Q&A: Cynthia Ruchti
Libby and Greg's marriage is not doing well. They haven't been the same since their daughter Lacey died. When Greg doesn't come home from a long canoe trip, the police assume that it's another case of an unhappy husband walking off into the sunset. But Libby needs to know for sure why Greg didn't come home - if only for closure so that she can move on with life. What she finds, with her father-in-law and her best friend will change her perspective and grow her faith.
Every novel has its genesis in an observation, a wondering, a phrase, a moment, or a season from real life. A little more than ten years ago, my husband almost didn't come home from his annual two-week fishing trip to the Canadian wilderness. He was within an hour of his last breath, the doctors told us, when he was rescued. After we both recovered from that experience, the writer in me toyed with the details. What if a woman's husband didn't come home from a trip like that? And what if she wasn't at all sure she wanted him to? What would make their relationship so strained that she would consider leaving him ... if she could find him? As the story took shape, I recognized that Libby's journey through her personal wilderness left footprints of identifiable pain and inescapable hope.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Many authors inspired me with their writing skills, others with their tenacity, still others with their integrity and joy in the writing process. Mentors and encouragers, critique partners and collaborators, instructors and friends. I can relive defining moments in my writing career and picture authors like these on the scene: Karen Ball, Tracie Peterson, Deborah Raney, Mary DeMuth, Colleen Coble, Stephanie Grace Whitson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Virginia Smith, Jeff Gerke, Tamera Alexander, Brandilyn Collins, Janette Oke, (interesting mix, isn't it?), and so many more who have made an impression on my work and my life. The beloved author who's reading this and wondering why I didn't mention you? You're on my heart right now!
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
"The Author of our faith" fuels my creativity, feeds me ideas, gives me a reason to write and hope to offer. No story is devoid of His imprint, whether seen or felt. Just like life.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
In childhood, I fell in love with reading, but didn't allow myself to dream of connecting my name to "author" until I was more than half grown. Novels that moved me ignited a desire to tell stories that would have the same effect on others. I've written professionally for radio and magazines since my early twenties, and began the serious pursuit of fiction publication in 2002 when I connected with ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Every day, ACFW inspires me to keep learning, keep growing, keep developing the craft of storytelling.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I tell stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark. No matter what the genre or project, its humor or solemnity, hope's insistence pushes back the shadows. Life isn't always pretty or tidy. The puzzle pieces sometimes have worn edges that don't slip neatly into place. But hope prevails. Even a small glimmer is enough to sustain us until the floodlight of rescue arrives.