Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 9 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Amor Towles

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

F&F is honored to welcome the incredible No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Amor Towles. Amor’s three novels RULES OF CIVILITY, A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, and THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY have collectively sold more than five million copies and been translated into more than thirty languages. A Gentleman in Moscow spent two full years on the New York Times bestseller list. When it was published by Viking Books in October 2021, The Lincoln Highway debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was named a TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick, A New York Times Notable Book, and chosen by Oprah, Time, NPR, The Washington Post and Barack Obama as a Best Book of the Year. Amor joins us to talk about his writing and research process and all that goes into creating his incredible and artful novels.

Welcome to friends and fiction for New York Times best selling authors endless stories. Novelists Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Christy Woodson Harvey and Patty Callaghan Henry are for longtime friends with more than seventy published books between them. Together, they host friends and fiction with author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing to highlight and support independent book stores. They discussed the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hello everyone, it's Wednesday nights and that means it's time for friends and fiction. It's the happiest night of the week when our community gathers to talk about books and stories and writing. I'm Mary Kay Andrews, I'm Christen Harmel, I'm Christy Woodson Harvey, and this is friends and fiction for New York Times best selling authors endless stories to support Indie book stores, authors and Libraries. Tonight we are so excited because we are talking with a more tolls about the Lincoln highway, about inspiration, about his writing process and about mythology, because you know how I am about mythology. That we do. I know, I know, and I am sure been talking about one of my favorite books, his debut rules of savility. But before we get rolling, we want to express our gratitude to gallery books, who publishes our Christie and our Christen, for their ongoing support of the show. Yes, we really are so grateful to gallery and, as you know, we're also grateful and want to encourage you to support indie booksellers when and where you can, and one way to do that is to visit our own friends and fiction bookshop dot org page, where you can find a Moore's books and books by the four of us and our past guests. But it is count of course, at bookshop DOTORG. A portion of each sale through the friends and fiction shop goes to support Indie book stores and it also helps support this show. So if you enjoy watching, this is a great way to support our guests, indie bookstores and the friends and fiction group all at the same time. Oh, Yu, need to I'm so sorry, I'm just chatting. Springbox is now available for order from friends and fax from our friends at Oxford Exchange. Order now and you'll receive my march release, the wedding bail Mary Kay's May release the home wreckerds, both signed first editions, hopefully on pub day. And you know what else? Especial friends and fiction notebook complete with sticky flags from marking all your favorite pages. We hope you're out of sticky flags exactly. I'm sure there will be lots of favorites. And so now we are almost finished with the very first month of our friends and fiction reading challenge, which was so excited about. Each month of the year there will be a different reading prompt and we challenge you not only to complete all twelve months but also to keep track of what you've read this year. One Way to do that is with our beautiful reading journal designed by US in conjunction with the Independent Bookstore Oxford Exchange. It has this gorgeous friends and fiction blue linen cover and plenty of space to record your thoughts on what you're reading. So this month's prompt for January was debut novels and February is memoir or non fiction, and I was just thinking how perfect that is, because Wade rouse was just on with the book club on Monday night chatting with Brenda and Lisa and I think he's written. If I'm not mistaken, I think he's written for Memoirs and Oh wow, yes, which I didn't realize, which is amazingly under his own name, W Wade rouse. So for any of you who belong to the Book Club who turned up there, maybe one of those books would be a great choice. But there's lots of beautiful memoirs and Non Fiction out there. So go start choosing your book and grab a journal just like this one from Oxford exchange to record it fall. If you want, engage on the facebook page and tell us what you chose. Our friend and Nissa Armstrong will post about each challenge and it will be in the pinned announcements. We do not have memoirs. No one wants to dream. I did the laundry and then I did the laundry again. I all right now let's welcome our guests for the evening. A more tolls is the New York Times best selling author of three beloved...

...and highly acclaimed novels. I am such a huge fan of a Moore's work and when I met him and his amazing wife Maggie, I did that embarrassing thing of super bands and instead of playing it cool, I'd blurt it out, Oh my God, you're a more. Rules of stability is one of my favorite books of all time. But it looks like I didn't scare him off, because he's with US tonight. I mean, as far as we know, he might have already been scared away, but first welcome to a more deep show up together. In Moore's novels, rules of stability and a gentleman in Moscow in the Lincoln highway that we're to talk about tonight have sold more than five million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. His novel a gentleman in Moscow was on the New York Times best seller list for two years and was named one of the best books of two thousand and sixteen by the Philadelphia and Choirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and NPR. The Lincoln Highway, which was released in October of last year, debuted at number one on the New York Times best seller list and still sits there and the top ten. If you haven't seen it, you've been hiding on a deserted island, because this book has been everywhere. After growing up in the Boston area. A more, graduated from Yale and received an M A in English from Stanford University. Shabby, I know, it's kind of chaff. He worked as an investment professional forever, twenty years, and now writes full time and Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children. Sean, can you bring a Moron to join us? Hi, hello, lady, and well everyone, everyone at home too. Thanks for having we're so happy to have you. So you know how much I loved the Lincoln Highway. I read it over the holidays and I felt like I took a true journey with Emma and those beloved boys. But before we dive into the origins and the process and the fascinating aspects of the Lincoln highway, can you give our viewers and listeners just a quick overview of what the book is about? The shortly for the before the book begins, a young man from Midwest us, to young boy, takes his younger brother to a county fair in Nebraska. A bully picks a fight with it. Me Punches the bully. The bully falls down his his head and dies as a result. Our hero, who's seventeen, is sent to juvenile facility work farm for a year and a half. The book opens the day that the warden is driving him home to his family farm in Nebraska. While he's been away, his father has passed away, his mother is long gone and the farm is in bankruptcy. And so the warden is saying to him, listen, what happened to you was a freak accident. You're a good person, you've paid your debt to society and so you should really be prepared to start your life anew. And Emmett says the warden. That's my intention. But when the warden drives away, turns out that two of Emmett's friends from the juvenile facility have hidden in the trunk of the wardens car. They have a very different vision of how Emmet should spend his near future. From that moment everything starts to go awrived. The whole story takes place in over ten days, in one thousand nine hundred and fifty four, which is a very good year. Oh my gosh, it's, it says, such a great premise for a book and and you know, I think you're so well known for coming up with these incredible ideas for stories, these great premises that you tackle. You said you've been writing since you were a kid and that ideas kind of come to you as premises. You call them, I believe, notions. I've read that you've said before. So here at friends and fiction we love talking about the origins of stories with rules of civility. You've said that the idea came to you at a friend's house in Long Islands when you saw photos of the New York City subways in the late S. and I think with the gentleman in Moscow you were in a hotel in Geneva. That's right. Can you tell us about the Lincoln highway and what you were doing and where you were when you were struck by this particular notion? Okay, so everything you said is absolutely right and for me, over the course of my life I do have these notions, these premises, that I usually can describe in a sentence, like a man gets trapped in hotel for a long period of time. You know, that's sort of the notion that struck me. That eventually became a gentleman of Moscow. Now, when a notion like that comes to me, usual and it's interesting to me a sort of an...

