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Monday, January 30, 2006

Author Interview ~ Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is a multi-published author living in sunny, though sometimes hurricane plagued, central Florida with her husband, Tony, a youth pastor. They have three ornery pets. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeyes football fan. Rachel also served the writing community as the Past President of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.









Plug time. What book or project is coming out or has come out that you’d like to tell us about?

My first chick lit comes out in August 2006 from Steeple Hill CafĂ©, Georgia On Her Mind. It’s a fun story about Macy Moore, a quick witted career girl who’s life takes an unexpected turn, or two.

Tell us about your journey to publication. How long had you been writing before you got the call you had a contract, how you heard and what went through your head.

I started writing fiction in the mid ‘90s, but didn’t serious pursue publication until 2000. My first published book was a Heartsong Presents. I got “the call” in late 2002 from my co-author, Lynn Coleman while sitting in Chili’s having lunch with my friend, Allison Wilson. I was excited, naturally, but also hit with the realization I had to write it.

Do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work?

Sure. I don’t know any authors who don’t, but I’m learning not to focus on my doubts and insecurities, and focus on God’s grace and goodness. My weaknesses don’t intimidate Him. He chooses to use me, anyway.

What’s the best advice you’ve heard on writing/publication?

Read, read, read. Also, to keep writing the first draft without editing. My first novel took two years because I kept rewriting and editing. Now, I can complete an 85k word novel in 4 months because I write it first, then fix it.

What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve heard?

I don’t think I’ve heard bad writing advice.

What’s something you wish you’d known earlier that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

I understood I needed others to help me, but I wish I’d networked earlier, and gone to conferences. Some mistakes I made early on could’ve been eliminated by attending workshops for beginners.

Do you have a scripture or quote that has been speaking to you lately?

“The things impossible with me are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

Is there a particularly difficult set back that you’ve gone through in your writing career you are willing to share?

No set backs at the moment.

What are a few of your favorite books? (Not written by you.)

I love the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Jan Karon’s Mitford series.

If your authorial self was a character from The Wizard of Oz, which one would you be and why?

I think I’d be the Tin Man. Heart is really important to me, and having a tender one toward God and others is important to me.

What piece of writing have you done that you’re particularly proud of and why?

Writing is hard work, and I’m proud of all the Lord has graced me to produce, but I’m really proud of Georgia On Her Mind. It’s a fun, fast-paced story and I think women will identify with Macy’s struggles.

I’ve also written a few small pieces on Peter and Mary of Bethany, and how they might have felt after Jesus was crucified. I like these short, short stories because it brings the characters we read about daily to life and stir my own heart toward the Lord. How would I have felt seeing Jesus stumbling down the street with the Cross on his bleeding back.

Do you have a pet peeve having to do with this biz?

Not really. There are good things and difficult things about this business, about any business. I learn to live within the boundaries.

Can you give us a view into a typical day of your writing life?

Typical day is to get up around 6:30 and go to morning prayer at my church. By 9:30, I’m home and taking care of emails or home-front details. I try to start writing by 11:00 a.m. I end the writing day at 5:00 so I can go to the gym, or to church related functions, depending on the night. If there is time, I write in the evening for an hour or so. Occasionally, I write or edit on Saturdays, but I keep the weekends free so I can refresh my creative pallet and be with my husband.

If you could choose to have one strength of another writer, what would it be and from whom?

I would love to have Brandilyn Collin’s ability to ponder a scene and figure out a unique, creative way of showing the action.

Do you have a dream for the future of your writing, something you would love to accomplish?

My dream is to keep telling the best stories I can and to be honest, I’d really like to be on Oprah.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Yes. I’d sent a proposal to my agent and she, being the astute, wonderful woman she is, didn’t like it. She emailed a long list of reasons and told me to get back to work. While I’m not afraid of hard work, I’d spent a long time developing that proposal and thought maybe I just didn’t have what it took to really make it. But, after reviewing all my options, I knew I didn’t want to do anything but write. So, I rolled up my sleeves, came up with a new proposal and well… my agent sold that one a few months later.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

My favorite part is telling stories, creating characters and fictional worlds. My least favorite part is research and the hard days at the beginning of a new story when I’m trying to meet the characters.

How much marketing do you do? Any advice in this area?

I’m new to marketing, so I don’t have much experience yet, but the best thing any author can do is have a web site with a blog or blog link. Keeps readers stopping by often.


Parting words?

Thank you for this opportunity!!




10 comments:

  1. Rachel - "Amen" to the advice about completing a first draft before editing. I think this was the single biggest "breakthrough" I've experienced in my work, and I'm surprised more writers don't have this rule for themselves.

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  2. Cool! Another Laura Ingalls Wilder fan! The Little House Books/Laura will be my top-most favorites until the day I die.

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  3. Guys, you simply HAVE to read Macy's story! I was fortunate enough to be in Rachel's ACFW crit group and got to read it! I'm not a big fan of chicklit, but Rachel's is so real, and funny, and laced with faith that I couldn't help but adore Macy! I can't wait til it comes out to re-read it again!

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  4. Rachel, if you're in a crit group, do you mean you complete your ms before you ever submit anything to them?

    I love chick lit and can't wait to read Georgia On Her Mind-- especially since I live in Georgia! Hope we get to review it for Novel Reviews.

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Rachel. And TL, I'm with you on writing a complete first draft before editing. I was struggling and struggling with my second novel, and only when I pulled out the stops and made myself write straight through without editing did I finally finish that rough draft. Of course, now I'm revising it, but it really helped me, too.

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  6. Thanks Rachel. I could tell you take your heart seriously. You didn't come up with a pet peeve or the worst writing advice. And you worked through your moment of "I don't want to do this anymore".

    Thanks for sharing.

    I, too, appreciate your comments on just writing through, first.

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  7. Hi all,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Robin, you wouldn't believe how much Macy's story has, ahem, improved with the editing process.

    You know, writers really need editors. We do the best we can, but the editor directs us to the next level.

    I encourage you guys to keep writing and trust the Lord.

    Be blessed everyone! Rachel

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  8. Oh, Ane, as for the crit group, I've not been very successful with crit groups cause I write, rewrite and edit up to the last month.

    Though Robin and I are in an official ACFW group together, we're not very active, eh, Robin?

    But we're there for each other when we need it.

    In a group, it's hard to handle five crits of the same chapter and often reviewing the same corrections. Especially when the deadline is coming up.

    And, I have a hard time asking someone to crit an 80K manuscript in three or four weeks. LOL. Except my husband.

    So, my husband critiques for me, and often one other writer. I've not had the same crit person on a manuscript except once. LOL.

    But I recently hooked up wit a one on one crit partner. We are going to crit for each other that last month. We are on different deadlines so it works.

    What I really value is brainstorming. I have a group to brainstorm with, and always my husband. :)

    Hope this helps. :)

    I can't wait for you all to read Georgia On Her Mind either. I just did the line edits.

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  9. Rachel,
    Nora and I really enjoyed your interview and can't wait to read your book... email us and we will update you guys on what has been happening since we last saw you... it has been awesome! By the way we are also now in GA and we are supporting Ane's drama team!

    Small world :)

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  10. Great interview--thanks, Gina and Rachel! I'd like to see you on Oprah, too!
    Camy

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