|Welcome to New Faces, where we are pleased to introduce some of the newest authors on the mystery scene, This week we're happy to welcome L.C. Hayden, whose debut mystery Who's Susan? is available now. Let's meet her.
Tell us about yourself.
Hi! I'm L. C. Hayden and I often get asked what the L. C. stands
for. My real name is Elsie Hayden and many moons ago when it wasn't cool to
be a woman writer, I wanted to write for the treasure magazines.
Unfortunately, freelancing females did not get accepted as often as male
authors. So I changed my first name from Elsie to L. C. and they started
Since then, I've had over 400 articles published in various
magazines and newspapers. But my dream was to publish novels. I was
spending all of my free time doing nonfiction, so one day, when an editor
called, I said, "No, thank you." That was hard to do because it meant
saying good-bye to my writing income which was our "fun" money.
I live in El Paso, TX, with my husband (married in 1970) and two
grown sons, Donald (born in 1976) and Robert (born in 1980.) Besides
writing, I love to travel, scuba dive, draw, and read (mysteries, of course.)
Are you coming to mystery writing from another job?
Besides being an author, I'm also an English teacher at Irvin High
School in El Paso. Although I've taught just about every course, my specialties are
freshmen honors, senior English (British literature), and of course,
What led you to write mysteries?
I write mysteries becasue I know I can get away with murder!
Seriously, I love reading and creating mysteries.
Tell us about your road to publication.
Once I decided to write novels and give up a lucrative non-fiction
writing career, I devoted all my energy to producing a novel. The result:
WHO'S SUSAN? The date: more than ten years ago!
After all six thousand revisions were done, I sent the manuscript to
New York. It came back with comments like great novel, but no sex (or no
bad language.) It'll never sell. Insert this and we'll take it. To me the
sex and language was not needed in this particular novel so I said, "No." So
New York also said, "No."
Finally, about three years later, one publishing company decided to
take a chance on it. I was thrilled. Two years later, the company changed
policies and changed their mind about publishing it!
I was devastated. Then in 1997 a Canadian company (Commonwealth)
picked it up. The novel received tremendous reviews but the company could
not keep up with the demands for the book. This year (May 1998),
Commonwealth closed its doors and the book was out of print. By the way,
out of all the books which were sold, Commonwealth never paid me one cent.
In August, Top Publications contacted me about re-releasing WHO'S
SUSAN? It's scheduled to come out in Oct/Nov and once again, my feelings
What kind of research was involved for your first book?
I never realized just how much research goes into writing a fiction
book. I talked to the police department, emergency operators, visited areas
mentioned to make the setting realistic--and I met some wonderful people
along the way.
Who are your influences as a writer?
My favorite author is the one I'm curently reading. If I don't
enjoy the book, I toss it. Consequently, I get involved with the current
book and its author is my favorite one.
What does your family think of having a mystery author in their midst?
After over ten years of trying to break into print, my family is
saying, "Oh, sure. You have a book coming out. Sure. We believe you."
Tell us about plans for future books.
I believe Top Publications is also planning to publish my second
book WHEN COLETTE DIED. My third book SEARCHING re-introduces Detective
Bronson who was introduced in WHO'S SUSAN?
How can readers get in touch with you?
I love to hear from readers. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out my web page at
Thanks, L.C., and best of luck! Readers, check out our review of Who's Susan?
October 26, 1998