...idea for a story. Usually within minutes it comes in more shape than that. So in the case of a gentleman Moscow, as soon as I had the idea of a guy trapped in a hotel for a long period of time, I meet it was like, oh, should be set in Russia. That'd be great and it could be an Aristocrat if we started them shortly after the revolution and Aristocrat born in the nineteen century gets sentenced to house arrest and a fancy hotel across the street from the Kremlin and he's going to spend thirty years there. Cover the entire all onest air. You know. All that was in the first couple of minutes and another for the course of a couple of days, I'll start to build out a scaffold of the story. Who are the other characters? What happens? Where the major events? Once I've done that and I'm I'm still interested, then it's kind of a multi year design process. It's called design, where I'll just keep thinking about the story and the back of my mind is some going about other things and filling out notebooks with more and more detail about this story. Eventually, after a couple of years I've imagined the story to its full extent or to a great extent. Then I write an outline and then I start chapter one. So now your questions about the Lincoln Highway, and the truth is I had this notion of the kid driving home, being driven home by the warden, ready to start his life a new and two of his friends from the work facility being hiding in the trunk of the car. That was my original notion that caught my imagination. It was more than fifteen years ago. I have no idea where I was. So it's not usually I know, but that time I don't remember. But what I can tell you is that within minutes again I was like, oh, it's going to take place in the mid S. he'll be in a farm in the brass or Kansas. They're going to end up going to New York in a car and the whole thing's going to take ten days and all that was very, very quick. But then you shift to like the notebook stage. You like. So this is an ear well, this is not the earliest. This is one of the notebooks for like a high as two thousand and seventy. Well, the first one is two thousand and fourteen and it looks like that. You know, it's just man written notes. Of me sort of wow thinking, oh, you know, one scene after another. What would that be had place? Like? What's the background of this character? Why is this character doing that? What might be the first paragraph of this chapter? You know, it's that kind of work and that's all done, as I say, years before I sit down to write chapter one. That's fascinating. When you sit down filling these notebooks, are you doing them in any sort of order or with like a purpose to them, or is it more you sit down and kind of whatever comes to you you're jotting down and you put it in order later? It's more of the it's more of the ladder in that well, I have the scaffolding that tells me early on with the sequence of events. Is Okay. When I'm filling the notebooks, I'm not moving in chronological order across the narrative. It's kind of it's a little bit whim based, which is that you know, I'll be like, Oh, you know, today I'd like to work on, you know, like in the Lincoln highway, several days of the story to the two brothers end up on a train and so it might be. You know, I'll sit down say I'm going to think about the train ride. You know, how they get on the train. What happens on the train? They get split up. Yeah, they're gonna GET SPLIT UP. That's what's going to happen. And and it's going to have one encounter and billy's gonna have a different account. And then you start to dig deeper into those and so so, as I say, I may not have been working on the day before the chapter before that. I may have been working on something entirely different, but all sort of tone in on some section of the book and work on it for a period of days imagining it, and then I'll kind of move on to something else and it doesn't it could be anywhere in the story at that. You know, at this stage when I write, I write from the beginning of the book towards the end. I don't I you know, I then I'm writing chapter by chapter in the order in which it they occur, because I want the language to accumulate the very particular way. What a fascinating process, is it? UN John, I think we have a pig. Yeah, yeah, they are. I had a picture of the notebooks yeah, I'm not that. But one on the bottom there you can't read as that's a two thousand and fourteen, and if you look closely, we zoomed in on that, it would. You can see the top it says unfinished business, because that's what the original name for this book was when I began writing the notebook, you know, eight years ago. How so a more. I frit that you want to force yourself to do something new with every book, So, in your words, to kind of retool every element of your craft. How did you do that with this book and and what makes you want to do that? I mean, your first book was such a success. It's it would be so easy to have just said, Gosh, I got it right, I got it right the first time. Let me do that exact same thing the next time. Why do you basically reinvent the wheel each time? I think that's incredible. Yeah, you're in, because you're in because you know rules are fability begins on New Year's Eve going in the one thousand nine hundred thirty eight and it ends exactly there later. It kind of in the New Year's Eve going to thirty nine. I could have just written one nine hundred thirty nine. That...

...could have been the next book. You know it, but you know as someone who we all approached our craft differently, you know, and we may all approach our craft differently in each book. Right, we're but for me I do, like a very interested in how the different structure, a different narrative might demand a different tone, a different vocabulary, a different semantics and different poetics. And I want to find when I take a story, what is the structure that serves this tale? What is the right poetics to service it? What are the right sort of tone of the narrative? What's the right psychological perspective, you know, and what's the right vocabulary? And so that's part of the Fund for and I. But probably in the case of Lincoln highway, for those who know my work, the biggest change for that question going from writing a gentleman Moscow to writing the Lincoln highway. It's not the move from Russia to the Midwest, or from an ARISTOCRAT and middle age to a bunch of kids, or even, you know, from the from the s into the S. it's, you know, it's not. The biggest challenge is going from a thirty year story to a ten day store yeah, yeah, I got thirty years story and you know, I'm telling us to four people who know this. But but for those of you who were listening, and a thirty year story the nature. But it is. It's about evolution by definition. You know, you because what you have is the time. I have the time as the writer. You have the time as the readers to experience how the central character is changing over time, how he in this case he is maturing. You can watch an acquaintance become a fullblown romance. It was a count and Anna. You Can Watch, basically, instance, a babysitting job become parenthood through the accounts relationship with Sophia. You can watch a job sort of gotten out of short term necessity become deep friendships. This is about evolution and you're watching the country of all the same time. And so when you shift to a ten days stories, this case really focused on three eighteen year old boys roughling, an eight year old boy of and an eighteenyear old young woman too. When you shift to ten days, you don't have the luxury of being able to lay out those kinds of evolution and the reader isn't get the benefit of that evolution. So so the challenge is how do I give the reader's sense of these the past these characters are coming from and the future that they might go to, but all through the narrow aperture of this limited time frame? And that's the, you know, a big part of the challenge in this book and and getting that right was part of the adventure of taking the different task. I love that. Wow, you think so fascinating and also terrifying to begin, but a good way though, like that's how you growth. That's amazing. Yeah, this is not my real question, but as you were talking and as I saw those notebooks, I had to ask you this. You will not remember this, but we did. I can't remember what festival it was, but we did a festival together a few years ago and I remember in the signing line. I was sitting beside you at the signing table and you had stamps, yeah, that you were putting inside the bugs, and so that was virgentleman a Moscow. So I'm wondering, did you have stamps for Lincoln Highway? When you do? Yes, I had a jazz stamp for rules distability and I had set basil's Cathedral for a gentleman Moscow and I have a sort of a sign I made which is sort of a highway sign for the Lincoln Highway. I mean almost like it looks like a you know, contemporary or, you know, the shield that you would have to identify a highway, and and I have that for the Lincoln highway. You know which which I should you know I I can only use if the line is short enough. You know what I mean. No, I remember sitting there and it was it wish I could remember where it was, but it was one of those huge festivals were like you walk out and they're all these people standing there and I'm always like panicking and like, oh my gosh, I need to hurry up and get through the lat and you had like ten million people and you were just cool as a cucumber and I was like, I don't know how he does this, but I need to bottle it because I am not sure. Awesome, but onto my real question. That was not it. As Patty mentioned, we really want to hear about this mythical hero during this musical, heroic journey. So this novel is a coming of age story, for those who haven't read it, of four boys and ten days auto road trip and in one thousand nine hundred and forty eight. Jude Baker at Land Cruiser and Mary Kay found a picture of one of those everyone could see. But the heroes journey isn't just in their trip. It's also echoed in the fictional but professor abocus Abernatheys contendium of adventure, A to Z that mixes real and Mythic Heroes, but that your character, billy, carries everywhere. Your story tracks so...

