Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 11 months ago

Friends and Fiction with Charlaine Harris

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Charlaine Harris—the master of multiple genres including mystery, urban fantasy, graphic novels, and alternative historical fiction—joins the Friends & Fiction authors to chat about the wildly popular HBO series “True Blood” was based on her Sookie Stackhouse novels and the latest book in her Gunnie Rose series, A Longer Fall. http://charlaineharris.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors, Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast withfive bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independentbookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinatinginsider talk about publishing and writing. Thes friends discuss the booksthey'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 theright place. Bestselling novelist Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, ChristieWoodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtimefriends with more than 80 published books. To their credit at the Start of the Pandemic, they gottogether for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, their favoritebookstores writing, reading and publishing in this new, unchartedterritory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinating discussionswith other bestselling novelists, so join them live on their friends andfiction Facebook Group page every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern, or listenand view later at your leisure. Hello, Welcome, everybody. It's wonderfulWednesday night, which means it's time for friends and fiction. Five Bestselling novelist. Endless stories. I'm Mary Kay Andrews, and I'm excited. I'mhosting my friend Charlaine Harris tonight, and my latest novel is HelloSummer. Hi, I'm Christine Harmel, and my latest novel is the book of lastname I'm Christi Woodson Harvey and my latest book, This Feels Like Falling.And if Christie just went, that means I g o on my legs. Just it becomes MrsLewis. I'm Mary. Alice Munro on my latest novel is on Ocean Boulevard. Hey,thanks so much for hanging out with us tonight on Wednesday nights. As always,I hope tonight we have amazing Charlene Harris as our guests. And what can Isay about the woman who, well, if she didn't in Vana? Certainly she put theurban fantasy genre on the map. Charlene's latest book is the second inher Gunny Rose. Siri's A Longer Fall, and the third in this Siri's TheRussian Cage will be out in January. Um, yeah, there it ISS. There is alonger fall, which is out now. Now, Um, I have known Charlene since theearliest days of my own publishing journey, when we were both writingmystery and serving on the board of an organization called Sisters in crime.And to be perfectly honest, I seem to remember being around her at a mysteryconference in the late nineties and hearing Charlene talking about writinga Siri's about a Southern barmaid that with vampires, and I thought to myselflike, That's gonna be oh, it'll never work. I love that. That's being diningon Crow Yeah, eso before uh, Back way back Charlene published to stand alonemysteries before starting for Syriza about a library in Slough, Aurora.Teagarden Fun fact Number one. Charlene's mother was a formerlibrarian in 1990 Weight. Aurora came out in 1990. The first one. She wasborn in Tunica, Mississippi, and attended Rhodes College in Memphis. SoI think that qualifies her to be a Rhodes scholar. Hersi. He's include theAurora Teagarden mysteries, a Little...

...barred mysteries, a Sookie Stackhouse,Urban Fantasies, the Harper Connelly Urban Fantasies, the midnight Texasnovels, The Cemetery Girl, graphic novels with Christopher Golden and theGunny Rose Books. Set in an alternate alternate history. America Um, Carlinhas also written many goes short stories, and together with her goodbuddy at Tony Kilmer, she edited seven themed and she's and had a lot of fundoing it. The television Siri's nobody's Ever Heard of called TrueBlood with STAHN, Charlene's Sookie Stackhouse novels and Hallmark moviesand Mysteries is still showing a series of movies created about the AuroraTeagarden character. And and I think maybe she has some news about that Iread. And for two seasons Midnight, Texas was on the air. I think NBC andtwo of her other Siris are in production. Good Lord, a blacker e Moreaccomplished. A number two. At one point, I think maybe 2010 all nine ofher then Sookie Stackhouse novels were on The New York Times best seller listin the same thing a thing this with her beloved her husband half on a bunch ofrescue dogs on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River. And she has three grownChildren and some dogs and a couple of extraordinary grandchildren. Can't waitto talk to Charlene about the kick ass protagonist of her latest, Gunny Rose,Siri's and her other books. But in the meantime, our own Mary, Alice Munro,has a very special show and tell for us tonight. Oh, thank you, Ken. That was alovely introduction. Thank you Well, I'm friends and fiction. It's alwaysspecial when one of us gets to reveal our book cover and it's alwaysexclusive. I want you all to know we do this for our friends and fictionaudience. So this is exciting. I have a May 11th book, and it's called ThankYou, Christine Harmel Who E. It's a great title of the summer of Lost andFound. So as you know, e gonna turn this around. I love this cover. I lovethe summer. It's It's not summer now, but think Summer. So I love it. And asyou know, I write about families. And this story is about how, over the pastsummer, actually, since spring, I've really noticed the impact of the all ofus being shut in on families. You know, we've have Covic couples. We have.Mother's going crazy because their kids are home. We have marriages, tested,new relationships, broken relationships. I understand there's a lot of turmoil,but there's also really wonderful things happening. And so I love thisstory, and I love the title. Thank you, Kristen, because what I'm reallywriting about in this book is that even though there were things lost in thisseason. There were also some really wonderful things found. And I thinkthat we've all discovered as we've talked about about things that we wantto carry with us beyond So I'm really excited. Everyone who orders a copy orpre orders a copy tonight from the bookstore. Murder by the book will getone of the coziest. I know we have the coziest a ah, friends and fiction Cuzzi,which is a really popular item. So if you order tonight, you'll get not onlythe 10% discount, but that and also anybody who orders anytime, anywhere.We had a really wonderful artist in Charleston called Harrison. Um,Harrison shackle for it and shares her. Who? Can you see it? Okay. She made anoriginal drug. Actually, here is that it's really isn't that gorgeous? Shemade an original turtle. I really love...

