RACHEL HAUCK spoke to Finding Hope Book Club in January 2009.

In honor of that visit and to help the two face to face book clubs I was running I did an interview with Rachel Hauck! I'm re-publishing this interview so you too can get to know the comentator at the Christy Awards Ceremony tonight at 7p.m. in Orlando Florida, WYNN WYNN MEDIA will cover the whole event, not just the award time! CLICK LINK BELOW For details!

Without further a due Here's Rachel!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of Carol Award winner Sweet Caroline, and RITA Finalist Love Starts With Elle, and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, The Songbird Novels.She lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane plagued, central Florida with her husband and their ornery pets.

Rachel earned a degree in Journalism form Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now sits on the board as an Advisor. Visit her web site at to reader her blog, and to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

How did you start your writing career? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

RH: I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Not sure why or how. I can remember at a young age thinking I wanted to write. I wrote a book when I was ten and always enjoyed writing stories in school. My dad always encourage me to write. He'd tell me, "Rachel, you're a writer."

I majored in Journalism at Ohio State, but didn't really want to be a reporter. My novel writing career started in the early '90s just after I was married. I'd quit my corporate job and for the first time in my life had down time to think about writing. I started my first novel in '94. It was my learning book and took two years to write. I went back to work at my old job, so writing took a back seat, but then in 2001, I joined ACFW and went to the Blue Ridge writers conference. I met people, made a connection and had my first book contract at the end of 2002. I've been contracted every since. God is good.

I know that your husband's an associate Pastor and you lead praise and worship at your church ñ when do you find time to write with all your other activities?

RH: I view writing as my day job, my career. So I work at it every day. Nearer deadline, it consumed most of my time, but I try to balance my life by only doing the things God has called me to do. I say "no" a lot.

"Love Starts with Elle" how true. I enjoyed every minute of this book. The reason I liked it so much was how you wove the faith message into every day life. What made you do that this time in your writting? Will you be doing that in future books?

RH: My first goal is to always write an authentic story. I write true to the characters. I'm not an agenda-fiction author where an overt faith message or theme is required. I pray about all of my stories and characters throughout the writing process and I just try to "feel" my way through their spiritual journey.

With Elle, she was already a Christian when the book began and I wanted to take a character on a prayer journey. So that's how her message of faith was woven into the book.

The spiritual theme is hard to write. Make it authentic but not preachy. Present it clear, but don't beat the reader over the head with it.

The spirituality of the character depends on the story itself. For example, in Sweet Caroline, I had a protagonist who was sort of lost in life. Part of that was because she didn't know the Lord, she didn't know to seek Him for her destiny. Once she became saved, then she knew He had a plan for her.

That's another aspect that's difficult to write. Are true believers lost in life? Do they wander without direction. If so, why? Shouldn't they have a sense of purpose and destiny. Some believers will say yes, some no. It's a difficult portrayal at times.

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has been surprising to you?

RH: Being an author is deeply satisfying. It's everything I thought it would be only twice has hard. Surprising to me was how consuming it is. I remember trying to get authors to volunteer for things when I was President of ACFW and all of them would say, "I'm on deadline, I can't."

I'd think, "So, I'm working 50 hours a week, writing my first book and involved in ministry."

But now that I write trade and am constantly trying to up my writing level, I understand what they mean. Any distraction can knock an author off course for days. It's not like we have someone covering for us if we're behind or sick.

(Book Promation for "Lost in NashVegas") So, that part was surprising. Plus, the business side. How to sell and promote books, and all that's involved with getting your name out there.

Can you tell me of two "wow" moments you have had in your writing career? What made them a "wow" moment for you?

RH: Winning the Maggie Award for Diva NashVegas was a very "wow" moment. I was so excited I ran around the house yelling, "I won, I won, I won." I'd not finaled in any contest I'd entered, so the first one I do final, I won. I was very exciting.
My Second "Wow" Moment would be when Thomas Nelson approached me to write a fiction series with country artist Sara Evans. It was so exciting and rewarding, demonstrating their belief in me. It meant a great deal.

What was your favorite scene in Love Starts with Elle to write? What was your hardest to write? I noticed more humor in this book was that harder or easier to write?
RH: My favorite scene is either the opening one with Heath in New York, or the scene where Elle's sister Julianne reconciles her past with the Lord. That one made me eary-eyed. The hardest was the ending. I was so tired by then I had to dig deep to work emotion into the ending. As for the humor, I never really intend to write with humor, it just comes out. I see a lot of irony in life, so it shows up on my pages. Usually humor comes out of watching the scene in my head, then I see something fun and write to it. The little girls were easy tools for humor. I used my youngest nieces for inspiration.

I've heard authors say that the characters come alive and take them places they didn't expect to go. Did this happen to you in the many books that you have written? If this hasn't happened what happened in a story you wrote that you didn't expect?

