RH: Sweet Caroline is about Caroline Sweeney, a girl who’s lived her life for everyone else until she learns she’s inherited a run down café from her old boss. At the same time, her high school girlfriend invites her to a unique job opportunity in Barcelona.
LE: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
RH: Oh boy, this was a convoluted idea. LOL. It started out to be about a women who hosts a cooking show but she can’t cook. But when I set the story in Beaufort, South Carolina, it was hard to maintain my setting and the concept of a cooking show. So, I changed it to a café and cooking show, the finally dropped the cooking show plot line.
But, I had to rework how Caroline inherits the café and the entry point to the story. I tell you, it was hard and frustrating. I actually asked God for a dream to help me fix the book and He gave me one. I had to start over from a different angle but in the end it worked.
I had a very nice 4.5 star review from Romantic Times Book Club.
LE: Congrats on that review! So tell us about your writing career. How long have you been writing and how did you get published?
RH: I started an epic WW2 novel in ’94, but put it down after a few years when I went back to work. I started writing again in ’99 and signed my first contract in ’02.
LE: It always seems to take perseverence. If you had a whole Saturday to do nothing or anything you want, what would you do?
RH: Hnnn, good question. Nap and read. Watch old movies. Write a wild story that didn’t have a deadline. Drive up U.S. 1 in my convertible on a sunny spring day.
LE: What’s your favorite color?
RH: Blue. I’m always drawn to blues.
LE: What’s your favorite animal?
RH: Dogs. Horses maybe if I could own one, but I love dogs.
LE: What’s your favorite food?
RH: French fries and cake. Weird, I know. But I do love fruit and brownies too.
LE: What’s your favorite beverage?
RH: Diet Coke.
LE: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
RH: Tony and I went to St. John in the Caribbean once and loved it. I also love the mountains.
LE: What’s your favorite book?
RH: I love the Little House books. I’ve read them all so many times. I also love Belva Plain, and Jan Karon.
LE: If you’re going to Minneapolis in September for ACFW conference, then you might think about taking a short drive to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. Wouldn’t that be fun? What’s your favorite movie?
RH: Remember the Titans.
LE: We enjoyed that movie too. What’s your favorite tv show?
RH: Hmm, I don’t really have one. They all went off the air last year.
LE: Most of mine went off the air in 1956, I think. LOL! Now, I know you play and sing worship at church and at the ACFW conference every year. So, what’s your favorite music?
RH: Not to sound all spiritual, but I do love deep rooted worship music. Music that challenges my spirit to go deeper.
LE: Let’s keep to the superficial please. (just kidding) Who’s your favorite actor and actress?
RH: I don’t really have one, but I think Matt Damon is a great actor.
LE: Besides this interview, what’s the strangest thing you’ve done for publicity for a book?
RH: Nothing too strange. I tried to get people to buy the book off of Amazon on the release date, It work fairly well. LOL
LE: What is your next project?
RH: My second South Carolina lowcountry book, Love Starts With Elle.
LE: I love that title. Love the title of Sweet Caroline too. Thanks for being with us today, Rachel, and I hope this book sells as quickly as Godiva on Valentine’s Day.