We Come by It Honestly

We have plenty of clients who have worked in their fields for several generations, and we always make a point of featuring their family business background on their About Us pages. People like to buy their berries from a third generation farmer. We’re unusual among web design firms in that we’re a family business, but two generations is all we can lay claim to.

We don’t think there are any web design firms that can claim to have been building websites for several generations.

However, one of the other ways that we’re unusual for a website firm is that we’re focused on content. In fact, we’re writers. And the Hadens have been writers for six generations.

Gideon Haden, a member of the youngest generation here at Haden Interactive, completed his degree in Creative Writing, and now writes for us full-time. We figure his training in writing poetry gives him a special skill in packing the maximum meaning into short bursts of language — certainly an essential skill for Twitter, and a handy one for blogs as well. He is the only Haden in his generation who has won a cash prize for his writing.

Josepha and Rosie Haden write blog posts sometimes as well. They haven’t won cash prizes, but Rebecca and Josepha did take third place in a national fiction competition a few years ago. Not an award we’re likely to post here at the website, but Josepha’s storytelling skills enhance her presentations as well as her blog posts.

Rebecca Haden, representing the older generation at Haden Interactive, has been writing for the web since the 20th century, and still does most of the writing at Haden Interactive. She published a book with her mother some years ago: Growing Civilized Kids in a Savage World. Otherwise, her output is in ebooks, white papers, websites, and blogs.

Rebecca’s mother, Suzette Haden Elgin, was a novelist and the author of the best-selling series, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, as well as more academic works such as What Is Linguistics? and Language in Emergency Medicine.  She has retired, but with several dozen books on the shelves, she’s our family’s most traditional writer. She’s also the winner of the largest prizes, including a poetry fellowship and a Nebula award nomination.

A generation back we have Great-Uncle Ernest Haden, who wrote sprightly things like A resonance theory for linguistics and The physiology of French consonant changes: A study in experimental phonetics. Ernest, like Rebecca and Suzette, was a linguist. His brother, Gideon’s great-grandfather, also compiled and wrote the introduction to Bibliographie sur la coopération, a publication of the International Labor Office.

Their father, Gideon’s great-great-grandfather Robert Allen Haden, wrote Some Notes on the History of Soochow in 1915. You can still order this book at Amazon, along with most of the others mentioned here, if you ever found yourself wondering about the history of Soochow. He and his wife Eugenie both wrote voluminous journals during their travels in China and elsewhere, and a short work of Eugenie’s turns up in Google Books, as well.

It is possible that we had earlier writers in the family, but Robert Allen’s father did not, as far as we know, write any books. In these days of quick self-publishing, anyone can be an author, and we’re in favor of that. However, as a family of web writers, we also are happy to be able to point back to the long line of writers on our family tree. People are often surprised by the amount and quality of writing we accomplish; we should just point out that it’s a family tradition.

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