...it. You know, we love our turtles, butshe made that for us. And everyone. This is a beautiful cardstock from a printer in Charleston. And if you preorder the book, you look atthat. So anywhere you go to my facebook page, you go thio anywhere. Instagrammy website and all the information will be there. So Yeah, I'm out. I'm public.I've come out. Thank you. That was a good It's funny.This is exciting moment for all of this is naturally. Congratulations. Yeah,Really Mentioned are indie bookstore. This week is murder by the book. Now,as you know, back when we started back in April, part of our mission was tosupport indie bookstores like Murder them on the books, which was chosen byCharlaine. It's one of the nation's oldest and largest mystery specialtybookstores. It was established in 1980 by Martha Farrington and purchased byour friend McKenna Jordan and 20 22,000 and nine store stocks over 25,000 booksNew and you Hardbacks and paperbacks, first editions, collectible gift items,mystery magazines. And they did a lot of great jigsaw puzzles. If you If youlove jigsaw puzzles, check out murder by the books website. Um, fun factnumber three Murder by the book was one of the first doors that hosted me ontour from my very first book in 1992. And they have hosted all the grades ofgenre fiction. So tonight we're offering 10% off on all of our booksAnd, of course, Charlene's. And I think pre ordering So I think we're aboutready to bring. We're going to bring me to Charlotte, E o have to play yourwalk on music. E o won't music E 00 yeah, yeah, Way. Despite a lot ofmemories, Way loved hearing that music that meant the show was on way. Youwere the first person who ever then had walk on music. So that was a surpriseto me, too. But that show really did. I learned so much that I never expectedto have to know. Frankly, uh, and I learned a lot about Hollywood. Ilearned a lot about actors. I learned. I just learned a lot. Most of a telyeast. Interesting, if not actually good. Charlene, what are you even doing sinceduring the pandemic locked down? I know your new books out in January. Are yougonna be ableto go out on tour? I know you're not. You're kind of What if heon book tours? I'm iffy now. I have some mobility problems. I have prettysevere arthritis, and, uh, touring is can be quite uncomfortable for May um Ido want to support the book as much as I can because I'm just a kind of a teamplayer, and I like to help my publisher make us. Much of the books is possible,but I'm getting to the point where I'm going. If people don't know who I am bynow, when are they on that? That's the point of touring, right? Yeah, I justthink you know, they know who I am.

They won't. You know, they definitelydio okay, So to the other, like me, can we talk about your keep? You measures amoment? Personally, I don't see why we have to feel guilty about pleasure.That's just me on if it's legal and we're consenting adults, but is thereanything I want to know? If there's anything you know, absurd that you findjoy and indulging in during these pandemic days, Say, I don't know. Okay,Online shopping for a country. Stay to and do that. That's weird. How a starHot Charlie in Have you had any kind of guilty pleasures urine indulging inthese days? It's yes, I'm exaggerating my permanent guilty pleasure. When Ifinally started making mawr than Ah, subsistence level money writing. I madeup my mind. I would buy any book I wanted to buy on. That's what I dio. Ibuy books. I don't go to the library. I don't eat a lot of books to the library,right. You know, I just buy whatever book I want to buy, and Oh, my gosh.Have I bought books? That's awesome. And you're reading how many books aweek? Because I've seen your blogged. You'd like a manic reader, girl. I am.But that's really all I do. I write and a raid. That's what I dio probably fivebooks a week. Wow. Whoa. I'm so jealous. We're gonna We're gonna ask what theysay. They were long books, you know? No. Okay. Now, Kristen, what? What's yourkind of guilty pleasure these days? Well, I knew you were gonna ask this,So I've brought a visual aid. You guys, I have a problem. I keep shopping forboots like e beautiful right there. Beautiful. You guys, I live in Florida.It's 87 degrees here. It will be 87 degrees for the foreseeable future. AndI'm not going anywhere anyhow. What is my problem? but a cute boots. Okay,Patty Henry, we kind of already have those of us who? Patty. And a morning,uh, text chains kind of know what Patties? Guilty push. So I'll tell you,but I got to tell you, I've been OK about it. Not okay, but not as sad as Iwas in the beginning of the pandemic. And I was running errands today andthis country. I love country music. And this new country song came on and Iknew we were deep into the pandemic. When the song is about the panda, it'scalled It's called 6 ft Apart. And this these lyrics came up and I sat in theparking lot of the public boo hooing. It's that missed my mom. I miss my dad.I missed the road. I missed my band. Given Hobbs and shaking hands. Oh, likethat, Xander, 6 ft apart is called. But my guilty pleasure is I do a part of myresearch is takes place in England, and I fell down about a two hour rabbithole looking for stone cottages in England. Who are they? Do they havecentral heat and air? How many people could I have to visit me. What way?There. But pleasure is definitely, um, planning on trips and thinking abouttrip. I could wear my boots to your cottage. You can on You can bring allof the boots for all of us. It's like 17 suitcases worth, but I'm in. Yeah.What's your guilty pleasure, E Mary...

