Interview with Sean Hayden
April 15, 2012 2 Comments
Any author will tell you that to be a writer, one must inherently be a bit eccentric. By the very definition of the word, my friend Sean Hayden falls into this category. We met online through a mutual writer friend and quickly discovered we had a common goal of ridding the world of using ‘and’ or ‘but’ at the beginning of a sentence! I am pleased to welcome Sean Hayden. So let’s begin…
Paranormal Pit Stop: Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?
Sean Hayden: Well, my Dad was Fire Chief in the suburb of Chicago we lived in. He retired when I was ten and decided he hated snow. So we packed up the truck and moved to MickeyLand (Florida). I’ve lived here for the past 28 years. I think the heat affected my brain.
As for what genre I write, I kinda sorta hate the whole genre label thing. I write books. I write short stories. I have no target audience. I write steampunk with elements of magic. I write urban fantasies that people label horror. I write adult fiction that people think is great YA. I write about vampires, werewolves, elves, dragons, and demons. I guess if i had to pin it down, I write Urbyafantpunkhorscipararom.
P.P.S: With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?
S.H: HA! I’ll let you in on a little secret. When I started writing, I didn’t KNOW there were risks and uncertainties around publishing. I ASSUMED if you took the time to write a book, it got published. Whether or not anybody read it was another story. Now that I do know, would I go back and change anything or not write? Absolutely not. There are risks and uncertainties with everything in life. If there weren’t, it would be pretty boring.
What drew me to a career in writing is horrible books. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true. I bought a whole series of awesome LOOKING (yeah, I judged a book by its cover…sue me). I brought them home immy shiny B&N bag and plopped down on my bed and started reading. They sucked. I couldn’t believe anyone had published them. I picked up the whole series and tossed it in my “donate” pile without ever finishing the first book, let alone the other 3 in the series. I thought to myself, “Self. You could do way better than that.” So, I gave it a shot.
P.P.S: Now that you have a few books under your belt, what’s your take on the whole process? What was the hardest part for you? What was the easiest?
S.H: If any writer says that writing is the hardest part about getting a book out, swat them. I’ll never forget when I finished my first novel, I’m was like, “I’m DONE!” HAHAHAHAHAHA. Sometimes I miss being a NOOB. Now that I’m more experienced, the process has become a LOT simpler. I know what to expect between formatting, editing, marketing, and publishing. I will say the part I look forward to the LEAST is editing. Going through your story fifteen times….Yeah. Ouch.
P.P.S: . Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?
S.H: At one point or another, the thought crosses EVERY author’s mind. It can be VERY frustrating trying to get a book out there and once it is…
You fall prey to slow or non-existent sales, reviews, critiques, and more frustration. It can be enough to make even the most stalwart author say, “Um, I did this why?”
The thing that keeps you going is the people who do read your book, leave you honest good reviews, and keep asking you when the sequel is coming out. That’s worth more to me than book sales.
P.P.S: I recently read a blog post of yours about negative reviews. Why do you think they’re becoming so mainstream?
S.H: Because mean people suck. 😀
Just kidding. Honestly I don’t know why. It does seem to be a huge problem though. I don’t know if it’s frustrated authors lashing out or just people sitting at home with nothing better to do. I don’t even understand what they hope to gain by doing it. I know if I go and look at a book on amazon to purchase and it has 28 5 star ratings and one review that tells me the exact opposite of the others…I’m not going to pay attention. Believe it or not I’ve learned a valuable lesson from the movie industry. A long time ago I would base my movie selection on movie critics’ “Thumbs up” or “Thumbs down.” People are different, so are their tastes. The movies the critics loved I seemed to hate. So I stopped listening and made my own decisions. Books should be the same way.
P.P.S: As a reader, what are some things that attract you to a story?
S.H: I personally like strong female characters, wicked bad guys, and a lot of humor thrown in through the whole story. No matter how dark it is. I like a lot of action with minimal character description. Let their dialogue and actions tell me the story.
P.P.S: Let’s talk a little about your latest project THE GAMES WE PLAY. What was the inspiration behind this story?
S.H: Boredom. 😀
I write a LOT of stories about vampires. To keep the characters real, I try to put myself in their shoes, so to speak. If I had all this power, or experience, how would I deal with this situation? That led me to think… If vampires were ever married, how would they spice up their relationship after hundreds of years? Yeah…It could definitely be fun.
P.P.S: Have you ever written any life/personal experiences into your stories?
S.H: Actually no, but I do incorporate a lot of my friends and family into my characters. Especially relationship-wise. Hell I even throw a LOT of my personality into the characters. It’s what makes them scary 😀
P.P.S: Since you write a lot of vampire stories, what is it about them, or the genre do you like so much?
S.H: Wow. I was a kid when Lost Boys came out. I was a sucker ever since. I was utterly FASCINATED by all the possibilities and the different myths surrounding them. The greatest thing about vampires is their inconsistency. It would seem every show, movie, or book you read, they all have different powers and weaknesses. You could literally write an endless amount of books about them and not have any similarities.
P.P.S: Would you ever write in a genre that you don’t like?
S.H: As a matter of fact, I have. I had never even HEARD of steampunk when I wrote Lady Dorn. It was sort of a challenge from my publisher. I said okay and did it. The really truly funny thing is, I fell in love with it. That simple fact taught me a very valuable lesson. Don’t be afraid to try anything. Just because you don’t like reading something, doesn’t mean you won’t like writing it. I’ll try anything once. Or twice.
For fun questions:
1. If you could be any breed of dog, what would it be?
German Shepherd. They get to ride in cool cars and be police officers
2. Is there one food/beverage that you can’t live without?
Chocolate. Don’t tell anybody, but I’m like a woman when it comes to chocolate.
3. Bungee jumping: exhilarating hobby or death wish?
Something for people to do who are too afraid to jump out of an airplane.
4. What is your favourite movie?
Twilight. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Just kidding. Dune. Desert planet. The original, not that scifi remake crap.
5. Question from Sithboy; If you were a Jedi, what colour would your lightsabre be; green, blue, yellow, red, or purple?
None of the above. It would be invisible because I am a NINJA among Jedi
Thanks Sean, for that great interview.
Always a fan of the macabre, mythical, and magical, Sean found a love of urban fantasy and horror. After writing several novels in this genre, he found, fell in love with, and immersed himself in steampunk. He has always wanted to rewrite history and steampunk gave him that opportunity.
Sean currently lives in Florida as a fiber-optic engineer as well as an author. He was blessed with the two most amazing children he could ever hope for, has met the absolute love of his life, who coincidentally is his partner in everything. His hobbies include grand designs on world domination as well as a starring role in his own television sitcom.
You can check out more of Sean Hayden’s work here:
Follow him on Twitter (if you dare):
Even scarier, on Facebook!
Check out his new short story:
Or his brand new story DECEPTIONS