Royal Love -- Rachel Hauck on Romance, Writing, & Her New Novel
When Rachel witnessed Kate Middleton’s journey to royalty, she knew there was a story there—perhaps even a series—when commoner and royalty fall in love. Thus, her Royal Weddings series was born and has recently grown with the addition of Princess Ever After (Zondervan), which follows the story of an ordinary girl who learns she is, in fact, royalty. A fantasy for most girls turns into reality for Rachel’s main character, Regina, a classic car mechanic. “I’m excited for readers to go on this journey with her from commoner to princess. Which is really all of our journey when we give our hearts to Jesus, right? How cool is that? We’re all princes and princesses in the Kingdom of God,” says Rachel.
The inspiration for Regina’s occupation comes from a facet of Rachel’s real life. Growing up, her brothers were car enthusiasts and she was already familiar with the jargon and hobby. However, with a little help from a body shop in Pennsylvania, she was able to get some much-needed advice about old gas tanks. “I think this part of Regina is a little bit of me,” comments Rachel. Regina is an unlikely princess who is happy with her life until her great-grandmother drops a bombshell that changes everything. Suddenly Regina finds herself questioning her destiny and learning to trust God.
When it comes to writing romance, Rachel says the plot requires tedious crafting. “Much like following the blueprints to building a house – and requires ‘feeling’ – much like choosing the interior decorations for that new house. But at the end of the day, the real secret of a believable romantic plot is to create solid, believable characters with a purpose and a journey.”
Rachel says that she loves writing about weddings because of everything they symbolize. “Weddings are the truest picture of love. After all, the end of the age cumulates with a wedding! Jesus and His Bride. Weddings are the ceremony where love is publicly declared. Commitments are made. Hope blooms. Families are formed. It seems weddings are a doorway into a new life. Two lives joining together to become one.”
Rachel admits the path to her wedding was a bit unconventional. “We have a weird, but lovely story,” says Rachel of how she met her husband. He was working at her church when she met him, and after their first date there were definite sparks. Rachel says after that God told her she was going to marry him! Her response? “No Lord! Don’t tell me I’m going to marry the single singles and youth pastor! That’s too weird!” Meanwhile, God had impressed upon her husband’s heart that a friendship was best. Three years passed before Rachel’s husband was suddenly struck with romantic feelings towards her. One day out of the blue, “He turned around to say Hi and BAM!” The rest is history.
So what is Rachel’s best relationship advice? “Love well. Be willing to give, forgive, and trust the Lord with your heart. I’ve just been struck lately with the idea of ‘Have I loved well?’ Suddenly it doesn’t seem so important that I am always treated fair or that all of my affections are returned. I just know I’ll be accountable before the Lord for my own heart and attitude.”