Monday, October 26, 2015

An Interview with Embers Author Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig is a bestselling, award-winning author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with their children, a Maltese Menace, and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. She can be found at: www.roniekendig.comFacebook, TwitterGoodreadsPinterest, and Instagram. 

Jill here. I'm really excited about our guest today. Ronie Kendig writes wonderful stories. I really enjoy her books (especially her Discarded Heroes series). I had the privilege of endorsing her first fantasy novel Embers, which is amazing. Here's what I thought: 
"Embers is a splendid fantasy tale, full of magic, intrigue, sacrifice, betrayal, and a fresh good-versus-evil story that I haven’t seen before. Readers will be thrilled to have found their next favorite teen fantasy adventure in this book and its sequels."
And I meant every word! 

Without any more rambling from me, let's get to the interview! Hi, Ronie. Can you tell us about your new novel, Embers?

​Embers was borne out of watching the BBC TV series, Merlin. I was so frustrated with the "foster" sister of Prince Arthur, Morgana, who was pretending to do something noble and heroic to save the kingdom, when she was in fact the villain. But it got me wondering...what if a sister, a princess, truly did do something noble and heroic--yet devastating to herself--to save the kingdom? I scurried into my office after I put the pumpkin bread in the oven and crafted the first chapter of what is now Embers.​

Here is the official blurb for the story:

HE'S COMING FOR THEM. AND THE KINGDOM.
Haegan and Kaelyria Celahar are royal heirs of the Nine Kingdoms, but Haegan is physically crippled. What chance does he have against Poired Dyrth, the greatest enemy the kingdom has ever faced, who wields fire with a power none can match?
Their only hope is forbidden: Kaelyria must transfer her fire-harnessing abilities to Haegan. When she does it comes with a terrible price: Haegan's disability is healed, but only by being transferred to Kaelyria. This act unleashes their father-king's wrath.

Haegan must flee the kingdom alone with two impossible tasks: Find a cure for Kaelyria and stop the coming war with the omnipotent Poired Dyrth.



It's SO GOOD! (Guys, seriously. It really is.) Ronie, can you share a little bit of your journey to publication?

​I started actively seeking publication around 2002, but I went to my first writing conference in 2004. Back then, I was pretty naive and didn't even know there were writer's conferences! I met Steve Laube at my very first writer's conference, and I knew I wanted him to be my agent. It took three rejections over the course of the next three years, and on the fourth submission, he offered representation. But back then, speculative fiction didn't have open doors. A rare few got in with traditional publishers, but the advice back then was to prove yourself in a more traditional genre, then you'd have street cred to branch out. Unfortunately, in the timeframe I was establishing myself in the suspense genre, the industry changed rapidly. By the time I had that street cred, there were few publishers and few slots for authors. Thank goodness Marcher Lord Press came along...and then was bought by Steve and developed in Enclave. And voila! Embers was born! ​


I, too, am thankful for Marcher Lord Press, which became Enclave. It's where I started. How many books did you write before your first book was published?

I had close to twenty books started, but I had only completed about nine or ten of them before my first book was published. ​

Do you have any tips on storyworld building for the fantasy authors in our group?

​When I first started working toward publication, I really just kind of winged it. I only put in what was important to the story and characters. But as I've stepped into the publishing waters, I've learned that everything has "rules." In Embers, my characters can wield heat/fire, so there are rules (both physical and societal) to what they can and can't do. It's important to understand those little things so they can rub against and possibly cause friction in the story. If the author doesn't know his/her storyworld, the reader won't know it. But if you create something unique in the world of your characters, make sure it has a point. There's so much already happening that's new and exciting in a storyworld, you don't want to distract your readers with pointless elements. ​

What advice would you give teen writers? Or a word of encouragement for them?

​I guess it would be a two-part encouragement: 1.) Know the rules of good storycrafting​, master those rules, but don't get strangled (or let your story get strangled) by those rules, and 2.) KNOW that you are a writer; never let anyone tell you any different. If it's in you, it's in you.

That's great advice, Ronie. So, what's next for you? Is Embers a stand-alone novel or is there a book two? If so, how long will readers have to wait?

​The Abiassa's Fire series is a three-book series, and over the next two months, I will be making a big dent in the word count on the second novel, Accelerant. ​Unfortunately, I am also a suspense writer, so I am dividing my writing year between a speculative novel and a suspense novel. Accelerant will release October 2017.

Gah! I totally understand how tough it is to write multiple series at once. I shall try to be patient as I wait to see what happens next. Readers are going to be lining up for Accelerant. Thanks so much for talking with us, Ronie!

​THANK YOU so much for having me over!! It's an honor! ​

Guys, I'm giving away a paperback copy of Embers. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below. But let's also shower some love down on Ronie today by following her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram

And if you don't win this book, go BUY IT. 1) Because it's awesome. And 2) To support Ronie, the genre, and the industry as a whole. 


It's a great book. You will NOT regret it.



43 comments:

  1. Embers sounds like such an amazing book! And your advice about storyworld building is awesome for me. Thanks so much for stopping by GTW.

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    1. I'm so glad it helped, Linea! Write on!!

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  2. Loved the interview, and Embers sounds awesome.

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  3. This book sounds so good!!!

