I am so excited to welcome romantic suspense author, Rachel Dylan to By The Book today. Take a few moments to find out what makes this talented author tick as well as exciting new releases coming up. (You can click on the pictures of Rachel’s books for my reviews and to find information on how to purchase them.)
By The Book — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?
Rachel Dylan — I think I have always been a writer. As a child, I was a voracious reader. I gobbled up books left and right. I started writing stories and poems in elementary school. Everyone in high school assumed I was going to become an English professor. It didn’t turn out quite like that, but writing has always been a part of who I am.
BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?
Rachel — I had many teachers along the way starting in elementary school that encouraged my love of reading and writing. My parents were also both very supportive of my writing. Currently, my family and friends are all a great source of support and motivation for me.
Rachel — Actually, I do. The first couple of novels I ever wrote were secular novels. But I felt convicted to change my path and write books that had a strong faith message. God was tugging at my heart to take a different direction. I went through some struggles in my personal life that led me to really reevaluate things. And I wanted to use the talents God had given me to write Christian fiction. I made that commitment and have been thoroughly blessed by doing so. Looking back over my writing career, I can now see God working in ways that at the time I had no idea about.
BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?
Rachel — Because I still work full time as a lawyer, most of my actual writing is done on the weekends. I usually get up very early on Saturday morning and work all day. It is a tough schedule given my lawyer hours, but I love writing and I feel like it’s a form of ministry for me. I get that fiction is entertainment, but I really want my books to have a purpose beyond entertainment.
BTB — Your most recent books, Lethal Action and Trial and Tribulations, involve legal drama, romance and suspense. What is your motivation for writing in this genre? How does your experience as an attorney impact or influence your writing?
Rachel — Writing books with legal themes is a natural fit for me. I keep getting drawn back to telling legal stories because I’ve been a lawyer now for about 10 years, and I have so many ideas. Also, I love reading romantic suspense novels, so it made sense to me to write what I love to read. With legal stories, there’s also a fine line I try to walk on being realistic and also entertaining.
BTB — Trial And Tribulations adds an extra dimension with its focus on spiritual warfare. Did you encounter any obstacles or problems in writing this novel?
Rachel — I never set out to write a book about spiritual warfare. In fact, I was writing a completely different book. I remember sitting there on vacation and then an idea hit me. The main character Olivia came to my mind along with the story line about two battling New Age companies and spiritual warfare. Writing the book itself flowed so easily. It’s all a blur now when I look back on the writing process—and I wrote the book very quickly. But then after I finished it and my agent submitted to publishers, that’s when the challenges and obstacles really started to pop up. Traditional publishers said that spiritual warfare wasn’t something that would sell right now. I made the decision to independently publish the book because I felt so strongly about it. It has been a challenge to reach readers searching for spiritual warfare stories, but I am not giving up because I really believe in the message of the story.
BTB — What kind of research did you do in writing both books?
Rachel — For Lethal Action, I didn’t have to do a lot of research because the legal elements of the story were so familiar to me. I also set the story in Georgia which is where I am from. For Trial & Tribulations, I did a lot of reading. I probably read at least ten books on spiritual warfare.
BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?
Rachel — I want them to enjoy the books, but I also would love it if they take away a positive message of faith, hope, and redemption.
BTB — Both Lethal Action and Trial And Tribulations are first books in a series. When can readers expect book 2 in the series? What are some other projects you are working on?
Rachel — I’m working on the sequel to Trial & Tribulations now and will soon start the Lethal Action sequel. I have two books from Love Inspired Suspense coming out in April and July, so I’m targeting the sequels for later this year. I’m also working on a totally separate legal suspense, but that project hasn’t been finalized yet.
BTB — What would you like to share about your personal life?
Rachel — I absolutely love animals. I have five special furkids in my life–2 dogs and 3 cats. One of the cats is a tripod. And I love putting animals in my stories. Four of my pets are rescue, and I’m a big advocate of animal rescue. I also am very active on social media and would love to connect to readers on Facebook and Twitter or by email.
Thanks so much, Rachel, for sharing with my readers today. Make sure you check out Rachel and her books HERE.
Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including inspirational romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense and the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series. Rachel has practiced law for almost a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She is a member of ACFW and RWA. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids–two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. She is represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.