L. C. Hayden interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 1, 2017 1:57:18 AM
L. C. Hayden interview with David Alan Binder
L. C. (Elsie) Bio from her website: Award winning author, L. C. Hayden's real name is Elsie Hayden. How she ended up with the pen name is an amusing story. When you see the author, make sure you ask her. Hayden loves writing mysteries, inspirational books, and children's picture books, although she's written other genres.
She is also a popular speaker who has done presentations all over the world. Book her now for your special event.
She currently has three mystery series going: the Harry Bronson, the Aimme Brent, and the Connie Weaver series. The books have been finalist for the Agatha Award, the Left Coast Crimes Awards, Best of the Best Award, and others. They have hit the Barnes and Noble and the Kindle Best Seller Lists and was listed as Pennsylvania's Top 40 Books.
Hayden's inspirational books are internationally best sellers. "I love writing about angels and miracles,"
1. How do you pronounce your name?
My real name is Elsie Hayden, but I publish under L. C. Hayden. The reason for this change is that at one time I wrote for the treasure magazines. However, if you were a female, you couldn’t write for them—males only! So I wrote under L. C. and they published me and never knew the difference!
2. Where are you currently living?
I’m from the great state of Texas.
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
To listen to what others have to say. If one person offers some advice, I thank him and might ignore it. But if two people make the same suggestion, I’m all ears. It’s amazing what we can learn by listening.
4. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
Various cruise lines have hired me to be their “Author in Residence.” As such, I speak during the days at sea. For that my husband and I get a free cruise, I sell my books, and travel all over the world. What a job, eh? But, hey, somebody’s got to do it!
5. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
I’m what you’d call a hybrid. I’m published by Harlequin whose main headquarters is in Canada but have a wide world distribution. However, I’m also indie published. I have been published by traditional publishers and am thankful for those, but I really enjoy the freedom to make all decisions concerning my writing career. About the only thing I miss from being traditionally published is the advance!
6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
Outside of Harlequin, most of my income is derived from indie publishing. If you do this route, make sure that your books are available as both eBooks and as traditional books. Some people want only eBooks, others still prefer the traditional. Don’t cut yourself short by not offering both.
As far as alternative publishing: I’m all for that! We no longer have to wait years to have our books released—or even find out if they’re interested in publishing. If the cover isn’t working, I can change it. If the book has an error or there’s something I want to change: I can do this.
7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Not such a big secret, but make sure your book is professionally done. That means it’s edited by a professional editor and you have a great book cover. Once that’s done, believe in your work and don’t let anyone discourage you. You will have to do a lot of promoting if you want your book to succeed.
Remember to always be persistent (but not pesty.) Follow your dreams. Meet and talk to authors who can help you achieve your goal.
8. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
Nothing like face-to-face. Attend writer’s conferences where you’ll meet agents. Have a great pitch that lasts less than 2 minutes. If you’re planning to do strictly indie publishing, you might not want to have an agent.
9. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Never, ever give up. The road to publication is paved with rejection. Know that in one way or the other you will be rejected, whether it’d be by a bad review, a rejection letter from an editor or agent, your book sales not being “so hot” and the list goes on and on. In spite of this, believe in your work and don’t ever give up on it.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
The world of writing is far from being a glamorous one. It’s hard work. The ones who succeed are the ones who in spite of all odds, continue to write and promote their books.
11. How many books have you written?
I write mostly thrillers and mysteries. I have three series: The Harry Bronson Thriller series which has 4 or 8 books in the series (it’s complicated!); the Aimee Brent Mystery Series which has 2 books in the series, and a standalone which may become a series: The Connie Weaver Mystery Series. In addition, I have 3 books in the angel and miracles series, and two children picture books—plus an assortment of other genres.
That makes it a total of 20 books right now—with many more to come!
12. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Write until you finish. Don’t worry about grammar or following this or that rule about writing. Just write to finish. If you get too concerned with “Am I doing it right?” you’ll get too involved in changing this and that and never finish. Therefore, finish first, then go back and edit and proofread. Take courses on how to edit your own work. After you have edited it, then send it off to a professional who can line, content, and grammar edit your work.
13. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
This is a question I often get asked as I’m known for my twists and turns. Look at the problem (conflict.) How can you solve it? Now discard that idea. If you thought of it, so will your readers. Think of an alternative choice. If possible, discard that one too and go with your third choice.
14. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
A book that takes the reader into a new world—one where the reader won’t feel he’s reading a book—that’s what makes a good book. The characters are real (3 dimensional: they have feelings, quirks, and are unique.) The plot moves at a steady rate—it’s free of “garbage” (extra long inner dialog, descriptions, and irrelevant material.)
15. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I have a newsletter that I send out to my readers about twice a year letting them know what I’m doing. I’m also active on Facebook. I try to speak as often as possible. There’s nothing like that one-on-one to increase your fan base.
16. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I truly feel that my first books, although basically good, were not ready to be published. I was lucky enough to have them traditionally published, but I still feel I wasn’t ready. There’s so much more I could have done with the plots, the words. If I could, I’d go back and rewrite them. Since I can’t, I’ve learned to move on, promising my readers that each new book will be better than the previous one!
17. What saying or mantra do you live by?
Mind if I sound corny?
1) Do onto others as you’d have them to onto you.
2) What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
Wouldn’t the world be a lot better place if we all follow those two sayings?
18. Anything else you would like to say?
Thank you for these thought provoking questions and for allowing me to answer them. Writing is a great field—use it to its full advantage. Are you sad, lonely? Then write about it. You’d be surprised how healing that would be. Write about what makes you, you!