Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Sunday Bonus Episode: Susan Zurenda & Alison Hammer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Join the Fab Five for this Soecial Sunday Bonus episode in which they continue their conversation about debut novels by welcoming two more first-time authors. Meet Susan Zurenda whose BELLS FOR ELI will hit shelves on March 5, 2021; and Alison Hammer whose first novel YOU AND ME AND US came out April 2020. Both women had full careers in other fields before getting a publishing deal and they discuss their journey to getting published. http://friendsandfiction.com

Welcome to Friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors and the stories novelist 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. Thes friends discuss the books they've written,books they're reading now and the Art of Storytelling. If you love books andyou're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hi, everyone. How are you all doingtonight? Thank you so much for joining us on a Sunday for a special behind thebook episode of Friends and Fiction. So we're doing these just about once amonth, and they give us the chance to delve a little deeper and ask more indepth questions about what goes on behind the scenes in our favoritewriters lives. Tonight we're going to continue the discussion we startedearlier this week about debut novels with two very special guests, But firstwe'd like to introduce ourselves, so I'm Christine Harmel. I'm ChristiWoodson Harvey I'm Paddy Callaghan, Henry. I'm Mary Alice Munro. And I'mMary Kay Andrews. And this is friends and fiction. Before we start, we wouldlove to thank our presenting sponsor, Mama Geraldine's Mary Alice. Could youtell us a little bit about them? Sure, Mama Geraldine's traditional Southernsnacking makes absolutely wonderful cheese straws and cookies. Mm. Andthey're offering 20% off your order at Mama Geraldine's dot com with the codeFab five thes air. My favorites, the pimento cheese. And as they say, snackon y'all. Yeah. Um, I say I haven't eaten dinner yet. I'm hungry. Me too.Thanks. And Mary Kay, can you tell us a little bit about our bookstore of theweek? Yeah. Gramercy Bookstore. Um, we love you know, we love supporting indiestores. This week, we're working with Gramercy Books Index, The Ohio to bringyou a 10% discount on are debut novels and those of tonight's guests and thedebut not authors we had on the show Wednesday. No coupon code is required.In fact, the stores owned and run. Another author, Linda cast KSS whoselatest novel is a rich er I t c h i E Boy you know her Christian, don't you?I do. She is so wonderful. And she's a great supporter of other authors. Thio.So we're particularly thrilled tonight to be featuring her store. We lovebookstores that are owned by authors. I...

...think that's super cool. Hello, Linda.And of course, you find that link on our friends in Fiction group page, andyou can preorder all of our 2021 novels there, including mine SurvivingSavannah. That comes out in just six weeks, which seems impossible. Butwho's counting? They are a great store to support their located in anabsolutely charming suburb of Columbus, and there are wonderfully central partof their community. Yeah, so thank you so much, Patty. So now to tell you alittle bit about tonight's guests, Kristie, do you want to start off bytelling us a little bit about Susan Surrender? Yes, I do. So I have knownSusan for a while, and it was so wonderful last year to watch herjourney to publication with her debut novel in 2020. You know, one of thethings will be focusing on tonight is having a second career as a novelist,and there is no better example than Susan. She spent 33 years teachingliterature, composition and creative writing to community college and highschool students in the wonderful Spartanburg, South Carolina, and shehas published numerous award winning short stories over the years. But thisgrandmother for didn't publish a book until last year. Bells for Eli. Herdebut takes place in a small Southern town in the 19 sixties and 19 seventiesand focuses on the relationship between first cousins Eli and Delia, who weredrawn together after a terrible accident. It's a compelling coming ofage story of culture, family secrets, friendship and forbidden love. Oh, I'mexcited to talk with her in a few minutes. So we're also excited towelcome another 2020 debut, Alison Hammer, who I have known for years. Um,in fact, I honestly cannot remember not knowing her like S O. E. And I can'tactually recall. Maybe she'll weigh in when she joins us, But I cannot recallif we met at a Sister Hazel concert. Hey, I'm seriously a blur. Or at theUniversity of Florida, where we both attended journalist in school at thesame time, probably hey, watching a don't don't hate because we're great.What can I say? So let's just get on a Either way. I've been so thrilled tosee Alison will also tell you about the superiority of the Gators go throughthis whole publishing journey. So, like season, she had a whole successfulcareer. First she worked, and she still works as a VP creative director at FCBChicago, the 2020 Adweek Global Agency of the Year. She's also the founder ofThe Every Damn Day Writers, a support group for women writers. So You and Meand Us is an absolutely heartbreaking and beautiful novel about a woman namedAlexis. Her husband, Tommy, and their...

