Shock! I love Rachel Hauck’s books. Sweet Caroline and Love Starts with Elle are keepers on my bookshelf. Another joy of being in ACFW has been working with Rachel. So be sure to enter at Janna’s blog for a copy of Sweet Caroline, the perfect way to start the series.
Most Entertaining Books of 2008 are
“Sweet Caroline” & “Love Starts With Elle”
by Rachel Hauck
1) Sometimes I just want to sit down, curl up with a feel
good book that makes me think (but not too much), sparks
some chuckles (and plenty of smiles), has a good spiritual
thread (without being preachy) and enough romance to make
your heart warm (but not get mushified - I think I just
coined a word :-) This year I found that your books Sweet
Caroline and Love Starts With Elle do exactly that. They
are like the feel good books of the year! My mother-in-law
actually said, "Sweet Caroline was a joy to read and I
couldn't wait to follow it up with Love Starts With Elle!" How did you come up
with the plots for these 2 books? Is Caroline based on you?
RH: Janna, thank you so much for you kinds words. And your mother-in-law too!
It warms me to the core. I love feel good books, too. Caroline's plot was
a morphed version of an idea I had about a cooking show host who couldn't cook.
I actually am going to write that story, too, but as Caroline's story developed
I had to cut that part. I'm not sure how I came up with the cafe, and inheriting
it from an old man, but it proved to be a strong story line. Caroline is not
like me at all. In fact, I had to interview a girl in our church to get an idea of
how to write Caroline. She's way more self-deprecating than I am. Way more giving.
If I had saved money to go on a missions trip and my brother's car broke down, and
he needed money, I'd not give him mine. Caroline would. For Elle, the plot began
in Sweet Caroline with her setting forth a plan to get married or engaged in a year.
From there it was easy to figure a way to interrupt her plans!
2) I think one of the cleverest things I've seen lately
was the way you started most of the chapters in Sweet
Caroline with the daily special from the cafe at the
beginning - I found myself actually wondering what would be
on special in the next chapter! I've been in the
restaurant business most of my life, my husband and I even
waited tables at the same restaurant when we were in college
and I think everyone should be required to wait tables for a
week out of their lives so they treat waiters with the
respect they deserve... Have you ever waited tables or
worked at a cafe?
RH: Actually, waiting tables was on job I haven't done. But I was a
cashier for ten years during high school and college, and I worked food prep for a
short while as a second job. I loved the Daily Special headings, too. It was a
great way to track time and dates.
3) Elle is an art gallery owner who should be making art,
not selling it but she had her dreams crushed in college...
I had something like that happen to me when I was younger
and a person of influence in my life said something very
negative about one of my giftings. It took me over 15 years
to realize that happened and undo what was done in one
simple statement. I think this happens to many people and
changes the course of their lives, did it ever happen to
you? What would you say to someone weighed down by
discouraging words spoken into their lives?
RH: The opposite happened to me most of my life. I had a lot of people
encouraging me. When I was in college, I had two professors really encourage my
writing gifting. My dad always told me I was a writer. Naturally, I had people
discourage ideas or aspects of my life or character, but nothing so devastating that
I put something aside that I really wanted I know that's rare. Most people get put
down and discouraged by others. For people weighed down with those negative words, I
say cast them off. Go to the Lord and ask Him to set you free, and show you how He
sees you and put in your heart His destiny. God has a destiny for all of us. And
He wants it to come about more than we do! Don't let fear or discouragement or laziness
keep you from breaking of the shackles and running free toward the Lord. Be realistic,
too. If you love to play piano, but got discouraged over becoming a concert pianist, and
twenty years has gone by, it might be too late. BUT, it's not too late to play for others.
Restaurants or church, or community theater. Ask the Lord to show you how, to open doors.
4) I know that Love Starts With Elle is not a sequel
necessarily, but its close enough for me - it takes
Caroline's best friend and follows her while we get to
keep up with Caroline through her email chats with Elle.
Will we get to follow these two amazing gals in a third not
RH: At this time, no. But I'm very open to a third book with them as secondary
5) You have also written the Nash Vegas books (which are
fantastic too by the way), but what is coming up next for
you? I need to know what to be looking forward to!
RH: I just finished the first book in a series with country artist Sara Evans.
These are fictional stories we collaborated on and I'm very excited about them.
We'll follow Jade Fitzgerald through three books, discovering her life. The first
book will be out in the spring in conjunction with a new CD release from Sara.
This book was different for me, and hard to write, but my editor and I were very
proud of the final product!
6) Where can readers find you online?
RH: Everywhere! Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, Shoutlife, and www.rachehauck.com.
If you look on my Links page, you'll see all my cyber communities.
Okay, readers I am offering a copy of “Sweet Caroline” for this drawing! Here is what you do… leave me a comment (with your email address or way to reach you) telling me if you have ever waited tables or worked in a restaurant and you will have 1 entry in the drawing! If you tell someone else about this interview with Rachel and they enter and put your name in the comment then you will have 3 extra entries, if you link to this interview from your own blog then you will get 2 extra entries – Good luck!
A NEW BONUS ENTRY – IF YOU BECOME A BLOG FOLLOWER THEN YOU WILL GET 2 EXTRA ENTRIES!!!
PS – This is me meeting Rachel at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Minneapolis in September – she really is the sweetest person!