Meet the Author Monday: Carol Van Den Hende

Carol Van Den Hende

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Carol Van Den Hende, author of Orchid Blooming; Goodbye, Orchid (release date September 13, 2022).

About Carol Van Den Hende:

Carol Van Den Hende is a multi-award-winning author who pens stories of resilience and hope. Her novels Orchid Blooming and Goodbye, Orchid series are inspired by wounded veterans and have won 20+ literary awards, including the American Fiction Award, IAN Outstanding Fiction First Novel Award, and 2020 Royal Dragonfly for Disability Awareness. 

Buzzfeed, Parade,  and Travel+Leisure named “heartwarming, heartbreaking” Goodbye, Orchid a most anticipated read. Glamour Magazine recommended this “modern, important take on the power of love.” The International Pulpwood Queens, selected Goodbye, Orchid as a 2022 Bonus Book-of-the-Month.

Carol’s mission is unlocking optimism as a writer, speaker, strategist, Board member and Climate Reality Leader. One secret to her good fortune? Her humorous husband and teenaged twins, who prove that love really does conquer all.

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About Orchid Blooming:

A childhood tragedy followed her into adult life. Will she ever claim real happiness again?

Kind and generous, twenty-seven-year-old Orchid Paige will never forget that day. Living as best she can after witnessing her parents’ fatal accident, the beauty industry marketer yearns to win a promotion to China to connect to her mom’s ancestry. But with competition fierce, she despairs she’ll never make the grade… until she meets an encouraging man who makes her feel safe despite her usual distrust.

After Orchid convinces the handsome entrepreneur to let her gain experience at his nonprofit project, she’s determined to keep their relationship professional and ignore their powerful attraction. But when working on his military ad campaign for veterans triggers her own unresolved PTSD, she fears her confident mentor may be too good to be true even if she could trust him with her heart.

Can she conquer her vulnerabilities before she loses her chance at forever?

Orchid Blooming is the captivating first book in the Goodbye, Orchid contemporary fiction series. If you like complex characters overcoming trauma, heart-warming stories, and compassionate connections, then you’ll adore award-winning author Carol Van Den Hende’s emotionally satisfying page-turner.

Author Interview with Carol Van Den Hende:

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  1. How do you do research for your books?

Many readers wonder about the inspiration behind the Goodbye Orchid series. I’m honored to say that the stories are inspired by combat-wounded veterans. Even though the main characters aren’t military personnel, the work pays homage to their service. Out of respect for their experiences, much research went into these books. I scoured available sources and also interviewed surgeons, psychologists and wounded warriors. I know the in-depth research has paid off when I receive reviews like this one:

“As a combat decorated and wounded veteran, I was truly captivated by Carol’s storytelling. Goodbye Orchid transported me to my post-war self from fourteen years ago. Phoenix Walker captures the mindset, roller-coaster and daily heroics of my experience after being injured. I could relate from many levels, and even gained new insights from seeing the perspective of loved ones. All around excellence.” —Doc Jacobs, Bronze Star with Valor and Purple Heart-decorated Navy Corpsman, CEO Doc Jacobs Foundation, author There and Back Again

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

The names of my main characters are meaningful. Phoenix Walker suffers an accident that changes him forever, so invoking Greek mythology was quite apt. He must come to terms with his new life, just as phoenixes must rise from ashes. My author friend Paula Scardamalia says “It’s a great theme/metaphor. The phoenix themes have to do with death and re-birth, and the transformation that occurs when one sacrifices the self for something. Think of Harry Potter and the Phoenix, and of the dragons and Daenerys in Game of Thrones.”

Orchid Paige’s name is also chosen specifically for her character. While these exotic flowers have a reputation for being delicate, they’re actually quite hardy in the wild. This is perfect for Orchid because she’s still grappling with the trauma of witnessing her parents’ death, yet ultimately, she proves to be resilient!

  1. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

When I’m not writing, I’m a global marketer and digital strategist in the fun categories of treats and snacks, petcare, and food. During my decades as an executive, I’ve launched new products, worked with amazing agencies on packaging design, been on set for advertising shoots, governed digital transformations, applied digital to sustainability and so much more. 

I applied some of these experiences to my writing. Specifically, my character Orchid Paige is a marketer in the beauty industry who meets ad agency founder Phoenix Walker.

Beauty is a fitting industry for Orchid Paige because she comes into the story believing that the perfection of beauty and its curated images might protect her from negative experiences that could remind her of her traumatic past. As with character-driven novels, she’ll find the flaw in her misbelief.

  1. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

To borrow a tech expression, we built hidden “Easter Egg” design features into the books’ interiors. When you flip through the pages of the printed books, an image of orchids appears to shatter until the darkest moment of the story, and then re-form, until the emotionally satisfying ending.

  1. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

Yes! Readers should look for me on their favorite platforms, like and follow my profiles to keep up with the latest news. Most of all, authors appreciate readers leaving reviews and recommending good books to their friends.

To learn more about Carol Van Den Hende, here’s where you can find her:

Twitter: @c_vandenhende
Instagram: @carolvandenhende

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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