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By Don Helin

In Sutton, Vermont, in 1843 a coven was formed devoted to Satan. The cabal of devil worshipers was recruited by Satan’s ever loyal servant, the purely evil Moloch.  One coven member broke rank. She and her family were soon slaughtered by fellow coven members out of revenge for frustrating their promise to Satan and his covenant of promised unimaginable rewards.

Somehow an infant child survived. This child was hunted relentlessly by the other members without success. Now the descendants of that first coven, several generations later, are closing in on the last descendant of the infant that had escaped that fateful night. The fulfillment of the Evil Agreement is getting, oh so very close!  And then the unimaginable happens!

Richard L. Hatin retired in 2010 after a successful career in government. He is married to Anne Marie and they have three sons and three granddaughters. Throughout his career, Richard contributed to several government related publications. In his private life, Richard, an avid volunteer in several local, regional and national youth programs, also wrote articles for local, regional or national youth sports publications. He has received numerous awards and commendations for his volunteer service. He also plays several musical instruments, loves to read and to travel.

I caught up with Dick a few days ago and had a chance to ask him a few questions.

Is there anything special you’d like to tell us about EVIL AGREEMENT?

I was a huge fan of Stephen King very early on in his career, and one day I learned that he was in town. It was lunch time and he was alone.  I approached him, while brushing snow off my coat, and asked for his autograph. He invited me to sit and we ended up chatting for 45 minutes.  I quickly learned that I had several things in common with him. We shared the same reading interests, love of comics, rock and roll, and sports.  I finally worked up the nerve to pitch a story for a novel to him.  I had been working on outlines for several stories and I decided to pitch to him what would become EVIL AGREEMENT.  As I recounted the story line to him he finally interrupted me with a wave of his hand.  He told me my story sounded interesting, my enthusiasm was evident, and he strongly suggested that I write the story.  I protested saying I didn’t think I could be a novelist.  He then said to the effect that I should have ownership of the story, he could tell I wanted to tell this story, that I had a special feel for the story, and that I should be the one to tell it.  He went on to give me some advice.  He told me to get the reader’s attention early and to never let go.  I have never forgotten meeting Stephen King.  His words ignited in me a passion to become an author.

Did any particular event inspire the plot?

Over 40 years ago, my wife and I were hiking on a mountain top in Vermont.  We encountered a small cemetery near the summit.  It was enclosed by wrought iron and appeared to be cared for yet there wasn’t a path, a dirt road, or a trail within hundreds of yards of the cemetery.  We entered the cemetery and soon learned from the thirteen tombstones that an entire family died on the same date in 1843.  Later I checked with local and state officials and no one was aware of this remote cemetery nor were there any records of births, deaths or marriages in connection with the family.  The matter intrigued me for many years until I tried pitching it as an idea for a novel to Stephen King.  I simply had to come up with a compelling fictional story that might explain why that particular cemetery happened to sit on top of a remote mountain.  Thus the story for EVIL AGREEMENT was born.

What are you doing to promote you book?

My website: promotes my work.  The site, under the Latest Releases button, contains a clever and intriguing teaser video for EVIL AGREEMENT which has also been recently posted to YouTube and to my Facebook Page.  [The website also includes book covers and narrative teasers for four other novels which I have completed and hope to be publishing in the future].  The webpage’s Latest Releases section includes a narrative teaser which has been incorporated into the book cover as well.  I have plans for at least three newspaper interviews, appearances at several retailers in at least three states, appearances at libraries and book clubs too!  I will be speaking at a few Rotaries as well.  My wife and I belong to several volunteer organizations. I have already made efforts to have the book promoted through these organizations as well as to promote my appearances as well.
In addition to International Thriller Writers, I have joined Mystery Writers of America, and the New Hampshire Writers Project.  Finally, I am also initiating some give-away promotions where opportunities present themselves.  As a member of ITW, I am also enrolled in their Debut Authors Program where I hope to learn even more exciting ways to improve my writing, my marketing and my promoting, especially through the use of social media.

What’s Next?

I am immersed in writing my 6th novel.  I also have several short stories which I would love to publish one day.  I look forward to learning all that I can from ITW’s Debut Authors Program.  For many years, I have been carrying around notes on small bits of paper, or just internally about story ideas that I wanted to write.  I tried my hand at writing and soon found myself with three novels drafted along with several short stories.  Even my inventing stories for my granddaughters during their sleepovers, while rewarding, were not nearly as fulfilling as writing.  I see myself as a story teller, a teller of tales.  All I want to do is take a reader on a journey of my making and hopefully they will be rewarded with something that holds their interest, touches them emotionally and teases their curiosity.

When you’re not writing, what are you doing (hobbies, family, etc.)?

I play guitar, bass, drums, mandolin, harmonica, tin whistle, and some accordion.  I like to dabble in oil painting, gardening and landscaping.  I also enjoy coaching youth soccer in my local community.  I have been a youth sports volunteer for over 30 years serving on many boards and organizations at the local, state, regional and national levels.  My wife and I thoroughly enjoy meeting people and love to travel.   We also volunteer for a local landmark performing arts theater known as the Palace Theater.  We also volunteer for Granite State Ambassadors where we get to assist travelers and visitors to our State at special events, visitor centers and our regional airport. Finally I am an avid walker where I find the time to think about my next writing idea!

A couple of favorite Jacket Blurbs:

From angelic realms to demonic possession, newcomer Richard L. Hatin bridges heaven and hell in this fast paced, page-turning thriller. Set in a typical, small town in Vermont, the citizens of Sutton are far from “typical.” An ancient secret coven ruled by spirit demon Malchus, one of Lucifer’s top generals, seeks a male from the Powell family to complete the Evil Agreement set in motion a century ago by Powell’s ancestors. Aaron Bailey faces Satan head on in this good versus evil story with all the well-developed characters and evil doers worthy of any bestseller on the bookstore shelves.

Hatin has all the ingredients for an excellent read including remote viewing, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, possession, spirit attachment, guardian angels and angelic visitation.

A perfect blend of J. K. Rowlings and Steven King, EVIL AGREEMENT will keep your attention and leave you wanting more.

“This book is the struggle that goes on daily between good and evil in our lives that we never really are aware of, or see. Aaron Bailey is aware of it and sees it first hand as this novel goes to a small town in Vermont which is corrupted with evil towns people. Aaron almost loses himself but changes the town to good in the end with God’s power. Richard Hatin walks the fine line of good versus evil and brings this out with well developed characters and page turning suspense.”—Liz Lowry, BSN

Thanks so much for the interview, Dick.  The premise to EVIL AGREEMENT sounds terrific, and I look forward to reading it.


Richard L. Hatin retired in 2010 after a long and successful career in government service. He is married to Anne Marie Hatin. They have three sons and three granddaughters. Throughout his working career Richard contributed to several government related publications. In his private life, Richard, an avid volunteer in several local, regional and national youth programs, also wrote articles for local, regional or national youth sports publications. He has received numerous awards and commendations for his extraordinary volunteer service. He also plays several musical instruments, loves to read and to travel.

To learn more about Richard, please visit his website.

Don Helin
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