Alice. I have a visually This is myguilty pleasure. Er, yeah. Yeah, I swear. I mean, my other one Cosmo, bythe way, is in dog show. When he came in first the other day and he came insecond today. So my but I just sometimes just rush him, and it's likea therapy. You know, when you have anxiety, two stroke, you all have dogs.You know, when you hold your dog and you just it's this my guilty pleasure.And I'm always buying something for the dogs. You know, it's just my poorhusband. He wants to be as loved as much as my dog. What your what? Yourguilty pleasure. So it's funny that you ask this this week because all I havebeen doing this week so far is planning trips and I mean not just planning themlike booking them. And, you know, it takes an extraordinary amount of time,like the tickets and the hotel and the rental car in the blah, blah, blah andthen, like one for my family And what's Will's family going to do with us? Andthen we're gonna go and it's all for, like, 2022 because, like, I don't knowwhat we're gonna do it my husband e But I'm like, No, I need to know that it'shappening. It's happening. I called my parents. I was like, I found thisreally great trip for us to go on Thanksgiving. And they were like, thisyear. And I was like, No. 2022. And Dad was like, No, you need 2021. And I waslike, No, 2022. 0, my God. Okay, go ahead. You know what I dio? Mine isshopping online auctions for our art and antiques. Well, that doesn'tsurprise me. Now there's one called gavel that I like that kind of my No,my antique born that I dio Okay, so, Charlotte Lane, I can't wait to talk toyou about the Gunny Rose. Siri's, um the newest one is a longer fall. But,you know, um, I had I was new to all of this, and I'm sort of not good aboutreading outside my particular genre s o. I read the first in the gunny theories,which is called an easy death. And was I told you in an email was blown away.It's you. It's like, um, would it be bad of me to say thatthere's a lot of a big Charles, I mean, a Portis vibe, this true grit? Oh, no, I know. I don't think that zwhether or not I agree with the accuracy of it. That's a compliment. I mean, it's a western. It takes placein this, you know, newly imagined 19 thirties America where FranklinRoosevelt has been assassinated and the United States has broken up into aweird part. Would you kind of give us on? That's the first one. So would yougive us a little elevator pitch about the second one, which is the one that'scurrently out a longer fall? Okay, this is, um ah, Western, an alternateAmerica Western with wizards, right. The California is now the Holy RussianEmpire. And, uh, the Gunny Rose is a veryaccurate gun woman. She's 19 years old. Uh, she's really a whiz at what shedoes, and she she gets hired for protection of cargo and people whenthey are being smuggled or transported from one new area of America to another.That's how she makes her living. Well, Wow, that sounds amazing. And sheand she is 19 years old, right when the books restarts, right? Right. And thenAnd the third one that will be out...

January is called the Russian Cage,right? Yep. The Russian gauge and, uh, that part that one takes place inCalifornia, formerly California. Where her Where her Russian prince slashlover is from. Let's right. Yes, Eli. Eli, it's awesome. Okay, so we're gonnatake turns asking questions. I'm sure Lane and Patty I e Okay. I'm ready. Ehave a really deep in depth question. But before I ask it, everyone wants toknow your dog's name. Uh, well, yeah. Rocky one is cold. And the one who yousaw at length the corgi looking one is Abigail. We've brought Abigail from thepound and Colt was wandering around my daughters parking lot in college, andshe brought him. Of course she left him with us. Eso We've had cold for 10years now. It was probably about 12. Oh, yeah. Everybody keeps asking about yourdog's name, so but I actually have a real question. Ah, lot of women authorsstart out writing fairy tales when they're young. I know I did. I wasalways writing imaginary stories, and girls could turn into something elseand they could sneak through little doors. But I read that you weren'twriting fairy tales in fourth grade. You were writing ghost stories I waasso really incorporate during the month of Halloween. Talk to us about yourinterest in the supernatural that goes all that way back. Are you a believerin the supernatural or you just a chronicle or to us tell us something?I'm on the sidelines about whether or not this is actually riel. I think it'sinteresting to imagine it being rial. I don't think I want to meet a realvampire, though People have been in my signing line and told me they were like,Okay, let me see it e a werewolves and I'm going Okay, change, But security,your interestingly that never did happen. Uh, I believe I believe inghosts. I believe that people do see ghosts. Uh, I think animals and littleChildren see them more than anybody else. But I'm not so sure about theLoch Ness monster. I believe it. I don't know if if any of you have yetread, uh, Max Brooks's devolution, but it's a very scary Bigfoot book. Uh, andI just finished that. So I'm thinking really hard about that one. E just likethe things that you don't see. E think it's interesting because you're reallyah, spiritually person, right? I am involved with your church and that'syour happy place. Yeah, very much so. I'm I'm pretty serious about that. Uh,I just and it's been so hard not being able to go way had barking lot churchwhere we go sit in the parking lot. We could hear listen to the service on theradio. But now now we're getting to go back in, and I think that's great. Edon't think being a spiritual person Well, spirituals, um precludesbelieving in spirits. E I'm Irish. We believe in everything right? Wereextremely superstitious, all of that.

