Because who can afford books in this economy?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Tour: Interview with Catherine Ryan Hyde and Giveaway!

Today on the blog I have an amazing author who I really admire, Catherine Ryan Hyde, here to promote her newest book Jumpstart the World (My review here). Other works include Pay It Forward, which was turned into a movie, and Diary of a Witness, Becoming Chloe, and quite a few more! Thanks to Teen {Book} Scene Blog Tours for this oppurtunity! Oh, there's a giveaway at the end, so be sure to stick around!

1. Hi Catherine, thanks for being here! Could you tell us a bit about your forthcoming novel Jumpstart the World?
Absolutely. Thanks. Jumpstart the World is a Young Adult novel (though I think it’ll very easily cross over to adult readers) on the subject of transgender. My protagonist, Elle, is barely 16. Her mother is in the process of dumping her into her own apartment. In Manhattan. Because Mom has a new boyfriend and New Boyfriend doesn’t want Elle around. Elle cuts off almost all her hair as an act of rage against her mother, which only makes people in her new school think she’s gay. So she ends up hanging out with gay friends, because nobody else invites her in. And she falls in love with her next door neighbor, Frank, even though he’s much older and in a live-in relationship. Her friends think Frank is transgender. She’s sure he’s not. But they turn out to be right. It’s a tough adjustment for Elle. Not because she’s closed-minded, but because she has a shred of doubt about her sexuality and she’s (needlessly) worried about what this might be trying to tell her. The hardest part is that she doesn’t fall back out of love with Frank when she finds out. But, as is so often the case in life, the hardest part turns out to be the best part. In the long run.

2. Did you have to do a lot of research for Jumpstart the World?
Fortunately, no. For many books I do. But I grew up with a transgender sibling. And one of my best friends is a trans man (I dedicated the book to him). Plus I lived in New York City when I was younger. So I had enough of this in my own experience.

3. You currently have fourteen published or soon to be published novels. How long does it take you to write your books?
Actually, 16. But who’s counting? Jumpstart is number 14. Then I have another UK title, Don’t Let Me Go, coming out in the Fall of ’11. And I’m currently writing another book for that market that’s already under contract. So that’s 16 published or sold for publication. I have another YA novel on my editor’s desk as well, but I won’t count it until it’s under contract.

I tend to write very fast. On average I can write even one of my longer novels in 5 or 6 months of very intensive work.

4.  Wow, that is fast! You write books for both Adult and Young Adult audiences, do you read more of one or the other?
I definitely read more YA. The last half a dozen books I’ve read are Rage: A Love Story, What They Always Tell Us, By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Tricks, and I Thought You Were Dead. Only that last one is an adult title.

5. What is your favorite part of being a published author?
Hearing from my readers. When someone writes to me and tells me one of my books helped them through a hard time, or made them see the world or their own life in a different way. That’s as good as it gets.

6. Your books deal with a lot of sensitive topics, such as the transgender issue in Jumpstart the World and alcoholism and down syndrome in The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance, what do you hope that readers will get out of your books?
I’d like to see them come out just a little more tolerant, more accepting, more understanding. We’re afraid of things we don’t know. So I hope I can help people break down some of that fear through my characters.

7. You started the Pay It Forward Foundation (, are there any other charities that you ardently support?
Yes. I’m the president of LandWatch San Luis Obispo County (, whose mission is protecting the natural world and its resources through grassroots activism, education, enforcement of existing laws, and promotion of sound environmental and land use legislation. I feel very passionate about protecting the environment. I disagree with those who seem to feel it’s ours to destroy.

8. I agree with you Catherine! Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what?
I don’t. I only listen to music while I’m driving. I’m too easily distracted. I can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time. I’m not a multi-tasker.

9. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Just that I have a lot of respect for book bloggers because they read. And because they’re filling the gaping hole left by the slow death of print reviews. I’m not sure what I’d do without you guys.

Thanks so much for answering my questions!

Now for the giveaway! I have one (1) finished copy of Jumpstart the World to giveaway!

About the Book:
Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her.

Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He’s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can’t stop thinking about him. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard.
But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down.  Now she’ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world.

Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

Sounds good, right? It is! Here are the rules for the contest:
  • Ends November 7th
  • US Only! Sorry!
  • Must be at least 13 years old to enter.
  • You DO NOT have to be a follower to enter.
  • MUST fill out the form below, comments will not count as entries.

Good Luck!


  1. Great interview!

    I find it interesting that she founded the Pay It Forward Foundation, and helps with other charities! That's awesome!

    I'll have to check out her books.


Your comments make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, keep them coming!

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