A Big Welcome to Our Interviewee This Week: Cynthia Ruchti!
Leave those comments (and email addresses), folks, for a chance to win Cynthia's book!
Now on to the interview with Cynthia:
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
I’ve always written, and always appreciated the power of story. But it wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s that I considered the idea of exploring writing as a serious pursuit. That was when I was handed the opportunity to write radio drama/devotional thoughts for a small radio station in North Carolina, an opportunity which now is a daily fifteen-minute broadcast heard on 16 stations across the country. After many years of writing those short fiction pieces that were the opening vignettes for each broadcast, I challenged myself (or God challenged me) to consider longer works of fiction—novels. After many years of testing that idea and learning everything I could soak up at writers conferences and through ACFW, my first novel debuted in May 2010—They Almost Always Come Home by Abingdon Press.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
A Door County Christmas released September 1st from Barbour Publishing. The setting is Door County, Wisconsin, one of my favorite places on earth. The charming shops and even more charming natural beauty of the rugged Great Lakes shoreline and wide stretches of water hold a strong appeal for me.
Each of the four authors in this collection took one of the villages along the shoreline as a setting for their novella. I chose Egg Harbor, a wide spot in the road with a stunning harbor and delightful orchards and artistry as well as unique gifts shops. My character, Amanda, is drafted into serving as temporary innkeeper for The Heart’s Harbor Victorian Inn just in time for its legendary Christmas Tea. She wrestles with quirky guests, natural and man-made disasters, and a broken heart as she serves, wondering if Christmas and love have anything in common.
Readers can find both books wherever books are sold in brick-and-mortar stores and online. A Door County Christmas is also available through Walmart and Sam’s Clubs. I love supporting local Christian bookstores with my own purchases and hope other readers do, too.
They sound fantastic! What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
A lesson I learned not all that long ago is that the best relationships are ones in which the two parties, though different in personality, learn how to “serve in the same direction.” That makes it sound like a heavy-subject story. But it’s a lot of fun to observe how Amanda and Jordan discover that truth.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?
I think the specter of giving up haunts every writer’s thoughts, if just for a moment…every day. Wanting to give up is a given. And some writers do. The writers who push past that natural emotion are the ones with the greatest possibility of a fulfilling (notice I did not use the word “successful”) writing career. Bad reviews are natural downers. Great reviews are artificial uppers. I’ve learned or am learning not to take either too seriously, but to be grateful for connections with readers who found something meaningful in the stories I’m led to tell. Anything good within me and anything good that comes from my “pen” is from the Lord anyway. So I have no choice but to trust Him with the outcome.
Who’s inspired you the most?
Many writers have inspired me. Many dear family members have played inspiring roles in my life. No one inspires me to give my all like the One who gave His all.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
Abingdon Press developed a fiction line that seemed a good fit for my debut novel. They were interested in stories that took risks, either in subject matter or in style. Editor Barbara Scott was the perfect person for my first editor/author experience. I’m forever grateful for her faith in that story and in me. Barbour Publishing has had great success with its Christmas novella collections, so that too was a natural connection.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
If I had the freedom to travel wherever I’d like, I’d start on my “bucket list” with places like Tuscany, maybe a Mediterranean cruise, anywhere with ancient architecture and natural beauty, Banff Provincial Park in Canada, New England in the fall (which is odd since my backyard in Wisconsin looks like New England in the fall. I’d go back to Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA at the least provocation, and I hope to return to Alaska some day, visiting more of the interior and Denali.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
Thank you for the opportunity to connect with your readers, Carole. They can learn more about my writing and life through Facebook, Twitter, or through my website: http://www.cynthiaruchti.com/ or http://www.hopethatglowsinthedark.com/.
That’s what I do—write stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark.
Readers, don't forget to leave those comments and your email address for a chance to win Cynthia's book!