...closely to Joseph Campbell and his idea that myths teach us to leave others were. So was it intentional between epode the elements of the mythic journey here, and can you tell us a little bit about that? I guess that I have to take a step back and sort of give it the kind of the way that unfolds for me, and this from the bigger perspective, which is that I think that because it's a book about eighteen year olds and, as I say, you're right, there's an eight year old brother, but there's really three eighteen year old ish boys in this eighteen year old woman, Sally, and I think what's interesting about that moment in our lives, all of our lives, is that the time from the time that we're zero to sixteen, all of us are receiving instruction of a variety of kinds from different sources, receiving it from our parents, from school, from our church and from the community at large, and the instruction is coming in all kinds of forms, but it is to basically to tell us who we should be, what's right and wrong, what we should how, what we should how we should interpret the world, what we should expect of ourselves, how we should treat others. This is all being sort of communicated to us at between zero at sixteen, but around the time we turned seventeen or eighteen or nineteen, we suddenly have this sort of revelation that we get to decide this all ourselves. Actually, we don't have to to follow all this instruction that we've been receiving. We have the right to figure out what we think is right and wrong, what what we are, what we are capable of as individuals, what we should do with our lives, how we should treat others. And when that moment comes, which of course, is very exciting for us all, when it happens, inevitably, there's a degree to which, consciously or unconsciously, we shed what our parents told us. So the school told us, the church to us, and we say we I will never do that and redirect ourselves or constantly, unconsciously, we may amplify something and say I want to I want to be like my father in this respect or my mother in this respect, and you know, I want to pursue that in my life. And so so that can kind of go on. Now. The other component here, though, goes to your question, is that a big factor in the way that the church, the school community, our parents give us instruction and guidance and shape us is through narratives. Our parents tell us about their own childhood and but what they've been through. UNIVER church. It comes in the form of parables in the Christian Church and tradition, but the Jewish tradition has a very similar set up. You know the obviously in school you're reading novels and history books. So narratives are being are a part of the means by which we are shaped. And so each of the kids in the story has narratives which they're kind of carrying with them, which either they're going to follow or its shape them. And you know, in the case of Duchess who's a kid who kind of grew up in a tough section of New York. His father was a failed Shakespearean actor who ended up kind of a drunken con man performer on dying Vada. Duchess was surrounded with people like his dad and so what he saw was sort of the great mythic stories for him of all these crazy performers, you know, who had big personalities and outsize personalities and and doing, you know, magic shows or escape artists or what have you. And and he has his father, Duchess, not really educated, he says, Father Doing the same say twenty Shakespearean monologs over and over and over. He heard them hundreds of times and he's never seen the plays, not to say really probably, but he's heard them, these monoliths, these famous Shakespearean speech, and it's he that infuses him, you know. But meanwhile I have sally, who's obviously very affected by her upbringing in the church and she's constantly talking about the parables and criticizing them or in or reversing them or or doubt them to depending on how she's feeling. And for Billy, we really have this book of Mythic here us so whether there's a heroes from history or from classical mythology or from, you know, from novels, this book of Twenty Six stories, of twenty six male heroes, is what he has and and he's read a twenty times and it's sort of shakes his vision of the world. So each kind of each of the characters as their own sort of narrative that they're that they're filtering, and that affects how they see the world and what they think about. Now I'll I'll stop because I'm going on too on about this. But how late I lay it all out because, because it's kind of going back to the question is, once you instill this story, this book of Stories, it's very natural for where ulysses is one of the stories in that book, the the life of Achilles is in the book the boys book, that that those who start to trickle up through the narrative in their own way because of course they're upon billy's mind. And so it became very natural to kind of weave bring to the surface these stories that billy was reading and to see how they started to mirror or contrast...

...or influence the events that the young men were going through on their own adventure and so, yeah, they kind of become together. That's incredible. You also leave most of these, these four boys, mostly parentless, which is also pretty mythical. So can you tell us about that decision? Yeah, you know, that may be. It's it. Maybe it's probably lazy this. I think that's true. Oh, yeah, that that's the first word. that. Yeah, what I hear. Your process, flapper. Yeah, the book is misspell you. We all, we all were all, we've all been through this moment where you see you have an there, if you kind of think what it's about and are you have some sense. I have sort of an unspecific sense in one of my books are about, but I have a sort of a sense of direction or whatever is that. You then are starting to make decisions about what's in and what's out. You know, and I call it the great circle. You know and and that there are the Great Circu of the grants or conference. Is really the way I'm saying Great Servi because of Maggie ships said, but it's the grants, your conference through at normally think of it, and then the grants, your conferences. You take your story and your protagonist and use this is circle gets drawn around and everything that matters to the tail is in within that circumference and needs to be in the book, and everything that doesn't serve the story in that way should be outside that circle and because otherwise it gets an it's, it's gets in the way. So there's just sort of not a very scientific process. A lot of his instinct for me of beginning to make choices of who are the characters, who are the bit characters? How many places are we going, what kind of conversations we having in and what detail? How many objects these you do we are going to be introduced to mean good Lord and so, and some of that is is, you know what, about the family life, and I think that in approaching this story, my instincts very early on where this is about the kids and it's about them inventing themselves and they're going to I have this very strong sense of their parents that they've inherited. Duchess is quite clearly very affected by his father's sort of almost the ghost of his father's presence and the loss of his mother. As a young person. Billy is very affected by his mother. You know who duchess. His mother died. Billy's left home. You know probably because of what we would call postpor depression at this time. But but you know, but so the influence and the billy and I my father has died but has a huge influence on Emmett because of both the fact that he was an honorable person, but he was also a man of folly, a guy wanted to be a farmer, wasn't very good at it and kind of ran the family in a bankruptcy as a result. And and Emmett both admires and you know, it's driven crazy by that fact of its father. So I had my instinct was I wanted the power of the parenting, the parental impact, to be very felt, and we're learn about those things and we're going to see it in the way the kids behave. But it's really about them beginning their own life and trying, as I said earlier, to steer clear of that stuff or respond against it or to save what little sliver of it mattered to them. And so it was. It was for the purpose of the story, it was the parents got pushed outside the grands or conference, you know, by you know whether it was through death, by illness, you know, this appearance, by abandonment. You know or, you know, being on the run and the and the kids were really going to get this the territory of the story to themselves, you know, at least on the ground, while the parental influence was going to constantly be sort of barraging them from the through their memories. So sort of like that, that's kind of the way that ended up happened. But that's why I say it's kind of Lazy, because it would have been so much more complicated to have the parents there all the time. Good Lord, as somebody who's had to cut who writes along anyway, I totally get that. You know, we're just sort of segueing into point of view. And in Lincoln highway we don't just get one POB we get six. And I have to tell you, I was just thinking about when you were talking about my favorite quote from this book comes early on and it's when Emmatt tells the man that he apprentices with, Mr Schult, about becoming a carpenter, and he says, the way I figure it, Mr Schult, it was job who had the oxen and Noah who had the hammer. And I, I don't know, I to be that sort of some gave me an early viewpoint into who am it was. That's right, and if I love that. He he was polite about it, but he felt free not to take people's advice when he didn't want to anyway. So, with a spoilers, there are a couple characters in Lincoln high why we only hear...

