9 in ’09 with Rachel Hauck

 This is my first of many (I hope) interviews with authors I enjoy.    Every Friday I’ll be asking 9 questions of an author gracious enough to answer them.  I reviewed Sweet Caroline last year (review here) and its author, Rachel Hauck, answered these 9 questions for me.  Thanks Rachel!  You can visit Rachel at her website, www.rachelhauck.com

Rachel Hauck is a best selling and award winning author. A graduate of Ohio State University, she lives in central Florida with her husband and pets. She is currently writing her twelfth novel.

1. I loved your book, Sweet Caroline.  What made you choose to set it in the South Carolina low country?

RH: To be honest, I looked at books set in the south and saw how well received lowcountry were and thought, why not set a book in South Carolina? But before that, a friend of ours wrote a worship song called Praise House. I asked where the idea came from and he showed my husband and I his home video of a spontaneous trip he and his wife took to Beaufort, South Carolina looking for a Gullah praise house. As soon as I saw his video, I knew I wanted to set a book there.

2. This YouTube clip promoting Love Starts With Elle is great.  Can you tell us how it was done and more about your Diet Coke addiction?

RH: Diet Coke addiction? What Diet Coke addiction. Okay, yeah, I do enjoy my daily Diet Coke. It’s my drink of choice rather than coffee. When I was in college, I was a Diet Pepsi fan, but several years ago while at my corp job, everyone drank Diet Coke like it was going out of style and I switched because several people had office mini-fridges stocked with Diet Coke. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Love Starts With Elle trailer came to me one night out of the blue. I wanted a book trailer, but they are all the same and I wanted to do something different. I thought, “What if I talk to Elle like she’s real?”

I called a good friend who used to work at Pixar. We agreed on the project and price, I wrote a script and we filmed it a few days later. It was fun and easy. Despite my bad hair day, it turned out well. 🙂

3. You attended Ohio State (Go Bucks!) and earned a degree in journalism.  What drew you to writing inspirational fiction as a career choice?

RH: Yes, Go Buckeyes! I always wanted to be a writer which was one reason I majored in Journalism. After graduating and working in the corp world for awhile, I thought about writing but knew the publishing road to be daunting. Finding an agent, etc.

In the early ’90s I started reading Christian fiction. I enjoyed the stories and liked the aspect of weaving in a spiritual theme if I wanted. On ’94, I started my first book, a WW2 epic. Excerpts from it made it in Love Starts With Elle.

I went to my first writers conference in ’97 where I began meeting people and learning about the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA.) In those days, you didn’t need an agent. A writer just submitted to the publishers, but even by the late ’90s, fiction was making huge strides.

I don’t think I purposefully set out to write Inspirational, it just came out of the books I was reading and the excitement I had in my heart over a life in God.

4. Do you have a local writing group or fellow writers that you look to for support and advice or is writing a solitary endeavor for you?

RH: Writing is always solitary. No way around it. But I do have a great support network. My brainstorming buddy and great friend, Susan May Warren, is a phone call away. She’s a fabulous and award-winning author who really helps me out when I’m stuck in the middle of writing. I do the same for her. We laugh about how clearly we see each other’s stories, but are so blind to our own.

My good friend and award winning Christine Lynxwiler also provides support. Many times, a writer needs someone just to listen to the struggle. And of course, if something good happens, they are the first ones I call.

I am a member of Romance Writers of America which has a local chapter. I attend monthly meetings with those writers and receive a lot of encouragement. I learn something every meeting.

And, I’m on the Advisory Board for American Christian Fiction Writers. Part of the organization is run by a member based email loop, so there’s always writers an email away. Such a great resource for all kinds of information.

Last, but not least, I’m a member of published author organization and we provide a lot of support to each other. I feel surrounded sometimes.

My husband and non-writer friends, and my family also provide support. They listen to me go on and on about a book issue. Bless them!

5. What was your favorite childhood book?

RH: I loved to read biographies, but far and above, The Little House books were my absolute favorite. I’ve read the entire series a dozen times.

6. I love quotes.  Do you have a favorite quote or scripture?

RH: I have one of each. My favorite quote is from Michael Jordan.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

My favorite Scripture is Song of Solomon 4:9.

“You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride;
         You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes,
         With a single strand of your necklace.”

7. What are you reading right now?

RH: I just finished “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Next book, not sure yet.

8. If you were placed in the life of one fictional character who would you choose?

RH: Hmm, good question. Maybe Ebenezer Scrooge or Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice fame.  Mostly to see what their world was really like. I’d like to see Ebenezer’s change and watch Elizabeth fall in love. 

9. And finally, what are you working on right now?

RH: I just finished a book with country artist Sara Evans. The book releases sometime this spring along with her new album. I’m excited about it. We’re doing several fiction books together. They are stories we made up. Nothing autobiographical.

Thanks Stacy! Great questions. I appreciate this opportunity!

Books by Rachel Hauck– Love Starts With Elle, Sweet Caroline, Diva NashVegas, Lost in NashVegas, Georgia On Her Mind, Lambert’s Peace, Lambert’s Pride, Lambert’s Code, New Hampshire Weddings, Windswept Weddings