Author Spotlight: Cynthia Ruchti
Cynthia Ruchti has been writing for three decades and has 22 books published with many more contracted. Both her fiction and nonfiction works all revolve around one subject: hope. The mother of three and grandmother of five recently took time to answer some questions for us about her life and work.
Hope for Women: What originally inspired you to write?
Cynthia Ruchti: Reading inspired me to write. Almost from the first book I could read on my own as a child, I recognized the power of the written word. Stories made me think. They grew my compassion and empathy. They expanded my world from the narrow confines of my neighborhood.
I didn’t intend to make a career out of writing. I started my adult life working in a chemistry lab. But God had other ideas for me. Shortly after completing a correspondence course in creative writing while my toddlers napped, I was given the opportunity to step way out of my comfort zone to write and produce a 15-minute scripted radio broadcast. I had no experience, no training and no equipment. But I was willing to learn. Eventually, that broadcast aired Monday through Friday on 48 stations across the country. In 2012, the broadcast retired after 33 years on the air.
By then, I had several books published or in the works. My latest release is book number 22.
HFW: What led you to write “As My Parents Age?”
CR: Few of us won’t need to walk through a season with aging parents. It’s a common concern, but a journey that many try to navigate on their own, thinking that caring for aging parents should come naturally. But it often isn’t instinctive. Or it’s accompanied by complications and challenges that keep us from focusing on the tender, memory-making aspects.
What happens when dementia enters the picture? Or the relationship between parent and adult child hasn’t been healthy? What happens when it comes time to have hard conversations about end-of-life or long-term care?
When offered the opportunity to explore those questions, to reflect on the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, the not-funny-at-all, the heartwarming and the heartbreaking moments related to watching our parents age, I wanted to offer encouragement and hope. I knew I’d find it in the always relevant Bible and in stories of those who’ve walked or are walking that path.
HFW: Share about your continual message of hope.
CR: Hope changes everything. My tagline is, “I can’t unravel. I’m hemmed in hope.” No matter the subject or the challenge, hope makes a difference. Whether I’m speaking for women’s events or writing fiction and nonfiction, hope hovers close, reminding me of its presence and its importance to joy-filled living.
Sometimes our life circumstances make us think hope is hiding. But it’s there, waiting for us to notice it, waiting for us to notice the God of hope (Romans 15:13).
HFW: What makes you so passionate to inspire other women in your writings?
CR: Why would we not take every opportunity afforded us to encourage and inspire others? So much in life threatens to drain us, exhaust us, fill us with fear. But that’s not how God intends us to live. He’s designed a pattern for peace in the midst of pressure, an anchor in the storms of grief, rescue for capsized relationships and deliverance from despair. The books I write often tackle tough topics, but tenderly and with hope laced through the pages. Watching hope dawn for a reader makes every moment of writing and rewriting worth it.
HFW: What is the main inspiration you hope people take from this book?
CR: 3 John 6 (CEB) says, “You all would do well to provide for their journey in a way that honors God.” When first spoken, those words were intended to encourage John’s friend Gaius to welcome coworkers, even if strangers. But the core principle landed softly on my heart regarding the subject of caring for aging parents. This is our primary task—to provide for their journey in a way that honors God.
HFW: In what ways have you pursued your passions?
CR: Interestingly, almost all of the major mile-markers in my life in terms of passion have been because a new idea was introduced to me—radio, speaking, writing books and now also as a literary agent. My pursuit came in the form of following hard after God, because where He is, things happen. And I pursued learning what I didn’t know in order to tackle my divine assignments with wholehearted devotion.
That’s still happening. Life-long learners are never bored.
HFW: What challenges have you faced in chasing those dreams?
CR: It might be easier to list the challenges I haven’t faced!
As with an adventure, it often comes with side effects like discouragement, lack of funds, faulty equipment, technology issues, illness, deaths in the family, time crunches, setbacks, disappointment, the endless search for just the right word…
HFW: How have you overcome these obstacles?
CR: I only know one way to overcome obstacles. Staying close to the One who levels mountains, to the God who knows the end from the beginning, to the hope-giver.
Making the assumption that an obstacle is designed to be conquered is a great attitude adjustment.
HFW: What is your favorite thing about writing to inspire others?
CR: When I hear from readers who reconnected with hope or found a nugget of truth for which they’d long been searching or latched onto a single word or a single sentence that lifted their spirit or set them on a path of reconciliation or forgiveness or a fresh start… Few things can compare with reader responses.
HFW: What advice would you offer women chasing their dream careers?
CR: It’s important to surround ourselves with people we can trust – people full of integrity and wisdom, who will accompany us on our journey and not only cheer us on but speak a timely word of counsel when we need it.
I often encourage others to stay open, too. What we thought was a destination may be a stepping stone to something else.
HFW: What’s next for Cynthia Ruchti?
CR: I’m enjoying my role as a literary agent, discovering and helping shape other authors’ careers. I’m still writing books—working on three novels, waiting to see what will become of another couple of nonfiction projects and collaborating on other people’s stories.
What else is next? One of these days, I’m going to have to do last year’s spring cleaning, I suppose.