I had the pleasure of featuring Ronie Kendig on the blog in May last year when Talon, the second instalment in the “Breed Apart” series released. Beowulf: Explosions Detective Dog, the final piece in the puzzle, has recently launched. Ronie was kind enough in her very busy schedule to answer some questions I posed her.
Beowulf—a hulky, brindle-coated bullmastiff—is the only “boy” for Timbrel Hogan. And she has a history to remind her why. But when Timbrel, a handler at A Breed Apart, embarks on a mission to detect WMDs in Afghanistan, she reunites with Tony “Candyman” VanAllen and her no-other-man philosophy is challenged. While tension mounts between Timbrel and Tony, the team comes under fire after Beowulf gets a “hit.” When tragedy threatens Tony’s career and Timbrel’s courage, they must maneuver through an intricate plot and a mission like no other. . . .
Without further ado, here’s Ronie.
Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
Stories come from real life, from existing in a real, raw world that offers a bounty of conflicts that I, as a writer, can run with in a story. Sometimes, like with A Breed Apart, someone will send me an email and it will get my muse whirring.
What was your favourite book growing up?
I really didn’t have a favorite book growing up—ironically, now that I think about it, I do not recall my mom ever reading a novel!, though her mother was an avid reader. I just loved stories, loved making (with my Barbies/dolls) happy endings for those who didn’t have one.
Do you listen to music when writing? If yes, what sort?
Absolutely—it’s a must in my crazy, loud house. If I don’t, I hear everything and I’ll get reminded of something that I forgot to do or should’ve taken care of. The music will depend on the story. While writing HAWK, I created a playlist with albums from 12 Stones, Third Day, and Nine Lashes. For my fantasy, I tend to listen to soundtrack-style albums (Amon:Divinus City of the Fallen or Helios by Audiomachine) or even Enya. But without fail, I have my headphones on so I can plug into the story and leave the real world.
You have a degree in psychology? How does that help you in your writing?
I am a people person, and I have always wanted to know why people do what they do, which is why I went into Psychology. I want to help people find healing and hope, and having a degree in Psychology helps me do that, helps me help them (how’s that for confusing?) find healing and hope. . .and prayerfully, hope in Christ.
When did you know you just had to write stories?
I think I’ve always been doing it, I just didn’t allow myself to think about it too much, because that would make me realize that I could fail at it. And if I thought too much about that, I’d never have progressed. My husband is the one who nudged me to brave the chance of failure in the pursuit of a dream.
What led you to write in the romantic suspense genre? Are there other genres you hope to try in future?
Ironically, I was first a speculative writer. But that was—gasp!—ten years ago and the Christian market was absolutely closed to speculative titles unless you were Lawhead, Tyers, or Mackel. It was so discouraging! Back then, we were told to get established in a “standard” genre, make a name for ourselves, and then publishers would trust us to write something ‘weird.’ LOL So, I followed that advice and worked to hone the genre I loved the most—suspense. And very soon, probably within the next year or two, I will have a speculative series launch (mums the word on more details at this moment. . .sorry!).
Sure. Mummm … What’s your favourite time of the year?
Fall! I grew up as a military brat, living in Massachusetts and Germany (twice each) as a child, I fell in love with the gorgeous season of reds and golds. However, I must admit, having lived in Texas for 30+ years now, I am loving living in Northern Virginia where we get good bouts of snow and “true winter.” My hubby, on the other hand, is not so pleased with the winter weather here (yes, I’m giggling).
Fall or autumn as we know it down under is also my favourite season. Do you have any personal heroes or heroines?
Writers I greatly admire and respect are Robert Liparulo, Jim Rubart, and James Rollins. My Taekwondo instructor, Mrs. Warnes, is my “own personal hero” in TKD, because she has such an elegance to her forms, and she is a talented and gifted instructor. I have friends who are heroines because I see what they endure and triumph over on a daily basis.
2014 is looking like a big year for Ronie Kendig fans (Yay!) as you’ve got a few new novels in the works. What can you tell us about them and when can we expect to see them?
It’s going to be an INSANE year—not only did Beowulf release on January 1st, but Raptor 6, the first book in the Quiet Professional series, comes out in May, and Hawk releases in November! THREE books in one year. Zowie! I’m a little (okay, a LOT) overwhelmed. And get this. . .there will be something else happening/releasing this year; a surprise for my readers. I’ll have more about that in the next month or so. God is so good, even if the stress is really bad right now. LOL
Thanks so much Ronie for sharing a little of yourself with us. I’m in awe of this lady. How Ronie manages to produce so much great content, home school her kiddies, and maintain a normal lifestyle is incredible. And she has such a big heart for people and the Lord.
We’re very keen that one lucky reader is able to get their hands on the complete “Breed Apart” set. Yes, that’s right. All three of them. Simply leave a comment below and I’ll let the lucky winner know by email next Wednesday 29 January.
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her husband enjoy a full life with four children and a Maltese Menace in Northern Virginia. Author and speaker, Ronie loves engaging readers through her Rapid-Fire Fiction novels. Ronie can be found at www.roniekendig.com.