Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Cynthia Ruchti

April 5, 2016 Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, Cynthia Ruchti, giveaway 66

Author Interview RIMSP

Cynthia Ruchti’s books were new to me when I started blogging, but oh my goodness was I missing out! The heart and the humor and the characters captivate me from word one – no matter which book I pick up. Yesterday on Straight Off the Page, my blogging cohort Melissa and I reviewed Cynthia’s latest novel, Song of Silence (which releases TODAY!!).  I loved what Melissa said toward the end of her review:

I have learned not to start one of Cynthia’s novels until I’m ready to listen.  She does a wonderful job of introducing scripture that’s therapeutic to not only the characters, but to the readers as well.  Her books are very encouraging and wrap the reader in God’s warmth.

This is so very true. While I still have a large backlist of Cynthia’s novel to catch up on (due to my delinquency in discovering her), each one I have read has not only thoroughly delighted & entertained me on a story level but also pointed me unequivocally to Jesus, stepped on my toes a bit, soothed my soul, and ministered to my heart. And all with this lovely witty voice that makes the toe-stepping-on feel like a gift 🙂

CRCphoto (22 of 24)Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in Hope through her novels, novellas, devotions, and nonfiction, and through speaking for women’s events/retreats and writers’ conferences/workshops. She draws from 33 years of experience writing and producing the 15-minute daily radio broadcast, “The Heartbeat of the Home.” Her books have received recognition from RT Reviewers’ Choice, PW Starred Review, Selah Awards, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, CLASSeminars Award of Excellence, Golden Scroll Awards, and more. She serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, is a board member of the Deliver Hope ministry, and is part of the worship team at her church. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

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Needless to say, I am so honored to be chatting with Cynthia today! Let’s start her off with the fast four!!

apples or oranges

Cynthia: Oranges. But ever since Cuties/Halos came on the popular scene, it’s hard to imagine anything better. I’m an apple snob. My favorite apple is Cortland. They’re not in stores, orchards, or my house for long. Best apple ever. I’m pretty sure someone will disagree with that. 🙂

Carrie: We don’t judge apple choices here on the blog.  Oranges, on the other hand…. 😉 

skittles or m&Ms

Cynthia: M&Ms…and if I could be more specific? Peanut M&Ms. Think of all the fiber! (To my tastebuds, Skittles are too sweet AND too sour.)

Carrie: I don’t like peanuts as a rule, but I do love Peanut M&Ms.  Must be that fiber. 

dogs or cats

Cynthia: Dog. One dog. One. I love my Granddog, Sadie. If my daughter and her family ever decided they had to move to a condo where they couldn’t have a dog, I would volunteer quicker than lightning. She’s a Cockashon (part Bishon, part Cocker Spaniel) and she loves me. That may explain the attraction.

Carrie: Ha! Yes, it might 🙂 As an only dog who doesn’t like sharing the spotlight, Zuzu gives your answer a hearty floofer-tail wag of approval! 

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Coke or pepsi

Cynthia: Sprite. (Aren’t I a rebel?) And I only have about two soft drinks/sodas per year. Seriously.

Carrie: Will you be my soda mentor? I need to break the habit… 

And now for some questions that (mostly) matter…

Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower.  If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Cynthia: You’re assuming I don’t? So many superpower choices seem insignificant compared to reading, don’t they? What if I had the superpower of being able to THINK of a dinner idea and ta-da! There it is! That might come in handy.

Carrie: oooo can I change my superpower? I’d like that one too. Or are we allowed more than one? Does anyone know the rules of superpower distribution?

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in such a situation, and what did you do?  

possible-953169_1920Cynthia: It was so much of a blessing that it was hard to look at it as a “situation,” but it truly was. Early this year, I had a conflagration of writing deadlines from three different publishers that dovetailed so tightly and overlapped so completely that I was writing one book, editing another, promoting another, and doing research on another at the same time. Forgive me if I’m forgetting yet another layer. I’m learning, though, not to be discouraged by the word impossible, as long as I don’t try to face the challenge in my strength alone. Jesus made it clear when He said, “With man it’s impossible; but not with God.” Those I asked to pray for me heard me use the word impossible. Then they’d smile, committing to pray for me and expecting that God would answer as He always has—not adequately but magnificently. Which He did. Hard, hard work. But such a display of His grace and glory!

Carrie: I needed that reminder today, Cynthia! 

When you aren’t writing another fabulous book for my favorites shelf, what do you enjoy doing?