So here's the question that I have beenthinking a lot about now. Surely you write female characters frequently, whoseemed tough like Gunny Rose. But they've been broken and they'revulnerable. I know that you're Lily barred. Siri's character is a rapesurvivor, which is something you've said was inspired by your own life.Could you talk a little bit about empowering those characters as you didyourself to deal with the rape and how that was just a deliberate decision onyour part, which I think is such a generous decision to not to keep it,you know, locked up inside. And I love how you wrote about using your writingto clean out the dark spaces. E. I think all of us do that to a certainextent maybe consciously and, uh, literally, uh, right about what'shappened to us. Or maybe use metaphors for things that have wounded us reallydeeply. Um, I have always felt it's certainly changed my lifecompletely because I felt so grateful to live so profoundly thankful. Um, andI thought, I am strong enough to get through this. So many people are not,and they stay silent. But I want anyone who thinks that can speak about it tosay this happened to me and I'm not ashamed. It is not my not my shame thatthis happened. It is the shame of the person who did this to May, and I willnot let him pulled me down. Right? Powerful? Absolutely. I think that's sogreat, Thio to bring people to bring women especially out of the shadows ofguilt and shame and into the and into the daylight. And what I love is thatyou give your characters your fictional characters power. That's what I learned.Oh, you know, don't we all need some of that? Yeah, we all dio Yeah, likeElizabeth Elizabeth Rose, Um is a badass. She is. You know, I've realizeda couple of years ago that I really enjoyed movies where women shot a lotof men. E kept thinking. I like this movie. What did I like about it? A lotof guys in that movie and I thought, What does that sing about me But on fora while that bothered me. And then I thought, Oh, what the heck s so Ithought, Why don't I ever write about women who do that? So I I did it. And Ilove how unease e don't every I mean, Elizabeth, I don't even know whatLizabeth body count is in that first book. It's pretty high each time shethinks about it, and she makes a decision, a conscious decision. Thisperson needs to die. Or, you know, in one scene, she she belt a woman acrossthe face with the stock of her rifle instead of killing her. She just needsthat woman out of the way. She decided she won't kill her. And I and I likethat you give her that power. Well, I'll maybe it's the power we allfeel like we would want, but we don't really. Or maybe we would really enjoyit. I'm kind of just exploring the ideas through Elizabeth. I love that. Ilove that. Um, Christie has a question for you. Yes, eso You have the mostincredible world building skills. For...

...instance, the country right Siri's,which you kind of mentioned, is set in a post apocalyptic, wild West likesetting of alternative history in a world where FDR has been assassinated,his VP has died of influenza and the U. S has fractured into foreign rolledempires like the holy Russian Empire in California. So how does one construct aworld like this? I mean, it just It blows my mind. I can't imagine. You know, it's I think this is whereexperience helps. My first big World building was with Sookie, and I justbuilt her world piecemeal because for her to be the person she was, her worldhad to be a certain way. And that's really how I go about it. I start withthe person I want to write about and then construct the world to let her dowhat I want her to dio. And that's the way it always works out. I know peoplewho have done worked on a world for four years, and I'm going, When are yougoing to write the book? There's It's like, uh, starting to research wolveswhen you're writing about werewolves and two hours later you're watchingwolves in Yellowstone Park. Ugo, how did this happen? E. Yeah, it's justreally going down rabbit holes. Just you just think and how how Maney kindof just in Britain could I rented a time Leo Klein. That was unkind. Thatwas right at you, Patty E O. Right here. I got it. Way Kristen has a questionfor you to Mary. Alice. You want to go first way? Kristin and I are both yourbiggest fans. Truly way are. And I know that the Sookie Stackhouse Siris was sopopular. It was a it spawned this huge Siri's. Now they're television, Siri's.But then there was true blood, you know? And it was a time when all of us, youknew everyone you knew was watching that. Show it same time. And when thatmusic started that we heard at the beginning Tonight Thank you, Mary Kay.It really kind of brought it back. And I thought, Wow, first of all, what doesit feel? You mentioned a little bit about that world and how it was sodifferent to have a Siri's like that. But as the author and the creator, youhave to move on. We never wanted that Siri's toe end. Yeah, you know, we werelike snow. Just give us one more system. And yet you're probably like, Okay, Iwant to get on to something else now. How do you make that transition? How doyou feel like? Are you letting down your fans? Do you feel that or you justlike No, I'm moving forward. How do you handle that? I think it's it would beirresponsible. Excuse me. Irresponsible of May to keep on writing a Siri's WhenI had lost my gusto for it. I think that iss letting your readers down,giving them less than your best. I would kind of reached a point where Iwas thinking How much longer can not do this? Because, as you can imagine, itwas very stressful. Uh, the expectations and the the touringand the interviews and so on which your privileges and I was grateful, but alsotook away a lot from my real life s. Oh, I just thought I got three more books.That's gonna be it. And so I made that decision and, you know, my of course, my publisherwasn't happy because they wanted to...

