Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Friends & Fiction with Diane Chamberlain

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

New York Times, USA Today and London Times bestselling author of 27 novels, Diane Chamberlain, joins the Fab Five to talk about her latest novel, BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN, just out in paperback. Listen in as they discuss dream first travel destinations for after the pandemic and their latest favorite reads, as well as Diane’s background as a psychoanalyst and passion for social justice issues—and how both inform her writing. https://dianechamberlain.com/

Welcome to Friends and fiction. Five best selling authors, Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast with five best selling 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. Hi, everybody, e probably diet my friend tonight, E. Just want to take a second to say that we are all praying for peace and hope across the aisle across the nation in this great country of ours, you know, friends and fiction is a place of refuge for us, and we hope that it is for YouTube now. Um, we're just gonna go forward and say Happy New Year, everybody. Thanks for starting off the year with us on friends and fiction, where we celebrate books and friendship and independent bookstores. I'm Mary Kay Andrews. I'm your host tonight, and my upcoming novel is the newcomer out. May 4th. I'm Christi Woodson Harvey, and my next novel is Under the Southern Sky, which releases April 20th. Marie Alice Munro and my upcoming novel is the Summer of Lost and Found, and it's coming out on May 11th and I'm Patty Callahan. Henry and my upcoming novel is called Surviving Savannah, and it comes out on March 9th, which is nine weeks away. Which is crazy. So exciting. No, we're excited for you. Now you'll notice that we're missing one of the five tonight. Christine Harmel isn't with us, but I want to assure you that we didn't kick her off the island. She had a long standing previous commitment, but she will be back with us next week. Now I'm thrilled to tell you that tonight Franklin Fiction has our first official sponsor. We welcome and thank Mama Geraldine's Bodacious Foods. Not only is Mama Geraldine's the maker of the world's most delicious cheese straws, they're also a woman owned business, and we really like to get behind that. Yes, we are so excited that this episode of friends and fiction is sponsored by Mama Geraldine's, and I'm actually sitting here chomping on them right now on the cheese draws. They are so delicious. Mama, Charlie, Geraldine, send us all the big box of goodies over the holiday, and E kept posting about them, especially. They're known for their cheese straws, but I'm obsessed with their cookies. The key line is the only flavor I have left right now, but the pecan cinnamon ease We'll just change your life. That's my favorite. Change your life. Well, you know, high maintenance Patty, I need gluten free. And when we first heard about it, mostly everybody's going to get to eat the cheese straws except me. But hello, Gluten free are They're so good. I'm eating. I've had the regular and the gluten free. And I mean, I can't even tell the difference. Yeah, they're amazing. Honestly, Confession time. I usually make the powdered sugar almond cookies, some people calling wedding cookies. And then we got a We got them in this collection better than mine. So, like, yeah. Hey, we've got an exclusive offer for all of our friends and fiction viewers. You can get 20% off your online purchase at Mama Geraldine's dot com with the code Fab Five. All caps snack on y'all. I love that. I know. I like to say snack on your snack on on Now let's get on with tonight Show. Yeah, There she is. You know, this is friends and fiction and tonight it's such a pleasure to have my old dear friend New York Times Use a Today and London Times Best selling author Diane Chamberlain. In addition to her latest novel, Big Lies...