...from once or twice. You know, it was seamless and it but it also felt necessary to hear from all of them to get a fully rounded picture. And you know you just talked about the great circle. So who did you decide? How did you decide WHO's inside the circle and is out? Yep, and the the truth about that is if you went back to, you know, the early notebooks where I was designing the story from the beginning, the idea was ten days, right, but it was going to be told from Emmett and Duchess's perspective back and forth for the full ten days. We'd hear from Emmett and then we hear Duchess and day one and they too from enment. Not just maybe we'd hear from them twice, but we go back and forth. The batons telling the story would be handed back and forth over the course of the ten days and I got into actually beginning to write chapters and and as I was writing the chapters, it began and thinking through some of the way the chapters would be realized. What really became clear to me was that that the voices of some of these other people deserved to be heard. They needed to be heard, and that was partly because I knew those characters so well. I knew what Sally sounded like and she appears in the first chapter and we hear her kind of with with and in the morning of the second day we hear her battering back and forth with them at we get a sense of who she was, but we don't really get the really acute sense of who she was. And and I felt like, you know what, the reader should hear her, and I can hear her, they should hear her, and so and same thing with Willie. But you know, it's not going to be enough to hear what Emma thinks of willing what duchess things that will we need to hear how Willie sees the world, because I think that's really the the secret to understanding him, sort of just to look through his eyes for a minute and hear his tone. And then, you know, we would add richness to no, I aren't saying of him, but of the tale as a whole. And so, yeah, I went from being a two point of view story to an eight point of view story. In the end there's eight noll and, and so you know, the decision of who goes back to that sort of instinct a little bit, which is like your kind of I am at and not getting much away. This is pretty early in the book. But Iman and billy end up on a train and they get separated, as I said earlier, and and Emmett stumbles into a pullman car or two young rich men who are a little bit older than him, not much older, but a little bit older. They're having after a night of debauchery and their tuxedos and and Emmett witnesses this and it makes a freshion on him and they talked, three of them. It's sort of some humor and it etc. And it triggers some thoughts and for Emmett. Meanwhile Billy is encountering a gentleman, Pastor John, who's a rather sinful pastor, not a good guy, not a good good guy, and he's going to get bailed out by, you know, a black middle aged veteran name ulysses, and and so those are two scenes in a way of running in parallel. But for whatever reason my instinct was we're going to see that pullman car scene from Emmett's perspective. We're going to meet these two drunken characters, but we don't need to know what their thought processes you know, we don't need to know how they see the world. But as soon as I had pastor John In my head I knew what he sounded like and it needs much sense for him to tell the story of discovering billy than Marchaul worker. And then it made so much sense for ulysses to come in and tell the discovery of pastor. I'm discovering pastor John and the boy and in sort of them party, because I wanted to protect billy from the for the his his identity for a while. I didn't want the leader to know too much of what heaths sounded like. Yet I wanted that to be you know, wanted so I wanted the outsiders to be looking at billy, meeting billy, talking to billy and being affected by billy. And so anyway. So those decisions get made in that way. And then you know, eventually you do get to hear from billy, spoiler, I guess. But, but, but, at any rate, you know, there's not a great science to it, but that's the way it worked out. But, but I cannot imagine this book being a two person story. And even when it was, even when it was two perspective, all the events would have happened just as they happened in the current book, but it would have been a much less interesting book. I think the reader for you to read. Yeah, I mean the landscape that you created was so vivid with this cast of characters. I can't imagine leaving out wooly yeah or billy or Sally and my I swear to God, I just love when Sally's flinging things because she's so mad.

I love her. She is so good. Even before you tell us why she's mad, we know why she's mad, but not at that. She's had enough, all right, and we're, you know, being a lover of rules of stability, I saw some spider web connections, just you little filaments. Wallace wooly Martin is the nephew of Wallace Walcott. Yes, the rules stability. There's also an army watch and its camp in the ADIRONDACKS. That are both in the novel and I love revisiting that or such an impactful scene. But you call it contextual overlap. was there reason? Right, that's a great so gramart. I said it and then gave you credit. No sextual overlap, but yes, go ahead of Europe anyway. Is there reading? You did it or was it just fun? Easter eggs are did you? Did you watch money? Visited it is an Astertif is that? It's fun for me. I mean, that's it. That's aspect. It is, it is. It is true. For those who have not read rules stability, if not read both men highwaind rules stability, you should know that it doesn't matter. You don't have to read one to enjoy the other or to understand the other or to get the most from the other. But there are narrative overlaps between the two books and I think that for someone who's read the two books closely and as fond of them, it does add a dimension for them and that I think could be interesting and entertaining, I guess, and and and thematically intriguing. And I guess the reason. Why do I do it? It goes back to being a young reader and loving in say faulkner, when you would run in to someone that you would read about in a different Falk Nary, and stare a story, because he had his Yaka Patafa County. You know that what we're Oxford, our ARXFORD books is it's our is, our is our book store of the night. Correct. Am I right? Door? Get the right? Yeah, yeah, the oxygen. So within two miles of Oxford exchange and which is a terrific store, by the way. I love those guys. Then two miles of the story is is Falkner's house and you can go there and and on it the wall is the map he drew of Yaka Patafa, where he's written in and you can buy a reproduction of it, which I have in my office, which is all his sort of notes as reminders of who was where and what was where did people worm and what events happened. You know, in this what he called his post a postage stamp of the world. It's a little postage stamp of the world, and so he's created this mythic community and over the course of multiple novels, many short stories, there are these overlapping elements, the family of the sound of the fury and Ab some some ab somewhere, the same families through his most important books. But but you know, like a great example to me is he's got this family who's who's wily and illicit and and Brusque, called the the snokes. So the SNOPS and they sort of show up with suddenly they'll be in the middle of the story and and the door open and the snows will come in. You're like, Oh man, here I'm the stoke. Here we go. I know these guys are all that. And it was always writing, as I said, when these things, these moments would happen and it's like a door opening up in one narrative and you can kind of the light from the other narrative suddenly shining and you can kind of see through the window. Oh yeah, that's right, that's that's a whole, that whole group of events is is just out through that door. And and that, you know, I can go. I can make connections or not, depending on on my interest in doing so. And but so anyways. So, so as I've written my books, I have enjoyed, at some point during the imagining of a book suddenly be like, Oh, you know what Willie should be, while this his nephew. That makes so much sense because there's still alike and and they come from from the world and such a similar way, and then they confront the world in a similar way and and so you kind of have these connections. Dicky vander while, who's a character and rules of civility, appears in a gentleman Moscow, plays a very central rule and the gentleman Moscow for those of you read those books. But he's a young, sort of care free, somewhat careless, almost a dilettant in rules of civility in Genterman Moscow. It's fifteen years later. He's been through the war, he's been an officer, he's now the attachee to a general and eventually he's working in the State Department, IE, for the CIA. But his personality is the same. The way he relates to Katie and the way he relates to the count is the same, and the sort of the the sort of casual care freeness that has wisdom behind it, plays a role in both Katie's understanding of herself or conversations with dicky. The same thing happens to the count. He has critical breakthroughs in his own thought process because of this sort of care free conversations with Dicky,...

