Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 11 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Ann Napolitano

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Bestselling novelist Ann Napolitano joins the Fab Five to discuss her phenomenal instant New York Times bestseller DEAR EDWARD, just released in paperback this week. They discuss Ann's extensive research process, how writing has been a real escape during the pandemic, her experince teaching fiction writing, and her love of independent bookstores—particularly the one she chose as our featured bookseller of the week, Books Are Magic in Brooklyn. https://annnapolitano.com/

Welcome to Friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors and the stories Novelists Mary Kay Andrews, ChristineHarmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey, Patty Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Munro arefive longtime friends with more than 80 published books to their credit. In2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviews andfascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlightindependent bookstores. These friends discuss the books they'vewritten, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If youlove books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the rightplace. Well, welcome to friends and fiction.It's Wednesday night. It's 11 o'clock, and we're so glad you're here everyweek. We are so tickled to see where you're coming from all over the country.So I like it when you all say where you're from. It's fun. So thank you forjoining us. And tonight we have a wonderful guest and Napolitano, andshe's here to discuss her new novel. Well, it's actually coming out inpaperback. Dear Edward. I'm Mary Alice Munro. I'm Mary Kay Andrews. I'mChristine Harmel. I'm Christi Woodson Harvey and Patty Callahan. Henry, thenovel Dear Edward was one of the most insightful and moving books I've readin 2020 maybe ever. So here's the story. Imagine you're on a plane with yourfamily and that plane crashes, killing 191 passengers, including your family.Now imagine you are the Onley survivor, and that's what happened to theprotagonist, 12 year old Eddie Adler. And so you will be sitting on the edgeof your seat reading it before we begin our discussion tonight. We want tothank our new sponsor, Page One books. Page one offers a subscription package,which is basically a personalized service that hand select books for youbased on your preferences in their knowledge, like we say all the timehere on friends and fiction. Nothing replaces the personal touch of a riel,live independent bookseller, and this is no exception. Your books are notchosen by an algorithm, their chosen by a riel live person. And here's how itworks. You choose a 36 or 12 month subscription, so you fill out a shortquestionnaire about your likes and dislikes, your desires, your hopes andyour dreams. And then Page one does their literary magical matchmaking. Andso you receive a book, hand chosen for You and beautifully wrapped with aspecial literary treat. Enclosed and first time subscribers get 10% offwith the code. Guess. Fab five Way have Mawr information on our Friends andFiction Facebook page and then, you know, while you are reading andchoosing all the things that you want to read. Next, do not forget ourfriends at Mama Geraldine's. And don't forget to keep on snacking ways. Thirdnovel. Dear Edward hit the literary world with a storm of accolades. Itdebuted at number two Ladies number two on The New York Times. In its review,The New York Times called Dear Edward quote a suspenseful page turner. And itis. I couldn't put it down, so this book burst onto the scene. It was aread with Jenna book club pick who called it Quote a dazzling novel and itwill break your heart and put it back together again. It's a very upliftingbook. Dear Edward was also chosen. This one of the best novels of 2020 by TheWashington Post, The Boston Globe,...

Amazon riel, simple Fast company Parade,women's World and more It was also a Book of the month club picks. So if youhaven't read it yet Good news, Dear Edward was just released in paperbackyesterday. So without further ado, let's welcome an Yeah, Thanks forcoming. It's our treat. We're really delighted to have you and my goodness,you had such an exciting year. So the book comes out in January 2020 and thatwas just before our country was really hit by the pandemic. Right? And, youknow, by March the five of us began talking to each other, as most of ouraudience already knows. And we were on Zoom and we had canceled book tours andwe were talking about that how hard hit the bookstores were by the shutdowns.And that's basically how friends and fiction started. So we're all writers,of course. But we're also mothers and grandmothers. So here we are, a yearlater, and the pandemic is spiking again and the snow is closed. A lot ofschools again. And you have two boys, right? Yeah, there are 11 and third.Cool. All right, So how you're dealing with the pandemic? Not just as a writerand a mother, but making it work, How you make it with all these day and howare they staying at home? Tell us a little bit about it? Well, it's been a very strange year. Um,for all of us and having dear Edward come out in the beginning of it, just,I think, Well, I feel so fortunate that it came out two months before the worldshut down. So I was ableto go to bookstores and go on tour and, like,properly launch it. I feel incredibly grateful and lucky for that. Um andthen I don't know. It's a kind of streamline life. I mean it. It's done alot of interesting things. I think I've written more in the last 10 months, andI've ever written before. In my life, like in a concentrated period was likehaving alternate fictional universe. To go into that I can control is likereally satisfying something inside of me that feels so out of control witheverything else. You guys way had a very similar kind of experience. Allfive of us were, you know, we were so anxious. We started doing 7 a.m. zoomsand writing sprint starting at seven am. And don't you all think I don't knowabout you other ladies? But this This had been the most productive year of mylife. 100%. Yeah, I've almost written the draft of a novel. It took me eightyears to write your Edward E. Part of that was because I had two littleChildren and I couldn't really afford childcare, you know? So, like, I wasvery stretched in various ways, so that was certainly part of it. But I'venever It blows my mind how much I've written and the amount of hours thatI've written for in the past year. But I'm just so grateful for it. It's likeyou, really? You really figure out what nourishes you in that kind ofexperience, you know? And you know, of course, hopefully that's your Childrenand your family and I really, like, have deeply enjoyed my Children. And wewatched a movie together every night. You know, like we started being sort oflike new traditions. Like while we eat dinner. We have, like, alternatingdocumentary and whatever, but get narrows your life that you go deeper.Um, yeah, and in all the ways that er that it's unsettling. The I think thewriting has has, like, offered this sort of styles and reprieve in this waythat I feel so lucky for, and it's so interesting to to, like, have thisopportunity to go so deep. Normally our lives are so much more, you know,scattered that we couldn't even possibly do it. Eso right, that's sotrue. I mean, it really is. I think...

