Interview with M.R. Hyde

When did you first start writing?
For non-fiction Christian writing, I seriously began writing when I was in graduate school at Fuller Theological Seminary and then, for many years, as I created manuscripts for sermons, Bible studies and devotionals. But it wasn't until 2008, when I was unemployed for a time during the Great Recession, that I turned to writing fiction. Then I could not stop writing! I've written poetry since I was a child and still do love to capture events, nature and emotions in those golden nuggets.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
In my Christian writing I have longed to communicate to people what I believe and hope for them to believe. Writing Christian books and exploring Scripture gives me the deepest of joys. My transforming relationship with God, through Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, is my primary relationship and I long for people to know our Savior as I do.

I love to write fiction and poetry primarily because I love words and stories. Reading opened worlds to me I never imagined. It is my desire to give readers opportunities to wade into stories of mercy, justice, humility and joy!
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors include God--for the Bible, Willa Cather, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Fenimore Cooper, the Brontes, Flannery O'Connor, Anton Chekhov, George MacDonald, Fyodor Dostoevsky . . . I could go on!
What is your writing process?
For all-writing: Capture little seed-ideas on little pieces of paper gathered in clusters on my desk or notes in margins of books or notes in e-readers. Ruminate often.

For non-fiction Christian writing: extended times of meditation simply on a selected Scripture, not consulting any commentaries or devotionals on that passage. Then serious study in the Bible and commentaries with additional time of reflection. Then I sleep on it all and the next day my brain--and God--have ordered it all rightly and I begin to write. After I have written the first draft, I typically review/revise anywhere from 6-8 times.

For Fiction: Put pencil, always pencil, to paper and let it flow. (Oddly with non-fiction, I write best on a computer keyboard.) For longer fiction I rarely work with outlines or character development until after the story has started. Many times I will do an audio recording and listen to it. After that I will let it rest for some time--sometimes a few days, sometimes a few weeks or months. Then I will review/revised 6-8 times and then review/revise after my first readers give me their feedback.

