Guest Blog Rachel Hauck & “The Wedding Dress”

Today I’d like to welcome Rachel Hauck, a friend and mentor. She is the author of several novels including her most recent, The Wedding Dress. Accomplished writer and speaker, Rachel mentors writer’s through My Book Therapy and other venues. Last year Rachel spoke at my local ACFW chapter’s Great Lakes Get Away and our authors are still excited about how much we learned. I am delighted to have Rachel visiting my blog today!

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Thanks so much to Michelle for having me on her blog to talk about The Wedding Dress. This is my fifteenth novel and the first time a book kind of flowed out of me. I got the idea while on a girl’s weekend in Nashville – a first get together with woman who barely knew each other, but came to adore one another.

Once the idea of a hundred year old wedding gown story started to sink into my heart, I couldn’t shake it. However, I thought it’d be a story for another time but a week later, I stood in Wal-Mart shopping for TVs with my husband, unable to shake the idea of The Wedding Dress.

While he sized up LED screens, I called and pitched the idea to my editor. She caught the vision and here we are, almost two years later. Books do take time to write, edit, prepare and promote.

But I know this book is out in the right time, in the right season for the right reader.

The writing came easy, though I’m had to do a lot of research. No book ever comes out the tips of my fingers how it feels in my heart, how I see it in my head. But that’s the “working it out” part of being a writer.

Eventually, the story forms the image and idea I want and need it to be, often by the process changing me first!

I’m not so much a romantic but one who likes to understand how we are all connected. This book is really about three women who thought they lived through an isolated incident discovering a thread of connectedness they never knew existed.

And it’s about one woman following her heart, overcoming odds, and impacting generations she never knew.

This story has lots of layers but it’s also very fun on the surface. A good ole romance across a century.

Since Michelle focuses on writing on her blog, I’ll add a few things I learned while writing this book.

  1. Be sure to keep the tone of your book consistent. I ran into a Birmingham practice in 1912 with black convict leasing and wanted to deal with this through the historical heroine’s story. But it was a heavy issue and not fitting in tone with a wedding dress and the women who wore it. So, I observed and spoke into the social issue from afar. It worked well.
  2. The dress had to become a character. So, I had the heroine see “life” in the dress through it’s texture and threads. I had her talk to the dress. As she discovers the other brides and their stories, the gown became more alive. So, if you have an object that’s key to the story, remember it has to come “alive” to the reader.
  3. Since I had four women to write about, I decided to have the 1912 heroine, Emily – the originator of the dress – and the 2012 heroine, Charlotte – the last women to wear the dress – be the main story tellers. Then I wove in the story of the other brides through them. The goal in a large cast story is to keep it all very simple. Stay on target with the theme and goal of the book. This book was about the women who wore the dress. Period. James Rubart wrote about a chair made by Jesus. So the story must be about the chair and those it impacted.
  4. Trust my instincts. I tend to second guess myself but this time, I let it flow. If something didn’t feel right, I backed out of it. If something felt right, like dropping into a unique point of view for one scene, then I went with it.
  5. There are lots of layers to this story. But in the end, I put my main spiritual theme right up on the table. I usually leave symbolism to be discovered by the reader – and there is several things for the reader to uncover in this book – but the symbol of the dress being the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I stated in a clear way. I felt it was right for this story. Again, trusted my instincts. Trust yours, too.

Hope this helps! And keep visiting Michelle’s blog. You’ll learn a lot about books and writing. Blessings to all!

Rachel

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

10 thoughts on “Guest Blog Rachel Hauck & “The Wedding Dress”

  1. I loved the Wedding Dress! Couldn’t put it down. And thanks for the tips. It is so fascinating to see how your mind works and how you pulled everything together in the book. Great post, Rachel. I’m so glad Michelle invited you over.

  2. dtopliff says:

    I also loved rdg. The Wedding Dress and actually read it twice carefully to follow your excellent layering more carefully. I hope it continues to do extremely well and appreciate your helpful insights here.

  3. M. Saint-Germain says:

    Now I feel left out. I need to buy THE WEDDING DRESS now. (I will click over to Amazon and Michelle’s Kindle right after this.) Thanks for posting here today and sharing your tips. They help. Rachel, why is it every time I see your photo I remember your sense of humor? You crack me up. I love how your humor shines through you and I look forward to finding it on the pages of TWD. Hugs and thanks again.

  4. jeannemt says:

    I loved your tips, Rachel. I’m a bad girl. I THOUGHT I ordered your book at the beginning of the month. Off and on during the month, I wondered when it would arrive. Checked the other day and realized the order never went through. I guess I lived up to my hair color once again. 🙂 Looking forward to ordering it the beginning of May when there’s money in the budget again. 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder to keep it simple while I write my story. Can’t wait to read this!

  5. Jeanne, you’ll get the book at just the right time! Yes, keep it simple but don’t forget the fun layers as you write too!

    Rachel

  6. Hi Rachel,
    I bought The Wedding Dress and am saving it for vacation in two weeks. Can’t wait to read it!
    Thanks for sharing with us!
    Jackie

  7. […] it often helps to do or say something meaningful to the character’s relationship. My friend Rachel Hauck calls these book ends. That means you put a similar thing at the beginning of the novel and end of […]

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