...it's such a good way to my son is nine.And we were, you know, dinner last night chatting and he said Last summerwas so fun. Do you think this summer is gonna be a fun enough all way to liveat the beach? So we were able to be outside a lot, and it was sort of adifferent, but it was just very simple, like there was. There's not much to dioand, you know, it was just great. And I have two books coming out in 2021because I write so much crazy. Yeah, eso and for us like like Mary, Kay said.It's been these morning writing sprints that we do together, and I think that'swhat's made us. Or at least during a portion of the year that made us alsoproductive. When during the day are you finding time to fit writing, andespecially with the kids at home? For me, it's more in the afternoon like Iam busy. I'm sort of in charge of the morning with the boys, like gettingthem through the various things that they have to get to, and then they getlunch. And then my husband is more or less in charge of the whole afternoon.So it's like, That's how it's basically worked out. And then I write all day onthe weekends. Like if they're on Saturday that allowed to play videogames lot eso Saturdays is like a big writing day for me. Uh, you know, Soit's it's really like it's It's where I turn thio every opportunity that I have.But I feel so like and I realized how deeply introverted I am because Ireally miss my friends and I do miss, like the human human connection withother unions. E feel like I've only suffered like 15% because I really am,like, happy and deepest like inside myself. So I feel terrible for liketrue extroverts because I think e think it's true. One of the things that we alot of us realized in the beginning was our life really hasn't changed all thatmuch. E eso your Children are home then from school there were actuallyhomeschooling them way had actually we have decided, um, toe homeschool themfor middle school, just middle school. Um, so my we now have an 8th and 1/6grader. So they both went to elementary school in our neighborhood and then myolder son We've been homeschooling. Now this is third year and he'll go to highschool next year. And so this is the first year of homeschooling. My youngerson and my husband does it. He's a teacher in a tutor, so, like he's he'sreally interested in it. We felt like middle schools like it's just a trickyperiod when you're growing exchange. It is so awkward and, um, that we could do,like, interesting educational things our own, and maybe hopefully pull themoff the treadmill of like, middle school social issue. Um, so you know,it's like all the credit, but it's allowed us freedom this year. Wherewe're not really is we're not tied to remote schooling and things like that.What Perfect timing. Thats I mean, what a wonderful You wanna have them both inmiddle school. You know, it does sort of follow the story a little, you know,a K. Did the boys at home with home school? Yeah, well, I'm alwaysinterested when you talk about the novels all the times when someone pullsa dual timeline like you did. I think timelines are really interesting. It'sa big decision in when you're a writer starting your novel. So in Dear Edward,you had the dual timeline and the first begins for those who haven't read thebook, the first begins with Chapter one, when all the passengers board the planeand we know it's an ill fated plane and the second chapter chapter. The secondpart begins with Chapter two, and it's weeks later and Edwards alreadybeginning his recovery, And you really definitely flip between the twotimelines the past and the present, and you increase the pace of the time ofthe shifting timelines until you reach that inevitable crash. And it's veryexciting you at the edge of your seat. But it's also a very poignant,uplifting conclusion in timeline, too.

So even though you know what'shappening, it's its's beautifully done. So can I ask you how you decided onthis timeline and how many did you have to change it as you worked with it? No.It was one of the few things that I knew when I started that I wanted to do.I wasn't really sure why, but I want. I knew I wanted them to sit side by side.And I think in some ways it was because I felt like if something thatcatastrophic happened to a person is what happens to Edward, that it's aweight that you have to carry for the rest of your life. And it's notsomething that you would set down. And the events of that day on the airplanewill remain as like riel and true and a big part of who he is as his currentlife. So I wanted them to sit beside each other and both be in the presenttense, and then also I felt like we have this way, of course, like aprioritizing the living where it's the living that air special and their livesare important. But I also wanted to show that everyone on that plane isjust as like, riel and and important and substantial and wonderful as thepeople on the ground. So, like toe leave them up in the air for the courseof the novel, um, side by side with the people who are still living. I didn'treally think about how the fact that it would then, you know, allowed the endtoe like have a sort of orchestra build. But that was very, you know, pleasant.Put Discovery on, then also because the people on the plane initially I thinkit's just a normal day. They're they're flying when Edward on the ground isdevastated. And then by the end of the towards the end of the book, Edwardsgetting lighter because he's moving on, moving forward and the people on theplane or getting darker. So, like, I think it balances the book, uh, kind ofway. But I did not intend either. That's so interesting. I now that youpointed out, I'm not in my head going. Oh, yes, she did that. You know thatYou're on the lighter. The character? Yeah, which is exactly what we needed,because at the end of the book, you want the reader to feel positive. Yeah,Yeah, that's good. I didn't know. I actually I didn't know how. I knew itwas gonna obviously knew the plane was gonna crash, But I didn't know whetherEdward could be okay. That was kind of what drove me into the book was it wasa real plane crash in 2000 and 10. That sort of inspired the novel. There was aflight from South Africa bound for London, and it crashed in Libya andthere was only one survivor and it was a nine year old Dutch boy and theyfound me about a half mile away from the rest of the wreckage. And he wasstill buckled into his airplane seat and he had a punctured lung and abroken leg, but he was otherwise completely fine. Everyone else in theflight, including his parents and his brother had died immediately. And itwas huge news like 24 7, you know, a cover of every international newspaper.And I was, like, obsessed with that story from the second it happened on,and I would have this one photo that would accompany even if you Google thiscrash. Now there's one photo that accompanies all the coverage of this ofthis of the little boy in his hospital bed. Andi is nine. He's beautiful andfighting. And he has a bandage around his head in his eyes on. And I wouldlook at this picture and just think like, How could this little boy beexpected to get out of that hospital bed and walk out of that hospitalwithout Mom and his dad, his brother? Like, How is that possible? Like, howcould you go on and have a Wednesday or, like eat a peanut butter sandwich? Or Ereally didn't know what drove me into writing the book was that obsession andthen needing to go into the story to try and like, take the steps withEdward to see if it was possible. Wow, do you think? And that the fact thatnow how how old were your boys when you started writing the book? Were youthinking a lot about Oh my God, What if this were my child? How would they dealwith it? I think that was part of it. There were one and three. So they wereReally I think that in some way it's...

