Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Crossing over to Welcome You

Rachel Hauck is a multi-published author living in central Florida with her husband, Tony, a pastor. Agraduate of Ohio State University with a BA inJournalism, Rachel has been published since 2004. Rachel worked in youth ministry for eighteen years andnow co-leads a prayer and worship ministry, FireDweller, with Tony and three area pastors. She is alsothe worship leader for Church On The Rock, Melbourne.Rachel is member of American Christian fiction Writerswhere she served twice as President and is now on theAdvisory Board.

SKC: What books or project are you working on now?

RH: I’m working on my second lowcountry story, Love Starts With Elle. The first is Sweet Caroline which came out in February.

SKC: What special something inspired you to come up with your very first book?

RH: My very first book was a two plot, WW2 epic. I wrote it in the early ‘90s. I’ve always been fascinated with the WW2 generation and their patriotism and courage. My father-in-law is a war vet and was stationed in the Aleutians during the war.

World War II books were big in Christian fiction in the ‘90s so it seemed like a good subject and setting.

SKC: How long had you been writing before you got your first contract?

RH: I’d written one book and one proposal before I signed with Heartsong in 2002. I’d been writing off and on for eight years, more off than on. I’d finished the WW2 book but was also working fulltime and picking up ministry responsibilities.

SKC: Describe your writing genre and sub-genre, and why you chose what you chose.

RH: I write chickmance which is chick lit and romance combination. I think I ended up in this genre by default, but it is a right fit for me though I’m interested in other types of stories.
I like character driven stories. I like romance, I like the woman’s journey.

SKC: Are you in any Groups that help you in your writing? If so, tell us about them.

RH: I have never maintained a successful crit partner relationship, but I brainstorm with Christine Lynxwiler and Susan May Warren. This works really well for all three of us, and if I get stuck, I call Susie and rehash the story or brainstorm plot points. We know each other’s story well enough it’s a fast, fun call. Susie keeps me on track, too, when I get a wild idea about changing something. One book she forbid me to change anything without clearing it with her. (smile) It worked out well.

SKC: What advice do you have for other new and inspiring authors coming into the field of writing?

RH: “Back side in chair” is the best writing advice I can give. You can’t change, edit or submit a book that doesn’t exist. Hang in there in the hard times. Set aside time to write and keep it. Be teachable. Able to change. Read a lot.

SKC: I enjoy asking this question. Many authors write for both the ABA and the CBA markets nowadays. What market do you write for, and what are your thoughts about inspirational writers writing Crossover Stories?

RH: I write in the CBA market, but I’m thrilled when author’s write for both, or write cross over stories. I think we should consider ourselves Christians who are writers instead of Christian writers. The fragrance of God in and on me perfumes my stories whether they are written with a more obvious or subtle Christian perspective. We should consider all doors open to us. Christian’s who write should not shrink back, but branch out, look for ways to get our stories into the hands of millions.

SKC: Many authors are often asked how they deal with writer's block. How do you overcome it?

RH: Weird, but I never have writer’s block. If the spirit of God dwells in me, why should I not be creative. However, I do get frustrated and stuck, feel like my writing is boring or “all the same.” I just keep writing and rewriting. I read. Listen to music, take a walk. Pray! Prayer is the best source of inspiration.

SKC: What do you believe is the KEY to writing a good book?

RH: GREAT storytelling. Tell. A. Great. Story. Think outside the box, ask a lot of why and what if questions. Yes, lovely writing is helpful, but great characters telling a great story is the key to successful books.

SKC: How do you schedule your time?

RH: I write five, sometimes six, days a week. I schedule my day just like if I had a job. I work about six to eight hours a day until I’m closer to deadline, then maybe twelve hours a day.
Each day is different, but most of the time I sit down to write about noon.

SKC: Why do so many authors have a difficult time coming up with their one-line blurbs?

RH: Good questions. It’s hard to boil down an 80,000 to 100,000 word book into a one liner, but with practice it’s easy. I find by the time I tell every one what the book is about over a course of five or six months, I’ve honed a pretty nice one liner.

SKC: What is your process of writing a novel briefly—from conception to revision.

RH: I come up with a character and plot about the same time, thinking of a hook, over all premise. I think and write notes, research a little. I brainstorm then write a synopsis which goes to my editor. She comes back with ideas and input, then I rewrite it and go from there.
I brainstorm with Susie and Chris, then start writing. I write the opening third until I feel it’s how and what I want the story to be, then work toward the middle and end. I rewrite a lot. A. Lot. My characters sound plastic and silly until about the fifth rewrite. I may start rewriting the beginning before I’ve written the final few chapters so I know exactly where the story is going, then create the perfect (hopefully) ending.

SKC: After you finish your present project what plans do you have?

RH: I have another book on my current contract, so I’ll start thinking of the next idea and where I want to go. I may write my first more serious book dealing with a social issue I’m concerned about.

Thank you so much for having me!! This was fun!

Rachel, I can’t thank you enough for coming by to visit! It means a lot to me and to my visitors here it at this site! God bless you!

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