...in a Small Town, which is just out in paperback this week, Diane is the author of 27 novels published in a dozen languages, including necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Stolen Marriage and the Dream Doc. Doctor doctor dot Yeah, um, and are indeed bookstore tonight is Quail Ridge Books, and I think we have all had amazing signing with our Friends at Quail Ridge Books. Each week, we ask our guest author to choose a favorite local indie bookstore for you to support, and Diane wisely chose Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives. Now Q. R B, as we call it, was founded in 1984 by the late beloved Nancy Ulcer Olsen, who was a friend to so many authors like Diane and like me dot Nancy was a true author matchmaker, and actually, she introduced us years ago when I was living in Raleigh. We hope you'll browse their specially curated page on the store's website featuring Diet featuring Diane's to most recent books, the Fab Five's forthcoming 2021 titles, which are all available for preorder, and one highlighted backlist title from each of us. And you can get a discount on these and other titles, plus a lot more perks. If you join the stores. Quail Ridge readers cool. And even though I live in Atlanta, I'm still a member of key RVs Readers Club. I know all of us are hoping the pandemic will soon be behind us. So we can all go back to signings and events at Quail Ridge books. Right now, ladies, the new Year's the holidays air over. Even being optimistic, it looks like we're Dr. Fauci says we're still a few months down the road from Universal vaccines. All E thanks for coming, Diane. I was just saying that all of us are used to being on the go and traveling for work or for pleasure, So I thought I would get the ball rolling tonight. Toe, ask everybody. Where is your first dream destination? Once we're safely out of lock down now. Diane, are you gonna go anywhere? I mean, I know where you like to go. I would. I am dying to go to California to see my granddaughters. That's really frustrating. Thing is, they can't come here. I can't go there. I'm sure some of you are in the same boat on its Really? That's really tough. So that's where I would go. Yeah. Uh, grandchildren. Yes. 100% Mary area. Where you gonna go? I was supposed to go back to London this year, and I'm really miss it. So I go to London But if they're still under locked out next year, I think I go to the Grand Canyon and take my grandchildren there. I have never seen the Grand Canyon. I really I mean, Christie. We go and are smooth wineries in the Grand Canyon. Just ask e asking for a friend. Yeah, Christine, with Christine. A dream destination. Well, we were supposed to be in the British Virgin Islands from the day after Christmas till, like, january 3rd or fourth. And of course, we changed our trip, so I'm really looking forward. We rescheduled it for next Christmas, so I'm just really excited. I'm already like, Okay, next year, it's going to be better things. They're going to be better. So I really hope they are. Because we were so excited about going. What about you, Patty? You know, when Diane mentioned grandkids? Yes. I mean, I just spent Diane, I just got to spend three weeks with my grand baby, but I hadn't seen a really long time. And so the first thing you're right, the first thing I would dio is fly out there. They live in Hawaii, and I have not gone in over a year and a year and a half, and I would I would go out there and spend time with them because this is just too much not moving and not seeing people. And that's the first thing I would dio. Yeah. Yeah. And where? I guess I'm, uh I am dying. I'm dying to go to France. We had to postpone our planned trip to France last Memorial Day to attend my friend and And Diane knows my friend Beth from Raleigh. Her daughter was supposed to get married over Memorial Day weekend, and, of course, we had to cancel and they had to postpone the wedding. But we kept the flight credits, and we're crossing our fingers that we'll get to France soon to drink wine...

...and to see the beautiful countryside. My husband is planning on visiting some wineries, and Beth has promised to take me to her favorite broke Hans. So that's that's what I'm yearning to dio. Can I ask answer to yours? Can I just Yes, come to France? Yeah, friends. And what? We should live from France. Very live from our live from our villa in Provence. Yeah. Hoping an interpreter who speaks French. No, we're gonna have to have a French interpreters. Okay, Well, they were wearing that. Her daughter speaks French. Okay, we're gonna talk about Diane now, because this is Diane. Tonight, Diane, we publish this weekly set a big lives in a small town. Chamberlain's depictions of creative beauty and perseverance across time and in the face of inevitable obstacles will keep readers turning the pages. And I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. And, you know, I finally I've got behind with stuff, but I finally read the dual timeline stories of Annandale in 1940 Morgan Christopher set in 2018. And I couldn't help but be drawn into their world and into the world of an artist. And I know that you are not that you are a lot of things, but you're not a visual artist. And I knew a little bit about the back story of big lies because you and I brainstormed in a couple years ago, right when we did our writer recreate at Ebb tide. Well, could you give everybody the elevator pitch that I already know? Yeah, um, as you mentioned it said in the past. And in the recent present 2018 and its two women, one who in um 1940 learns about a contest to create one of the W P. A. Murals. You see them in offices, usually government buildings, those old murals just to me, kind of fascinating. She wins a contest to paint one of those girls. Anything is. She is New