...keep on publishing those forever, and Icould understood that. But at the same time, I just felt thatwas the contract I have with readers is toe do my best, you know, after that,it wouldn't have been my best. So it wasn't very popular move with anyone inthe world but May and possibly my family. But I called it quits on the13th book. A lot of books e Was there symbolism in the number 13? Now, thatwas just worked out, but found out again. Yeah. You ran out of go, Randy.Oh, more. You had other ideas. I'll bet that you wanted Thio. Oh, yeah, sure.The You know, you probably don't even know this. But someone, uh, publishedthe ending of the book before the book came out, right? And it was just It wasjust a Excuse me. Shit. Storm. It was terrible. Terrible, terrible, Terriblee I just got such an avalanche of hate. Oh, that's awful. There your characters.That's, uh yeah, you know, it was it was a very tough time. Very allow thosepeople who love me love me, love me Just hated me, Hated me, hated me on Ijust had toe, You know I had toe learn to toughen up quite a bit Yeah Oh, mygoodness! I did not know that. Oh, yeah, I can't that It's one of the worstthings that ever happened to may. Oh, my gosh! What? Well, you know, speakingof people who love you, Love you, love you. I was always in that camp, and Iwait, You don't believe me. But, Sean, I believe there's photographic evidenceof my Halloween costume. E from that was that was 11 years ago. I was SookieStackhouse for Halloween the year I was 30 which was probably too old to bedressing like Sookie Stackhouse. E am as Sookie. And so now my secrets out ofa crazy big to blood fan e this'll is my vial of true blood. Oh, yeah. Thiswas one of the promo items that they gave out at the premiere. In the presskits. Uh, it says true blood synthetic synthetic blood. It's not really mine.This'll product was guaranteed to be 100% effective. E if only If only I'dknown you 11 years ago that would have helped with the Halloween osteo. Youwould have looked so authentic. It wasn't that long ago. No, no, don't sayit was that long. What the true that true blood was on, the books were out.Yeah, that was That costume was from 2000 and nine, and I think That was acouple of years into the Siri's. Yeah, Yeah. Crazy. Only I had had apercentage of the merchandizing. No, no. Sorry. I'll send you like the dollarproceeds from that shirt in the mail. Eso your books, and then she won't haveto buy your You know what? I'll send you the book of last name. Yeah,exactly. Eso Charlene, I wanted to ask you a question that we like to ask ourguests every week. Um, we're always so interested in how a writer developsfrom the very beginning. Could you talk a little bit about with the values inyour household were when you were growing up? When it came to reading andwriting, my parents valued reading above anything else. They were bothavid readers. Uh, they read aloud to me...

...and my brother. They were alwaysreading themselves, which I think is the best example you can set for yourChildren and grandchildren is to show them that you yourself revere thewritten word. Uh, they read, I read They bought me books when I couldn'tget enough from the library to read. They never told me I couldn't be awriter, which is pretty valuable. Yeah, uh, my brother was quite a reader to and we just grew up reading, and Ithought I gradually came to think, you know, that's the best thing in theworld to do. That was all I ever wanted to Dio and I began toe feel that Icould do that. Don't Don't you think you know when that's something you cando it? You think I could do that? And if eventually, uh, I married Hao, whois my second husband of 42 years, and, uh, he gave me the option of stayinghome instead of going toe work and bought me. And this was really hightech on electric typewriter, for it was wonderful, darling, That is a big dealwith this electric. It was You know, I think it waas e No, I'm showing my age.It had a cartridge that you popped into it. Yeah. And, uh, first two books onthat mat. Cut and paste. Yes. Oh, golly, I never will forget the stress oftyping a clean copy to send to the publisher. Er white out. I don't thinkit's no whiteout. Eso, Charlene, we so many people on the friends and FictionFacebook page have been posting questions for you. So we're gonna askyou some that were posted ahead of time. Mary, Alice, you've got I do. LisaHarrison writes that she loved the Midnight Texas Siri's and the NBC show.She asked you had anything to do with casting. And Christina built. Wants toknow whether there will be any more books in the midnight. Siri's okay toquestions about one Siri's. I like that. I had nothing to do with the casting. Inever do. Uh, they have a casting director who is in charge of that, andno one ever asked me what I think. Uh, let me just put that out there. Uh, andusually I'm really happy because it can't be. The person almost looks likeyour imaginary character. It has to be the best actor. Yeah, uh, and I wishthere would be more of the TV show. I was really very disappointed when itwas canceled on my publisher. Uh, there they go again. My publisher? Yes. Yeah.My publisher has not asked me for any more midnight books. So there you haveit. Christie, you've got a question for Charlotte? Yes. So Anisa Joy Armstrongwants to know what inspires you to keep writing such great books After 35 yearsin the business, Uh, I believe in always trying my best to write the bestbook I possibly can. Uh, that's our our contract with the reader. I think notto try to please them, but to try to write the best book that we possiblycan write. Sometimes I achieve my goal. And I think that's the best I could do.If you don't like it, I'm sorry. That's it. Uh, sometimes I feel like I didn'thit my mark, but I tried as hard as I...

