Q&A with Ronie Kendig: Falcon
Interview by Brock Eastman
The day of deadly reckoning has arrived for Raptor team. . .
. . . and Warrant Officer Salvatore “Falcon” Russo is just the right mix of guts and grit to lead his brothers-in-arms against the Osiris hacker, Meng-Li Jin. Sal must cut through thick roots of bitterness and betrayal to take down the terrorist—but that means putting the team in the hands of Cassandra Walker. The last time he did that, two of the most important people in his life died. He will not make that mistake again.
Cassandra Walker knows three things: she has never loved any man besides Salvatore Russo; he hates her more than life itself; and her mission may destroy any chance of reconciliation.
The deeper Raptor digs for truth, the more betrayal seeps from the very fabric of their mission. Friends become spies and turncoats. Enemies morph into strange allies. As the tides turn and Sal rethinks his game plan, he is forced to trust Cassie again. And it might be the last time.
Brock: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Ronie: The Quiet Pros series organically grew out of the A Breed Apart series. However, the seed-germ for Falcon’s torment within his story spring-boarded off a true story where a famous individual tragically caused a friend’s death. It was horrible, and I was so heartbroken for all involved. The idea of wanting good things for your friend was so universal, but somehow bringing a friend/loved one into a good situation…then “causing” their death? Wow. Shatter me!
Brock: Tell us about the main characters. Who are they? What makes them unique?
Ronie: The man focus in FALCON is Salvatore Russo, the “team daddy” of the Raptor team. He’s singularly focused on the mission and making things get done, even if that includes getting the newcomer—his former girlfriend—kicked off the team. Haunted by a mistake with Cassie, Sal wants nothing more than to get her out of his life and stop the terrorists responsible for making minced meat of his team. Cassandra Walker feels the chance to work with Sal and possibly save his team is God’s second chance to make amends with him, the one prayer she has never stopped begging for.
Brock: Give us one fact about each main character that no one else knows.
Ronie: Sal deals with his inner demons in a very haunting way, one that—in real life—affected my own family (I’ll keep that details under wraps for now, sorry).
For a woman seeking amends and forgiveness, Cassie is keeping too many secrets, including her real purpose on the team.
Brock: In three sentences what is this book about?
Ronie: Sometimes, forgiveness is easy—when it’s given to others. The hardest form is forgiving ourselves. Especially when it costs someone their life.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Ronie: I believe forgiveness—especially of ourselves—is universal. There are things each of us have done that we have trouble releasing to the Lord. I’m notoriously hard on myself, and years ago when I went through counseling for abuse, my counselor often admonished me to let things go, to forgive myself. That’s hard to do because I don’t want to keep making mistakes, and sometimes, letting go might feel like “letting myself off the hook.” But if we remain captive to those things, that’s fertile soil for the roots of bitterness to dig deep and penetrate our lives.
Brock: How do you strike the right balance in your book?
Ronie: In an attempt to stay true to my Rapid-Fire Fiction brand, and knowing readers are expecting an intense ride with raw characters, I work very hard to keep the balance heavier on the suspense side. There will always be romance in my stories—I’m a die-hard romantic, but for me, personally, that comes in smaller doses.
Brock: Last year was a crazy-busy year for you. How did you survive?
Ronie: Unfortunately, 2015 dipped its toes in that insanity too, with a book due, galleys due, and my daughter’s wedding to plan. The last fifteen months have taught me to be pretty ruthless with cutting stress and learning the “power of no.” We have obligations, but they shouldn’t tether us to stress and fear. Every night I sat down to write Falcon, I would cry (not even joking) because I had nothing left to give. But I leaned heavily on the Lord. I would whisper, “You created the universe in 7 days, surely you [through me] can write a novel in two months.” I leaned into Him, and the words flowed.
Brock: What’s Next for Ronie and Rapid-Fire Fiction?
Ronie: Since Falcon is the last book in the Quiet Professionals series, I’m looking ahead and very excited about my upcoming project—Oops! Just got flagged. Apparently, that’s still classified information that could cost me my life. Hmm…well, what I can tell you is that there is undoubtedly more Rapid-Fire Fiction (suspense) coming!! And this Fall my first fantasy novel, Embers, will hit shelves.
Author website: RonieKendig.com
Author Twitter: twitter.com/roniekendig
Author Pinterest: pinterest.com/roniek
Author Goodreads: goodreads.com/RonieK
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