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Episode 11.  "Pay It Forward"  Author Catherine Ryan Hyde


Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 40 published       books, including the New York Times Best-Selling "PAY IT FORWARD."  She is also an avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and talented amateur photographer and astrophotographer.   She has a published book of photos, "365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD."

She is co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of "HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE."

"PAY IT FORWARD" was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released "PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION" in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight.

Catherine Cowboy Hat

Catherine describes the life-altering  incident that inspired her novel "Pay It Forward."

video © Pay It Forward Foundation

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Catherine is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and served on its board of directors for over 20 years. As a professional public speaker, ,she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

Catherine & Bill Clinton

President Bill Clinton and Catherine, sharing the dais at a meeting of  Americorps.


In her interview with Julian Simmons, Catherine reads a passage from her recent book, "Have You Seen Louis Velez,"  a moving tale of a boy's commitment to kindness, and the risks of reaching out a helping hand in today's uncertain world.  It's a powerful commentary on the dangers of the decline of civility in America.

As described by Amazon, "Catherine Ryan Hyde brings heartwarming authenticity to the story of two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.

"Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?"

Check out Catherine's Website to learn more about this fascinating woman, who is more than an incredibly gifted and prolific writer of powerful and inspirational books (as if that wasn't enough!).   Visit her galleries of amazing astrophotography and images from her travels, and hear about her active life caring for animals, and for all of us.

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Catherine's novel, "Pay It Forward," was a New York Times Best-seller, received numerous awards, was the impetus for the Pay It Forward Foundation, and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Her latest book, "Boy Underground," was released in December 2021.  All of her 40+ novels are available on Amazon. 


You can listen on any of the major podcast platforms -- just enter "OURGENPOD" to find us.  You can find links to those on our "Pick Your Platform" page.  or just use our player on the website.

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