...who is easy to take for granted as an individual. So I enjoy sort of following dicky into the story and that's a pleasure to me. But also I you know, as I say, it's one of these doors that open up that that's fun for me as a reader. It feels like we're in on a secret right now. This about being told. I'm like, Oh, yeah, I know that army watch. I'm and I'm a great secret right you feel you feel like that? I like I said, there's this kind of spider web connection so that your stories are part of a bigger hole and not so separate, even though they are. Okay, we could obviously ask you questions until midnight, and we have so more of them. You wouldn't do that to you and I cannot believe how many live questions are rolling in. They are co really so many. So let's try and get to some of them. Kristen, do you want to kick us off ask a couple? Yeah, we have a ton of questions, specifically about the notebooks, which is great because I have a lot of questions about the notebooks to and that's I would like to do an entire second hour, just like the notebooks deep die with a more tolls. But okay, I'm going to combine two of them kind of into one question. Kathy Hamdy swig would like to know. Does he take his notebooks everywhere, for instance, does he take them on vacation, and how many active notebooks are there at once? And also, Diane Clark would like to know have you started writing all of your books by writing a notebooks or has that evolved as your career has evolved? I've always used them. I do take them everywhere, but what I'll do is is is it because your question was was right on and that I have multiple notebooks that serve different purposes. So I have different stories that I've been thinking about over the long term and various levels of development, as it were, and so some and then I also have notebooks that are or catch all, where it's just different things I'm writing about, thinking about that may become a bigger story down the road. You don't mean the might be a new idea or might be a sort of a little insight that I'm flushing out or a short story concept or whatever, and so I have both the notebooks dedicated the long term narratives and I have the more general ones. When I travel I'm probably carrying one of one of each of those. I'm carrying general, which I'm can use at any time for any purpose, and I'm carrying probably whatever narrative I'm delving into deeply. My Typical Day is I am at this desk, you know, let's say around a thirty or something like that at work, but at noon, and I tend to work on a keyboard at my desk at noon, I will take a notebook to lunch. I'll go to lunch by myself. In New York, I'll see at a bar, at the rest of Barber restaurant, and I will do right by hand kind of during lunch, you know, where I'm beginning to think about, let's say, what I'm going to be working on the next day, flushing that out in greater detail. So they do travel with me. I do have multiple books. I do have multiple ideas that I have not fully realized yet, you know, and then I continue to think about and I you know, you know, you get the covers to look like that. That's my new one. That's punny. Oh, cool, come on, sorry, come on, okay, Christy, when? Okay, yeah, you stamp the covers. That's what patting. Yeah, they have a yeah, exactly, that's a little bit standing. Okay, okay, Carrie settleman wants to know. I love this question. Have you ever had an idea for a Bo started writing it and then decided it wasn't going to work? You know, as was mentioned earlier, when I was twenty five and I had moved to New York City and I've been writing since I was I'd want, all I ever want to do is be a writer since I was in first grade and I written in high school and college and Graduate School and I was published in the Paris Review when I was about twenty four. And then, telling you, shabby, yeahacker, and then I got a you know, I joined a friend of mine who had started an investment firm and I worked we worked together for over twenty years and that firm is still, you know, around, is very significant and thriving and you know what everything, but I was in the investment business for that twenty one year period and the first ten years I stopped writing as we were some building a company and recruiting colleagues and clients and refining our craft, etc. And but I kind of knew I I got to get back to writing or I'm going to really end up being bitter and miserable as an older person. And so when, when I was about in my s, I set out to write a novel and took me about seven years and by the end of the seven years I didn't like the book, you know, and so that ended up in a drawer behind, oh, in my well. I don't like to think about it very Alvin, but but I just said, and then so what I what I want, and I would I was like, you know, working. If you spend seven years creating a work of art you don't like, you should reflect on that. I was my opinion. And so, no, I get I reflected on it and a big thing that stood out about what was wrong...

...with that project is that it was not outlined. And again, different writers are trying to achieve different things in different books and they're trying to achieve different things from book to book. But so far I'm very interested in how a novel can have a synthetic, symphonic impact on the reader. What I mean by that is, if I'm interested, how I want to achieve for the reader that in a book of mine, like in a great symphony of Mozarts for Beethoven's, that there are are schemes that are playing and being repeated and revisit over the course of the symphony, but they're being picked up by different instruments. Played alone the Solos, it's going to slow, sad fashion by an Oboist, but then suddenly it's been, you know, by for Fuller Distraction, by strings at a bigger tempo and with the horn section behind it. And I want the you know, the the moods to rise and fall and want the tempo to rise and fall and there to be crescendos and and Solos and you know what. So but in this sort of fashion that that feels like it all makes sense. And, importantly, like in a great Mozart or Beethoven Symphony, when you get to the final chords, the final movement, building and building in the final chord, there's that moment where you're in the Siving Hall and you're like, oh, that there it is. I was beautiful. That's, you know, perfectly done. It should have been longer, it should have been shorter. It's a perfect conclusion to the symph any and you feel fulfilled by it and excited by it whatever. That's kind of what I want from for my readers to experience from my books, and my point being I can't do that if I don't outline the book well carefully in advance, because otherwise I can't bring these sort of fiens over different ways and have them come to a crescendo in certain that the kind of is the picking up what was from the first third of the book and amplifying it and revisiting it and and expressing it new ways for the reader, and I need to kind of think through the whole thing in advance in order to achieve that goal, I think, and that's what I didn't like about that first novel. And so the answer the question was I ever started something and not continued? The answer is absolutely, in many small ways, but at least in one giant way. That cost me seven years of my life. Wow, wow, now and and but it doesn't cat, I didn't cost no, that's right, I had a lot of the time. It wasn't like me. What you've learned and what you brought forward into your next word made that one happen. That is correct. Yes, Kay, you're muted. Mary K, you're muted. My friend, I'm asking if we have time for another viewer question. I had to mute because my dog was whining at the door. Yeah, time for another yeah, okay, I'm there's just so many. Yeah, yeah, so, Claudia ADRSA wanders if a more will revisit Moscow or the gentleman later in life, with the changing political climate. Like, are you interested in the Cold War? Are you interested in that's a sneaky way of asking. What are you working on? You know, I I'm not so far. I'm not too much of a sequel guy, you know, and and I really like to leave the future of my characters in the capable hands of my readers, you know. And that's really and I really feel very happy with where the count is at the end of a gentleman, Moscow and and so I would not go further, in the same way that I would not go further with Katie at the end of rules of disability. I think I've or tinker. I think I've told you everything that you should know that I should tell you about tinker and Katie at the end of rules civility. Eve kept became interesting to me and I wrote a series of short stories about Eve, who's a character rules of civility, who who dashes off to Hollywood on thousand nine hundred thirty eight, the real troublemaker. So I kind of revisited that and I may do that as a book it some day. For you know, if I was ever going to visit a gentleman Moscow, I would probably visit Sophia in Paris or America rather than to go back to Russia. But I but I may never do do either of those things. So you know and you know the next book I'm working on is difference. You know, it's a different group of people a different place at different time. It's different. You know it'll have some weird overlap, but it's mostly different. I think it's all we're going to get out of what you're working on. Tried a couple different ways and in the vault like okay, more. There's so many viewer questions. If you get a chance later you can stop by the facebook page and answer some of them, but we're talking. This is not I will try also, if you can go to any more tollscom Oh and the contact page you goes an email right...