...like it is like, if something horriblehappened to them and I wasn't there like the world take care of them, youknow, eyes there, enough kindness. So I did want to know that too clearly. Likeif it if something horrible happens an outside of my control of God forbidthat. What does that mean? S It was a little bit a little bit of transference,maybe. Yeah, and the two brothers in the book are not my sons, but they'rethey're the only like this of my boys were one and three. And you know, whenbabies or that age, like they're idiots, like they're like, it's like livingwith two drunk bear cubs. You know, wrestling around your house like onehad a bucket on his head, like half the time. You don't know anything aboutyour Children when they're that young, you can't be like, Oh, he has a realgift for math. Or this has a strong moral code or, you know, very like, youknow, like nothing about them. The only things that I knew about my son's whenI started writing the book was that they were deeply in love with eachother on I can take no credit neither for my husband. You know, it's like oneof those things were from when I brought my younger son there two yearsapart. When I brought my younger son home from the hospital, it was like Iwas reuniting them as opposed toe introducing them. And so that love ethink I normally would have thought being a parent that, like the loss ofthe parents, is the worst thing. But watching my sons, I was like it justwould be like a crime against nature to separate them like you're not theirpeers. They're not meant to lose each other S O that made its way into thebook. You know, I felt like a passenger on that plane and, um s Oh, there wereso many details and familiar experiences and a lot happened. How didyou find out so much about the crash? About a plane crash and the passengersand but what's going on in the cockpit? Um, I think, uh, the research must havebeen really, um, daunting. Well, it was really interesting um, the first yearof the project. The book that I wrote before this tookme out seven years, and while I did it, I fought it the whole time. LikeFlannery O'Connor showed up in that book, the writer and I was so mortifiedand horrified that she showed up in that book that I fought because I'mfrom New Jersey and you don't write about Southern literary icon. You'refrom north, like it's just it's bad and I didn't want to do it, but I like Iwrestled with that book the whole time, and when I finished it, I got it to aplace where I was proud of it and like it on my husband was like, This is alabor of love, Like I think you should do it differently next time. Like thiswas not a pleasant experience for you. And so he he suggested that after thefirst year of whatever the next project Waas that I don't let myself right.What I call pretty sentences e like nothing better than toe like go into ascene and have a character say something I didn't expect and, you know,like have it unfurl and get into the rhythm of the language and everything.But I can't think like analytically at all when I'm in that space. So he saidI should. His challenge was that I would take a year where I could Onleythink, take notes and do research, which was very painful for me, and Iwas really alright again, but you also. But I I suspected that it was right andhe was. He was very smart. It was very helpful for me. So that first year Ifigured out who I wanted to be on the plane. I did a lot of reading like eachof those characters, like Crispin Cox, the octogenarian billionaire on theflight. Like I read Jack Welch's autobiography of the Guy Who Ran GE forLike, 40 years. It's called Jack Straight from the Gut. It's very funny.It's not supposed to be funny, but it's very funny. E read about war soldiers Iread about pure math like like and like...

Florida was inspired by reading mealgame in that year, Um, so and then I also during that year, obviously Ispoke Teoh, a career pilot extensively. I read all the national TransportationSafety Board hearings for crashes over the last, like, 15 years. Yeah, I hadto figure out, like why my plane would crash and I wanted it to feel reallyand true because I didn't wanna like wing it. There's nothing I don't knowanything about aerodynamics or aeronautics. So I it was reallyimportant to me that it feels riel. Eso actually face the reason for the crashon another crash that had happened in 2000 and nine. Um, and Air France crashfrom Rio de Janeiro to Paris that crashed into the ocean. Um, yeah, theyfound the black box three years later. So, yes, I did a lot of research, butit was like a way for me to fill that year and get to the place where I gotto write the pretty sentences. And also because it was about something that Ireally had no expertise or knowledge, and it was required. Wow, that'sincredible. So and you know, one of the things one of the issues I have withwriting about tragedy is that I never looked at the thing. I've written aboutthe same way again after I've written about it. So, for example, I've writtena few times about the horrors of World War Two in Paris. And that hascompletely changed the way that I experienced Paris. Now, um, you know, Ithink sort of once you open that door and learned something, you kind ofcan't unlearn it. Has this changed the way you experienced air travel and didIt is a different now that the book is out of you than it was when you weredeep in the research and having to fly places. That's a good point. Um, well,I was always a nervous flyer. I just know a lot more now. And when Iinterviewed like the pilots, pilots, like, say, casually say things like, Oh,pilots don't like to fly Airbuses because when something goes wrong, thetail cracks off their like e. I know. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It's in my I'mgonna need extensive therapy after e o you do You take on knowledge that youknow. But I think at the same time, I always thought the Flying Waas amazingand I like I think it's awesome. Like in the true sense of the word awesome.Like I can never sleep on airplanes, in part because I feel like I might becalled upon to fly the plane and they need to be alert. E can't. That bus isalready really can't sleep on any public transportation, but also becauseI'm like, we're up in the sky like this is e like I can't sleep through this.So it really reinforced that to where I'm just like s 01 of the things thathumans have done that is truly impressive. And there's like, seeminglyso few of those at the moment that it's like zoo hold onto, like, moments ofhuman ingenuity wherever you see them. Oh, that's a nice prayed to put it.That's really beautiful. That was a pretty sentencing. Yeah, we'reimpressed. Uh um, And in part one of the book, Edward is coming out oftrauma, much like I am going to be after 30. I'm talking about the planeback. I'm sitting here thinking I used to be so terrified of planes and thenhaving to fly so much on book tour like, day after day after day after day. Ijust got over it like I just had to. There was no and Now I'm like, Ihaven't been on an airplane year and I'm gonna be, like, starting all overin this. Yeah, this hasn't helped a cheese and she's doing a bicycle boothback on track, Really? But a New York...

