In the Mind of Revenge
“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
In the Mind of Revenge , book one of T he 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, fastpaced and beautifully vulgar, I n the Mind of Revenge is sure to have you emotionally twisted from beginning to end.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born in Burlington, Vermont and grew up north of Houston. I now live in Austin, Texas with my handsome SO and 2 life-affirming dogs, Samuel and Madison.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
I started writing the book in college as an emotional outlet during a serious bout of depression. After the first night of writing, I had a dream of a shadowy figure that was tormented and demonized by its own mind… throughout the dream, I came to realize the figure was the shadow of pain that hurting people everywhere feel.
How do you create your characters?
I chose to write the book in first person specifically so it really would be a dive into the mind of revenge. How you feel about Shame would be driven primarily by actions were the book written differently; because we have such an intimate vulnerable look at the deepest darkest places of Shame’s mind, it’s hard to decide from page to page whether you hate Shame, or you have empathy. I also created some contrast with the characters Shame seems to draw in; they are very vocal, relatively clear on what they want/who they are, and are “good” (relatively speaking). Shame lacks self-awareness; the entire book is seen through this tunnel vision that I think speaks to the idea that A. revenge isn’t simple, gratifying or worth it and B. the pain and hurt Shame feels can only be healed when Shame is ready to address it and really see things from the inside out. Four of the primary female characters (Cassie, Anna, Margaret & Sawyer) are named after my cousin. Their likenesses were not used J.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
Since I can remember, I have written & told stories. My mom would call it lying, but I beg to differ. In 5th grade, we had to write stories and read them out loud. I am particularly proud of my Frogger inspired interactive tale of Hoppy, the frog who never died. By the end of my reading, I have the entire class reading with me. As everyone was applauding, my teacher smiled and said, “You’re going to write a novel one day, and I can’t wait to read it.” She was the first person who acknowledged that this writing thing wasn’t just a school activity, it was a talent and something I should pursue. She knew this novel existed before I even knew I was a writer.
My writing continued to develop and I continued to get positive feedback from teachers and peers. In fact, I was the first person to get a perfect score on the International Baccalaureate English test for my school. Since I didn’t play sports, I am pretty fucking proud of that shit.
Needless to say, I have written countless stories of varying lengths, genres and topics. The tale of this story in particular is personal in nature, and perhaps the very reason it’s so close to my heart. When I was a senior in college, I experienced my first serious bought of depression. I can’t tell you how many times that year I looked myself in the mirror and didn’t recognize me, at all. Not one inch. One semi drunken night I decided I would write how I was feeling. It started with, “I am ugly.” I wrote about a paragraph before I decided to go to sleep. That night I dreamt of a dark shadowy figure, one tormented and demonized by their own mind. This figure began to take shape, and at first I thought it was a shadow version of myself. Then, I understood it wasn’t just me. It was everyone. This shadow was all the pain of everyone who was hurting. It was lonely, scared and ashamed. The next morning, I woke up feeling way more energized than I had in months, so I picked up my computer and started writing.
I find I am inspired by ALL artistic expression. My favorite is music; I could listen to music 24/7. I am also a huge fan of body art, drawings, paintings, photography, dancing…I just love expression mixed with passion. I believe it gives us a true glimpse into the souls of others. I believe, through art, people are able to reach into those places and learn things about themselves day to day life tends to burry. I get CHILLS when I have the great privilege of seeing someone express their authentic selves. I see glimpses of this in athletics as well! Writing is my chosen medium because I get lost in it, I have talent for it and I find it to be therapeutic. Even just answering these short answer questions gives me a sense of peace. It’s out in the universe now!
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
On my couch, in my office, in my bed and in cafes. I always listen to Jack Johnson Radio on Spotify or Pandora and I always have tea or coffee! Tea is my go-to, but sometimes I need a little coffee to help me power through those pages.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I think I draw inspiration from a lot of sources; I tend to let the story come to me as I am writing, so it’s hard to say exactly what’s influencing me at any particular time.
What do you like to read?
Everything! I love to read anything that let’s me escape the real world. Most recently I have been reading crime thrillers, fantasy and autobiographies by people I admire.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring authors in regards to writing?
I always say these two things: Begin the begin, and don’t take anything personally. You have to start to finish! There will always be a reason not to write; find your “why” and keep it in front of you. It’s also important for authors to understand that someone somewhere is going to hate their work. You aren’t writing for every reader; you’re writing for the right reader! All of that being said; if your right readership is really small, you need to decide you’re okay with that.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I write a crowd sourced blog on my site (livhadden.com) called “From Liv’s Desk” that provides real-life answers & advice to DIY & beginning authors’ most burning questions. All of my topics answer actual questions I’ve been asked. If anyone has a question, let me know!