...to me. So if you've got it, if you've got a pressing question that I have not addressed either on your facebook page here here tonight, you can always set it to me and I will do my best to get back. Oh good, that's awesome. The mass they wanted. The most pressing question they want to know is what you're drinking. A more lash. That's an old fashion bourbon. Yep, and I feel like this has been one long writing tip. You have, dip. I mean I feel this is going to be an episode I watch again for sure to but you have one good writing tip you could share with our viewers. You know what might for me, it's and this. This is it's pithy. So I hope it doesness. But you know, the real, the truth is that my only real good tip is is, because it's it's what's helped me is read, write, repeat, you know. Yeah, So said. Since I was a kid, you know you I read deeply into some arena and then I'd go and right, not necessarily when I was really young. I just try to copy what they were doing. You know, I read. I read a Ray bradberry short story and you know, science fiction short story, and I go right a ray brabbery short science fiction short story. But over time it was more that I might delve take a year where I'm reading the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, let's say, and and to really sort of let that sink in, to occasionally sort of recognized what what is it about his work is so compelling and so unusual, and what is he doing, what is he trying to achieve? How does he achieve it? And to eventually let that influence and experimentation of my own, which may not be Haz like story and maybe a story set in, you know, New York City, among you know, a cocktail party. But yet there's something in the way that he's approaching things that I also know, allowed a kind of INESSENCE, change my instincts about the way that I would approach the scene, change my habits, explore a different way of of visiting a ground that I've read, you know, visited before. And and so that's why I say rewrite, repeat. This is a very genuine recommendation and I do I have a book club. I mean a book club, I mean as four of us, we've been together for eighteen years, seventeen, eighteen years. We meet on a monthly basis over dinner to talk about a novel every month and we read by projects. So, like I was saying, we will take an author or a theme or a locale and we will read five, six, seven and books in a row and chronological order. Wow, by that offer from that area, from that moment in time, as a way of sort of gaining deeper understanding of, you know, one of those things and and so so, yeah, I find that's been extremely fruitful to for me as a writer. So now we obviously have to know what Your Butt Club is reading right now. We just finished a project on we had had a long term project where we read Nobel Prize winners in literature who had not written in English initially. And so we read Thomas more, we read a lot of Thomas Mon we read okay, so amazing. NAGOB MAFUS is the only was the first person to win the Nobel Prize literature who wrote an Arabic wing called the Cairo trilogy, which is three novels. There's a saga about an extended family in Cairo between one Thousan nineteen hundred and the Second World War. It's an amazing series of books. We don't some more recently, we just read Patrick White, who's the only Australian to ever win the Nobel Prize. We would literature read for his books. And now we're reading. We just about to launch an extended visit to Ireland, starting with the works of James Joyce but then moving on to other Irish writers. That's awesome, but I'm gonna joy in the Irish Wasna right up your alley, I know, right up my eyes. Okay, and more, if you wouldn't mind sticking around just for a couple more minute please. We have one more question for you, but first we want to talk about what's going on real quick with our amazing friends and fiction community. Yep, just a quick reminder that our writers block cod on our writer's book podcasts with we will always post links to under announcements each time a new one goes out. They pop up new every Friday. On the last episode, Ron and Patty were joined by Rachel Hawkins, our friend Rachel Hawkins, to talk about her new novel, reckless girls, which actually appeared in entertainment weekly this month and was reviewed in the New York Times this week, so we're super happy for that. We Love Rachel. This Week Ron and our friend Nancy Johnson. We'll talk with Lilli da Melola Blackburn about diverse debuts. So don't forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and while you are at it hitting those subscription buttons, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and our youtube channel so you never miss a thing. You could also find selected friends and fiction back episodes on Loco plus a new streaming platform...

