word

Shiloh - determined

Reece - reserved

Brody - nerd

Julia - gypsy

Jude - focused

Sean - adrenaline-junkie

Khalid - serious

( . . . who am I missing . . . or did I do too many already?)

Rel: Nope, just right!

Who did you base Reece Jaxon on? Come on, we all want to know if someone like Reece really exists?!

Oh man, wouldn't that be nice if he really existed? I'm married, so I should say he's my husband personified . . . but I'd be lying again.

I think Reece is a conglomeration--a little Jason Bourne (swift and cunning), a little Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (intimidating and handsome), a little like Mr. Darcy (mysteriously charming).

Rel: Matt Damon in Green Zone is just how I imagined Reece....only taller ;-)

Do you incorporate your psychological studies when considering your characters and their responses?

Absolutely! I wondered why on earth I spent so much time earning my degree in psychology when I ended up writing, but then I realized how much deeper I'm able to dig and go with characters because I understand personalities so much better, I understand psyche . . . the dichotomies, the psychos (maybe I shouldn't admit that, huh?). Having a BS in Psychology has definitely added depth to my writing!

What was your favourite scene to write?

I think the motorcycle scene at the train station. I poured myself into that scene, labored over every verb usage, every action, called upon sport bike experts to help me with the nuances. Yes, by far my favorite.

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

Hope. I always pray that readers can see, through the characters and story, that there is always hope in God. Oftentimes, life leaves us with a sense of hopelessness and meaninglessness, but not so if we seek God (and he says, if we seek him, he will be found).

Will we see any of the minor characters in Dead Reckoning with their own story in the future?

Oh, I really hope so. I have a story prepped for Shiloh's uncle, Sean Burke--and I would LOVE to write that book. I've toyed with stories for Reece's gypsy sister, but I'm not sure about that one. However, I do have the prequel to Shiloh's story, as well as a story idea for a sequel. We'll see.

Rel: Oh, yes please :)

What is in your writing pipeline? A sneak peek, please?

A four-book, full-length military series with Barbour. Book #1, Nightshade, is set to release this July. Right now, I'm writing the ending on Book #2, Digitalis (releases January 2011). Wolfsbane will come out June 2011 and Firethorn January 2012.

Here's a teaser from Nightshade:

Chapter One

Gut pressed to the spine of his Hayabusa, Max Jacobs bore down the mountainous two-lane road. He upshifted and nailed the concrete at sixty miles an hour. His gaze bounced between the speedometer and the break in the road. Common sense told him to slow down, downshift for the road that dropped at a forty-five percent incline. The boiling in his blood ignited--and he revved the engine. Adrenaline burst through his veins, leaving him cold.


He accelerated. Inched his shoulders forward. The bike ate up the cement.


A car barreled out of a side road. Max swerved to avoid the rusted classic. What a mistake! He hit a rocky patch on the side of the road. The rear tire yanked to the right and swung the front around. He sucked in a breath as the road took a drastic dip down. He managed to avoid the high side, but--

The road dropped off. The Hyabusa roared as the wheels sailed out.

Air rushed up at him. He struggled to hold onto the bike as nothing but tingling Virginia oxygen enveloped him. Silence gaped. Despite the adrenaline, he realized this could be it. This could end it all. No more pain. No more life without Syd . . .

Take me. Just take me.

Rel: I have had the privilege of reading Nightshade and was completely blown away! If you think this teaser is good, just wait until you get your hands on the rest of the story :) It is so good!

Ronie ~ fun, fun, fun :) Thanks for sharing about yourself and writing. Please thank your kids for their lovely contributions. Keep writing...pretty, please!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Dead Reckoning
Character spotlight on Shiloh & Reece
Enter the Relz Reviewz giveaway of Dead Reckoning
Visit Ronie's
website and blog
Enter Ronie's launch contest @ Novel Journey
Buy Ronie's books at
Amazon or Christianbook


Juju at Tales of said...

Fantastic interview!
That ice cream flavor sounds amazing!
I <3 Wuthering Heights :)
I can't wait to read your book :)

Ronie Kendig said...

Wow, free room *and* swimming lessons? What's keeping me here?? LOL

Guess what dessert we're getting tonight to celebrate Dead Reckoning's launch and me surviving it? LOL Yep, ice cream. There went my diet.

Rel said...

Well, Ronie, I just ate a Neenish Tart so our diets are probably down the same hole ;-)

Thanks Juju for dropping by - loving your comments :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rel,
Another great interview. Thank you! Also just read Ronie's article at CF online magazine. What an inspiration! I homeschool two girls, teach piano, practice and play piano for church, run kids hither-thither-and-yon and wonder when I'll ever get to write as much as I desire. Well Ronie does and did with her many challenges, so there's hope for me!!
Now I can go to sleep encouraged!
'nite :)

Ronie Kendig said...

Many hugs to you, Jennifer! I'm so glad the articles encouraged you. There's a lot of "life" going on around us. For me, writing is "my" time. :-D

Kelli Standish said...

Gosh, FABULOUS interview, Rel!

I don't "wait for" many books. I'm kind of a jaded reader after the bazillions I've poured through :) But this book is one I've been WAITING for. I love fiction in exotic locales and can't wait to read this story.

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