I’d like to welcome Award Winning Author and Debut novelist Liv Hadden to Layered Pages today. Liv 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 impactful 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, TX with her husband and two dogs, Madison and Samuel and is an active member of the Writer’s League of Texas. 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.
Thank you for chatting with me today, Liv. Please tell me how you discovered indieBRAG?
I was doing some reading online about reputable awards for indie novels and indieBRAG was listed in several places. When I visited the site and saw the medallion books, I knew I wanted my novel to show up there!
Tell me a little about In he Mind of Revenge and your inspiration for it.
In the Mind of Revenge is an intimate look into how monsters are born. The narrative follows an assault victim’s destructive journey to revenge, and how thin the line is between retribution and wrongdoing. I got the inspiration while I was dealing with depression in college. I had written a page about how I was feeling right before bed, which turned into a dream about the embodiment of my shame. The main character is named Shame because of that dream.
What is an example of Shame’s vulnerability?
Shame has a big weak spot for their childhood love, Cassie. Shame’s relentless pursuit of Cassie causes Shame to get into trouble and hurt other people they come to care about along the way.
How are your monsters influenced by their setting?
Shame’s transformation into a monster is a direct result of the bullying they experienced and societal norms that didn’t allow for Shame to be as Shame was. Once Shame is in Baltimore, they’re at the mercy of a city and people they don’t know, which is basically how Shame meets some good friends and enemies.
How would your characters describe you?
I think Shame would find my eternal optimism annoying, but I might get away without too much incident because of my wit; I am always happy to participate in banter. Juice Box would probably say I’m boring since I stay inside all the time and my adventures are very organized, but he would like that I laugh at all his jokes and idiosyncrasies. Anna would consider me a civilian and wouldn’t give me a second glance. Of everyone, I think Emma would like me most. I think she’d say I’m caring, funny, and ambitious.
Who are your influences?
Every story I consume, no matter the medium, influences me. Even just my friends who are great at sharing a story inspire me or get me thinking. If I’m forced to name a few recognizable characters, I’d say Stieg Larson influenced the darkness in this novel; James Patterson influences my work ethic and sense of drama; Maya Angelou keeps me motivated and authentic; J.K. Rowling keeps me dreaming and influences the way I shape my secondary characters.
What is your writing process and how much time during the day do you write?
Well, my process is in the middle of an evolution as I grow as an author. I used to just write as it came, but now I am finding adding a bit more discipline to my process will create stronger plots and more intriguing characters. That is especially true when writing a sequel since I’ve set up all these rules for myself—I need to make sure I follow them for continuity and to maintain the integrity of the story. Basically, I’m creating flexible outlines and getting a feel for the end goal instead of just discovery writing. I have my own web design business, so I don’t write every day. I’d say I write fiction at least 5-8 hours a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on my schedule. But, I create and write content every day for work; even if it’s not a novel, all writing makes you better!
Who designed your book cover?
The designer at Ebook Launch did, and I love it. Would definitely recommend them to other indie authors.
What are you currently working on?
I’m putting the finishing touches on a sci-fi manuscript called CROSSFADE. Then I’ll be building a detailed outline for the second installment in The Shamed series, which I am getting really excited about!
Where can readers buy your books?
Amazon, Kindle, B&N, Indie Bound, and I am excited to say Audible!
Liv Hadden’s Website
A message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Liv Hadden who is the author of, IN THE MIND OF RENVEGE, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, IN THE MIND OF REVENGE, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.
Praise for In the Mind of Revenge
“If a cat has nine lives, Shame has 29. Liv Hadden leaves us in the dark as to whether this
character is a girl or a boy. As Shame often muses, why is gender that important? It’s
reflecting on issues like gender that makes In the Mind of Revenge more than just a rather
exciting read.” – Reader’s Favorite
“A somber revenge tale, but fronted by a protagonist both absorbing and sublimely
complicated.” – Kirkus Reviews
“In the Mind of Revenge tackles hot-button social issues in a way that forces the reader to rethink the
importance of what society deems as normal.” – Self-Publishing Review
“An absorbing crime story…” – Blue Ink Reviews
Full Book Description:
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?
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.