Times wrote that it's a haunting novelthat's a masterful study and suspense, grief and survival, which is soperfectly said, your attention to the smallest detail and Edwards thoughtsand how he learns and reconnect with his body were brilliant. We were in hishead. So how did you learn such telling details about trauma and recovery? Well, I did reading also about, uh,sole survivors who survived crashes and events like that and how they feelafterwards. I read about human about like child development, becauseobviously he's 12 in the book starts, so he actually goes through adolescence.Aziz, well, Azaz through what he's going through. Um, and then a lot of it was like it wasfeel. It was like, I feel like I had to go through his chapters, like in himand taking each step with him and trying to feel which was true and which,like, like, you have like a tuning fork or whatever. Like I had put up a tunepork with, like, every moment with him, and I could just tell if it rang. Trueor not, I couldn't tell whether it was good, but like I could tell if it wastrue and it was his story. The plane was so to speak, easy to write becauseit had a beginning, a middle and an end. I knew who the people were. Only somany things can happen on an airplane. Um, someone has to have sex in thebathroom. And then, you know, what else are you gonna get? E have to not be agermophobe, so it can only be like a certain person on E like Edward. Ireally didn't know what was. I didn't know how e didn't know what was gonnahappen with him, and I didn't know how far I was going Time and I didn't knowa lot. All I knew I really was that he was going to go home with that uncleand that there was gonna be a girl who lived next door and that he was gonnaend up sleeping on her floor. And I didn't even know how that was gonnahappen that seem weird. Uh, other than that, I really had to do it all like Ifeel e love them. I love the idea of that. The tuning fork I'm I'm like, Iwanna like, write that down and take notes because that's such a good way toput it like when my character feel this, Do this. Say this. It's just it's andit is kind of a gut feeling, I think, more than anything, Yeah, it's like anemotion emotional response as a reader, but it's also an emotional response. Asthe writer, if you're inhabiting the person fully, you can just feel if it'sa true note or false note e, I feel like we can tell and we can tell ifwe're forcing it. Yeah, sometimes forcing them into being what they'renot, because we want it for our outline. Yeah, if we're paying attention, we canfeel it in our guts. So when I read the book for me, you hit notes so true thatI found myself nodding and I hadn't felt that sort of opening up of my wayof looking at a situation since I read the curious incident of the dog atmidnight when you're yeah, when you're in the head of the kid with Asperger'sand you put us into the head in a very original fresh and telling way ofsomeone who'd gone through drama just in the way he connected with his brainand he connected with his body. It was really beautifully done. Yeah, andbecause it was beautifully done in the midst of tragedy. That's theinteresting part, right? So there's always thes glimmers of hope andconnection, even in tragedy. We've seen it in the pandemic. We see it in yournovel. There are there's all this tragedy and loss. And yet there's theskindnesses extended these kind of small outreaches of kindness, these lettersthat were written and in some of the last words people said on the plane. Itmakes us wonder what it makes me wonder.

What would what would my last wordshave been? What I've extended those kind of kindness is, and so it makes mewonder. Did those grow organically for you? Or were those kind of aconversation between you and the characters in the book or were thosewere those intentional is you set out? Or did they grow out of thisconversation between you and the characters in the book? Ah, conversation, I guess, would be theright way to put it, I think. Okay. You mean at the end? Or you know, all theseglimmers of hope. The kindnesses extended the hope that's offered thebeauty of the friendship with the little girl. All of these kindnesses,they seem to have grown organically. Yeah, I wonder what your guysexperiences of writing when you write tragedy or you write something that'sincredibly sad because this writing this book was the most joyful writingexperience of my life, and I think that, ah, lot of it initially, it's stillcounterintuitive. But initially I was like, I can't even begin to understandwhy that would be. But now I think it's because I was in Edward and all thepeople around him were stepping forward with, like with kindness with humanflawed kindness. And so I felt that pressing at me the whole time, and itwas very nourishing, and it was like it was the world that I want to live in inreal life, and I was living in it every day. When I was writing to the extentwhere I didn't want to stop, I wrote this book for a year longer than Ishould have. I ended up e didn't want to stop. Like I didn't want to leavethe world. It was very hard for me to leave it. Um, yeah, that's what Thisthis conversation. And I feel like the book is having that same conversationwith us. A Such an important time here. This book came out January 2020. Andlook what happened in this last year. Yeah, I think we need this book. Well,I can't say that, but sure, you're because you walk away feeling betterabout people and the connections we have a Z we do in friends and fiction,I think. Yeah. Yes, yes, we'll What you guys did is this is stepping forward totry and connect and to share something that you love with each other and thenwith other people, it's I mean, I do think I mean, I was living in New YorkCity on 9 11, and the thing that I think of that makes me think of this isthe people lining the size of the highway to clap for the emergencyworkers and how emergency workers were getting into their cars and trucks inColorado and Arizona and California and driving across the country just becausethey wanted to help. And then all these New Yorkers were standing thereapplauding them as they drive in. And the hundreds and hundreds of peoplethat showed up to donate blood that morning thinking and hoping that theywere going to be able to help. Because when something terrible happens that islike the most beautiful part of who we are as humans, we step forward and say,How can I help? And that is what this book is. And so I got toe live like inthose moments all the time, and it was a really, like, beautiful and like, njoyful place for me to reside. Do you think you could have written this book?And if you hadn't been in New York in the aftermath of 9 11? Knowing seeingthat response on DFI feeling that response, did you kind of I wonder ifyou could have like I wasn't there? I read about it, you know, long distancein Atlanta, Georgia and I don't know that I could have written it from thatpoint of view that you have. Yes. I don't know. I don't know the answer tothat. I mean, it certainly struck me very deeply. Um, all of it, though. So,um and it's so composite, you know, like, what? I've written it. If myChildren, if I didn't have two boys...

