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 shares some of her thoughts on her newest book, War of Torment.
FF: What inspired the story in your book?
In large part, the Droseran Saga Series was inspired by my love of Dune and the Firefly TV series.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
War brings Marco Dusan’s journey full circle, and sadly, this story means he must plumb some dark depths. This story is tough but it is also heartbreakingly beautiful.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Commander Tigo Deken takes the prize for the most surprising character. There is a full-circle evolution, if you will, with him that I had no idea would happen. In the end, I was downright giddy about him.
FF: What were some of the joys and difficulties in writing a four-book series?
The biggest difficult is that I am, quite simply, a pantser at heart. That meant I’d get into some scrapes with the characters that I wasn’t sure how we’d get out of it alive. And sometimes we didn’t, but I am incredibly grateful for my editor, Reagen Reed, who rescued me—and my characters—more than once.
FF: What is next for The Droseran Saga?
I’m delighted to share that despite War being the epic conclusion to the series, I have signed a contract to write a short novel that brings the story of King Vaanvorn and Lady Valiriana fully to light. I wrote what amounted to flash fiction pieces for the paperbacks of Brand of Light and Dawn of Vengeance, but this short novel will flesh all that out. I’m still smitten with this storyworld, so I could live in the Quadrants for a very long time as a writer and be quite content.
FF: How do you step into the right frame of mind for writing a space opera when you write in multiple genres during the year?
As with many artists, I have a writing vein that is like coming home and sitting by a warm fire—and that’s my speculative writing. Essentially, it’s my escape, and, quite honestly, where I feel like I’m closest to God.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
Ultimately, I always want readers to identify with the characters, see themselves within the arcs, and come away with a sense of ‘there is always hope,’ no matter how hard the journey.
FF: Is there a distinct moment that stands out where faith played a big part in your own life with this particular story?
When I was writing War, my family and I were going through so very much. I ended up in such a rough mental state, that I knew I hadn’t written the book I’d hoped to write, the one to wrap up this much-beloved series, but I had nothing left in me and my deadline was upon me. God challenged me to release the book and trust my editor. That was so hard to do, but I have an amazing editor. And when she sent me her macro edit, she stated quite plainly that this series deserved glorious ending (she was 100% correct), but “this isn’t that book.” I sobbed. But I trusted Reagen, and she helped me find that sweet spot, the threads that made characters valiant and battles victorious. Finally, the beauty emerged.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
I am so impressed by the breadth and depth of creativity that is Brandon Sanderson. His storyworld is phenomenal and he really does his best to keep his readers involved and intrigued. When I was living just outside New York City a few years ago, I got to visit the mobile Tolkien museum and I was so in awe. It was the first time as an author I felt completely validated in my creative process and felt “understood.” His characters are timeless and will, no doubt, live in the hearts and minds of many more generations to come.
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
It absolutely impacts me and how I write. We all have a literary signature that reveals our backgrounds and beliefs. I pray constantly that I will never write anything that dishonors God, but I also pray that the He who created the universe would lend me a modicum of that creativity to write a book that would honor Him, even if the story is “weird” to the more “normal” reader.
War of Torment
Droseran Saga Series #4
Genres: SciFi, Space Opera
Release Date: April 11, 2023
The time for peace is over—now he demands vengeanceThey followed him back. Against his will, against his intention. Now enemies threaten from every direction. Amidst it all Marco Dusan struggles to lead his people, to help them survive, even mayhap win the war. He will take any advantage to even the odds. But only after tragedy strikes does he learn just how much he’s willing to sacrifice.
He’s not alone. Droserans fight as one, united against the offworlders—Symmachians who covet their planet. With the aid of unexpected allies, the Droserans battle on longer than anyone could have anticipated. Yet they cannot win. And the Faa’Cris, those supernatural warriors, fair of face and fierce of mien, do nothing.
But not all have turned their backs. After a bitter year of pain and loss, Kersei Dragoumis navigates a new heritage, ever intent on defending her people. Like her, light-years away from the Quadrants and even farther from the girl she thought she was, Eija Zacdari must come to terms with a new role. Or, rather, with an ancient one. And her success or failure may determine back in the Quadrants who lives and who dies.
In the end, Marco will have vengeance for the torment brought by this war. No matter the price. Not even if the price is his soul.
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