Meet the Author Monday: Ralph Hoyte

Ralph Hoyte

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Ralph Hoyte, author of Christabel Released and Something Needs To Be Done With The Humans.

About Ralph Hoyte:

Ralph is a poet, writer and sound artist from Bristol/England. As a poet, Ralph writes in the first instance for the voice – his, or multiple voices. He has a particular liking for epic poems and ballads, his ‘Christabel Released’, for example – a completion of ST Coleridge’s dark Gothic ballad, ‘Christabel’ – extending to over 3 hours in performance (or a nice long Gothic read on a dark winter’s night in front of a crackling log fire!). As a writer, Ralph goes for the AI jugular in his latest page-turner, ‘Something Needs To Be Done About The Humans’, in which his concern is nothing less than AI and the future of the human race. As a sound artist Ralph generally works with his 3-man collective, Satsymph, to produce mobile immersive media soundscapes accessed through the smartphone.

About Christabel Released:

CHRISTABEL RELEASED is Ralph Hoyte’s completion of the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous Gothic ballad, ‘Christabel’. The Bristol/UK-based poet and writer has taken Coleridge’s original fragments and woven them into a coherent narrative poem which rescues the eponymous heroine, Christabel, from her over 200 years of enforced limbo. Christabel Released is just under 1/3 original Coleridge and just over 2/3 Ralph Hoyte. Christabel’s themes are demonic possession and seduction and the resulting destruction of The Old Order. The cast – apart from the lovely lady, Christabel – includes her sire, Sir Leoline of Langdale Hall, his bête noire Geraldine (‘sword-bearer’, from the Germanic), who is a shape-shifting snake demoness; Bracy, Sir Leoline’s bard; and Sir Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine, who may or may not be the snake-lady, Geraldine’s father.

Author Interview with Ralph Hoyte:

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  1. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

In 2005 I received a travel bursary from Arts Council England to spend 5 weeks in Japan following in the footsteps of haiku master Matsuo Basho’s ‘oku no hosomichi’ (The Narrow Road to the Interior), visiting the places he went to in 1690 and writing about what I found there nearly 350 years later. This resulted in my zen-poetic book, 花の影  hana no kage (Shadow of a Flower) and a performance piece (with a Japanese actress). Otherwise I’ve spent a lot of time tracking the Romantic poets (Dorothy and William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge) across the Quantock Hills of Somerset and North Exmoor coast!

  1. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

It’s probably a great weakness, but I don’t know how ‘to deliver what readers want’. I write to satisfy my inner sense of what wants to be said. I truly hope people find things in my work that draw them in: compelling themes, stories, characters – but how am I supposed to know what compels other people? All I can write about is what compels me.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I research exhaustively. Christabel Released completes Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous unfinished Gothic ballad, Christabel. In order to ‘channel’ Coleridge I had to know everything possible about the man, both from his own diaries and notes as well as biographies, original sources etc, so, over several years, I was able to ‘feel’ Coleridge. I literally spent years collecting everything under the sun on the development and implications of AI for ‘Something Needs To Be Done About The Humans’ so it would have a basis in reality.

  1. What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

In Christabel Released I write ‘in the style of’ Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the most famous poets in all of English literature, and I am completing his own work which he was never able to finish himself. This could be described as being both arrogant and hubristic. I prefer to think he may have welcomed my intervention. I am not writing ‘about’ Coleridge – I am usurping his style and in-the-common-domain content. In any case, in English law, dead people cannot be libeled, so they are fair game for whatever a writer wants to write about them or a film-maker wants to portray them as. Publish and be damned! as the saying goes…

  1. Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?

I am a full-time professional sound artist, writer and poet.

  1. Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

The moment you share your work or (hopefully) publish it – in other words expose your baby to The Big Bad World – everyone and her dog is going to have an opinion about it (if anyone reads it at all, of course!). Just hold fast, go on writing, go on writing, go on believing in yourself. ‘Success’ is never guaranteed, but, heck, what else is there to do but go on? Give up? Nah…

  1. Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

Christabel in my book, Christabel Released, of course. Because she refused to do what was in the plot. Instead, she informed me what she was going to do – and did it. It felt like I was taking dictation. I also like the kickass Simar in ‘Something Needs To Be Done About The Humans’. Heck, I like all my characters, even (especially?) the evil ones!

  1. How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

Trying to work out my plotlines for my self published dystopian page turner ‘Something Needs To Be Done About The Humans’. I’m republishing it, so it’s not currently available. It’s an innovative twist on how and when AI takes over the world. Better hurry up on that one, as probably AI has already taken over the world… take me to your reader?

  1. What book is currently on your bedside table?

My wife gave me Robert Harris’s, ‘Pompei’ for Christmas. Of his books I’ve read (3 of them), The Conclave was the best (tho’ the guy who got the gig was a twist too far)(in my humble opinion)(of course!)

To learn more about Ralph Hoyte, here’s where you can find him:


Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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