Jersey, She's a northerner, and the mural is in Edmonton, North Carolina, and she finds that she is not very welcome in town. And then we have a young woman, Morgan in 2018, who's in prison for something she didn't do. And she is told that she can get out of prison if she will restore this old mural that has been found. Um, the only thing is she has no idea how to do restoration. So I have to characters who are kind of up a tree who have to deal with their circumstances. And Anna disappears during the painting of the mural. And Morgan during the restoration toe, begins to uncover clues to Ana's disappearance. So that's kind of it. In a very tiny nutshell. So good Patty, you got a question. I dio Diane, it's so good to see you. It's so good to see you. So I often say that they want to see you to e Can't wait till we're all face to face in real life in real time. I mean, this is a good as we can get, but it's not good enough. So I often say that being a novelist is a little bit like being a pretend psychoanalyst. But you really were a psychotherapist, and I just play one on the page and you had you were psychotherapist with a specialty and adolescent counseling. And it seems like in all of your novels, but especially in this one that we're talking about, you have this really profound understanding of emotional issues. You don't just you don't just delve into their feelings. You actually dive down into the true issues where they came from, how they got there, and a dales. Mom is manic depressive. Both Morgan's parents are, Can we say, functional ing alcoholics? So do these issues choose you? Or do you deliberately say I'm going to address this or I'm going to address that with the deep knowledge you have is a psychotherapist? That's a really question. Um, you know, when I think about writing a book. I think about this situation first. In other words, I wanted Thio Have somebody paint this mural. I knew that's what I wanted to do. And then I try to think of a character who is going to have the most difficult time doing what I want her to do. Eso that's where the character of came from. And...

...by making her a northern earth that gave her one obstacle by making her, um, from raised by a depressive mother that gave her another obstacle. And, of course, throughout the story is things start happening to her. The town townspeople, like birthdays, were happening to her. She begins to wonder if she has, um, inherited her mother's manic, uh, depression and then with Morgan. You know, I knew that I wanted somebody who didn't know how to restore a mural. But what else could I throw it? Her I gave her. I gave her prison. I gave her, um, a NALC a hall problem that she pretty much has picked up inherited whatever from her parents. So it's not that I set out to create thes screwed up characters. It's that as I'm writing, I'm just trying to figure out how more difficult for them so that they have to really work harder to succeed. Because we all want our characters toe to succeed. I always want. I want them to have a happy ending. Happy endings air Pretty important in my books. But they really, really have to work hard for those endings, like most of us. And I have to say that Diane has on more than one occasion, um, psychoanalyzed my characters when we were at writers retreats. Right? Diane, She's great at that. I had a character so fun I had a character. When I was writing summer rental, we were all together. We had a group of wonderful group of North Carolina writers and we would go go away together and brainstorm. And right. And I had this character. She was an outsider, and I couldn't figure out what why she couldn't connect with these women. She comes into a house of women and she can't connect with them. And Diane what? Like that? She knew exactly what is so awesome. I know you should hire yourself out as like, a book. Dina, A book e u. Okay, Christine, you've got a question. Yes, s o I just have to say, and Diana No, I've told you this, but just so everyone else knows this book is so amazing. I have recommended it to everyone on every list I've written. I just love this book so much, Actually was lucky enough to get an advance copy of it. Remember? I finished reading it, and I was like, I wish that I had written this book. This book is so great. So I just wanted everyone to know how much I love. And if you have not read it, you need to because it's so fantastic. But this book and almost all of your book seemed to hinge on issues of social justice. Can you talk about the importance of those issues to you and to the sort of emotional core of your stories? Yeah, I think it goes back. Thio, Where and when I was brought up, which was New Jersey and in a small, well medium sized town that was racially and religiously diverse, something I've always gonna be thankful for. And it was during the civil rights error era. So So I had an exposure to social justice issues from an early age. It wasn't my family. Um, family was not particularly on the same side as me, but I felt it very strongly. I felt it in the kids around me in my high school and what they're going through and what they were dealing with. And I felt it, Um, you know, out on the street that in the town I was in, there were riots and there were peace marches, and I was influenced by all of that. So it's not that I set out once again. It's not that I got to intentionally, um, right about social issues. It's just that that's sort of where my where my mind goes. And unfortunately, we still have plenty of them to deal with. So, um, so I do find that that I go there and even, you know, when people say to me about big lies in a small town, how there's a lot of racial issues I'm like there is because to me, is just so much a part of life and a part of Anna and Morgan's lives in the story that I don't really...

