Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview with mystery author Richard L. Hatin

Today's guest is debut mystery author Richard L. Hatin. His novel Evil Agreement just released and he's here to talk a bit about that, his connection to Stephen King, how involved his family is with his writing career, and more.

Richard L. Hatin is married and lives with his wife Anne Marie Hatin in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Together they have three sons, and three granddaughters.

Richard was born in Burlington, Vermont where he attended area schools graduating from St. Michael’s College in 1971 with a B.A. in English Literature. He went on to a successful career in local and state government until 1974 when he was recruited to join the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He worked for the New England Office of Community Planning and Development.  He retired as the Deputy Director of the New England Office of Community Planning and Development in 2010. During his government career, Richard wrote several articles for regional and national publications serving the interests of those involved in Community Renewal.

In his personal life, Richard served on the boards of many local, state and national organizations as well as served as an active volunteer in the community. He has received numerous local and state awards for his service to youth. He has also contributed numerous articles to state, regional and national youth sports publications. 

Richard also plays several musical instruments and volunteers for several local and state wide organizations.

Recently, he has undertaken a serious pursuit of creative writing. He has completed five novels. The first to be published is entitled Evil Agreement. The other four novels await release in the upcoming future.

He is currently a member of the International Thriller Writer’s Association; the American Mystery Writers Association, and the New Hampshire Writer’s Project.

For more information about Richard, you can visit his website at

Welcome, Richard. Please tell us about your debut release.
The hard cover release date for Evil Agreement was July 15. The e-book [Nook & Kindle versions] releases were June 30.

What inspired you to write this book?
Approximately 40 years ago my wife and I were walking to the summit of a remote mountain in Vermont when near the summit, well beyond any paths, trails, or roads we came upon a small fenced in cemetery. Curious, we entered the cemetery and proceeded to read the inscriptions on the headstones and discovered that an entire family died on the same date in 1843. The following day, I called local and state officials to look into this mystery.  No one had any information about the cemetery nor were there any marriage, birth or death records for this family.

After years of being puzzled by this oddity I decided to develop a fictional story to explain how a mystery such as this might have occurred.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Actually, I have finished four other novels and I am working on my 6th one now. The other four completed novels have the following working titles: Digging Up the Past; Knights of St. Michael-The Recruitment; The Visitor at Janet’s Mountain, and the K-List. Currently, I am writing the second part to the Knights of St. Michael trilogy. 

As a writer, I find the trilogy format to be very challenging and exciting at the same time. The story line I am exploring takes my main characters around the world while placing them in precarious and deadly situations.  Consequently, I find that I must do quite a bit of research to help me add credible texture to the locals and settings I am placing my characters in. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
For me it all began many years ago when I met up with Steven King one day when he was in Manchester, NH.  He was having lunch at a downtown restaurant on a snowy winter day. He was in town to make a campaign appearance for a candidate he was supporting in the NH Presidential Primary. He was alone and so I worked up the courage to approach him. He graciously invited me take a seat. I ended up spending 45 minutes with my favorite author. We talked about many things and I found he and I had some things in common. We both liked the same rock and roll music, and as kids, we read the same comics and novels. We also liked the same grade “B” movies and shared the same sports interests. Finally, I decided to pitch a story idea to him. Since this meeting was early in his career he was more accessible than he naturally is today.

He listened patiently and then held up his hand. He told me that while the idea was very interesting; it seemed to him that I had a unique passion for the story. He went on to say, that with my passion I also seemed to have an ability to “tell the story” in such a way that holds one’s interest. He told me I should write the story. I responded that I didn’t see myself as a writer. He corrected me and told me to try and not give up. He offered other advice, too. He told me to never get in the way of the story and to always get the readers attention as early as possible and to never, ever let go of the reader.
As it so happens, the story I pitched to him that day is the novel, Evil Agreement

While I didn’t actually start writing that book right away, I did spend time writing professional articles in connection with my job and articles for regional and national sports magazines which catered to youth sports.  I also developed a regional youth sports newsletter which I maintained for several years.

Do you write full-time?
I try to write every day.

If so, what's your work day like?
When I am writing I don’t pay attention to time. If the story flows well and the research fits in so it contributes to the pace of the story I may well write for six to ten hours straight without taking a break. Yet there have been times when I spend only a couple of hours. Usually when I spend that little amount of time it is because I am struggling with the story. I find if I take a break and go off for a 4 or 5 mile walk I can think things through and come back ready to move the story along.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My wife and children would all agree that since I type with the use of one, four, or five fingers I tend to pound the keys. They can hear my typing from most anywhere in the house.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I dreamed about being an anthropologist, a geologist, a teacher, and a writer, all rolled into one.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My writing career is supported by my family in several ways. My wife Anne serves as my first reader, editor and critic. She also took my publicity photo for my website and my book. My oldest son Joel, is my webmaster and oversees my social media projects. He also filmed my Evil Agreement promo video and added the sound. My middle son Aaron, lined up the voice actor for the promo video, he also edited the video. In addition, he has designed all my book covers. My youngest son, Brady offers his artistic input and ideas for my social media initiatives.  

Great to have you join my blog, Richard. Congratulations on the first book being published, and I wish you great success for all the others!

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