Author interview: Catherine Ryan Howard

I got to know Catherine Ryan Howard via Twitter and I’ve been so impressed by her self-printing adventures. She’s incredibly creative and resourceful and I’m in awe of what she’s accomplished in such a short time. So I’m honoured to take part in the blog tour for her new book, Results Not Typical

I have to ask you about Disney, obviously [Catherine’s first book, Mousetrapped, was about working at Disney]. What’s your favourite Disney ride? And what’s your one top tip (your Toppest Tip, if you like) for visiting Disney? 

My favourite ride would probably have to be Soarin’, which is in Epcot, and it’s supposed to be a kind of legs-dangling glide over California. My absolutely favourite thing to do in Walt Disney World though is not a ride, it’s to stand and watch Wishes, the fireworks display that closes the park at night. I could watch it every night for a year and never tire of it, it’s so amazing.

As for my toppest tip, I would have to say that if I was planning a vacation in Walt Disney World, this is how I’d do it: I’d book a hotel that is on Disney property but that isn’t owned by Disney, e.g. Swan and Dolphin in Epcot Resorts or the Hilton on Hotel Plaza Boulevard (across from Downtown Disney). After I’d booked that I’d get hopper passes, which allow me in and out of the parks and into more than one park each day if I like. Then I would be at the park first thing in the morning (for what they call “rope drop”), stick around until about 11am, leave and go back to my hotel for a relaxing lunch, swim in the pool, etc. and then head back into the park from about 4pm until closing. That is hands down the best way to do the parks. You can’t do it if you’re staying in a hotel outside WDW (because it wouldn’t be worth your while going out and getting back) but if you pick a non-Disney-but-on-property, you don’t pay through the nose for your accommodation. (And never book through Disney, who act like a travel agent for those other hotels and resorts. Book direct!) You miss the busiest time of the day in the parks (and for most of the year, the hottest) but you still have plenty of time to do everything without driving you and your family nuts. Simples!

I’m totally in awe of everything you’re doing with self-printing – it’s so exciting! What’s been your proudest moment (so far)?

I remember back at the start of this year, I was invited to do something that was part of the Dublin Book Festival. It was a Pecha Kucha presentation – where you present an idea in only 20 slides, each slide moving on automatically after 20 seconds – and it was just for fun, and the first time I was speaking somewhere as an author, really, and not just The Girl Who Self-Published. There was lots of publishing types there and while I was chatting to one of them she said, “Well, from what I hear, you’re doing extremely well.” I was so taken aback by the fact that this Publishing Person had not only heard of me, but had heard that I was “doing well”, I nearly keeled over. That was a really great moment because it was the first time I realised that people other than my blog readers and Twitter friends had heard of me. Of course even then I’d sold more books than the people I knew + Twitter friends + blog readers so intellectually I must have known that a wider net of people were aware of my existence, but that was the first moment I really thought about what that meant. It might sound like a strange thing to pick out of this whole experience but that’s my proudest moment so far!

Can you tell us anything about your next project? 

No, not really! What I’m working on now is a new novel I hope to get published, as opposed to self-publishing it. It’s very different from Results Not Typical and it’s all totally top secret at the moment but I’ve been plot-planning all week and am really excited to get started on actually writing it.

If you had to live within the confines of one book, and only interact with its characters (but you would still be yourself), which book would you choose?

Keris, where do you come up with these?! What a difficult question! Hmm… [Goes away and thinks for hours with finger thoughtfully poised on chin.] I know I’m going to pick a book, send you back these answers and then think of a better choice immediately, but let’s go with… A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Paris is my favourite city and I think I would’ve loved to live the life of a starving artist in the city back in the 1920s. Although they didn’t seem to do all that much starving – all they seem to do in that book is drink and eat and write, which would suit me down to the ground!

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

That’s actually a really easy question for me to answer but I have a little re-reading habit with a group of books – I seem to re-read them annually and get as much pleasure out of them then as I did the first time. (So I’d have to leave them in the sand for a while in between reads but they’d still keep me entertained!) Anyone who has read Mousetrapped will not be surprised by my choices: The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin. I know: I am oh SO predictable.

What’s the last book that made you cry? And the funniest book you’ve ever read? 

The last book that made me cry was Far To Go by Alison Pick. I was absolutely devastated by the ending of it. I finished it in the early hours of the morning and I then proceeded to cry (and sob, wail, etc.) myself to sleep. It was fantastic book, but heart-wrenching to say the least!

As for the funniest book I’ve ever read I’d have to say in terms of actual out-loud laughs it would be How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. If you have any writerly aspirations and/or if you know anything about publishing, READ THIS BOOK. Trust me – you won’t regret it!

If a film was made of your life, who would you want to play you?

Drew Barrymore, I think. She’s probably the closest thing to me a Hollywood actress can get, although she’d have to eat a few ice-cream sandwiches in preparation for the role…!

Thanks so much, Catherine!

Results Not Typical on Amazon.co.uk

Results Not Typical on Amazon.com

If you visit GoodReads you can enter a giveaway to win one of five paperback copies of Results Not Typical. Open for entries from September 30th-October 31st. Open to all countries.

About Catherine:

Catherine Ryan Howard is a 29-year-old writer, blogger and enthusiastic coffee-drinker. She currently lives in Cork, Ireland, where she divides her time between her desk and the sofa. She blogs at www.catherineryanhoward.com.

About Results Not Typical:

The Devil Wears Prada meets Weightwatchers and chick-lit meets corporate satire in the debut novel from Catherine Ryan Howard, author of the bestselling memoir Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida. Through their Ultimate Weight Loss Diet Solution Zone System, Slimmit International Global Incorporated claim they’re making the world a more attractive place one fatty at a time. Their slogans “Where You’re Fat and We Know It!” and “Where the Fat IS Your Fault!” are recognised around the globe, the counter in the lobby says five million slimmed and their share price is as high as their energy levels. But today the theft of their latest revolutionary product, Lipid Loser, will threaten to expose the real secret behind Slimmit’s success…The race is on to retrieve Lipid Loser and save Slimmit from total disaster. If their secrets get out, their competitors will put them out of business. If the government finds out, they’ll all go to jail. And if their clients find out… Well, as Slimmit’s Slimming Specialists know all too well, there’s only one thing worse than a hungry, sugar-crazed, carb addict – and that’s an angry one. Will the secret behind Slimmit’s success survive the day, or will their long-suffering slimmers finally discover the truth? Available now in paperback and e-book editions.

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2 thoughts on “Author interview: Catherine Ryan Howard

  1. Thanks for a great interview! I’ve really enjoyed Catherine’s books and it’s great to read more about her. (And thank you for introducing me to these books in the first place, Keris!)

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