...separate it out in my own mind, it's just part of the territory. It's part of the story. It's really, really well done to. It really is. And I think that's why it works. Is that thank you your mind. It's actually sort of a segue right into my question. So Cathy, I'll just jump right in itself. The story is set in a ed into North Carolina. So then the Deep South and we've talked about this with other guests in different ways. It's a challenge to right of sense it with sensitivity and even with without fear of repercussions about black lives, matter issues. And in this book, you have, um, this character monitoring a gifted young black art artist. So you get into those issues. Did you worry about that? And if if so, how did you deal with that challenge? Because I think it is a challenge, that book to come out at the time when everyone is very sensitive and very aware of that sensitivity. Mhm, Yeah. Um, I'll tell you. Don't worry about it, as I am now with the book that I just writing interesting. But what? Yeah, yeah, and that's I'll get to that because that's a whole different issues. But what I did was I really? There is a character is a young boy in 1940 who and a kind of takes under her wing because she sees artistic talent she wants to nurture for it. So I know that I needed Thio do a lot of research in Eatonton. It's eaten in North Carolina to find out you know what life would have been like in 18 40 specifically what life would have been like for, ah, young black boy in 1940. So I had discovered a racial reconciliation group in Eden. And this is Ah, very. It was a very moving experience to me, too. Visit this group that was out 30 or 40 people, black and white, to have been meeting together for a number of years and who, who have really gotten past the hard questions to real friendships. So I was invited to visit that group, and I met two older gentlemen. I no longer use the word elderly, um, two older gentlemen, African American who were willing to meet me for lunch. I met with them separately and let me pick their brains about what it was like for them growing up in the forties in Eadington. So they gave me an awful lot of material toe work with. And I hope that I was true to, um, too much assed faras what I represented. But the book that I am just that I've just turned in, which is called right now it's called The Dark End of the Street is has a lot to do with racial issues because it is about the Voter Rights Act. In 1965 and young white people came into the South to register black voters. So right off the bat were in scary territory for a white woman to be writing about, um, e serve white and editor. And I have worked through some of the sticky things, things that we think are sticky. But we are going to sensitivity reader. She's actually reading it right now for me, and this is a black woman and editor who well, hopefully let me know where I am on a straight where I'm being offensive where I'm not being strong enough. Um, my one concern with with this movement toward being really sensitive, it is very important. I won't concern is creating a revisionist history. Yeah, do we? You know, we do. We not use the n word in that whole book. There's not the n word. And that's not really riel, so I have a lot of concerns about it. I'm very much looking forward. To what? This Um what this sense, It either has to say mhm. I think it's very interesting to think of what I mean. A za white woman writing about white people in that period in history, you have the voice for it in the history, but it's just such a sensitive time. And I know a lot of authors have been concerned about that. But bravo for you, Thio. I think if...

