Ronie Kendig is a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty books. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband have returned to their beloved Texas after a ten-year stint in the Northeast. They survive on Sonic & Starbucks runs, barbecue, and peach cobbler that they share—sometimes—with Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.
In this interview, Ronie talks about the latest book in her The Droseran Saga, Shadow of Honor.
FF: What inspired the story in your book?
The series was a fusion of my love for Dune by Frank Herbert and the TV show, Firefly. One day in November 2005, I sat down to start writing some scenes I’d seen in my head, and 28 days later, I had 90,000 words. The story remained with me and the hero, Marco Dusan, tormented my wakings and sleepings until it was time for his story to find the ink of publication with Enclave Publishing.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
Marco Dusan is a bounty hunter gifted with the ability to literally smell fear—or any emotion, detecting the expulsion of pheromones in the air. He is intense and focused on living for honor. Kersei Dragoumis is the daughter of a clan chief on a planet that has eschewed technology, but she is unwittingly drawn up into a battle for the skies and her planet in an intergalactic war that will culminate in four books.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
An unexpected character named Eija Zacdari leapt onto the screen in book 2, Dawn of Vengeance, as if she were fully formed from inception. It has been fascinating to watch her arc develop, as I am a “Gardener” type, a seat-of-the-pants writer and experience the story unfold with the characters. There are incredible revelations about Eija in Shadow that were both enlightening and shocking.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
Story is the penultimate form for communicating with people. Readers come to a story largely for enjoyment, and when a story is crafted well enough, they fall down the proverbial rabbit hole with the characters where there hearts and minds are opened, challenged, and even affirmed. It’s an exhilarating means to engaging people, especially for an introvert like myself.
FF: What can readers expect from the rest of this series?
Shadow of Honor is book 3 in The Droseran Saga and it will take some surprising twists and turns as well as navigate dark corridors of mistakes and tragedy, but also some beautifully poignant moments that will propel readers through to the end. Summer 2023 will see the conclusion of this story-of-my-heart series, and as the author who has long envisioned this ending, to get to write it’s conclusion is a thrill!
FF: How do you get into the right frame of mind to write for your genre/audience?
First, I gather some snacks and a drink or two, then I don my noise-canceling headphones. I cannot write without the headphones as there is too much happening in a house with three guys who are gamers and two dogs, one a eager-to-please Golden Retriever and a hardhitting, intense Shepinois (GSD/Belgian Malinois mix) retired military working dog. For each book I write, I also choose new or select soundtrack-style albums from groups like Audiomachine and Brand X Music.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
In all my thirty-plus books, I have had one goal: to remind readers that, even in the bleakest, darkest hour, there is always hope. With The Droseran Saga, some themes include: moving on after shattered dreams, choosing your path amidst betrayal, love defying circumstances, and resilience in the hardest of times.
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in your specific genre?
For some reason, within the Christian market, Science Fiction is a hard sell as readers might have concerns about honoring God within that type of story, which is a concern I understand, but also ill-founded. There are incredible and beautiful allegories, parallels to biblical truths, as well as entire systems that mirror characters, stories, or even the entire Bible. There is a vast audience out there for science fiction in the mainstream market, and it’s a path I see that enables me to reach hearts and minds for the Kingdom.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
A few years ago when I lived in New Jersey, I got to visit a mobile museum for one of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien. It was incredible to see his methods of creating his world and systems. In that, I found an incredible affirmation of my own methods and styles for developing my worlds, characters, and stories. More contemporary influences include Brandon Sanderson, Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, Kathy Tyers, John Olson, Marissa Meyer, and Jack Campbell.
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
Through research on a class on writing the male POV, I learned that our age, sex, beliefs, background (culture, location, etc.) all inform our writing and its style. So, it is not surprising that my ardent believe in God is indelibly infused into my stories. However, not all my books contain an overt faith thread; some are more subtle. Ultimately, I write whatever to the story, whatever the arcs and/or characters need for their journey.
Shadow of Honor
The Droseran Saga #3
Genres: Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Romance
Release Date: June 14, 2022
The war he fears may be the very one he’s been called to start.
Held captive, tortured by monsters of a nightmarish alien race, Marco Dusan clings to a final goal: keep these beasts from the Quadrants, even if it means orchestrating his own death. But his dreams betray that singular design. In them his bonded calls to him across lightyears. Does he leave her to fight Symmachia alone, or risk bringing an unwinnable war to every planet in the Quadrants?
On board the alien dreadnought, Eija Zacdari flounders, torn amidst military machinations, prophecies, and an inexplicable bond with one of the fearsome creatures who have imprisoned her friends. Only by uncovering the truth about an ancient conflict now shrouded in deception will she find her place.
Faced with her true identity, Eija sees her purpose snap into focus, and she realizes the war Marco fears may be the very one he has been called to start.
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