Monday, May 13, 2013

Interview with #1 Bestselling Author, Rachel Van Dyken!

(Don't miss your chance to win one of her ebooks in our giveaway extravaganza!)

Author Bio: Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill.

Blurb: Rock star Alec Daniels has it all. Love, fame, money... But being in the limelight isn't all it’s cracked up to be, and after one bad choice comes back to haunt him he is left picking up the pieces of his carefully constructed life. Now he faces the toughest decision of his life:
Deal with his mistake like a man, or dive back into the dark hole of depression, drugs, and denial that have been his comfort for so long.
One wrong move could destroy everything. His girlfriend, his family, and his future.

*To start out, could you tell us about your journey toward publication?

"I started out as most authors do--frantically searching for someone ANYONE to accept my manuscript. I was blessed enough to discover Astraea Press and published my first 16+ books with them. They are a small indie publisher that publishes sweet romance. Once I started getting my feet a bit more wet, I decided to start branching out into self publishing as well as publishing with an indie publisher. My self-publishing titles were New Adult and had more mature themes than what AP would allow. As soon as they started gaining notice, (And I'm still freaking out over this!) I was given the opportunity for representation with a fantastic agency and soon after that, given a four book deal with a big six publisher."

And congratulations on your deal with Grand Central Publishing! Your success is a shining beacon of hope for so many of us still navigating the choppy waters of publication.

*What does your writing process typically look like?

"It's insanity. I have up to four manuscripts open at any given time. I like to switch between genres. So I may have a regency open and then decide to write some New Adult, then switch back over. I usually get up, go for my run, get my coffee (get ready for my day), and sit down at my computer. I write anywhere from 6-12 hours a day most of the time it's more. My poor husband is so understanding. An authors work is never done, so I usually bring my computer or iPad with me everywhere. I work until eleven or midnight, and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night if I have an idea. I LOVE it though and would not change it for the world!"

I guess one woman's definition of insanity is another woman's definition of 'awesome.' I should like to borrow your straightjacket sometime. ;)

*What do you think has drawn you to writing within the New Adult contemporary and Historical genres?

"Historicals have always called to me because I LOVE the idea of the regency rake, how delicious is that? I think I was drawn to YA or NA for similar reasons. I wanted to put something out there that was kind of angsty yet still fun. I wanted to write the contemporary bad boy and found that it was really a fun niche for me" ;)

Ah, rakes and angst. You surely MUST have an understanding husband. ;D

*Looking back at all you've undergone up to this point in your career as an author, what would you have done differently?

"Nothing. I only say that because I truly feel like every choice and every decision has led me to where I am today."

Coming from you, I can believe that.

*Would you tell us a little about your current Work In Progress, and what you have in mind for your next project?

"Right now I'm working on the sequels to The Bet and Elite. The Wager is the second book in The Bet series and stars the "other brother," Jake Titus. He's a bad boy millionaire who doesn't care about anyone but himself. The catch is, his grandma's out to change all of that by any means possible. It's been a lot of fun so far! Elect, which is the sequel to Elite, is kind of like Gossip girl meets The Godfather. It's about a group of mob bosses who are pretty young, and a girl that's been under their protection, without her knowledge, for the past eighteen years. It's loosely based on true events and has been a really exciting WIP for me ;) I LOVE the research behind it and get to have a lot of fun with the characters."

I'll look forward to hearing more about all three of those in the near future.

Irrelevant, nonsensical questions:

*If you could have any Disney sidekick creature as a manifestation of your muse, which one would you pick and why?

"As a muse...okay I would totally pick the dragon from Mulan, or possibly the cricket ;) They are HILARIOUS and always meant well! I love the dialogue from that Disney movie and would love to have two little companions whispering in my ear all hours of the day."

Mushu! Why am I not surprised your muse would be raucous and full of sass? ;)

*Paper, plastic, or BYOB (bring your own bag)?

"BYOB if I can, and if not...then paper..only b/c I save the paper bags and make caramel popcorn every Christmas!"

Ooo...I want in on your Christmas candy list. >.> Or at least the recipe. I can already hear my dentist prepping her lecture... but it will be SO worth it.

*If you were banished to live in a storybook world, in what book would you most prefer to find yourself trapped?

"Hmm....probably Cinderella, but only if I was actually Cinderella. She has awesome shoes and got the prince in the end." ;)

If you overlook the years of emotional abuse and servitude, I suppose she did end things on a high note. ;)

And now, let's have a look at an excerpt from your latest release, Shatter...


