Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 3 · 2 years ago

Friends and Fiction with Debbie Macomber

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Debbie Macomber joins Friends & Fiction to share how she built her influential brand, keeps up with her daunting wriring schedule and behind the scenes of her new book A WALK ALONG THE BEACH. https://debbiemacomber.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Five best selling authors endless stories. Friends and fiction is a podcast with five best selling novelists whose common love of reading writing in independent bookstores bound them together. With chats, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing, these 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. Best Selling Novelists Mary K Andrews, Christen Harmel, Christie Woodson Harvey, Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Monroe are five longtime friends with more than eighty published books to their credit. At the start of the pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, your favorite bookstores, writing, reading and publishing in this new, unchartered territory. They're still talking and they've added fascinating discussions with other best selling novelists. So joined them live on their friends and fiction facebook group page every Wednesday at seven P M Eastern, or listen in view later at your leisure. Welcome to all to friends and fiction. We are five best selling novelists and friends are common in love of Reading, writing and independent book stores binds us together and this is our weekly show. I'm Mary Allis Monroe my latest novel is on Ocean Boulevard. And I'm Mary Kay Andrews and my latest novel is Hello Summer. I'm Christy Watson Harvey and my latest novel is feels like falling. I'm Christin Harmel and my latest novel, which comes out next month, is called the book of last names. I'm Patty Callahan Henry and my latest is becoming Mrs Lewis, which is the improbable love story of C S Lewis and his like Toy Davidman. Wonderful Book, and tonight all of us are thrilled to be diving into our summer season with a wonderful author. You. All of you probably already know Debbi maycomber. Debbie is the Number One New York Times best selling author of over a hundred and fifty books women's fiction and Romance. A hundred and fifty. That is not a mistake. Thirteen of these novels have hit the number one spot on the New York Times list. Her stories embraced the enduring things a friendly and friendships. Several ever celebrated Christmas books have been made into hallmark channel movies. Hallmark also produced the really very popular Cedar Cod Series starring, and we love her, Andy McDowell. But tonight we hope you get to know Debbi a little better as a person to and remember if you have a question for Debbi or for us, posted during this chat and we will be pulling live questions from you shortly. Hello, debby. Hello, you're so glad to have yes, so glad to be here. It's so fun to be here and I want everybody to know I'm friendly. I'm just downright friendly. I think everybody knows that for all of you. As you know, all of us at friends and fiction are passionate supporters of independent booksellers and each week we highlight one indie and tonight we asked our guests to choose the store and debby selected the Verrio Beach Book Center in Vera Beach, Florida. Well, and we're so happy. Yeah, we love this store. It's a favorite store of Debbi make commerce and all of us. I think that all of us have been there has, haven't? We all rolled through the Vero Beach Book Center and were together and we were there together. Yeah, oh my gosh. Yes, see, it's like has a lot of memories for us and we'll be telling you a little bit more about them later for tonight, but just for now, know that you can buy any of our new releases, including ordering debris, soon to be released a walk on the beach and in October Jingle, all the way from the Very Beach Book Center, and they are graciously offering you ten percent off. So the link to the bookstore is posted on the facebook page. So okay, let's begin. All the housekeeping is done. How is everyone tonight? Anybody has some special news or anything you'd like to share? A restaurant for the first time? That's what that is a big deal. So I hope it was worth it. The wrist. Did you have to wear face masks when you walked in? No, but there's no such thing as salt shakers anymore. Our sugar canister is there anything like that? And then you put your phone over it and you you're the menu comes up on your phone. There's a little tame thing...