...teenage daughter, Sisi, who come toDestin, Florida, for one last summer. As Tommy, who's been diagnosed withterminal cancer, is dying. It's a masterful, truly masterful tale offamily loss, and the way the deepest pain can help teach us the deepest love.So without further ado, welcome Susan and Allison way s, we owe Alison gators,right? I mean, I'm just gonna say go gators e Oh, we're so thrilled to haveyou to Here we have. We all have a question for U. S. so we will just diveright in with asking all the things we want to know. So, Patty, do you want tostart us off? I will. But before we get started, I need to say something reallyimportant. War Eagle, Go Tigers always like Hey, she's going girl really broke.Go Tigers! Well, my daughter went to Clemson, but I'm afraid I'm a Carolinafan. Your game time. It doesn't do any good. They don't ever win anything. Notthe rial. Carolina, what a game, Carolina. Okay, I don't mean to startthis. I'm sorry. Okay, First of all, congratulations on your successfulcareer pivots. I did the same thing. After a long career in pediatricnursing, I stepped into this new and wonderful life. And a debut novel is afantastic accomplishment. But I couldn't help but notice the timing ofyours. Susan, your first novel came out two weeks before the country shut downlast march. And Alison, yours came out in April at a time when, like the restof us, no one was touring. Bookstores were closed. It's tough in the verybest of times to be a debut novel. But what about in the worst of times. Whatwas it like for both of you to launch your first novel during a pandemic?Susan, do you wanna start us off? I will. I was so excited. I had so manyevents set up in so many states. And I was on tour live for a week and a half.And every day, you know, the crowds would get a little smaller and youcould see people getting more and more frightened and fewer people cominguntil March 9th was the last I was in Charlotte, North Carolina a W N b aspring author thing. And they expected about 7500 people. And there were 15because there were three of us. Author. So it was just It was just the pandemictaking over. So at my mature age, I've I've learned a great deal about virtualevents and the joy of being on here with you all. Thank you so much forhaving me, and it's it's it's just a...

...different adventure than I imagined itbeing. And I do look forward to getting back out live, I hope when we can allget vaccinated in the paperback comes out the spring How about you else? Andwhat was it like for you to launch your very first novel in the middle of thiscraziness? It was not at all what I expected. But I am a big fan of lookingfor silver linings, and I tried really hard. I had five events in differentcities plan, and my biggest kind of funny pandemic story is that I had 500packs of custom Kleenex because my book is a tear jerker. So I had Kleenexprinted with a book cover on it E. Yeah, but I have 500 now. And so there was atoilet gross shortage. So I was like If anybody runs E, it was crazy. But, youknow, it ended up being I don't really have anything to compare it to becauseit was my first. But I decided because it was two weeks into the pandemic, Idecided not to try and recreate what was going to happen in person. Idecided to like take advantage of being virtual Andi. Like Kristen said, wehave a big connection with music. And so one of my favorite singersongwriters, Steven Kellogg, who lives in Connecticut, agreed to interview meand play some songs and, um, it didn't feel like a plan B. It ended up beingreally special. For what? It waas. Absolutely. Mary Kay, Do you want toask a question? Yeah. You know, I come from a background in journalism, whichhas served me well as a novelist. In fact, I've been drawn to writing aboutjournalist a couple of times, including my most last year's book, uh, helloSummer. But I think our jobs are our past lives really never leave us on.I'm curious about how the two of you, how your previous careers have helpedmake you better writers and whether those careers made any sort ofappearance in your debut novels. Do you think you're a better writer becauseyou started somewhere else and worked hard to establish yourself in anotherworld? Alison. You want to start with that? Sure, And my second career is nota past career. I tell people I have two full time jobs, So you still working aday job? Girl. I am, I am. So I work during the day and advertising and thatnights and weekends with writing. But I do think that working and writing foradvertising helped me with my with my fiction career because I think mywriting is very accessible. When you're writing for ads, you have to be Youalmost have to, like, write down Thio Thio, just the type of people that aregonna be not That sounds terrible, but you can't you have to write kind ofconversationally and depending on the brand. And so I think that my style ofwriting growing up in advertising really helped make my fiction writingriel and accessible. Um, and for a while, every book that I was writinghad a character who worked in...

