Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF”, YOU are an open book!
Today, I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Larry Hyatt!
NJ: Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you?
Larry: I’m a little nervous. The first rule of “Who’s on the Shelf” is you never double talk “Who’s on the Shelf.” Or, was that Fight Club? I forget.
NJ: I don’t know, Larry. I’m not familiar with Fight Club, but I would say that’s a safe rule to follow. Is my shelf comfy?
Larry: Oh, yeah. It’s just usually me asking the questions.
NJ: OK, let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
Larry: My father wanted to name me Larry so my parents compromised. My name is Lawrence. People call me Larry. My parents said Hyatt came from where I was conceived. You might know my brother Jimmy Motel 6.
NJ: Larry, I may have met your parents, the “Hyatts” but can’t say that I’ve run across any Motel 6es. Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Larry: I was born in New Orleans. I now live about 60 miles to the southwest in Houma, Cajun Country. I Thought I would be here 9 months, was going to be a big radio star. It’s been over 35 years. Its arms opened wide then hugged very tight. Cajuns aren’t afraid to be seen having a good time. I like that.
NJ: We’re kinda sorta neighbors in that we share the same Governor. I’m a Shreveport girl. So, are you married or single?
Larry: I married late in life at 45. She walked in a club when I was hosting a talent show. She walked in when I was in between acts. My heart started pounding. I asked the bartender, “Who is that?” He said, “I don’t know but I’m gonna find out.” I married her.
NJ: Must’ve been the jokes that hooked her (-_______________-) So do you kids have any kids? If so, how many? Sons or Daughters?
Larry: No biological children. I have a 5 year old granddaughter, Talia, who calls me dad. My wife and I raise her. We’ve had her since day one. It’s not a tragic story just a family one.
NJ: Favorite child…
Larry: She is my favorite little kid and she’s bright, much smarter than her cousins. Those kids ain’t right.
NJ: Pets? What kind?
Larry: We got two cats to get Talia to sleep in her own bed, Joyful and Stinky. Also, two turtles Noah and Tur-lit the Turtle, Talia’s idea.
NJ: Favorite food
Larry: If I were going to the electric chair I would eat a steak.
NJ: Favorite color…
Larry: Royal Blue since I was a child. My mother made Mardi gras costumes. I love silver sequins and rhinestones on royal blue velvet.
NJ: Favorite sport…
Larry: Saints Football and I do play golf.
NJ: Favorite TV Show…
Larry: News and entertainment to keep up on current events to write for the radio show.
NJ: Favorite Actress/Actor…
Larry: That’s tough and this isn’t a dodge. I like some actors in some things. I loved Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption. Daniel Craig is really the best James Bond. Hugh Grant was charming in Romantic Comedies. I haven’t seen many “grown up” movies in the last 5 years. My wife and I call those days BT, before Talia. Starving artists don’t have premium channels and I haven’t gone to Blockbuster in ages. What? You’re kidding me?
NJ: Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest
Larry: I’m back to a workout regimen. I did lose plenty weight 4 years ago but gained it back. Now I’ve lost half of that. I ran a half marathon years ago and I seemed to have reached the goal and started to fall back. Tired I guess. The skinny pictures on face book are from when I was the workout nut.
NJ: Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?: (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).
Larry: I hate it when I’m driving down the road and people begin to cross the street and walk out to the middle. That really champs my….Stay on the side of the road till I pass! Not to mention it’s dangerous with people texting and not looking! Goodness gracious! You are not going to stop my car! It makes me want to throw my beer can at them.
NJ: Are you neat or messy?
Larry: At work I’m messy. If it’s true we come from dust on my desk alone is the birth of a nation. My wife doesn’t stand for that at home.
NJ: Facebook or Twitter?
Larry: It’s both really. The station demands it. I’m a brand they tell me. When a young Program Director said that, I thought I was going to die. I do jokes on my Facebook and use the radio station page to engage listeners. Eighty percent of my twitter account is writer related. I use both and hope people will see the humor and spark them to download and read the books and plays.
NJ: Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.
Larry: It’s the Facebook friends who respond to the posts. If I can get them to engage then I succeeded. On twitter it’s the members of RRBC. The way the group engages your tweets is really very encouraging. I feel like I’m a part of a writer’s community.
NJ: I’m almost afraid to ask you this one… feel there’s a “heckler” transplant in the audience just waiting for this question. Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest
Larry: Nonnie, I’d bet if you spun around fast enough you’d be wearing red, white, and blue and showing a lot of leg. I get two for one.
NJ: Well, you get an easy A+ for all of the above! I spin, ends up in red, white and blue (lasso on my hip) and I’m leggy! So there! OK, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor…
Larry: Beem Weeks and Jon Paul Olivier.
NJ: What is it about them that you’ve come to like?
Larry: Week’s book, Jazz Baby
…is great and he’s very insightful when you read his blog posts about writing and the state of the industry. A while back he posted about this group he wanted readers to know called RRBC and I said to myself, “I’m looking into this.” Jon Paul is a sort of mentor who helps me with publishing. He does well with his books under a pen name. He says he has many books out but won’t tell me the pen name or what genre they are. It sure makes me wonder what he’s writing. His fiction is good. He does have a non-fiction book called Tablet Topics.