...in the middle of the table. So it was it was interresting. Was Different. What did they do about salt and pepper? Do they give you a little packets or something? I hadn't been out yet. Yes, the little digi pass reach for another. Do they give you dishes? If I mean you went in the restaurant, or did you eat outside in the panium? Now, we were in the restaurant. I was meeting with my book club today and we went into the restaurant and but it did take a long time to get the service, and I think because they're doing so much take out. Oh yeah, and now we're at all the table spaced very far apart, like we did you feel okay? Yeah, when we only allowed five at a table. So part of the the so we were kind of doing musical chairs sharing. Wow, what Denis they support orchard? Or was this you had to lead your little island right, because, yeah, I definitely was saying, and we're going to us, not an island. So we're on a peninsula. So I was in gay carbor and you tell them a little bit about your your place. We'd always like to talk about how we've been spending the last few months sheltering in place, and that's actually how friends and fiction began. So how have you been spending the last few months? Well, wait and I have two homes. We lived in Florida for twenty years, wintered in Florida and then that was just so far from Washington state that we decided, you know, it's just so hard for the kids to come and join us. So we saw the home there and we bought one here on Hood Canal and we have twenty two acres here and where are six acres right on the canal itself. So and lots and lots of oysters and crab and shramp and clans, so many clans and there that we go out and we have you don't even dig for me, just take a rank and they're just right there. It's, yeah, so terrible to cheesus like that. Oysters. And then I have this little office here with a little desk and it's very different than I have because in Port Archer, not I when do I have an office at that house, but I also have a main office where my whole team is. How does that happen about that? I don't have an office with the team. So it took well, you years ago going to see a probably about the late S. I'm not like other people because I married is a teenager and I started a writing career at the kitchen table with a rented Hie Prior, which tells you how long ago that was. And most everybody I know that's a writer wanted to earn enough money producing books to quit their jobs and go home and write. I was just the opposite. I wanted to make enough money to get out of the house, so I rented opposite and so many wonderful things that came about. I had one a little assistant, and then later I got a bookkeeper and then later, with social media, I got somebody that specialized in social media and then, as my career expanded, somebody in marketing, and these kind of extended. So now I have eight employees. HMM, yeah, yeah, every time I sit down in my computer I think I'm paying for the lifestyles of eight other people. You better be good, right. So well, that was a very educational so I gotta say I learned a lot. Tonight I need a building and I need seven more ladies. Were doing something wrong, wrong somewhere. I learned a long time ago to do what I do best, which is right. I made him terrible at social media. I'm terrible at marketing and you know, although I my daughter says, I was social media before there was social media, because, yeah, Neber, yeah, yes, I've write a hundred fifty books, but a lot of them were Harlequinn and Zilhouette books and I've been writing for over forty years, so I have a long history. I have said, the industry changed so completely. That's absolutely amazing. I can't imagine, you know, what you've seen in your career and how much things have changed, and especially with social media. I mean I think about that all the time, about just you know. I mean I started, when I started writing, social media was already a thing, so you already knew that was going to have to be kind of a part of your career. But I can't imagine, you know, having this career and then all of a sudden people being like, oh, by the way, you need to have a whole another job now, because it is like a whole other job. So I think that's amazing and it's so smart that you did that. Well, early on in my career I knew I wanted to hear from my readers. My Dad had his own business, he was in a polster and I learned so many valuable lessons about being a businesswoman from him. I mean when you grow up it is like, oh, that's a valuable lesson I should remember. You know, it's just part of the culture that you grew that I grew up in. So I knew he always kept in contact with his customers. He knew when their birthdays were, he re remembered them at Christmas time and so I was actually...

...the very first author that ever had their mailing address in one of my books and it started. I started collecting names. I remember the very first fan letter I got and how much it meant to me. And over the years the readers have guided my career. I have changed the way I've done things about three or four different times simply on feedback from the readers. The Christmas books is a good example. The first Christmas book I wrote for Mira was the size of a paperback in hardcover and it was a hundred pages and the mail I got was love, you love the story. Wanted more. Well, I've always wanted to be a value added author and I was contracted for three Christmas books. The publisher didn't pay me a Pennymore, but I increased them the length of the books to two hundred and fifty pages and this the sales escalated. The the cookbooks I've done, by the way, there okay, I love your cookbook. Yeah, that came as abjective result from the readers. See, your cold series became adject result from reader feedback. So they have guided my career all along. You know, you sort of answered my question because because my questions, because let me segue into mind and then we'll move on, because we all have questions for you do. But I know that I've known you for a long time, more than twenty five years. It's got to be thirty five actually. But one of the things that I've always watched and I thought would I admired was how you were able to move and stretch, and not just in your writing, and you mentioned how you did. You know, you've done romance and you've done women's fiction and you've done Christmas. You you just moved on. But also I think that your Debi make commer is, has a name that has a the word I use as brand, and I don't mean that, I mean that positively. Yeah, stands for something and I'm curious because you took that out to do your magazine and your knitting in communities and your spokesperson for World Vision, which I admire very much, and it's just that you stretching out, and I have to say, is that from what I'm hearing you say, is from what you hear from your readers, or is there's something else, a message that you're trying to get out? What is it that propels this expansion of so many ideas? And you really have your hand. Your brand stretches out. It really does. So what is the is it? You said, the readers, but is there more? Well, first of all, what inspires me is like a house payment. But you have some you know, I am a creative person and that creativity comes out in and many ways. You know, comes out in the knitting, it comes out in the in the past rations that I have and the readers, yeah, always inspire me, you know, no matter what they what they say, and and they're not always positive. You know, I have, I've had taken my kicks over the years, but I but I learned. I learned as I go along and you know, as I started writing, it's harder for me, as I'm maturing as a woman of certain age, to harder to write about in twenty five year old falling in off, and so I kind of naturally went into more of women's fiction and friendships and marriages and other things. So if that answers your question, I hope it. It does. Yeah, it does, but again, it's it does. Thank you so much. I know we all have a question, so I'm little to how about Christen? You have a question. Read Debbie. This is all been so fascinating to hear you talk about your career and talk about how you've grown it and everything. And we were talking about right before we went live, about how prolific you are and we were joking about how you write seven books a year and you said, oh no, not anymore, just to which still blows my mind because I struggle to write one. So can you talk a little bit about how you've managed to be so productive, both now and during that time in your career when you were writing, you know, I don't know, five or six books or however many a year, and not just how you've done that, but how you do it and stay sane, because that to me would where I would go off track. Well, I think that has been that hardest thing of my career is finding that balance. The balance be doing that's actually one of the reasons I had moved out of the house, is being so I could keep my work life separate from my private life.

And one of the things that win and I do every year is at the first part of the year we decide where we're going to go, who we want to see and what we want to do, and I carve my writing then around those times. So, and as for the stories themselves, I learned early on in my career that I had to because I have story ideas all the time. I mean, like I said, I'm creative and and they'll story ideas. I had to decide which story to develop, and so I developed five words and if the plot or the premise stands up to these five words, I know I've got a good idea. Okay, then my pain. Okay, give us everywhere, ready. Who We're reading? We're reading relevant. First word, next word provocative. I want my readers to think. I want to give put them in a situation that they can so easily see themselves in, and then what would they do? And the next word is created. It has to be told in the most creative way I can think to tell it. It has to be realistic, the reader has to be able to suspend their disbelief and it has to be entertaining. I there made it out of high school. I don't know if you know this, but I'm dyslexic. I did not learn to read until the fifth grade. Wow, and I mean we were talking earlier about some of our school experiences. Mary Kay was talking about you should tell America your math professor. My Man, no, my man, high school math teacher. I was taking Algebra as a senior in high school and everybody else in the class was a freshman hersel for and I would sit in the back and cut up and finally the teacher told me if I would shut up and quit disturbing my neighbors, we had passed. I love that story. So I had a terrible time growing up in school and and so I married young. I was still a teenager when Wade and I got married and we had the four babies right away and it was a dream I'd always held close to my heart, but I didn't dare tell anybody. The only person I ever told I wanted to write books was the principle of our high school. And I attended Catholic Girls School and it was sister Anna Marine, and she interviewed each one of us girls, this is back in one thousand nine hundred and sixty six, about what we were going to do with our lives, what we what was our intention and for the future, and I said I want to write books, and you know, even now I can still remember that kind of sad look that came over her and she basically she set the hall to think about this. She did. She sent me home and what she was saying to me, although she didn't say the words, was that I needed to think about a career that was more in line with my intelligence level. WHOO, because I really graduated from high school, I mean I did. I struggled for years to learn how to read and I think it's just kind of God's joke, you know. I take someone here, you learn to read and make some of best selling author. Yeah, I'm still there. I'm still a very creative spellar to awesome. Who else has a question they'd like to ask to be how do you've got one right? So I was going to ask you about the movies, because we're all fascinated about how it feels to have your work adapted. But we were all talking before we got online and we were talking and then right when we got online, about how much you've seen and I'm I really am dying to know what do you think the biggest difference is, the Chan biggest change in publishing from when you started till now, like how? What? What? What do you feel has changed the most, because your sales have only grown and your readers have only grown, but even only in the eighteen years I've been publishing, I have seen such huge changes and I'm kind of wondering what you think the biggest shift has been. I'm glad you asked that. That's a good question. Definitely I think it's the online because that's so many doors are open up to writers. We do not have to go through a publisher, we can publish our own and that has just opened the door for so many talented authors. It took me five years back in the time when it was booming. It was like the whole women's this is back in eighty two, is when I sold my first book. One thousand nine hundred and eighty two, and the door had opened for women authors and I don't know, it was a man's world. It really was. In fact, if you look at all of the prolific and best selling authors of my generation. We all came through the door Mark Romance.

That was the only door that was open to US interesting time. Ignore Roberts, Sandy Brown, Jane Krantz, you know, lynde l Miller with that was the doorway came through. So that was a very narrow door for anybody that wanted to write anything different. Like in your interview last week with Christian Hannah, she was told, you know, I'm not she wasn't fit quite fit into that genre. And so that that is changed a lot, so that for women authors the doors wide open now where it hadn't been before, and the online has changed everything. I read a lot of authors that are published in the traditional way, very talented authors. So I think that that's one of the big changes. And I noticed that those books you wrote in the beginning, you know, the ones that you walk through the door of romance and they they you've rebranded all of those, republished them, put new covers on them, taking them back out in the world. So even though the world is shifted, they people still want those books. It's amazing to me because it was so different. I mean those early books, I mean there were a nurse, there was a secretary, there was a teacher. Was One of those. Yeah, you're right, the nurse. And you know, the law now says after thirty five years you can get your books back, right. So I'm in that stage now where I can collect the books back, and isn't that wonderful? I'm just wondering because you you really got a lot done and I was wow, I was. I didn't realize that that would be thirty five years already. Isn't an amazing how time flies? Yes, and then forty, forty. Some of the books that I wrote do not have that. You know, I just I can do I have the online ones. I can do the e books with them. So but you know, there's nothing better than holding a book in your hand. They're just really, isn't and although I do read online, especially when I'm traveling, I've almost always have a piacebook and book in my hand. Yeah, you know, debby, it was I hadn't thought about you know, the door that you came through was marked romance. I started my first book came out in ninety two, and the big gateway then was mystery, Right Grafton and Sarah Peretski and Marshall Muller. You know, it had been a had been a boy's game for many, many, many years and they kind of, they kind of were the trailblazers for people like me to come in the door and then, you know, along the way my career changed, is all of our careers have changed. But the question I have, I was thinking about for a woman of your accomplishment and experiences, is there an idea that you are itching to explore? Is there a story? I mean, last week Kristen, we talked with kristen about what scares her that she had to write, and this week I thought I wonder if there's a an idea, a story that scares or intimidate somebody like Debbie macomber not so much. A start recently, I think I was telling Mary Alice about this. I had a story idea that I absolutely loved, and I mean it was just pounding inside of me and so I wrote up a synopsis that I was I sent it off to my my both my agent and my editor, and I said, I just hope you love this idea as much as I do, and they came back, no, we don't love it at all. Oh yeah, and I was like no, and I thought about it, you know, about about a week and then I let him know and I said I have to write this story, I cannot not write this story, and I said I'm going to write it and it's up total on speculation. If you don't want it, I'll hold it off until my at the end of my contract and then I'll take it elsewhere. But yeah, I mean, I'm not going to blackmail them. You know so, but it literally the story has poured out of me just I love it. Yeah, yeah, that's so cool when that happens and you just gotta let it go. You got I just tell them I cannot not write this book. I have to do it. And you tell us anything about the inspiration for the book? I don't want you to tell the whole thing, but is there one? was there one trigger that made you think, Oh, I have to do this no matter what? No, it was just a story idea that I came up with that aligned with those five words in stars. That good for you for writing it. Good for you for writing it. Christie. You have a question, I know, and it's been probably modified after all this talking, but you but that's the great thing. So it was so funny because I was going to say to you you do such an amazing...