...advertising because you write what youknow. But I started to branch out because there's only so maneyadvertising stories. We could tell. Uh, how about you, Susan? Oh, mostdefinitely teaching English for all the years that I taught. I call it my ownpersonal MF A. Because I taught literature for over 30 years and Iloved it. I did not like grading essays, but I loved the students and I loveteaching literature, and I believed it then, and I believe it now thatliterature is the most important subject in school because it'severything rolled into one its history. Philosophy, psychology, sociology,maybe not math, but you've learned what it means to be human, and youlearn what it means to connect to each other people. And I think all of thatstudying and all of that analyzing and all of that teaching Help me thiodevelop a story of the human heart, if you will.So I am teaching Is yeah, great help to be Wow, that is so beautifully put ahuman heart. I love that e also have to jump in and say, Alison, that my for myfirst Beach House novel had a character who is in the advertising agency fromChicago. E thinking. My first job was in finance, and I've never written thecharacter in finance like, That's sort of strange, right? You will. You willhave never written about a nurse. Never loathe. Oh, I read about the firstnurse e. Probably not like a nurse. Exactly a contemporary story. I havenot made one of my characters have my past job, so that's interesting, youknow, in them in how to sleep with the movie star. My debut novel, I made themistake of making the main character a small blond magazine journalist, whichwas truly a mistake if I didn't want people to think that it was anautobiographical tale. So word to the wise. If you write a book called How toSleep With a Movie Star and you don't want people thinking you slept withmovie stars don't make the character look and have the exact same job, justjust a little bit. I almost made that mistake. I changed my characters lastnames that you didn't have my initials because I didn't want people. Don'tthink that it was, of course, yeah, yeah, that makes good sense. Mary Alice,do you wanna ask your question? I dont know. I want to say that the weekbefore we were talking about are debut novels, and I think we've all foundthat the things we learned in our earlier lives does help shape novels.So I'm sure all these up stories like being in finance will come in futurenovels for Christie, for sure. And...

...nurses, um, Susan. Also, I've known youfor a long time, and there's a job that you haven't mentioned and that you'vedone a lot for authors, but magic time Very PR Three of us have really a Webenefited from your work there, so thank you very much. It has been mypleasure and continues to be Thanks. It's great. So called part time chopits so called right. I saw all those emails. You said That has a lot ofthank you and that that's actually gave you Ah, a bird's eye view of what goeson in the literary world as well. And prepared U s So I'm going and speakingoven earlier life. This is a question that we ask most of our guests. And Ithink with both of you, this will be really interesting. What were yourfamily's values around reading and writing growing up. So, Susan, whydon't you start my mother, Waas Anel Um entry schoolteacher And she had stillon this. It's on the shelf around here somewhere, but it's her Children'sliterature book that she had in college. And my father, when I was a little girl,would take that book, and he would. He loved to read poetry, and he likedpoetry that had, you know, he liked little orphan James Whitcomb. Riley.Hey, was Of course, he liked to read Dr Seuss stories. He loved anything withrhyming words and rhythm. And so every night when I and my father was anengineer, But every night before I went to bed and then after my brother camealong, he would read us poor tree out of that book. And it seems strange tothink I had an engineer father, but he he read all the time. And, of course,my mother was, of course, a reader because she was a teacher and and soI'm certain that all of that early on had a tremendous effect on my loving toread, First of all, and of course, now writing. Yeah. How about you, Alison?My my mom, growing up was a third grade teacher, and so she still has a love ofbooks. My nephew, she started like a grandma book club where she sends mynephews different books once a month because she has so many from her yearsteaching. So I think she probably helped him. Still, my love of reading,Um, my grandfather was very big storyteller, like just orally tellingstories and making up rhymes and things like that. But When I think of mychildhood and reading I was I was just obsessed. I would read like one BabySitters Club or Sweet Valley High Book. Like a day I would literally like, youknow, we go to the library and I couldn't I couldn't get enough. So Ithink probably my mom started it. And then, um, I just picked up and anddidn't didn't stop. Wow, and may I interject something quick since we'retalking about reading and when we were Children, I have grandchildren andbecause I can't be with them now, I...

...have taken to reading to them throughFaceTime, and it's wonderful. I go get a big stack of books from the libraryand my little grandson, Henry. It's really bonding us, since we can't betogether much. So I advocate that if you've got people in your family, youcan't see little ones read them books through this time. I do that. Yeah,that's great. Wow, that's amazing, because I started out doing that and Ilet it go. So thank you for the reminder. It is really bonding. It is.We've really enjoyed it. It's so nice to think that you might be shaping thenext generation of writers. I mean, one of them might be on the show like this20 or 30 years from now saying I remember my grandmother or my aunt eLove that Christie. Did you wanna ask a question? I dio So, Susan, are youworking on anything? Now? I am. I am in the midst of a second novel. I hopethat it's going toe work, and we've been talking about writing what we know.There actually is an English teacher in this second novel. It's not said in thepast period, but more in modern day, although I said it before technologytook over in the classroom. But I'm you know, this English teacher is a lotfunkier. I want nicer. Ah, lot hipper. I think that I that I ever waas, butcertainly I know things about teaching English in the high school. I'm usingthat, and it has a the teacher character and a very privileged whitesenior boy in high school who finds himself in in school suspension andmeet unpublished bi racial girl there. And the sparks will fly, even though itdoesn't seem likely. E love that can you also tell us, How do you thinkwriting your first novel after such a long career will, um, impact your lifemoving forward? Well, it's it's impacting it a whole lot. I can tellyou that writing the book is is one journey and getting the book out intothe world in front of readers, as all of you know, is another journey. But itZbynek, um a huge focus of my wife and a dream of mine That's that's come true.So I love teaching. I wouldn't change one single day of it, but I could notright a full length work and teach and raised during the same time. I'm justnot the super woman that many people are. You are definitely a superwoman. Ie look at house and having a full time job in writing I could never done, ButI don't have kids. I mean, I think that it z variable. Yeah, so, Alice and I'lljust transition into asking you that. Then how do you manage to do it all?Can you tell us a little bit about the right and group you're part of? And howthat keeps you accountable? Yeah. So I...

...am a big believer in writing every day.Um, you know, I've listened to authors like you guys, and so many people saythat that that that's the key toe writing every day. And so, whether it'sfor 10 minutes or, you know, back when we could go to coffee shops, I wouldlove toe spend, like eight hours just camped out of the Starbucks and writing.But I you know, I try to write every day, and I started a Facebook groupabout it the every damn day. Writers, Um, and it's just it gets me, you know,it's like going to the gym. If you if I stopped writing for a week, I find it'sreally hard to get back into the story. And so just that little bit of writingevery day, um, the words add up. Andi, that's, you know, I end up doing acouple hours, usually after work in the evenings and then on the weekends. Um,I do a lot, so I don't have much of a social life, but you know what? Thepandemic. I'm not missing out on much. Nobody that's a social like no. What isthat even yeah, also Alison. I beg to differ. You were like, I mean, not now,because the pandemic. But you were, like, the biggest concert. Go where Iknow and you know everybody and yeah, yeah, you're amazing. I wish I couldhave seen you to running around to Chris. You know, Sister a rock on therock booth. Yes. Maybe Kristen confined a picture for us. Yeah, they'reprobably all blurry because that's very blurry. Thio eso Alison, I know youhave a new book coming out this April called Little Pieces of Me. So can youtell us the Oh, yeah. So here it iss um e 00 I love the cover. You. Yeah. Yeah.I was hoping that you know, the world be back to normal for this one, but itdoesn't look like that's the case. Um, but yeah, it's coming out April 13th,and it was inspired by the story of a friend of mine who found out through,um, ancestry dot com. She got an email that the dad she grew up with was nother biological father. She got a parent child match with a man she didn't knowwho threw a little research. He found out that her parents, him had all gonetoe the same college at the same time. So when she told me that story, I wasjust like, Oh my gosh, I need toe write a book about that So it's not her story.It was just inspired by it. But it's coming on April. And if you're watchingthis live, there's a good reads giveaway for it that ends tonight onSunday. Um, so yeah, I e yeah. Oh, and for anyone who didn't read Allison'sdebut novel, I mean, you're just such a beautiful writer, and I just know thisone is going to be equally beautiful, probably more so because you're sureyou've learned and grown as a writer since then. So let me let me hit youall with a question. Starting with Alison and Susan. Um, yeah, let's talkabout what is one thing you think you have learned about yourself as a resultof your career so far as a writer. Alison, do you want to start? Oh, um,that's That's a good one. You know, I think because this is the beginning ofthe year and everyone's talking about...

