Laurie Fagen interview with David Alan Binder

Post date: Feb 8, 2017 1:13:45 AM

Laurie Fagen interview with David Alan Binder

Her bio from her website (I thought I would shorten it but it is really interesting so I did not):

Laurie Fagen is a long-time “writer by habit,” who has written for commercial and cable television, commercial radio, corporate video, magazines, newspapers and is now delving into the world of crime fiction.

While she was getting her bachelor’s degree in radio and television at Arizona State University, she worked for KTAR Newsradio in Phoenix, providing live traffic reports from a single-engine aircraft above the city. After graduation, she worked as an assistant producer with Preston Westmoreland, booking guests for his talk show, while continuing to report on Valley traffic.

Television called, and Fagen returned to her home state of Iowa to work as a reporter/photographer for KWWL-TV, an NBC affiliate in Waterloo. She initially covered the state capital, then later landed the crime beat, covering the Waterloo Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Department and Courts. She was also an anchor and editor in addition to her reporting and videographer duties.

Remembering why she left Iowa in the first place, Fagen returned to the Valley of the Sun to work for the City of Phoenix Public Information Office. Finding a video camera in another department, she leads the city’s efforts in creating internal employee training and other video programs, and later founded The Phoenix Channel, the City’s government access cable television station. She created, wrote, produced and anchored a number of the shows that still exist today, discovering that there is life after television news.

Fagen started her first business, Word Painting, as a writer, producer and director for corporate video, which led to a 13-year career providing marketing, sales, training, informational and other types of video programming for businesses. She also wrote magazine articles, a Fiesta Bowl parade script, murder mystery plays, two documentaries and other projects that included for KAET-TV, KPNX-TV, Phoenix Suns, Educational Management Group, Randy Murray Productions, and more. She was an adjunct professor at Scottsdale Community College, teaching a corporate video class.

She started her second business, Fagen Designs, as a fiber and jewelry artist, just before she and her late husband, Geoffrey Hancock, purchased a community newspaper in Southern Chandler. The couple published the Ocotillo News, which was later renamed SanTan Sun News, for 13 years. Under their ownership, the paper grew from 16-20 pages with a circulation of about 7,000 to an average of 80 pages twice a month with more than 38,000 printed.

At the same time, she was overseeing the news division for the SanTan Sun News, she and a business partner operated a contemporary art gallery in downtown Chandler, AZ, called Art on Boston, for three years. The gallery also had studio spaces for artists to work in and provided art classes, until the economic downturn of 2010, but she continues to promote fine art and fine artists on her Art Online AZ Facebook page. She is also a jazz singer around the Valley as Laurie Fagen & Friends.

Fagen and Hancock continued the newspaper operation until Hancock’s death in 2013, at which point she sold the paper to a local publishing company.

Organizations she has been involved with include three chapters of Women in Communications, and she was president of the Phoenix chapter; she was co-founder of the former Arizona Film, Theatre & Television, which later merged with two other similar groups to become Arizona Production Association, of which she was the second president; Arizona Quilters Guild, where she handled publicity duties; and she was the 2014 president of Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths chapter in Phoenix.

Fagen has short stories published in the past three Desert Sleuths’ anthologies, and is an Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine honorable mention winner.

Fagen has published “Fade Out,” the first in a series of crime fiction novels with a young radio reporter protagonist who covers the crime beat, helps police solve cold cases and for fun, writes and produces a mystery theatre podcast. “Equalizer,” a prequel novella to “Fade Out,” is also now available, and Book #2 in the series, “Dead Air,” is expected to be published in late 2016.

Available on Amazon:

and at Barnes & Noble at

Amazon Author page:

NOW AVAILABLE: "Equalizer," a prequel e-book novella to "Fade Out."

1. How do you pronounce your name?

FAY-gun <spelled Fagen>

2. Where are you currently?

Phoenix, Arizona area

3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

My “podcast” stories, kind of a “mystery within a mystery” in my “Behind the Mic Mysteries.” They are campy stories that my radio reporter sleuth writes as a break from the gritty crime stories she covers for her radio station every day. The podcasts are called “Murder in the Air Mystery Theatre, and I took actors into a recording studio to record the voices and sound effects.

4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I was on the track to self-publish, and had few problems with it, but met an independent publisher who was willing to work with me on royalties and handles all the back end formatting and prepping for sales, which I so appreciate!

a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?

Short on Times Books,, Karen Mueller Bryson, Phoenix, AZ area.

5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I personally love and prefer e-books, opting often to donate a print book given to me, and then purchasing the e-book instead! Just easier to handle, carry around, blow up the fonts, get good lighting by reading on my iPad.

I think independent publishing is a great way for many. Whether it’s done by the author, a small press or big press, typically the marketing and PR falls to the author anyway.

6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

Write, write, write! Not very secret, but very true. You must sit at the computer and write regularly. I am a major outliner, which helps me ward off writer’s block, and I always know what I’m supposed to be writing. My outlines are general enough they still give me flexibility to change or go a different direction, especially when my characters demand it!

7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?

Join writers’ groups, go to writers’ conventions and meet a lot of people. Referrals are always good. I met my publisher at a writers’ group meeting, as she is a prolific romance writer who reps about a dozen writers. I got to know her over the course of more than a year, then got the nerve to ask her to read and consider representing me, which she did.

8. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

How much FUN it is! Having written non-fiction most of my life as a career journalist, I thought I wouldn’t have any original, creative ideas. But once I realized how freeing it is to “make stuff up,” I discovered how fun it is to create and write mysteries. I don’t have to be hampered by the facts – unless it’s the police procedural elements, which do have to be factual – so if something isn’t working, I can make up something else so it does.

9. How many books have you written?

I published my debut crime fiction novel, “Fade Out,” in 2016; my second book, “Dead Air,” will be published in early 2017. I have a “prequel novella” entitled “Equalizer” in e-book format only, and the audio book for “Fade Out” should be released in 2017 as well. I also have short stories published in anthologies for Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths.

10. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

There are a number of mystery sleuths who are journalists, but most are in television or newspapers; mine is one of the few that I know of that features a radio crime reporter.

11. What are some ways in which you promote your work?

I love to meet readers, and enjoy speaking at organizational meetings and doing book signings afterwards. I found by sending out a few emails to organizations I either belong to or am familiar with – i.e., women’s service organizations, Lion’s Clubs, Rotary, etc. – it was easy to get booked to speak.

I do a lot of gentle promoting on Facebook and Instagram; I have a fairly regular e-letter that goes out by email; my email “signature” has all my book information; I have purchased Facebook and other writer convention ads; and I am currently getting ready to promote my audio book, which, instead of having one voice throughout, will include me as the narrator and the “podcast” stories were read by professional actors in a studio, complete with sound effects like the old mystery theatre radio shows.

12. What saying or mantra do you live by?

Schedule, schedule, schedule! If it’s not on my calendar, it won’t happen. I schedule mornings for writing, and stick to it like a doctor’s appointment! That way I know what I’m doing every morning, and I can get right to work. I also schedule promotions, like writing news releases; I set an afternoon a month to write my blog, all my Facebook and Instagram posts for the month, and update my home page of my website regularly.

13. Anything else you would like to say?

Thank you for the opportunity to be on your website! It’s greatly appreciated.