Interview & Giveaway: Then Came the Thunder by Rachael Huszar

Hello, dear readers! I hope you all had a great weekend. I am kicking off the week by sharing with you an interview with Author Rachasel Huszar who is currently on Blog Tour for her new release, Then Came the Thunder! I hope you enjoy getting to know Rachael as much as I did and be sure to enter the giveaway!

Hello Rachael and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Then Came the Thunder!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

My name is Rachael, I’m 30, and I’ve always had lots of fun with writing as a hobby. It wasn’t until the pandemic happened and I found myself with lots of spare time that I wondered if I could take my writing more seriously. THEN CAME THE THUNDER actually began its life as a script, and I used to just have it on my Drive and read it for fun or to cheer myself up. Since I was still doing that years after I’d written it, I knew I had something worthwhile and characters I loved that I could turn into a full novel.

What inspired you to write Then Came the Thunder?

I love ‘feel-good’ media, and shows/movies that are easy to watch, without sacrificing intrigue, action, or drama. Think Virgin River, or Anne With an E. I wanted to write something that had that same sort of slow burn plot with a strong setting and cast. Once I settled on the 1860s as an era, ideas just kept coming.

I absolutely love the title, how did you come up with it?

Thank you! I wish I had a cooler story to tell about the title, but it did just sort of come to me. Thunderstorms play a pretty pivotal role in the town of Three Willows, where the book takes place, and they end up serving as an important clue. I’ll leave it at that! You can expect to see the same sort of title formula for the remainder of the trilogy!

What research did you undertake when writing Then Came the Thunder?

I ended up looking a lot into the structure of the US before and during the Civil War. THEN CAME THE THUNDER is set in the New Mexican Territory, before it became a state, so I had to look into how territories were involved in the war. One of my favorite things I’ve done for research is visit the Texas Civil War Museum. I learned so much about the army’s medical practices during that time period. I’m glad I was able to get some of that information into the book.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Then Came the Thunder?

I’d like if readers took away the notion of giving people (including yourself) chances. You never know who might surprise you when you let yourself open up.

What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scene is one I called “CSI Willow Ridge” in my outline. After a certain event in town, Jessalyn, the main character, Sam, her boarder, and Roger, the assistant priest, team up to investigate. But, also, it’s 1862, so there’s no technology to help them out. Writing three very different people doing a task together and working with all the character dynamics and relationships in play was a blast.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

Endings are a big challenge for me, even during the outline stage. I can usually get to the 75% mark of a story confidently, and then just feel totally lost on how to bring it all to a close. I’m happy with the way THUNDER ends, but figuring out the timing of it all was tough.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I started with fanfiction in high school, and tested out some original ideas when I met some fellow writer friends in college. I’d say it wasn’t until 2020 that I really felt confident enough to push myself a little harder, share my story with people I trusted, and give myself a chance. There’s so much advice for new writers out there that focuses on mistakes and pitfalls and what is and isn’t bad, it can be scary. I’d love to tell more novice writers out there that it’s okay to like your work.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I work full time, so I’m usually only able to write on the weekends. I’m part of a weekly Shut Up & Write group that meets virtually, and I would guard that hour of writing time with my life. Sometimes it’s the only chance I have to work. Plus, I’ve met some amazing friends and writers through that group.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Honestly, sharing. I’m a pretty private person, and I’m not a fan of making mistakes, and I tend to keep my work to myself. Either because I think it isn’t good enough, or I don’t think other people would be interested or care. Pushing past that boundary has been really eye-opening, and this writing adventure has brought it a lot of unexpected support, and even helped me reconnect with old friends.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I’m a lifelong fan of Laini Taylor. I remember reading LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES and feeling for the first time that words could be art. N.K. Jemisin is another favorite author of mine, I find her work completely inspirational as to what one can to with one’s writing style, as well as how to subvert it and keep the reader guessing.

What was the first historical novel you read?

The first novel I can remembering reading that struck me with a sense of existing in a certain time and place was THE THIEF LORD by Cornelia Funke. It’s more on the contemporary side (not to mention with a magical twist), but it painted such a vivid picture of Venice that I remember portions of that book to this day. Not to mention, I’m hoping to learn Italian someday!

What is the last historical novel you read?

A WITCH IN TIME by Constance Sayers. This was an absolute combo of historical adventures, chronicling the life(lives) of Helen Lambert, who has lived in 1890s Paris, 1930s Hollywood, and 1970s LA for reasons I would never give away.

What are three things people may not know about you?

My favorite animal is the lobster, I have a growing collection of taco-themed memorabilia, and I’m a big fan of late night baking, especially things like bread and pretzels. It’s just much more fun to do at night!

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love the transportive nature of historical novels, and as a hardcore fantasy fan, I love giving things a magical/speculative/supernatural twist. Settings are characters in themselves, and the more flavor you can give them, and the people who live there, the more connected the reader will feel. That makes it all the more fun to turn things upside down!

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I was never the biggest historical reader, but my shelves have completely expanded within the last few years! One of my favorite quarantine purchases was a mystery box of 20 vintage historical romances from an indie bookstore that I’m working my way through. In general, I’m a big fan of music/movies/style from the 1970s, so I’d love to read more books set around then!

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I enjoy swimming, and I am slowly but surely teaching myself to roller skate! I have the bruises to prove it!

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m working on the final chapters of THEN CAME THE THUNDER’S sequel, which I’m hoping I’ll be able to move into production before the end of the year, and after that will be Book 3!

Then Came the Thunder by Rachael Huszar

Publication Date: July 2, 2021
eBook; 160 pages

Series: Three Willows, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Jessalyn Joy loves her husband, but she can’t help the feelings that arose when he volunteered for the Union army. When he comes back to her in a box instead of on his feet, those feelings complicate even more.

Jessalyn’s mourning period is cut short when something begins to attack the livestock in their small town, and greater dangers begin to threaten their provincial life. Thrown together with the new reverend, one of her own students, and a strange man somehow related to her husband’s passing, Jessalyn must find a way to stop the evils that threaten her husband’s first and ultimately last home.

Set in the Southwestern home front, Huszar blends a taste of fantasy into a startling down-to-earth world, creating a high stakes adventure for this strong female protagonist and her band of amateur sleuths.


About the Author

Rachael Huszar kept her life steeped in stories from a young age, and she began her own journey in story-making when she reached adulthood. In the time since, she has taken up swimming, roller skating, and consuming tabletop RPG streams. She spends the bulk of her time with her dog, Silo, and works full time as a designer in Dallas, Texas.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 26
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, July 27
Review at momma_doc_reads

Thursday, July 29
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Excerpt at Wishful Endings

Friday, July 30
Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes
Excerpt at Reading is My Superpower
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Saturday, July 31
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Monday, August 2
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, August 5
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, August 4
Excerpt at The Cozy Book Blog

Sunday, August 8
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, August 9
Guest Post & Excerpt at Lalitha's World of Serenity

Wednesday, August 11
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Friday, August 13
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Monday, August 16
Review at Rajiv's Reviews
Review at The Enchanted Shelf


Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Then Came the Thunder

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