Posts tagged authors
Writerly Wednesday with Ronie Kendig

Life happens but when we have a calling, we need to make space to walk in it.

Often in my years since being contracted in 2008, I’ve had people ask me how do I find the time to write? They say their lives are so busy, it’s impossible to write. And I get it—times are rough. But the plain fact is that life will always intervene. It’s kind of like God when you tell him your plans. He’s all, “Really? Is that so? Well, let me show you . . ."

*Cue massive boulder rolling straight out of Indiana Jones to wreck your plans*

Okay, yes—that’s a bit facetious, but it’s true. Life is real. Life is raw. Life is ROUGH. But as a writer who is being published, whether indie or traditional, you have deadlines. A schedule that must be kept or that infamous domino stumbles and unleashes its chaos.

Right now, I’m doing edits on my eighteenth and nineteenth novels—both are content/macro edits, job and finances woes have hit hard, Irma hit my daughters, twins hit college and driving . . . blah blah blah LIFE. Blah blah blah. LIFE.

See? Life doesn’t quit.

And neither do I. As my husband always says, “What is there to quit to?”

So, I write on. Because it’s what I love and I refuse to let the stressors of life crush that passion. So, how do I do it? Nothing fancy. Just raw determination (which is a massive dose of that Irish stubbornness that says, “oh, yeah? Just watch!”), and a handful of things that I started doing this year:

1.     Lists

My husband is a notorious list maker. I’ve always taunted him over this and his intimate knowledge of spreadsheets. It’s a little obscene. Or so I thought, until life rushed in with floods of stress and deadlines. I had to get--*whispers* organized. I started with Mini Emergent Task Planner. It’s simple. And that’s what I needed—not another detailed, complicated thing. I had plenty of those already. This one breaks down what I have to do it into MAJOR tasks (only room for three) and “Got extra time?” tasks—with lines for four more. That’s what I use for my week. I prioritize, then GO!

2.     Planner

Yeah, remember that “not complicated” thing? Well, same thing happened when I saw amazing author Robin Carroll posting her Happy Planner pages. They were so pretty. And I wanted pretty, another way for my creativity to get unlocked. So, I opted for the week-at-a-glance pages for bigger projects and life events. At the end of the week, I rewarded myself for surviving the week and demands on my time by embellishing these pages with pretties and pictures.

3.     Be Ruthless

I’m not even kidding. Be ruthless—in protecting your time and energy. Social media can become a black hole of time, sapping energy. In fact, a research study found that people generally come away from social media less happy and less confident. Now, I limit my time online. However, I still hang out for a while because I have family in Ireland that I try to stay connected with through that online platform.

4.     Rewards

As you accomplish a task, assign a “reward” that is encouraging enough or refills your energy well. Maybe something small—watching an episode of a TV show, or reading a chapter of a new novel. Rewards should be equivalent to the task completed. One of my favorite new rewards is a bath with those delicious-smelling bath bombs. Ironically, thanks to the stunning Tamera Leigh, I’ve learned that lingering in the bath actually forces my mind to quiet down . . . and often unlocks secret pockets of creativity.

So go forth and protect yourself well!

Writing is a gift and a passion that needs a healthy, confident you.


I'm giving away a copy of Crown of Souls.

(U.S. only please)

All you need to do is leave a comment answering the following question:

What do you do to make space for what you love? Maybe it's writing, but maybe it's reading or creating in some other way?

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author of over fifteen novels. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband live in beautiful Northern Virginia with their children and a retired military working dog, VVolt N629. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters. Visit Ronie online at: FB: RapidFireFiction Twitter: @RonieKendig Instagram: @kendigronie


Interview With Cynthia Ruchti from Books & Such Literary Management

I am super excited to have the awesome and fabulously talented, Cynthia Rutchi, joining me on this Writerly Wednesday. If you don’t yet know Cynthia, you’re in for a treat.


Hi Cynthia, thanks so much for joining me on Writerly Wednesday. Could you take a moment and yourself to my readers?


I came into the publishing world through the back door. I worked in the medical field--in a chemistry laboratory of a large medical facility--for the first several years after I married my husband. When our first two children were little, I "retired" from that pursuit to stay home with the kids, grow a big garden, can or freeze everything we could raise or forage, sew, knit, make homemade bread, and watch Little House on the Prairie.

