Thursday, December 27, 2012

Interview with Brian Hayden

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
Road To Transplant is a memoir and a sequel to another book I wrote: Death: Living To Talk About It. Road To Transplant is a memoir of my struggle with congestive heart failure. The book follows my life as I deteriorate.  I take the reader through the process of getting a new heart, and share what goes on in the head of someone who is dying.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers? 
Yes. The first book I ever wrote; a management book was picked up quickly by a specialty press. It was a great experience. They provided the editor, the promotion and a nice advance. The second book, ten years later, was a reality check. I sent more than 30 query letters.  I could not find a publisher or an agent that had any interest in working with me. Exasperated by the whole ordeal, I signed with a company that has, shall I say, a business model that I am not comfortable. But I signed the contracts, so I live with it. Road to Transplant was published almost simultaneously with a fictional book I wrote, “Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems”. Both were published through CreateSpace and Kindle Select Publishing. It was an adjustment, but I got through it fine.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t belong to a formal critique group, however I have developed friends – writers with whom we share our work. We critique and support each other.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you.
It depends on the type of writing I am doing.  When I write short stories, I generally have an idea of how I want the story to flow, or unfold. Nothing too formal. I want the freedom to change my mind and follow my inner muse. With non-fiction, up until now, I would outline the story through a series of blogs. Then, when I am ready, I take the blogs, develop transitions, expound on the stories, adding lots of detail until a whole book emerges. As for poems, when I get an idea for a poem, I get to my computer and write the poem.  Rough, at first. Then, over the next, oh days or weeks, I polish the poem until I am satisfied.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I didn’t with the first memoir, and I regret it. I was fortunate to have a friend of mine who is both a writer and an editor volunteer to edit Road To Transplant. Now this book is more than 330 pages.  She painstakingly went through the manuscript. I could not believe what a difference a professional editor makes. I will always use an editor for all of my future work.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Patience! Getting through the formatting issues is frustrating sometimes. I feel comfortable doing it again. Like most things, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My books are for sale at CreateSpace, Amazon and my web site. I also have a formal presence in Amazon UK, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, India and Japan.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I us Twitter, Face book, I am starting a new blog in January and You Tube. I belong to about a dozen writing groups on facebook and I also belong to something called “Meet-up”. I schedule book readings for clubs. Rael grass roots stuff.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?  Be patient. Be thorough. If you rush to press (I know it is exciting), you are apt to make mistakes. You do not want you audience’s first impression to be a or one. Also, practice! I noticed that many of the great writers all had dozens of short stories,  novels and other papers. They may have had a natural talent, but they wrote a lot. They practiced.

What’s next for you?
I have three more books I expect to publish in 2013. The first, tentatively called “Memories Of The Cold War” is on schedule to be released just before Memorial Day. It is a historical semi-fiction. It is based on a true cold war time line. Then, I over lay my life with some true stories, some embellished stories and some fictional stories. For the record, it is fiction – mostly …maybe. The second book is another collection of short stories and poems, and lastly, I am writing another management book, relating to the use of strategic and tactical business plans in a small business environment.

            My web site: 
My Twitter Link: 
My You Tube Channel:

Amazon author page:

Author Bio:   
I was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954 into a middle-class, blue-collar, Jewish family. I am the middle child with a brother one year my senior, and a sister two years my junior. In 1961, my family moved to the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. I am the second generation, American-born son of Austrian and English grandparents on my father's side, and Polish and Russian grandparents on my mother's side. I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1972, and was finally medically discharged in July of 1990.

I published my earliest book in 1999, entitled "Using Strategic and Tactical Planning to Make Your Veterinary Practice More Profitable." During that period, I wrote five scripts for educational videos. Then, in February of 2011, I published my memoir, "Death: Living To Talk About It." On August 20, 2012, I published my first work of fictional, "Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems." Now, after more than two years in the works, "Road To Transplant," my sequel to the memoir, is scheduled to be published November 17, 2012. I continue to write both fiction and nonfiction, maintain a weekly blog; recently, I've also began construction of a new, all inclusive website.

I married a wonderful girl, Denise, in August of 1974, and I'm happy to announce that we are still very much in love. We've been happily married for more than thirty-eight years, with two grown children. Our son, Joseph, married and has provided us with three absolutely wonderful grandsons. Our daughter, Angela, also married and has provided us with an additional three terrific step-grandsons. We currently reside in San Antonio, Texas, where we are surrounded by a support team of healthcare providers, family, and wonderful friends.

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