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 also enjoys teaching writing and speaking in various venues.
Ronda first knew she wanted to be a writer when she was in the 6th grade. Her English teacher had been reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders to the class, and when she reached the section where Johnny urged Ponyboy to stay “gold,” Ronda realized she wanted to write “golden” words just as Hinton had. More than that, she wanted those words to encourage the “golden” in others. That remains one of her goals.
Where were you born?
As my husband says, I was born in Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho.
Did you graduate from college, if so from where and in what major?
I graduated with my Associates from Ricks and also studied writing/English at Weber State and USU.
What are your hobbies?
Music. Singing in particular.
What are your favorite all-time books?
I love the English classics. Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, especially. But I also love Little Women. I read it over a dozen times when I was a young teen.
When did you start writing your book and how long did it take to get it published?
I don’t remember the exact year I started writing it, but it took about three years because it was the first novel I’d ever attempted to write, and I had a lot of learning about structure, etc. to do. Getting it published? Over a year before it was finally accepted, and it was published about 9 months after that.
Who is your hero/ mentor?
Dorla Jenkins, my Creative Writing teacher from Ricks College. She was amazing. I promised myself long ago that I’d dedicate my first book to her, and that’s what I did. MISSING is now dedicated to my husband and to Dorla Jenkins.
What suggestion would you give young writers?
If becoming an author is what you really, truly, no matter what happens want to do, then write, study the craft, and DON’T GIVE UP. You can do it.
What do you plan to do when you retire?
Retire from what? I’ve been writing since I was 12, so I don’t believe that will ever disappear from my life.
Do you have another day job?
I teach beginning piano in my home. I enjoy it, but someday I might “retire” from that. I’ll have to wait and see.
Favorite music? Does music or art inspire your writing?
I really like Josh Grobin and Il Divo. I also enjoy a lot of classical music. As far as inspiring me, some of the themes from popular lyrics have inspired the romance between some of my characters.
What are the names of your published works?
MISSING is my first novel, but I’ve had dozens of articles and short stories published in magazines and in online media.
Are you working on any books right now?
Yes. I’m in the beginning stages of writing my third novel.
What do you aspire to do before you die?
Become a national best seller. That’s my dream, anyway, but other than that, I just want a joy-filled life with my family.
The same guy every girl loves—Fitzwilliam Darcy.
What is your all-time favorite children’s book?“I Love You Forever”
Independent booksellers and why?
I really appreciate independent booksellers because they can choose the books they like to sell and promote, and they can do it in the way they see fit. Chains have more stringent rules and a limited selection of books. Chains do, however, have their place in the market.
Do you have a writer’s group?
Yes! I completely rely on them and their wisdom. They have become some of my dearest friends.
May 12, 2010 Teaching with N.C. Allen at LUW–Absolutely Write