Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Life and Steadfast Love with Rachelle Rea Cobb

This week I'd like to welcome Rachelle Rea Cobb to the Diamond Mine. Rachelle writes historical fiction with Whitefire Publishing and this month, she’s taken the next step in her own HEA…she got married (to a man with the same name as the hero in her Steadfast Love series)

Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. During college, Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck.

SW: Welcome, Rachelle. We’re thrilled you could take some time out your busy schedule and join us this month. Congratulations on your marriage. You planned the wedding in only two months. Tell us your best and your worst experience with that.

RRC: Thank you! The whole process was thrilling and rich. I wish I could say I didn’t have a worst experience, but, um, my wedding dress didn’t fit at one point. I went in for a fitting after my first alterations appointment and was horrified to discover I couldn’t take a full deep breath! I’m not sure what happened with those measurements, but the good news is the boutique was able to reverse what they’d done and restore me to oxygenated bliss in that dress!

And my best experience was, well, everything else! I enjoyed putting it all together with Devin and my mom and several others’ help!

SW: Has God taught you any lessons during your engagement that you’d like to share with us?

RRC: He’s so good to me. That one pivotal truth has been so apparent throughout the last few months. I knew He’s good before I got engaged, of course, but I’ve been especially attuned to how He’s working behind the scenes to sprinkle little kindnesses into my life lately. For instance, I moved all the stuff out of my childhood bedroom the weekend before the wedding and had to say farewell to the forest outside my window, in front of which I wrote all my books! But then my fiancĂ© and I turned the key to our newlywed apartment and stared out our little patio to a sea of green. Trees! God knew I needed that corner-of-the-building apartment with a view of the tree line. He didn’t have to provide that—I could have learned to live with a view of the parking lot. But I have a new forest instead—and a very kind God.

SW: Your experience with publishing isn’t one you hear of often. You signed a 3-book contract five months out of college and have published 3 books in the past two years. What advice would you pass on to someone who is still trying (maybe after several years) to get their foot in the door?

RRC: Yes, my story is quite…swift! And it certainly felt like a whirlwind to me (who am I kidding? Life still feels like a whirlwind what with getting engaged and jumping into wedding planning right after the third book released). Advice: be ready. Whether you’ve worked for a decade or a day to get published, make peace with the fact that it might take a while. Find contentment there. I think that’s something I did relatively well—by pursuing other activities as well as publication and just trusting God with the timing of it all. But be ready. Because I said I expected to publish my novels long after I actually did: after I was married, maybe with littles toddling around. But, no. ;) God had other ideas. So enjoy the season you’re in (trite, I know), but be ready to jump in with both feet! Okay, so maybe that’s more philosophical than practical advice, but there’s a lot of practical advice out there on how to get published, written by savvier people than I. Listen to them, but don’t forget to settle your heart. ;)

SW: In addition to writing books, you also write reviews, articles and offer editing services. What's one of your favorite things beyond writing novels that you enjoy?

RRC: Editing is such fun! I daresay I enjoy editing a page full of my own (or others’!) words just as much as I enjoy splashing words onto a blank page. I also really love to review good books. The genre in which I write is still my favorite genre to read, after all!

SW: What first drew you to writing Inspirational Historical Romance?

RRC: My first exposure to the genre came when I read Heartsong Presents novels when I was twelve. Those small books introduced me to how much I believe in the power of story, especially love stories set in times gone by.

SW: When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?

RRC: A song I was listening to on the radio inspired the title of the first book. So I wrote Diamonds, but when I finished it, I realized to my great frustration that the characters weren’t done with their story, even though I had been quite adamant that I would write a stand-alone novel. But the story wasn’t finished, so I kept writing.

SW: While writing the Steadfast Love series, what was your research process like?

RRC: I read books set in and written about the time period. Libraries rock! I also made use of a lot of Internet sources. Google helped me figure out how much distance a horse can ride in a day, for instance, when I was trying to decide on a timeline for a certain group of nuns to make it to shore. ;) My editor also introduced me to the value of looking up certain words to make sure they fit the time period.

I’m really glad that I dove into the writing of my novel in and amongst research. I could easily still be researching with zero books written or published if I’d decided to research until I knew absolutely everything I needed to know first (there’d have been no way for me to know until I’d begun drafting!).

SW: Do you have something new in the works for your readers? If so, can you share a little hint with us?

RRC: I do! I’m excited about my next project, which is mostly Top Secret. ;) But I will admit, my next novel is about a character readers have already met in the Steadfast Love series…

Thank you again for taking time out to visit with us, Rachelle. May God bless you in the next steps of your journey. Readers, you can connect with Michelle at any of the following:

Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb

More about the Steadfast Love Series:

The Sound of Diamonds

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.
Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?
The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.

The Sound of Silver

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One fights for faith, the other for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

The Sound of Emeralds

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Rachelle is giving away one of her books (winner's choice) to one lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, just leave a comment and include your email address so we can contact you. Giveaway ends July 8, 2016 (contest not valid until five entries). 


Rachelle O'Neil said...

Ooh, I've been wanting to read Rachelle's books! (And you have the same name as my penname!) I liked what you said about being ready for publication. Achieving the dream does little good if I can't hold onto it.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Amanda Leite said...

I adore Rachelle's books and I hope she writes more!!!

Beth Erin said...

Congratulations on your marriage, Rachelle! Great interview, Suzie! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
betherin02 AT gmail DOT com

Lynda E. said...

Can't wait to read your work--thanks for the giveaway and for sharing your journey with us. Danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

Rachelle Rea Cobb said...

It was a joy doing this interview! Thank you! :)

Rachelle, I love your pen name ;)

Amanda, you bet! ;)

Thank you, Beth Erin! Thanks for your comment on The Engrafted Word recently, too!

Lynda, my pleasure, truly! :)

Wenona Phillips said...

These all looks like such great reads! Can't wait to read them! :)
Thanks for the giveaway chance! Have a Blessed day!

Raechel said...

I've heard a lot of good about these books and can't wait to read them myself!
Thank you for the giveaway and interview! :)

Gail Kittleson said...

Oxygenated bliss…Rachelle, haven't read your work yet, but I've enjoyed getting to know you at WhiteFire, and it's great to see you here on the Mine. Loved hearing details of your wedding dress…and that term Oxy. Bliss, will remain with me for a while!
Words - don't we love them?! Thanks.

Gail Kittleson said...

Oxygenated bliss…Rachelle, haven't read your work yet, but I've enjoyed getting to know you at WhiteFire, and it's great to see you here on the Mine. Loved hearing details of your wedding dress…and that term Oxy. Bliss, will remain with me for a while!
Words - don't we love them?! Thanks.

Gail Kittleson said...

PS. Rachelle, my cousins/aunt had the last name Cobb. Any relatives in Iowa?

Rachelle Rea Cobb said...

Wenona, thanks for stopping by! :)

Raechel, it's always nice to hear you've been heard of. ;) I hope you get a chance to begin the story soon!

Gail, glad to make you smile! :) Actually, I don't know if he has any relatives in Iowa, but you never know :)

Dianne Casey said...

You are a new author. Would enjoy reading one of your books, they all sound amazing.

Mary Joy Ignacio said...

Haven't read any of these yet but I would love to!!!

Rachelle Rea Cobb said...

Thanks, Dianne!

That's always great to hear, Mary Joy! :)

JennaLynn1924 said...

I read book 1, and I can't wait to continue the series!

JJ said...

I'm always searching for a new author to read. Sign me up!