Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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The Bet: We Still Crazy

Catherine Ryan Hyde

California ChromeNo, that was not a typo in the title of this post. I'm practicing my trash-talk voice.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of The Bet, it goes a little something like this. Well, actually, it goes a lot like this. Author Brian Farrey read an article somewhere about Steven King making a bet that involved, rather than money, the writing of a short story. The "winner" got to dictate the title to the "loser." (Now I ask you, how can you be a winner if you don't get to write a story and a loser if you do?) He proposed the idea on Twitter to see if any authors were crazy enough to take him up on it. Fortunately for Brian, authors are nothing if not a crazy bunch.

The call was answered by authors Andrew Smith, Kimberly Pauley, and yours truly. But I'm pleased to say that this year, year four(!), we are being joined by the wonderful author David Lubar.

Here's how it works: We each pick a horse in the Kentucky Derby. For the purposes of The Bet, they are--or might as well be--the only horses running. In other words, they don't need to win. They just need to beat each other. The person whose horse comes in first dictates a title to the author whose horse comes in second, and so on. The "winner" doesn't get to write a story, and the last place "loser" doesn't get to dictate a title.

My horse this year is the very winning California Chrome. I'd tell you their horses, but two have already been scratched and the bettors will have to choose again.

Stay tuned on derby day. And if you want something to read in the meantime, here are some links to my stories from previous years: The Art of Being Stuck Here, Uncle Mo Hold a Grudge, and Even Pidgeons Can Sing. Wish me luck. I haven't won yet. Then again, I like to write stories. So I'm not complaining.