L.C. Hayden: Crime and Inspiration Author
I first met the talented L.C. Hayden about six years ago when I took a SavvyAuthors writing course she was teaching. Since then, I’ve taken several more courses from her. Each time, I’ve benefited from her practical knowledge of the field and writing expertise (thank you, L.C.!). She’s a wonderful encourager and mentored me while I was writing Gunnysack Hell. Her “praise” for my thriller is included in its foreword. She also guided me through the process of planning for Gunnysack Hell to be featured in book groups after it was published (and I’ve been in ten now!). She is a wise and generous mentor and friend. And she has a keen sense of humor (follow her adventures on her Author FaceBook page). I’ve also seen her present online as a guest speaker for different organizations. She’s amazing! And she’ll be telling us about her new release, That Last Ghost Dance below.
Some Interesting Factoids About L.C.
- She has published over 400 pieces of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry
- She taught high-school English for 26 years
- She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso
- She’s been hired by several cruise lines to talk about her writing (a fun way to see the world!)
- Although she calls Texas her home, she and her husband enjoy traveling with their dog (who appears in some of her books) and researching future storylines
- She is devoted to her family, which includes her husband of 50+ years and amazing children and grandchildren. Besides writing, she enjoys drawing, reading, traveling (often to research with her husband and dog, who appears in some of her books), and scuba diving
- A religious person, she considers God to be her “pilot”; her nonfiction angel/miracle series consists of spiritually uplifting books that leave the reader wanting more
- Born a tiny, premie baby in Mexico, her tenacity kept her alive, and now she’s a naturalized U.S. citizen and world traveler
Q: I see that you’ve been published in various genres. What are some of them and which are your favorites?
L.C.: Some of the genres include mystery/suspense/thriller, young adult, inspirational, paranormal, children’s books, how-to, and others. One of my favorites is the inspirational line. I write a nonfiction series about miracles and angels. My other favorite is the mystery line. I have a stand-alone and two series, the Harry Bronson Thriller Series (6 so far in the series) and the Aimee Brent Mystery/Suspense Series (3 so far in the series).
Q: Your two most successful characters are Harry Bronson from the Bronson Thriller Series and Aimee Brent from the Aimee Brent Mystery series. Who do you prefer: Bronson or Aimee?
L.C.: I have always loved Bronson. I feel like he’s a real member of my family. I know him so well. So when I decided to write the next in the Aimee Brent series (book #3), I actually got mad at Aimee! I wanted to write Bronson! For the longest time, I couldn’t even get into the Aimee Brent book. Then something happened. The more I wrote, the more I came to respect and love Aimee. In this third book in the series, That Last Ghost Dance, I actually got to know her and now I have a never-ending bond with her. That book still haunts me. I can feel every pain, danger, and joy Aimee endured. Those are still with me. Now I wonder if I can get back to Bronson!
Q: Your book titles state: Author of Award-Winning Series. What awards have you won?
L.C.: I’ve been a finalist or have won several major awards, including the Agatha Award for Best Mystery, Left Coast Crime’s Award for Best Characters and Best Novel, Reader’s Choice Award, Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award for Best Suspense, and others. I’ve also hit several best-selling lists, including Kindle and Barnes ’n Nobles lists, but I don’t think that would be considered an award.
Q: Your newest release is the third in the Aimee Brent series, That Last Ghost Dance. What’s the significance of the title?
L.C.: The majority of the story takes place at the Paiute’s Lake Pyramid Reservation in Nevada. Around 1870, a Paiute shaman and prophet named Wodziwob Wovoka created a mystical ceremony designed to re-establish the Native Indian culture and bring a peaceful end to the western expansion. Every tribe—even those from warring tribes—sent representatives to learn the dance. The story begins when the Paiute’s head councilman wants to bring back the dance to restore happiness to his tribe. Several disputes arise and the councilman gets killed while performing the dance.
Q: What made you want to write a novel set on a Native American reservation?
L.C.: For some odd reason, I’ve always felt a tie to the Native Americans. Then I did my DNA testing and found out that I’m 95% Native American. I don’t know which tribe(s) are my ancestors, but I wanted to honor them all. History has taught us how much they have suffered and endured, so I wrote this as a tribute to them. I also made sure That Last Ghost Dance was released in November which is Celebrate the Native American month.
Q: Sounds like you had to do a lot of research for this book. Tell me how you researched it and if research is a chore or a pleasure for you.
L.C.: I visited the reservation and made several contacts. During my writing, I had a million-and-a-half questions and they were always willing to help me. Writing always involves research so I make sure it’s enjoyable. I love to travel so I always visit the places I’m writing about. When Aimee, in her second adventure, Vengeance in My Heart, had to scuba dive, I learned to scuba. When Bronson retired and bought a motor home to travel all over the U. S., I bought a motor home. Heck, I’m not letting my characters have more fun than me!
Q: What’s your next project?
L.C.: That’s a toughie. If you had asked me this before I wrote That Last Ghost Dance, I would have said, “I’m already planning my next Bronson novel.” But now that I feel so attached to Aimee, I’m really having a hard time deciding whether to go with Bronson or with Aimee. Ahh! Help! Which one should I do?