NJ: Beem is great, isn’t he?! Name one favorite INDIE book that you’ve read:
Larry: Jazz Baby
NJ: ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it:
Larry: Got to go with Jazz Baby. It would make a great movie.
NJ: What was so great about it?
Larry: I felt I was there. I smelled faint whiffs of cigarette smoke in the Jazz hall. When out on the back roads I could feel the sweltering sun. He captured the MC perfectly, too.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Larry: Yes, I do now. It’s harder when I’m out of my genre, though. I hosted a local musician CD release show that had different genres of music. I found myself asking a Death Metal musician if that certain CD was good or bad so I could decide if I should put it on the show. I didn’t know. It sounded terrible to me but I had to pick a CD. In the same way, sometimes I don’t get the YA or the Chick Lit with hunks and hook ups. I think, maybe it’s me. If I’m not informed, I shy away from them.
NJ: What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Larry: I think the overall book, giving points and taking them away to come up with a score to fill in the stars.
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Larry: No BS on the shelf, right? I’ve been critiqued most of my life. I live with the fact that my next boss who could take over any given day, might think I’m not good enough. On a whim he can take my livelihood. But, I trudge on trying to get better, basically doing my best for the guy who might fire me. I’ve accepted that part of the business. Reviews do sell books. Just because I think you suck doesn’t mean you do. But I have my opinion and it wields power on the review page. That’s what I’m caught between, my opinion and its power. I’ve caused people, singers and actors, to cry because they couldn’t play a certain part they wanted, and it was only local theatre. In the review I’d rather not just give the plot so I try to come up with an element that encourages, give a glimpse of my overall thoughts. I don’t lie and say I liked it if I didn’t.
NJ: Read any poorly written books lately?
Larry: The poorly written ones I don’t finish. I can give you half. Then I’m moving on. If I get through a book, I’ve found some value and I’ll find it. I would like a new beta-reader program where people are brutally honest. I would like that. For me and those writers who do get sugar coated? I don’t want to publicly blast with a review after the release. I will say this. A bad review is good for someone who wants to be a good writer. A person is not truly in a business till someone says to you, “You’ll never make it in this business.”
NJ: Where’s your review so I can go and check it out? LOL, No, seriously.
Larry: I have to finish a book to comment. I’d like people to have finished mine if they decided to say something.
NJ: So, I take it you’re an author?
Larry: I would call myself an Indie Author. It’s a little more clarification. I’ve won a couple awards for my plays so I’m a writer.
NJ: How long have you been writing?
Larry: Taking it seriously since 2004
NJ: What books have you written?
and two one act plays called ‘Beauregawd’ and ‘Pie.’ Sherman Octavia Beauregawd is the oldest living Louisiana politician. He remembers Huey Long, when he was short.” His election catch phrase is, “If you don’t remember my name, remember initials.”
‘Pie,’ takes place in a Golden Corral. The MC loves the chocolate pie. It’s a slice of life.
NJ: Which one of these pieces do you think is the best?
Larry: Beauregawd, it was written for a competition. It came in 2nd place, as did ‘Pie’. It was beaten by the same person who beat ‘Beauregawd.’ Coming in second in life is my story. How to reach for the American dream and not get it, huh?
NJ: Do you have a blog or website?
Larry: Yes. http://www.hyhatt.blogspot.com.
NJ: Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to:
Larry: RRBC and the website Koobug. The folks at Koobug will comment on your post and give words of support. I do enjoy following other writer’s on Blogspot. I learn things from them. National Association of Memoir Writers is a group I had interest with. I’ve listened to the free seminars. I thought I would look into them since I write about my life or in first person but I’m not a member.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
NJ: How has the club helped you most, Larry?
Larry: You promote the members. I constantly get new twitter followers from new members. I get your email letters. I’ve joined the webcasts. I like the community and I’m quite flattered I’m ON THE SHELF.
NJ: Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?
Larry: Man, you got some stuff going on. It’s wonderful. It has grown quite quickly. I feel like I’m in the game, connecting with writers, even if it’s just twitter re-tweets. I know of the struggles of trying to make it and now understand what writers go through, some from an early age, wanting to achieve what most can’t. It might not be because of lack of talent. If I help others get their word out, I like that. I want people to find their dream.
NJ: Have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?
NJ: Would you recommend it to your friends and family?
NJ: This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words, Larry?
Larry: Thank you for this opportunity. Thank you very, very much. I hope I added to RRBC and made some people smile.
NJ: Thank you so much for joining me on the shelf, Larry! To my guests, please support Larry by picking up a copy of his book, HOW TO REACH FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM… (AND NOT GET IT!). You can also support Larry by visiting his blog stops on his tour which ends on Saturday. You can find the tour line up here.
Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet? Well, here’s your chance! And since Larry was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you. Make it a great day, my friends. We’ll see you next time, right here on the “SHELF!!”