Cynthia: I love spending time with my kids and grandkids—though it never seems enough. I have a few home decorating projects that have been waiting for the intersection of time and resources. I appreciate collecting ideas for those projects and love wandering architectural antique stores, although that too happens too infrequently. I think I’m a Joanna Gaines wannabe (from HGTV’s Fixer Upper).

Carrie: “the intersection of time and resources” – yes, I’m waiting on that in several areas of life too lol. 

You tell stories “hemmed in Hope” (and oh, I so love that!). What do those words – “hemmed in Hope” – mean to you? 

Cynthia: I don’t think anyone would argue that life is sometimes hard—soul-shredding, frightening, unnerving. Challenges test our endurance for a season or a lifetime. Disappointments are part of the fallout of living in this world. So much can and sometimes does threaten to unravel us. But we can’t unravel if we’re hemmed in hope. Our God is a God of abundant hope. No matter what we’re facing, we can count on His ability to take the raw, ragged edges of our lives, turn them under, stitch them with His grace, mercy, hope, and love, and keep us from completely unraveling.

Carrie: Ohhhh I think I need to frame that and/or plaster it everywhere in my viewing area for when the “hard” of life gets overwhelming.  “…we can’t unravel if we’re hemmed in hope.” 

How is your newest book Song of Silence hemmed in Hope? 

1 SongofSilence_FinalCynthia: Lucy in Song of Silence is upended by the news that her position as music educator in their small town is gone, eliminated in budget cuts. It was so much more than just a job to her. It was her life’s passion. No one, not even her husband, understands how deeply that was rooted in her. She has so much—an adoring, although a tad bit clueless, great kids making their way, a comfortable home—but feels as if she’s lost everything. Then—as in all good stories—it gets worse. Her song is silenced in even more dramatic ways. But through it all, brief flashes of hope keep her holding on, as happens to us when we’re distressed and catch a line of a song that reminds us of a comforting truth, or lean into an embrace after a difference of opinion. Hope is an undercurrent, popping to the surface in the story from time to time, then receding again until Lucy recognizes its presence. She communicated through sound. God often communicates through the absence of sound, through rests. Lucy will have to listen hard to hear it.

Carrie: This book really spoke to my soul. Trying to put into words how deeply it embedded itself into my heart is daunting, but I have attempted to do so. Stay tuned for my review to appear here on this blog later today. 

What – or who – inspired Lucy’s story in Song of Silence, and what do you want readers to take away from it after they have turned the last page?  

Cynthia: I was blessed with several influential music instructors over the years, including one from elementary school—Lucy Ramshaw. Lucy was a remarkable teacher who knew how to encourage even young students like we were at the time to feel the emotions of the music as well as sing the notes. Lucy has kept in touch with our family, continuing to bless us with her wit and wisdom and sweet spirit, even though we rarely get to see her. She made the effort to attend a book signing I did for another book. I was beginning to write Song of Silence at the time and asked if I could please use her name for the music educator in the book, and her husband’s name—Charlie—for the character’s husband. The book is inspired also by my father, whose passion for music education on the instrumental level kept him teaching music for almost forty years, a position from which he never wanted to retire.

My prayer is that no matter which character in the book readers most closely identify with, no matter which crises or loss or challenge, they’ll emerge with a clearer picture of how the rests on the musical score of life carry weight and significance. They’re not placeholders. We play the rests intentionally, precisely, in order for the music to truly sing.

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Cynthia, I am so honored to have had the opportunity to talk with you. And maybe fangirling just a wee bit.  And definitely grinning a lot. Thank you.  Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Cynthia: I have a book releasing this fall from Worthy Publishing—another Christmas novel. It’s in the editing process now. And I’m grateful to be included in the daily devotional Mornings With Jesus 2017 from Guideposts, which will release this fall as well. I’m working right now on a book of encouragement for those whose parents are aging. And authors are always working on new proposals.

Thank you so much for your time and kindness.

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giveaway RIMSP

Cynthia Ruchti has graciously agreed to give away a paperback copy of Song of Silence to one of my readers!

(US mailing addresses only please)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? Buy your own copy of Song of Silence now!

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Carrie

66 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Cynthia Ruchti”

  1. Annie JC

    Love this! I saw your title with “Cynthia Ruchti” and I HAD to stop by! =) (Plus I come here anyway).

    Well, I’m a “do-er”. Always something to do, even if it’s suppose to be relaxing, I still have to “do” something. But I had an accident several years ago that constituted to extreme fatigue. I couldn’t do anything! It was frustrating, but in time, I realize God’s trying to slow me down. Let me see the beauty in the quiet (mind and body). My eyes and heart were able to see things and especially people more clearly. And it took Him knocking on my door many times and finally loudly to find peace in Him.

