Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Suspense/Thriller author Chris Hauty. Chris, for readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Savage Road? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
My latest book, SAVAGE ROAD, is the second in the series. Like the first book, DEEP STATE, it follows the adventures of Hayley Chill, a young woman working in the White House during a crisis that involves escalating cyberattacks on the US. There are many twists and turns in the story and the less I reveal here the better. I spent three decades in Hollywood writing movie scripts and bring a lot of lessons learned in that arena to my book-writing. SAVAGE ROAD is a fast read, very cinematic in its telling, and a true thrill-ride. Hayley is unlike any character you’ve seen before, a young woman who is driven by very identifiable values. But she is not without her flaws and character issues. The bottom-line with my books is that they are fun! The third book in the series, STORM RISING, comes out in May, 2022.
What was the inspiration for Savage Road? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
All of my books draw from real-life news stories that are topical and provide a springboard for my imagination to draw those actual incidents to their most extreme conclusions. I hope to inspire my readers to think beyond what they see on television or read in their newspapers. Thus far, and probably for the foreseeable future, the Hayley Chill series will focus on threats that are domestic as opposed to the more predictable foreign actors found in other political or military thrillers. I chose this focus because I find it interesting and hope readers will, too. That not many other authors are pursuing these ideas just makes it all the more attractive to me!
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
As I mentioned above, the third book in the Hayley Chill series comes out in May, 2022. In the meantime, I’m talking with some awesome collaborators here in Los Angeles about adapting the third book, STORM RISING, for film. I’m also noodling with an idea for a whole new book series in the crime thriller genre.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process?
By far, the best time for me in the process of completing a novel is writing the first draft. Outlining is the hardest. Editing/polishing takes the longest and is probably the least interesting for me.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
If you don’t love writing, don’t do it. And I mean really love it. I literally don’t want to do anything else. Two weeks away from a project and I start to feel seriously out of sorts. It needs to be a passion. Other than that, I’d just advise a new writer to not get hung up on one project too long. Keep moving. Once the material feels stale to you, it’s time to move on.
What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?
I swam the Alcatraz ‘Sharkfest’ Swim four times over the course of fifteen years and came in third place in my age group each time. This race draws hundreds of entrants. What are the odds?
What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?
Swim, read, ride my motorcycle, hike, movies, and begging for facetime with my two sons is about all I have time for outside of my work! I have a pretty strict 9-to-6 writing schedule, but when I’m not at my desk it’s definitely time to play.
What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?
I’ve converted a bedroom in my house to a home office that has a lovely view of the Verdugo Mountain here in Chevy Chase Canyon, Glendale, California. Paintings by one of my good buddies and photographs of my two sons watch over me while I work. That’s pretty much all I need to work other than a cup of coffee or lime-flavored soda water. I consider myself to be pretty fortunate to have a setup like mine.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
I almost always write to music streamed over my computer, either via Spotify or Tidal. More often than not, the songs I played have no or little vocal presence. Whenever I hear a track that I like, I add it to a “Writing” mix on Spotify. That mix has 190 songs currently, mostly “alternative” music from artists such as Chris Bear, LCD Soundsystem, Damien Jurado, Shigeto, Zoot Woman, Kikagaku Moyo, Jon Kennedy, Dntel, and, of course, Let’s Eat Grandma.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
Check Annie’s Book Stop first, always! Or support the local independent bookstore in your area; if any of my books aren’t in stock, they’ll be happy to order a copy for you. They can be found at Barnes & Noble, as well as Amazon. If you’d like a signed copy, they can often be found at Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood, CA.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
My website is chrishauty.com. I am on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, in all three cases @chrishauty.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions for us Chris!