Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 4 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Elin Hilderbrand & Jamie Brenner + Robyn Carr on the After Show!

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It's a star-studded episode as the gang welcomes #1 NYT blockbuster bestselling rockstar Elin Hilderbrand, nationally bestselling author and dear friend Jamie Brenner, and the 11-time #1 NYT bestselling author of more than 60 novels and the creator of the Virgin River series (now of Netflix fame) Robyn Carr. Join the fun as the ladies discuss themes of reinvention and chat about the challenges of setting books in familiar places. Hear all about Elin's brand new THE HOTEL NANTUCKET which debuted at #1 and her choice to dip her toe once again into the super natural, about Jamie's GILT and the fascinating world of a family jewelry empire, and about Robyn's latest work of womn's fiction A FAMIY AFFAIR for whcih she drew on her own family experiences. It's a great evening full of laughs and lots of heart.

Welcome to friends and fiction. For New York Times bestselling authors endless stories, novelists Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Patty Callahan Henry are four longtime friends with more than seventy published books between them. Together they host friends and fiction with author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing. To highlight and support independent bookstores. They discussed 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. Hello, everyone, it's Wednesday night and that means that we are right here with you for friends and fiction. We have an amazing evening ahead of us and you might notice that we have a special guest tonight. Um Kristen had a little bit of a flight issue and she's actually on a plane right now coming home, so she cannot be with us. So our meg, who we all love at a door, has stepped in to be our fabulous host tonight and we're so excited to have her. I'm Christie Woodson Harvey. I'm Patty Callahan Henry. Oh, this is friends and fiction for New York Times bestselling authors endless stories to support indie bookstores, authors and Librarians. Tonight we will be talking with Best Selling Authors Ellen Hildebrand and Jamie Brenner, and Robin Carr will be joining us for the after show. You know how much we love a big announcement and today we have a great one for you. We are so grateful for your amazing response to our new behind the book partnership with our friends at fable. You know what it is. We've been talking about it. It's the free APP for your phone, where your tablet, with loads of incredible book clubs to join and if you haven't joined our premium club full of behind the scenes information that you won't get anywhere else. It's just five dollars a month to join our club, or you can get the big annual premium all access membership for seventy dollars for the entire year to join all the premium clubs on fable, including Levar Burton's Book Club. So I don't know about you, but I should love to visit my reading rainbow days. But this month so we have done Christie's book on fable. We have done the Mary Kay's new book on fable of the home wreckers. And this month, with a drumroll please, who's going to give I'm to everyone, but I feel like that's really your job. I mean you're kind of like the best of drums, not effects. On this month we will be read Ellen Hilder Brands. They hang with tell nantuckets. So Christie will be leading not only our discussion tonight but also the discussion all month long on fable. She will be having comments that you can interact. They'll be taking a deep dive behind the scenes of the hotel nantucket. So that is our big announcement for the night. Yeah, we're so excited and Um, it has been it was so great to get to it. We've already kind of started getting prepared and it's really weird to do an interview about someone else's book like and to talk that in depth about someone else's book, and it was really fun. So I really enjoyed it and can't wait for you guys to get to read along with us. So, speaking of Fun Subscriptions, we have teamed up with our friends at book town, where we got to see so many of you guys live earlier this year. To offer the friends and fiction first edition book subscription for so the purchase of the special first edition friends and fiction box includes each of our new and signed hardcover releases, for which includes my the summer of Songbirds Patties, the secret book of Flora, Leah and May Christen's the Paris daughter in June and Mary Kay's Um Super Secret Special holiday book in September, name TVD. And you will also receive a fun gift with the first box. So this is four different boxes and the hundred and twenty five dollar subscription price includes shipping and tax, which is about off the cover price. So yeah, more information is available on book town's website and on our friends and fiction facebook page. And I'm so happy to tell you that we've got one more live in person event this season. We want to see you there for having a great signing and meet and Greek with Bethany Beach, books and Delaware on July at six PM and the luncheon event the next day on July with brows about books in Rehoba beach. We hope you can join us on the road for this big friends and fiction live celebration. We are so ID...

