I’m so thrilled to have award-winning author Rachel Hauck in my guest chair today. Before we chat about the things going on in her world, let’s first get to know our lady of the hour. Rachel, can you begin by telling us a little about yourself?
Sharon, I’m so glad to be here, honored to be asked. About me? I make up stories for a living. I love it. I’m married to my best friend going on eighteen years. We don’t have children, but a spoiled dog and cat. We were in youth ministry for 20 years and have some really special spiritual kids.
I lead worship at my church, am passionate about prayer and developing a prayer culture in our churches and love Ohio State football.
Your latest novel, Love Starts with Elle, has garnered excellent reviews and acclaim. What’s the book about?
Do you recall when the story really started to take shape in your mind? Once you had the spark, tell us about how you grew it into a novel.
I really grow with the story and the writing process. I try to spend as much time upfront as I can, developing the story and characters but I never really connect with them and find those deeper layers until I’ve written 40K words. AND then I usually start the book over!
When you think about all the characters from your various novels, which one or ones are your darlings—your favorites, and why?
Wow, I like them all. Each one is special, like a child. Each one has taken me on a journey of self discovery, made me a better writer. But Aubrey James from Diva Nashvegas was the first character I fell in love with. I hated to say goodbye to her.
In the book I wrote with Sara Evans, The Sweet By and By, the little sister really gripped me as a secondary character. She was fun, deep, yet wild and crazy.
As a writer, which of your novels was the most challenging to write and how did you plow through it?
Back to Diva Nashvegas. I thought, “My career is over. My editor will know I’m a hack!” But the Lord gave me Isaiah 41:13 and I clung to that verse.
But Sweet Caroline really cost me sleep. While writing that book, and struggling, I’d discovered Lost In Nashvegas wasn’t’ exactly flying off the shelves like I’d dreamed it would. I was too scared to call my agent or editor, and Sweet Caroline wasn’t coming together easily, so again, I thought my career was over. But God really intervened and answered my prayer. I was so thrilled that book won ACFW’s Best Lit of 2009.
Tell us about a day in the life of Rachel. What’s your average day look like?
Earlier this year, I would’ve given you a different answer than the one I’m about to give, but this routine is really working well for me. I used to get started really late in the day and work late, but when my husband took on a part-time teaching job, he started rising way earlier, so I changed my routine too.
I get up around 6:30 and get ready for the day. Take my dog for a ride to McDonalds for a Diet Coke, then come home to spend time in prayer and the Word. I’m usually at my computer by 9:00. I like to go to Spinning class at the gym two evenings a week, and one evening we are out for ministry, so it’s good to get my writing done during the day.
Then, I use other evenings to do extra writing, catch up if I need to, do office-type work.
I do interact with Twitter, Facebook and email throughout the day. My own brand of water-cooler conversations.
In your novel, Diva NashVegas, I liked the larger-than-life character of country music star Aubrey James. If you had to pick an actress to play Aubrey in a screenplay of your novel, who would you most like to see in that role?
Faith Hill. But she’s not an actress per say, so maybe Kate Hudson. She’s spunky like Aubrey. BTW, it was difficult to make her larger-than-life but not so large it overwhelmed the reader. Thanks for your encouragement!
Rachel, looks like the train is rolling in at our station and our chat is coming to an end. My final question has nothing at all to do with writing, but doggone it I feel like asking because I have the theme song from the TV show “The Brady Bunch” stuck in my head. What theme song from a TV show(s) from the ‘60s, ‘70s, or ‘80s are you able to sing in its entirety?
LOL. Probably the Brady Bunch. Or Mary Tyler Moore’s theme song. Then again, who can forget the Jefferson’s Moving On Up. 🙂
Thanks Sharon, it was so fun to be here!