I also took correspondence courses in creative writing so my brain cells didn't stagnate. I didn't envision a career in writing or publishing, but thought I might gain enough skills to write an occasional magazine article, newspaper human interest piece, or put together decent devotionals for baby and bridal showers.

But God had other plans in mind. Two weeks after finishing the final correspondence course, I was handed the opportunity to write a 15-minute scripted broadcast for radio. That broadcast recently retired after 33 years on the air.

By the time the broadcast retired, I had published my first novel. I'd been writing fiction and nonfiction all those years, so it was far more natural for me to do both. Since 2010, I've been blessed to have more than twenty books published, with more contracted.


You're a writer, and now an agent with Books & Such. How do you juggle the demands of both?


It may seem repetitive, but I came into agenting through the back door, too! I hadn't been looking for that position. But after a few months in this role, I can tell that God had been grooming me for it. I love everything about agenting (except having to say no so often), just as I love everything about the writing, publishing, and marketing process.

I'm less a juggler than I am working a literary circuit--like the exercise gyms that rotate clients from station to station in order to get a full workout for all muscle groups. I spend time working on my own proposals, then as an agent tweaking my client's proposals. I flesh out ideas for marketing my latest releases, then brainstorm with a client about his or her marketing needs.

I move from fiction to nonfiction, from ACFW responsibilities to agent responsibilities to author responsibilities. They're not only related to each other, but inform and strengthen one another. I have just enough ADD in me to make me okay with jumping from project to project, from writing devotions to creating a press release to pulling together a magazine article to reading through a client's contract.

Exhausting? Sometimes. Like a good workout.



How are you enjoying being an agent? What's your favorite aspect?


My favorite parts of agenting relate to relationships with publishers and clients, finding a perfect match between an author's ideas and a publisher's needs, and interacting (aka, learning from) the other agents within Books & Such. It's energizing, too, to help a proposal go from good to polished.


Why the decision to go into agenting?

Even though the invitation came as a surprise, it quickly made perfect sense. I've long cared about helping other authors succeed. I'm an encourager at heart and propelled by hope. God has given me unique opportunities to get a peek at many facets of the publishing industry--which makes me more informed as an agent and sympathetic to all sides of the equation, even while cheering hard for my clients.


What are five fun facts most people don't know about you?


  • I used to play the bass drum in the marching band. (Most directors frowned on carrying a bassoon while marching).
  • I was a baton twirler (majorette) in middle school and part of high school. (I know. Scary to think about, isn't it?)
  • I've hiked the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska. (Okay, part of it.)
  • I've been whitewater rafting in Colorado.
  • I was paid for one of my first online writing projects in chocolate. That's right.


Wow. How fun to be paid in chocolate. My kind of payment ;)


Are you accepting submissions and, if so, what are you looking for and what is the best way to contact or query you?

Yes to accepting submissions. I'm focused primarily on nonfiction, but I'm interested in a few fiction clients. As any agent will say, whether fiction or nonfiction, I'm looking for strong writing skills, a significant built-in audience (platform), and a compelling story from writers who understand the power of a well-turned phrase and the importance of a fresh approach. Those seeking representation can send a short email inquiry to or connect through the information provided on the Submissions page.


Thanks so much for joining us, Cynthia. In honor of her graciousness in visiting Writerly Wednesday, I’m giving away a copy of Cynthia’s latest release, A Fragile Hope.

Simply leave a comment or answer ask Cynthia a question, and you’ll automatically be entered to win. The winner will be contacted next week. Thanks again to Cynthia for joining us.


Cynthia Ruchti tells stories "hemmed in Hope" through novels, novellas, nonfiction, devotions, and through speaking events for women and writers. Many of her more than 20 books have been recognized by key industry awards. Cynthia serves as the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) professional relations liaison and is an agent with Books & Such Literary Management. She and her grade school sweetheart husband live in the heart of Wisconsin.






Today is launch day for Shattered!

