Oh boy! This month crept up on
me; I’ve got to clean the house, get dressed, and run to the store.
“Bill, can you give Jake his bath? I have to make a list and find my
good jeans. Hum, hope they’re clean.”
Peeking over the newspaper, he
answers, “I could do that. Jake!”
“Did I mention to you that
Rachel Hauck is coming to our house?”
“Rachel Hauck?” Bill smirks and
acts as though he didn’t know. “Today?”
“Yes, today. Rachel Hauck. She lives in Florida. And I thought it would
be a great idea to have her come to our home.”
Bill unhooks Jake’s collar. “You
mean we’re not taking our usual virtual tour? I don’t have to pack the
“No, she’s coming to our
house. Why am I so nervous? Actually, I’m ecstatic. We can have lunch
on the back porch. She’s bringing her little dog, Lola. We’ll have time
to talk about books. This is going to be fun!”
“Sounds like fun. You’d better
“I think I’ll make sandwiches:
a variety of ham and cheese, egg salad, maybe some turkey. Do you think
she likes chips? I’ll get those good, crunchy ones, low fat. Soda? I’d
better get diet and regular. I wonder if she likes coffee. Cookies? Um,
how about pickles?”
“Sounds good, Val. C’mon, Jake.
Let’s get you all cleaned up. You know how ‘Mom’ gets when company’s
Hauck is a best-selling, award-winning author. She lives in
Florida with her husband, Tony, who is a pastor; a very cute little dog
named Lola; and in her own words, a cranky cat named Red 17.
A graduate of Ohio State University, she left the corporate software
marketplace in ’04 to write full time. She’s forty-something, quirky,
and quick-witted. Rachel has traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela,
Mexico, Australia, and Canada, and has traversed the U.S. from
California to Maine. Her latest book, Love Starts with Elle,
was published in ’08 and is a RITA finalist!
A fantastic must see: The book trailer “starring” Rachel and Elle is
one she scripted, animated, and directed (with some help from friends).
“Ah, Jake-y, you smell so good!
Thank you, Bill.”
“No problem. You’ve been busy,
too. You’ve got the porch all tidied up.”
“Well, I want Ms. Hauck to see
where I do most of my writing. We’ll have some food at the glass-top
table. I’m ready with our ‘shabby chic’ linens and tableware. Then
later, we’ll relax on the wicker settee and chairs. The pool looks so
inviting.” I wonder if she’ll want to take a swim.
With all the windows open it
wasn’t long before I heard a car pull in the driveway. A beautiful
young woman in jeans and flip flops got out of a little Cabrio
convertible, holding a pup on her hip. Jake’s excited to see Lola, yet
with Labrador manners, he lies down to meet this little friend.
“Welcome to our home, Rachel.
I’m so glad to meet you. My husband, Bill, built this house. I’ll show
you around later, but now you probably want to take a few minutes to
relax after your drive. C’mon and set yourself down. We’ll enjoy this
wonderful weather out on my infamous back porch.”
Is there an experience you’ve had being a minister’s wife that has been
particularly rewarding to you?
don’t think there is anything inherent in being a minister’s wife. I’m
not a big fan of titles.
If you’re saved by grace, then
you as much a minister of the gospel as a full-time minister. But being
married to a man in ministry does give opportunity to share and pray
Working with youth for twenty
years has impacted both of us. Being around teens, working with them,
seeing the light in their eyes when they finally grasp the reality of
Jesus’ love for them and that God has a destiny for them has been a
highlight of my life.
Have you assisted your husband in writing his sermons?
If you were advertising for Florida, what would you say is the best
part about living in the Sunshine State?
sun. Truly, you don’t know how addicting the sun is until you visit
another place long enough to notice the clouds.
I was in college at Ohio State
after living in Florida for many years, and gradually began to wonder,
“Where is the sun?” Columbus had a lot of rain and gray days that year,
and I craved the sunshine.
Also, the Florida air has a
lovely fragrance. I fell in love with the state when I traveled for my
job. I’d be in some cold, snowy or rainy cities, working long days,
then return home to breezy sunshine and a fragrant balm in the air. No
place like it.
And the worst?
humidity is suffocating in the middle part of the state. And the
no-see-ums. Little bugs you can’t see but bite like mosquitoes.
Living on the east coast of the state, have you ever been to or seen
the space shuttle launch?
times. When I worked in the corporate world, we’d go outside to watch a
day-time launch. I’ve also seen several night launches. One from my
front yard. I’m about forty miles from the cape, but the sky was
spectacular. The rocket lit up the night.
I remember growing up with my sisters; you have a sister . . . any
I have three brothers, and I appreciate them because they taught me to
get along with men.