...anyone could do it, Diane, you could Oh, thank you, Mary. Alice. Okay, so we know that you write about, you know, people say well, right about what? You know, but most of the time were writing about stuff we don't know anything about. Okay, So, Diane, I know you're a gifted guitar player on writer, but, you know, in big lies in a small town, you're a non artist, and you're writing from the viewpoint of artists like Anna and Morgan is. And how do you do that especially, they asked the fairly technical aspect of fine art restoration. Tell me a little bit about Tell our Tell all of us about resource. You're right. I'm not an artist. You know the game. Pictionary. I can if I have to say, dog, if I have to get that across, I can't even draw a dog. So I'm not a good artist. Good at Scrabble, though I'm a good researcher. I am good at Scrabble, but she's trapped me in trouble before E do a ton of research. Andi, I love it. I love reading about artists, and there are many books on the W P a murals and how they were created and who the artists were and how few women there were. That's one of the problems that Anna is up against in 19 forties, that she is a woman which is really not considered. How could a woman be a good artists? So So, with regard to creating the mural, they learned a lot through research and with regard to restoring it. I had an acquaintance in this area in Raleigh who has a restoration company, and she came over and she showed you the tools of her trade, and we talked about what Morgan would have to do. Thio restore that mural on what I was most concerned about in both cases was boring. The reader You get so carried away with your research and how cool it is toe create these things or restore this thing. So I had toe kind of walk a fine line to get enough of it across to the reader out having them go. Yeah, so I don't think they Hopefully I succeeded. Yeah, anything to do with our mural. So fascinating you could get that going s so great. So we had a chance to ask our questions. And now we are gonna let our viewers who posted questions on the Facebook page and and a lot, Diane. A lot of your fans posted questions. So, Patty, you've got a question that somebody left, right? I dio Diane Victor. First, I want to say, before I asked Victoria Brawley's question that I'm thinking we're gonna hire you friends and fiction book therapist and you are going to come in and analyze all of our characters, and then our books will be deeper and richer for it. for that. I just need you to say yes on the show. I think you You do just fine, Patty. Okay, so your question is I couldn't I couldn't make her say Yes, you guys. Okay, then this next question is from Victoria Brawley, and she says, Hello, Diane. I loved reading the Dream Daughter. In fact, I've loved reading all of your novels that have crossed my path. How do you ever come up with the twists in the story? You can answer without spoilers? You are always so original and so creative with your twists. Uh, thank you so much. That's a great compliment. I don't know. E sit around, e say about every what can happen next. You know, I really don't. I mean, it's that there's no secret to it. It's just imagining What What rocks? I brought this character next. And what will that rock lead Thio? And what if there's a rock underneath that rock that nobody knows about on DWhite I based, tell people you know, I I create an outline and what I always say is that my characters never saw the outline because you want your all writers. They as soon as you start, um, creating those characters on the page, they're doing things and saying things that you never anticipated. So what I always say is that when I when a reader is surprised by something in the book, usually I was surprised by it, too. Yeah, it's usually something that's come organically from my characters and...

...their story. Diane. I remember when you were telling us about, um, the vision you had for the dream daughter and you said, You guys e u I'm doing time travel. We went No, no time and only you could have pulled it off. Thank you, Christian. Okay, who's got a quick Oh, Chris Christie had one yet Christians not here. It's just me. Eso Judah Helm Stone wants to know where do your story lines come from And are your characters loosely based on people you have met? They are absolutely not based on people I've met, not ever that I based a character on somebody that I know where I've met. And the reason for that is, um, it's never crossed my mind, and I think it would be vory living on. I was writing my first novel, which I don't recommend anybody read. I based the character really? On myself. At first she had my color e she had the same job had, which was at that time, a social worker in the hospital. Um, and then I discovered I just couldn't make her do anything that I wouldn't it. So I completely changed her. I changed what she looked like. I changed her job. I thought, What is that? What kind of character would be the least like me? And I mean athlete, which is those of you who know me, You know, that is not me. And so then she really took off. So it was my little lesson in not facing a character, a real person, because then it frees me up to make them do whatever I want to dio on getting sued. Getting sued is a problem. Oh, okay. But I have to tell you, too, that someone actually sent me a message on Instagram today telling me how much they that they went back and read your debut novel and how much they loved it. So maybe you should recommend it. E Well, it has, um it's just not like my later novels. Its's a story, you know, kind of story with the beginning and and know deep surprises. Eso I'm proud of it because it was my first novel and it actually won a big award from romance Writers of America. Um, that's when I met you. It was that very first e. Then we go back girlfriend and I met you. And we were baby right babies. And but there was this aura around you that behind her she won the gold. What is the Golden heart? What was Is that the word? But it's the big board, Dorita. Big read. It was like, Oh, my God, I want to talk to her. She won the Rita. It was like it was like the Oscar. It is a big deal. Eso you walked in the door and I don't know how you felt about it, but we were in all my darling. So that was and I loved the book. Oh, my God, I was I was so thrilled. However, it's sort of pigeonholed me as a romance writer, which, as you know, I'm really not a romance writer. So it took a while to get out of that label. E was incredibly thrilled Thio have my first novel, E You know back then. But I think it's because our w we talked about this to You know, you want a wonderful Ward for a category that would have been women's fiction later in a few years later. And it was recognized just such a wonderful novel, and it was share it. It was a great book. Is a great book still is. And Mary Alice, I always think of you as, um you know, that we just knew each other when we were baby writers. You know, such a long time, E No, it's so nice to see you would still be friends after all these years. My God, you look pretty good there. E always think we should You know, at some point, we don't want to get too girly, But at some point, we might want to say, Diane, what do you do to your skin? How do you not have any wrinkles? She Why do you think? A little skin in person. She does your very sweet And I have seen her. I have seen her in the middle of...

