I met Larry Hyatt a few months ago at the Terrebonne Parish Author Day. I was impressed with him as a local radio personality, his writing, and especially impressed with the experience he'd had working in the theater and The Big Read. His thoughtful insights into the challenges of “making it to the top” as we all like to put it. He was also working on a novel, he told me. I was intrigued. That book, How to Reach for the American Dream… (And Not Get It!) is just out and it's my pleasure to welcome Larry Hyatt to my blog.
Larry, why did you write fiction instead of non-fiction? Did you feel you had to tell Larry’s story from a different perspective?
Larry Hyatt: It started out as a comedic manual, to explore the things that shape, propel, or make a career come to a screeching halt. The dos and don’ts, if you will. But to span what I’ve done I had to go through many years in my life and it ended up a journey, with an ending, a story, that I feel can strike a cord with anyone who dreams of becoming more from such an early age. I asked the question- Why does one not reach their goal? Can one make mediocrity a success?
Ashleigh: Wow, this is such a profound story. Wondering if you had any fun writing it? Will the reader have any fun reading it?
Larry: Oh, hell I laughed and cried. I’ve written plays and understand even comedy, fiction, and reality, has to reach for emotions to make it work. The brevity of comedy and the more creative license to be eloquent I hope collides to make something that reads well for those that read both… Oh, heck, maybe I shouldn’t have said that. Now I hope it’s eloquent…. I know you’re going to think it’s funny.
Ashleigh: So I can ask: Larry does your life and your novel spring from the same well? Do you still feel like a small fish in a big pond?
Larry: Well, at this point, I’m glad I have my head above water. I do delve into why one would stay and why one goes to the next rung. I’ve been at the bottom of the food chain and didn’t go hungry. The back of the title…“And not make it,” could be the give-a-way. Or, is it?
Ashleigh: What got you started writing?
Larry: While doing a stint in television I also worked for the Houma Regional Arts Council and was in charge of the Big Read. I read the book for that cycle in case anybody asked me a question. I didn’t want to look like an idiot. “What you give books away and don’t know what you’re handing out?” Then I read the book before that cycle and ended up reading all the Big read titles. I thought then that it was time to finish my manual.
Ashleigh: You've begun writing another book. Right?
Larry: Yes. The working title in Non-Profit. I explore who should get the money and how hard it is to obtain.
Ashleigh: Larry will be hanging around today. I know we have lots of writers out there, so if you questions about how to reach for the American dream, working in theaters and writing realistic fiction. Leave him a comment below.