Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Welcome to the Diva NashVegas Blog Tour

Once again I'm privileged to welcome my good friend Rachel Hauck to the blog. I hope you've already read Lost in NashVegas. You'll want to get right into Diva NashVegas.

Rachel Hauck lives in sunny central Florida with her husband, Tony, a pastor. They have two ornery pets. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeyes football fan. Rachel serves the writing community as Past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the Advisory Board.

Visit her blog and web site at Leave a comment on her blog at her web site and be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate to Starbucks or Barns & Noble. Two names will be drawn.

Remember that if you leave a comment on this blog, your name will be in a drawing for a copy of Diva NashVegas.

Rachel, why do you write the kind of books you do?

I like to write fun, feel good books that have a subtle deeper message. Chick Lit/Romance is a good way to accomplish both. Also, chick style is my best writing voice.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

Well, I’ve had many happy days. Graduating from Ohio State, marrying my husband Tony, family weddings and births. But, there is a day that stands out in my mind. I was in the right place at the right time to lead my hairdresser to the Lord. It’s a long story, but after she prayed, giving her life to Jesus, I drove home literally feeling like, “My earthly job is done. I can go home now.” It was a great day.

I can see why. How has being published changed your life?

Mostly, I work at home now instead of an office. (snicker) Writing and being published really satisfy a deep part of me I didn’t know existed. There are hard days. Writing is solitary. Writing is competitive. Writing is fun. Writing is hard. Yet, I know it’s what I’m called to do. So, in that sense, it changed my life because I really believe it’s what God gave me to do in this life.

What are you reading right now?

I am reading Tracey Bateman’s Claire Knows Best.

What is your current work in progress?

My current book which comes out in March 2008 is Sweet Caroline, a chick lit set in the South Carolina lowcountry. Caroline is a little lost in life, not sure what to do with herself. And then one day a man dies and causes her to take a long hard look at her life.

What would be your dream vacation?

South Pacific beach with my hubby, a pile of good books, my iPod and a bottle of Copper Tone.

Sounds good to me, too. How do you choose your settings for each book?

I started out choosing familiar settings. But when I started writing for Thomas Nelson, I wanted to keep with a southern flavor, and my editor agreed. So, I pick southern settings. I look for popular locales, places in the news, interesting areas.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

I know this is nuts, but I’d really love to spend an evening with country artist, Keith Urban. I’d like to talk to him about his life, music, and Jesus.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I love sports. I go to the gym for Spinning classes and to lift weights. I also love a good prayer and worship meeting.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Getting started. I can think of a good idea, work out some plot points, but getting to know the character and setting is very hard for me. I write and rewrite. One thing I like to do is weave the setting into the plot with the character. All of us are effected by our environment. How can I make my protags environment be it a job, a city, a family dynamic, motivate or cause conflict for my character? So, it’s more than just knowing the character or researching the setting. They have to work together.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Know this is something you really want to do. Being published is a difficult first hurdle. But there are many to follow. Marketing and promotions. Writing on a tighter deadline. Rewrites and edits. Competition with other writers. Heed the Bible’s words to not compare ourselves to others. It can be devastating. Keep your eyes on Jesus and His destiny for you, not on what other writers are doing.

After that, the best advice I can give is “backside in the chair.” (grin)

What inspired Diva NashVegas?

The idea to write about a singer came from a conversation with my editor, Ami McConnell. At first, I created the Diva to be a wanna-be star, but after thinking the story through, I decided she had to be an established artist, a superstar.

How do you research a diva?

Not easy. I read a lot of bios, and spent time with Christian artist, Kim Hill. She was a blast and a great help. I loved hanging out with her. I also got some inside scoop from record producer and fellow Thomas Nelson author, Matt Bronleewe.

I talked to an entertainment lawyer and searched music business forums for answer to some of my questions. The hardest detail to find was about artist and record label disputes. We all know it happens, but why? The only reason I could find was “creative differences.” This answer did not cover enough detail for me. I couldn’t create a legitimate scene with Aubrey and her record label President arguing over “creative differences.”