...goals, and so I think the thing thatI've learned about myself is that I like to succeed Andi. I'm moremotivated by success than I am failure eso where a lot of people, right, like,plan for stretch goals. They just overwhelming and stress me out. And Ifind I can't do anything. And so I do better with small, manageable goalslike, you know, the amount of words a day or the amount of time a day. And,you know, sometimes I even write things on my to do list that I've already donejust so I can have the satisfaction of crossing eso. I just I realized that Ihave toe I have to set myself up for success, and I'd rather over achievedand underachieve. That's a good one. How about you, Susan? Anything you'velearned about yourself through your writing career? Yes, I have. I think Iwas. I wrote short fiction for a long time, and it, you know, my big excuses.I didn't have time to write a long work, but I think I was always fearful, um,of it, you know, we're all fearful of failure and it it is. You mentioned mywork with magic time and I think it is being thrown into the world of authorswith Mary Alice with Christie with Patty but to to see you know that itcan happen. I don't and and I've had you all have been so encouraging. AndI've also I had a tenacious nature and I had learned that it has served mewell, um, in writing and in the marketing of a book. So I've beenreally thankful for what I lack in intelligence I make up for in tenacitythat has served me well and and I I never thought I thought, I'm going towrite this book that I want to write And then I thought I won't think beyondthat. But now But you know, soon enough, I had this idea of a second book that Iwanted to write, so that surprises me. And on we go on, we go. I have to say,Susan, that your book bells for Eli so beautiful. If anyone hasn't read it,it's really beautiful. And tell me, isn't the paperback you talked about?The one you're writing? But isn't the paperback coming out? Yes, Thepaperback is coming out march 1st and I'm thrilled about that, and I'mpublished by University Press, and it's sort of unusual for them to do. Ah,paperback run after a hardback run. But they have offered to do it, and I'mvery excited about it and hope to get back out on the road. I hope you can. Ihope so. Mary Kay. Let's just kind of quickly go around the circle to thefive of us. I'd love to hear what you've learned about yourself throughyour writing career. Mary Kay. I have learned that, um, you know, I'm alwaysfull of self doubt and fear and self loathing. But the one thing I havediscovered about myself, that is that...

...if it terrifies may, I should try it. Efeel like I'm going to step off the top of a tall building. I should try that.E metaphorically e. I like that a lot. How about you, Christie? Um, I likethat. One of the quotes that hangs on my wall is leaping. The net will appear.So I e I think especially this year. But, I mean, we all know in publishingthere are a million variables that we cannot control. And, um There are amillion things coming at us at all times, and a lot of times they're notwhat we expected. And I'm surprised. I think at e think I'm a pretty goodproblem solver and pivot er, which I didn't really know about myself. Butespecially with this last launch, it was just sort of like, Okay, pivot. Okay. Pivot again. Okay,pivot again. Okay. How do we solve this? What do we do about this? Oh, my gosh.Like what else gonna happen, you know, But so I think that z good, It's kindof made me more confident about that in the other areas of my life, too. That'sawesome. I just love the idea of writing and being on this writingjourney, making us better, more well rounded humans, you know? How about you,Patty, you know, sitting here thinking of allof these things. But I think one of the things that strikes me the most is thatI always considered myself and not very disciplined person. You know, I'vealways been kind of go with the flow, acting on my intuition, moving fromthing the thing, excited about life, wanting to do the next amazing funthing. And my sister is a gymnast, and that's what I consider discipline. AndI would have never used those words for myself until I looked up six yearslater and had written a book a year and was like, You know what? I'm prettydisciplined and I don't think it's actually the best adjective for me, ButI think when you care this much about something, so I think that's what I'velearned that when you care enough about something, you make the time. You makethe dedication and you are a committed person. Absolutely. That's great. Andhow about you, Mary Alice? Yeah, I have to echo what Patty was saying to its Ah,lot of the complaints that I get from my Children. His mom. You're alwaysworking, you know. Stop Mary Alice, you gotta You just finished a book. Howcome you're starting another book and it's not. It's hard to explain. It'shard to balance number one, as we all know our personal lives, and that'swhat I'm struggling with right now. I think now that I'm at this point whereI think, yeah, you do have toe balance...