...could, and that has to be worthsomething. Can we record that and play it on a loop? E. Alright, my best. Andthat's that's so I mean, that's so wise. I feel like that's such a struggle islike what everyone's gonna think and you're so right. You can't control that.You can't control that and you can't anticipate it. And you can't right thatreason people, do you Do. You always try to write what your fans want? I'mgoing. No, it's good advice. Okay, So Patty haspulled What a couple questions, right, Patty off. People were posting as we'retalking, Yeah, People are posting like crazy. So whatever you were talkingabout, that the people who loved, loved, loved you hate, hate hated you. I Idon't believe you because you you have, like, a love fest going on over here. Eo e. One thing I do want to shout out before I ask. Another question that'sbeen posted live is ah, woman named Sharon Carlson. Person is drinking withyou ladies tonight because her birthday is tomorrow a device? A woman namedCindy Hall asked, How do you keep track of all the details of these many worldcharts? Scrapbooks, detailed notes? How do you keep track of this? Okay, thebullet answer is not very well. The longer answer is that for the sakebooks, I finally asked one of my dear readers who was who has, honestly themost photographic memory I've ever encountered. If she would do a Biblefor May about the Sookie books and if I got stuck, I could email her and say,Wait, what book was Edgar in? And she could say, Oh, he was in the fourthbook, fifth chapter. You. No, no, no. Oh, you're wonderful. Uh, and now I'mtrying toe keep Ah, good account of all my characters. My assistant, Paula, isdoing the Gunny Rose books for May. And I'm gonna get to write to Mawr. GunnyRose e was pretty happy about that. S o Paulo has been keeping track of thatfor May I make notes in a notebook as I go along, But I'm anything butconsistent. I'm always working. I don't know about you. I'm always working onmy writing method, thinking someday I will hit on a a perfect okay. Andeveryone seems to think it gets easier the more it doesn't Thank you forsaying that. All I especially this week, I'm under deadline and I'm dying 1000deaths. So to hear you say that makes my heart Yes. Now it's that for all ofus. Everyone is convinced by the time they've read the book the fourth orfifth time that it's the worst book they ever wrote. Yeah, and I worry.Every time I send went into my editor, I worry that he's gonna say no. Ifinally understand. We're gonna unmask you you can't, right? I think that too.Yeah. Syndrome, riel. Yeah. It doesn't get easier for women, especially I ethink her we for I don't know. Maybe that's a sexist thing to say, but I Ithink we all suffer from that. I like Why not? Terrified of it. Whybother so, e? I think we all just...

...really I think everyone I'm looking atyou all. Everyone here really cares that it is the best book we wrote.We're not talking books up, We really care. And so that's where the fearcomes in a little bit. Have you had a question to pull? Um, Christian, Youwanna grab one? Sure. Yeah, Shelly Marsh says. Oh, actually, before I readthat, though, I wanted to say we have to Readers one, um, Andrea piles thatwe named our cat Sookie Stackhouse because we love this on Donna Ramsey,Saxton says. We had cats named Sookie and Eric, So they're Ugo eso. We have areader named Shelly Marsh. She says, Charlene, can you tell us about howyour transition from traditional mysteries into supernatural subjectmatter came about? Well, um, I got tired of writing with the restrictionsthat were on mysteries then, uh, they no longer pertain now, thank goodness,but there were lots of as Kathy knows, there were so many limitations onmysteries then and I couldn't figure out the reason for them. I thoughtsurely readers wouldn't mind a little bit different. Someone did. I thought Ijust want to write something that has everything in it. Everything, you know,a vampire werewolf. Just maybe even a sex scene. Um, just everything I'veever wanted to try, just to see if I could do it. And my agent didn't wasnot a big fan of the of dead until dark, and, uh, he it took him two years tosell it. Wow. 32nd printing now. Oh, my God. Oh, yeah. Hey, Charlene. Did Iread that you sold that for $5000? Is that is that right? That the firstsounds right. I think I read that somewhere that that book sold for $5000.Now you could tell that you could sell the first additional That look for onebook. Yeah, it was the paperback originals, so I don't know. Yeah, but,you know, the price went up pretty quick Yeah, when you know it's working.E thought I did something right. You were going to write a long time beforethen. It just catch up with you. Okay, so now we have been talking aboutwriting. Um, we're hoping that you will give us all a writing tips so we cantap into your brain way. Want that? Oh, okay. First, the most important rule isfinished. The book I've known so many writer wannabes are that I don't meanthat sound disrespectful? Uh, yeah. Who say, Oh, I started the book and I gotabout 40 pages into it. Then I had a better idea. So I dropped that when Istarted writing, and I thought, Yeah, anybody can start a book. Oh, you know,you're a writer when you can finish one, that is, uh that is the sure testes.Finishing another thing is when you come to a a point and you are roadblocked, usually to may, it means Oh, andthey're gonna growl and bark again. Uh, usually, to me, it means that I made amistake in the previous 10 or 20 pages. And if I go back and correct thatmistake's like then it will flow smoothly. Yeah, that's great advice,Abigail. You know Alvin bark. Don't...