...job interacting with your readers and you know how much did they influence you? But you obviously told us that. But I'm so interested. You know, different authors say different things about, you know, when they're writing. Either, you know, they're writing the story that they have to tell, versus they're really picturing like their target reader or they're picturing, you know, who is going to pick up this book and love it. Do you picture, do you have a target reader in your mind when you're writing your book, or is it just this is the story that I have to tell and you know, my audience will love it or it will find its audience. Actually, we did a research on the readers themselves and we divided them into groups. There was like Jennifer, there was like and different age groups and we decided, you know, which of the stories fit with each group. And that's the amazing thing that I've been blessed with, because a lot of grandmother's and daughters and grand daughters read the books. So it's all across the board. They this to and I have a special reader, we call her that generational reader who, like if I've put in something that's obviously somebody that's much younger would not like. Just a simple thing like she picked up her cell phone and the generational reader says, we don't call it a cell phone, we call it a phone because that's all it is. Now you know simple things like that? I know you don't. I don't. Wouldn't even think about I wouldn't other I know and my friends us and wigs has an how you exactly call it? But it's somebody that reads to it to make sure she's not offending anybody. It's activity reads pretty read. Yeah, yeah, but that's a whole new thing in our that we didn't have them in thirty five years ago. Nah, boy, that we didn't at all. Well, we had, I'm looking at the time and we all had great questions. But I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone to support local booksellers whenever and wherever you can. This is a tough time for all locally owned businesses and, as people who love books, all of us can do a little bit of good by lending a bit of support to booksellers. So each book you buy and an Indie consider a good deed. So at the same time, you get some great new books, you support all the authors you love and the literary community is thriving. So it's winmen. So if you're interested in picking up one of our new release tonight, my book is I know she boulevard Christie's is feel like falling. Patti's becoming Mrs Lewis Christen's upcoming book brand new, soon to be here. The law, the Book of Lost Names, Mary Kay's, hello summer, and debby's. You get to pre order. It'll be out very soon. A Walk on the beach. Please take advantage of the great ten percent discount at Vero Beach Book Center. The code they want is to use is friends ten. That's friends ten and the link is on the friends and fiction page and you can go or call the store. They're ready for you. We also want to remind you again to joining friends and fiction. It's a group. It's on facebook that you haven't already this is the place to watch our live episodes, to join in our discussions, and we're going to be talking about the book discussions that are coming up and to find out more about all of us. So we'll also be doing some giveaways there this summer. So stay tuned and I hope you will join so the five of us have had a chance to ask some questions of our guests, debby, and now we'd like you to do the same. So what I've done is taken two questions from our website in advance for Debbie. So, Debbie, these are for you and anyone else can shine in and then, Christine in a moment later, you can pull up a few life all right. This first one up is from Doris Yates, Bidis, and she says Debbie, and this is hard, I'm sure. With all the books you've written, which book was the most fun to write? Oh Wow, okay, oh wow, it's right. I think probably a Christmas book that I wrote years ago called the Christmas basket, and it's just a very fun book, right, where two women are mortal enemies and they their children decide to get married and they all there's a they're just funny seems in it and I was laughing, laughing all the way through it. It was it was just a fun book to ride. Yeah, I don't think I've ever written the book of that. I could say I laugh cried my way through it. Perhaps anybody else had a fun book to read to write. I'll tell you. Mine was my two thousand and twelve novel, the sweetness of forgetting. It took place in Paris and it revolved around bakeries and I decided that I was going to write recipes for it because it was about a bakery in Cape Cod that was inspired by the recipes the grandmother brought back...

...with her from Paris. But my research for it basically involved spending a ton of time in Paris and eating all the pastries. I mean, you know, because it was about not to give too much away about the book, but there were Muslim pastries, Jewish pastries, like I had to come from those backgrounds, so I had to try everything, and then multiple time. Babe I had to write for baby looks like that. I mean it's not fair. You could only see me from like here. Well, you have no idea what's going on done here? That was years ago. Oh my goodness, home has been so oh my goods, I have avid ten, the ten, so I all they have gold. I had a doctor's appointment today and I was complaining and they said, Oh, we call that the COVID cush the doctor. So bit yeah, covid cush everybody has it. You'll it's fine. Oh good, I don't feel so bad. I got the pools for the first time today and I started I thought it was going to drown. Oh that's what I missed the most. Has Been Swimming. I'm a swimmer and, yeah, you know, I would go every day. And the poll has been closed for months. I really feel all right. Well, Barbara Hill, she says series are stand alone. I love your books, but how do you decide when and where your new idea for books takes you back to a series which was stand alone book? It's a good question. I think that actually it's the readers that really started me on the series. I mean the the length of the series, IDT A F and five book series before and and the readers are the ones say said, well, it's hard for us. Well, it was hard for me to leave the characters, and they they said they didn't want to either, and so that's when I started the theater cold series. But because series are so popular, even though the books are basically kind of stand alone, the publisher tends to put them in a series like new beginnings. So each story stands alone, but each the overall theme of it is New Beginnings. And Yeah, so in the book I'm currently writing, if they take it, you could very easily be a trilogy because it takes place in a condo building. Okay, I'm on. Anyone else? We Christie, you wrote a serious yeah, so, I mean, I wish I had a better answer than this, but it was basically that the editor asked me to write a series and I was terrified. Like I really related to what Christen Hannah said last week about doing things that terrify you, because I'm working on something now that terrifies me also. But I you know, I no idea and I just said yes because I was like, okay, I mean this is an opportunity and I'm going to do it. But I also agree. I feel like you peach tree love was going to be three books. It was always going to be three books, but I've had so many people ask for a fourth book in the series that there's a part of me that things. You know, have an idea now that I really love and I was a part of me that things. Why not? I mean if that's what the readers want to read. Yeah, and I mean Mary Alice, I'm sure you can relate to that like. I think there have been a lot of times that you said I'm finished with the Beach House and then all these great stories keep coming to you. I know it's and you feel blessed that people say, I'd like to have more of the series. It's you're fortunate and and yet there's always an other book that that you just just right there and you just want to get it out. So I we got Christ jap. How Debbie does it the end? I'm just I need to wrap my head around how to be that prolific. It's amazing. Well, I want to know what I did this series books that I view the I did six books set in the last time. Remember these four are the Harlequin books they were, and six books set in Texas and four books set in North Dakota. I plotted those books all the way through all six books before I wrote word while so I knew I had the Bible. I had every single I thought it, Oh, Debbie, I haven't heard that word in years. The Bible, that's what we called it it back in the day. The Bible was when these when one rider or many riders were working on a series, they the core story. I haven't heard that word in a while, and that's really what people would you have to do when you do that long you doing Sarah's a special life? Yeah, I never did that. Did you ever write a series? Mary K, I wrote. I started out with the series. I wrote a Calahan garretty mysteries, all the mystery series. Yeah, I'm sorry. I wrote what I thought would be a longer live series of two books set in Florida, and the second one didn't go so well, so my publisher said. And then when I wrote Savannah Blues, I thought that was a standalone, but people kept saying what happens next? And I was and I kept saying no, I've done a series. I you know,...

I sort of gave myself a I rebranded myself and it's Mary Kay Andrews and I didn't intend to do a series. But SAVANNA blues spoke to people and so then there was a second one, Savannah breeze, and then there was blue Christmas and Christmas blush. So but I never I always think of then a standalones to I mean in yours. That's how I see them in my mind. It was not in I mean you know, they I wrote him as standalones. That have a common thread, but I wasn't organized and off I wish I had them to write a Bible. I think I had a Bible when I was writing the mystery series. HMM, it helps, Christie. Do we have any questions from the live audience tonight? Your do. First of all, while I'm pulling them up, Debbie, several people have asked if you would mind repeating your five words again. People really loved that. I think we have a lot of writers on here. Sure relevant, provocative, creating, entertaining, real estate. Awesome. Thank you. Okay, so I love this question and I don't know if we all will have a good answer to it, but it's so good. So, Sharon, person wants to know when you got your first book deal, or maybe not even your first one, like if there was some book deal in your life that you've got, that you splurged on something for yourself that you really wanted, and I think that's such a good question. Okay, wait, and I have fanned Seahawk fans, for we love football. I grew up with football. Football has been just part of my life. By mean my brother and cousins play and high school. So football is very important to us. It's a very big of a family thing, and so we've had season tickets to the seahawks since year two, which is, you know, thirty some years now. And when I got my big deal for a random house, we got a sweet. That's a sclurge. That is splurge. Yes, and this is our tenth year now of having that sweet. Thank you. Pictures from the sweet. Debby w always post pictures on social media whoever she's got in the sweet with her, and it's they're always dressed in their seahawks Jersey's. It's so much fun to see. Don't you want the friends and fiction in the sea? Think you have us all. Yeah, debby, the next time we have you will visit the sweet, will watch a game and oysters after. Is anybody else want to answer that? I think that's such a cute question. I can remember telling my husband that when I got my book deal that we were going to dinner some play special. I am very low expect so we went. We went to dinner at the Ritz Carl in Buckhead, which was the fanciest restaurant in Atlanta in one thousand nineteen and ninety two. Well Onus, nineteen ninety one when I got the book to You, and I can remember we, I mean it was very fancy for us and our kids were nine and five and we're having this what we thought was a lavish dinner and the waiter came over to the table and said to my husband, sir, have a phone call for you, and I'm like, Oh, it's probably my polisher was a baby, sir. Oh remember the one time, the first time I had a deal that made me feel like I can do more than than just, you know, pay the credit card bills, I went and bought this tiny little piece of jewelry and it was this little angel and I still wear her. I'm surprised I don't have her on. I still wear her all the time and I think I've owned her for like twelve years. And one time I lost her for like two days and you know, we all lose little trinkets and and wonder and she just represented so much to me, this idea that I could, you know, sign a deal for something I love to do, and about three days later I found her on the floor of my office. Must of wearing her a lot. Yeah, it's like the Carrie necklace and sex in the city. You know, she used for carry necklie me carry. Yes, Harry. Well, I have to be honest. I you know, for so many years Marcus and he was in the NIH and we were rubbing one dime against the other and any jewelry we had was a Chris Handy downs, because you know from the mother gives it to the daughters, the grandmother, that kind of thing. But to get something you want just for yourself.

So now, whenever I booked as well, I don't just have to be big, but I bought myself, and do Youself, just for me. And it's because my mother didn't give it to me, my husband didn't give it to me, I gave it to me. Yeah, and there is a certain kind of pride in saying I what is it that Loreal? I'm worth it just a little bit. Yeah, I totally all right anyway. Anybody else? So, Christen, what do you do? Come on, I know there's something. There's really not, not that I can go you know, I sold my first book and two thousand and four for FIFTEENZERO dollars, which wasn't that much, and I was working as a freelance reporter for a magazine at the time and I was single so it was just me paying the bills and so, yeah, I think I just used it to pay my mortgage and pay my bills and stuff. I mean, I don't know. I got should I go out and do something? I would have time time. Yes, that I've ever done, and I really did think to myself today. I was like, you know what, I feel like I should do something to like commemorate, you know, get a piece of jewelry or like get something like that. But I remember saying when I got my first book deal, I love really nice purses. That's like my that's like jewelry. Well, yeah, it's. I was like, okay, well, I an my first book de Y'all, I'm gonna go to New York. And I mean I we went to New York every year anyway. So it wasn't like I like got on a plane went to New York, but I was like I'm gonna go by like whatever, you know, back I really really want that year. And so I did do that and that was kind of exciting and fun, but a fun question. And Yeah, that was really all right. Anyway, on every friends and fiction episode we try to give you a writing tip and I know obviously a lot of people are taking notes from Debbie's five words, so there must be a lot of young writers out there. So we hope that, debby, why don't you begin by offering us a tip for writing that you think might help some young writer out there beginning a novel? We're an old writer, I mean young my by not age, thank you very much, but young in the scheme of things. How's that? I stop long before I was ever published. I have was write so many pages a day, and I do this even now. When I have a deadline, I take it all fashioned, discount the page and I write down and how many pages I need to write every day to meet my deadline, and I don't stop until those pages are done. And now there are days that the words just come so easily and then there are days that I struggle. But at that when I open a book, I don't know which day was, let the much chapper or what day. It's a book and it's finished. And I have had more opportunities and my career as an author for this simple reason. I have always met my deadlines and it's just that very simple trip planning ahead of how many pages I need to write each day. Right brilliant. Right. Sometimes we talk about words, like how many words do we get in? You know, build a chart. How many words you know? Do we get that many words done this morning? How many pages you got done? And it's you know, what we always tell writers, and I tell myself, is just a few of those and they add up. Yeah, right, you know, you do them in the morning, you're doom in the afternoon, whenever you do but your per pages per day means by the time you're done they've added up to a book. Yeah, exactly. That's good advice. Thank you. Also, one of the things we always like to do is to ask each other what each other are reading. So anyone today have a book you've been reading that you like to talk to ups about? Well, I just finished today. I finished the books fast by Sander Brown. I just so I'm looking for my next read now the book that our book club is reading. It's a nonfiction book club and it's a really good one. It's called the lost women of the Bible, ten women from scripture, and it's just been really interesting book. So all right, this a good suggestions. And Christie Christen, you are saying you and Patty Mary K and I somehow are reading the exact same like every book we need. I'm like, Oh, me too. So can mark. You want to go first? Not. So. I have been hearing about this book called such a fun age like Kylie read, and I've been hearing so much about it that I actually started reading it last night and then Chris and I were texting back and forth and she's so, well, okay, I'm reading that too. Then I said. I said, okay, well, I'm going to talk about a book that I'm also getting ready to read, and it's this one called perfect happy. You're both reading the same one again. Oh No, Christians for happiness come...

