I've really been looking forward to this day when I could feature Ronie on my blog. I rejoice with her about her first book sale. And I read the ARC and wrote a review of Dead Reckoning. You can read it here: http://lenanelsondooleynewsletter.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html
I’m a real person with real, every-day people problems. That’s what I write into my characters. I long for hope and justice, and for a large part, that’s what my characters want and strive to achieve.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I am not a quirky person. Um, maybe writing a 103,000 word space opera in 28 days. LOL Is that quirky? I have no idea.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I never really had this moment of discovery that set me on the path toward publication, but I’ve been telling stories one way or another since I was a small child. But it really wasn’t until shortly after my husband and I married that I felt the ache to get into writing. That launched me into the Institute for Children’s Literature, but I had a baby and didn’t complete the last assignment (the teacher asked for a rewrite, and I couldn’t get it done. LOL). In 2003, I joined a writer’s group in south Arlington. In 2004, I went to my first writer’s conference in Dallas—where I met my future agent, whom I would sign with three years and three rejections later.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My shameful confession is that I’m a very slow reader, so it takes me a while to get through a book. Maybe I should reword that: reading is not a priority (other than craft books and books for review), so I am leisure in getting to them. However, my favorite books are (believe it or not) historical (Lisa Bergren, TL Higley, ), speculative (Kathy Tyers, Karen Hancock, John Olson, Jim Rubart, James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series) . . . I guess the only genre I’m not thrilled about reading is Women’s Fiction (but I do read some!).
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Dead Reckoning is my debut title will release March 2010. A few months later, July 2010 will be the launch of the first book in my Discarded Heroes series, Nightshade. I do have several speculative pieces that I hover over late at night while nobody’s watching, including a time travel that I absolutely love. :-)
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m sorry . . . sanity? Am I supposed to be familiar with that word?
How do you choose your characters’ names?
When I begin a story, I usually have a “feel” for my characters—I know whether or not they have a certain ethnic background, or if they’re raise in austere environments. Generally, the name comes to me first after the general impression. If the name is a bit resistant, then I dig through websites and find the one that clicks.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Wow, that’s a tough question. I guess I’d say the thing I’m most proud of is being who I’m supposed to be. I hated myself for so long, that I finally learned to embrace who I am, accept my (many) failures, and change what God granted me the courage and strength to change. Through that, I have a very happy life—my relationship with God, my hunky husband, my beautiful children, awesome friends, got my degree a few years ago, and living my dream to be an author.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Oh geez. I have no clue. I love elephants, and while they aren’t the most glamorous of creatures, they do have an amazing memory and an incredible herd instinct they use to protect and nurture one another. Since I see myself as a protector and nurturer, maybe that’s a good fit. LOL
What is your favorite food?
Pastries!!! Or anything (except exotic stuff like octopus) enjoyed with a good friend!
We've shared a meal or two together, and I'm sure we both enjoy the fellowship as much as the food. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Besides not giving up, recognize God gave you a gift. And that’s what it’s all about—writing because HE gave YOU a gift. He’s sitting in his cozy chair by the fire, listening to you peck away at the keyboard and smiling while he thinks “Hear that beautiful sound? That’s my precious child using the gift *I* gave!” Remove the burdens and weights, and learn to enjoy the gift He gave you!!
Tell us about the featured book?
Trapped by a terrorist plot in Mumbai!
When Shiloh Blake’s first large-scale underwater archeological dig traps her in the middle of an international nuclear arms clash, she is forced to flee for her life into the streets of Mumbai, India. Is the man trailing her an enemy, or is he sent by her CIA father to protect her? Whoever he is, the only way to end this nightmare and prevent a nuclear meltdown is to join forces with former Navy SEAL Reece Jaxon.
I love your cover. Now please give us the first page of the book.
Mumbai Harbor, India
Shafts of yellow light pierced the blue-green waters, silhouetting the dive rig that hovered on the surface of the Arabian Sea. Shiloh Blake stopped and watched a wrasse scuttle past, its tiny fins working hard to ferry the brightly striped fish to safety.
Clad in her wetsuit, Shiloh squinted through her goggles and tucked the underwater camera into her leg pocket. She gripped the small stone artifact and propelled herself toward the surface. Ten meters and she would reveal her historic discovery to long-time rival Mikhail Drovosky.
Shiloh smiled. The guy would go ballistic. Score one for the girls. Between her and her new dive partner Edie Valliant, they had surged ahead in finds. Not that this was a competition. Not technically. But everyone with the University of California-San Diego dig team knew it was make or break time.
Shiloh broke the surface. Warm sun bathed her face as she slid off her mask and tugged out her air regulator before hauling herself onto the iron dive flat. She squeezed the saltwater from her hair, the auburn glints catching in the sunlight.
“What did you find?” Khalid Khan knelt next to her.
With a smirk, she peeked at her best friend. Her own excitement was mirrored in his dark eyes.
If that doesn't whet readers' appetites for mor, I don't know what will. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Just about anywhere:
• Website: http://www.roniekendig.com/
• Blog: http://supernaturalcraving.blogspot.com/
• ShoutLife: www.shoutlife.com/roniekendig
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/roniekendig
• First Monday Monthly Column: http://noveljourney.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Ronie, for spending this time with us.
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