Please welcome Rachel Van Dyken to the virtual offices this morning!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Rachel Van Dyken] Starbucks addicted author who loves reading as much as she loves writing and thinks the world would be a happier place if everyone sang instead of talked.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Elect?
[Rachel Van Dyken] The Elect are a group of friends who grew up together in the mafia underworld. They formed an alliance when they were little because they wanted to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. On the outside they appear privileged and mean–when really they are the exact opposite.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Rachel Van Dyken] I took inspiration from a few things. My husband was the one who actually had the idea to write a story about the mafia. There was an ex-Sicilian mobster who lived around 30 miles away from us–he was in hiding for over twenty years before the feds found out. That particular story got my wheels turning. I wanted to make it into an NA book and was trying to figure out a way to do that while bringing in not just one main character but several, thus the Elect were born. I also wanted to involve four of the five mafia families. I didn’t use original names but made up my own. So the Elect are from the four original Sicilian families that settled in Chicago. It was fun to bring an updated version of the mafia into the book world.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?
[Rachel Van Dyken] Hmm, I think my personal theme song would be Belle’s song from Beauty and the Beast. "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell." Haha, I LOVE stories and I love telling stores. Is it weird to identify with a Disney character?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
[Rachel Van Dyken] My iPhone. I’m on it constantly. I’ll forget to wear a shirt before I forget my phone. Okay so maybe I wouldn’t go to Wal Mart naked, but still. It’s my sanity.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Rachel Van Dyken] Starbucks, Laptop, Music.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Rachel Van Dyken] WOW great question! I just finished Kristan Higgins new book. SO GOOD!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Rachel Van Dyken] Read. I know it sounds exhausting. You write ten hours a day and then you want to read? But it’s how I relax.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Rachel Van Dyken] I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I love talking with readers so hit me up!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
Would you die for the one you love?
Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family’s enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.
Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family’s sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend… But Trace isn’t ready to give up on a future with Nix–and if he won’t fight for them, she will.
In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .