Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 2 years 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. Five best selling authors, Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast with five bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independent bookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing. Thes friends discuss the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Bestselling novelist Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books. To their credit at the Start of the Pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, their favorite bookstores writing, reading and publishing in this new, uncharted territory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinating discussions with other bestselling novelists, so join them live on their friends and fiction Facebook Group page every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern, or listen and view later at your leisure. Hello, Welcome, everybody. It's wonderful Wednesday night, which means it's time for friends and fiction. Five Best selling novelist. Endless stories. I'm Mary Kay Andrews, and I'm excited. I'm hosting my friend Charlaine Harris tonight, and my latest novel is Hello Summer. Hi, I'm Christine Harmel, and my latest novel is the book of last name 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 Mrs Lewis. 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 I say about the woman who, well, if she didn't in Vana? Certainly she put the urban fantasy genre on the map. Charlene's latest book is the second in her Gunny Rose. Siri's A Longer Fall, and the third in this Siri's The Russian Cage will be out in January. Um, yeah, there it ISS. There is a longer fall, which is out now. Now, Um, I have known Charlene since the earliest days of my own publishing journey, when we were both writing mystery 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 mystery conference in the late nineties and hearing Charlene talking about writing a Siri's about a Southern barmaid that with vampires, and I thought to myself like, That's gonna be oh, it'll never work. I love that. That's being dining on Crow Yeah, eso before uh, Back way back Charlene published to stand alone mysteries before starting for Syriza about a library in Slough, Aurora. Teagarden Fun fact Number one. Charlene's mother was a former librarian in 1990 Weight. Aurora came out in 1990. The first one. She was born in Tunica, Mississippi, and attended Rhodes College in Memphis. So I think that qualifies her to be a Rhodes scholar. Hersi. He's include the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, a Little...

...barred mysteries, a Sookie Stackhouse, Urban Fantasies, the Harper Connelly Urban Fantasies, the midnight Texas novels, The Cemetery Girl, graphic novels with Christopher Golden and the Gunny Rose Books. Set in an alternate alternate history. America Um, Carlin has also written many goes short stories, and together with her good buddy at Tony Kilmer, she edited seven themed and she's and had a lot of fun doing it. The television Siri's nobody's Ever Heard of called True Blood with STAHN, Charlene's Sookie Stackhouse novels and Hallmark movies and Mysteries is still showing a series of movies created about the Aurora Teagarden character. And and I think maybe she has some news about that I read. And for two seasons Midnight, Texas was on the air. I think NBC and two of her other Siris are in production. Good Lord, a blacker e More accomplished. A number two. At one point, I think maybe 2010 all nine of her then Sookie Stackhouse novels were on The New York Times best seller list in the same thing a thing this with her beloved her husband half on a bunch of rescue dogs on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River. And she has three grown Children and some dogs and a couple of extraordinary grandchildren. Can't wait to 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 a lovely introduction. Thank you Well, I'm friends and fiction. It's always special when one of us gets to reveal our book cover and it's always exclusive. I want you all to know we do this for our friends and fiction audience. So this is exciting. I have a May 11th book, and it's called Thank You, Christine Harmel Who E. It's a great title of the summer of Lost and Found. So as you know, e gonna turn this around. I love this cover. I love the summer. It's It's not summer now, but think Summer. So I love it. And as you know, I write about families. And this story is about how, over the past summer, actually, since spring, I've really noticed the impact of the all of us 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 this story, and I love the title. Thank you, Kristen, because what I'm really writing about in this book is that even though there were things lost in this season. There were also some really wonderful things found. And I think that we've all discovered as we've talked about about things that we want to carry with us beyond So I'm really excited. Everyone who orders a copy or pre orders a copy tonight from the bookstore. Murder by the book will get one 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 only the 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 an original drug. Actually, here is that it's really isn't that gorgeous? She made an original turtle. I really love...

...it. You know, we love our turtles, but she made that for us. And everyone. This is a beautiful card stock from a printer in Charleston. And if you preorder the book, you look at that. So anywhere you go to my facebook page, you go thio anywhere. Instagram my 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 to support indie bookstores like Murder them on the books, which was chosen by Charlaine. It's one of the nation's oldest and largest mystery specialty bookstores. It was established in 1980 by Martha Farrington and purchased by our friend McKenna Jordan and 20 22,000 and nine store stocks over 25,000 books New and you Hardbacks and paperbacks, first editions, collectible gift items, mystery magazines. And they did a lot of great jigsaw puzzles. If you If you love jigsaw puzzles, check out murder by the books website. Um, fun fact number three Murder by the book was one of the first doors that hosted me on tour from my very first book in 1992. And they have hosted all the grades of genre fiction. So tonight we're offering 10% off on all of our books And, of course, Charlene's. And I think pre ordering So I think we're about ready to bring. We're going to bring me to Charlotte, E o have to play your walk on music. E o won't music E 00 yeah, yeah, Way. Despite a lot of memories, Way loved hearing that music that meant the show was on way. You were the first person who ever then had walk on music. So that was a surprise to me, too. But that show really did. I learned so much that I never expected to have to know. Frankly, uh, and I learned a lot about Hollywood. I learned a lot about actors. I learned. I just learned a lot. Most of a tely east. Interesting, if not actually good. Charlene, what are you even doing since during the pandemic locked down? I know your new books out in January. Are you gonna be ableto go out on tour? I know you're not. You're kind of What if he on book tours? I'm iffy now. I have some mobility problems. I have pretty severe arthritis, and, uh, touring is can be quite uncomfortable for May um I do want to support the book as much as I can because I'm just a kind of a team player, 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 by now, when are they on that? That's the point of touring, right? Yeah, I just think you know, they know who I am.

They won't. You know, they definitely dio okay, So to the other, like me, can we talk about your keep? You measures a moment? 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 there anything I want to know? If there's anything you know, absurd that you find joy 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 star Hot Charlie in Have you had any kind of guilty pleasures urine indulging in these days? It's yes, I'm exaggerating my permanent guilty pleasure. When I finally started making mawr than Ah, subsistence level money writing. I made up my mind. I would buy any book I wanted to buy on. That's what I dio. I buy 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 a week? 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 five books a week. Wow. Whoa. I'm so jealous. We're gonna We're gonna ask what they say. They were long books, you know? No. Okay. Now, Kristen, what? What's your kind 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 for boots 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. And I'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 I was in the beginning of the pandemic. And I was running errands today and this country. I love country music. And this new country song came on and I knew we were deep into the pandemic. When the song is about the panda, it's called It's called 6 ft Apart. And this these lyrics came up and I sat in the parking 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, like that, Xander, 6 ft apart is called. But my guilty pleasure is I do a part of my research is takes place in England, and I fell down about a two hour rabbit hole looking for stone cottages in England. Who are they? Do they have central 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 about trip. I could wear my boots to your cottage. You can on You can bring all of 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 my guilty pleasure. Er, yeah. Yeah, I swear. I mean, my other one Cosmo, by the way, is in dog show. When he came in first the other day and he came in second today. So my but I just sometimes just rush him, and it's like a 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 poor husband. He wants to be as loved as much as my dog. What your what? Your guilty pleasure. So it's funny that you ask this this week because all I have been doing this week so far is planning trips and I mean not just planning them like 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 and then, like one for my family And what's Will's family going to do with us? And then we're gonna go and it's all for, like, 2022 because, like, I don't know what we're gonna do it my husband e But I'm like, No, I need to know that it's happening. It's happening. I called my parents. I was like, I found this really great trip for us to go on Thanksgiving. And they were like, this year. And I was like, No. 2022. And Dad was like, No, you need 2021. And I was like, No, 2022. 0, my God. Okay, go ahead. You know what I dio? Mine is shopping online auctions for our art and antiques. Well, that doesn't surprise 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 to you 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 about reading 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 that there's a lot of a big Charles, I mean, a Portis vibe, this true grit? Oh, no, I know. I don't think that z whether or not I agree with the accuracy of it. That's a compliment. I mean, it's a western. It takes place in this, you know, newly imagined 19 thirties America where Franklin Roosevelt has been assassinated and the United States has broken up into a weird part. Would you kind of give us on? That's the first one. So would you give us a little elevator pitch about the second one, which is the one that's currently out a longer fall? Okay, this is, um ah, Western, an alternate America Western with wizards, right. The California is now the Holy Russian Empire. And, uh, the Gunny Rose is a very accurate gun woman. She's 19 years old. Uh, she's really a whiz at what she does, and she she gets hired for protection of cargo and people when they 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 she and she is 19 years old, right when the books restarts, right? Right. And then And 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 in California, formerly California. Where her Where her Russian prince slash lover is from. Let's right. Yes, Eli. Eli, it's awesome. Okay, so we're gonna take turns asking questions. I'm sure Lane and Patty I e Okay. I'm ready. E have a really deep in depth question. But before I ask it, everyone wants to know your dog's name. Uh, well, yeah. Rocky one is cold. And the one who you saw at length the corgi looking one is Abigail. We've brought Abigail from the pound and Colt was wandering around my daughters parking lot in college, and she brought him. Of course she left him with us. Eso We've had cold for 10 years now. It was probably about 12. Oh, yeah. Everybody keeps asking about your dog's name, so but I actually have a real question. Ah, lot of women authors start out writing fairy tales when they're young. I know I did. I was always writing imaginary stories, and girls could turn into something else and they could sneak through little doors. But I read that you weren't writing fairy tales in fourth grade. You were writing ghost stories I waas so really incorporate during the month of Halloween. Talk to us about your interest in the supernatural that goes all that way back. Are you a believer in 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's interesting to imagine it being rial. I don't think I want to meet a real vampire, 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 in ghosts. I believe that people do see ghosts. Uh, I think animals and little Children see them more than anybody else. But I'm not so sure about the Loch Ness monster. I believe it. I don't know if if any of you have yet read, uh, Max Brooks's devolution, but it's a very scary Bigfoot book. Uh, and I just finished that. So I'm thinking really hard about that one. E just like the things that you don't see. E think it's interesting because you're really ah, spiritually person, right? I am involved with your church and that's your 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 church where we go sit in the parking lot. We could hear listen to the service on the radio. But now now we're getting to go back in, and I think that's great. E don't think being a spiritual person Well, spirituals, um precludes believing in spirits. E I'm Irish. We believe in everything right? Were extremely superstitious, all of that.

So here's the question that I have been thinking a lot about now. Surely you write female characters frequently, who seemed tough like Gunny Rose. But they've been broken and they're vulnerable. I know that you're Lily barred. Siri's character is a rape survivor, which is something you've said was inspired by your own life. Could you talk a little bit about empowering those characters as you did yourself to deal with the rape and how that was just a deliberate decision on your 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 writing to clean out the dark spaces. E. I think all of us do that to a certain extent maybe consciously and, uh, literally, uh, right about what's happened to us. Or maybe use metaphors for things that have wounded us really deeply. Um, I have always felt it's certainly changed my life completely because I felt so grateful to live so profoundly thankful. Um, and I 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 to say this happened to me and I'm not ashamed. It is not my not my shame that this happened. It is the shame of the person who did this to May, and I will not let him pulled me down. Right? Powerful? Absolutely. I think that's so great, Thio to bring people to bring women especially out of the shadows of guilt and shame and into the and into the daylight. And what I love is that you 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, like Elizabeth Elizabeth Rose, Um is a badass. She is. You know, I've realized a couple of years ago that I really enjoyed movies where women shot a lot of men. E kept thinking. I like this movie. What did I like about it? A lot of guys in that movie and I thought, What does that sing about me But on for a while that bothered me. And then I thought, Oh, what the heck s so I thought, Why don't I ever write about women who do that? So I I did it. And I love how unease e don't every I mean, Elizabeth, I don't even know what Lizabeth body count is in that first book. It's pretty high each time she thinks about it, and she makes a decision, a conscious decision. This person needs to die. Or, you know, in one scene, she she belt a woman across the face with the stock of her rifle instead of killing her. She just needs that woman out of the way. She decided she won't kill her. And I and I like that you give her that power. Well, I'll maybe it's the power we all feel like we would want, but we don't really. Or maybe we would really enjoy it. I'm kind of just exploring the ideas through Elizabeth. I love that. I love that. Um, Christie has a question for you. Yes, eso You have the most incredible world building skills. For...

...instance, the country right Siri's, which you kind of mentioned, is set in a post apocalyptic, wild West like setting 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 rolled empires like the holy Russian Empire in California. So how does one construct a world like this? I mean, it just It blows my mind. I can't imagine. You know, it's I think this is where experience helps. My first big World building was with Sookie, and I just built her world piecemeal because for her to be the person she was, her world had to be a certain way. And that's really how I go about it. I start with the person I want to write about and then construct the world to let her do what I want her to dio. And that's the way it always works out. I know people who have done worked on a world for four years, and I'm going, When are you going to write the book? There's It's like, uh, starting to research wolves when you're writing about werewolves and two hours later you're watching wolves in Yellowstone Park. Ugo, how did this happen? E. Yeah, it's just really going down rabbit holes. Just you just think and how how Maney kind of just in Britain could I rented a time Leo Klein. That was unkind. That was right at you, Patty E O. Right here. I got it. Way Kristen has a question for you to Mary. Alice. You want to go first way? Kristin and I are both your biggest fans. Truly way are. And I know that the Sookie Stackhouse Siris was so popular. 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, you knew everyone you knew was watching that. Show it same time. And when that music 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 does it feel? You mentioned a little bit about that world and how it was so different to have a Siri's like that. But as the author and the creator, you have to move on. We never wanted that Siri's toe end. Yeah, you know, we were like snow. Just give us one more system. And yet you're probably like, Okay, I want to get on to something else now. How do you make that transition? How do you feel like? Are you letting down your fans? Do you feel that or you just like No, I'm moving forward. How do you handle that? I think it's it would be irresponsible. Excuse me. Irresponsible of May to keep on writing a Siri's When I 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 I was thinking How much longer can not do this? Because, as you can imagine, it was very stressful. Uh, the expectations and the the touring and the interviews and so on which your privileges and I was grateful, but also took 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 publisher wasn't happy because they wanted to...

...keep on publishing those forever, and I could understood that. But at the same time, I just felt that was 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 in the world but May and possibly my family. But I called it quits on the 13th book. A lot of books e Was there symbolism in the number 13? Now, that was 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, published the ending of the book before the book came out, right? And it was just It was just a Excuse me. Shit. Storm. It was terrible. Terrible, terrible, Terrible e 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 those people who love me love me, love me Just hated me, Hated me, hated me on I just had toe, You know I had toe learn to toughen up quite a bit Yeah Oh, my goodness! I did not know that. Oh, yeah, I can't that It's one of the worst things that ever happened to may. Oh, my gosh! What? Well, you know, speaking of people who love you, Love you, love you. I was always in that camp, and I wait, You don't believe me. But, Sean, I believe there's photographic evidence of my Halloween costume. E from that was that was 11 years ago. I was Sookie Stackhouse for Halloween the year I was 30 which was probably too old to be dressing like Sookie Stackhouse. E am as Sookie. And so now my secrets out of a crazy big to blood fan e this'll is my vial of true blood. Oh, yeah. This was one of the promo items that they gave out at the premiere. In the press kits. 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'd known you 11 years ago that would have helped with the Halloween osteo. You would have looked so authentic. It wasn't that long ago. No, no, don't say it 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 a couple of years into the Siri's. Yeah, Yeah. Crazy. Only I had had a percentage of the merchandizing. No, no. Sorry. I'll send you like the dollar proceeds from that shirt in the mail. Eso your books, and then she won't have to 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 our guests every week. Um, we're always so interested in how a writer develops from the very beginning. Could you talk a little bit about with the values in your household were when you were growing up? When it came to reading and writing, my parents valued reading above anything else. They were both avid readers. Uh, they read aloud to me...

...and my brother. They were always reading themselves, which I think is the best example you can set for your Children and grandchildren is to show them that you yourself revere the written word. Uh, they read, I read They bought me books when I couldn't get enough from the library to read. They never told me I couldn't be a writer, which is pretty valuable. Yeah, uh, my brother was quite a reader to and we just grew up reading, and I thought I gradually came to think, you know, that's the best thing in the world to do. That was all I ever wanted to Dio and I began toe feel that I could do that. Don't Don't you think you know when that's something you can do it? You think I could do that? And if eventually, uh, I married Hao, who is my second husband of 42 years, and, uh, he gave me the option of staying home instead of going toe work and bought me. And this was really high tech on electric typewriter, for it was wonderful, darling, That is a big deal with 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 on that mat. Cut and paste. Yes. Oh, golly, I never will forget the stress of typing a clean copy to send to the publisher. Er white out. I don't think it's no whiteout. Eso, Charlene, we so many people on the friends and Fiction Facebook page have been posting questions for you. So we're gonna ask you some that were posted ahead of time. Mary, Alice, you've got I do. Lisa Harrison 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 to know whether there will be any more books in the midnight. Siri's okay to questions about one Siri's. I like that. I had nothing to do with the casting. I never do. Uh, they have a casting director who is in charge of that, and no one ever asked me what I think. Uh, let me just put that out there. Uh, and usually I'm really happy because it can't be. The person almost looks like your imaginary character. It has to be the best actor. Yeah, uh, and I wish there would be more of the TV show. I was really very disappointed when it was 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 have it. Christie, you've got a question for Charlotte? Yes. So Anisa Joy Armstrong wants to know what inspires you to keep writing such great books After 35 years in the business, Uh, I believe in always trying my best to write the best book I possibly can. Uh, that's our our contract with the reader. I think not to try to please them, but to try to write the best book that we possibly can 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't hit my mark, but I tried as hard as I...

...could, and that has to be worth something. Can we record that and play it on a loop? E. Alright, my best. And that's that's so I mean, that's so wise. I feel like that's such a struggle is like 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 that reason people, do you Do. You always try to write what your fans want? I'm going. No, it's good advice. Okay, So Patty has pulled What a couple questions, right, Patty off. People were posting as we're talking, Yeah, People are posting like crazy. So whatever you were talking about, that the people who loved, loved, loved you hate, hate hated you. I I don't believe you because you you have, like, a love fest going on over here. E o e. One thing I do want to shout out before I ask. Another question that's been posted live is ah, woman named Sharon Carlson. Person is drinking with you ladies tonight because her birthday is tomorrow a device? A woman named Cindy Hall asked, How do you keep track of all the details of these many world charts? Scrapbooks, detailed notes? How do you keep track of this? Okay, the bullet answer is not very well. The longer answer is that for the sake books, I finally asked one of my dear readers who was who has, honestly the most photographic memory I've ever encountered. If she would do a Bible for 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 fourth book, fifth chapter. You. No, no, no. Oh, you're wonderful. Uh, and now I'm trying toe keep Ah, good account of all my characters. My assistant, Paula, is doing the Gunny Rose books for May. And I'm gonna get to write to Mawr. Gunny Rose e was pretty happy about that. S o Paulo has been keeping track of that for May I make notes in a notebook as I go along, But I'm anything but consistent. I'm always working. I don't know about you. I'm always working on my writing method, thinking someday I will hit on a a perfect okay. And everyone seems to think it gets easier the more it doesn't Thank you for saying that. All I especially this week, I'm under deadline and I'm dying 1000 deaths. So to hear you say that makes my heart Yes. Now it's that for all of us. Everyone is convinced by the time they've read the book the fourth or fifth 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. I finally 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 e think her we for I don't know. Maybe that's a sexist thing to say, but I I think we all suffer from that. I like Why not? Terrified of it. Why bother so, e? I think we all just...

...really I think everyone I'm looking at you 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 fear comes in a little bit. Have you had a question to pull? Um, Christian, You wanna grab one? Sure. Yeah, Shelly Marsh says. Oh, actually, before I read that, though, I wanted to say we have to Readers one, um, Andrea piles that we 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 a reader named Shelly Marsh. She says, Charlene, can you tell us about how your transition from traditional mysteries into supernatural subject matter came about? Well, um, I got tired of writing with the restrictions that 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 on mysteries then and I couldn't figure out the reason for them. I thought surely readers wouldn't mind a little bit different. Someone did. I thought I just 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've ever wanted to try, just to see if I could do it. And my agent didn't was not a big fan of the of dead until dark, and, uh, he it took him two years to sell it. Wow. 32nd printing now. Oh, my God. Oh, yeah. Hey, Charlene. Did I read that you sold that for $5000? Is that is that right? That the first sounds 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 one book. 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 before then. It just catch up with you. Okay, so now we have been talking about writing. Um, we're hoping that you will give us all a writing tips so we can tap into your brain way. Want that? Oh, okay. First, the most important rule is finished. The book I've known so many writer wannabes are that I don't mean that sound disrespectful? Uh, yeah. Who say, Oh, I started the book and I got about 40 pages into it. Then I had a better idea. So I dropped that when I started 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 road blocked, usually to may, it means Oh, and they're gonna growl and bark again. Uh, usually, to me, it means that I made a mistake in the previous 10 or 20 pages. And if I go back and correct that mistake'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 one more thing, Charlotte. Because people are hanging on what you're telling them I weigh. Oh, gosh. Um, well, I always say, when you're in doubt about what to do next, kill someone on. That's the beauty of mystery. E o. Okay. Can we just talk, girl? The girl? Sure. When you talk about sex scenes. Well, I always wanted toe, see if I could write one, and I don't. Look, I didn't wanna have multiple sex scenes in 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 sex scene. You know, I've read something that, you know, kind of put me in stitches, but no, I want this. Good. Uh, maybe I overdid that a little bit because I would get people in my signing lines who would say me and my boyfriend wait for your books to come, and then we do everything that's and I'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 them in, um, an easy death. But I just found them, um, appropriate. Like when that moment happened, It was a slow burn. And then and then, um, Elizabeth talked about what she wanted. Yeah, I like well, her and her the sex scenes. And they're very different from the ones in true blood. Because different people right, are are telling the story. Right? And Elizabeth is very plain spoken and straightforward and not flirty, Not not at all. I mean, she doesn't even know how. No. So I think that gives her sex things. Ah, different. Uh, yeah. They're just a whole different experience. It's kind of a feral creature in a little bit. A little bit of a way. Yes. Yes. I thought she's very close toe to her feelings, and she conceals a lot of them, right? She doesn't have much to say. No, thank god. You know. Okay, s So we did the writing tips. We're going to 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 yesterday it's called Goodnight Beautiful, I think. Yes, by Amy Molloy. She's the New York Times, bestselling author of The Perfect Mother. And this is a really incredible story about this newly wed sort of perfect couple. And what happens when the husband disappears? So, yeah, definitely check it 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 saw you posted something pretty recently about something you love really? Recently, Could you talk about that a tiny bit? Sure. So I'm not sure which one. 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 very generous 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, Katherine at 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 our friends and Fiction Book Club group on Facebook, please do they do an incredible job? It's a wonderful book club. Um, and this Monday evening or next Monday evening, October 19th at 7 p.m. The Book of the month is Patty Henry's becoming Mrs Lewis. Um, this is one of my favorite books. So if you haven't read it, you guys have to. It is absolutely I remember reading it And do you ever read a book and like, you'll read a sentence and you have to hug 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 being I'd be reading it, and it had, like, sunscreen on it would be like, um but I'm a nerd. So anyway, sorry. That's what I'm hearing us. But this was a huge passion project of Patties. And she cannot wait to chat with all of you about 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 a graphic? Because we just hit 20. Thank you. All s so happy we cannot believe it. You guys, this is amazing share with your friends. Have them come join us too. So we're really excited. And we know you're gonna want to join us next week 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 her books. Get ready. She is. She is absolutely charming. You shall be your new BFF. I promise. I love it. Yeah, And her new book. I'll be seeing a Elizabeth new book. I'll be seeing you is going to