CATHERINE RYAN HYDE: WE CAN HEAL OUR LOSSES THROUGH GENUINE HUMAN CONNECTION
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Catherine Ryan Hyde’s last novel Take Me With You became another bestseller. The book received huge appreciation from the readers (4.6 av. stars from almost 3000 Amazon reviews).
Catherine Ryan Hyde was born in a family of writers. The start of her career wasn’t so bright. She received more than 120 rejections from publishers. The American author made her break with Pay It Forward novel, which became international bestseller and was adapted to a film by Warner Bros.
Let’s welcome our next special guest Lady Catherine Ryan Hyde.
– Lady Hyde, what is the main message to readers in your last book Take Me With You?
– I think, as with most of my books, the core message is that we can help each other, we can be less afraid of each other, and we can help to heal our losses and traumas through genuine human connection. In the end I think it’s really only our relationships with each other that can make us happy and fulfilled.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– As with so many of my stories, I truly don’t remember. I do remember I had just read my friend Thomas M. Atkinson’s story “Grimace in the Burnt Black Hills,” which involved some people who had just met and were traveling on an outing together. But my story bears no other resemblance to his. I have my own little RV and I have travelled to all of those national parks, so I think those experiences were wanting to find their way into a story.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– I guess helping the reader believe that this father would send his two sons away with a stranger. In real life anything can happen, and parents do far worse than that, but in fiction the reader is more skeptical (for some reason). And I think people resist believing such bad parenting can happen because they wish it wouldn’t. So I didn’t want to lose the reader on that point.
– Tell us something more about your main character August Shroeder? Is he close to someone from your real life?
– No. None of my characters ever are. I don’t write about people I know. I find imaginary people in “the ether” of imagination. Of course I carefully study the human nature of people in general. But I don’t borrow as much from real life as people tend to think. August is a man who wants badly to climb out of his grief and fear but doesn’t know how. In that sense he is like all of us, though maybe his issues are more acute. In the long run only by opening up to love again does he find relief.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– I tend to write very fast. I’d say it took me about half a year-maybe seven months-to draft out the story and get it ready to submit to my publisher. Then we of course went through a developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading process that lasted almost a year.
– It’s something very rare for a writer to remake a book to be more accessible for young generation. You did it with Pay it Forward. What was the reason behind the decision?
– It’s certainly unusual in my career. When I wrote the original novel I thought I was writing for adults, despite the fact that my hero was only 12. Then it got picked up by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults List. So obviously younger people were reading it. Then it became clear that much younger kids loved the concept, but the book was not appropriate for them. It felt like a missed opportunity. In time we were able to get Simon&Schuster to agree that it was worth making the story available to a whole new age group.
– Do you think that the books must have a well showed rating system with age recommendation just like the movies?
– You know, it’s interesting. I just wrote a blog post about this recently. And I solicited comments from my readers. And their answer was an overwhelming no, with the possible exception of instances where there are children involved. Here is the post and the responses for those who are interested:
– Electric god will be adapted as a movie. Give us some clue what to expect from motion picture compared to the book?
– Actually, I don’t know that it will be. It was optioned for film many years ago, and in 2003 Nicolas Cage was attached to play Hayden Reese. But now it’s 2015, so it’s unlikely that will come to fruition if it hasn’t by now. There is a chance that Love in the Present Tense will be adapted and filmed by a small company, but I never get too excited until I’m sure. I never know how a movie will change the story. I only know that once they start developing the project I am no longer in charge.
– Who are you?
– I am a person who loves nature and needs to spend a lot of time outdoors. I am a loner, a very introverted person who doesn’t apologize for that aspect of my temperament anymore. I like to think I’m emotionally honest, and I don’t tell lies or half-truths to make you think better of me, or so I won’t be vulnerable. Some people think I am honest to a fault. If I don’t like the way you’re treating me I don’t tend to keep it to myself out of some false politeness. People who meet me sometimes say I feel authentic, which I think is the best compliment I could ever receive.
– What are your writing habits?
– Very feast and famine. Some days I might work for ten hours or longer. Many days I don’t write at all, because I know I’m not ready to write work worth keeping.
– When we will see your next novel?
– On June 2nd my novel Worthy will be released.
– Do you remember the exact moment when you understand that your destiny is to be a writer? Would you share with us?
– I do. And I wrote a little essay about it, which can be read on my blog. http://www.catherineryanhyde.com/blog/2009/4/3/i-owe-it-all-to-lenny-reprint.html
– Your Top 3 advices to upcoming and newbie writers?
– 1) Don’t write in a vacuum. Let the opinions of others in. Sooner or later you will have to, because these people are your readers.
2) Make up your mind that you won’t let rejection stop you.
3) Be careful who you are online. The world is listening. Don’t argue with negative reviews or complain publicly about agents or editors who rejected you. Your readers want to know who you are and they will be more likely to read your books if they like you. Bring a sense of honor into all you say and do.
– The bigger part of bestselling authors are well protected by their publicity agents and refuse to give interviews for small blogs or not-so-mainstream media. Why do you agree to spend some minutes from your valuable time to answer my questions?
– Because no one is more important than my readers. I’m not sure why people build a wall using various intermediaries. Maybe they are afraid of people. Most everybody is at some level. Maybe they have lost sight of the fact that the reader is, in essence, their employer. Without their readers they would be out of a job. And every time I do an interview I have the chance to connect with new readers. Other than writing the novels, what better can I do with my time?
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be? (Don’t forget to answer)
– What is the best question an interviewer can ask you?
Something that allows me to share about the full body of my work. I have written 28 books now that are published, or will be soon. In addition to my novels, I have three books of short stories, a book of autobiographical essays, a book for writers that I co-authored with comedy author and publishing industry blogger Anne R Allen, and a book of photography. I even have a nonfiction book for children about my dog, Ella. Readers who are interested can go to my website at http://www.catherineryanhyde.com and click on books to browse through them. I am very proud of the variety of work I now can offer to readers.
Take a look at some of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s bestselling books