"Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum." Graycie Harmon
Friday, December 18, 2009
Interview with Ronda Gibb Hinrichesen, author of "Missing" -- giveaway winners announced
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen was born and raised in Rexburg, Idaho. She received her Associates Degree in English from Ricks College and studied writing at Weber State University and Utah State University. Her hobbies are music and reading, and her numerous magazine and internet writing credits include fiction and nonfiction published by The Friend, New Era, Ensign, Guideposts for Kids, Class Act, and yourLDSneighborhood.com. She maintains two blogs, RondaGibbHinrichsen.com and TheWriteBlocks.blogspot.com, contributes to a few other blogs, and enjoys teaching about writing and speaking in various venues. Her award winning novel, MISSING, is her first book. From the back of the book: A BYU-Idaho choir tour in British Columbia turns out to be anything but ordinary when soloist Stacie Cox spots a kidnapped child from Rexburg during a performance. Before Stacie can alert the authorities, the little girl disappears. Stacie vows to find and rescue her, a choice that forces her to deal with her guilt-ridden past and another little girl that haunts her dreams. When the handsome Matt Brennan helps Stacie in her search, she tries to resist the attraction she feels for him. Yet as he gains her friendship and trust, her resolve to never fall in love begins to crumble. And after a series of harrowing events, Stacie must decide if she is willing to sacrifice her life--and a possible future with Matt--to save a stranger. Adventure, suspense and romance are the perfect combination for a winning novel and "Missing" by R.G.Hinrichsen definitely has it all. Hinrichsen has done a superb job of weaving various characters throughout the story and twisting the plot in a way that keeps you guessing what will happen next. I also appreciated that the main character, Stacie, was able to show that we can overcome trials and obstacles if we listen to the whisperings of the spirit inside of us. If you like books that keep you up late reading and give you a story and characters that linger after you've put it down you will love this book.
Here is my interview with Ronda:
M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Ronda: I was in the 6th grade. My teacher was reading S.E. Hinton’s THE OUTSIDERS to the class, and when she reached the section where Johnny urged Ponyboy to stay “gold” I realized I wanted to write "golden” words just as Hinton had. More than that, I wanted those words to encourage the "golden" in others.
M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
Ronda: Hard work. I began my writing career by submitting to and being published in magazines, especially the LDS Church magazines. I had small children at the time, so I thought if I wrote short stories and articles I could begin to build my name while I learned my craft. After about 15 years of doing that, I decided I was ready to write a full-length novel. I started by creating a critique group with Josi Kilpack and a few other ladies and buying a book on novel structure. It took me three years to write MISSING and another year and a half to find a publisher. Walnut Springs Press was the third publisher I submitted it to.
M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Ronda: I was discouraged from time to time, but because I was always writing and submitting something, when I received a rejection, I still had hope because I had something else out there. I also received good feedback and acceptances along the way.
M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?
Ronda: I used to believe that my best writing time was from 10 a.m. to noon or so. Now, life is so crazy I write whenever I get the chance, usually in the evening.
M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
Ronda: Ideas are everywhere, but the one I think is good enough to write a book about is the one that excites me. The “what if” that makes me want to find out what happens next. The initial idea for MISSING came while I was walking in a parking lot several years ago. I saw a man get out of his car and tell a child to stay inside it. The child was crying and the man was angry. After the man walked away, the kid looked straight at me with a terrified look on his face. My first thought was, “What if that kid was kidnapped?”
M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?
Ronda: Learn your craft, study the market so you have an idea of what is selling, write what interests you within those parameters, and then submit, submit, submit.
M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
Ronda: Both. I initially gather ideas as they come to me in a notebook, and then I begin to outline the important points of the story. I absolutely have to know my beginning and my ending or I can’t write. However, as I write from point to point, a lot of “waiting to see what happens” takes place.
M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Ronda: Definitely! And the best way I’ve found to get out of that snag is to take my problem to my critique group and let them help me brainstorm my way out of it. They are wonderful and invaluable!
M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?
Ronda: I prefer quiet. I can write with other stuff going on, but it’s a much slower process.
M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?
Ronda: Scriptures, words of wisdom from great thinkers, movies, other books.
M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
Ronda: Other than deity, I’d have to say it was Dorla Jenkins, my creative writing teacher at Ricks College. She both taught me important principles and made me believe in my ability to succeed as a writer.
M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?
Ronda: As I mentioned before, I rely on my critique group. We meet weekly, and most of what we do is help each other with story structure.
M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?
Ronda: MISSING is my first book, and I really like it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have written it. I also really like the one I’ve just finished writing but do not yet have under contract. But the book I’m starting to gather ideas for now is what REALLY excites me at the moment. Perhaps my favorite book will always be the one I’m working on? Only time will tell.
M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?
AUTHOR: The easiest place is to go to my website at RondaHinrichsen.com because I have direct links there. But you can order it at Amazon.com, Deseretbook.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. It’s also available in other LDS bookstores.
WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK If you would like to win a copy of "MISSING" please post a comment here and your name will go into a drawing. The winner will be announced next week.
WINNERS OF BOOK GIVEAWAY Thank you for your awesome response for the book giveaway. The winners were drawn at random and are as follows:
An Angel on Main Street -- Malynne Saving Madeline -- Laura Derry Shudder -- Robin
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me your mailing address and I will send your books to you.
Next week I am interviewing a dear friend and wonderful author, Cheri Crane. You don't want to miss this interview.
Have a wonderful and merry Christmas. I love and appreciate all of you!
My greatest claim to fame is my family. I am married to my prince charming and have four awesome children. This year I experienced the joy of becoming a grandmother to my sweet baby girl Halle. I love to travel and I love to write books.