It is always an absolute delight any time I am fortunate enough to talk with today’s guest! The fact that she is a speaker at this year’s Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat? Dream come true for me.
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories-hemmed-in-hope through her award-winning novels, novellas, nonfiction, devotions, and speaking events for women and writers. She currently serves as professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), connecting the organization with retailers, libraries, book clubs, and readers. Cynthia and grade-school sweetheart husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five (to date) grandchildren.
Cynthia’s new release, A Fragile Hope, received a TOP PICK from RT Book Reviews!
Josiah Chamberlain’s life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife’s unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she’s unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?
Yaaaaay!!! Hi Cynthia! I’m always so honored and delighted to have you on the blog! As you know, I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Cynthia: It’s a wrestling match between cheesecake and crème brulee.
Carrie: Well, no matter which one wins, YOU win haha!
Cynthia: Lilacs, peonies, or roses? I’ll land on lilacs. So short-lived, but so beautiful and fragrant!
Carrie: Of those three, lilacs are my fave too 🙂
Cynthia: Christmas. So much to love about Christmas.
Cynthia: Music is so important to me, which means my “favorite” is always in flux. But “The More I Seek You” stays near the top of the list.
Carrie: Is that from Kari Jobe? I love her music!
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Cynthia: Here I go again, modifying the question a little. I made a strong connection with The Boxcar Children when first introduced to them in childhood. So many of my imaginary adventures had me living with them in a boxcar!
Carrie: I loved The Boxcar Children! In real life, I would not want to live in a boxcar, unless it was seriously renovated 😉 But as a child, oh how that piqued my imagination!!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Cynthia: For When the Morning Glory Blooms, I needed to know the speed limit in a Midwestern town in a particular year around the turn of the century, when automobiles were first arriving on the scene. That doesn’t seem terribly weird right now, but it was amazing how deep I had to dig to find that information!
Carrie: Haha! That’s going the extra mile, so to speak 😀
In A Fragile Hope, Josiah Chamberlain is a “marriage miracle worker” whose own marriage is in crisis. As readers, we are inside Josiah’s head to experience most of the novel through his perspective. What, if anything, surprised you about Josiah as you yourself “got inside his head” to write this story?
Cynthia: Josiah turned out to be much more sensitive than I at first assumed. His career had made him artificially arrogant and overly self-assured, when at his core, he was as broken and needy as any of the rest of us.
Carrie: So often, arrogance is just a mask for brokenness, isn’t it?
You’ve been married a few years. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given about making marriage work? And what is the best advice you would give in return?
Cynthia: My marriage is always at its best when my husband and I (married 45 years this summer) can see the humor in the situation, whatever it is—ailing vehicle, spilled milk, a missing memory, dryer making a funny noise, a ridiculous influx of bills, an unintentionally thoughtless comment… Finding the humor in it makes a huge difference. The best advice I would give is to pre-forgive. Determine early in the relationship to pre-forgive any future disappointments.
Carrie: Humor and forgiveness are both so key! i love this advice!
What do you most want readers to take away from A Fragile Hope?
Cynthia: “Where would we be if we hadn’t discovered that seeds of hope can grow in mud?” It’s a quote from the book, but it’s also a life principle that can remind us that even when we think the hope we’re holding onto seems fragile, it is tenacious. It survives cold and drought and all kinds of battering and still manages to germinate.
Carrie: Yes! Amen.
My sweet friend, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Cynthia: In addition to a couple of fiction and non-fiction projects in progress, I have a book of encouragement and reflections releasing in June from Worthy Inspired—As My Parents Age.
Carrie: If you write it, I will read it 😀 Excited for everything on the bookish horizon!
Cynthia Ruchti is graciously offering a paperback of A Fragile Hope to one of my readers! (US only) Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be seen at the Disclosure page. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What’s the best advice (marriage or otherwise) that you’ve been given?