RH: Characters do come alive. They have to or they'd be impossible to write. But I usually keep them "in bounds." I have a story plot and goal outlined and they must take the journey to each of those plot points. If the story is feeling flat, I'll go back to the drawing board and dig deeper into their lives, but it's rare that they surprise me with something, or take me in a new direction. What surprises me is how it all falls together in the end. I'll write a line of dialog that fits perfect with some scene later in the book, or the dialog is symbolic of something. I love when that happens.

How did you come up with the idea for "Love Starts with Elle"? Did you pick the cover out for that book? What was the working title for this book? I loved the cover for this book. I really was eye catching and it really worked with the feel of the book. Did you like it?

RH: Love Starts with Elle was title by my fabulous editor. The working title was Engaging Elle for about one day. I loved the title. While writing Sweet Caroline, I realized Elle, who was then called Edie, needed her own story. She was such a strong character. I changed her name to Elle because I didn't want to write a book with the protagonist named Edie. Praise God, it worked out perfectly for the title. Coming up with the story, I had to start with the premise set forth in Sweet Caroline that Elle wanted to get married. Then I came up with ways to mess with her life. For her, I knew she needed the deeper layer of spirituality and coming back to the knowledge of God. I'm amazed that a book about a women who's only thing in life is a morning prayer meeting worked out so well. Ha! I didn't have any input in the cover, but was thrilled when they sent it. Perfect, just perfect!

  Is your spouse a hands-on-or a hands-off partner? How much does he get involved in your fiction writing?

RH: Tony reads my manuscript before I turn it in. He looks for errors and points out characterization flaws. He's a great help. I brainstorm with him, ask about new ideas I have. He often tells me an idea is too over the top. He's usually right. I really appreciate him.  

  I have seen your book trailer on You Tube, it was really neat. How did you come up with the idea for that? How did you make it? Were you nervous about staring in that You Tube book trailer?  (Love Starts with Elle book trailer)   RH: Thanks, Nora, it was fun to do. Book trailers are all the same. Pictures fading in and out with a voice over. One day I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny to have a trailer talking with Elle like she's real?" So, I emailed a good friend of mine who used to work at Pixar and he agreed to do the video for a reasonable price. I wrote the script in an hour and we shot the video the next day. It was quick and simple. Other than having a bad hair day, I loved the video.

FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK  If you had $200.00 in your pocket and you had to pend it right away, what would you buy and why? Be specific.

RH: Wow. I'm not sure. I recently had $200 to spend and couldn't decide. I'd go for something long lasting like jewelry or a nice leather coat. Maybe something electronic that I could enjoy for awhile. I'd not buy a bunch of small things.  
  Where are your favorite 2 places to shop and why?

RH: Barnes and Noble. I love books, the smell and feel of them. Dillards. I love clothes and shoes, too.

  If you had a time machine and could visit any past event, where would you go and why? This can apply to a historic event or a time in your life.

RH: I'd go to the crucifixion of Christ. What an amazing time in world history. And I'd hang around until He rose from the grave. Actually, I'd go back to the days before the crucifixion and hang out with Him. I'd love to see Him, hear His voice.

  If you could have super powers for a while, what powers would you have and why?

RH: Flying. I'd love to fly. It'd be amazing to soar above the clouds.

If you found a magic lamp and a genie was going to grant you 3 wishes ñ what would those 3 wishes by?

RH: Hmm, that's a toughy. Health for all of my family. Prosperity. Just enough to grant them a sense of well-being, but not so much money overtakes them. And, a new car for my husband!

If you had to pick a "Reality TV" show to be on which one would it be and why?

RH: I'd be on Supernanny and teach parents how to "use the rod." If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money) what would you do and why? 

RH: Write books. 

They have just invented a machine that you could change one thing about yourself? If you could use that machine and change one thing about yourself - what would it be? What would that change look like in your life?   

RH: Weight. No weight struggles. I'm not sure how it'd look in my life. I'd just be 20 lbs lighter.

What TV show were you passionate about as a child? Why? (You know the shows the ones you couldn't miss each week)

RH: The Friday night line up in the '70s. Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, Room 222. And Ioved the Mary Tyler Moore show!

ARE THERE ANY FINAL COMMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE MY READERS WITH? RH: Thanks Nora! And to your readers, be blessed in Jesus and know He has a divine destiny for all you you!
 Thanks Rachel for stopping by and letting us get to know you a little better. We are looking forward to meeting you in January when you speak at our book clubs and we get to talk about "Love Starts with Elle". Blessings on you writing friend. See you at the Life Way Mall of GA store January 27th for your booksigning 3-5pm. Everyone is welcome to stop by. See you there!! 

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network


  1. What a wonderful interview...and how blessed we are to read about your love for Jesus, and your beginnings in writing the books we love so much. Thank you! I would love to read both of these books.
    Please add my name to your giveaway list.



  2. That was a fun interview that I enjoyed reading. Would love to win a copy of "Sweet Caroline". I have read some of Rachel's books and really enjoyed them.