...forget sod outside way. Give us onemore thing, Charlotte. Because people are hanging on what you're telling themI weigh. Oh, gosh. Um, well, I always say, when you're in doubt about what todo next, kill someone on. That's the beauty of mystery. E o. Okay. Can wejust talk, girl? The girl? Sure. When you talk about sex scenes. Well, I always wanted toe, see if Icould write one, and I don't. Look, I didn't wanna have multiple sex scenesin the book because that's not the kind of book. All right, but if I wrote one,I wanted it to be good. Yeah, you know, there's no anybody can write a bad sexscene. You know, I've read something that, you know, kind of put me institches, but no, I want this. Good. Uh, maybe I overdid that a little bitbecause I would get people in my signing lines who would say me and myboyfriend wait for your books to come, and then we do everything that's andI'm going e o don't really know what Thio e was just like, Thanks. Oh, okay.No, Awesome. I mean, I was reading the not that there were that many of themin, um, an easy death. But I just found them, um, appropriate. Like when that momenthappened, It was a slow burn. And then and then, um, Elizabeth talked about what she wanted. Yeah, Ilike well, her and her the sex scenes. And they're very different from theones in true blood. Because different people right, are are telling the story.Right? And Elizabeth is very plain spoken and straightforward and notflirty, Not not at all. I mean, she doesn't even know how. No. So I thinkthat gives her sex things. Ah, different. Uh, yeah. They're just awhole different experience. It's kind of a feral creature in a little bit. Alittle bit of a way. Yes. Yes. I thought she's very close toe to herfeelings, and she conceals a lot of them, right? She doesn't have much tosay. No, thank god. You know. Okay, s So we did the writing tips. We're goingto talk about book recommendations, and Christie's got book recommendations.She can't wait to talk about. I Dio. So a book that just came out yesterdayit's called Goodnight Beautiful, I think. Yes, by Amy Molloy. She's theNew York Times, bestselling author of The Perfect Mother. And this is areally incredible story about this newly wed sort of perfect couple. Andwhat happens when the husband disappears? So, yeah, definitely checkit out. It's a great one, Um, and you know, perfect for right now it's good.How e No on Charlene's blob. Charlene Harris. She she's so great about, um,posting all the book. She's been right reading and loving Charlene's. I sawyou posted something pretty recently about something you love really?Recently, Could you talk about that a tiny bit? Sure. So I'm not sure whichone. I'm not either. I just know you're...

...just, like, so great about sharing that.I love that. Oh, well, nobody reads one book a year. No, but you're You're verygenerous about letting people know what you go. Okay, there we go. Oh, what?I'm a I'm a big fan of Naomi. No, Vicks. And this is a different Siris of hers.It's like of much grimmer Harry Potter. Much,much grammar. It was really really good. And also the angel of the crows. Uh, Katherineat it. It is. It is very good, too. That's great. That's great.Commendation. Okay, so, um, Christie is it's over to Christie for announcements.Yes, eso the friends of Fiction Book Club. If you guys have not joined ourfriends and Fiction Book Club group on Facebook, please do they do anincredible job? It's a wonderful book club. Um, and this Monday evening ornext Monday evening, October 19th at 7 p.m. The Book of the month is PattyHenry's becoming Mrs Lewis. Um, this is one of my favorite books. So if youhaven't read it, you guys have to. It is absolutely I remember reading it Anddo you ever read a book and like, you'll read a sentence and you have tohug the book a little bit? One of those books and I was reading it by the pool.So I'd like to really ridiculous because I'd be like and it's not beingI'd be reading it, and it had, like, sunscreen on it would be like, um butI'm a nerd. So anyway, sorry. That's what I'm hearing us. But this was ahuge passion project of Patties. And she cannot wait to chat with all of youabout her fascinating research and hear your questions. So don't miss that.Monday at 7 p.m. Oh, and also, Sean, can you cue up agraphic? Because we just hit 20. Thank you. All s so happy we cannot believeit. You guys, this is amazing share with your friends. Have them come joinus too. So we're really excited. And we know you're gonna want to join us nextweek when our friends Mary Alice, is going to be hosting New York Times.Bestselling writer. You're going to love her. No, I'm just echoing you.Christie. Yes, Elizabeth Berg. We're also excited if you haven't read herbooks. Get ready. She is. She is absolutely charming. You shall be yournew BFF. I promise. I love it. Yeah, And her new book. I'll be seeing aElizabeth new book. I'll be seeing you is going to be out October 27. Sohopefully we'll be talking about that and you know yes. Uh, that is our showfor tonight. Oh, thank you. Way. Loved having Carlene with us tonight andhaving our one of I know Charlene and I share a really love for murder by thebook. They are. They supported me when I was nobody. Me too. Yeah. I mean, thefirst book tour I went on in 1992 when my first mystery came out. They sent meto murder by the book. And Dean James Who? Yeah, another one of our dear dearfriends took us took. I mean, the ritual was you would go out for textMex and margaritas, right, Charlie? Yeah. And I'll tell you what. We haveenough money for a hotel and Martha...