After so many months of waiting, I am amazed the day is finally here. Today is Shattered's official release date! Yay!! To celebrate the launch, and give you an inside glimpse of Landon and Piper's world, I've put together a Pinterest board for their story. Click the image below to see the board.

Visit the Shattered Pinterest Board!


You do not need to have an account on Pinterest to view the board, but if you do have a Pinterest account, I'd love if you'd add me as a friend :)  I look forward to seeing your favorite boards and connecting with you.

P.S. Think I've missed something on Landon & Piper's board? Some scene, recipe, or fun photo you think should be included? Post the link in my comments section below. Your suggestion might show up at the top of my Shattered board in the next few weeks!


Interview with Nora St.Laurent

Today you're in for a treat. An interview with Nora St. Laurent of The Book Club Network. Let's jump right in. 

What inspired you start TBCN?

The Book Club Network was born out of a desire to share Christian Fiction authors with other book clubs, share book club ideas with other leaders and to encourage the authors who are writing such amazing books. The economy has been really tough for a few years and people are not parting with money like they used to. Through TBCN they can take their time and find the right book or win it. We have give away opportunities each month. ALL of our contests are from the 19th – 21st of the month.

I run two face-to-face book clubs, one at the Christian Book Store I work at and the other at the church I attend. It’s a position I never imagined I’d be in since I didn’t read for pleasure much before I started working in a Christian book store 11 years ago.

But since I love talking with people and the main thing to talk about in a book store is books I started reading Christian Fiction (publishers sent ARC copies to our store and I started checking them out) The first book that rocked my world and got me hooked in Christian Fiction was a book by Linda Nichols called Not a Sparrow Falls her next book did me in and I couldn’t stop talking about it, At the Scent of Water was her next book that prompted me to contact the author and let her know how much her book touched my spirit.

After reading these two books and telling customers about these reads I had a reason to read.  These books spoke to me because I wasn’t expecting it. It reminded me of the stories in the bible. Jesus is the greatest story teller and He knew a story could change a life or prick our spirit and move us in a direction we never thought we’d be in.

I tell you all that to say I’m dyslexic and I have not been a fan of reading. Movies were more my thing. I could watch a movie of a book and have a lot more fun. Reading Christian Fiction changed my life in more ways than one.  I wanted to tell everyone about the greatest book I read, and I’d do that at the book store.  It was possible to talk about the new book I read and loved for about a month or more but when At the Scent of Water and Not a Sparrow Falls were not on the shelf anymore, I had to find some other books to talk about at work.  I’m not a very fast reader so; discovering the next new book was a challenge. Would I get the book read before it disappeared from the shelf?  How long do books live on a book shelf? The shelf life of a book was a mystery to me and still is.

I was whining to my husband Fred about my problem. How can I get the word out about great books for a very long period of time??? Being a man who likes to face challenges head we began to talk about how we could do this and the fact that I can’t read books fast enough to keep up with it’s shelf life at the store.

I also told him as a book club leader I wanted to promote great books and share them with other groups. Not everyone has the advantage of working at a book store and see what new books hit the shelves each week. Another struggle I had was if I had an author speaking at my book club I wanted to share them with other book clubs in the area. How could I do that? Where are book clubs meeting?

Our answer to many of these questions and more was the birth of The Book Club Network - TBCN. Connecting authors to book clubs and readers to their books; it’s also a network of book clubs as they post what they’ve read and how the meeting turned out.

It’s a place to find where a book club is located. We have a member map where you can find a book club near you. Message them and see if they are accepting new members. I envision it to be similar to the Weight Watchers program (don’t laugh-Grin) you can go to a meeting anywhere in the country right? All you have to do is look on line and get connected. This is my hope for the future of TBCN.

That is so exciting, Nora. Have there been any surprises for you @TBCN? What benefits have you seen by bringing readers and authors together?

I’ve been encouraged and fascinated by our growth. I can see there were other people out there like me wanting to connect with other book club members.

I’ll tell you what has surprised me is the author/reader interaction each month. This is something I didn’t foresee as I’ve watch the authors are having a blast interacting with the readers and visa/versa. The beauty of this discussion is it’s there forever for all to read no matter when you join TBCN.