...for the opportunity to see so many of you in person. You can find the links and get your tickets under pin post on our facebook page or on the brows about books and Bethany beach books websites. And if you think you're gonna come, start planning because you've got to find a place to stay right it's each yeah, it's hard to get a place there. And don't forget, as you know, we continue to encourage you to support independent booksellers when and where you can, and one way to do that is to visit our own friends and fiction bookshop dot org page, where you can find Ellen's books, Jamie's books and Robin Carr's books and books by the four friends and fiction hosts and our past guests, all at a discount. Bookshop has raised more than twenty one million dollars for independent bookstores, and there's a great one click online alternative for shopping small and shopping locals. Now, if you've been with us the past few weeks, you know that each week we are giving you a chance to ask US anything. So if you have a question that you would like us to answer or a topic you'd like to discuss, we are all here, so feel free to drop questions in the comments here anywhere on our facebook page, because we want to hear from you and what you want to talk about. So we got so many good questions this week, but this one, oh my gosh, this one blew me away. So this is from our dear friend Bubba Wilson, and it is a must ask. Imagine you are Mauie from the movie Moanna and instead of a fish hook, you have a magic bookmark that enables you to shape shift, and your shape shift is not in any way to benefit mankind, but it is purely selfish. So you can feel what it's like to be a ladybug or a dolphin or a giraffe or like, literally anything you want. So, and this is really cute, this is from BUBBA. She said Mauie is half God, half mortal, all awesome. That's the reason this question is relevant to you, fabulous for who are half book God's, Half Mortals, with families you love, and all awesome, I mean, but what a great question. Oh my gosh. So when I first, when I first read that, I thought of like ten different things I wanted to shape shift into, and I've only seen the movie Mo wanna at Least Fifteen Times, twenty times with my granddaughter Um, but in the end I decided that it would be a dolphin. And if anybody watches me on Instagram, I'm always down at the river looking for Dolphin and and I'm fascinated by them and they seem like such magical creatures. So I think that is what I would be about. You, Meg. Well, can you believe I've never seen Mohana? But I think it's my kids were. I need to watch it. It's so good. It's so good. The Jackass apes than the than the but I'm totally coming back, or whatever, as a dog, and not only a dog, one of my dogs, because it really great and I would love to feel what it's like to get that much attention and affect jorgeful all the time, bounce around and just get loved up on and get your walkies and your hugs and your belly rubs and Um, yeah, I'm coming back as as either spike or is your stating your doctor so stinking cute too. Thanks they are. I think I'm coming back as a Hummingbird, like. Yeah, I can just flip from gorgeous flower to flower and SIP nectar and scream at other birds, who other hummingbirds, who get in my territory. You know, hummingbirds are very territorial. I know this from watching the hummingbirds at my people. And you know, if they don't have to write books, all they have to do is after bright book nectar all day and fly. It seems like a great life to me, although you never knew this could be. Like me used to sit around and think, wouldn't it be great to be an author? All you have to do is just like siting your computer and write books. Like maybe the Hummingbird has all these secret responsibilities that, like, you're not aware of. Do you think? Now? I think I would want to feel what it was like to be a bird too, like I think flying is like pretty cool. So, but like a bird that migrates to warm places, because, you know, no, I don't really like to be cold. So that would be like hummingbirds. They yeah, see, I'm learning from this is why you come to friends and fiction. It's just learning experience. It's not just books, it's nature and and and facts. We should have a daily we should start having an every Wednesday night new fact. Yeah, yeah, we can ask a little. Will you know how like like ten year olds, like they always have, like some facts that they know. We can ask him, he'll he'll know. He can do our daily facts. The will fact for the night. Yeah, place now, not that this has not been the most riveting section...

...of the show, but it's time to welcome our guests Ellen hilderbrand and Jamie Brenner. Ellen Hilderbrand is the best selling author of twenty eight novels. You heard me right, twenty eight, including summer of sixty nine, golden girl, twenty eight summers, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. After a short time working and publishing and teaching in New York City, Ellen moved to nantucket permanently in and published her first novel, the Beach Club, in the summer of two thousand. Her novel Summer Sixty Nine debuted at number one on the New York Times best seller list. Ellen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in writing seminars, and in her senior year at Hopkins, her first short story in this direction was accepted for publication in Seventeen magazine. She also attended the University of Iowa Writers worked up of earned her M F a. She loves cooking, writing, the Peloton and going to the beach, and she's a mom of three children. She plans to retire Er Summer Book and aims to become a book influencer. The hotel nantucket was just released on June fourteen and hit number one. Number one, that's right. Jamie Brenner is the best selling author of several novels, including the forever summer, the wedding sisters and blush. The forever summer as a national bestseller, and booklist hailed her novel blush as a delectable soap that is the epitome of escapist reading pleasure. In when Jamie published her novels, wedding sisters are other guests this evening. Ellen gave Jamie a blurb and Jamie credits this as a life changing moment for her, noting how it made her feel like a real author. I love that. Jamie grew up in suburban Philadelphia and she then went on to study literature at the George Washington University before moving to New York City, where she worked for Harpercollins, then Barnes and double dot com and vogue dot com before becoming an author. Jamie currently divides her time between New York City and Philadelphia, but right now she's here with me in Voteford, North Carolina. Come on, come on now, Eric, can you bring Ellen on? Yeah, I'm true. Thank you, ladies, so excited you're here. This is so awesome. Oh, I got so excited that I forgot that I'm like in charge of welcome. Ellen and Jamie were so excited to have you. These books, oh my goodness, the ultimate escapes that should be on everyone's reading lists. But before we dive into all of the questions we want to ask you, Um, can you tell anyone who somehow hasn't heard about these books yet what your book is about? And then our favorite, but your book is really about? So Ellen, you would have start us off? Sure. So, the hotel nantucket is basically what it might seem like. So it is a novel about a crumbling Grand Hotel that has been left fallen into disrepair. Is scooped up by a London billionaire named Xavier Darling and he has two women to impress. And he only says who the first woman is, and that is shelley carpenter, who is an instagram hotel influencer. She reviews hotels, she gives them one to five keys. She's never given a five key review. Xavier is determined to get it. He hires general manager, Elizabeth Keaton. She has just gone through a horrible, awful breakup and she's looking for a second act and so she takes the helm at the hotel, she hires the staff and then she deals with the guests throughout the summer, and so the novel is essentially about the summer unfolding. Um what the novel really is about is, I think ultimately it is a love letter to nantucket and to the way life there and to all of the businesses and the people and the characters that make it unique. This is not a real question in the script and like no spoilers here. I just have to know, and I think readers are gonna want to know too, if whether they have or have not. Did you go into this knowing who shelly was like? Did you know her identity? I had no idea who it was and it revealed itself about two thirds of the way through the book and when I felt like that was probably the case, because I was really shocked. Shocked. Yes, I was awesome. So, Jamie, can you please tell us about guilt? Look, Jamie and I are color we didn't even plan this, but we are color coded to the but the match there. We are Um. So can you tell us about guilt and then tell us what it's really about? Sure, this is so awkward because we're super cool. We're so glad. So Guilt is oh, but it's about I first of all, I learned this from watching friends and fiction live on...

