Monday, June 14, 2010

Interview with Author Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen knew she wanted to be a writer when her 6th grade English teacher read The Outsiders to the class. When she reached the section where Johnny urged Ponyboy to stay “gold,” Ronda realized she wanted to write "golden” words just like Hinton. Her novel, Trapped, won 1st Place for “2009 League of Utah Writers Full Length Novel” contest. Read sample chapters Here.

"Just like its title, Trapped, snatched up my attention with its first sentence. Hinrichsen carefully presents absorbing characters, heart-tugging romance and mystical-laden riddles in a way that kept me turning pages way past bedtime." Jody Durfee

A forged letter, a golden vial, an ancient curse...” Wow! Tell us about your new book, TRAPPED.

TRAPPED is about a sheltered Florida girl who wakens to find a thief in her mother’s home. After she escapes, she discovers he not only stole two paintings, but he also left behind shrines dedicated to her and a mysterious note, a "trap," which eventually leads her and the man she loves to a mafia-like world within the Austrian Alps.

Your book sounds full of suspense. "As Emi struggles to understand her destiny, she learns that everything isn't as it seems and that all choices have consequences." Where do you get your ideas? Do you get some from real life experiences?

Ideas come from everywhere. In fact, I think of them as floating around in the sky, waiting for someone to grab onto them. Sometimes more than one person grabs onto the same idea. In fact, sometime ago while I was in the submission process with my first novel, MISSING, I came across a website where someone had expressed the idea for a novel that was very similar to MISSING. Even the characters. I couldn’t believe it! And yet, even with all those same ideas floating around, it’s the uniqueness of those who mold them into stories that make them different than all others.

Do real life events make their way into my work? Yes and no. Often a personal experience will spark my imagination or help me see the human truth within a situation. I also do a lot of research into real life places, people and situations to make my stories as authentic as possible, especially in stories like MISSING. But ultimately, my fiction is exactly that—fiction: a creative mix of fact and imagination.

Actually, TRAPPED is the result of two vivid yet very different dreams I had a couple of years ago. The first involved a child caught in a deadly trap and the second portrayed a fantastical scene of sacrifice, complete with character motivations, that ultimately became the basis for my finale. None of it was real, and yet I “experienced” the dreams.

Josi Kilpack wrote about your book, “Family secrets, magic, and a fascinating new setting. Well written and cleverly done, Trapped is a great example of what makes suspense novels so engaging.” What is your secret for suspenseful novels?

There are quite a few suspense-building techniques, but one I frequently rely on is I use fairytale plot structures because they are wrought with emotion, wonder, and danger, all elements that are important to suspense.

What genre do you consider your novel to be?

Good question. I think of it as mystery/suspense with a hint of fantasy. It's sort of similar to an Indiana Jones kind of story. :)

Now that’s what I call intriguing! What does your family think about your writing?

Some are proud of me. Some amazed. And some wonder why I do it.

Isn’t that the truth! I believe that families are amazed because it’s something new, not the average run of the mill career. Tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Several years ago, I saw the movie “Operation Petticoat.” In it, the pretty boy character played by Tony Curtis said he was a scavenging “idea man” rather than a sailor. As a writer, that’s what I try to do, too: come up with ideas and mix them up until they represent the people and stories in my head.

So you are a "scavenging idea woman." Is that right? Now you've got your new nick name! Thanks for such a pleasant interview, Ronda.


Mary (BookHounds) said...

Just letting you know I posted this -- Mary

Anonymous said...

sounds like an intriguing book! Stephenia

suzie said...

sounds like a great read

Tiffany Harkleroad said...

I would love to win~!
tiffanyniekro at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel of suspence :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'd love to read TRAPPED!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

tetewa said...

Sounds good, I'd like to be included!

Margie said...

Thanks for the giveaway. This book looks very intriguing.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Elizabeth Morgan said...

What a wonderful interview. I think her new book sounds like fun.

baileythebookworm said...

Great interview! I love the idea of "scavenging" ideas, and it's clear that it works! I would love a chance to read "Trapped."


Marny said...

I'm interested in the fantasy aspect. Sounds fun!

marny at parkinfamily dot org

Heather Feather said...

Definitely interested in Trapped! :)

contests4h at gmail dot com

Darlyn said...

Trapped sounds like a good read ;p good luck to whoever enter the giveaway =)

Alaina said...

I would love to read this book! I saw it at costco and thought it sounded like it would be an exciting book! I hope I win!

Nancye said...

Sounds like an awesome book full of excitement and intrigue! I would love to win this book.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Cass said...

Wow Indiana Jones-esque book, aye? Hehe sounds exciting and mysterious! I'd like to be able to read this book.


brendajean said...

I would love to read this book. What a great interview!

msdarcy said...

This looks like such an intriguing book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Bailey the Bookworm! I'm happy to announce that you are the new winner of a suspenseful novel. Happy reading!

Rees Family said...

I would love to read this book. Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

Thanks for such a fun interview, Linda, and CONGRATULATIONS, Bailey! :)

Kate said...

Great interview. I love the chance to get inside an authors head, and get a feel for their books before I buy. I love thrillers too so this was really on point. Just finished a great read, Rogues, Riches and Retribution