Cynthia is a great friend and amazing writer whose stories touch the heart with the whisper of hope and the promise of tomorrow. Leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a free copy of her new book.
Cynthia Ruchti is working on her fifth fiction release, her second non-fiction book, and dreaming of new plots, projects, scarves, and recipes. She served a two-year term as president of American Christian Fiction Writers and currently serves as ACFW’s professional relations liaison.
Whether through her books, speaking for women’s events or at writers’ conferences, or with a grandchild on her lap, Cynthia tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, a couple of hours from the setting of her latest release: Cedar Creek Seasons novella collection from Barbour Publishing. Connect with her at www.cynthiaruchti.com, www.hopethatglowsinthedark.com, www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti, or www.pinterest.com/cynthiaruchti.
Thank you, Michelle, for inviting me in for tea and your famous Asian dumplings. And thanks for making them gluten-free today just for me. Yum, huh?
Speaking of food, can we talk for a minute? Honestly, some of the most fun I had when writing “Maybe Us” for the Cedar Creek Seasons novella collection, which released September 1st, related to the gourmet brownies that Beth Schurmer’s love interest, Derek, made and sold from his shop—Life by Chocolate—in downtown Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Dreaming up fabulous brownies—like the Hot Fudge Brownie or the Covered Bridge Brownie (Cedarburg is known for its last standing original covered bridge in the state) or the S’Mores Brownie…
Sorry. Where was I? Drifted off for a minute. Let’s talk about something other than food while my oven preheats.
Readers may not know I’m a knitter. As soon as I started working on “Maybe Us,” I purchased wool to make the kind of infinity scarves—moebius—that Beth sold in her grandmother’s Yarn Shop. I knit in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains while my husband groaned at the trout stream that produced nothing for his creel or fry pan. (Oh, that’s right, we’re off the subject of food, temporarily.) I knit in the plane on the way home. As I wrapped the moebius around my neck, I thought of Beth and how its shape represented something so significant to her life and her story…and to mine.
Even in a short piece like a novella, those small but heart-tugging or subtle but extra-meaningful elements—a particular kind of brownie or a scarf that does more than keep someone warm when the winds turn chilly—add layers of depth to the story.
The details can be as endearing as Carol Burnett tugging on her earlobe at the end of her weekly show as a silent “Goodnight. I love you,” to her grandmother. Bonus points for those who watched it the first time around, not reruns.
What’s so special about the mug a character uses? Why were Dorothy’s ruby slippers ruby-red? Why weren’t they sparkly gold or green like the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz? (I have a theory.)
Reader, I’d love to talk about it. What subtle details endeared a character to you in a book, past or present? Is “Maybe Us” in Cedar Creek Seasons about brownies? No. But they play a role.
Oven’s preheated now. But I’ll be back later to see what you think about seemingly small elements that had an impact on your enjoyment of a book you’ve read. If your example is from another book I’ve written (see www.cynthiaruchti.com for those books), please be careful not to give away the plot.
Speaking of giveaways, let’s do that. Let’s give a copy of Cedar Creek Seasons to one of the responders, Michelle. Maybe they can suggest an idea for a new brownie for a Cedar Creek cookbook!