First, please you tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?I write inspirational romantic suspense. I live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and five furry pets. I was born in Georgia, but have lived in a few different states. I enjoy the warm weather in Atlanta though!
What motivated you to start writing?I actually started writing at a very young age. When I was in elementary school, I wrote some short stories, and I loved to write poetry. It wasn’t until the past few years that I wrote my first novel.
What kind of books do you write? Where and when are they set?I write contemporary romantic suspense. My stories usually have law enforcement/military type characters. So far the stories I’m working on are set in the United States in various cities, but I’d like to write a story that has international elements soon.
Where did the characters and story come from? What were your influences?You know, I really don’t know where any of my characters come from. It’s just part of having an active imagination and a healthy dose of creativity. While I’m influenced by other books I read, I try to bring my own self and journey into everything I write.
Who is your favourite character and why? Do you have anything in common with him/her?This is a tough one! My heroine Sadie Lane is probably my favourite. She struggles on a difficult journey in the story. Trying to get past the death of her parents and trying to manage the feelings of revenge she has toward the man that killed them. Sadie and I don’t have a lot of commonalities except our faith and our commitment to our careers.
I see on your website you have shots of your pets (furkids), and your characters also have pets. Is this a coincidence? Are they actually your pets?I love adding animals to each story. I did name the animals in this book after my own because I love the names so much :) My furkids are very special to me, and I love supporting animal rescue organizations.
What are you working on at the moment? What other books do you plan to write?I am currently working on a story about a forensic sketch artist and U.S. Marshal. I have tons of ideas for other books, it’s just a matter of finding the time to fit it all in.
There is a view that Christians shouldn’t write novels: they should write non-fiction, because this is truth while fiction, made up stories, are lies. What is your opinion of this?
I don’t agree with that opinion. I think my creativity is a gift from God, and I embrace it.
What made you choose to write for the Christian market?I saw that Love Inspired Suspense was having a writing contest. I had always thought about trying to write a Christian romance novel, so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did!
What do you see as the main differences between fiction written for the Christian market compared with the general market?I think the main difference is that there is a certain content expectation for the Christian market regarding the level of romance, language, behaviour etc.
Why have you chosen to write category romance? Do you think you will stick with category, or will you move into full-length novels?For now, I’m focused on category because I’d like to really get a few of those published first. But I would be interested in branching out to full-length novels.
People often criticise romance novels (and especially category romance) for being formulaic. Is there a formula? Does this make it easier or harder to write a novel that is accepted for publication?I wouldn’t say it’s a formula so much as an expectation that the story will have certain elements. Readers of category romance are very loyal and they know what they like. Therefore, the book needs to fall into those parameters. For a new author, it does take some time to make sure your story fits into the line you are writing for (in my case Love Inspired Suspense). Reading other books in the line helps with that.
What has been the hardest part of getting a book written, edited and published?I think the waiting! The publishing journey in general is a lesson in patience. I’ve learned that while you’re waiting to hear about one book, it’s best to start writing the next one.
What advice do you have for someone seeking to write and publish a novel?Write, write, write. And read, read, read. I believe hard work and dedication are also key ingredients to becoming a published author.
You can find me at www.racheldylan.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from readers. I’m also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RachelDylanAuthor and Twitter @dylan_rachel
Out of Hiding is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Christian Book.
Thank you, Rachel, for joining us today, and best wishes for the success of Out of Hiding.