When Laurie Fagen played basketball as a child, she learned from her father how to visualize success. He taught her to sit in the family room with the lights off, close her eyes and let her mind see herself dribbling and successfully shooting a basket.
She’s applied the practice to the rest of her life – everything from going on a job interview, to owning a publishing business, to facing life on her own while caring for her critically ill husband.
And it’s paid off. Positive thinking – along with wholeheartedly pursuing her passions – is how Laurie finds joy in everyday life.
“Positive thinking and visualization have helped me stay positive in adverse situations,” said Laurie, who sees herself not as a “glass is half full” type of person, but as a “my glass is overflowing” kind of person. “I can always see a positive outcome of adverse things I face in life.”
She describes herself as a newbie to the crime fiction industry, but she’s already made a name for herself.
As soon as she realized she wanted to write fiction, she joined the Desert Sleuths chapter of the national organization, Sisters in Crime. She volunteered to write for the website, and is now on the Board of Directors for the local chapter. She submitted a short story for the annual anthology published by Desert Sleuths, and her story was one of the 20 accepted for SoWest: Desert Justice: Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology (Volume 4).
Writing mysteries is new to Laurie, who is a journalist by training and profession. She and her husband owned the SanTan Sun News in Chandler, Ariz., which Laurie recently sold to pursue her other passions: designing wearable art and singing jazz.
She performs on the second Sunday of every month (except in July) at La Stella Italian restaurant in Chandler. In the fall of the last three years, she’s also performed at the San Marcos Hotel in downtown Chandler.
Laurie says she finds the switch from news to fiction to be freeing. Like Betty Webb, she continues to outline, research and stay close to the facts, but she allows her characters to take on a life of their own.
“If my characters decide they want to go in a different direction than I had planned, I honor them and try that,” she said. “It’s been a fun adventure.”
What she’s learned along the way is that anyone wishing to break into the mystery novel writing business needs to learn to listen and take advice.
“Listen to the advice of many people,” she said. “What you take and what you keep is up to you. You don’t have to take it all. Some take with a grain of salt. Disregard some. If two or three people are telling you the same thing, there may be something to it. Listen to the advice of others, but be true to yourself.”
And, by all means, visualize what your own success will look like!