...that were one and three, I don't know.I mean, I had no fire interest in plane crashes or, you know, like obsessedwith that crash was an anomaly. But I love that, like I loved as writers thatif you pay attention to the things that obsess you, it just pulls you deeperinto your work. And that's, like, really exciting to me to be like, like,shirt in the middle of this book. I became obsessed with the history ofbasketball. Why, I don't know. There's a book there somewhere. You're going tofigure it out in the book. I'm ready now. It, like, comes into play, but Idon't know interesting, and I can't understand it like intellectually, butI know that it ties into like what I'm writing towards and what I care aboutwhat I think, and that's so fascinating for me to hear what other people areobsessed with. You know, etcetera Well, this is always that one of the thingsthat we do all the time and one of the reasons we started friends and fictionis to support independent booksellers, and so were mentioning about thesupport that we want to give one another. And right now the pandemic iscontinuing in the strain, and independent bookstores is stillcontinuing. And again, these book stores are the bedrock of ourcommunities and where we go to get advice on the next book. And it's notjust a, uh, online, you pick something, they guide you, and maybe you could geta cup of coffee or join other readers. And we want these great bookstoresaround when we authors get back on the road because everyone out there, it'sthe independent bookstores who bring us to you in your community. And so andI'm Here's why did you choose tonight's independent bookstore? Books are magic. E was like, Oh, no, what's going on?And can you Are you Are you unfrozen or you like Elsa frozen? She might peopleOh, she might be frozen. So until she gets unfrozen, I will tell you a littlebit about books Are Magic, which is in Brooklyn, and it's owned by a bestselling author. Uh, I missed Rob so it's books or magic, and all of ourviewers could get 10% off on Ann's book. Dear Edward, as well as the upcomingbooks of The Five of Us, which are the newcomers this summer of Lost and FoundSurviving Savannah under the southern sky in the Forest of Vanishing Starsand the links to books are magic can be found on our Facebook page. And as MaryAlice said, they need our support now maybe. And are you on frozen now? Anhands back? Oh, she just froze again. E. I am so sympathetic We're losing forall the time. E high e Sympathize completely. E. Did you choose? Booksare magic. That's your local bookstore for you. Yes, it's e feel like it's anational like nationally known bookstores. Well, because it's sofabulous. Have you guys been there? It's one of the one of the co owners isa writer, Emma Straw, and she used to work at book Court, which was a famousbookstore in Brooklyn. And so she started books or magic when book Courtclosed. And Emma is made of like glitter and gumdrops and like she'samazing, like she radiates like actual like Glitter. So her stores like anemanation of her. It has, like beautiful shuttered windows and, like aChildren's section that has like a little circle that kids considered inand couches. And they have amazing events there because, like this, thespirit of it. I mean, I love all independent bookstores because they'reall so different. But books are magic, and it has, like, a wall outside thatever be Take instagram pictures of because this is magic and so peoplepose there. Um, it's just a wonderful, wonderful bookstore. Well, Emma, we allnow want to come to your store, so be...

...prepared. Here we come on also reallygood news for all of you out there who would like to support books, are magicand has agreed to send. She lives nearby, and she'll send autographedbook plates and work it out with the bookstore to get your book signed. Sobig bonus. You could get a signed copy of the book. So we've had our chance toask questions. And now it's the friends and fiction members. Time for all ofyou watching. You can post a question and we'll try and grab a couple lateron. So the first one is from a woman named FD Barton s Cohen. And she says,I loved the character. That was the principal. Did you know an educatorthat was like that? Well, I froze for a second. When you'rereading that, I'm so sorry. Could you say it again? Do you want? Yeah, sure.I love the character. That was the principal did an did, you know, aneducator that was like that. I love him, too. And I didn't know that he wasgoing to be in the book. He when he tapped Edward on the shoulder when heand his first name E. I thought like, Oh, it's the principle. Like theprincipal would show up toe, you know, meet this child and make sure he was OKin the situation that he's in. And then they walked to his office and he openedthe door and it was full of plants. I was like, Who is this man, I You followyour characters like that. Its's. It's so inspiring to know that you don't putit. Put them in these little pockets and make sure that they do what they doand you follow them into their office and see their plants. You know, justlike being a reader, though, it's like an act of discovery. But that's aridiculous amount of time to write my books because I'm following peoplearound and then I have to like, corral it into being a cohesive novel. It'sawesome. Well, we also have a question fromChristine Current. She said What inspired the letters as a way offamilies to communicate with Edward. Oh, that showed up in a fairly early draft.Like he found a duffel bag full of letters from the families of otherpeople who have been lost in the crash. So I don't know. He stumbled acrossthis duffel bag and I was like, Oh, I wonder what is the duffel bag? Andthere were letters to him, and I was always looking for ways to connect whatwas happening on the ground of what was happening in the sky. And so thoseletters ended up being this wonderful way for me to sort of Thio tie the twotogether and toe Let Edward let Edwards see that he was not alone, that therewere other people who were suffering from the same experience that he had.And it also gave him an opportunity to be proactive and to reach out andconnect in ways that he hadn't had. Everyone had been reaching out to him.And now he was able to reach out in his own way, which allowed him sort ofreally to engage with life. It's beautiful. Eso we have a few questionsfrom live viewers. Also, Laura Rossi and Diane Nardone are both asking Whatare you currently reading? Oh, I'm reading a transcendent came e Mm. Okay.Transcendent kingdom. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard somebody. I think I brokeup. Yeah, she wrote home going, which cameout a few years ago, which was spectacular. I'm enjoying transcendentkingdom. Yeah, I've heard such amazing things about that one. And I've got aquestion for you to um Well, Cindy Brown wants to know all about yourbacklist, and she's already read Dear Edward. Oh, that's nice. Uh, mybacklist so Ah, good hard book came out in 2011 because I'm slow and it Zet inand...