Thankfully, I found a forum on the internet and a kind gentleman gave me eight detailed reason why an artist would enter into a dispute with her label. Saved the day!

I also researched foster care and television production for elements of the story. Kelly Sutton and Molly Day, a TV personality and producer respectively in Nashville were enthusiastic resources.

After that, I only had my imagination.

Tell us about the book.

Diva NashVegas is a wonderful story about a country superstar who must realize her future by dealing with her past. Aubrey James is the daughter of Gospel music icons who are killed when she is young. The story drops in on Aubrey as she turns thirty and realizes the life she’s living isn’t really the life she loves.

While Aubrey tells her story to Inside NashVegas reporter, Scott Vaughn, we also see Aubrey through Scott’s eyes. And he’s falling fast.

I really think Aubrey is a character who will stick with readers long after the last page is read.

What do you want readers to take away from the book?

First, a great read. I hope they can be transported into Aubrey James’s world. Next, a message that life isn’t always fair, but we have the power of choice in our response. God is always there for us, even when we don’t feel He is.

Rachel, thank you for spending this time with us. The book sounds awesome, and it's on the top of my to-be-read pile. I can hardly wait to get to it.

Wow, readers, I know you'll want a chance to win this book, but if you don't, you'll want to get a copy.


Tracy Ruckman said...

Great interview! Thanks for all the advice Rachel, and congratulations on the new book - I hear it's doing SUPER!

Kathleen Morphy said...

And people tell me writing historicals is hard because of all the research! At least mine isn't so difficult to find. Rachel, you really had to work to get the info you needed. Thanks for the great example and advice!

Trish Perry said...

For anyone who doesn't know it, Rachel's a wonderful musician in her own right.

Congrats, Rachel, on your new release. I look forward to reading it. You made Nashville so real in Lost in NashVegas, so it will be fun to explore it again through another heroine's eyes.

And your point about avoiding comparison? Excellent. SO hard to do, even for us Christians.

Anonymous said...

What a fun interview! I love Rachel's work and hope I win the book. Bonnie Engstrom

Georgiana D said...

It's on the top of my TBR pile too (so I don't need to enter the drawing.) Great interview!

eileen said...

I LOVE Aubrey James, the character in Rachel's book. Super story! Thanks Rachel for a good look at a writer's REAL life.

Dawn said...

I can't wait to read these!

lollipops said...

Great interview- thanks for the advice!

I'm looking forward to reading it!


Rachel Hauck said...

Hi all,

Thanks for the comments, and for visiting Lena's site.

Don't forget to enter and win... oh geez, I'm a commerical.

Kathleen, I'm not a big research lover, but I do it, even for contemporary pieces because it makes the story real. At least to me.

Trish, thanks for the worship plug. Ha! I promised to sing the lyrics from the song in Diva NashVegas if anyone catches me at conference. :) wink, wink, I run fast. LOL

E, thanks for the plug.

Love to all,

tetewa said...

Congrats on the release, as an avid reader I'm always looking for new authors to read. The book sounds great! Would love a copy.

Caren Fullerton said...

WOW! Lena and Rachel, have you been sitting on my shoulder lately watching my crit group and I wonder how we will ever break in? Thank you so much for your advice. I really needed to hear it. Now, to keep myself in my chair...

Can't wait to read it Rachel. It sounds like a fun book.

Caren Fullerton

Richard Mabry said...

Great interview. The book sounds interesting.
Lena, thanks for bringing it to us.

Angie said...

Thanks for the great interview and the opportunity to win the book I keep hearing so many great things about!

The Write Life said...

Great interview! Sounds like a fun story.


Cherie J said...

Great interview! Sounds like a wonderful book!

Emma said...

Great interview.Would love to win a copy of this book.The book sounds like one you can't put down to you read all of it.