About the book: She's the last of five sisters to find true love. So, when Elle Garvey's wide receiver-turned-
*** Romantic Times Book Club Review of LSWE Top Pick, 4.5 Stars Hauck is quickly making a name for herself as an insightful and thoughtful author. It's great to catch up with characters from previous novels as well as meet new ones. Elle is vulnerable, yet wise, and the romantic angle will leave you sighing with delight. ***
Interview How did Elle come to be?
RH: Elle was a great, funny, beautiful, character in Sweet Caroline. She had a small story line going and I saw that she was strong enough to carry her own novel. So, I proposed her as the next book and my editor loved it.
How much of you is there in Elle? Your husband in Heath?
RH: I think there’s some of us in each of the characters. Tony’s strength and confidence in Heath, my love of prayer in Elle. She is more controlled and goal oriented than I am, but I am one who looks a head like Elle.
What was your favourite scene to write?
RH: I had a few favorite scenes. I think the scene with Julianne and Elle in prayer chapel is one of my favs. And almost all the scenes with Elle and Heath. And oh, I love, love the first scene with Heath after he’s moved to Beaufort!
What do you hope readers take away from this story?
RH: There’s something you discover about yourself in meditative, concentrative prayer you cannot discover any other way or place.
Why did you pick the setting of Beaufort, South Carolina?
RH: A worship leader friend of mine wrote a song called Praise House. The slide background for the song lyrics was of an old, white, clap board shack with the words Praise House painted across the front. When I asked him about the shack and the song, he showed me a home video of his trip to Beaufort, looking for this elusive praise house he'd seen on the internet. I loved the scenery and the setting, loved seeing the lowcountry, and thought I needed to set a book in South Caroline. Since it's not far from my home, the research was easy.
Elle's an artist. Is this reflective of you? Perhaps a secret passion or hobby?
RH: No, I only can dream of being an artist. Seriously, I can't draw stick people. I love art and when Elle came to live in Sweet Caroline, she came as an artist. Didn't really even have to think much about it. Elle is a reflection of society today - very artsy and romantic, feeling oriented, living by intuition more than "thought and reason." If you study the Romantic Era of the 1800's, the landscape of society today is very much the same. We're in a Renaissance of that time. So, having her go on a journey of prayer really fit her emotional palette.
What is the number one challenge facing most Christians in the realm of prayer?
RH: Of course, this is my opinion based on observation and experience, but it's time management. We just have so many voices and sounds in our lives today. So many choices. It's hard to carve out time to get alone with God. I'm not talking "Quiet Time," setting aside fifteen minutes to read a devotional and pray - which is a component of getting to know the Father - more about stealing away to be with Him. Contemplative, soaking prayer takes time, discipline and concentration. I still struggle, but those days I sit at His feet for an hour or more - either alone or in a corporate prayer setting - is when I feel the most connected with Him. We need all kinds of prayer - on the run, emergency, pleading, hopeful, thankful prayers. But we also need to find time to sit and soak. Song of Solomon 2:14 says, "O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret place of the steep pathway, let Me see your form, let Me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely." Jesus is talking to the individual believer here about stealing away with Him. He longs for those alone times. In the clefts of the rock, in the steep pathway speaks of the difficulty of getting to the secret place with Him. There are a lot of things I do in my life that will account for nothing in eternity. I remind myself that setting aside time for Him is one thing that will endure, and prosper both now and always. There's a great line in the book from a wise friend of Elle's, and it's one I adopted for myself, "Pray is not inactivity." It's a very active, and proactive verb!
So, what's in the pipeline for you?
RH: Ah, look for something fun and interesting in the spring! ;) How’s that for a sneak peek?