The authors have done a great job coming up with questions for reader to answer that give them a peek into their book – create interest and then the discussion helps book club leaders connect with the author. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of authors that want to be featured @The Book Club Network. It’s been a great thing.

The interaction with the authors is almost like having a book club meeting on line. It’s a huge benefit for both the authors who’ve wanted to ask clubs questions and readers who want to get to know authors. The authors are catching on. Our sponsors have loved the interaction as well. Members have told me that they love the author interaction from the 19th-21st as much as having a chance to win all these books. It’s hard to know if a book will be a fit for your group so these interaction times are helpful for that and so much more. Another thing I love about TBCN members is the fact they are not afraid to share what they think in a good way. I’ve learned so much and laughed out loud in some discussion where the questions lead to sharing funny moments.

My hope is that book club leaders and/or members participate in the discussions and make that book connection with the author and their book. I want TBCN to be a tool for them in picking out their books. Maybe invite the author to speak to their book club on the phone. It’s my hope. The discussion will be there forever. No worries about a books shelf live here @TBCN. So, everyone has time to get to know each other!! It’s a beautiful thing!

How can readers join in the anniversary celebrations?

It’s easy to sign up to be a member of TBCN.  We ask a few questions for you to answer and for other information that helps us keep spammers and other information seekers out of the network. It’s also FREE. You have opportunities to win lots of books. For our BIRTHDAY BASH we are giving away 10 books a day and announcing winners once a week. You’ll have all week to enter the daily featured contests.

Do you have any other comments for my readers?

If you are avid reader this is the place for you to learn about the latest in Christian Fiction and interact with the author each month.

Are you a book club leader? Well this is the place for you to find your next book club pick. We’d also love for you to set up your Book club page at our site for others to see. It’s a place to share your latest featured book. Post pictures of your club and the field trips you’ve taken. The authors you’ve met and the book fun you’ve had. Learn from other book clubs that have already set up their pages.

Want to start a book club but felt it was too overwhelming? You can learn from other experienced book club leaders, and you can start right away making your book club list!

Do you like to win books? This is the place for you. You’ll have a chance to get to know the authors and their books and read genre’s you normally wouldn’t. We’ve been giving away about 100 books a month and for our birthday bash it’s going to be 10 books every day; starting August first. Winners are picked weekly and announced each weekly.

THANK YOU! You’ve been a grand host to have me here and let me talk about The Book Club Network and our Birthday Bash!! I hope to see you there @TBCN

You are a Blessing!!

Nora :o)

Nora, it was a blessing having you here. I love The Book Club Network and am always excited to help spread the word.

A little about Nora:  

Nora is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network She runs two book clubs near Atlanta, Ga., Former ACFW On-Line Book Club. Nora currently writes a Book Club column for the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and is a Book Club Talk Columnist for Novel Rocket. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone.

Hope you've enjoyed today's interview, and I hope you have fun checking out TBCN.



Well, it looks like this might be my last post for a while. It seems Dani is itching to take control of her blog back. I hope you'll read the rest of my story in Submerged. Today's subject is a touchy one for me. I'm a Christian. I should know all about redemption. Thing is, I believe Christ died for my sins and I believe He saved me, but I still struggle. As you've learned these past few weeks if you read my posts on Facing Your Fears and Shame (still stinging from that one), I continue to wrestle with fear and shame.

I should know better. I should have it all together on the inside like I do on the outside, but I don't.

I still struggle.

I still hurt.

Regret and shame still cling to me like an ugly old sign flashing 'she doesn't belong.'

I strive to be good, to be perfect and on the outside I might even appear to be, but on the inside....

Bethany shared redemption's definition over on Katie's blog today. Four and Five hit me the hardest.

1. An act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed

2. Deliverance or rescue

3. Deliverance from sin; salvation

4. Atonement from guilt (I wish! I know I'm saved, but I fear this guilt will never go away. And, in truth, I don't deserve for it to).

5. Repurchase, as of something sold (I gave myself away painfully enough, but you're going to have to read my story if you want to find out more, because unlike Dani, I'm not ready to share the source of my shame).


What about you? Which definition of redemption hits you hardest, for good or for bad?

Check out Dani's Facebook Author Page or Katie Ganshert's Facebook Author Page for some encouragement regarding redemption.