...your time with joy in your Children. Ah,little bit more. But the truth of the matter is, what I've learned is that Ilove what I do and I It's not in my mind work. We complain about itDeadline, hell and things like that. But we could all stop if we watch and Ijust keep going and the ideas keep popping. I never understand how someonesays, I don't have an idea. Oh my gosh, I have so many e have to decide whichone to choose So the discipline, part it For me, it's more compulsion. I justcan't stop. And what the discipline for me is now is to take a step back andsay, Be disciplined about those exercises. Take a walk on the beachagain. You know, your physical health is important to your Children. Areimportant, too. So I think over the long career, it's just learning balance.I haven't it, but I'm working towards it. That's good. I love that, and it'ssomething I struggle with, too. I mean, it's you know, and I think particularlyduring the pandemic balance has become that much more difficult for all of us.Um, for me, I think One of the things I've learned through my writing is thatif the questions you dare to ask are varied and deep, you'll be surprised atwhere they take you. Um, and that's something I didn't realize early in mycareer when I was writing just kind of these light stories about Hey, we're inour twenties and we're having fun and whatever, you know which. There was atime for that and I think I was exploring some issues than to. But Ireally feel like I grow a little bit as a result of each book I write and thatthe books are better and I become better as a person. Um, if I dare to goto those deep places or ask the hard questions and that makes sense. So it'sjust talking a little bit about Yeah, I was listening to this talk yesterday.It's amazing you're bringing this up, and it was by David White, who is,y'all know, a poet I love, but he had this whole thing about who we arebecoming in our work is who we are becoming e. Have it on my bullet boardright now who we are becoming in our world way. Patty, I love that. That'svery I agree. Wow. Wrote it down, Put it on the bulletin board. Um, yeah, Ithink that that's a really good point that while we're while Susan is doingher her debut and learning who she is is a writer and Alice and you're divingin, we're also becoming who we are through our writing. And I love thatidea, right? And we don't ever stop that zinc. Alright, So, Patty, that isa great segue to my last question for our lovely guests. Who are the two ofyou becoming? Who do you hope you...

...remembered for being at the end of yourliterary career? E no, I know. And you know what? Our guests e o before wecame on, we promised, you know, tough questions. E o Do you wanna go first ordo you want me dio Either way, e Okay. I have this quote that runs through myhead sometimes in a letter, um, to his friend Ernest Hemingway. F. ScottFitzgerald, You know, once said that the value off of writing is how thecharacters linger in the reader's minds. When it's over. Onder Perhaps that iswhat I hope, that I can create a work, create characters who resonate with thepeople who read about them when it's over, so that we have things to thinkabout. We we have things to think about about who we are. And in the case ofBells for Eli, you know one thing I hope readers think about is how it'sfaith, how it can take away with one hand and give back with the other inthe same circumstance. So I think that's when when, when, when we writeand way have way right, because we want our readers to understand somethingabout human nature. And maybe that's what I would like my work, at least tobe remembered. E Thank you. How about you, Alison? I'm like I have to followthat e. I mean, that was beautiful. I think that when I try to think about,you know, I love the idea that as we change our work changes and withpublishing, it's I feel like there's a lag time. So, like I wrote, you know,there's like a two year lag time for who I'm what I'm writing now and thenwhat's coming out. But I think that, you know, I try to write, um, try toehave variety but I think a lot of my stories revolve around family,friendship, loss and love. And I I want to make people feel things I don'twanna like naturally make people cry. But I think that when people canresonate with your characters or think about it and being, you know, at thebeginning of my career and like looking at all of you guys and the greatsuccesses that you've had, you know, I have definitely like aspirations. But Itry to focus on the individual reader, and I try to focus on the review that Iget and, you know, because we don't have control over. Of course, the listswould be great. And this is that time where you know, best of and mostanticipated list are coming out. So I try not to focus on that. I try tofocus on making that one on one connection with the people who read.And you know, another great thing about the pandemic is that there have beenthings like this and opportunities to...

...join book clubs and to get you knowThio connect with readers and books to Graham and you know So I guess I wantto make a lasting impression on individual readers and make them feelsomething. Well, that's a beautiful thank Alison. I will say that you andSusan are on our most anticipated list. We can make next books on Ladies. Weare so grateful that you joined us tonight and grateful to that. You'vejoined the community of authors overall because you're both doing suchbeautiful work. So congratulations on your debuts and we're all like I said,so excited to see what's next. Eso as a reminder to all of you out there youcan find Susan surrenders and Alison Hammers novels, along with the debutsand upcoming 2021 novels of the five friends and fiction authors at GramercyBooks in Bexley, Ohio, for 10% off. And once again we are so grateful to oursponsor, Mama Geraldine's Who's Cheese Straws and Cookies we adore. So thankyou so much for joining us tonight for the special behind the books bonusepisode of Friends and Fiction. We will see you Wednesday at 7 p.m. EasternTime with New York times Bestselling novelist Marissa Delos Santos. Righthere on the friends and Fiction Facebook group Page. Thank you so much.CNN you think, Alison? Thank you. Bye. 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. Good night.

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