...the night. I have seen her early in the morning. She just has beautiful skin. Mary Alice, you gotta read your e. Just also have to say I remember Diane back in those days had this wildly thick, gorgeous way different back that alright. Way around. Oh, dear. So sorry about that. It will take too long to drop the phone thistles from Michelle Cockburn. And she says, I have a question for Diane. Have you considered okay? Good. I have a question for Diane. Have you considered extending the Keeper trilogy into a saga? I'd love to read a novel based on Annie's upbringing, from her point of view and through her marriage toe. Alec, I've just read the first two and have started her mother's shadow and cannot get enough. Oh, thank you, Her mother shadowed. My opinion is the best of the three, so enjoy it. Um, you know, it's really funny because I wrote Keep Her. The Light was my fourth book, so I wrote it a long time ago, and people kept asking for a sequel. So 11 years later, I wrote the second book and then a year that I wrote third book and what was so much fun about? It was I aged, everybody 11 years, and I thought about what might have happened to them during these 11 years. And what would their lives be like now that I work with? And that was just tremendous fun. So it's been e don't know. It's kind of close to 11 years, So I will think about that fun to visit those that family again. You should every 11 years, all right, about you're gonna pull a question off the Facebook page. Yes. First, I wanted to read you a comment. Eso Shantel Graddy, who is Ah, good friend of mine and a great friend of the show. For sure. She's amazing, wonderful reader in person. And she said books always handle tough subject matter. Like all art, it holds a mirror up to society. Some can't handle looking at themselves. So kudos to you for trying to do just that. Diane E. That was a really, um she said that a few questions ago when you were answering and you were talking about, you know, diving into writing your next book. Ethel Murchison. Econ. Stein wants to know why you chose to set the book and Eden to North Carolina. Mm well a number of years ago when it came to signing and she said, I'm from Edmonton and you really have to come. Thio, Eadington. I know you're going to find a story there. And so my significant other John and I went Thio Eadington, and she and her husband were so lovely and they took us around. We went out to dinner. We took the trolley through Eadington. We explored we looked at the history. It's a really historical little town. And, um, I had nothing. Yeah, so I thank her for introducing me to this lovely town, and I just kind of put it aside. But when I started thinking about big lives in a small town and the girls the W. P. A. Murals the contest that that Anna enters waas a mural for each state in a very small town. So I thought, and this was a real contest, so that made me think of Edington and Edington turned out to be absolutely perfect for this book because of the history and the industry and things that I could build into Anna's mural Andi. It's just it's a lovely little town, so So I got to go back and research it with a new I when you're picturing your characters in a place than you see it in a very different way. So that's how it came to be eaten now, Christie, how far are you from Eatonton E? I was gonna say I'm pretty close. So I'm in Beaufort, so I don't know exactly. But 90 minutes to hours, not not far, but, I mean, it's it's a similar area. It's weird how some of these places air close together, but they're difficult to access from each other. So sometimes you can look on a map and think, Oh, it's right there. But it's it's really not. But Eadington is absolutely beautiful, and I loved reading about it, and you captured it really, really well. So it was. So is both for your wonderful That is a great little town. Do you ever find yourself in the position of...