  3. Great interview. The videos were fun. The animated Elle video was awesome! Good idea!

  4. I loved the interview, Nora. I would love to meet Rachel and read her books. Thanks! Lynn

  5. Nora, what an outstanding presentation. You are so generous and creative. Thank you so much for having me on your blog and the book club.

    I'm so looking forward to meeting every one.


  6. That was a very interesting interview! Loved the pics Nora added as always. The videos were cool too. Loved it! See you at book club!

  7. Nora
    I loved the interview with Rachel Hauck. I'm almost finished with Love Starts with Elle and I am loving the book! I'm excited to meet Rachel at book club this month at Lifeway. Now I've got to read Sweet Caroline.

    Thanks Rachel and Nora for spending the time to do the interview and let us see some of Rachel's life!

    Ann K.
    Lifeway Book Club

  8. Wow! I loved the animated video. It was great. Can't wait to read the Elle book. The video really pushed me to finish the book I'm reading now so I can start it! Nora, as always the interview was wonderful. Can't wait to meet Rachel.

    Put me down for the book drawing. I'd like either Sweet Caroline or Lost in Nash Vegas.

    See ya both soon,
    Gail Mundy

  9. That was quite a interview and these book sound interesting. Please put me in the drawing.


  10. I am so happy for Rachel that she won an award and then has been approached to write a series with Sara Evans.(She appears to be such a lovely person)

    Please enter me as sincerity of characters is a must in books I read.

    Gayla Collins

  11. Great interview ladies. Wow, I have learned so much about Rachel. Can't wait to meet her!!! I loved the Youtube trailer. Thanks Nora & Rachel for sharing with us.

    Sheryl Barnes

  12. Loved all the extras you added to the interview pictures and video.
    Enter me in the drawing I might use it for bookclub pick this summer.

  13. Great interview! I loved all those same shows (we must be about the same age!).

  14. Thanks Rachel for sharing a bit of yourself with all of us!

    I would love to be the "winner"!!

    Have a blessed day!

  15. Nora, as usual, great questions to give us some insight into Rachel's life!! I can't wait to meet her at the meeting...

    Rachel, I am thoroughly enjoying your book "...Elle". I watched the trailer and thought it was really cute - and I'm glad that it didn't divulge anything that I haven't read so far. I find myself reaching for the book at the red lights!

    Nora, I would really love to win one of Rachel's others books - how 'bout "Sweet Caroline"????

    Chris G.

  16. Loved Elle, but then I love all your books, Rachel. :) Can't wait to see you, and Shadrach is anxious too.

  17. Really enjoyed the interview with Rachel, Nora. Can't wait to read your book and meet you at book club this month, Rachel. Thank you for sharing with us. Tisha

  18. Lovely interview! I enjoyed Love Starts With Elle and would love a chance to win more of Rachel's books.


  19. Wonderful interview as usual Nora. I love Rachel's books, please enter me. Hope I am not too late....

  20. I wouldlove to win Sweet Caroline. I read Lost in Nash Vegas and loved it. Rachel, thanks for sharing about your first contest win. That's awesome!



  21. I loved reading this interview, very interesting! I would love read these boooks, especially, "Sweet Caroline."

    Please enter me in the contest.

    Thank you,

    Becky C.


  22. I would love to win Sweet Caroline. I have read Lost in Nash Vegas and really enjoyed it. Please enter me in the contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

  23. What a fun interview! :-) I would love to read "Lost in Nash Vegas" - Sweet Caroline was a good read, too. :-) Thanks for the giveaway!

    ladyufshalott at

  24. Thank you for this great interview!
    I would love to read both books!
    Love and prayers Melody
    msproule1225 at gmail dot com

  25. Loved the interview! I hope I'll see you at book group, Rachel. It sounds like a very good book and I'm looking forward to reading it.

  26. Great interview! So interesting to get to know about Rachel and her writing. Look forward to Book Club and learning more. I'm almost finished with Love Starts With Elle, and have truly enjoyed it!

    Marlene Rauch

  27. Thank you, Rachel & Nora. I enjoyed the interview and trailer. Great idea!

    I loved Sweet Caroline! Can't wait to read Love Starts with Elle.

    Please enter me in the drawing for Lost in NashVegas.


  28. Great interview, Nora and Rachel.

    I loved Love Starts With Elle! It was very Nicholas Sparks-esque, minus the uncontrollable tears. :) It had great character development. When I finished the story I genuinely missed Elle and Heath. I also wished that I lived in Beaufort. I can't wait to read the rest of your books!

    Rachel Walker
    Lawrenceville, GA

  29. Hi everyone,

    Thanks so much for the comments! It's so fun to write for you. Your comments really do encourage me and if I could see you all face to face, I'd give you a big hug.

    I enjoyed the book club. Nora, what a great group of women. You're doing an excellent job.

    Much love,

  30. Since I had read "Lost in NashVegas" I looked forward to "Love Starts With Elle". I was not disappointed. Great book! The characters are so real and easy to like or dislike.
    Thanks Rachel! Now I want to read "Sweet Caroline" and anything else you have written.

    Ginger Aster
    Suwanee, GA