This was such a fun story! And I will admit that even now, I am humming the tune of Sweet Caroline (which happened several times as I was reading the book!). One of my favorite aspects of the book was the menu at the top of each chapter. But my very favorite element of the book is the ending. I love it when things turn out differently than I had assumed–especially when they turn out even better. So many times with romance novels, the stories are rather predictable. I thought Rachel did a great job of mixing things up and giving us an ending we weren’t expecting. And she was sweet enough to give me a quick interview! See below.
What inspired this story?
Rh: This story is a morphed story. I started out with the idea of a girl hosting a cooking show but she wasn’t a cook. You see very small remnants of that in Caroline’s character. But, I wanted to set the story in the lowcountry and felt if she was doing a cooking show, it didn’t match the setting. So, I focused on her owning a cafe and went from there.
Do you have a specific writing style? (Such as beginning with an outline,
starting by writing the ending, just writing as it comes to you, etc.)
RH: I am part plotter, part seat of the pants. I know the beginning, middle and end of the story, if not specifics, high details. I may know a few specific scenes I want to include, but I really work on knowing my characters and their goals and history. The story usually flows out of them.
Can you give me a glimpse into your publishing history? (Did you go through
an agent? Start out at writers conferences? Suffer rejections before the
blessed arrival of a contract? 🙂
RH: I started writing in the ’90s before the Christian market used agents. I wrote an involved WW 2 historical that was rejected several times, but became my learning book. I met a lovely woman named Lynn Coleman at a writers conference. She suggested writing a category romance together for Heartsong Presents and within a year, we’d sold a series. She ultimately turned it over to me to complete. So, I’m a big fan of networking and attending writer’s conferences. I met Colleen Coble in the same way and she was very instrumental in my career. Not only did she encourage me, but introduced me to her agent, and her editor at Thomas Nelson.
I’ve been very blessed. I only suffered about five or six rejections on the publishing journey. I really asked the Lord to show me His will, unwilling to waste time writing if He had other things for me to do. Time is an eternal commodity. Soon after, doors began to open.
What are you currently reading?
Rh: I am reading an interesting debut novel called Standing Still. I saw it in the library, and the premise intrigued me. It’s about a woman who suffers from panic attacks and is kidnapped in place of her daughter.
Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
RH: Wow, now that’s hard, Brandy. I guess I’d have to say Australia because I’d always wanted to visit Down Under and through my corporate job, I went twice in a year. But, shew, what a long flight.I loved the people, the scenery, even driving on the “wrong” side of the road.
What would you choose to order at the Frogmore Café?
Rh: Bubba’s buttery biscuits! My mouth waters every time I think about it. And, the pot roast casserole. Sounds yummy. I’m not a cook, but it’s fun to write about food.