...which also includes lots of brand new content from other independent creators. And if you're not hanging out with us yet and the friends and fiction official Book Club, you are missing out. The group, which is suffer from us, is run by our friends Lisa Harrison and Brenda Gardener and is now more than tenzero strong. So join them on February fourth for happy hour with Ron Block. That's in January. February fourth for happy are with Ron Black and author Nancy Johnson, and make sure to join us for our next episode next week on Wednesday, right here at seven. It'll be thrill our night. We're going to welcome outfair burke and Alison patacky. Then on February ninth will host. Marie Benedict and Fiona Davis and Brenda Jane Witz will join us for the aftershow. And if you're ever wandering, that what our schedulers it's always on their friends and fiction website and on the header graphic on our facebook page. Okay, and more. We love asking this. We ask it of almost anybody. And I know you grew up in Boston, let's right down there by you and Philadelphia, but what were the values around reading and writing in your child home? I know you wanted to be a writer since you were young, but what we're the family values around reading and writing? My both of my parents were college educated and my father was an English major in college and we ended up banker. But he really admired, grew up at you know, admiring hemingway and Fitzgerald in the way that many young men of his generation did, you know, and and of course not just their writing but sort of their whole lives. You know, he was, he was so you know with the with the expat aspect of Hemingway's life and in Paris, and you know Fitzgerald's, the glamorous life the he led and you know, get drinking with with Zelda and the Plaza Hotel and heading out to Hollywood and you know. So he just thought the whole thing was extraordinary, and the writing as well. And so I did grow up in a house where we're reading, reading novels, was was was very much a part of the fabric of everybody's personality. That's awesome. All right, before you leave, can you tell our viewers where they can find you? I know you have a really informative website. Are you a scial media for second that you meant like what restaurant do I eat lunch at? How it's actually what. I'm gonna tell you that. I promise I'll just stick quietly and write in my notebook. I promise you, thinking about the people who freak out when they see you like writing and public and isn't that Saber tools? Yep, but yes, you can find me at a more tollscom is the easiest way and I do put a lot of material up there and, as I said, I do. If you go to the contact page, I do have a you know, I I communicate with those on my email list a couple of times a year to let him know what I'm working on or thinking and stuff like that, and so you can obviously join me there as well, but I will be on as as Patty mentioned, on the website is a list of all the events I'll be doing in the next six months and I will be speaking by the Lincoln Highway in, you know, multiple states, about over twenty thens in the next six months, and so if you're in my neck of the woods, please come. And I know this done on your instagram today you put the book tour. So if something's looking for it, they can. They can find it there to twitter, instagram, correct, yes, page. I'm not as good as you guys are keeping up a date on it must I'm impressed by the ways to all the different ways that you guys are reaching people. It's over and we're thank you so much for coming tonight. You are so much fun to talk to and we've learned so much and it's just been amazing. Thank you for coming, thanks you for the for of you and thanks everybody listening at home. Thank you good I need for all right, everyone that make sure you stay for the aftershow and don't forget that you can find all of our back episodes on Youtube. We're live there every week, just like we are on facebook and if you subscribe you will not miss the thing. So we'll see you in a minute at the aftershow. Oh my gosh, that was so fascinating. Welcome everyone to the aftershow. That was yeah, that's rating. I think we could have asked him questions, and saying this questions, for I have like Elevenzero more questions. Well, and you know, we've talked about this before and it was so interesting to hear him say this. I remember reading roles of civility and loving it so much and then picking up a gentleman in Moscout and loving it so much, but thinking the same person. or at these two books, I they just seemed so to hear him say that he totally reinvientced himself every...

...time. Yeah, thanks so much sense and I feel, I think it was so important for people to hear are, or maybe it was more important for meeting here, that he spent seven years on an never novel, that never's call a light a day. Yeah, this astounding writer WHO's last three novels have you know, there's more than five million copies in print and he has a novel he spent seven years on that is in a drawer it's crazy. Yeah, that's incredible. Yeah, yeah, I mean it's a good reminder, though. I that that, you know, he could have given up after that and thought I'm not cut out for this, I'm good at the finance stuff, let me go do that. But insteady, he had a dream and he stuck with it and I think that's it's a good reminder to all of us whatever we dream of doing, you know. But it was interesting that. I thought it was interesting that he doesn't research in a linear way. Yeah, just find out, let's himself go down those rabbit holes and then once he's done that, he plots in a linear way and that been writes in a linear way and I thought that was interesting. Yeah, on his website there's some Qa and he talks about which we didn't get to tonight and I wanted to, but we didn't. He talks about why the Lincoln highway ends up in the book and how those postcards end up in the book and it came from falling down those research rabbit holes that then shifted the entire book. So interesting. yeascinating. You know, I just just was reading the Lincoln highway and just finishing up. Can't Krueger's is tender land, which I started. I started the listening to the audio book when we had him on and and I so I was a listening stuff and I was on on road trip and I haven't been on any so I'm just now. I'm finishing up. But you know that's another epic Odessean. Is that? Oh, just San? Yeah, so do s in journey road trip and as Lincoln highway is. And then I'm listening to our friend calling Oakley's upcoming book, which is a road trip about a elderly woman and her college dropout companion who are on the lamb from the law. And I'm wondering if you want people all love a road trip novel like I do. Love Road trip mountains. Yeah, and road trip movies. I mean think about Bellman Louise like that. Road trips as I'm driving and not in the past. Yeah, I read what I can. I remember the name of this book and I'm going to look at I'm going to look at that really quick but whatever, man, I'll tell you all about in a minute after I look up the title, because it's really annoying about about when you can't remember the title. So I just won't tell you, but it was a red trip book and it was so good. That's what my memoir is going to have to be about. You know how earlier I was saying if I wrote a memoir it would just be I threw in the load of laundre. You fascinating memoir. You've interfewed everyone, you've met every famous Parton you world. Do you guys do in Paris? You live? I did, I did, but I my best friend with us. I mean, what more do you need? I just ready to hear about you guys. Are Skill all your all? Still all your secrets now? The most fascinating road trip I've ever been on is the one I went on. It on a tourmus with Chubby checker and his band. He picked me up in Florida, went all the way to California and he dropped me off in Pennsylvania at my friend Christen's house so I could meet her new baby. Look, how funny is that? I slept in one of the bunks on I mean it was a band torpus, so like a kitchen and a bathroom. And write the story about how is that that in your memoir? I slept in a bunk no, this is yeah, it is. Actually, it's the it's the John Candy. Yeah, it's the mom journey member when she's, yeah, trying to get home to Chicago. Yaer than that, though, I promise. Yeah, cool wetting. We stopped some it's some like little town in Nevada, and he didn't want me to get bol because he doesn't believe in gambling. So I like I snuck off in the middle of the night to gamble like I was just was crazy. I'm gonna you know what, I'm going to send a picture and next week I'm going to be we'll do a picture next week of me standing outside this tour bus that says Chubby across it. And the funniest thing about writing and Chubby checkers tore us with our a lot of funny things, but he actually occasionally drives his own tour bus, like when the tour bus driver needs to get sleep. So can you imagine rolling down the road and you're like, oh, that's Chubby checkers tour bus because it says Chubby checker in the wildcats and the sides, and then you look at the window...