...in Milledgeville, Georgia, which issort of Flannery O'Connor lived, and it is a sort of ensemble drama that takesplace in that town. Andi Flannery is one of the three main characters. Um,yes, e love that. I thought it was a great choice. Okay, Okay. She's way coming in and out,but we're way. She's literally frozen in New Jersey way. Have a fewannouncements. Let's start with our announcements. So give her a chance tocome on back. Um, Christie Christian, I think you have a You know, we have someexciting news tonight. We actually mentioned this. We kind of did a littlesurprise Live at about 6. 25 tonight and told you are exciting news. So nextweek we will be kicking off a partnership with Parade magazine andparade dot com. So we're gonna be writing a weekly column for parade dotcom And that starts February 10th, with which, with a wonderful column fromMary Kay Andrews, we will post the link here on our friends and FictionFacebook page and in our newsletter And we will also beginning next week, bestreaming live on the parade magazine page too. So we're really excited aboutthat. There's such great supporters of books, and we're just really excited tobe working with them. Yeah, and we are so thrilled. We have topics we pickedup. You're gonna be loved, what we're going to write about. So just staytuned. And I sympathize so much with an because my, uh I froze and I wasn'table to participate in that. So the wild Internet tonight And Christie, um,the second original episode of the Friends of Fiction Podcast is now alive,and it is incredible are amazing. Patty and Christian discuss modern takes onliterary classics with Michael Farris Smith. Um, they're talking about hisnew novel, Nick, about Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby and RachelHawkins about her novel, The Wife Upstairs, which is a modern retellingof Jane Eyre. So you can listen, download or subscribe. Wherever you getyour podcasts, we hope you will on. But if you like what you hear, we hope thatyou'll leave us a review and share our show with your friends. Well, why don'twe go right to the writing tips and tips since we have an back. And are youare you used to edit a literary magazine? And you also taught fictionwriting at N Y U. So I know we're all eagerly awaiting your writing tip. Uh,well, my ready tip is more not craft. So much as like an answer to thedespair that people find themselves in. Sometimes when they're writing, likethings can happen at various points for different writers. I have a friend whoevery time she finishes like a first draft with that, she feels reallyexcited about. And then she reads it through, and she just wants to throwherself out a window because it doesn't it all like a line what she had wantedto me. Oh, yeah, Every book. Yeah, you know, like there's a wall that you runinto it some point where you're like, this is terrible. I'm terrible. Why?I'm not doing this on for dear Edward like it took so long that, like, fouryears in, it was like a hot mess. And it should have been a hot mess. But Iand I couldn't see the end at all and So at that point, I think I stole thisin part from an patch. It, um But I made a deal with myself, and this iswhat I do when I hit these moments is where my deal with myself is that Ihave to write for at least five minutes a day and what I've written for fiveminutes, I put an X on my calendar on my only job is to string together asmany exes is possible in a row on a positive and obviously most of thosedays you would write for more than five minutes. But even if you just check inand rewrite like a sentence, you have,...

...like, plugged back into the book. Andby the time I've strung together a bunch of exes and I've gotten the bookto a place where I'm like, re excited about it again or I've written a scenethat I loved or you know what I mean, it gets you through those moments ofdespair. Uh, thank you. I think in the middle of winter where we're allbeginning new books, that's perfect timing. It really is for everyone.We've started. A few announcements were going to go back to a few moreannouncements. But stay tuned because we have a final question for an So MaryKay. Yeah, I've got an announcement. I want to tell everybody that you'regonna definitely want to be with us next week For the Friends and FictionValentine's Day episode. We are gonna play literary Spin the bottle e haven'teven told them what's gonna go on way. But our special guests will be bestselling romance women's fiction author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and you neverknow what's gonna come out of that woman smell. You show up next Wednesdaynight for Valentine's Day and during that show next week, while we trustCathy with our literary spin the bottle, I will be showing the trailer forsurviving Savannah and we'll be having a little give away. And we will beshowing the trailer for the first time on the show. Yeah, how do you toldeveryone again when you're when surviving Savannah is actually beingreleased, surviving Savannah, which is a tongue twister, but it comes out onMarch 9th and yeah, it comes out on March 9th and I'm really excited. Theycalled it the Titanic of the South and like you. And it took me a lot longerthan I thought it would to write it from concept to finish. Was was yearsin the making. And I'm really excited that those years in the making are asolid living book now. So, yeah, we're all excited about that. And now we havethe final question. And this is a question that we like to ask most ofour visiting guests. And what were the values around reading and writing inyour home while you were growing up? And did that influence you becoming anauthor? Yes. That's a great question. Um, yes,my parents would drop me off in our town library every Saturday, and Ideveloped a relationship with the librarians so that they trust they knewthat there was, like, a limit. You know, you can only take out 12 books orwhatever that would be, and they realized that I was very trustworthy.And so they waive that limit for me, e a e bring a duffel bags to the libraryand a duffel bag, and then I would take them home and I would read a duffelbags worth of books and then bring them back again. But the best thing aboutreading when you're a kid is that you have no idea of genre or high or low oryou know so I read like I read a lot of Westerns. I read a lot of mysteries andthrillers, and I didn't know the difference between, like y a and adult.So I just zigzags back and forth awesome, and you just completelyimmerse yourself in it. And also when we went out with my parents, the onlyplace that Erin where they would buy us things, that if we got into a bookstore,it was like That was it was that was like a green light when there was a lotof red lights everywhere else. So I've read incessantly, but my brother andsister did not. So I don't know how much of an influence, you know, likewhether you're open to this thing that you know, Candy just being held out. Ewonder if that's where Eddie's, um,...

