Mendam Award Winning Author Anticipates Latest Book

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Carol Van Den Hende is excited about her upcoming book, Always Orchid, which will be available in October. 

It’s the third of the Goodbye, Orchid series which won 20+ literary awards including the American Fiction Award, Pinnacle Achievement Award, IAN for Best First Novel, two Royal Dragonfly’s, and Kops-Fetherling Award. 

The series tells the story of Orchid Page, a 27-year-old who works in marketing for the beauty industry. Page loses her parents in a tragedy and wants to win a working trip to China to feel closer to the memory of her mother. Meanwhile, Page and her boss fall for each other.

“Emotional,” is how Van Den Hende described the series, adding, “Hashtag ‘Bring tissues.’” 

Always Orchid can be read as a stand-alone, without having to read the other two. In the book, Page’s boss deals with unfair discrimination in life due to his disability. Van Den Hende explained, “They, as a couple, need to figure out how to turn discrimination into compassion.” 

The series was inspired by multiple things, like veterans and Van Den Hende’s special needs son. But she’s also moved by optimism. She said, “The belief in possibility. The belief in human good.”

Writing was a passion for Van Den Hende for as long as she can remember. “As a kid, I loved the library,” she said. “I love to read. I read before I went to kindergarten.” 

Van Den Hende’s grandfather worked in the publishing industry and let her pick as many books as she wanted when she visited him at work. “There’s so many stories in the world,” Van Den Hende said, passionately. 

She envisioned becoming an English major, but her traditional Chinese family steered her in a different direction. Van Den Hende ended up with an industrial engineering degree. But she’s not regretful about it. “I’ve loved my career,” she said. “I was able to get my MBA and work in marketing. But it’s so lovely to come back to an early passion and now write and to be a published author.” 

Van Den Hende feels writing has multiple components. “There’s the craft of writing that’s quite learnable,” she explained. “I put a lot of effort into learning the craft through classes and books. There’s also story telling. Aren’t we all story tellers?” 

Of course, writing does not come without challenges, some which Van Den Hende feels are universal. “I wear multiple hats. I have twins, a career I adore. I try to give back to the community,” she said. “Time can be a challenge—having enough time. There is marketing as well, which takes time.” 

But the rewards are well worth it. Van Den Hende shared her views about the best part of writing, explaining, “I love the feeling of being in a creative flow, when you have no sense of time, you’re just lost.” 

Van Den Hende is in the process of thinking about what her next books are going to be. She said, “I’m tapping into my own Chinese heritage.” 

Aside from Van Den Hende’s career of writing, speaking, and marketing, she enjoys dance, like Zumba, working out, and of course family and friends, which are so important to her. “The clearer we are on our ‘why,’ our lives feel full and full of meaning,” she said. 

For more information on Carol Van Den Hende, including books and speaking events, visit: https://carolvandenhende.com/

 

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