For Poetry: Find any means necessary to get it down--pen, pencil, crayon, marker, keyboard--to capture the moments. Then revise on the original piece of paper or the first print-out. Poetry is very fluid for me and often changes frequently as I review it--much more than the other genres.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am part of a classical book club and am so grateful for this. We read a very wide variety of books, both modern and classics. I'm hoping the adage is true: "A good writer is a good reader." I always want to read the best writing. And, of course, I read the Bible. I never stop reading the Bible for my own benefit.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I began self-publishing during the Great Recession because I had little to no money to invest in publishing hard copies or the means to seek out traditional publishing pathways. I also loved the ease of access like blogging, which I had done for some time prior to that. Later, with the advent of print-on-demand, I translated my e-books into paperbacks. That was an easy transition because my manuscripts were already done for e-readers and it was simply a matter of formatting for print.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was my launch into publishing. I shall forever be grateful to this company for the open access to resources, guides, publishing, their distribution networks and simply giving me the courage to publish!
Published 2018-10-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bag of Bones
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,730. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Calpurnia lived alone in a quiet and dull world only disrupted by her pesky co-worker Walter Sprang. Then one day Calpurnia woke up outside of her skin. This piece of long fiction explores through magic realism, the experience of one single, lonely women who enters the world of Mexico and is transformed by her encounters with border police, immigrants, the violent and the beloved.
Beyond Gender: An Essay with Sermons on Women
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,290. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Ministry / Adult
Does God call women into traditional and non-traditional ministry? Can they preach? How have women been used by God in the past? Read an essay on the role of women in Christian history and how the discovery of these women expanded the understanding of the role of women in the Church for the author. Then read sermons about women to further your Biblical understanding of the role of women in Christi
Pockets and Other Unusual Stories
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 46,350. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Pockets, filing cabinets, a tailor and alternate universes, a god's misuse of power, a fat angel eating lunch, a surprise defense for a deaf girl, a girl shaped like a bean pod. These and other subjects comprise this volume of fantasy stories by M.R. Hyde dealing with legacies, injustice, hatred, love, redemption and otherworldliness.
A Courageous Life and the Book of Hebrews
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 36,140. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Biblical Studies / New Testament, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Inspirational
The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews knew that Christianity takes courage. This letter is filled with the rich history of the Hebrew religion and how Jesus Christ impacted those religious practices by his superior nature and sacrifice. How might have this letter impacted the lives of first-generation converts? Read this combination of Christian historical fiction and solid Bible study.
Who is God? A Devotional Journey Through Genesis and Exodus
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,080. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Biblical Meditations / Old Testament, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Devotional
Many people have ideas about God. Where do you get your ideas? M.R. Hyde invites you to learn about God from the Bible, and in particular, from Genesis and Exodus. This devotional journey helps readers move from the Bible as just a history book or biographies of people of faith to the person and character of the God of the universe--both personal and majestic, righteous and merciful, terrifying an
Tall Pauley
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,720. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Pauley Stratton is as tall as a tree. He deeply loves all the people in his life--especially his crippled mother Willow. The Desert Grangians and the City Fathers want Pauley for dark purposes. As he flees from his new enemies he meets Mac. The two become friends through adventures that lead them toward, in and out of the City of Promise and what lies beneath.
Who is the Holy Spirit? A Devotional Journey Through the Book of Acts
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,610. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Biblical Meditations / New Testament
The book of Acts has been described as an account of the New Testament Church. But, what if it is primarily a revelation of the person of the Holy Spirit? Delve into this journey of curiosity and exploration of the third person of the Trinity. See if you cannot find something new about the Holy Spirit not only in the Biblical text, but also in your own life.
6 Verses for Preaching: A Primer for New Preachers
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,710. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Ministry / Preaching
How does a new preacher begin to understand the process and responsibility for the task at hand? For a busy, seasoned pastor, where is a good Biblical place to start in the mentoring of new preachers?
The Pale Thane
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,980. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A pale young man, looking twice his age, manages a vast complex of apartments. The residents despise him for his apparent weakness. What they don't know might lead them to see him differently if it were not for the legacy of his father.
Exploring the Lord's Prayer
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,340. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Meditation, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christianity
Pulling from the breadth of the Bible, M.R. Hyde helps the reader explore some of the depths of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. Find new meaning and personal connection to this beloved prayer.
Wife of Lappidoth: A Mountain Tale
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 40,150. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Christian » General, Fiction » Romance » General
The mountains hold many secrets--some of those disturbing, some transforming. This is the story of a young woman's tragic life transformed by the kindness of strangers, faith in God and a return to community. Step onto the forest floor, breath in the fresh mountain air as Leah moves from isolation to desperate loneliness, then to significance and peace in the face of abuse and violence.
Exploring the Nicene Creed
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 23,310. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christianity
The Nicene Creed is an ancient Christian statement of belief. It encapsulates the core beliefs of Christianity and is a vibrant creed for today. Walk with M.R. Hyde on this journey through what Christians believe and how you can embrace this creed as your own.
Who is Jesus?
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,150. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Spiritual inspiration
Is Jesus all that you think he is? Would there be more about him you do not know? Explore the character and the person of Jesus Christ through Matthew's eyes. This book is divided into small sections of the Gospel of Matthew designed for personal or small group interaction. Each section is followed by a reflective or meditative question regarding Jesus Christ.
Mercy and Truth
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 38,860. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
This is a compelling collection of short stories exploring the realities of mercy and truth. Meet everyday people who act unjustly and unmercifully. And then meet everyday people who experience moments of truth and exhibit unrewarded acts of mercy.
She: Stories of a Woman
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 10,150. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
One woman's life. That's all it is. That's all it is in short and pristine glimpses. This short story collection by M.R.HYDE has been called compelling, brilliant and refreshing. Experience one life from this singular American writer.