Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Gal's 62 Days of Horror Day 12: AMONG THE STACKS: Liv Hadden


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Liv.  Welcome to The Gal and thank you so much for being a part of our 62 Days of Horror.  It's a pleasure meeting you.  Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself.

Liv Hadden:
I was born in Burlington, Vermont and grew up north of Houston.  I now live in Austin, Texas with my handsome SO and 2 life-affirming dogs, Samuel and Madison.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Liv Hadden:
  1. I love hot tea and drink it year-round, almost every day.
  2. I have a degree in Environmental Sustainability Planning and Management.
  3. I own a web design business called Offbeat Websites.
  4. I fell in love with beer for the first time at a formal tasting at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin.
  5. I have a rating system for how good a movie is based on the 3-Bs: blood, bombs, and boobs.
The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Liv Hadden:

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Liv Hadden:
I just finished Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone.  Highly recommend - it was hilarious!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked?

Liv Hadden:
Probably Nora Roberts' novels.  Sometimes I just want an easy, light read and she is my go-to.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Liv Hadden:
I've always enjoyed it!  I because acutely aware of it when I was in 5th grade; we had a prompt to write a story where repetition was used effectively.  I had been playing a lot of Frogger at the time, so I wrote a tale of a very resilient frog, determined to cross the street no matter how many times he got squished.  We had to read the stories out loud, and by the time I was halfway through, I had the whole class repeating, "Hop, hop, hop!" with me.  Anyway, my teacher pulled me aside after class and said, "One day you're going to write a novel, and I can't wait to read it."  Boom, an author was born.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Liv Hadden:
It's me in my office (which has many shelves packed with books) with a large cup of tea or coffee, my good friend Mozart, and my soul mate (my dog, Samuel), writing into the wee hours of the morning.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Liv Hadden:
I have these moments I call "That's So Raven" episodes.  When an idea comes to me, I can vividly see it playing out in front of me, just like Raven's visions.  I usually catch myself when I notice I've stopped looking at the computer screen and several minutes have passed.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Liv Hadden:
Finding balance between work and writing (not a full-time author... yet!).  When I am writing something, it can be hard for me to want to work.  But, alas, there are bills begging to be paid, and I must answer their call.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

Liv Hadden:
I just finished a spy-fi novel that was pretty satisfying because it was really fun and I met my deadlines, like a boss!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Liv Hadden:
Stieg Larsson won't surprise anyone who has read In the Mind of Revenge.  I think J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins also played a part in the sense that they wrote flawed main characters that are in part products of their circumstances.  George R.R. Martin's graphic style and bold choices probably come through.  I think Gail Z. Martin's ability to write about love without it being too "romance novel" (not that there is anything wrong with that, just wouldn't work in my book) helped me with Shame's love interest.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Liv Hadden:
Believable intentions, formidable and realistic obstacles, and a cast of characters I feel strongly about.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Liv Hadden:
Authenticity.  As long as I feel the character is authentic, I can get into it.  I try to make sure my character are that way to the best of my ability, inside and out.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Liv Hadden:
That's tough - mix Shame's sarcasm with JB's happiness levels and that's probably close.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Liv Hadden:
A bad book cover can definitely turn me off, but it won't stop me from reading the jacket if the title is intriguing enough.  I actually created a cover for my ARC, so that played a part in the designer's final proof.  He did a great job of making my idea something awesome.  It's even won an award!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Liv Hadden:
That I love it, and I will never stop.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Liv Hadden:
There's always a scene right in the middle of the novel where there are important choices to make about where the story will go - I'm always a bit stuck there, but once I figure it out, it's smooth sailing and things click.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Liv Hadden:
The main character Shame's gender is never revealed in the book.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Liv Hadden:
I adore a yummy book title as a reader, so I take that into account as a writer.  In my opinion, the title is like an amuse bouche preparing the reader's palette for what's inside.  So, yea, it's important!  My book title was actually inspired by the editor!  When I first sent my manuscript over, she responded after the first 5 chapters and commented that "...it was like being in the mind of revenge."  I saw that and thought, "THAT'S IT!"

