Thursday, November 11, 2010
RH: I was six. My father was attending Oral Robert’s University in Tulsa and pastoring the youth at a Methodist Church. One Sunday school morning, the teacher was sharing the lesson with us, a lesson I do not remember, and I left class aware of needing Jesus in my heart. At six, I needed a Savior. It makes me tear up even now to realize His mercy and love toward me that day. He opened my eyes and my heart.
In the afternoon I asked my mother how to get Jesus into my heart. She told me and we waited to pray until that night at church. It was 1967 and Methodist pastors made altar calls. (smile) When he did, I looked up at my mother and she went down front with me. No hesitation or doubt on my part. I wanted Jesus. I prayed, eyes squeezed shut tight, hands clasped, begging Jesus to be in my heart, to forgive my sins. I knew He died on the Cross for me.
The pastor came and laid his hands on my head, and prayed for me. Oh, the sweetness of Jesus.
I'm so glad that's how it happened for you. My mother died when I was seven. Later that summer at a revival at a country church, I wanted to receive Jesus into my heart. The adults in my life told me I was too young to understand, but I wasn't. As an adult, I've always been careful not to quench the desire in a child's heart for the Lord. Now, you’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
RH: Dickens, Austin, Shakespeare and Plato. Each had an impact on their society and literature, writing stories and ideals that remain to this day. It’d be fascinating to hear their thought processes and what the world was like in their day.
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
RH: I love to speak. But it’s not a big part of my life right now. I’m open, but I let the Lord lead me to the right places at the right time. I go every time I’m invited. I’ve thought of sending out pamphlets or brochures, but I don’t want to knock on doors for the sake of knocking on doors. There are so many gifted speakers. Why run with the crowd when I can wait to be sent where the Lord wants me. Less stress that way.
I agree with you on that, too. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
RH: Well, if I told you then the whole world would know! I’ve only had a few, but one recently really bothered me. The other party involved handled a situation in an insensitive manner. I remained calm, thanked her for her input, and tried to go on with the meeting at hand, but no, she had to keep rehashing the story, laughing, telling me how the others in her family laughed. I thought she was just being socially awkward, then later felt like she was making fun of me on purpose. Either way, I just moved on. Put it out of my mind. What can you do?
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
RH: Yeah, I hear that a good bit, Lena. When people say that to me, I tell them to get a plan, schedule time, join a writers group, learn the craft. The truth is, most people won’t do it. Writing is hard work. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s boring, and uninspired. The flame of a good idea burns down fast. Then it’s the labor of finding and maintaining the flame. I say, “Good luck, and butt in chair.” If they start giving me excuses about how busy they are or don’t have time, which I completely understand, then I know they aren’t going to get it done. Excuses are the enemy of the writer.
RH: Dining with Joy is about a cooking show host who can’t cook. I had this idea about five years ago and tried to weave it into Sweet Caroline, but it was just too much story. When my editor and I were discussing my next book, she remembered the angle dropped from Carline’s story and suggested I write it for this book. It’s a great concept, but super hard to execute.
But, I plowed my way through and found the story of Joy Ballard, a cooking show host who cannot cook.
I've loved your lowcountry books. Please give us the first page of the book.
Driving the Sea Island Parkway with her windows down, the nose of her Dodge Ram cutting through the swaths of shadow and light cast through the limbs of shading live oaks, Joy surfed her hand through the textured, saline lowcountry breeze.
Yesterday, she’d been at peace, finally home from three months on the road, guesting on radio and morning talk shows, hosting food fairs, judging cooking competitions, riding in convertibles as a parade marshal, waving at the crowds standing on the curb, play a part. Always playing a part.
Joy Ballard, host of Dining with Joy.
But when she returned home to Beaufort from the spring promotional tour, she ached to sink back into being plain ole Joy Ballard, lowcountry girl, softball player, aunt, daughter, friend.
This morning she’d planned to sleep until the noon sun spilled through her window with a golden heat. Then she’d tug on a pair of baggy shorts, a tank top and wrap her hair in a ponytail, mosey outside with a lawn chair and sit under the ancient live oak with her feet pressed into thick blades of green grass, wiggling her toes down to the red South Carolina dirt.
After a few hours in the shade, Joy would move to the backyard dock, catch rays from the afternoon sun while dangling her legs over the side, breaking Factory Creek’s velvet surface with her red-stained toes.
Sounds like I'll love this one, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?
RH: I’m on Facebook and Twitter. You can check out my books and blog at http://www.rachelhauck.com/.
And thank you, Rachel, for spending this time with us.
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