Sometimes I think, Oh, I know this story can be set on Lee in this place, and then sometimes I think I have a story and it's looking for a setting. Do you ever find yourself doing that, Diane? A lot of times I have the setting first. Obviously not with Eadington, but I really want to do God. I'm blanking on the name of the town. What's the little town? Um, on a river in North Carolina. Course New Bern. Don't. There's New Bern, New Bern. Very good. Very good. I knew I wanted to set a book. And new because to go to New Bern. So, um, sometimes I will pick, you know, like, Oh, let's set a book and the Outer Banks so that I could go to the Outer Banks. So sometimes the setting is the thing that first for me just do burns a great setting. New burns. A really good town. I lived there for a lot of his books. Books, isn't it? Well, he lives in New Bern. A Hey, there was where was stolen marriage set? Um, where? Waas marriage. That was in a real town in Hickory Polio Hospital, right? Yes. Yeah. And that was inspired because I was reading about North Carolina history, which is something I like to do in my spare time. And I read about the polio hospital that the town built themselves in 54 hours because of ah, pandemic. I mean, an epidemic of polio in the town and the rial hospitals were full. So I was e did that during World War Two when the able bodied men were not even there in the town that the townspeople pulled together to create this hospital. So that inspired before E. But then, if you've read the book, you it goes often all these directions that I never expected. Yeah, but it's really time. And the book we're talking about y'all is is a soul in marriage, and we'll put it, we'll put it in the links. It really is timely for this time period because people there was such a stigma attached to polio at the time, right? Oh, yeah. People were terrified of it. Yeah, there really wasn't. There was no vaccine at that time, right way, just like older. And people didn't really understand eso just so the people who worked in that hospital magically work to your kids. Yeah, and the people who worked in that hospital were considered, you know, nuts, right? Because they were gonna be that brave e don't think that there was much of that because at that time it was mostly Children, right? who were impacted. So I don't think the adults were terribly fearful. Um, my character is a nurse, and she her family does not want her working there because it's beneath her. But of course. Okay, it's time for a writing tip, and we already know that Diane is an expert at psychoanalyzing characters. But Diane, do you have, Ah, even our even our readers and listeners who don't write love to hear writers. Tip. Can you share one? I mean, you've done more than two dozen novels. Well, not some secret. It's so funny that you should ask that question because whenever I'm asked that question, here's how I answer it. Well, my friend Mary Kay Andrews gave me the best tip that that I've ever gotten, which is you can't revise what you have any rain on. And honestly, that drives me because it's so hard to face that blank page. All of you out there who want to write, I understand feels, and it doesn't feel any better 28 than it doesn't book one. But it doesn't matter what you right, because then you're going to go over it and fix it, and eventually it's gonna be something fabulous. But I got that from you. You have all heard that, Diane. We've all heard that from her. And when you have a lot, you have a lot more wisdom than Ideo. Ah, lot more wisdom...

...than I dio. Okay, let's talk about what we're reading, you know, tonight I think especially Ah, lot of us need a place a safe place to escape to And I think books give us that. So, Mary Alice what I am reading. Let me make sure I'm pretty. Can you all see this? This tender land? I listened to this book, um, the audio book. And by the way, it's one of the best audio books I've ever heard. And by William Kent Krueger. And he is our guest next Wednesday. So I thought I'd start reading the actual pages because because it's a different experience and it's so beautiful. It's John Steinbeck meets Mark Twain That says a lot, and I hope you all read it. You have time to read it before the 13th when he joins us, but it's a tremendous audiobook and a tremendous read, and I highly recommend it. I'm listening to the audiobook right now, and I only have an hour left and I keep not wanting Thio because I don't want it to end. The narrator's extraordinarily good. Yeah, I agree. I'm starting it tonight, so I'm excited. Diane, have you got your first read of 2021? Actually, um, I'm about 15 hours into Barack Obama's promised land. It is a law book, and it's zip wonderful, and I'm getting an education. That's great. I'm looking forward to it. Anybody else have a 1st 1st read of 2021? Yeah, I want to tell you all about two books that came out yesterday. Um, you know, it's been there's been so much going on. I think sometimes it's hard to notice what's happening in the New Year. But Michael Farris Smith has a new book out that came out yesterday. I think I mentioned it a few months ago, but it's called Nick, and it is about Nick from