Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Karen Witemeyer is Kym Mcnabney! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address (ckrumm@litfusegroup.com).

This week we are having a double feather featuring Rachel Hauck and Denise Hunter!  To win a copy of Rachel’s Once Upon a Prince (Zondervan, 2013) or Denise’s Barefoot Summer (Thomas Nelson, 2013), leave a comment on this post.

Up first, Rachel Hauck:

Tell us a little about your new book . . .

It’s great to be here, Suzanne. You’ll love the name of my heroine in Once Upon A Prince… Susanna. Okay, so it’s not exactly the same as yours but close enough. And she becomes a princess.

This story is about the power of love to change a man, to change a nation. It’s a love story, it’s magical, it’s about a prince who falls for an American girl.

How can readers find you and your books?

At your favorite online or brick and mortar retailer.

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

Yea, I’m excited to be in the pre production stage of book two in the Royal Wedding Series, Princess Ever After, and getting ready to write the third book in the series.

Why do you write?

Why do I write? Because I cannot not write. Does that make sense? I love stories. I feel stories and struggle to put words to those emotions. I’ve written since I was a girl. I kept diaries for seventeen years. I love words, love writing, even though it’s hard a lot of times, I never want to give up.

What are you best known for . . . writing or otherwise?

Oo, I don’t know. I guess for writing as well as a worship leader. I lead in my church as well as the ACFW conference every year.

Best author moment?

Only one? I have a few but I think the most recent was in March when the RITA nominations were being announced. I was traveling home from NY with my husband and checking email on my phone, seeing fellow writers posting, “I got the call!”

I kept telling myself it was okay “not to get the call.” After all, I wasn’t even home and maybe RWA didn’t see my updated profile that included my cell number.

Should I call home and ask our house sitter if anyone called? I debated . . . I didn’t want to be presumptuous.

As we arrive at our gate, I was resolved. “I didn’t get the call. No big deal.”

Then I checked email. “RWA is trying to call you.”

I jumped up and down, right there in the middle of A gate at LaGuardia, mouth open with silent screams.

My hubby said, “What’s going on?”

He had to ask?

So, I didn’t get the call about being a RITA finalist I made the call to find out I was a RITA finalist. It was a fun . . . after the fact of course.

Worst author moment?

I have a few that I can’t share, but let me just say, God brings us through all things. All things! In general, any time a book store goes to the effort to put on a book signing for an author, for me, and we only sell like, two books, then that’s a “worst” moment.

If you weren’t able to write, what would you do?

I would love to be a college professor. Or my dream job, being a good enough athlete to become a college coach.

Describe your ideal circumstances to write.

I live in my ideal circumstance. The Lord opened up an amazing door for us to buy a different house a two years ago and it has a brand new, two story wood trimmed office. It’s grand. I really do write from a tower.

I like to work in quiet. I like to work in the day or early evening.

Right this moment, what does your office look like?

It’s pretty neat, but my desk has a paper stack.

How would you describe your writing style to a reader?

Conversational. Real.

Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?

I had a review from a man once who said, “Hauck’s hatred of men is evident in this book.” Wha??? I love men. I have great relationships with men. I have brothers. Besides my husband, some of my best friends are men. So, I didn’t get what the reviewer, a man, saw in that story.

What’s one thing you learned about the publishing industry in last five years? Last year? Last six months?

It’s cyclical. It’s full of ups and downs. If any author wants to endure, we have to hang in there.

How do you solve a grammar dilemma?

Solution, thy name is Editor.

Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In between?

I’m in between. I can be very extroverted but I retool by being alone, an introvert characteristic.

Do you enjoy public speaking as an author? Why or why not?

I love speaking. When I was younger, I never imagined I’d love to speak, but I really do. I preach on occasion at my church, but I love speaking to writers and teaching.

Can a person make a living as a writer?

To be honest, not at first. Unless the author has a break out hit which can and does happen, it takes time to build momentum and readership.

Denise Hunter:

Tell us a little about your new book . . . Barefoot Summer is the first book in the Chapel Springs series. It features Madison McKinley, a veterinarian, who can’t seem to get past the death of her twin. She sets out on a quest to fulfill her brother’s dream, winning the town’s regatta, as a way of finding peace. Along the way, she needs the help of Beckett O’Reilly, a man with a shady past and a pocketful of secrets. The summer takes Madison and Beckett on a journey of love and adventure.

How can readers find you and your books?

They’re available at bookstores everywhere and at online retailers. Here’s a link to the 1st chapter of Barefoot Summer.

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

The next book in the series, Dancing with Fireflies will release in March, 2014.

What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?

Write the book you want to read.

I’m inspired by . . . romantic movies, romantic novels, and compelling lyrics with haunting melodies.

If I could go anywhere, it would be . . . Australia and New Zealand. I know that’s two places, but if I go halfway around the world, I’m not seeing one without the other.

If you have only an hour . . . I’d read a novel.

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?

Pictures of my family. And okay, I might grab the laptop on the way out.

What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?

When I got the call that I was going to get my first book published.

Best Indulgence: A Sunday afternoon nap. And some post nap chocolate.

And … don’t forget to see what I’m giving away today in the Anthropologie Farm Glam Giveaway (something new each day!) and check out Lily’s iPad Giveaway Extravaganza! Stay tuned to my blog because I’m going to be announcing some special news regarding The Letters this week!

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