1. Tricia: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done to research of your novels.
Rachel: I’m not very wild and crazy, but I did drive to Nashville twice to do research for both of my NashVegas books (Lost In NashVegas, Nov ’06 and Diva NashVegas, Spring ’07.) I went out on a limb and emailed some songwriters asking for advise and opinions. One was hit songwriter James Dean Hicks. I also emailed artist Kim Hill and asked for an interview. She agreed! We met for lunch at a Nashville restaurant. It was fun.
2. Tricia: In your previous career (life?) you traveled the world. If I were to offer you a free vacation anywhere you’ve visited before (if you took me along, of course), where would we go?
Rachel: Good question. I think I’d have to go back to Ireland. I really loved the country side and the people. When I was there, I worked so much I didn’t get to see much of the country side or Dublin, so I’d like to return to Ireland.
3. Tricia: And then, what would we eat while we were there? (Priorities, ya know!)
Rachel: Fish and chips, of course! I have to add that I loved the food in Spain and Australia. Especially Australia because they put beets on sandwiches like we use tomatoes. It was interesting. I always ordered mine without, but still, a unique tradition to me.
4. Tricia: One of the titles you currently can claim is “Prez.” Tell me about this amazing organization . . .
Rachel: Yes, please call me Madam Prez. LOL. Seriously, I’m very honored to be President of American Christian Fiction Writers, a organization created six years ago with a heart to train writers in the craft of writing, and and to inspire excellence. We are almost 1200 members strong and many wonderful, helpful, knowledgeable writers are available to assist and encourage
beginners. I encourage anyone interested in publishing to investigate
We hold an annual conference where writers can attend craft workshops as
well as meet with editors and agents and network with other writers. This
year we are meeting in Dallas September 21 – 24. For more information about
ACFW, go to www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com
5. Tricia: In addition to writing, I also know you work with your husband ministering to teens and adults. What do you love most about “hands on” ministry?
Rachel: As you know, ministry is about people. I love getting to know the teens we’ve worked with over the past 20 years and see their hearts ignite when they finally grasp how much Jesus loves them. It’s amazing.
I guess now is a good time to announce that after 20 years, Tony is turning
over the youth ministry to a new young man named Matt Girden, and his wife
Jodi. We still have a heart for teens and young adults, but when the Lord says,
“Give the ministry away,” we were honored to turn it over to Matt and Jodi.
I have to brag on my husband. There aren’t many men who would spend 20 years building a ministry then turn it over to a younger man – half his age –
without being a hundred percent where he is going next.
But God is faithful and we know He is leading us. My husband is still an
associate pastor at our church and will take over some of the teaching and
administration jobs our senior pastor is currently doing.
6. Tricia: How does your ministry experience affect your writing?
Rachel: Each time I leave a ministry experience, say youth meeting or our Friday night Fire Dweller prayer/worship meeting, my heart and mind are encouraged and inspired. Perhaps I had a special encounter with the Lord on a particular night, and it drives me to partner with the Lord in
communicating His heart and love for us through my writing.
7. Tricia: Tell me about your book that just came out this month, Georgia on Her
Mind. (Love that title!)
Rachel: H – Georgia On Her Mind is a fun book about Macy Moore who goes to work one happy morning to find she’s all but fired. Then she discovers her boyfriend with another woman and life seems pretty grim. Macy learns that God is for her, and He’ll give her Beauty for the ashes of her life. She rediscovers His destiny for her life. Will she moves back to her hometown of Beauty, Georgia? Will she get the home town boy she’s had a crush on since high school? Or will she take a corporate job and head to Chicago? Dunno? Buy the book!
8. Tricia: How do you blend chick-lit fun with deep spiritual truth?
Rachel: You know, deep spiritual truths are fun. Why? Because they are freeing and liberating. It’s lies, sin and deception that are depressing and bondage. So, once Macy realized she needed to give control of her life back to God, because He loves her and wants good for her, she began to have fun
with life. In her wry, funny way, she walks out her disaster by discovering
9. Tricia: Dogs or cats? (Hamsters?)
Rachel: Ooooo dogs, but cats are a very close second. We have both in my house.
10. Tricia: Finally, what is one Scripture you turn to when you’re overwhelmed?
Rachel: Phillipian 4: 6 – 8. Be anxious for nothing…