The Great Gatsby, and it is a prequel about his life. Great Gatsby, and it's It's extraordinary, just it's really good and atmospheric and really wonderful. And then our friend, who will be on the show later this year, Jennifer Robson's new book is out yesterday and it is called our darkest night. And what a great week for reading. So mhm. Right. Um, everybody All right, you guys. Ladies, how did you end your reading year? Naughty or nice? Ooh, very nice, because I'm listening. Toe William Kent Krueger is tender land O My last read of 2020 was the Clover Girls by our good friend violist Shipman, who was show It was not a nice I'll tell you what I watched. I watched Bridgeton, which was both nice, but a little naughty. Spicy e I was telling Mag who is our when we call Meg are managing director, Director, Director. I was telling her after all of this explosion about Bridgeton, we need to have a Regency romance writer on the show. He Oh, yeah, she has time. Okay, um, Patty, do you want to remind everybody on our podcast? Absolutely. So, as you all know, Or if you don't know one of the many ways to listen to our show, if you didn't make it for Wednesday night or you just want to re listen because guests like Diane had such amazing tips and insight is that We have a podcast and all of our shows are on the podcast, and we also are starting to do extra episodes. And Mary Kay Andrews and Christine Harmel interviewed two of our indie booksellers, and that is our first bonus episode, and we have loads more coming for you. So keep your ears and eyes open for those that's right. And Mary Alice, I mean, you already kind of gave us a little period week, but tell us about William Kent Krueger. Well, this is again. This tender land is William Kent Krueger are we'll call him Kent, by the way that he goes by. Little name will be here next week, and I have to say that this tender land is if I was selecting the best book 2020 for the Read. It would be this book, the best moment and then on the coming...

...up after that in the 20th, we have a fabulous just US episode, and I know a lot of our viewers enjoy those. And it's a very special one because we are going to tell you about our debut books. So stay tuned for that and to join in. We've invited two of our favorite debuts of the year, Sarah Penner and Nancy Johnson. So it's gonna be a fun show. Oh, and also Pamela Terry, there's three days. Thank you. Wait. Even more to come. More reasons to come. Okay, We can't get enough of Diane. So Christie has one more question for you, Diane. I do. Diane, we have this question that we love to ask every guest on the show. And we're specifically interested in your answer, since your brother is an author as well. So why were the values around reading and writing in your family growing up? And how do they How do you think they shaped you as a writer? Okay, yeah. Books were big. My father was a school principal and every a he would come Hominy with boss Ah, book and a candy bar or two on our bed. So I always say we grew up with way grow big readers with bad teeth. S o E. Yeah, I think I think we just grew up loving reading for me, though, you know, most of the books that I was able to read as a kid were like the little golden books, but in the first grade. Our teacher read us Charlotte's Web, and that was me that I had to be a writer who could make people laugh and cry like that book. It never occurred to me a human being could create something like that. S o that was it 20. Did he continue giving you candy as you got older and books? Yeah. My parents really knew nothing about nutrition E O reading. It's kind of genius, though, because you associate that You in your mind like if your kid doesn't like reading, throwing my candy bar every time, it could create some problems later. But, you know, e love hearing that Diana and my brother one of the best answers we've ever had. Tell us about your brother. My brother was actually a writer before I waas and he's younger, so he beat me to it. I'm here and tell us his name. Oh, his new brothers, Presti. And he writes mostly. Yeah. Did you get it? There's a lapse here. Yeah, right. Presidency. And he writes mostly short stories, mysteries for, like, uh, Alfred Hitchcock magazine, that sort of thing. And he's written a few novels and some scholarly books. Yeah. Okay. Well, I think that's going to wrap it up for us tonight. Thank you. Everybody, especially Diane, for joining us tonight. Um, thank you, Mama Way Loved having you next time in person. Thank you, Mama Geraldine's for becoming friends and fictions. First snack tastic sponsor. And for all of you in the f n f universe, Remember to use a code that five at Mama Geraldine's dot com to get 20% off on all online orders. Stock up and snack on. Y'all on. We cannot wait to move into the new year with all these gorgeous new books. That air coming up, an amazing authors and hopefully happier times and fascinating discussions. Still to come. Good night. Good night. I am Thanks for having me. Thanks for coming right out. 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 use and bookstores to chat about Goodbye.

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