Earlier this year I had the privilege of teaching a Christian writers workshop in Lancaster, PA during the Super Saturday conference. Our keynote speaker was Ronie Kendig whose newest book, Brand of Light, will release on December 3, 2019.
I recently interviewed Ronie about Brand of Light, which Booklist has called “an epic story in the making,” and am very excited to share that interview with you.
How is this book different from others you’ve written?
Brand of Light is very different in several ways. The most obvious is that I originally wrote this story fourteen years ago, and in 2012, I picked it back up in an attempt to clean it up.
About three years ago, I felt a strong conviction that it was time to get this story published. So, with my agent, we went to work. It’s also a completely different genre than anything I have written since or during its origination in 2005—science fiction, or more specifically, it’s a space opera.
Is there a message that you want readers to take away from this book?
Perhaps the message I’d like to share is not so much in the book itself, but my journey to its publication. The message is: never give up on the story of your heart. There is a purpose for it, even if it’s just a journey of love between you and God.
Though fourteen years and twenty-something novels happened between the first rendering of Marco’s story and its the publication, I never gave up on the story. I grew myself and my craft, until we were both ready.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Marco is very special to me. Out of all the characters in my book, over the years, he’s the one that has become very “real” to me. In the earlier drafts, Marco was pacing back and forth at the end of this book, demanding I “fix it!” He is very much driven by honor and will deny himself anything in order to maintain that code.
He is a Kynigos, an interplanetary bounty hunter who uses his heightened sense of smell to track down fugitives. I adore Marco and the Brethren, because they do not allow circumstances to dictate their actions or honor; they define it by living to the Code.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
To me, good writing is about more than the rules. It’s good, and even vital, to know the rules of good writing—to master those rules. But if you are not immersed in your character, you are going to gyp your story of its deep impact potential.
Deep characterization is vital to good storytelling. And I would say another vital element is to pay attention to your instincts for the story. With all the rules, and beta readers, and critique partners floating around—that’s a lot of voices in your head. The one you should be listening to is the same one that gave you this story.
These partners are crucial in writing, and while they may be your biggest cheerleaders, they do not have your passion for the story. Do not get so tangled up in their thoughts that you lose your direction. TRUST YOURSELF.
Thank you Ronie for your insight and sharing more about Brand of Light with us.
About Ronie Kendig:
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie speaks and teaches across the country and mentors other writers.
Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim. Learn more by visiting her website: http://roniekendig.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter (@ronieKendig) and Facebook.