...out. It actually just came out yesterday by Christin crusk Lewis. We mentioned a few weeks ago on the show, but I'm such a fan of this author and of this book and I think it's hilarious that we both have it. But but wait, I have one more. Okay, got this from book people. I ordered it about a week and a half ago and look, it's losing the moon by the love Hattie, Callie and Henry, and I'm so excited to dive in. It just got here, but it just feels so beautiful in my hands and I'm so excited. Oh that's it's a good one. You're going to enjoy it. It's an old one, but I'm want to give a shout out to a debut that I did an event with her about three weeks ago and I immediately ordered the book from our independent bookseller and I'm fascinated. It is so brilliant. It is called shiner and it is by Amy Joe Burns and the first time I heard about it was wilie cash, who we all love, posted about it. It's Appalachian but it is set in apple too, and it's a which isn't the correct terminology, but a snake handling preacher. They're called circle something and it is brilliant and it is fascinating and she's a gorgeous writer and she's interesting and she had a memoir out a couple of years ago, but this is her first novel and it was reviewed in the times and just got this gorgeous review and between the Wiley in that review and then doing an event together, I was like I have to read this and this book everything I wanted to be. It's really beautiful and the both other room. So sorry. Well, everybody post their suggestions on the fit friends and fiction page so we can have a discussion about it during the week. All right, we have a very special giveaway, Mary Kay, why don't you tell us about it? There, K's like what I could give away all of the friends and fiction, our latest novels and plus, Debbi, we've got your new one we're going to give away to right, that's right, me. You have that, you know, but we're going to do we're going to get it later and it will be sent out later once it comes at that one's coming later. That one's and I owe you. Yes, so every if you're joint friends in fiction, and we hope you have, you can go there and we have until what, Friday, June twelve. It will make an as yet Friday at noon, I think. So for the drawing and remember to do all the things we ask you to do. Follow the authors, because lots of times people don't follow the instructions and then they fail math like me. So anyway, it's a great giveaway. Imagine getting all the books and it's a lot of fun and we it's just sort of what we want to do for friends and fiction. We want to welcome you all to our page and make you so glad you're here. Also, for more fun, we crossed the six thousand mark of followers this week for friends and fiction, so I mean thank you all for joining. Y'All keep pouring in and y'all are welcome. So to celebrate, we randomly chose one name from all the followers to receive a sixty dollar we give ten dollars for every thousand that comes. So we now I'm sixty gifts certificate from tonight's Booksello, the Vera Beach Book Center, and the woman who won today is Trudy Todd more head. Trudy Todd Morehead. So congratulations, you've won the Gift Certificate and we will message you tomorrow so that we can get that I'll sent to you. The other exciting news going on is we are so excited about the upcoming season that we're having. We are inviting guests to friends and fiction and Patty, why did you let everyone know who's coming? So, debby, when we found out you were coming, we all called each other in text of really, oh my gosh, my gods, this is so exciting. We can't believe we get to talk to debby and then Christin Hannah class. But then keeps going. We keep having these group texts that are like we're so thrilled to be able to talk to the people we're talking to and every single one of them is fascinating and interesting in a huge best sellers. So starting next week, on June seventeen, I'll be hosting and we'll be talking to Lisa Wingate, who is the author, of course, of before we were yours and the new one, which is the book of Lost Friends, which is not to be confused with our own Christian Harmeles, lost names, I know. And the week after that, on July first, while you're getting ready for your fourth July weekend, we have the ever loved Delia Owens of where the crawdads sing, and I know all of you have a million questions for her. On July fifteen...

...we will be talking to Jasmine Gillery and on July twenty two we are going to we're gonna have musical guests and it's not me and we'll go to hoop it up. So, because I can't sing more play an instrument, but it is pen block and drew Copeland of sister Hazel that we really excited have music. On August five we will be talking to Ellen Hilderbrands and on August twelve, Karen Slaughter and on August nineteen, Christina Mc Morris. Okay, and I'm going to interrupt you because on September two we're actually we just found out, and I'm going to not say her name correctly, but I believe it's a top room and she wrote a woman is no man, and so she's actually going to be our guest on September two. We just found out. So I'm very excited. So I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I just wanted to interject that while you're on a roll. Yeah, that was the last one. So and I'm I think, Fiona Davis to be mismntioning Fona Davis also on July twenty nine. Yes, Yona Davis, I twenty. So we are packed with wonderful authors coming to visit and Debbie, you you started the herd really did. Thank you so much. This is this is really a treat for us to have you here, debby, and to have all the authors come and talk to us. We hope you enjoyed as much as we do. That's a program for tonight. Debbie, I want everyone out there to pre order a walk on the beach. It'll be you know, it'll be a wonderful read and summer, the summer favorite, and that's saying a lot. From all of us summer authors and along with all the other authors here tonight, we have a wonderful roster of books and we hope you support the Vero Beach Book Center, who's giving you a ten percent discount with friends ten code. I want to thank you all for joining us and please again join us on the friends and fiction facebook group and meet us back here on friends and fiction next week when, as Patty just said, our guest will be a very dear friend, Lisa Wingate, and she that's Wednesday night, June seventeen, seven PM. We will all be back here, Debbi, one more time. Thank you. Thank you for coming and all the way tonight. Thank you everyone, and that's our show. Good night to night, everybody. Thank you, Daddy. I learned much. Thank you, devy. 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 wwws and fictioncom, as well 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,.

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