I’m so thrilled to have Ronie here on our blog today, answering questions about her latest release, Talon. And after the interview, I'll let you know how you can win a copy of book one of Ronie's A Breed Apart series from Barbour Publishing, Trinity: Military War Dog.
LISA: Ronie, tell us briefly about Talon and why this is one of your favorite books that you’ve written so far.
RONIE: In all honesty, there is an organic beauty in this story that I never intended to happen. The journey of the hero and the military working dog of working through trauma from the past is similar in a lot of ways. And there’s just a beauty in the hero’s journey and dealing with the leftover pain from an abusive father. I’ve never referred to my stories as beautiful before, especially with all the action and fast pace, but this one definitely has all of that—and more!
LISA: Love that answer! This is your second military series with Barbour. What was your motivation to write novels in this genre?
RONIE: I grew up an Army brat and married an Army veteran, so it was a big part of who and what I was, what I knew. There are so many novels out there that glamorize our military heroes, then leave out the tough parts, where they struggle to create a new normal when they return home. Or ignore the statistics that a vast majority of our heroes return home with PTSD. We abandon them because we aren’t sure how to help them. Being a voice through fiction is one way I hope to bring awareness and open dialogue about our military heroes.
LISA: The men and women in our military are heroes, and I love how your heart for them. Between writing scenes set in different countries, to military dialogue and protocol, you clearly put a lot of research into your books. Can you tell us about your process of ‘getting it right?’
RONIE: Getting it right can be really tough, especially within the military community because what happens in one unit or with one squadron, isn’t the same as what another might experience. So, I go with the best detail and information I can acquire, and speak to experts—those who’ve been there/done that. If they have the time, they read the scenes/book and let me know what’s off. Technology and the combat theater are constantly changing, so it’s important to read, read, read, and dialogue with those who know what’s happening out there.
LISA: Writing scenes set in Afghanistan isn’t the only difficult thing you do. What about balancing writing, homeschooling, and raising a family? Can you give us any tips?
RONIE: This year—2012-2013—has been the most challenging homeschool year for me, what with a major move halfway across the US to our new home in VA, to putting my daughter into AP courses through Patrick Henry College, and homeschooling without a co-op. . .I’ve really struggled. But through that struggle, I re-learned how to prioritize.
It gets really tough when you meet with some success and get published—because now you have a readership that wants your time, too. Finding that balance is tough. I’ve determined and followed through with God first, family next, and then my writing. It’s very hard to say no to some readers/bloggers, but I am not capable of doing everything by myself, even though I’ve tried hard for a long time. As a person who is very people-oriented, this lesson has been hard for me, but I’m only one person, and I have five others in my home who depend on me. They are first. And I do my best after that to take care of my writing and my readers, whom I love dearly.
LISA: Such good advise. We can’t do everything and that’s okay! What have you learned from your writing journey that you would like to share?
RONIE: Ironically—I’ve learned how little I’m in control. I can write my heart out, then pluck out my heart editing, but it’s all in the Lord’s hands once I’ve fulfilled my obligation to my publisher and my commitment to the Lord to write the best story I can. From there, it’s really up to the Lord. I nearly killed myself in my debut year trying to make myself a success. I felt like a failure, but after months of soul-searching and heartbreaks, I came to realize that it wasn’t up to me whether I became a success. I mean—yes, do your best, but after that, it’s in His hands. I’ve done what He asked me to do—WRITE THE STORY—but what He does with it from there is not in my control or up to me.
LISA: I have to smile because I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue of control—and all the things I can’t control. Yes, we have to do our best in writing or whatever we do, but you are so right that there are just so many things we just can’t control.
Here’s the blurb on Talon that releases next week!
“Aspen Courtland is out to find her missing brother. Only his combat tracking dog, Talon, knows where to look. Problem is, after a brutal attack that separated dog and handler, Talon’s afraid of his own shadow. The search is on, but when one mistake means disaster, can Talon muster the courage for one last mission?”
Ronie is offering to give away a copy of the first book in this series, Trinity. US or international! Leave a comment and tell us why you want to read this series. Please include a way for us to contact you as well. Comments must be left by Friday midnight (PST) and will be announced in the Sunday Edition.
For more information on all of Ronie's books visit her wThanks for stopping by!
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