Romantic Times Book Reviews is always giving Rachel Hauck a Top Pick, and with contemporary fiction that holds to biblical truths but spices things up with humor and romance, no wonder. From country music to the buttery biscuits of the Frogmore Café, which hero on the menu is her favorite?
Who is your favorite hero &/or heroine from any book you’ve written (They don’t have to be from the same novel) and why are they your favorites?
Wow, that’s a tough question. I love them all for some reason or another, otherwise it would’ve been hard to write the stories. I first fell in love, though, with Aubrey and Scott from Diva Nashvegas. It was in that book I realized the power of romance. I loved both of those characters and was actually sad to say goodbye to them. That book also came at a turning point in my writing, so that plays a factor.
To read a review of Lost in NashVegas, read: http://christianreviewofbooks.com/lost_in_nash_vegas_by_rachel_hauck.htm
What is the behind-the-scenes story behind these two characters? Where did you get your ideas for them?
Aurbrey James, from Diva Nashvegas, came as a result of wanting to do another Nashville story from a superstar point of view. But I wanted her to be real, empathetic, flawed but all the while beautiful, charming and larger than life. It was a challenge to create a superstar’s world without overwhelming the reader with characters. Plus, hard to believe, but I’ve never been a country superstar.
I did a lot of research on that story: reading biographies, researching on line, trying to get inside the mind of a superstar. I met with Christian artist Kim Hill for lunch and talked for over an hour. She was a great help. But I was really struggling with a few things, doing a lot of praying, asking the Lord for help. He gave me Isaiah 41:13 and I really leaned into His promise to help me. Then I came across a book on Tom Petty done interview style which was the format for some of Diva Nashvegas. The information answered some of my music business questions as well as helping me decide how to format the interview portion. Never know how the Lord will answer.
Heath McCord was a character I instinctively liked from the moment he became a widowed father of a four-year-old girl. I wanted him to be a man in charge of his life, driven, focused, but so lost when it came to his girl. He loved her like crazy, but had no idea who she really was because he’d been so busy being a lawyer. I loved making him struggle to be a father as well as a wannabe novelist. I loved that he was able to meet Elle and realize his heart could love again. He really was a foil for her so we could see her journey and fall in love with her along with Heath. But the setting also gave Heath a chance to work through the last stages of his grief and discover who he wanted to be. He was always a confident man though and I think that’s the ultimate hero. A bit wounded and real but confident.
A lot of times I start with a hero and heroine that are kind of standard. She’s a career girl with parents and siblings. He’s a career man with family and a brother. Then I start building up or tearing down their world. Adding friends, taking away family, finding a setting.
I consider past characters to make sure I’m not duplicating something I’ve already done. I ask what the characters wants in the story. What is his/her greatest fear, secret desire. What’s the lie they believe that plays in to the story. I ask what the story is about and mold the characters to fit. I may have an idea of a kind of character I want to write, but I hold it loosely as it may not fit the story journey. I work at making the story and characters dovetail.
To read a review of Love Starts with Elle check this site out: http://greatchristianfiction.blogspot.com/2008/07/love-starts-with-elle.html
Thanks, Rachel for being here.
Character Creation Tip of the Day:
Oh boy, oh boy, Rachel gave me a bunch to work with today. Tips galore, but let me just pick a few.
- Build on the basics – boy meets girl, then expand and give them their own stories. It HAS to be more than boy meets girl. Both characters must have their own stories, own passions, and struggles.
- Attraction – this boy & girl have basic elements about them that causes their unique story and sizzle on the page. Find out what those elements are, by getting to know them, and igniting your story with…well…their story.
Get ready for a whole new lineup for next week, starting the week off with western romance adventure writer-extraordinaire, Mary Connealy.