...duffel bag came from. Hey, stumbled ona duffel bag. Did that influence you being a writer? Yeah, we'll probably I mean, I did readincessantly, and then when I was in fourth grade. You know, they give youthose vocabulary assignments where you have a list of vocab words, and thenyou have to make sentences out of them, which I've had, you know, from when Icould write. But in fourth grade, for the first time, the teacher gave us alist of words and said, I want you to connect the senses so it makes like alittle teen or a little paragraph. And so I went home and did it, and Ithought it took me like, uh, like, five minutes and I looked up at the clockand it had taken 45 minutes. And that, like, blew my mind because it was thefirst time outside of playing that, like time had disappeared like that.And I just remember, just like looking at the clock and being like, This ismagic, like, this is stuff, eh? So I started writing a novel the next day, elike 10 pages, and of course it was about like it was about a wartimeorphan. And then I started another one about a wartime nurse because Iapparently decided that I needed to be a serious novelist that I had to beabout war even though I knew nothing about war. Um, you know, So that wasreally when I decided that I wanted to be a writer, and then it was terrific.Li Shai. So I didn't tell anyone. Um, for a long as possible. So it didinfluence. I love that well, and this has been a really treat. I mean, you'rereally throw. You went right through all those little frozen e absolutelyscene. But it was a real treat to have you. And there's a several lines. I'mgoing to listen to the program again just so I could catch some of thosebeautiful lines on E. Thank you for writing. For you. For you, all of youout there listening. We hope you'll reach out to books are magic and getyour 10% discount on. And Dear Edward, now out in paperback as well as ourupcoming novels with the code Friends 10. And I just wanted to say thank youagain to page one books for being our sponsor. Wanted to tell you all thatbuying and store manager and genius matchmaker at page one. Cheryl is hername her phone auto corrects the two TVR. So I don't know about you, butsomeone that I want choosing on Don't forget that you get 20% off on Mama.Mama, Uh, Mama Geraldine's traditional Southern snacks. Um, luckily, I'm theone who eats the gluten free because my sons have stolen all the other goodiesanyway. So it's not just for us, ladies. They have eaten all the cookies and allthe key lines and everything else. So don't forget, you get 20% off with FabFive and your favorite ISS. When you when you're on the comments, we like tohear what your favorites are you a good time. So join us next Wednesday night,right here at 7 p.m. And if this is your first visit with us, we hope youbecome a member of friends in fiction and enjoy a wonderful community ofreaders. You can catch any episode of any episode you missed on our websiteat www dot friends and fiction dot com or on our YouTube channel. And thankyou so much. And thank you all for joining us. Happy meeting. Thank you,Ann. Thank you so much. That was great. I loved our she whenshe talked about the tuning fork. I agree with University. That waas Mm hmm.She was incredible. She really waas I...

...love learning about that. And I just Icannot imagine I wanted to ask you all this when you're writing, can you Arethere things that you can write about Sort of effortlessly And they barelyfazed you that if you were reading about them, they just rip you apart.Yeah, Yeah. Oh, yeah. What is that? I sometimes feel if I'm not when there'simportant scenes. If I don't cry when I even writeth, um, then I haven't hitthe note e I know for myself, I'll walk away from a I know I'm I'm building upto a scene, a big scene and I'll go out. I walk around or I'llavoid it, you know? And I'll tell myself, because I don't You know, Ididn't haven't done the research or whatever, but in reality it's meavoiding, um, writing this, seeing that that has a lot of emotion of impact.We're fear. When I was writing the shipwreck scenes and they're floatingon the sea for five days and five nights and E. And I'm reading thejournal the true journal of the woman who survived. And I could feel panicky.And I'm having at night I was having dreams about water sleeping under mydoor and eso. But when I was doing the actual like you, Christie, when I wasactually hand on keys writing the scene, I was okay. It was thinking about it,dreaming about it. We're reading about it in her journal that I felt panicky,but in the actual fingers on keys, I was actually all right. Isn't thatstrange? Same thing, you know, it's it's the same thing with me. I feellike I grieved them during the outline process when I realized e realized I'mgonna have to kill somebody off. But then I know, but I I know the entiretime that that's coming. So, like the grief happens way before I get thereand when I get grief, Yeah, but But then, by the time I get there, I thinkI'm just thinking about the mechanics of it. You know what I mean? Like, howis this person getting to that point and how as a writer, can I make thismoment kind of sore, but but the the grief I feel has already been dealtwith. If that makes, I always feel I always feel like I'm emotionallystunted because I feel like, um, you know, my books are mostly lightheartedand romcom e was really hard for me to find those words and, you know, go deepand and talk about those emotions I can remember I wrote a mystery. SyrizaCallahan Garrity Mystery Siri's and one of the one of the books I wrote HeartTrouble. My protagonists. Mother Edna, who was based on basically, basicallyinspired by my own mom but named after my grandmother. My mother had just hada heart attack and drove herself to the hospital to the emergency room andpresented herself and said, I'm having a heart attack. So you need Thio. GoodLord, you have to know my mom. But I wrote that scene like somebody else. Iknow. Yeah, I know. I would be such a baby. E wrote that scene and and thedrugs herself to the emergency room. And when I wrote this scene withCallahan experiencing it and talking experiencing it, I can remember sovividly being curled up in a ball on the window seat of our How terrifyingfor Callahan. Because again, you know, it was transference. Um and I was Iwasn't there when my mom, you know, I was living in Atlanta on she was downin ST Pete, but writing about it made it. It'sterrifying and real to me. You're in...

