Uhrichsville, OH — Members of our armed services have championed freedom, survived the cruelties of war, and now these same heroes return home…wounded and discarded.
Nightshade, book one in the new military-themed Discarded Heroes series by debut author Ronie Kendig, mixes thrilling action, drama, romance, and a unique look at the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The novel is scheduled for release in July 2010.
In Nightshade, former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs is fighting a new war—a war for his family. Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Max is unable to control his anger and alienates himself from his wife, who files a protective order against him. Their lives are about to collide when Sydney Jacobs hunts down the source of a human interest story at her local newspaper. Will she uncover Nightshade, the elite team Max is covertly working with, and bring danger to both Max and herself?
Ronie Kendig grew up an Army brat, married a veteran, and they now have four children and a Golden Retriever. She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers.
Q: Describe your research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and why you felt compelled to write about it?
A: Research is both complicated and ongoing, just as the clinical research regarding combat-related PTSD is ongoing. I’m always reading a book regarding our military and PTSD. These books can be fiction, clinically-based, or self-help nonfiction written by those who have “been there, done that.” I’ve talked to professional counselors and chaplains, and to vets who serve our country and suffer from the disorder. I pray I never stop reading because by staying active in research, my heart and mind remain open and concerned. The more I dug into the research, the more convinced–and convicted–I became. We want our heroes to fight for us, to fight for freedom, but what about when they return home? They’re “different” or “not the same as when they left.” Many don’t understand, so they ignore our heroes….leaving them abandoned.
Q: How did you get your idea for the Discarded Heroes series?
A: The idea for this series came from Sunday school. One Sunday, a woman made a prayer request. Her husband was a Navy SEAL and his anger and PTSD were destroying their marriage. It was a moment of stunning clarity for me. I knew it would be a grave injustice to ever again pen a story that romanticized our heroes without showing the heart-wrenching toll their careers—what they see and do—take on their lives and families. Don’t get me wrong. They are heroes, but they’re also people with hurts/needs, and I think that is often forgotten. On the way to the airport with John Olson, we began brainstorming a new series, and out of that intense 40-minute drive, the Discarded Heroes series was born.
Q: Was there a scripture that inspired Nightshade, book one in the series?
A: Scripture did indeed inspire large portions of Nightshade, but it wasn’t one scripture alone—it was the life story of King David. Like Max, my hero is a warrior, called to war, designed by God to accomplish tasks most men and women aren’t able to face.
Q: What do you hope your readers learn from reading Nightshade?
A: The intention of this series is to open dialogue and discussion, both among our soldiers/vets, and among the civilian community. I hope readers will come to the series with an open mind, that they’d find hope and healing and perhaps a desire to support our men and women in the armed forces with more compassion, more prayer, and more understanding. Above all, I pray that the wounded of heart and soul will find hope in God.
Q: How did you get your start in writing?
A: I’ve always loved making up stories, and when my husband suggested that I try to get published sometime shortly after we married, I rebuffed him. I did not want to jeopardize my love of writing with going through the pains of seeking publication. But eventually, he convinced me, and in 2002, I started the journey toward publication. In February of 2007, I signed with my agent.