Spencer Hyde

YA

Author and Professor

Spencer Hyde’s novel Waiting for Fitz released in March of 2019. His second novel, What The Other Three Don’t Know will release in March of this year. His stories and essays have appeared in Glimmer TrainBellevue Literary ReviewFive Points and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and literature at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and is currently at work on his third novel. For more on Spencer, please visit his website.

BOOKS:

Waiting for Fitz (2019)

Your biggest literary influences:

Too many to list here, but I’ll try for a few—Ali Smith, Coetzee, Chekhov, Mantel, Proulx, Lodato and I’m just finishing a wonderful book by Michael Chabon.

Last book read:

Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen

The book that changed your life:

Well, it’s actually a movement—the Theatre of the Absurd—and the many novels written in that time period, but a play written during that movement also plays a central role in my first novel (and even plays on the title, of course). Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Did I say play enough?

Your favorite literary character:

Ignatius J. Reilly—because, well, his hat with the ear flaps and the fact that he gets to run his own hotdog stand.

Currently working on:

A novel set in a small town where something is afoot. And that something has feet.

Words to live by:

“I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”

—Tom Stoppard

“Ever tired. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

—Samuel Beckett

Advice for aspiring authors:

Read everything you can get your hands. Read outside of your genre. Read. Read. Read.

Reviews:

Review for What the Other Three Don’t Know

“Grief, physical disabilities, family drama, sexual identity, forgiveness, and survival skills all play a role in shaping the characters. As secret after secret is revealed, each character finds release, and a chance to embrace a more authentic self. This novel is The Breakfast Club meets 127 Hours. Recommended.” –School Library Journal

 

4 Reviews for Waiting for Fitz

“The witty literary sophisticate narrates a poignant, at times tragic, tale of the emotional pain some kids endure, none more so than eventual soul mate Fitz. Savvy readers will be intrigued with Addie’s Holden Caulfield–esque persona and use of absurdist drama to figure out her own life. All readers will respond to Hyde’s fully authentic characters and compassionate portrayal of kids in pain.”

-Booklist

“While seeking treatment for mental illness in a psychiatric ward, a teen contemplates the meaning of life. Although her first-person account describes how her OCD manifests and some of her treatment plan, the focus is on her relationship with fellow patient Fitz, who suffers auditory hallucinations. An aspiring playwright, Addie becomes consumed with a homework assignment that questions Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Issues with Fitz and the play converge as the two find fun with puns and other wordplay and notice how people are always acting and wearing masks, both on- and offstage.

This complex story of merging metaphors and symbolism is for sophisticated readers who prefer reflection to adventure. Debut novelist Hyde offsets the painful realities of mental illness with gentle surprises and such humor as Fitz’s naming his hallucinations after popular country singers. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.”

-Kirkus

“Innocent romance sparks for the two, their shared passion for literature kindling their companionship. When the truth of Fitz’s past is revealed to Addie, she is forced to take a painful look at their relationship and her own future. An accurate, honest rendering of teenage mental illness. Fans of John Green and Jennifer Niven will enjoy this realistic portrayal of some heavy subject matter.”

-School Library Journal

“A compelling story about life and love, forgiveness and courage, and learning what is truly worth waiting for, “Waiting for Fitz” is an original, entertaining, and skillfully presented novel by an author with a genuinely distinctive storytelling style. Unreservedly recommended.”

-Midwest Book Review

Testimonials:

“My young teenage daughter really enjoyed this book. She felt the story was very engaging. She enjoyed having a glimpse into how others may view and engage the world around them. She read the entire book in one day, although it was spring break.”

H. Clan

 

“I loved this book. I enjoyed how the author was able to write about difficult topics while still incorporating so much humor and wit. I appreciate Hyde’s ability to showcase how each individual who struggles with mental illness is just that—an individual. Each character has his or her respective struggles, and I applaud Hyde’s ability to allow these characters to come alive beyond those struggles with their own mannerisms, senses of humor, means of coping, and, ultimately, his or her unique personality. Mental illness needs to be talked about, and I am grateful Hyde was willing to give a voice to so many who struggle in silence.”

Braden

“Hyde’s debut novel shows his literary background, his fine writing skill, and his sense of humor. The plot is reminiscent of Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, but in this story the two star-crossed lovers are patients at a mental hospital. Fitz is dealing with schizophrenia; Addie, the smart, pun-loving narrator, has OCD. This story gives real insight into the complexities of mental illness and its effects on its victims and their families. Addie and Fitz are the stars of this tragi-comedy, but they share the stage with a number of other characters, each suffering in their own way. The conclusion is satisfying, honest, and warmly drawn. Readers won’t soon forget these two kids and their story.”

Anonymous