Laurie Fagen is a long-time “writer by habit,” who has written for commercial and cable television, commercial radio, corporate video, magazines, newspapers and is now delving into the world of crime fiction.
While she was getting her bachelor’s degree in radio and television at Arizona State University, she worked for KTAR Newsradio in Phoenix, providing live traffic reports from a single-engine aircraft above the city. After graduation, she worked as an assistant producer with Preston Westmoreland, booking guests for his talk show, while continuing to report on Valley traffic.
Television called, and Fagen returned to her home state of Iowa to work as a reporter/photographer for KWWL-TV, an NBC affiliate in Waterloo. She initially covered the state capital, then later landed the crime beat, covering the Waterloo Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Department and Courts. She was also an anchor and editor in addition to her reporting and videographer duties.
Remembering why she left Iowa in the first place, Fagen returned to the Valley of the Sun to work for the City of Phoenix Public Information Office. Finding a video camera in another department, she lead the city’s efforts in creating internal employee training and other video programs, and later founded The Phoenix Channel, the City’s government access cable television station. She created, wrote, produced and anchored a number of the shows that still exist today, discovering that there is life after television news.
Fagen started her first business, Word Painting, as a writer, producer and director for corporate video, which led to a 13-year career providing marketing, sales, training, informational and other types of video programming for businesses. She also wrote magazine articles, a Fiesta Bowl parade script, murder mystery plays, two documentaries and other projects that included for KAET-TV, KPNX-TV, Phoenix Suns, Educational Management Group, Randy Murray Productions, and more. She was an adjunct professor at Scottsdale Community College, teaching a corporate video class.
She started her second business, Fagen Designs, as a fiber and jewelry artist, just before she and her late husband, Geoffrey Hancock, purchased a community newspaper in Southern Chandler. The couple published the Ocotillo News, which was later renamed SanTan Sun News, for 13 years. Under their ownership, the paper grew from 16-20 pages with a circulation of about 7,000 to an average of 80 pages twice a month with more than 38,000 printed.
At the same time she was overseeing the news division for the SanTan Sun News, she and a business partner operated a contemporary art gallery in downtown Chandler, AZ, called Art on Boston, for three years. The gallery also had studio spaces for artists to work in and provided art classes, until the economic downturn of 2010, but she continues to promote fine art and fine artists on her Art Online AZ Facebook page. She is also a jazz singer around the Valley as Laurie Fagen & Friends.
Fagen and Hancock continued the newspaper operation until Hancock’s death in 2013, at which point she sold the paper to a local publishing company.
Organizations she has been involved with include three chapters of Women in Communications, and she was president of the Phoenix chapter; she was co-founder of the former Arizona Film, Theatre & Television, which later merged with two other similar groups to become Arizona Production Association, of which she was the second president; Arizona Quilters Guild, where she handled publicity duties; and she was the 2014 president of Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths chapter in Phoenix.
Fagen has short stories published in the past three Desert Sleuths’ anthologies, and is an Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine honorable mention winner.
Fagen has published Fade Out, the first in a series of crime fiction novels with a young radio reporter protagonist who covers the crime beat, helps police solve cold cases and for fun, writes and produces a mystery theatre podcast. Equalizer, a prequel novella to Fade Out, is also now available, and Book #2 in the series, Dead Air, is available in e-book and print, along with the audio book for Fade Out. The audio book for Dead Air will be produced summer 2017 while she is writing book #3, Bleeder.