...the road, and you guys, it is the best experience. So anyone out here who is not seeing them together live, I felt like it was like I was reborn as a book lover. Watched them together. I love how to do this. Here's what the book's about. Okay, what guilt is about is a family, the paddling family, who created a jewelry empire, made their fortune selling diamond engagement rings, but all the sisters in the family are very unlucky in love and when the book begins, this castout granddaughter returns to the fold, wanting to reclaim her birthright, this extraordinary pink diamond uh and as an aspiring jeweler in her own right, she actually wants to reclaim the whole business for herself, and it's a quest that leads her from New York City to Provence, Sound Cape Cod. What it's really about is what happens when we lose sight of what's really important in life, when we got what is really love versus the things we use as symbols of love, and how we fall into the trap of using those symbols thinking there are more important than the way we actually show love within a family. Yeah, that's that is that's good, and I love how sometimes we don't even really know what it's really about until we're halfway, three fourths of the way through the novel and we're like, oh, not just about that. So I love hearing that, Jamie. Okay, Ellen, you mentioned the last time we had you on the show that the Hotel Nantucket was classic Ellen Hilderbrand. Yes, and boy is it ever. Your Gorgeous town is the setting blonde Sharon and the nantucket crowd chiming in to give their opinions, and I have to tell you that the first book I read of Yours and fell in love with your writing was the Blue Beastro. I love that book and the Blue Bistro is even back in this novel. So, for readers who haven't had the pleasure of Reading Hotel Nantucket yet, can you tell us a little bit about the Easter eggs you have hidden in this book? And, more importantly, there seems to be some open windows or doors or at the end? So tell us a little bit. So at this point in my career I've written a lot of books and a lot of them have memorable characters and one of the fun things about and all of my summer novels are stand alone, and it's very important for me to say that they do have recurring characters. But I never wanted my summer books to be like, Oh, you have to read this first. Um My winter books, of course, are all series and they need to be read in order, and I'm adamant about that. But my summer books are stand alone. However, it has been so fun to bring in characters again and again and again. And of course it didn't. It didn't happen until like the last six or seven years because I didn't have so much artie as a writer. I didn't have the input from the readers to be like, yes, we really love seeing the chief reappear Um so in the hotel nantucket when I needed someone. So, for example, the editor of the newspaper, Jordan Randolph. He first appears in my novel Summerland, and I thought, well, I need an editor for newspaper, I'm going to use Jordan's Um. I had the chorus voice in this novel. It's entitled the Cobblestone Telegraph Um, and they're just gossiping away and Blonde Sharon is my gossip from the rumor and I thought I'm gonna Bring Blonde Sharon back and she's going to be sort of leading the charge and then peppered throughout our other characters that that we know from other books and you don't have to have read those books to enjoy the hotel nantucket. But if you have read those books, it's just it's like it's like a little present for you. So you might have left an open window. Um, are we going to be getting a sequel to the Hotel Nantucket? I don't if somebody else asked me that, I don't have any thing planned. I only have two books left and UH, neither one of them is going to be a sequel to the hotel nantucket. But it's not impossible that, like an e short will come out down the road. I love to do those sort of novellas that are like of the novel but not sequentially following. So we'll see. We'll say it's not impossible. And both golden girl and the hotel nantucket feature a character looking in from the great beyond. And then this one we're obsessed with the charming, lovable and quite mischievous friendly ghost grace. What prompted you to go have you done it before in your other books? Are just these two? What prompted this teeny bit of paranormal? I know. So. After writing Golden Girl, I definitely did not want to have a ghost in this book. I've never written a ghost that I can't. I can't do a ghost. I just I just had like an angel character and I can't.

I can't do it again. That would be ridiculous. But it was a crumbling, falling down hotel and and I needed an omniscient narrator. You guys were novelists who understand. I needed somebody in the hotel who could easily see into the rooms and note of the things that we cannot possibly know. And I already had my sort of course voice. I thought, okay, I need this ghost to help me out. And so I created grace, who was killed in the fire in and you know, she wants her murder acknowledged and she's making all kinds of trouble and I was really I just want to say like, especially if I have any aspiring writers out there, I restarted this novel six times. I could not get it right, could not get the characters right, could not get it off the ground. was lying in bed at night thinking this is gonna be a flop. I should have retired with golden girl like I intended. You know, I took a three book. I should never have done that, and I'm like, it was like for weeks. I'm like, I have messed up here. I should never, ever, ever, have taken on this novel. And then it's you're human, Ellen, you're human. It's amazing. Believe this. I know now, but I guarantee you that even on those days she still worked out for three hours. So I don't think human applies actually, and I thought about it and I thought about it and I thought about it and I