Summary of Her Pay It Forward Experience
Catherine was driving on a notorious part of the city when her car’s engine overheated and sent her hood into flames. She got out of the car in an instant and stared at her car helplessly. Then out of nowhere came two strangers who extinguished the fire and left without saying anything to her. That brief encounter with kindness left a mark in Catherine. She knew that she has to do something to give the kindness back.
Latest about Electric God
Her book “Electric God” is set to be made into another Hollywood movie blockbuster starring Nicolas Cage.
Catherine’s tireless works as a novelist have touched both her readers and the movie–going audiences with her inspiring messages and moving stories.
Co-Founding the Pay It Forward Foundation
In 2000, Catherine alongside Kerry Taylor and Charley Johnson, founded the Pay It Forward Foundation, which has grown out of the success of the “Pay It Forward” novel and movie. It has now become a worldwide movement that engages children to make a difference, while at the same time, sharing real life stories of helping others.
A great concept they have is involving a simple bracelet and paying forward a gift. When you have paid forward your gift, you take off the bracelet and give it to the person you gave the gift to with the understanding that the person will wear the bracelet until they pay forward a gift to someone else. It is built on the philosophy that true happiness comes from making others happy.
The Pay It Forward Movement
From this grassroots movement, Catherine has had the opportunity to further the Pay It Forward concept during the times she was invited as a professional speaker at the National Conference on Education, the Cornell University (where she was invited twice), and meeting with AmeriCorps members at the White House where she shared the speaker’s podium with Bill Clinton.
Catherine has also found success with other novels she has written, including “Love in the Present Tense,” which gained bestseller success in the United Kingdom—it spent five weeks as national bestseller, was shortlisted by the British Book Awards for Best Read of the Year, and was reviewed by The National TV book Club. More success awaited Catherine after “Both Becoming Chloe” and “Jumpstart the World” were published and recommended by the American Library Association for the Rainbow List. In addition, the Lambda Literary Awards gave “Jumpstart the World” two finalist nominations.
With more than 50 of her short stories having been published to date, Catherine is now considered a seasoned and successful professional writer. Despite that, she had remained ever humble. She once told a reporter, “The craziest thing I have ever done is quit my day job to become a full-time writer.”
Other awards Catherine has been honored with included the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, the Tobias Wolff Award, a nomination from the O. Henry Award for Best American Short Stories, and taking home the Pushcart Prize.
Catherine’s inspiration to write originated from her time as a child:
“When I was a kid/teenager everybody said I was too much of a daydreamer. And my teacher used to tell me I was never going to amount to anything if I didn't get my head out of the clouds. But writing really is a process not all that different from daydreaming.”
Often, she waits for inspiration to come to her and then from this inspiration she translates her imagination into the written word. To do this, she spends much of her time outdoors, actively enjoying and engaging in activities, such as hiking in the Grand Canyon, Mt Machu Picchu Yosemite National Park, or spending time with her dog Ella that she fostered from the Humane society when the dog was only four months old.
What is Pay it Forward? Is it a book, a movie, a simple concept, a true world, or a personal life–changing movement? Catherine has certainly gained the attention of readers, movie audiences, politicians, philanthropists, teachers and children in classrooms. Her profound idea has created success for herself as an author; but more importantly, it has also caused many to pause and reflect on what true happiness is and how it may be attained in a very simple and doable way—help others and inspire them to do the same thereby causing a chain of helping to impact and change the world for social good instead of greed.
We encourage you to pay it forward too. Inspire someone today, as we have inspired you. Make the world a better place. It all starts and continues with you.
When I Found You, Don’t Let Me Go and Other Books
- Always Chloe and Other Stories
- Walk Me Home
- The Long, Steep Path
- How to be a Writer in the E-Age
- When You Were Older
- Don't Let Me Go
- Jumpstart the World
- Second Hand Heart
- When I Found You
- Diary of a Witness
- The Day I Killed James
- Chasing Windmills
- The Year of my Miraculous Reappearance
- Love in the Present Tense
- Becoming Chloe
- Walter's Purple Heart
- Electric God/The Hardest Part of Love
- Pay It Forward
- Earthquake Weather and Other Stories
- Funerals for Horses
- 1992: Pay It Forward novel written and published
- 1998: Bellingham Review Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction (runner up).
- 1999: Paperback release of Pay It Forward becomes an international best seller
- 2000: Pay It Forward Made into a major motion picture
- 2000: Pay It Forward Non-Profit Foundation founded
- 2005: Nicolas Cages signs on for motion picture adaptation of Electric God