L.C. Hayden: Violin Criminals (Latest Bronson Release) and New Angel Project Call for Stories
L.C. Hayden mentored me for the last seven years, and she taught me everything I know about being a guest author at a book group (of which I’ve now done around six–thanks!). She’s a wonderful encourager, and her praise for Gunnysack Hell is included in my foreword. I love her keen sense of humor which shines in the following interview where you’ll get a little intro to her new Bronson thriller, When Danger Follows (join the contest to win an electronic version of her book in the comments below by greeting her below and/or giving her another crime to investigate–contest closes Dec. 15), and learn about her new Angel project and call for projects.
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, Honey, 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 I write in include mystery/suspense/thriller, young adult, inspirational, paranormal, children’s books, how-to, and others. One of my favorites is the inspirational line. Brush of an Angel’s Wing: Angel and Miracle Series is Book 4 of my Spiritual, Miracle, and Angels Series. This book contains seven sections, each introduced with a work of art, followed by a poem relevant to that topic, and poignant stories that illustrate how angels and miracles are alive in our lives. So, take a minute to read one of the selections, and you’ll feel better about life. My other favorite is the mystery line. I have a stand-alone and two series, the Harry Bronson Thriller Series (7, so far, in the series) and the Aimee Brent Mystery/Suspense Series (3, so far, in the series). Since my newest Bronson mystery, When Danger Follows, was just published on November 17, I want to give him a rest. I don’t want the series to become stagnant, and to give myself a break, I’ll be working on the 5th book of my angel series – so stay tuned.
Q: Your two most successful characters are Harry Bronson from the Bronson Thriller Series and Aimee Brent from the Aimee Brent Mystery series. Whom do you prefer: Bronson or Aimee?
L.C.: I have always loved Bronson. I feel like he’s a real member of my family. The more I write about him, the more I come to respect and admire that guy. If the world were filled with Bronsons, it’d be such a wonderful world.
But then again, that’s how I feel about Aimee. In the third book in the series, That Last Ghost Dance: An Aimee Brent Suspense and Mystery , 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.
So whom do I like better? Maybe Bronson by a tiny, little margin. Final vote: Bronson: 50.0001 and Aimee: 49.009. See? A tiny, little bit.
Q: Your book titles state: Author of Award-Winning Series. What awards have you won?
L.C.: I won the Most Beautiful, Most Wonderful, Most Talented Person Award! In my dreams. Sigh.
But seriously, I have one more major award to add to my list. I opened my email a couple of days ago and this is what that email had to say: “L. C., Congrats! The results are in, and The Last Ghost Dance has been named a Finalist in the 2023 Best Thrillers Book Awards!” Woohoo. I’m doing the Happy Dance.
I’ve also 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 the Pennsylvania Top Ten Picks, Kindle, and Barnes ’n Nobles lists. Several of the Bronson books have hit the #1 Kindle Category Best Selling List. But I don’t think that would be considered an award. Sigh.
Q: Your newest release is the seventh book in the Bronson series When Danger Follows. What’s the significance of the title?
L.C.: Since I feel that Bronson is a real person, he must live in a world that is real. So through the series, I’ve built friendships and relationships just as we encounter in our everyday lives. The bond between Bronson and his ex-partner Mike Hoover is a very solid one. Mike is in danger, and Bronson suffers as he watches what happens to his buddy. Bronson also loves his dog, Honey. She joins him on dangerous missions and there are several times she’s in danger and Bronson is helpless to come to the rescue. Then of course, Bronson, himself, often places himself in danger so that he can rescue a woman and 2 teens who have been kidnapped, including his grandniece. Basically, everywhere Bronson goes, danger follows.
Q: What made you want to write a novel set in Dallas?
L.C.: In book one of the series, Why Casey Had to Die, the reader learns that Bronson has been given the choice: retire or be fired.
Naturally, he chooses retirement. His home is Dallas but he buys a motor home, and he and Carol, his wife and love of his life, travel all over the U. S., and you know, of course, that everyone who owns a motor home always encounters danger along the way, right?
So Bronson is no exception. In When Danger Follows, Bronson and crew have just gotten back home when he finds out his grandniece has been kidnapped.
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.: Bronson and Mike being ex-detectives carry weapons. So I had to learn the difference between the different firearms. That involved talking to our friendly policemen, and they’re always very helpful. Also, since this novel took place in Dallas, I had to research the city in order to make it real to the readers. So I googled specific buildings and searched city maps for the names of streets and locations of places. Yeah, I know. I use old-fashioned paper maps! Am I showing my age? And whatever made me originally set Dallas as Bronson’s home is beyond me. Why didn’t I set it in El Paso where I live? I know this city. What’s the matter with me? Oh no, I had to follow the hard path—but at least danger isn’t following me. I think.
Also, this book brought back an ol’ love of mine: the violin. But heck, I’ve forgotten a lot of the specifics (but, of course, Bronson knows them all!), so there was a ton of research on that. But that Internet research was fun.
Description of When Danger Follows:
Ten of Ceruti’s coveted 1870s violins are making their way into the United States where they’ll be sold underground. Bronson must find a way to stop this, but dangerous mob leaders are one step ahead of him. To complicate matters, Becky, his fourteen-year-old grandniece, goes missing.
Q: What’s your next project?
L.C.: I’ve always said I need to work on promotion. So I’m finally going to do it. As I do that, I’ll be writing a story here and there on my angel/miracle series. These are easy to write because they’re short stories and once they’re done, they’re done, and I can go back to promoting my works. The downside of writing the 5th book in the angel/miracle series is that since the stories must be true, I need to find those stories and authenticate them. I know right now that I don’t have enough stories to fill an entire book. So if you or anybody you know have had a miracle or an angel experience, please let me know!
However, even before I put When Danger Follows to bed, I’m already planning my next Bronson novel. Oh sigh. Will that guy ever be able to enjoy a normal life where danger doesn’t follow him? Poor, poor Bronson!