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Carter Bays Books In Order

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Publication Order of CarterBays Standalone Novels

The Mutual Friend (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carter Bays is an American television showrunner, composer, and author who is best known for her debut novel “The Mutual Friend.”

Before he became an author he made his name as the co-creator of the very popular CBS TV show “How I Met Your Mother.”

For nearly a decade of the show’s run, he worked as executive producer, writer, and showrunner in a show that went on to garner ten Primetime Emmy Awards.

Bays was born in Cleveland, Ohio to retired corporate lawyer James C. Bays and Martha Bays his mother who was a United Church of Christ minister.

He was always a creative person even while in high school. During his stint at Shaker Heights High School, he penned “Five Visits From Mr. Whitcomb,” a play that would be a selection for the Young Playwrithgts Inc., a Stephen Sondheim-founded festival.
The work would then be produced at the New York City-based Playwrights Horizon. He attended Wesleyan University where he studied English and met Craig Thomas who was his bandmate.

It was that same Craig Thomas who would then become a co-creator and writing partner on his most famous creation How I Met Your Mother.

Thomas and Bays were the co-founders of “The Solids” band who would ultimately be tasked with performing the theme song to “How I Met Your Mother.”

They also performed the theme songs for the likes of “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit,” which was nominated for an Emmy, and the theme song for “Hey Beautiful” too.
After graduating from college in 1996, the two would find internship positions in MTV’s Development department.

In 1997, Carter Bays and his friend Craig Thomas graduated from Wesleyan and soon after found jobs writing for “The Late Show With David Letterman.”

They would then create their blockbuster TV show “How I Met Your Mother” which ran for nine years between 2005 and 2014.

In addition to conceiving and writing “How I Met Your Mother,” Bays was also a writer on “Oliver Beene,” “Quintuplets,” and “American Dad” besides co-creating “The Goodwin Games.”
In 2022, Bays conceptualized and executive produced “How I Met Your Father” which was on Hulu and starred Hilary Duff.

Bays currently makes his home in Los Angeles where he lives with Denise Cox Bays his wife and their three kids. One of his daughters appeared briefly at the end of the Unpause and the other at the end of the Trilogy Time episode.
In addition to his writing endeavors, he also works at Columbia University, where he teaches TV writing to a master’s class. He also works at Yale University’s Davenport’s College where he is an Associate Fellow.
Bays also works on the Armed Services Arts Partnership board, which is all about helping veterans return to civilian life via the arts and comedy.

Following the conclusion of the finale of “How I Met Your Mother” in 2014, Carter Bays found himself at a loss on what to do next. However, he found his answer when he picked up a book and found inspiration in literary fiction with its varied worlds.
Bays had then been working on his TV show for more than a decade and being called upon to produce some output or another for much of that time.

He thought it would be better if he got into input mode for a while. Since he had an entire shelf of classics that he meant to read for years, he thought there was no better time.

During that time, he came up with the concept of “How I Met Your Mother,” he had been reading “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy but it was not long before things got crazy and he never finished it as he consigned it to the TBR pile.
A decade later, the bookmark was in the same place he had left it and this was what kicked off things.

It is Anna Karenina that got Carter Bays’ creative juices flowing as he decided to develop a story that had been kicking around in his mind for a while.

The transition from TV writing to writing long-form novels was at first very difficult since he had done the former for more than two decades.

He knew all about starting scripts and final drafts but writing long-form fiction was completely different and new to him. Nonetheless, he put in the work, and after he got over the hump, he found free reign and the words started flowing.
Over several years, it was just him and his manuscript. Bays found that he loved being able to work without a network looking over his shoulder and not having to work in a studio or having to cater to a fan base.
He loved having the creative freedom to tell his story any way he wanted and soon enough he had his work published.

“The Mutual Friend” by Carter Bays is a thought-provoking and hilarious novel set in New York City. the work follows an eccentric cast of characters as they navigate spirituality, life, ambition, love, and loss.

The work opened in 2015 and introduced Alice Quick, who has to get to work as soon as possible. The twenty-eight-year-old woman has been freshly kicked out of her apartment, is working as a nanny, and recently lost her mother.
She knows that she needs to sign up for the MCAT and get her act together so that she can achieve her dream of one day becoming a doctor.

But she is living in an age when distractions are the order of the day. She also has to deal with the religious awakening of her brother who is a tech millionaire while his picture-perfect wife has a massive emotional breakdown.
Nearer to home, she is dealing with a new roommate who is the epitome of chaos and has a craving for adventure. Lastly, she is also dealing with love which may just be the biggest distraction of all.

Bays unearths a tapestry of characters from one woman’s life across one summer who are all related to one another by seen and unseen threads.

Full of all the heart, humor, and warmth that would make “How I Met Your Mother,” the novel explores contemporary life chaos in minute detail as the lead lives in two different worlds.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carter Bays

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