Ronie Kendig’s Nightshade has action, emotion, danger, sacrifice, love and complex and intriguing characters ~ no wonder it is a shoe-in for my 2010 Top Ten Reads! On top of that, the inspiration for the story is deeply moving. Enjoy meeting Max and Syd through the eyes of their creator!
Over to you, Ronie:~ Brief physical description
Max – about 5’11, muscular, black hair, coal-dark eyes
Sydney – 5’6”, long chestnut hair (contrary to the cover that has her as a blonde!), athletic build
Max – I used this photo of Matt LeBlanc because of the intensity and near-torment in his eyes. This picture seemed to scream defeat or weariness to me. But Max would never wear his hair this long let alone pose for something like this.
Sydney – Sydney has a lot of internal and external stamina. Her strength is part of what drew Max to her. She’s a sensible woman not prone to “stupidity,” as Max would say. She’s not hung up on make-up, fashion, or appearances. Maybe Keira Knightley, although I used a different picture/model when I wrote Syd.
Strengths and weaknesses
Max is the epitome of the warrior spirit. . .but he’s allowed things to fester and boil. Now, he’s angry most of the time and a vat of volatility, that is destroying what’s most important to him—his marriage. He’s a man’s man and if he calls you “friend,” believe that you’ll always be able to count on him. Just. . .don’t tick him off.
Sydney is quiet and reserved, but has a very thick stubborn side to her that does not allow her back down or give up easily. She’s thoroughly devoted to her husband, yet is shattered over the condition of their marriage. If it weren’t for her older, protective brother, she would never have filed for separation from her hero-husband.
Quirk (if any)
Um. . .can you call a solid right cross a quirk? Max probably would. His seems to fly on its own, especially when the Kid is around.
Your inspiration for the character
Max came from a real-life story, a real Navy SEAL whose family was falling apart after several tours of duty. I never met him but I did meet his wife, and Sydney is modeled after her depth of sincerity, quiet nature, and strength.
Background to the story
As referenced above, this story came out of real-life heartache. When this young woman stood up in a Sunday School class and requested prayer for her marriage and her husband. He was suffering from PTSD after a particular incident in which a buddy sacrificed himself to save their team. It really woke me up—at the time, I’d been writing stories about soldiers/heroes and no really showing the trauma and toll it took on them. Sitting there, watching her life fall apart over the next several weeks, I was struck with a deep conviction that writing without showing the toll was a *grave* injustice to the heroes who put EVERYTHING on the line. I knew I could never write again the same way. Shortly thereafter, my mentor John Olson and I brainstormed a story. . .and out of those experiences came NIGHTSHADE. Thanks Ronie for a brilliant spotlight ~ can’t wait to introduce the rest of the Nightshade team to my readers
On Thursday the spotlight shines on Elizabeth Ludwig’s Abigail Watts and Nathan Hawk from Love Finds You in Calico, California. Love those red boots!
Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Nightshade
Meet the Nightshade team ~ interview with Max
Visit the Discarded Heroes website
Visit Ronie’s website and blog
Buy Ronie’s books at Amazon or Christianbook
Enter for a chance to win a signed and personalised copy of Nightshade from Ronie