AUTHOR INTERVIEW – Rachel Van Dyken

I did this INTERVIEW back in October of 2018. Thank you to Rachel Van Dyken!

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. Her series include Renwick House, Seaside and London Fairy Tales. Her fiction book, Toxic, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2014. Her title’s Keep and Darkest made the New York Times Bestseller list.
 
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Recent New Releases:
– Summer Nights
Release Date: S E P T E M B E R 2 7, 2018
The final installment in Marlo and Ray’s story of revenge, love and the thin line between hate and passion. They’ll fight to the bitter end.
And now that everyone’s counting on them.
They’re ready for the final curtain call.
Break a leg… right?
 
-Dangerous Exes
Release Date: O C T O B E R 30, 2018
Isla made one teeny little mistake. Now she and her PI company, Dirty Exes, are being targeted by one seriously angry and furiously sexy ex-quarterback. Jessie freakin’ Beckett. But there’s no way some NFL superhunk is going to take her business away. If only he didn’t make her so hot—and bothered.
Jessie wants payback for a ruined reputation. His plan? Top secret. His hard-to-hide arousal for Isla? Not so much. Especially when they let down their guards and sneak a kiss. Like any juicy scandal, it goes so viral, so fast, that only a good lie can combat the bad press. Mortal enemies in a fling? No way. Um…this is love!
Actually…could it be?
Isla’s not faking it. Jessie can’t. As the game of let’s pretend gets real, Jessie forgets all about revenge. That’s the problem. His plan is already out of his control. Now it could undo everything they’ve been trying to build. Coming clean may be the only thing that can save it.n two men—one totally right and the other totally wrong—Blaire will need to decide just how much she’s willing to risk…and whom she’s willing to risk it for.
 

Interview Q&A
 
1. What inspired you to start writing?
– I was actually a school counselor at the time and would write books in between sessions, I also worked for the state as a PSR worker and would often take my clients to the library, I truly felt like the only escape I could give them was the escape a book could offer, its when I fell in love with reading again and on a whim decided to start writing.
 
2. Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
– Im not sure, one thing I do know is I’m super dialogue heavy and I tend to write how people talk, I hate it when books are too proper so I also write in a lot of run on sentences, writing is messy just like life so it should reflect it in my opinion.
 
3. How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?
– It’s 100% a passion. I love writing so much that I get anxiety when I don’t have time during the day or when Im traveling and cant get to my manuscripts.
 
4. What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about your specific genre?
– Hmm since I write in almost every romance genre haha, I would say that most readers don’t’ realize that a lot of times as an author we like to write what we like to read. I truly write in different genres because I get bored just writing the same thing the same way I get bored only reading one genre.
 
5. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts? 😉
HAHA this is funny, you’re being sarcastic right? My first drafts are horrible. I write straight through and then go back and edit, I don’t edit as I go, I think it kills the creative process and in my head my story is like a movie its okay to press pause but why would you ever rewind?
 
6. Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
– I think our muse is life in general. A conversation heard at Starbucks, a TV show that’s sparks an idea, that sort of thing.
 
7. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
– My husband is 100% supportive and so amazing, this last week I’ve had to hit it really hard b/c of a looming deadline and he gets the toddler, plays with him, keeps him away from my office and does it without asking b/c he knows I’m stressed, he’s amazing. Honestly though my whole family is supportive.
 
8. Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?
– Not the first novel (maybe a Wrinkle in Time?) but the first real romance novel I read was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
 
9. Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
– Hopefully the strength of my voice and my ability to use dialogue tags efficiently haha, but Im still hopeless when it comes to commas.
 
10. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
– Computer
 
11. If you could have been the original author or any book, what would it have been and why?
– Pride and Prejudice or A Wrinkle in Time.
 
12. How long on average does it take you to write a novel?
– It depends on my deadline, I’ve written as fast as two weeks, but typically I like to give myself at least 6 weeks.
 
13. What is your hardest scene to write?
– Sex scenes. Because I always want them to be romantic and tense not mechanical so its hard to keep things different with each book and there’s a lot of pressure to make them perfect.
 
14. What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
– I actually enjoy writing the male POV more than the female, maybe because I think its too easy to make your female heroines either too strong and unlikable or too weak, you have to find that perfect balance between vulnerability and strength and that’s always difficult to translate onto the page for me.
 
15. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
– I don’t. Haha I’d like to think I have it perfected, but I don’t. I do still answer everything myself when it comes to feedback from books, reviews emails, etc, so it’s hard to have that balance when you’re a full time mom, wife, author, and everything in between.
 
16. Do you try to be more original or to deliver to readers what they want?
– I want to be original I want them to pick up my books and go WHOA!
 
17. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
– Well right now I’m texting Lauren Layne haha we are both on deadline for a book this week so we’re inspiring each other. I adore everyone in this community, it would literally take me pages and pages to list everyone. Audrey Carlan has always been so supportive, Tijan, Corinne Michels, Jessica Prince, Meghan March, Lauren Hawkeye Murray, I mean seriously the list goes on mainly because most of us are friends in real life.
 
18. In your opinion what is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
– Hmm probably page stuffing or abusing the rules of KU in order to make money. It makes me feel dirty that authors would try to rig the system like that, it should be about the quality of the book, the reading experience for the reader, I think the minute you bring money into it you’ve lost your passion and reason for doing it in the first place.
 
19. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
– That they have to do everything perfect, that there are rules you have to follow. Write the story. Forget the rules.
 
20. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
– When I hit 30K for some reason whenever I hit that word count in my book Im like well crap lol
 
21. They say books die every time they are turned into a movie; what do you think?
– Not true. I think that there are some movies that are actually better than the book and I’ll be the first to admit that when Matchmakers Playbook was adapted for screen I truly felt the movie was stronger than the words. They did an amazing job.
 
22. What do you do in your free time?
– I read. I drink wine. I love binge watching shows on TV, but mainly I love being a wife and mom. <- (I love the last part, so sweet!)
 
23.What is your writing process like?
– I write whenever I can typically a lot during nap time. I take notes when I travel, drive my team crazy with the notes I can’t decipher and try to at least get 3K a day in, I used to do 12K days but now that Im a full time mom its harder and I want to be with little guy.
 
24. How do you feel when people recognize you in public and appreciate your work?
– I love it. Its always good to be appreciated for hard work done.
 
25. Who are some of your favorite authors?
– Oh I love Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Meghan Quinn, Lauren Layne, Corinne Michels, Kay Springsteen, Kristin Vayden, JR Ward—I seriously cant list them all.
 
26. Will you be holding any (local; Idaho) book signings?
– I will be at the next Boise Bookfeset 😉
 
27. I have read numerous of your contemporary romance series (The Eagle Elite, The Seaside Pictures, The Bachelors of Arizona) do you have a favorite if you had to choose? And, why?
– Stopppppp its like picking a favorite kid. I always say Eagle Elite because the mafia is in my blood.
 
28. Can you tell us a little about the Matchmakers Playbook Movie? (Which btw great job on using Nick Bateman)
– We don’t have any dates yet for filming but I’m really excited for what Nick and Tyler are going to bring to the set along with Justene and Caitlin, they all had such great chemistry!
 
29. Have you ever designed your own book covers? If so, which ones?
– No. You would not want that haha. NOT my gift in life.
 
30. What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels? (Like Myself)
– I would say get the words down. Write something every day even if its one sentence and DON’T go back and fix what you already wrote, let it sit there for a few weeks and build on it, if after you’re finished you hate it, then you can edit it, otherwise you’ll never get anything done. Second guessing yourself = taking ten years to write one novel.
 
31. Big questions 😉 What is the SECRET to becoming a bestselling author like yourself?
– Haha I wish there was a secret then I would do it every time. Honestly the secret is this, you can’t just put one book out there and hope it does well, it’s a marathon not a sprint, you write and you write and you write and you keep your head down and you keep writing. You do it because you love it, because if you stop it will kill you inside. You write the story that needs to be told unapologetically and then you wake up and do it again.
 
32. Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
– Right now Im working on a super secret project we will be announcing soon that is going to be…HUGE!
 
33. Last but not least, if you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
– Wow, probably to just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t give up. And don’t take no for an answer.


That concludes the first and hopefully not last Author interview i have ever conducted. I have to say that I had a blast thinking of the questions and trying not to send out a 100 questions essay like attachment. A huge very HUGE thank you goes out to author Rachel Van Dyken. When i found out RVD lived local (IDAHO) i also had a mini heart attack, i was so excited. The fact that not only did RVD respond to my rather long DM (yes, i slid into her DM’s!) but she also answered all my questions and MADE MY MONTH. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as i enjoyed it.
 

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