Ronica Stromberg knew she wanted to be an author at age eight. She wrote for pay for the first time in eighth grade, a column for the local newspaper. She had so much fun with the column she was surprised to receive a check for it!
Ronica is the author of two young adult novels, "A Shadow in the Dark" and "Living It Up to Live It Down"; a tween mystery, "The Glass Inheritance"; and a picture book, "The Time-for-Bed Angel." Her short stories appear in eighteen anthologies and various inspirational magazines.
And now, it's time to Take 5 with Ronica Stromberg
Q: How do you come up with your story ideas?
A: My ideas come from all over the place--dreams, conversations, newspaper articles, and real life among them. My second young adult book, Living It Up to Live It Down, literally came out of nowhere. One day the phrase "living it up to live it down" just popped into my head. I didn't know what it meant, but as a writer, I appreciate words and odd phrasings. I kept turning this phrase over in my mind. Over a few months, it became clear to me that this phrase was the story of a pastor's daughter. She was "living it up" at school and in her community to "live down" the fact that she was a pastor's daughter. I am not a pastor's daughter. My father is an agnostic. But I felt chosen by God to tell this story, and when I wrote it, I felt as though I was taking dictation. My hands could barely type fast enough to keep up with the words coming to me.
Q: How does your faith impact your writing?
A: I feel called by God to write. He never gave me much else for talent! Whenever I've been tempted to give up on writing, He has a way of drawing me back--a book contract, a letter from a child, or some other encouragement. Most of my books have faith evidenced in them. I feel good that even though my books may never be on a bestseller list, they are making a difference for eternity. This helps me stay focused.
Q: What's your favorite part of the writing business? What's your least favorite?
A: I love books. My favorite part of the writing business has to be holding my new book after getting it in the mail. For someone who has always loved books, that feeling of being part of creating one is indescribable. It makes all the writing headaches and hurdles worthwhile.
My least favorite part is public speaking. I'm a natural introvert, so I've had to extend myself to do this. It's becoming easier and more enjoyable.
Q: After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
A: How little income most authors receive from their books. I wanted to be an author from childhood but have come to realize that most people cannot make a living writing books. My writing has basically become a ministry.
Q: What's the most important piece of advice you could give to a fledgling writer?
A: Love the process. Writing success usually doesn't happen overnight, and often, the most fun is the journey getting there.