Interview & Contest: Rachel Van Dyken

We have a special treat for you today! Our staff reviewer Rachel Van Dyken, who happens to have also hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List last week, has stopped by with a fun interview and contest. We also thank Angie (her assistant and RtB staffer) for conducting the interview for us. So, ladies… take it away!

Angie:When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Rachel: When I was born. KIDDING….I just started writing a few years ago. I was a school counselor and used writing as a way to escape and kind of get rid of all the stress in my life. I’ve been doing it ever since.

Angie: Who are your favorite authors?
Rachel: My favorite authors are Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Maya Banks, Julie Lessman, Abbi Glines, and Carla Capshaw.

Angie: Do you have a favorite character out of all your books?
Rachel: My favorite character EVER is probably Nixon from Elite. He’s so different then the rest of the characters I’ve written. He’s crazy protective, super mature, but also really controlling and kind of scary. I love it!

Angie: Do you prefer writing historical or new adult more so over the other?
Rachel: Historical or New Adult? AHH not a fair question! To me historical is SO FUN, I love the research and time period. But, New Adult just…comes easier. Does that make sense? I feel like I can’t help but write New Adult, historical takes a bit more thought. I like to switch between the two. I never work on one manuscript at a time. I usually have a historical and a new adult I’m working on simultaneously.

Angie: Have you ever based a character off of someone you know and love?
Rachel: Yes I always use my husband as inspiration because I LOVE HIM and he’s amazing. I based Grandma Nadine from The Bet off my actual grandma. She’s hilarious and literally my best friend. We are together at least four times a week. Tomorrow we get our eyebrows waxed haha she’s 85 and awesome. I love her and I really wanted to base a character off her, so her legacy of awesomeness lives on in Grandma Nadine.

Angie: Have you ever based a character off of someone you don’t like?
Rachel: HAHA!!! OH my gosh that’s such a great idea!!! No..I actually haven’t. Is that weird? I’ve never used ex-boyfriends or people I don’t like. For some reason whenever I write the protagonist or the character I don’t like, I try to break down what makes a person unlikable…or what traits or mannerisms make them the type of person you want to hate.

Angie: Take us through a typical day of writing for you.
Rachel: I’m pretty boring. I get up and answer emails first. Which usually takes around an hour. Then I get on Facebook and respond to readers. Then get my coffee! I either run or get ready for my day depending on my running schedule. Then I sit in my “writing cave” and write until the husband comes home. I usually try to write an 8 hour day or at least close. I get distracted in between. But I do stay home and write all day. It’s my full time job. People always ask how I write so fast, well it’s because I treat it like a 9-5 job, which it is. With marketing and everything else, it’s very time consuming and I want to put out books fast.

* * * * *

rachelRachel 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. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at

| Facebook | Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Rachel Van Dyken

  1. Usually love triangles can be REALLY steamy in romance novels, but when the topic gets overused, they get exasperating really quickly. As long as they’re emotionally realistic, not too smutty, and value something other than the eroticism in a relationship, I’m game!

    Karielle Stephanie @ Books à la Mode

  2. Jess1 says:

    When I think of love triangles, there is one main character that has feelings/attraction for two suitors who are competing for her affections, and that she will end up with only one of them. In other words, we are not talking about a menage relationship.

    As a reader, I usually end up rooting for one of the suitors. I like it if the author develops both of the suitors’ characters so there’s more depth to them. Sometimes, I end up liking the rejected suitor more or wishing that he had his HEA (which sometimes he does in a sequel).

  3. Crystal B says:

    I have some of Rachel’s books in my to read pile. I can’t wait to get to them. They sound GREAT!

  4. Jessica Snow says:

    Hmmm…. Love triangles can be such an interesting thing and at the same time it always leads to heartbreak for one of the characters. Personally one of them always captures my heart more then the other. It honestly depends on the book though.
    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

    • P.S. Love triangles are tricky. When a love triangle is done right, they are delicious and leave me conflicted and wanting more. When the triangle is done wrong, it leaves me annoyed and feeling like I wasted my time. Love is complicated, emotions are complicated, and sometimes we don’t know how to sort out those conflicting and complex emotions. Reading about characters’ choices in books serves as a type of example for those of us in the real world who have or wish they had similar a problem. 🙂

      P.S.S. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. 🙂

  5. Ami says:

    I’ve never really understood love triangles myself. I love completely, and barely recognize anyone else other than the person I’m with, so I don’t really see how you could love two people at the same time. As long as it’s done tastefully, I’m okay with reading about them.

  6. Stephanie Quinonez says:

    I LOVED The Bet and look forward to the next book. I do enjoy a good love triangle but I hate that I get a nervous belly over them. Look forward to Elite.

  7. Jessica says:

    Love triangles are sometimes overused by authors… if a book is all about a love triangle with no real depth or character development to keep it afloat it gets old quickly, but when done just right it can make for a really interesting story. And honestly, who doesn’t like a little extra spice added to their reading now and then?

    As for real life love triangles – I try to avoid them at all costs. Too much drama. ;P

    Great interview! I’ve seen a couple of interviews with Rachel and she always strikes me as a really witty, down-to-earth person with a sincere, true love and talent for writing.

  8. Linda Mc says:

    Fun interview. And Congrats on hitting #1 on the NY Times best seller list. That is awesome. I have not read your books before, but I will now.

    • Linda Mc says:

      Oh, and I forgot to mention, that love triangles are always fun to read. I would not want to be in one in real life, but reading about them is cool.

  9. Crystal Newman says:

    Nixon has to be my new book boyfriend. To say that so far this is the best book that I have read by Rachel. Don’t get me wrong I love all her books but something just calls me when I read this book. That might change when I read the Snow White book or the next book in the Elite series. I so hope Nixon gets the girl. I just get this special feeling for him. I really wish that he was real. Thank you Rachel for sharing and Angie thank you for the interview.

  10. Lori Thomas says:

    Love triangle can be great if they are well written. For a woman to choose between men is a good element to a story. Deciding which man is best for her and the one she can’t live without is difficult. The sexual tension between all the characters adds depth to the story.

  11. Lori Thomas says:

    Love triangle can be great if they are well written. For a woman to choose between men is a good element to a story. Deciding which man is best for her and the one she can’t live without is difficult. The sexual tension between all the characters adds depth to the story.

  12. Melissa Balentine says:

    I really loved Elite. Nixon was my favorite character but I felt sorry for Chase. Can’t wait for the rest if your books to be released this year.

  13. FUN interview! Its always neat to get a peek inside the life of an author.

    Oh love triangles, they are frustratingly delicious. Sadly they are done so frequently that they really have to have a good twist in order to really catch my attention, but when it happens I am definitely one of those who alternates between yelling at the apex of the triangle and ‘urging’ them to choose MY pick; of course there have been a few that have had me hoping they just decide to share.

    Thanks so much for both the interview and the contest.

Comments are closed.