It’s here! It’s here!
What’s here, you may be asking?
RELEASE DAY for The Sound of Emeralds, of course!
I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this final episode in the Steadfast Love series by Rachelle Rea ever since I finished The Sound of Diamonds & The Sound of Silver, the first two books in the trilogy.
ABOUT The Steadfast Love Series
In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, a half-Dutch Catholic, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?
To celebrate RELEASE DAY (yay!), I’m chatting with Rachelle Rea (another yay!). On RELEASE DAY! (Did I mention that already?) It’s also tax day… but I’d rather focus on RELEASE DAY for The Sound of Emeralds!
Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea 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. (Go to Rachelle’s blog to find out some really exciting news! Because I’m pretty sure she will be adding to this bio soon. 🙂 )
On this much-awaited RELEASE DAY (whoohoo!!) for The Sound of Emeralds, let’s start Rachelle out with our usual “fast four”!
Rachelle: Oranges. Because that’s my favorite color!
Carrie: Oranges have been uncharacteristically popular this week…
Rachelle: Both! I’m a woman of extremes and they’re both my favorite season.
Carrie: Three cheers for winter!
Rachelle: Dogs! I have THREE! Riley is a miniature dachshund, and he rules the roost over Buddy, our German shepherd mix, and Meechie, our Walker Hound. 😉
Carrie: Ha! Go, Riley! Zuzu would also like me to point out that it’s been a good week for authors at this stage in the Q&A. Everyone has made it past her rigorous approval process! (i.e. – not exclusively picking cats.)
Rachelle: Neither! I’m a lemonade or water drinker!
Carrie: Mmmm…now I want some lemonade! Here’s enough for both of us while we embark on the portion of our chat that “mostly” matters…
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Rachelle: Editing. I love love love taking a page with words and making those words behave better together. I’m so blessed to not only do that with my own writing, but with other writers as well as part of my freelance editing business. I even get to edit as part of my job working for my church!
Carrie: I think that is indeed your superpower as most authors I know loathe the editing process 🙂
A lot of my blog followers are in college, heading into college, or have recently graduated from college. Since you wrote your first historical romance after your sophomore year of college, what advice would you give to someone at this age who wants to pursue a writing dream?
Rachelle: Do it. Just do it. Say no to that night out with friends once a week, or wake up early, and schedule yourself some writing time. Because truth is, there is no better time to write than right now. I’m so glad I didn’t let anyone—including myself—tell me I was too young to write a good story just because I hadn’t lived much of my own story yet. Other advice? Read a lot. Write a lot. Follow writing blogs. Go to conferences if you can afford it. Stalk the social media channels of authors and industry professionals you adore. But don’t let research get in the way of writing. That. Book.
Carrie: That is AWESOME advice, Rachelle! Are you listening, follower peeps?
I’ve read in other interviews that the inspiration for The Steadfast Love trilogy began with a song you heard on the radio. How did it go from needing to know what “the sound of diamonds” was to a story set in Reformation-Era England? 🙂
Rachelle: Characters who wouldn’t shut up, LOL. It started out as scribbling in a notebook, which later became the first chapter. Then the book was done but the story wasn’t. So I wrote a sequel the next summer. Then I had an idea for the third book. That last one took me a YEAR to write. So, yes, from hearing that song on the radio to finished trilogy took me a little over two years. Now, FOUR years after starting Diamonds, I’m about to have all three of them in paperback on my bookshelf!
Carrie: ahhhhhhhhh that’s so exciting!!!
Ok. Now. We need to discuss this whole #TeamDirk and #TeamAnders thing. After reading The Sound of Diamonds & The Sound of Silver, I am #TeamDirk all the way. I mean, c’mon! He and Gwyneth were getting along just fine… Please defend yourself against the needless introduction of Anders. 😉 (I kid, I kid. Everything you write – even the love triangles I dread so much – is captivating. But feel free to expound on insights into Anders anyway lol.)
Rachelle: I dread love triangles, too! I told myself—promised the characters who wouldn’t shut up, rather—that I’d write a sequel only if I avoided two things: a love triangle and a separation between Gwyn and Dirk. Wellllll, without giving too much away…I totally broke that promise. Anders strode onto the scene and needled his way into my heart, the blond childhood friend who’s always had a crush on Gwyn. That man gets a lot of things wrong, but you’ll have to read Emeralds to see what he finally gets right. 🙂
Carrie: #TeamDirk, #TeamDirk, #TeamDirk 😉
The final book in The Steadfast Love trilogy – The Sound of Emeralds – releases TODAY! (Have I mentioned that yet?) I cannot wait to read it!! (#TeamDirk) If you had casting powers in a Hollywood adaptation of The Sound of Emeralds, who would you choose to play the main characters?
Rachelle: I can’t wait for Release Day, either! Oh, my, what a question. Maybe Matthew McConaughey for Anders. Henry Cavill for Dirk—we’d just have to auburn-ize his hair. (Yes, Superman! This will make my fiancé super happy!) How about Emma Watson for Gwyneth? (Rabbit trail: Mentioning Emma makes me want to watch Beauty and the Beast even more!)
Carrie: Oh my stars…. Matthew McConaughey and Henry Cavill (myJames) both?!? No wonder poor Emma Watson/Gwyneth is having a difficult time choosing between the two! #TeamDirk #myJames And yes… Beauty and the Beast needs to release, like, yesterday.
Now that this closing chapter in the saga is almost here, what do you most want readers to take away from The Steadfast Love trilogy?
Rachelle: It’s all about hope, friends. Life’s hard. Reformations happen and things change. Revolutions happen and things fall apart. But love and faith and truth are always worth hoping for.
I just love talking with you, Rachelle! Even if you are killing me with this love triangle business. 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Rachelle: I can’t yet! My next project is Top Secret, but I greatly look forward to sharing about it when I can! Thank you so very much for having me, Carrie! Such fun and thoughtful questions. I look forward to chatting with your readers in the comments section below!
Carrie: Argh. I was afraid you were going to say that! 😉
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?
Other books in the Steadfast Love series:
Ok… now it’s your turn! Do you have questions for Rachelle Rea? Do you want to cheer for #TeamDirk? Let me know in the comments 🙂