...it's Chubby checker drive because own tor of us wouldn't be like he's so Oh my God, I'm so many fun stories with him. He's such a great guy. I took a college I took a college road prip with my besties when we were juniors and the high school. Somehow we convinced our parents to let four of US load into my friends sixty eight Mustang and go look at colleges. And so we went to we went to Florida. We had friends who had graduated, you know, year ahead of us who were at at these colleges. Maybe it was our senior year. So went to Florida, which was none of us wanted to go there. Sorry, Chris Day. We went to Georgia and I was like no, I'm not going to Georgia's too big. We went to Emery, we went to do we went to Apple Hill and we, you know, we bought we bought wine in a gas station somewhere. It was pickle pink. Probably bought it at Quinn's kN's quacky Martin chopple hill. I don't know. It was definitely someplace sketchy, I'll say that. Well. I mean road trips are their mythical somebody just wrote from her that doors Binnex said her favorite road trip book is and Garvin's. I thought you said this would work. That is such a great back Coupler, but I love that bug. Yeah, that was a good one. It's hilarious. She's so funny. That's such a funny book. Yeah, well, road trips rarely, if ever, going what you plan them to be. Right, but we're going to stop here and then stop here and it falls apart. That's yeah, that's it exactly. On that same Chubby Checker road trip we were stranded by the side of the road for like six or seven hours because we get caught in a sandstorm and winslow Arizona. So I've never been able to hear that song, you know. Yes, random standstorm that like with blinding so yeah, Ye, and a flat bed for I've been on some really great road trips, but now with anyone famous. Meg next going on a lot of road trips with me. She's the Air Road trip. It's true. Yeah, MEG is my roadie. It's awesome. We've we've all been on road trips together. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, then we're here about. Maybe we'll go on one again this spring. Would that be fun? So Fu yes, mix us and we run into service ponies on our road trips. It's you guys have all the time. I was actually thinking when I was talking about I, when I was saying to any more, that we did this book festival together. I can't remember where it was, but I like distinctly remember waking up and there were these like cows. It was like in a town and there were these cows that like this ice cream company a brought in and taking pictures with the cows and wow, you're gonna have to go back and see you back and look, I just can't remember which one mach you know how they run together, like it was years ago and they just run together. Yep, yeah, all right. Yeah, that was so much fun. Yeah, what a great night. And and what are we now? Like, what about two months away from the wedding? Bale, right, am I am? I thinking? Yeah, many weeks, right, many weeks. Yeah, I mean it's nine weeks from yesterday. So yeah, and then that puts US probably at about thirteen for the home records, right. I threteen or fourteen. Yeah, that's crazy, crazy, it's crazy. I can't believe it, like I really can't. It's nerve racking and exciting and is people have been so nice. I got some really nice I mean I have along the way, but I got some really nice reader emails today that you know, when you're in those moments of like, oh my gosh, I'm a new book coming out as a good people going to like a lot yet. And you know how I just like make sure day when you you know you get a good reviewer, you get a good email or whatever those and you're like, okay, someone likes that. That's good, someone likes well, leave already. Well, and it's very good. And we think people would be foolish not to go out and buy the OX pretty exchange string box. Why is it box then? How would they not? It's a no brainer. Why? You get a autographed you know, even though I know if I ask nicely, I'll get copies of your books, I'm gonna buy that reading box because I want that sticky thing. It's Nope, but with the sticky thing and then and then, patty, we don't have to make it weird when we ask for their autographs. Right like we'll just have them. We don't have to be like you saying this. Anyone else asks, but it's weird if we ask. I feel like don't make O her. You remember when you were little. I don't know if they still do it. Christen, you can tell us when you when you went to Disney world and you took around the auto but the autograph books, the little autographic books, you know, they don't. You can't get near the characters anymore.

They stand like the distance because of covid. So even like if you go to one of the character meals, they don't actually come to your table there. So they don't sign autographs right now, but prior to covid and I think in the covid free future, hopefully so. Well, we're going to be like that with these sticky books we're gonna make. We're gonna be likely. You sign it for me. Yeah, deal, yeah, it's you know. Well, speaking of things that we want sign of. Super briefly, since we couldn't get out of a more what he's working on? You guys working on? My head's too full of it, I know. Yeah, Oh, you know, we can answer that in a second, but I did want to say Sean said there are a few questions in the chat about whether Oxford Exchange ships to Canada. I am ninety nine percent sure that they do, but they are extremely responsive. If you email the store, they will email you right back and you will have an answer in thirty minutes. I mean maybe not after store hours, but you'll have an answered to morrow morning if you've email tonight. So they're really accommodating and and I bet you they would for maybe just a small additional fee. Okay, so now what's everybody working on? So my next novel is do. It was supposed to be do February first. I just asked for an extra week on it. I have written the end, but I've never written a novel that is in so many jumbled parts because the characters kept kind of shifting on me along the way, and so I will have it done by February eight. I can see the shape it needs to take. I know the fixes I need to make. I've highlighted things, you know, in the manuscript. I know what I need to change. But but that is what I'm working on now. It is my book. They'll be out next early next year, and it's World War Two, Paris and one thousand nine hundred and sixty New York. HMM. I think we think sometimes that they forget that when we're out here, we're writing. Yeah, yes, right, that you know pound peoples to be writing. And and you've got your page proofs, right. Yeah, I've got first past page proofs that I'm doing. Let's see if I've got yeah, but you know, I'm drinking wine here. Yeah, I'm drinking wine. I'm so terrified. Oh, you're gonna spill in the big sproof Sid. I'm so terrified of that when you hopefully swear. Hang on, Honny, what are you working on? I'll she's searching. I am working to want to say no, I can say. I can't say what it's about yet. I have to keep my lips with yes, but I did write the end. I did. So see what will become a bit more to come. More will be revealed. So you're working on your twenty twe three. Right. Yes, and I was lamenting to the ladies earlier that I can't quite write the end, and I'm I'm three super short chapters away from the end and I've started all of them, but it's like I just can't quite pull the trigger, which is just bizarre because I don't normally have that. But there's also it's somethings that Ay more said really stuck with me. A lot of this story is about these women's backstories, the way they grew up and what they're, what they're the ways that were raised in, the things that our mother's teach us and how, even when we try, we think we're different. You know, those things kind of stick with us, like we're imprinted with these kind of views and and there're a couple things that I know I kind of need to get back and flush out a little bit more, and I think maybe that's why I can't write in the end, and so I think I'm going to have to do that first or something. Yet when I can't write the end, it means there's something I haven't put in yet. Like yeah, like you're normally I write the end and then I go back, like I always have a big list of like I know I need. Doesn't know any of that at any of this, because it becomes clear as I'm writing. But I think, but it doesn't matter, I mean whether I write the end now or I write it after that, it's still the same book. So yeah, I love what he said about, you know, comparing it to a symphony with the other instruments coming wanting to end it. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but sort of you want to end up with a giant flourish and I think that that's what we're always all hoping for, like you, when you end a novel, that you send your readers off with some memorable impression. Yeah, solutely so. Anyway, here's here's what. There they are. None. This is just, you know, very early and then I'm working on and the ladies have been helping me critiquing synopsis for the Next Project. So that's all I can say about that. Very excited. You know, it's neat. I think that as writers we keep and so much this to ourselves because it's kind of scary when your mid book or Mid Synopsis...

Or, you know, in the middle of something, to kind of put it out there. But you know, one of the great opportunities of having been part of or being part of friends and fiction is that I've gotten to kind of intimately see the process of each of the three of you, and it's a it's ugly, but no, it is. It's been incredible because I think our for the four of us are our processes are all different, like we all read different come at it in different ways and we have different weak points, different strong points, and we talk a lot on this show about process, but it's really interesting, I think, to see it from the inside. That might be something we should we should talk a little bit more about. Really should my dad? We could. We should do a podcast about it, for sure. Yes, yea, but know what, dinner empty and I have to go play with my new puppy, who is going to show y'all on the show, but I don't know where he is. I think we'll just took him out. Well, bring to make him we're broasting on the facebook page. I will all post and maybe I'll bring him on the show next week. Yeah, I mean all right. Finally, the remote sights. Thank you for tuning in. You can join us every week on facebook or Youtube, where our live show airs on Wednesday nights at seven PM eastern time. Also, subscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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