As a writer who rarely ventures far from mysteries, I’m always so impressed with authors who successfully write in multiple genres. LC Hayden definitely qualifies! Below are her responses to my interview questions, followed by her bio and contact/buy links:
You have had such an incredible award-winning writing career spanning so many genres—everything from crime and suspense to inspirational works to children’s picture books.
Can you tell I enjoy writing? I’ve dipped my toes in several genres. I’ve covered several genres expanding from a series on miracles and angels to a horror novel and from fiction to non-fiction, and lots of stuff in between.
Did you always know you wanted to become a writer?
I was one of those students who when the teacher assigned a composition, I wrote page after page. Then I became an English teacher and I hated it when the students wrote page after page that I had to grade. That’ll teach me, eh?
Can you share with our readers a bit about your most recent novel, as well as your upcoming one?
I’d love to. When it came time to check off the nationality box in forms, I always checked Mexican-American. Then like most people, I joined the movement and did my DNA test. I found out I was 90 percent Native American. I always knew I had Indian blood in me, but 90 percent? Totally amazing!
At that time, I was getting ready to write the third book in the Aimee Brent Series. Aimee is a reporter for the Lake Tahoe newspaper. From previous research, I knew that the Paiute’s Lake Pyramid Reservation isn’t far from Lake Tahoe. I knew I had to set the novel in the reservation. I visited the place and had a blast doing the research. I met several Native Americans who helped me with the research.
The premise of this novel which became That Last Ghost Dance is that the Paiute’s chief councilman is killed while performing the Ghost Dance, a dance created by the Native Americans to bring peace and restore their land to the way it used to be. Aimee is sent to cover the story. Upon arriving at the reservation, Aimee finds that not everyone or everything is as should be. She stumbles upon secrets—secrets that could lead to her death. It’s up to Aimee to unravel them before more people fall victim to the grand scheme of That Last Ghost Dance.
The current novel I’m writing is the 7th one in the Harry Bronson Thriller Series. I’m about ¾ finished with this one. This time, Harry Bronson’s grand-niece gets kidnapped and Bronson is off to the rescue. Like the other books in the series, this one is filled with twists and turns, humor, and thrills.
I was fascinated to read that you were an immigrant who arrived in this country from Mexico as a small child and didn’t become an American citizen until you were a senior in high school. How did that experience affect your life? Your writing?
I came to the U. S. when I was in the 3rd grade. I didn’t speak any English so I had to learn it fast so I could keep up with my classmates. Fortunately for me, I haven’t encountered any prejudice except for once. I was refused service at a restaurant because I am Mexican. But other than that, all’s been well, or at least I think so. I tend not to notice things like that.
As far as my writing is concerned, I still have some grammatical problems that others don’t encounter. For instance, I have trouble as to when to use the words on or in. Many folks have tried to explain the rules but I think I have a dense brain that doesn’t seem to comprehend. Silly, eh?
You began your writing career writing hundreds of pieces of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Was it difficult to make the transition to writing full length novels?
The editor of one of the many magazines I wrote for called me to give me the next assignment. I thanked him for doing that then added, “But I’m going to have to turn you down. I’m going to write a novel instead.” As soon as I hung up, I said, “What the heck did I just do? Where did I ever get the idea that I was going to write a novel?” Before this, I had never even thought about it. But since I had told him I was going to do that, I was compromised. I sat down and wrote my first novel, Who’s Susan? This book introduces my series character, Harry Bronson, but I don’t consider this or the next three books to be part of the series as Bronson isn’t the main character.
I know that you were a high school English teacher for many years. Did you find it difficult to find time to write while you were teaching?
I learned to make time for writing. I’d wake up extra early before the kids and hubby got up. I’d write a bit before it was time to make breakfast and get ready for work. I also learned to use every available time. For example, while waiting for the kid’s soccer games to begin, I’d be writing. I’d write while my husband drove. I’d write anywhere and everywhere I could. Even so, back then, I didn’t write as much as I do now that I’m “retired.”
Can you talk a bit about your writing process?
Two parts of me exist. One is the part that tells writers in workshops or when asking for advice what they should/shouldn’t do. The other part of me is what I really do. For example, I tell novice writers never to go back and re-read what they’ve written. “Don’t ever look back, at least not until you write: The End,” I tell them.
Me? I write a chapter. Wait a couple of hours. Then go back and revise and proofread. When I finish that chapter, it’s in its final form. Now, since I’m a pantser, I often have to go back and insert scenes that foreshadow the current chapter I’m writing. At that point, I go back and re-read the chapter with the new additions to make sure all flows well. I’m naughty, aren’t I?
What’s a typical writing day like for you?
I get up and immediately hit the computer, but usually not to write. This is the time I answer my emails and do social media (mainly Facebook) where I talk to my readers. Then I write or revise the previous day’s chapter. Breakfast time (by now it’s usually around 10 AM.) Then we take our dog Shadow (who is a character in the Bronson series) for a walk. We get home to write until dinner time. That’s usually 3 PM. Weird, eh? We watch the news and walk the dog again. Then back to writing or revising or doing some other writing-related stuff.
You earned your master’s degree in creative writing. Did you find that experience helpful in developing your craft as a writer?
Heck, no! I learned to write by reading like a writer, not a reader and by writing. It took me a long time to perfect and really learn the trade. In fact, I’m still learning—which is good! It keeps my mind active. No help-your-brain pills for me.
My creative writing master’s degree did, however, help me with my teaching skills so it wasn’t wasted time. But as far as teaching me how to write, nope. Sigh.
What’s next for you writing-wise?
I’ll finish writing my Harry Bronson thriller, and then I’ll write the 5th in the series on miracles and angels. I try not to write one Bronson book after the other so that the series doesn’t get boring. I promised my readers that each book I write is better than the previous one. So I want to keep the series fresh. I’ll normally do a Bronson book, then an Aimee Brent one or an inspirational book, then back to Bronson.
Anything else you’d like to add, or wish I’d asked that I didn’t?
No, I don’t think so. But I do want to thank you for a wonderful interview. You did an outstanding job.
Thanks so much for visiting today!
L.C. Hayden is the author of the popular Harry Bronson and Aimee Brent mystery series. When Doubts Creep In, the latest Bronson release, recently hit the #1 Kindle Bestseller list for suspense and the #2 spot for mysteries. The Aimee Brent series hit the #3 Kindle position for Women Sleuths. Her novels have beenfinalists for the distinguished Silver Falchion Award, the Readers Choice Award, the Agatha and LCC Awards, hit the Pennsylvania Top 40, the B&N Top 10, and the Kindle Best Seller Lists. Her angel/miracle series are International Best Sellers.
Hayden is also a popular speaker. She presents workshops, has spoken to clubs, and major cruise lines have hired her to speak while cruising all over the world. From October 2006 to October 2007, Hayden hosted Mystery Writers of America’s only talk show, Murder Must Air.
BUY LINK: http://tinyurl.com/LCHaydenbooks