I first met Rachel Van Dyken at Shameless in Orlando 2017. I’m bummed that I didn’t get a photo with her, but to be fair, it had been a reeeeeeally long day, and I was asking for a favour.
She’d been standing up for seven hours (she rarely sits down at events as she likes to be able to talk to readers easily), and her assistant glared at me as if asking for another minute of her time could land me in jail, but Rachel just smiled.
“Sure, dude! What do you need?”
I was asking her if she’d donate one of her paperbacks for an auction with my favourite military charity www.felixfund.org.uk
She plucked a book from her dwindling pile, signed it, and I later auctioned that book for £60!
She is one of my favourite people.
Q When did you start to feel like a writer?
I think it felt real (and this is going to sound so cliché) when I finally held my book in my hands and saw it at Target, that’s when I was like OHH this is real, this is a thing, this is my job? It was a pretty cool moment and to this day I still search for my books in the wild because it makes me feel giddy!
Q What is the most rewarding part of being a writer?
Getting to connect with readers and share excitement over books, I’m such a huge reader so it makes me happy when my writing resonates with someone because I know exactly how that feels and it’s so freaking powerful.
Q As a writer, what is the piece of work of which you’re most proud?
Oh wow… Probably Ruin or Elude, both are very emotional books that came straight from my soul.
Q What do you want to achieve next?
I remember when I first started writing I had this pipe dream of listing on the NYT in every genre. Haha, yeah I’m an idiot what can I say? I had no idea how to even list or what it was, so basically it’s like when you’re little and you go ‘one day I’m going to marry someone from a boy band!’ Not gonna happen, bro. I really want to expand my reader base and my goal is to get my mafia series optioned.
Q What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received: about life / about writing?
Keep writing. I think so many people get frustrated if a book underperforms. ou have to keep writing keep doing what you love, don’t sit and wallow in your own sadness and self-doubt, keep moving. The finish line is your focus NOT so you can finish, but so you keep your head up at all times. The minute you look down, you trip on your shoelaces.
Q Is there any subject/genre that you wouldn’t want to write?
I honestly don’t know. I think I would probably be horrible at Historical romance. It’s where I started, but now I look back and go wow I really sucked at that.
Q The Matchmaker’s Playbook has been made by Passionflix. How did you feel seeing your work on the big screen? Did it match how you saw the characters/story when you were writing it?
It was such a surreal experience. I can’t even put it into words. I was so nervous at the premiere thinking oh no oh no the first few minutes are going to set the scene for this entire movie and bam they nailed it. It’s so different from being on set seeing the finished product. Passionflix was amazing in the adaptation and kept everything that made the book special.
Q What is your favourite reader experience, either in messages or at an event?
Oh man, I have so many fun reader experiences. I truly like when I get messages from readers that say that my books have given them a much-needed escape. I want to be that safe place, and when I get messages stating that, I feel like I’ve fulfilled my purpose.
Q Do you think writers are different to other people? Are we observers? Creators?
I think we’re both. I observe a lot, I’m quiet, I listen, and then I create something out of that nothingness, it’s pretty magical. I think writers truly are magicians with words.
Q Have you ever written with a friend? What was the experience like? How did it differ from writing by yourself? What were the pros and cons?
I’ve done two co-writes, one was with a good friend and it was a super-easy, seamless process because we each took a character and a chapter. My last co-write was a bit more difficult because it was partially based on a true story so I had to be really careful what I said and how I said it. I think the pros far outweigh the cons. You get a fresh perspective on characters and you get to bounce ideas off each other and feed off one another.
Q Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Tired. HAH, kidding! I see myself with at least twenty more books under my belt, hopefully another book in development for TV/Movies and new mafia series 😉 I want to keep writing and keep producing things that I love.
Q What is your philosophy in life?
Always trust your gut and trust God. The rest is just life.
Q Describe yourself in three words.
Fast talker, optimistic, loyal to a fault.
Q How would your best friend describe you?
HAHA she would say that I rarely show my insecurities or feelings to the outside world making it hard to know if I’m really okay or if I’m just faking it—she’s the one who helped me understand that when you share the burden you’re allowing others to help you. She’s a good friend.
Q If you were an animal, what would you be?
Q Most likely to say?
Q Least likely to say?
What is your favourite colour and why?
Blue and I have no idea lol
Q When you’re having a bad day, what cheers you up?
Other than wine? My toddler 😉 His smiles and his random, “IDEA, MAMA! I HAVE AN IDEA.”
Q What would be your ideal day? Where would you be? Who would you be with?
My ideal day is playing with my husband and son in the pool and busting out my laptop during a break with a glass of wine and writing.
Q Mountains and snow, or beaches and sunshine?
I LOVE the beach but there’s just something about the mountains that rein in my focus.
Q What message would you like to give to the people who read your books?
I write in so many genres I PROMISE you will find something you like, and I’m not easily offended so if you hate it, just make sure I have wine and we’ll call it good 😉 I write sexy mafia romances one day and rockstar rom coms the next. If you’re an avid reader, I have a book for you 😉
Connect with Rachel
SUMMER HEAT: Cruel Summer #1
SUMMER SEDUCTION: Cruel Summer #2
Releasing 5th August
SUMMER NIGHTS: Cruel Summer #3
Releasing 8th August