Interview by Brock Eastman
Featuring Abiassa's Fire
Brock: How did you come up with the idea for this book or series?
Ronie: It was a fluke, really. I was watching BBC’s Merlin and got annoyed with the actions of a character. But then I was like—What if a sister truly did make a big sacrifice for her brother, for the kingdom? And that was the seed-germ for Embers.
Brock: In three words, what is this book about?
Ronie: Loyalty and surrender.
Brock: Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
Ronie: When I write my suspense novels, I generally use a skeletal outline that I draw out on my grease-board wall in our basement. But for speculative novels, I am mostly a seat-of-the-pants writer. Regardless of genre, however, I always let my characters show me the way.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Ronie: I think many readers can relate to situations in families that ply at our courage and happiness, and I believe many have stepped into situations they didn’t feel ready for, yet they warrior on and find joy, sometimes even success.
Brock: How many books are planned for this series?
Ronie: There are 3 books planned in the Abiassa’s Fire series.
Brock: Any certain research required for the book, or is it all from your imagination?
Ronie: Part of my joy in writing speculative is there’s a lot you don’t have to research. But with Abiassa’s Fire, I ended up doing research on many different aspects and elements of fire. It’s been fascinating!
Brock: Are you working on the next book in the series?
Ronie: Yes! I am working on book 2, Accelerant, right now.
Brock: Can you give us a hint at the next book in the series?
Ronie: There have been some really awesome surprises with this story, and it’s been a little haunting that some of the elements I’ve foreseen since the series started are actually speaking to me in my own life and in my own trials. In this book, Haegan wrestles with and even attempts to flee his role as the Abiassa’s hand of judgment.
Brock: Where do you like to write?
Ronie: I prefer to write at a desk or table. Some authors are able to cozy up in a recliner and write, but I tried that. I would only sleep for hours, not write!
Brock: Are you a full-time or part-time author/writer?
Ronie: My agent said I’m a full-time writer, but I’m not sure I’d say that yet. I still homeschool our sixteen year old twins, and that takes up a good portion of my time, because work and ferrying them to their different organizations and co-op.
Brock: How long does it usually take you to write a single book?
Ronie: I’ve been hammering out books in 3 months, but I am really pushing back on that, because I haven’t been able to give the books the attention I’d really like them to have. From this book (Accelerant) on, I have six months with each title, and I’m relieved.
Brock: What’s your view on e-books and the new publishing revolution?
Ronie: While I think e-books are amazing and I have an iPad mini that goes with me for on-the-go reading/writing, I strongly prefer a real book in my hands, and many of my readers have reported the same. I think it’s terribly convenient to have a dozen books on a device, but I also find it cluttering—because in reality I have hundreds on the device and haven’t read them. And with research starting to find connections between lack of focus and long-term memory, I am shifting more and more back to a traditional book. Besides, I’ve always had a love affair with hardcover books.
Brock: Describe your feelings when you opened the box and saw the first published copies of your very first book.
Ronie: While Embers wasn’t my debut title, it was my very first speculative book—it was the birth of a long-held dream…and seriously? I cried. I was so elated to have that dream finally come true!!
Brock: Coke or Pepsi?
Brock: Soft shell or Hard Shell tacos?
Ronie: Soft shell!
Brock: Favorite season?
Ronie: Fall, especially in Northern Virginia!
Brock: Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like coco, raspberry tea, animal crackers?
Ronie: I’m totally smitten with the grande caramel brulee at Starbucks and it is getting me through edits and writing.
Brock: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Ronie: Exodus 14:14 is my life verse, a reminder that I don’t have to fight all the battles. Some of them, I need to step out of the way.