How are you and your sister alike?
sister is ten years younger than I am, so while we grew up with the
same parents and siblings, in many ways we grew up in a different
household, certainly in a different era. I’m a ’70s girl, she’s an
’80s. Our personalities are almost opposite. So, we get along great. We
do have things in common. We’re both easygoing, so we have a good time
when we’re together.
In what ways are you different?
life journey is completely different. I got married at thirty-one,
after college and starting my career. She married at twenty-one and had
two boys within a few years. Yet we understand each other and love the
life the other lives. She shares in mine. I share in hers.
Do you live close to all your siblings? How do you keep in touch?
are spread out, so we keep in touch on Facebook and e-mail. Between my
grandma, mom, and siblings, there are seven families. So I set up a
daily e-mail to pray for one of us and our families each day of the
week. It keeps us connected. We are all fairly easygoing in one way or
another. We let each other live their lives and appreciate our
You said, ‘I love a really good prayer/worship meeting where the
Presence is there and no one can deny it.’ I understand exactly what
you mean. Would you describe the way you feel—physically and
emotionally—when you experience God’s spirit within?
Usually by a tangible peace. I’ve felt a love for others that was
beyond my human capacity. Occasionally, I will smell a fragrance that
is not cologne or perfume. I sensed I’ve engaged Him in some way. My
cold heart has warmed. There are no barriers between my spiritual eyes
Beautiful! You’ve won awards, have best-selling novels, and your Love
Starts with Elle was published in ’08. What’s your next title
about, and when can we expect to see it in bookstores?
I’ve won one award, but it was an honor. The Maggie Award for Diva
Nashvegas. Recently, Love Starts with Elle
finaled in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the RITA. I’m very
honored to be named among the finalists.
My next title is with country
artist Sara Evans. Last year, Thomas Nelson partnered us for a fiction
series and the first book releases soon.
I read something about that. Tell us more.
Here’s a blurb from the official press release:
Fans of Evans’s music will find
much to enjoy in the inspirational fiction series. She calls it an
“emotional, Southern-flavored, multi-generational tale, featuring a
compelling love story.” Evans drew inspiration for the characters from
her own family life and experiences growing up.
“I believe there is power in
great stories,” said Evans. “This is the kind of book I love to read
I’m thrilled and honored to work
with Sara on this project, to create stories reflecting her heart and
music. We hope they entertain as well as uplift and encourage readers
to find hope through the journey of our characters.
Look for more information this
I love her song “Suds in the Bucket.”
love that song too!
You’ve traveled, studied, worked, and been married for almost twenty
years. Have you ever considered a memoir?
Rachel: No. A
memoir has to have purpose and focus, and an audience. I’m just a good
ole American girl who loves Jesus and seeks His purposes. I’m not sure
I’ve done anything memoir worthy.
Yet, the older I get, the more
tenacious I am about people discovering their destiny and walking in
it. It discourages me to see people merely “living” and not
understanding God created them for a divine purpose.
You’re quick-witted and humorous. Would you ever have considered trying
stand-up comedy or acting?
I’m not quick enough to handle hecklers. And believe me, I’d have
What do you do to keep fit? Swim in the Atlantic Ocean, team sports, a
particular workout or exercise program? Maybe you’d like to elaborate
and help motivate the rest of us?
love spinning! My gym has several of these cycling classes, and I make
it a priority to go several times a week. It’s an amazing workout. I
also like to lift weights. Writing is a sedentary job, so exercise is
important. Plus, I get really great story ideas from the gym.
I know you have been asked many questions during your career, but is
there any one thing you would like to share with your fans? Something
you haven’t been asked but think they would enjoy hearing about?
have fans? Okay, seriously . . . I have fans? All right, no more
I can’t think of any question I
wish I’d been asked, but if I were to share anything with readers, it
would be to know God’s love and destiny for you. Get into the Word,
read it, believe it, pray it back to God. Use it for dialogue. It’s
amazing how God’s Word then becomes living and active (Hebrews 4:12) in
You’re a character and amazing. It’s been fun, Rachel. And I think Lola
and Jake are all tuckered out. Thank you for spending the day here. I
feel spoiled. Should we go for a swim? The water temp’s about 87
Anne Faulkner, a New
York native, moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida in 1973. Author of
I Must Be in Heaven, a promise kept… she spends her
days working side by side with her husband, Bill, as an electrician,
then evenings, as a writer. The CFOM interviews
have been a great way for her to meet other authors and hone her
writing craft. This back-porch writer’s family is very important to
her, and she cherishes time spent with her three grown children and six
grandchildren. A few hours with family or a day enjoying one of
Florida’s Gulf beaches are her favorite ways to relieve stress and
refresh from her busy lifestyle. Valerie’s motto is “A day with prayer
. . . seldom unravels.”
her story was honored
with First Place-Royal Palm Literary Award in the published/memoir
category at the Florida Writer’s Conference held in Lake
Visit her at www.imustbeinheaven.com