Hayden is the author of the popular Harry Bronson and Aimee Brent mystery series. Her books have hit the Pennsylvania Top 40, the B&N Top 10, and the Kindle Best Seller Lists. Her works have been finalists for the Agatha, LCC, Silver Falchion, and Reader’s Choice Awards.
Her angel/miracle series are International Best Sellers.
Hayden is also a popular speaker. She presents workshops, has spoken to clubs, and major cruise lines have hired her to speak while cruising worldwide. From October 2006 to October 2007, Hayden hosted Mystery Writers of America’s only talk show, Murder Must Air.
Kuyuidokado, Nevada’s Paiute’s chief councilman, is murdered.
When reporter Aimee Brent arrives at the reservation, she stumbles upon secrets—secrets that could lead to her death. It’s up to Aimee to unravel them before more people fall victim to the grand scheme of That Last Ghost Dance.
Do you write in more than one genre? Yep, I most definitely do. In addition to thrillers, mysteries, and suspense, I’ve done children’s books to honor my grandkids. When my first grandson was little, I entertained him by telling him stories, most of which I made up. Then it dawned on me, why not write them down and publish them so he’d have something to hold on to? I also do a series of inspirational stories, true accounts about people who have experienced a miracle or an angel in their lives. I’ve also done paranormal, how-to, young adult, and others. But my love remains with the mystery and the inspirational genre.
What brought you to writing? That’s something that’s always been in my blood. I was born to tell stories. My latest release, That Last Ghost Dance has a bit of a different answer. For some reason or the other, I’ve always been fascinated by the American Natives. I recently had my DNA done, and I found out I’m mostly Native American! History has shown us how much they have suffered, and I wanted to honor them. That Last Ghost Dance is set in the Paiute’s Pyramid Lake Reservation, and the book was released in November 2022, Native American Month.
What is the most challenging part of your writing process? Having confidence in myself. I write something and feel it will not hold the readers’ interest. That’s when I turn to my readers. I send them what I’ve written and ask for their honest opinion. When they tell me all’s going well, and they’re eager to read the rest, then I’m free to continue writing with confidence. Weird, eh?
How long to get it published? My story is an overnight success story. I wrote my first novel, and wide-eyed with anticipation and hope, I sent it out to make the rounds. Ten years later, it found a home. Yep, my overnight success only took ten years! My question for that is: self-pub, where were you back then?
We hear of strong-willed characters. Do yours behave or run wild? My two favorite series that I write are the Harry Bronson Thrillers Series and the Aimee Brent. I find both of them to be strong-willed. So much so that they take me down these rabbit holes that bring tears to my eyes as I write about their experiences. I feel their pain and sorrow. I feel threatened when they are threatened. But I also feel their joy and love. I root for their success and, at times, wonder if they will succeed.
Do your protagonists ever disappoint you? I wouldn’t exactly say disappoint me. Instead, they intrigue me. They put themselves in such dangerous situations that I don’t know how they’ll get out. However, in my latest, That Last Ghost Dance, one of my major characters makes a terrible mistake that not only disappoints me but also sends Aimee spiraling down. I tried to fix his mistake, but at this point, it seemed unfixable, and my heart ached for Aimee.
Do you have subplots? If so, how do you weave them into the novel’s arc? I strongly believe in subplots. We, humans, have more than one thing at a time going on. Why wouldn’t our characters? My subplots are stories themselves that need to be told and developed. Each subplot stems from the character’s point of view and is therefore incorporated into the main plot line. Like the main story, the subplots have crises and tensions that directly affect the plot and characters.
Do you outline, or are you a pantser? I am definitely a pantser. From the beginning, I know how the story will begin and end. But I have no idea how I’ll get there. Sometimes, the person I thought was guilty isn’t. That, of course, surprises me, which in turn, I believe will surprise the reader. I love the thrill of not knowing what’s going to happen next. Of course, this means that I often have to go back and foreshadow something, re-write a scene, or face that dreadful writer’s block. But I don’t mind. I do, however, advise aspiring authors to outline so they won’t have to face all the problems we pantsers encounter.
What kind of research do you do? Firsthand when possible. Visit the place, take lots of pictures, and make important contacts. For example, for That Last Ghost Dance, I visited the reservation and met folks who would be willing to answer the multitude of questions that would arise as I wrote the story. I believe that by being there, I can capture the place’s atmosphere.
Great interview and amazing author L.C. Hayden. Enjoy very much reading her books. Haven”t read That Last Ghost Dance, but definitely has piqued my interest to read it.
Believe me, The Last Ghost Dance is a good read–you’ll enjoy it.
Thanks, George. And thanks for a great interview. I enjoyed doing it!
Thanks, Ana, for reading my books! I really appreciate that! Hope you get a chance to read That Last Ghost Dance.
Thanks, Dee. George did a super job!
It sounds like you’re a born storyteller and it’s great that continuing in a great Native American tradition of telling stories. Best of luck to you in your writing. you are an inspitation.
Aww, Michael, that’s kind of you to say that. I never thought about it, but I was born a storyteller. Even as a little girl (not that I’m much bigger now!) I always enjoyed making up stories and telling them.
That was a GREAT interview and I really enjoyed it, just as I enjoy your books!!! The Last Ghost Dance was such an amazing read and I enjoyed it so much!! I loved hearing how you put your thoughts and words into such great adventures!! You have A special talent for making your characters have such a good impact on your readers!! I’m really looking forward to more Aimee Brent books and I am really curious to see what Bronson gets himself into next!! Great Interview and I’m really ready for more of your great stories!!!!!
Thanks, Kathie. I’m so glad to hear you’re looking forward to more Aimee Brent and Bronson books. Here’s a hint: I’m writing the next Bronson novel and Bronson’s niece gets kidnapped.
Love your books!! They always keep me captivated!
Thanks, Kate. So sweet of you to say that!