...memory, you know, it's interesting. Theonly time that I actually really escape. Sometimes you write for escape to. Andwhen my mama was passing, I wrote second start of the right, which isabout Peter Pan, a woman who thinks she's Peter Pan's Wendy. And it wasreally me being able to take care of my mama and then go in the other room andgo into another world. And so in that respect, it wasn't fearful or sad. Itwas just other worldly. And that that was I think when an was talking tonightabout not wanting to give that up to be in a place, you really I hated to leaveLondon and this old brownstone and Wendy and Peter Pan no less, you know,Does everybody get sad when they finish a book? Yeah, I'm so sick of it. No, uh,minds. Weird minds. Like a weird process because I am so ready to befinished with it by the time I turned it in. But then it's like after I turnit in. Then I started There's, like, this weird Let Oh, those were myfriends. And I was with them so much, and I really miss them. I woke up everymorning to think about what was gonna happen next with them. And now they'reabout someone else. Yeah, begin again. I I will say that there sometimes youcreate a world, ah, fictional world and looking back on it, you wish you couldinhabit that world. You're not not right about it. Because when we'rewriting that world, we have a responsibility to tell our readers andbring the readers into that world. But words thinking about the world of thebook that you I had a friend, that movie critic for the a. J. C. For theAtlanta Constitution for many years. So she interviewed every big star thatcame through Atlanta, and she would ask every every actress you know WoodyAllen Catherine have for everyone. Um, if you could live in the world of of amovie. What movie would you live in? Oh, a be great to ask. Authors. What book?You know what? Let's dio e No, I like movies that have sort of a historicfeel to it, so Okay, girls, do you have any idea what what movie you'd like tomove into and live in? Yes. What was the one that Diane Keaton was? She hadthat gorgeous beach house. O e. I love that. She's laughing and crying. Yeah,right away. That Zorro. A huge Broadway e about you. How about you, Christian?What? Is there a movie you'd live in? E don't. Well, gosh, how could it beanything but Paris for me, right? It would have to be something that takesplace in Paris. But you know what? The first one that came to mind was I thinkit was a 1980 movie. Early eighties called Somewhere in Time with Christianuh, Seymour. It's such a beautiful, just heart wrenching movie that takesplace in two time periods in gosh, it's somewhere. I think it's not one of theGreat Lakes. Maybe get a Yes. Yes, I think it is, But is this. Just a big,beautiful hotel. That's a real hotel. Like, I guess I e But the Grand Hotel?Yeah. Yeah, I think it is. Yeah. Somewhere. My parents somewhere forPanda. Yeah. Christopher Reeves was in it. Yeah, somewhere. Yeah, but that themusic, the movie, I loved the movie. But visually, it was such a beautifulmovie too. But how could I answer anything but Paris? I'm ashamed ofmyself. You could do what was looking at you, kid. What was the movie?Humphrey Bogart. Which one? Oh, Casablanca. Casablanca. Well, I'minterrupting you interrupting you because I'm so excited, Andrea Catsjust sent me a text that under the...

Southern sky gotta start review inPublisher's Weekly. Theo. Very practice. The perfect way to end the night way.Christine, you had something else you needed to share with us tonight? Yes, abirthday. Okay. Happy birthday will be on. Congratulations, Kristie. That waslike the best birthday present to your family. Oh, e Oh, that is a champagne.Christie. Yeah, he Oh, my God. That is such good news. Sorry, I'm totallyinterrupted. But it like a corner. My friend was perfect. Start not. Oh, myGod. perfect. You go home to will And this is E O. What movie would you moveinto? E don't know about a movie. So I've always wanted to live in theGilmore Girls. I mean, I just I love that town, That show And, um, there wasa lot of like, but both for where I live Reminds me a lot of stars Hollowand just e Oh, my gosh, it's You would like it, I think I don't know. I mean,now it's e watched it when I was younger and, you know, my editor lovedit. My editor and Harper loved it, and she was a huge Gilmore Girls fan. SoRory Gilmore was my exact same age. So, like going through all the stages oflife like we were both journalism majors. Like I looked back and I waslike, Wow, did I make life decisions because of the Gilmore Girls? Eso Whenthey did the remake, I actually wrote a column about my predictions for theGilmore Girls and how she had been off airs for so long that she was probablyfollowing me and how I assumed that in this new remake she was going to writea book, and she did she Really? Gosh. Okay. You too. Oh, gosh. Like 50 haveflitted through my head. Well, we've been sitting here talking, but thefirst I'm just gonna say the first thing that popped in my head is, uh was,but I'm joking is Outlander. But then e But I don't really wanna live in theScottish countryside and be freezing Get James. But yeah, I think that to me.But I am obsessed with this TV show. Siri's called Endeavor, and it takestakes place in Oxford. And so it starts in, like, 1951 Oxford. And now we're upto, like, 1977 you just he gets to live in Oxford. Now he's a detective, and Idon't want his life, but the scenery and the countryside and, uh, houses andthe people, so don't you don't let me be endeavor, but I wanna live in thatworld. Mary Sean, Wait. Sean. What's his name? Sean Evans. Okay. When youread Summer of Lost and Found, I've got the title. When you see Gordon, that ishim. That Sean after Sean Evans? Uh, Mary Alice? Is there a book that ourmovie that you would move in? Well, I think, um, as good as it gets. I lovethat you said That is very cool. She's, um, love that movie. I love that. Loveher house. Uh, yeah. Diane Keaton noise. Whereas the journalists like me. Yeah.Next tonight. So mine is both of them are Audrey Hepburn movies. Naturally,my first one is Sabrina forever. Oh, yeah. I just watched it. Yeah, that's agood one. With the Givenchy gowns. E want her waistline. I want her. Oh,yeah. Yeah. Even she dressed her. You know, they had costume designers forthese movies that Hepburn was in, but...

Givenchy would say, you know, Givenchydresses may so and then the other one I love is, um, Charade with Carrie E andAudrey Hepburn movie. I did not like, Yeah, two for the road was prettycynical. I didn't love that one. I remember the scene where they fell backon the bed and they were all sunburned, and they said, We're gonna go for day.That's such a great scene. All right, well, I just think we have to letChristie give will, uh, for his birthday. So happy birthday. Will wehave a birthday celebration? Like all day? I made him three sets of candleslike it is not like birthdays, and I am obsessed with them. So I don't know howwe found each other, but here way, way. Name all these movies in a list for usto watch, please. Yeah, way. Also see in the comments Mega saying a lot ofpeople are asking about our friends and fiction T shirts in the video. So wepromise we'll have news about way. Keep talking about what we should do isreally ask our guest If they would take a snap of their net night stand. What'son their beds? What they're reading? Yeah. What? Shell fees. Let's take someshell fees. Yeah, All right, everybody, girl. Nice e Thank you for tuning in. Join us everyweek on Facebook or YouTube where our live show airs every Wednesday night at7 p.m. Eastern time. And please subscribe to our podcast and follow uson Instagram We're so glad you're here.

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