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Liv Hadden:
I've always been a "wordy" writer, so a novel is more fulfilling because I feel I have the time to truly develop something special.  That said, I love the challenge short stories provide me - it's quite an art ensuring every word serves a purpose and omitting anything superfluous from the final product.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from the stories.

Liv Hadden:
I don't have a target audience when I write, just a story that's begging to be told.  As for what readers take away, I want them to have an enjoyable reading experience, whatever that means for them.  For me, it's usually being so engrossed in a story I lose time and feel transported into the world the author has created.  It helps if there's a good laugh or two.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Liv Hadden:
I don't remember, but nothing juicy!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

Liv Hadden:
I keep a running list of ideas, half written stories, screen plays, novels... The one I'm most excited about is called The Time Keeper's Apprentice - but that's all I'm willing to share!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Liv Hadden:
So many books!  As I mentioned, I just finished a spy-fi novel that's being edited that will hopefully find a publisher.  I'm also writing the next book in The Shamed series, which I'm very excited about.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

Liv Hadden:

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks again for stopping by.  It was great having a fellow Texan on, even if you are transplanted from somewhere else.  I transplanted somewhere else myself.  And your book - plus the ones in the future - have definitely caught my attention.
            One more thing before you go: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Liv Hadden:
Thank you for having me - it's always a blessing when people share their time and resources with me!


About the author:
Author.  Creator.  Adventurer.  Human.  In that order.
            Debut novelist Liv Hadden has been writing ever since she was a little girl.  But, it wasn't until 5th grade when her teacher said she'd one day write a book that she started taking it seriously.
            Her Shamed series began in college, when Hadden employed her writing as an outlet for her feelings during a serious bout of depression.  After a brief, yet impractical, first night of writing, she dreamt of a shadowy figure, tormented and demonized by their own mind and realized this was the shadow of pain that hurting people everywhere felt.
            She woke from her dream feeling more energized that she had in months, picked up her computer and began to write.  "I felt if ever there was a story inside me and a character worth taking the leap, it was Shame and this story," says Hadden.  "This one in particular is personal in nature, and perhaps the very reason it's so close to my heart."
            Hadden has her roots in Burlington, Vermont and has lived in upstate New York and Oklahoma, where she went to college at the University of Oklahoma, and earned her degree in Environmental Sustainability Planning & Management.  She now resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and two dogs, Madison and Samuel.
            Incredibly inspired by artistic expression, Hadden immerses herself in creative endeavors on a daily basis.  She finds great joy in getting lost in writing and seeing others fully express themselves through their greatest artistic passions, like music, body art, dance and photography.   "I get chills when I have the great privilege of seeing someone express their authentic selves," says Hadden.  "I believe it gives us a true glimpse into the souls of others."

About the book:
In the Mind of Revenge, book one of The Shamed Series, takes a deep look at how monsters are born.  Set in a society that glorifies "normal" and demonizes different, this dark tale takes its readers on an emotionally wild ride of vengeance, murder, pain and desperation.  Though the reader is warned by its main character, Shame, not to develop an attachment, the first person narrative combined with Shame's uninhibited vulnerability makes it nearly impossible not to do so.  Raw, vivid, honest, fast-paced and beautifully vulgar, In the Mind of Revenge is sure to have you emotionally twisted from beginning to end.
            Mine is a tale of pain, hate, lies, murder, injustice, vengeance, and love unreturned.  It began much like yours; a hopeful innocent born to a world of endless possibilities.  But my journey has rarely been paved with opportunities of light.  Confronted by those who sought to eclipse what light I had found, the darkness came for me.  Wrapped in its intoxicating embrace, I have risen from the dead to reclaim my dignity and the life that was taken from me.  I have begun my journey into the mind of revenge. Revenge for me.  Revenge for those like me.  Those who are shamed.
            This is a story for the shamed, by the shamed.  The question is, are you ready for it?

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