Author Interview: Ronie Kendig

We are happy to highlight another author from the Mystery/Thriller Shortlist ~ Ronie Kendig!  Ronie has several books and series under her belt and this year Trinity: Military War Dog is on the Inspy Shortlist.

13356995A year ago in Afghanistan, Green Beret Heath Daniel’s career was destroyed. Along with his faith. Now he and his military war dog, Trinity, train other dogs and their handlers. Though his passion is to be back in action, the medical discharge has forced Heath—and Trinity—to the sidelines. Military intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured while secretly tracking the Taliban. Only one dog can handle the extreme conditions to save her. Trinity. Only one man can handle Trinity. Time is running out on the greatest—and most dangerous—mission of their lives.

Your series A Breed Apart, highlights the efforts of a special group of military ~ the war dogs. What led you to focusing a series on the dogs and their handlers? Any unique issues developed from having the dogs as a primary character?

This serious came about through an email sent by a dear friend who is a longtime writer and satirist. The article he sent me turned out to be a hoax, but the premise (military working dogs) dug its teeth into my heart and wouldn’t let go!

It is quite challenging to have a dog as a primary character, especially when there are heroes/heroines to develop as well. But I worked hard to make the MWDs an integral part of each story, as much as was possible.

What do you do outside the world of books?

I love to crochet, though I’m not quite skilled as I’d like to be. Also, my family and I moved to Northern Virginia July 2012  and we’re having fun exploring the historical sites and battlefields—which works great as a homeschooling mom. History in just about every visit! .

As book lovers, it interests us: What books or authors have influenced you ~ as a writer and a reader?

There are a few authors who have had a profound effect on me—John Olson, a Christy-award winning author, stepped alongside me as I walked the “newbie” path. John won’t let me call him a mentor, but will allow me to say he was my advocate. The man has a heart of gold and a genius mind. I’ll always be grateful for his encouragement and wisdom.

Robert Liparulo is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I really admire the way he can carry a story. I have a lot to learn from him, and I love how open he is to helping others.

What are the challenges/benefits of incorporating faith into your story?

I find it challenging when my editor asks me to put more faith into my stories—and the reason for this is twofold: 1.) I tend not to write a heavy faith thread (generally, there are no conversion or “church” scenes in my stories) because my faith, what I want to portray (the hope of Christ) is more organic and natural. And 2.) if I’m “force-feeding” faith elements into the story, I become concerned that it will feel fake ~ That the points will be more about satisfying a “Bible verse quota” than being realistic or being real with my readers. I believe I am writing to a crowd that is skeptical, wounded, and searching for hope, they just might not realize where that Hope lies.

What do you hope readers take away from Trinity: Military War Dog?

Trinity—for me—was a lot about surrendering control. Letting go, and letting God. But I also hope, with every story, that readers step a little closer to Christ, if they have not yet embraced Him as their Lord. . .or that those wounded Christians will see, through these stories, Christ’s hand extended to them.

Ronie Kendig is no stranger to the military ~ she was an Army brat and after growing up, married a military hero herself.  Ronie and her husband homeschool their four children, one of which whom recently graduated.  And although Ronie has only been in the publishing scene for a few years, she’s already won several awards and received numerous accolades.  To learn more about Ronie and her books please visit Rapid Fire Fiction