Formally trained in law, Elisabeth Hyde is the author of six novels, including In the Heart of the Canyon (Knopf), The Abortionist's Daughter (Knopf), and Crazy As Chocolate (MacAdam/Cage). Her most recent novel, Go Ask Fannie, is forthcoming (Putnam) in Fall 2018. Much of her fiction is character-driven and involves family dramas or the group dynamics of, say, a river trip through the Grand Canyon. "I love to put a bunch of people together on the page and see the dramatic tensions develop," she says.
As a member of one of Colorado's artist-in-residence programs, Elisabeth has taught creative writing to children of all ages, from kindergarten through high school; she's also taught at the college level through Naropa University and the University of Puget Sound. She finds that children, with their sense of fairness, have an instinctive grasp on things like point-of-view. Plus, explaining concepts -- to any age -- forces her to be more critical of her own work, providing a welcome objectivity.
Since she lives near the dramatic Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado, Elisabeth spends much of her time outside, hiking with her dog whenever she needs a break from writing. To give back to the community, she volunteers at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the Humane Society.
But writing -- and the solitude it demands -- is integral to her life. Every morning she's at her desk, trying to ignore phone calls and social media. Once it becomes habit, it's hard to break, which is a very good thing for a writer. This is where her law background paid off, for those many hours spent reading case law gave her with the discipline needed to write nine novels (yes, three remain -- forever -- in the file drawer). As her teacher Ron Carlson said, you have to keep your butt in the chair if you're ever going to get anything done.