Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California, where I’m recovering from vacation and my son’s high school graduation. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Ronie Kendig. Ronie’s first two novels released this year – an espionage thriller and a military thriller. She’s received rave reviews, such as, “Nightshade kept me up all night! A tight plot, heartthrob heroes, and description so rich I could hear the jungle noise, feel the heat slide down my back.” ~Susan May Warren, Rita-award winning author of Nothing But Trouble. Ooh, doesn’t that sound good?
Welcome, Ronie! How did you get into writing?
I discovered my love of crafting stories in the fifth grade but it wasn’t until after I got married and had my second child that I really delved into writing. Then my husband challenged me to seek publication.
My first book, Dead Reckoning, released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. Then, I have a four-book military suspense/thriller series with Barbour called the Discarded Heroes. The first book, Nightshade, released July 2010 and the second, Digitalis, is slated for a January 2011 release. Each subsequent book comes every six months thereafter.
How did you get your first book contract?
Wow—a long, convoluted story. My first book actually had offers from two publishers. The first publisher suggested a rewrite of some scenes, so with my agent’s direction, I made the changes and we resubmitted the manuscript. They made an offer. Then Abingdon stepped in, showed great excitement over Dead Reckoning, read the manuscript and made an offer. We went with Abingdon.
What has helped you promote your books the most?
Being real, being who I am regardless of who’s buying my books or not buying my books. If I’m your friend, I’m your friend. Period. Being visible on social media outlets and in e-loops.
I agree, Ronie. It’s easy to get carried away by marketing, but everyone prefers a genuine person to a pushy salesperson.
What mistakes or wrong assumptions did you make with the marketing of your first book? Did those mistakes cause you to change? If so, how?
I am still wading through the swamps of marketing my first books but I think one area I was disillusioned in was thinking if I threw this big launch with lots of giveaways, tons of people would participate. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true for me. LOL. It takes time to build a readership and following, so I’ve learned to “quiet down” in terms of marketing, to be real and genuine instead of frantic and frenzied.
Is there something you did that really helped with marketing your books?
My agent gave me a splendid piece of advice—do ONE thing a day to market your book (interviews/posts, etc.) and make sure it’s something you enjoy. For me, that was vital because I was losing heart really fast in this industry.
That’s excellent and reasonable advice. We mustn’t get so wrapped up in marketing that we forget to write!
Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
Yes, absolutely! There are things happening and that have happened that I know without a doubt could not have come about without the merciful, loving hand of God. Everything from professionals (who are my friends) offering to do free things for me, to lining up my path with someone integral. This journey without God wouldn’t be worth traveling.
Now that you have been writing a while, what do you find works best for you in promoting your work and why?
So far, I think being available and being a genuine friend—not a “pat my back, I’ll pat your back” type of friend is the best place to start. We’re not here on this earth for ourselves. We’re here for each other, to be witnesses.
What are your top tips for aspiring writers with their first book contract?
Be confident in what God has given you and is doing in your life because there will always be a reason to doubt or question.
Great advice, Ronie!
Writing for Him,