Crap. What the hell were we going to do at a bed and breakfast? We could eat, but we couldn’t really sleep, not if we had that stupid restaurant opening in a few hours.
My control was seriously slipping. I flexed my hand and began reciting the states in alphabetical order. Other than burying myself deep in the girl I loved — it was the only way I could relax. Running had stopped working, and I knew it was absolute insanity to run fifteen miles a day. Singing helped, but we were supposed to be acting, not singing. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona…
I took the stairs two at a time. Arkansas, California… Thankfully, the elderly couple was already waiting for me in the main dining room.
“Alec!” Mr. Smith came forward with arms open. I hugged him and then kissed Mrs. Smith on the cheek. There were only a few guests and most of them were over the age of sixty. They probably thought I was the Smiths’ grandson.
The familiar smell of the restaurant calmed me down. “I need a favor.”
“Anything.” Mrs. Smith pinched my bicep and winked. “Now, what can we do for you?”
What could they do? Oh you know, erase a few nights from my memory and convince Bob, my bodyguard, to assassinate the one person who could ruin my entire freaking existence with one push of a button. “Um, how about a room? Something nice? I want to spend some time with Nat away from everything.”
“Done.” Mr. Smith walked over to the main desk and pulled out a key. “Enjoy yourselves.”
I reached for my wallet to pull out my credit card, but he held up his gnarled old hands. “Oh no you don’t. You’ve done so much for our business already, son. This one’s on the house, alrighty?”
“Please. Let me pay.” I offered one last time. Charity made me feel nervous, like I couldn’t control the situation. Wow, I had issues.
“Nope. That’s final.” Mr. Smith held out his hand for me to shake it. I wanted to shake it. Instead, I just stared at it and told myself to stop freaking out. It was a free room for a few hours, not a house. Smiling, I reached for his hand and shook it.
“Thank you.”
“Have fun! And let us know what you want for your meal.” Mrs. Smith waved goodbye as I turned and jogged back out of the building.
Nat was in the middle of the patio, her blonde hair blowing in the wind. I could watch her forever. She tucked her hair behind her ears and crossed her arms. She had no idea how precious she was to me — or how deep she had etched herself into my soul. I couldn’t help but wonder… would she curse me later for that very thing?
I tried to push the dark thoughts away, but it was hard. My brain felt fatigued, probably all that alphabetizing. I managed a smile as I walked up to her and whispered, “Surprise,” dropping the key into her hand.
“You bought me a car!  You shouldn’t have!”
I paused. “Wow, never actually thought about it. Do you want a car? I guess I could buy you a car. Would that make you happy?” I smirked at her eye roll. “Would you jump up and down and possibly make out in the backseat with me?”
“Maybe.” She blushed.
“Would you scream my name over and over and over again?” I kissed her hard on the mouth. “Would you be mine forever and always?” Damn, I was losing my mind. The need to be with her was trumping everything. I knew it was wrong. I was using her. Using the way she made me feel in order to push away my demons. But nothing else was working. Not the pills, not my ridiculous staff of people that I pay millions to keep. Nothing. Only her kisses, her touch. If I was going to hell, I wanted to take every shred of this feeling with me.
Nat exhaled and pulled back. “Yes. I would.”
“And all because of a car?” I squinted, trying to calm my heated body down. “Hmm, too bad this key doesn’t lead to a car. But…” I grabbed her hand. “I think you’ll still feel the same way when this afternoon is over with.”
“Oh? That confident, huh?”
I stopped and pulled her into my arms for another earth-shattering kiss. “Extremely.”


In celebration of her May 19th release, Rachael is giving away 10 ebooks! You read that correctly. She has made available 5 copies of 'The Bet' and 5 copies of 'Elite' for a total of 10 winners! (If you have a preference, please be sure to list it in your comment when you enter.) The drawing ends Tuesday, May 20th, 2013 at midnight CST. Winners will be announced and contacted by mid-day on May 21st. Take advantage of extra chances to enter!
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Other titles by Rachel Van Dyken

"The Bet"
"The Wolf's Pursuit"
"The Devil Duke Takes A Bride"
"Tear: A Seaside Novel"
"Pull: A Seaside Novel"
"Whispered Music"
"Upon A Midnight Dream"
"The Ugly Duckling Debutante"
"Waltzing With The Wallflower"
"Beguiling Bridget"
"Savage Winter"
"The Redemption of Lord Rawlings"
"The Seduction of Sebastian St. James"
"Every Girl Does It"
"An Unlikely Alliance"
"Compromising Kessen"
"The Parting Gift"
"Taming Wilde"

And Coming soon!
"Shatter: A Seaside Novel"
"Divine Uprising"
"When Ash Falls"
"Fall: A Seaside Novel
"The Wager"
"The Spinster Club"