Farrington Let me stay at her house. Oh,yeah, Yeah, that would bring So everybody die a book tonight for murderby the book, please. And you know this week is, um that a word. Uh, place andindie bookstores. Indie bookstores are really trying to encourage peopleinstead of ordering books, downloading books from that a place, um, orderbooks from Indies. Not just murder by the book, but your local indie. Thesethat air, you know, in your community. So that's it for tonight. We want tothank Charlayne. Thank you for being with us tonight. for being ourbookseller. But most of all, we want to thank all of you all 20,000 plus of youfor coming together with us on Wednesday nights for friends andfiction. And we are, Thank you so much. Bye, everybody. Oh, she was amazing. Things is one ofthose times, just like last week that I think, Oh, man, if we were just all inthe same room, it's just we could make that happen someday. What good stuff isover, But he's just Yeah, I'll go ahead and book everyone's tickets. They'refully 2020 to know. How about the English tickets? You book American Wayby the house? Patty, How the tickets Wei Xu way. I'm not gonna have anybodye mor e like or like this. I really like the leopard ones, though, if youcould e wearing I'm still wearing flip flops up here in Atlanta. E. That'swhat the pitcher insanity like. What am I doing? One of my one of my bestfriends lives on, and she buys boots so that once a year when she comes upnorth, you could wear boots because boots in Fort Lauderdale I mean, you'rea C and just wearing around your house. You're not going anywhere. Anyway, onAustin, I bought those big, gorgeous, colorful boots from those big, you know,cowboy boot kind of things. I love him, but I don't have many places to wear.Do you know everyone has a fair right way? Got to go to Nashville orsomething, so I can find all the time like Dio e, but not well, I'm pulling.Yeah, boy boots. I have foot issues. You ready? When she said that writing her way outof the dark E I was like, I feel like a quote somewhere. It reminded me theresearch I was doing for another book. C. S Lewis has this quote about how Incis to cure for all ills. Oh, that you should You could break your way throughthings. And it made me think of that when she said that, you know that thatwe can use it for that. That was really that was powerful of her to share allof that. I e mailed her ahead of time because when I was, you know, doingresearch to ask her she had talked...

...about it in early interview to ask herif she would mind talking about it, and she said, Well, it's not her usualthing but she felt like women needed to be able Thio talk about it and not feelashamed about it. That's what kind of power that that she has remember. PatConroy always talked about his the mental illness in his family, andeveryone was felt so comfortable and also free to go get help. And that'sexactly what Charlene was doing. Well, she's giving it a name. She's voicingit, and that's people say I I could get help. I'm OK. And you know, one thingabout Charlene's I've known since the beginning is, um, from the very beginning, she's beensuch a generous person. Um, you know she would. She would collaborate withother authors, Um, even from the very beginning and and that's really such agreat thing. Like, you know, I talked about my little essay, the newsletterthis week about women collaborating and commiserating and communicating, andand I think that's one of the things that I really love about. Sharlene isthat she's always done that. She's always, you know, she's had friends andthe writing community, and she's helped lift them up. She's collaborated, andthat's the sign, really the sign of Ah ah, wonderful open heart. And that'spart of E. Think about her, her willingness to write about her ownexperience and and to share it, you know, through the lens of fictionbecause, like in, um, the first book in her Gunny Rose Siri's which I I reallyI did not expect to love it, But I did, um, her character, who is a 19 year oldprofessional gun slinger in the 19 thirties in the in ah, dystopian placecalled Tech. Selma. Um, there her job with things out with this crew ofgunslinger's is helping people escort them into a safer place and everybodythese people that they're that they're transporting, um, they get ambushed.And, uh, Elizabeth is basically under the only survivor s. So she shewitnesses, um, she witnesses a rape and shoots the way sound too dark. Butthese, I mean, there's she has great humor, her in her books. If you've notread them, I mean, there's some dark stuff, but there's actually a lot offunny stuff found since it out, and that's the secret, isn't it to balanceit? She does it very well. She's a She's just I was in awe of her to meether because it's the first time tonight that I met her. But she's a hoot. She'snot really yeah Valley line and really makes you feel right at ease. Iconsumed by her in the audience, loved her on her dog. She Oh, well, girls,I'm just saying Good night. I love you all. Good luck with your e o. Thank youfor tonight. That was awesome. Video. Thanks. Thanks for all your behind. E o.Okay. You've been listening to the friendsand Fiction podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the friends and fictionpodcast wherever you listen. And if you're enjoying it, leave a review. Youcan find the friends and fiction...

...authors at w w w dot friends andfiction dot com A swell. As on the Facebook group page. Friends andfiction come back soon. Okay? There are still lots of books, writing tips,interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about goodbye.

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