Marisa recently talked to Rachel Hauck about her latest novel How to Catch a Prince. Rachel shares with us her interest in royal families, about her wedding dress, and how PTSD made it’s way into her latest novel.
Marisa: Congratulations on your newest release, Rachel! How to Catch a Prince is a wonderful novel. How To Catch A Prince, is the third novel in your Royal Wedding series. This series stars two princes and one long-lost princess. To write a series on this subject, you must feel some personal connection to royalty. Can you tell us about your interest in this subject and whether or not you will continue writing about royal families?
Rachel: I really am not a celebrity watcher. But people fascinate me. When Prince William married Kate, I was impressed with her as a person, poised and confident. I knew she’d captured the eye of the world, and once again, we’d be intrigued about the lives of royals and what goes on behind closed doors. So I took a peek! With my own royal series.
Marisa: How To Catch a Prince’s male lead, Prince Stephen, struggles with the after-effects of war. His PTSD affects his relationships with family and his love interest in the novel. Why did you decide to pursue the topic of PTSD in the novel, particularly with Prince Stephen?
Rachel: He was such a fun character in Once Upon A Prince and being as he was the spare and not the heir, I modeled him after Prince Harry. I knew he had a darker side and I think it’s fitting to thing of kings and princes as warriors, so it was easy to put him in the military. Harry was a role model for that as well. I didn’t set out to deal with PTSD so much but to figure out Stephen’s dark past and why he walked away from his marriage. The story unfolded from there.
Marisa: The first two novels in the Royal Wedding series focused on females living normal lives until they found their connection to royalty. In contrast, Corina Del Rey already knew Prince Stephen upon the novel’s opening; she is also an American heiress. Why did you decide to give How to Catch a Prince such a vastly different character from your usual female leads? Did you come across any difficulties writing such a character?
Rachel: Sometimes as a writer you just want to do something different. I felt like I’d explored the “commoner” finding royalty in Once Upon A Prince and Princess Ever After, so I decided to link Prince Stephen with someone of a similar social class. I also thought there’d be opportunity to explore how hardship does not know royal or monetary boundaries. Here are two people with all the material blessings imaginable but yet they are broken, weak and alone.
It wasn’t too difficult to write Corina except realizing when one has money, she can do whatever she likes. So creating obstacles that she could not buy her way around took some thought.
Marisa: Many of your novels, including all of those in the Royal Wedding series, center around weddings and romance. Where did your interest in weddings and wedding dresses stem from? Will you share any details from your wedding day or about your wedding dress with your readers?
Rachel: Romance is everywhere. Beauty in nature, in relationships, even in God’s expression of love. He speaks so often of weddings in scripture. So in some divine way, marriage is ingrained in us by the Creator.
I’ve always loved romantic comedy, happily ever after, but I sort of “fell” into writing romance. I’m glad I did!
Writing requires a business head as well as a creative heart. Romance is the number one selling genre. So I picked it because I knew it would help readers find my books.
My wedding was very lovely. Twenty-three years ago this month! My wedding dress was perfect though there are so many great styles today I’d love to try. I went with a Cinderella neckline and beaded bodice but a plain full skirt. Loved it. I wore long sleeves too! No one wears long sleeves today.
Marisa: The theme of How To Catch a Prince, “to love well,” resonates on many levels: in romance, in families, in friendships, with those we come across in our daily lives. Corina questions this subject upon a loss in her family while both she and Prince Stephen wonder about it towards each other. How did you come upon this particular theme, and (without spoiling anything) what do you think your characters learned about loving well by the end of the novel?
Rachel: When I get stuck I take a walk and talk to my characters. I “act out” a conversation. There is a scene where Corina is sharing her heart with the prince, and I was walking and talking, being the characters and the words “Did I love well,” just came out!
I teared up, wondering if I’d love well. So I knew the theme had unction.
Marisa: At the end of How To Catch a Prince one character experiences a life changing moment with God. This new relationship positively alters everything for the lead characters in the story. What do you hope readers will take away about their faith and spirituality by the end of this novel?
Rachel: There is nothing you can do to separate you from God except remove yourself from the “conversation.” The only obstacle between God and man is “us!”
Marisa: Readers love your Royal Wedding series because you blend fairy tale whimsy with real-life romance. What can you tell us about your upcoming novels? Can readers expect any future Royal Wedding stories?
Rachel: My next book The Wedding Chapel is not a royal story but a nod to The Wedding Dress, which readers loved. This story is multi-generational and ask the questions “Is there a time limit on the promise of love?”
BUT, never fear, there is a royal wedding coming. Readers have asked about Susanna’s sister Avery from Once Upon A Prince, and King Nathaniel’s cousin, Prince Colin. They are getting their story in 2016 in A Royal Christmas Wedding.
To find out more about Rachel and her Royal Wedding series, visit her FaceBook or website.