    Anyway, thank you for this interview. Thank you Cynthia for sharing with us and for this giveaway.

  2. Anne Rightler

    He has taught me that He is sovereign. I can trust Him to do what He has promised in His Word. I love stories of HOPE. Looking forward to reading this book! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Joy Crandall

    As I read it resonated in my soul. True words here! I love the depth of your heart. Keep on and my list grows as well…many awesome books to be read. Thank you for such an awesome interview.

  4. Kate

    God seems to use silence a great deal in my life. I am a “doer” by nature and waiting in peace is very difficult for me. I keep thinking I will finally learn!

    Right now I am waiting for God to act in my child’s life. I have times of restful waiting in the silence but far too many times of fretting. Isaiah 41, especially verse 10, ministers to my soul.

    • Cynthia Ruchti

      One of the principles from this book, Song of Silence, Kate is that the silence, the waiting, always is pregnant with activity. God is doing something. Intentionally. Carefully orchestrated. A rest is not the absence of sound, but intensity of silence.

    • Carrie

      Fretting is my natural response. I love how books like Cynthia’s remind me to rest in Him

  5. Ann Ellison

    Really enjoyed the interview. The book sounds wonderful. Would love to win a copy.

  6. Sydney

    What has God taught you through the “rests” or silence of life?

    Well, sometimes God’s “voice” or “guidance” is louder as it helps guide as along our course in life. And sometimes he is “silent” as he lets us try to figure it out ourselves. But He is always there for us to lean on and even when we feel He is being “silent” maybe He is just taking a step back, but is still there. Even in those times too when we think we are in control and unintentionally “lose site” for a bit, God is always there go guide us. 🙂

  7. emilee douglas

    Great interview! I loved this book. Such a pretty cover. I have enjoyed Cynthia’s other books too.

  8. Vicki G

    He has taught me that regardless of the circumstance, He is on the throne! 🙂

  9. Angie Vik

    This cover is so pretty. I have enjoyed reading Cynthia’s other books, so I expect this to be wonderful as well. Your interview and editorial commentary was fun.

  10. Marilyn

    He has taught me to be kind and patient. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Marilyn

  11. Pam K.

    God taught me that he is faithful and that I can trust him.
    I’ve read several of Cynthia’s books. They are beautifully written. I’m happy to have the chance to win Song of Silence.

  12. JACKIE MCNUTT

    I have recently been struggling with trust, and during my prayer time I am looking back to see what trust means to me , and how so often , lack of it has left holes in my heart, that only God can fill. I am slowly letting Him do that. I believe this is my silent moments.
    thank you for the wonderful interview. I look forward to reading Cynthia’s books, they are very inspiring.

  13. Janice Moore

    Here is what silence during hardship has impressed me. As Phillip Yancy and Hebrews says in paraphrase: faith is believing in advance what makes sense in reverse.

  14. Patty

    Cynthia sounds like a delightful lady ! Thanks for the fun interview Carrie.
    I love the story about the grade school music teacher and the fact that you used her name for the character in the book.

  15. Terrill Rosado

    A few years back, my husband was ill for a total of about 3 years. During that time, I was mom, dad, chauffeur, teacher (homeschooling mom), caretaker, etc. Unbeknownst to me, I had been suffering with my own un-diagnosed illness during that same time and after it was discovered, underwent test after test and a few surgeries. All the while, still carrying on the other duties as best I could. It has been three years since that overwhelming time in my life and I am now experiencing a quiet and peaceful respite. One thing I never lost sight of (not without lots of prayer support) is that the Lord would carry me through it. In this quiet time, I am getting to see and live the blessings of being obedient during what I can only remember as a chaotic time.

    Carrie and Cynthia, thank you so much for the wonderful and thought-provoking interview. It was nice to remember all that God has done in the last 5 or 6 years.

  16. Meghan Gorecki

    Love this review/interview, Carrie. *waves* Hi Cynthia!

    Since last July’s first hip surgery its been quite a time of rest and quiet for me–the Lord so graciously drawing me deeper still even when my faith crumbled under the weight of hopes majorly deferred and the waiting stretched out even longer. Without this time though, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I love in pursuing my heart’s “career” of writing/editing/the publishing industry.

  17. Kathy Anderson

    God has taught me to be content in him. I need to surround myself with his presence. To dwell on his word by recalling scriptures I have learn. To keep praise music playing in the background. To offer prayers of gratitude and praise as I go about my day. As I communicate with Him, I no longer feel the emptiness I have felt since my divorce.

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