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  4. This book sounds amazing! I'm putting it on my wish list immediately. It makes it even better knowing that the idea sparked from watching Merlin (one of my favorite shows).

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    1. Clearly, you have refined tastes, Emma! :-D

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  5. Ronie, congratulations on your release of EMBERS! I am so excited for you. The Abiassa's Fire series sounds FABULOUS!

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    1. Thank you, Caryl!! I hope you get the chance to read it!

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  6. I loooove the cover of Embers, Ronie!
    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

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    1. Well, honestly? I felt God challenge me to write without my standard operating procedure (read: skeletal outline). He asked me to trust Him COMPLETELY in this process. So, I did. Next hardest was the fact that I didn't define my rules, and they got me in "trouble" with my uber-talented editor.

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  7. Oooh, the cover is so pretty! This sounds really interesting! You said you had the idea after watching Merlin...is there anything else from that show that you would say inspired you?

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    1. Definitely!! One of Arthur's knights--Sir Percival (Tom Hopper) is actually my "model" for Haegan, my main hero. And really...a lot. It's a brilliant show and defied a lot of norms and traditions with the way they wove the story. That taught me to cut loose of preconceived notions, to push outside the "expected" and reach for the unexpected.

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  9. The cover is so cool! I'm gonna wanna read this, whether I win or not.

    (PS If you guys don't recognize me, I used to be Jonathan Fay. That was my pen name, and I've changed it now. Also, I'm on a different account :) )

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    1. I hope you get the chance to read it, Jason!

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  10. This book sounds amazing! I love that the idea was sparked from Merlin. I absolutely utterly adore that show! <3

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    1. Isn't it genius? I really loved it and was sad to see it go, though I was SO OVER Morgana. LOL

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  11. Do you ever plan to finish any of those other books you started, or have you decided not to?

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    1. Yes, I do! In fact, I've already talked with my publisher about which series is next...and I was thinking some of the seed-germs could be great novellas or novel shorts.

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  12. Loved the interview! I fully admit to not being much of a fantasy fan, but I'm a huge fan of Ronie's, so I'm super excited to read this, regardless. I'm also fascinated by the premise. Not sure why, specifically, but it sounds fantastic!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    ~Sarah

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    1. Thanks for being such a loyal reader! :-D You're a gem!

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  13. Ooh, I'd totally love to read Embers! I enjoyed the A Breed Apart series, and fantasy is my favorite genre, so this sounds awesome!

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    1. Oh, how wonderful! I hope you get the chance to read Embers!!

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  14. I love the cover of Embers Ronie! Did you get much input in it?

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  15. I'm so excited for your book! Thanks for all the advice - it really helped me put things in perspective! :D

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  16. I love your books, Ronie, and I've been excited to read this for awhile. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Super excited to read Embers and love anything Enclave Publishing produces! :D

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  18. Embers sounds fascinating and very original! I'm always looking for new fantasy to read. Thank you Mrs. Kendig for stopping by and giving us all tips!

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  19. Definitely going to check that book out.

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  20. Is Lord Marcher Press a Christian publishing company? I have never been sure on whether or not Christian publishers will publish any book with magic in it.

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  21. Well, Marcher Lord Press is now Enclave Publishing, and that's who EMBERS is being published through. And yes--it's a Christian publisher. I think that because this falls under the fantasy genre and it's a different world, and because the content can be seen as an "allegory" for/with Christian elements, then Enclave is fine. What's not fine is sexual content and bad language. As long as we're writing to glorify God and not the darkness, sin, or powers, I think our publisher is fine with the more "unusual" content.

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    1. Thanks for putting this :D I've been wondering if the magical elements in my story are going to put up a built in roadblock for christian publishers.

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  22. Someone else watches Merlin? TOTALLY COOL! :D I love that show <3

    Also, your book sounds AMAZING. I love sibling stories and I love fantasy, so this sounds right up my alley. :D


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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  23. Oooh, EMBERS sounds like just my sort of thing. Disability diversity, siblings and magic fire?

    I'm sold.

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  24. Thanks so much for sharing with us here! :) Embers sounds fascinating. I love the way you found your inspiration for this story! I'm a big fan of Merlin and have also wondered about different paths that Morganna's character could have taken.

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  25. Great interview! Can't wait to read Embers...I love spec fiction!!!

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  26. I adore Ronie's books and I am so excited to read this book and see how she took on the fantasy genre! I am not normally a fantasy reader but I will for sure be reading this one!

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  27. Ooo, this sounds so good!!! I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the great post! :D

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  28. I've never read any type of fantasy fiction before, but I've read all of Ronie's other books so I'm willing to give it a try. Thanks for the chance to win.

    aimmesser@yahoo.com

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  29. Good interview, Mrs. Kendig! Your book sounds really cool, and I can think of someone who it'd make a good gift for. I had a couple questions about your writing journey. What's the hardest challenge you've ever faced as a writer and how did you overcome it? Do you ever feel like you don't want to write? Do you just make yourself write when you feel that way? What are some tips to getting back in the writing groove?

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  30. Love Merlin!! :) That show has inspired me too. Love your comments about trusting God in the writing process. :)

    God bless, Anne Marie

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  31. Hi, I'm Joy. My mom has read some of Mrs. Kendig's other books, but this book seems to be more "my kind" of book. I love the fantastical (plus BBC's Merlin is one of my favorite shows).

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