Today’s interview is with Rachel Hauck, coauthor of Thomas Nelson’s book The Sweet By and By! (Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of the interview!)
Hi Rachel! Thanks for stopping by Book Reviews by Buuklvr81!!! I am really excited to have you here today and hope that you had a blessed Christmas season!!
RH: I’m excited to be here!
Let’s start off with some question about your newest book, The Sweet By and By with Sara Evans.
What was it like working with Ms. Evans on this book?
RH: She was fabulous. We hit it off and once we started talking about what kind of story she wanted to tell, a lot of pieces fell into place. We agreed on practically everything!
How did you two come together to write this book,i.e., did Thomas Nelson pair you together, or did you two decide this on your own?
RH: Thomas Nelson’s fiction publisher Allen Arnold realized many of Sara’s songs are stories set to music and thought she had a novel inside her, so he approached her with the idea. Then he and my editor Ami McConnell asked me to write with her. I was thrilled.
How did you come up with the title for the books?
RH: Sara titled The Sweet By and By. I came up with the series title. A Songbird Novel really embodies Sara and there is a bird in book one, and book two.
How about the characters and events? Are they based on real people or events in yours or Ms. Evans’ life?
RH: The book is completely fictional though Sara and I pulled from our own life experiences and ideas. But the events on the page are not Sara’s true life at all.
Did you have to do a lot of research for writing this book?
RH: Lots! I know more about the ’60s, the Summer of Love and the hippie movement than I ever wanted to know. I also did a lot of research on separation anxiety which plays a larger roll in future books. I researched lawyers and even the teamsters! I’m a stickler for real life dialog and motivation. While all fiction dialog is created to deliver a story, it has to sound authentic. That requires research.
Do you and Ms. Evans want your readers to walk away with any special message(s) after reading this book?
RH: That forgiveness is vital to a prosperous and healthy life.
Will you be writing more books like this one with Ms. Evans?
RH: We are writing four books together. So there’s lots more excitement to come!
Now, let’s steer the questions in a different direction. Let’s talk a little bit about you.
RH: Okay, if we must. 😉
What is like at home being an author? Does your family influence you in your writing in any way?
RH: My family, friends, acquaintances, every one I met plays into my writing. Like, recently I met a young man who has a phobia about eating at other people’s homes. He’ll eat out, eat packaged food from the grocery store, but not a meal prepared at someone’s home. Very odd. Very cool character quirk. So, I draw from life.
I don’t have children so my home is a bit different than the one my husband and I grew up in, or the one we thought we’d have, but I write during the day, sometimes at night, and the rest is pretty much an ordinary life. 🙂
Is being a writer what you always wanted to do or did it choose you?
RH: Both! I think I was born to do this. My father was very instrumental in discovering the writer in me. My mom and husband are very encouraging. My teachers suggested I should consider the life of a writer. God gave this to me to do and I love writing. I’m honored to be able to use His gift to touch others.
I have seen that you are a worship leader for ACFW conferences. What is that like?
RH: Very fun. Very stressful at times. At first, we cobbled together a band, then I was able to bring a lead musician with me. He helps bring the eclectic band together. We’ve actually played together four years now, so we are finding our once a month groove. I love leading worship. I love the tone and spirit it brings to the conference and conference attendees. It’s a very vital part of the weekend.
Is being a worship leader harder than writing books at all?
RH: I’m a singer and a worshipper, but I’m not a musician. Both come naturally to me, but the mechanics are things I have to work at. All talent is raw material that must be honed.
Does being a worship leader influence you in your writing?
RH: I think so, yes. I’ve worshipped my way through trouble spots in a novel. Some of the language I use in my own private worship makes it’s way into my writing. Worship opens the Word to me as I sing scripture and that definitely impacts my writing.
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading your books until The Sweet By and By, but tell me about the Vegas books, Diva and Lost in Nash Vegas…..how did you get those titles?
RH: Those are really fun books. Nashvegas is a nickname for Nashville. My publisher came up with the first title, me the second. They are about two woman fulfilling their dreams in music. One, a wannabe songwriter. The other a burned out superstar. Diva Nashvegas won the Maggie Award of Excellence in 2008.
How did you come up with the story lines for those two books?
RH: It all started when my editor wanted a “redneck chick lit.” Gretchen Wilson’s Redneck Woman was popular on radio, and chick lit was popular in literature, so she wanted to combine the two. My agent suggested I write about a songwriter. So, I did a looooot of researched and came up with Robin Rae McAffee. Next, I had the idea to do a super star, so Aubrey James was born. Both are fun, touching books. Very real to the Nashville music scene.
Do you have any words for aspiring writers?
RH: Keep writing, reading and praying. Really ask the Lord to use you, to open doors, to help you account for your time. Writing uses up a lot of time and emotion, don’t waste what you have in this life trying to write if God has something else for you. That was my prayer. He’s so good, whatever He does have for us, we’ll love! We are going to live for a very long time in the age to come, if writing is on your heart, say 600 years from now, I’m sure Jesus will make a way for it to happen. Just know it’s what He has for you now.
And to wrap up the interview, do you have anything that you would like to say to your readers?
RH: Thank you for reading! For the emails and reviews. For letting me into your life through words for a few hours. I really appreciate it.
Blessings to all!
Thanks Molly! GREAT interview!!
P.S. Please spell check for me!
Thank you again, Rachel, for stopping by!!! I hope you will come back in the future to talk about your books again! Happy New Year to you!
Please visit Rachel Hauck at the website!
Now for the giveaway. If you would like a chance to win Rachel Hauck and Sara Evans’ new book, The Sweet By and By, please leave a comment on this interview below. In order for your entry to be valid, you MUST leave your email address! Giveaway ends 6pm on January 11 ,2010.
In the event that you do not win, and you want to purchase this amazing book, please visit Amazon.com.