Today's author is...
Tell us about your journey to become a published author.
Like everyone else, I wrote my book and dreamed that a major New York publisher would accept it--this is before anyone ever conceived of the idea of an e-book--and turn the book into an instant success. Ten years later, my book was accepted by a small, independent publisher. Because it was a small publishing house, a month after my book was published, the publisher went under. I was at a loss as to what to do. I had worked so hard to get my book published. I attended a conference and a man approached me.
"That's a shame about your publishing house. What are you going to do?"
"I have an idea. Give me your address and phone number."
I did. After he walked away, I thought, That was stupid. I just gave a complete stranger my address and phone number.
When I got home, a letter for me awaited. There was a check for $1,000 and a contract for my book. Turns out he was a publisher! "
What sparked the idea for this series?
A failed idea!
I wrote my first book and the main character was Susan who needed police help so she turned to Harry Bronson. That was my idea. Bronson would not be the central character of any of my books. He would just be there to help the main character. After the book released--and after three more books--fans were screaming, "We want a Harry Bronson novel." Thus the "first" one in the series, Why Casey Had to Die, was born.
Tell us about your latest release.
Secrets of the Tunnels, a stand alone mystery. A stolen Chinese treasure, corruption, a fight for power, murder, and betrayal are all connected to the tunnels. And the roads that lead to them are paved with lies, betrayal, and murder. Can Connie survive the Secrets of the Tunnels? This edge of the seat thriller will leave the readers breathless and will keep them turning the pages.
Give five words that best describe this book. What message do you hope readers get?
Fast-read, suspenseful, surprises, twists, survival.
Give us one or two of your favorite lines from this book.
With the judge’s snap decision, Maria lost everything. Tony, her reputation, her reason for living.
Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.
I have an area in my house that is my writing room although it's an open space that opens to the living room, the dining room, and my husband's man cave. When I get up, I work on promotion--answering e-mails, doing Facebook, etc. Then time to write. I'm trying something new. All my other books--all 18 of them--have been written long hand. The one I'm currently working on--a new Harry Bronson mystery--will be my first one written using the computer. Call me Modern L. C.
What’s one of your favorite reviews/comments you’ve ever received about your writing (on this book or any other)? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?
I've have had several similar comments about my angel series. People who are dying or are close to someone dying, have written to me telling me how much my books has helped them coped with their misfortune. As for my mysteries, my favorite comments are about how I kept them up all night reading, telling themselves, just one more chapter.
Knowing that I've helped others and gave them hope (the angel series) and knowing that I've entertained folks (the mystery series) and made them forget their problems, fills my world with warm bubbles.
What’s your biggest struggle as a writer (or what was your worst critique)? And how do/did you handle it?
The worst critique I ever received was about my angel series. Someone wrote: How can Amazon label this book as nonfiction? Angels don't exist and strictly belong to the realm of science fiction. Hayden's stories about "true" incidents concerning angels are a pack of lies. Shame on her for lying to us and telling us these "miracles" actually occurred.
I ignored the "critique." I feel this is not a comment about my books but about religion.
What is the high point of your career, so far?
Having my novels nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Novel, for LCC's Best Novel and Best Characters made me feel that I am doing something right.
I love doing presentations--and the attendees love them too! When I stand in front of an audience, I feel like a "real" writer.
What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?
Receiving my royalty checks! Once, I got one for 2 cents! Yay, me!
How did I handle this? I cashed my checks
Give us the name of a recent book you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.
The book I'm currently reading is super. Great characterization. If for nothing else, I'd recommend it for this. It's called Burning Man by Alan Russell.
What's your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of advice to writers?
What’s next on your writing journey?
Currently writing another children's picture book with a religious twist. My minister suggested the plot so I'm doing this more for him than anything else.
But I'm also writing my next Harry Bronson novel.
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