be out October 27. So hopefully we'll be talking about that and you know yes. Uh, that is our show for tonight. Oh, thank you. Way. Loved having Carlene with us tonight and having our one of I know Charlene and I share a really love for murder by the book. They are. They supported me when I was nobody. Me too. Yeah. I mean, the first book tour I went on in 1992 when my first mystery came out. They sent me to murder by the book. And Dean James Who? Yeah, another one of our dear dear friends took us took. I mean, the ritual was you would go out for text Mex and margaritas, right, Charlie? Yeah. And I'll tell you what. We have enough 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 murder by the book, please. And you know this week is, um that a word. Uh, place and indie bookstores. Indie bookstores are really trying to encourage people instead of ordering books, downloading books from that a place, um, order books from Indies. Not just murder by the book, but your local indie. These that air, you know, in your community. So that's it for tonight. We want to thank Charlayne. Thank you for being with us tonight. for being our bookseller. But most of all, we want to thank all of you all 20,000 plus of you for coming together with us on Wednesday nights for friends and fiction. And we are, Thank you so much. Bye, everybody. Oh, she was amazing. Things is one of those times, just like last week that I think, Oh, man, if we were just all in the same room, it's just we could make that happen someday. What good stuff is over, But he's just Yeah, I'll go ahead and book everyone's tickets. They're fully 2020 to know. How about the English tickets? You book American Way by the house? Patty, How the tickets Wei Xu way. I'm not gonna have anybody e mor e like or like this. I really like the leopard ones, though, if you could e wearing I'm still wearing flip flops up here in Atlanta. E. That's what the pitcher insanity like. What am I doing? One of my one of my best friends lives on, and she buys boots so that once a year when she comes up north, you could wear boots because boots in Fort Lauderdale I mean, you're a C and just wearing around your house. You're not going anywhere. Anyway, on Austin, 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 or something, 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 out of the dark E I was like, I feel like a quote somewhere. It reminded me the research I was doing for another book. C. S Lewis has this quote about how Inc is to cure for all ills. Oh, that you should You could break your way through things. And it made me think of that when she said that, you know that that we can use it for that. That was really that was powerful of her to share all of that. I e mailed her ahead of time because when I was, you know, doing research to ask her she had talked...

...about it in early interview to ask her if she would mind talking about it, and she said, Well, it's not her usual thing but she felt like women needed to be able Thio talk about it and not feel ashamed about it. That's what kind of power that that she has remember. Pat Conroy always talked about his the mental illness in his family, and everyone was felt so comfortable and also free to go get help. And that's exactly what Charlene was doing. Well, she's giving it a name. She's voicing it, and that's people say I I could get help. I'm OK. And you know, one thing about Charlene's I've known since the beginning is, um, from the very beginning, she's been such a generous person. Um, you know she would. She would collaborate with other authors, Um, even from the very beginning and and that's really such a great thing. Like, you know, I talked about my little essay, the newsletter this week about women collaborating and commiserating and communicating, and and I think that's one of the things that I really love about. Sharlene is that she's always done that. She's always, you know, she's had friends and the writing community, and she's helped lift them up. She's collaborated, and that's the sign, really the sign of Ah ah, wonderful open heart. And that's part of E. Think about her, her willingness to write about her own experience and and to share it, you know, through the lens of fiction because, like in, um, the first book in her Gunny Rose Siri's which I I really I did not expect to love it, But I did, um, her character, who is a 19 year old professional gun slinger in the 19 thirties in the in ah, dystopian place called Tech. Selma. Um, there her job with things out with this crew of gunslinger's is helping people escort them into a safer place and everybody these people that they're that they're transporting, um, they get ambushed. And, uh, Elizabeth is basically under the only survivor s. So she she witnesses, um, she witnesses a rape and shoots the way sound too dark. But these, I mean, there's she has great humor, her in her books. If you've not read them, I mean, there's some dark stuff, but there's actually a lot of funny stuff found since it out, and that's the secret, isn't it to balance it? She does it very well. She's a She's just I was in awe of her to meet her because it's the first time tonight that I met her. But she's a hoot. She's not really yeah Valley line and really makes you feel right at ease. I consumed 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 you for tonight. That was awesome. Video. Thanks. Thanks for all your behind. E o. Okay. You've been listening to the friends and Fiction podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the friends and fiction podcast wherever you listen. And if you're enjoying it, leave a review. You can find the friends and fiction...

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

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (236)