thought, what do I who do I need to bring in? And I had like four different general managers and I had other people owning it and it was totally bananas. And then finally, like on my sixth try, I came up with the team of the cast of characters that we have presently. And so at some point in the middle of the summer last summer, I walked into my house and I thought this book is gonna be good. I can't believe it, like I can't, but it all sort of came together and that might have been the day I figured out who shelly carpenter was. I'm like, okay, this book is going to be good. But it was so difficult and writing a novel with all of those characters and all of the elements and all the storylines and creating the universe is so hard that it just really takes perseverance, and I'm glad to hear that it took your perseverance, that that it's not Oh, I sat down and I knew grace and I knew you know, it just flowed out of me. It's hard work. It's hard work. Um Well, ladies and both of your novels reinvention is a huge theme. So Jamie, UM JEMMA is not only starting over in a lot of ways, but she's also a budding jewelry designer coming back to claim her rightful spot in the family jewelry empire. Um and the electric rows the ring she was promised her aunt's elite and Celeste have also found themselves at points of reinvention for a variety of reasons. And now when so many characters in the hotel Nantucket, from Dye to Alassandra, Chad Xavier and even the love of Boo Ghost grace, are looking for their second chance. So can you, guys, tell us a little bit more about why this theme of reinvention was important to each view? And have you ever faced the time in your own life where you felt like you were reinventing yourself? Um, Jamie, do you want to start? You can have the screen. Okay, I don't yes, I think you know and where. Someone had told me when I was younger that life is all about reinvention. You know, the minute you become mother, you're a different person and then when the kids leave the nest, that's you're a different person and each phase of your life you have to adjust to be the best version of yourself in that phase. So I'm really preoccupied with it, Um, and I want to show even though my protagonist gem as in her twenties, and you can think really how much the twenty year old, twenty something have to be invent. She's had a history of family trauma, so she has to pull herself away from that and confront life from a more powerful stance. And our aunts are in Middle Age, which I think is the most important time of reinvention, because the world is extremely ready to write us off. Like you know, we've done our thing and take the back seat now, and anyone who's reached that stage of life knows that it's the world has never felt more open. So that's something I want to explore from the vattage advantage point of the middle aged sisters. And also reinvention gives you the chance to to say it's never too late to fix something, to say I'm sorry, to Redo a mistake, and I think we go through life with a lot of fear that that's really not possible. So I wanted to show how in some ways, in many ways, it is right. Yeah, that one UM. So I'm gonna focus mostly on the reinvention of my main character, Elizabeth Keaton. So I've, you...

...know, in my in my uh sort of search through the Nebulous Hayes for how is this book gonna Work? I eventually landed on having a female general manager who had been through a horrible breakup and it just felt really irresistible to me that she'd been through like this, this gruesome sort of emotional time, and I wanted her to come out on the other side and find something new. Now, it's one thing to find something new when you live in the actual world, when you live on Nantucket and the island is four miles wide and thirteen miles long, very very challenging to do, to reinvent yourself, and so that was what I wanted for Lizabeth in this this job for her, therefore, was perfect and she really obviously wants to succeed at it. She isn't particularly thinking about a new man in her life. Um, she doesn't think she's ready. One does appear and then she's embroiled in what I think is the greatest plot device of all time, the love triangle. So that's how that sort of ends up. That's great. I mean so both of these models are fun and fast paced reads and they have lots of life great life lessons too. So, Um, what do each of you hope that your readers take away from from these books. Oh, I think I'm still dwelling on the theme that I was playing out in my novel blush last summer. Again, it's the idea that you don't have to or shouldn't wait for permission to go after what you want in life. Um and sometimes, you know, we're so preoccupied with being polite and being good and being nice we can lose a lot of time playing that game. So I think the takeaway is, you know, go for it. I love that. I'll take that theme. I'll put it on my bulletin board. I mean, I think, I I don't know. My personal motto is onward, just the one word onward. And so many characters, especially in the staff, have like they have drama and that they need to work through, and especially like definitely Lizabeth, but also Chad. So Chad is like my young, twenty two year old kid who's had a WHO's made a monumental mistake at home and everyone thinks he's privileged and you know he's sort of a jerk and and doesn't you know, and he really sets out and he takes a job as as a chambermaid at the hotel and he really learns to sort of get past the image that everybody has of him. I love that you went there with Chad and Chad Tuckett in the whole I was like yes, like this is and when he doesn't order the vodka soda because he doesn't want to say vodka soda close and I was like, Oh my God, like this is the greatest thing. Last summer M Christie had to explain Chad Tuckett to me because I had no knowledge of Chad Tuckett. So if you don't, if you're watching, I'm here for yeah, you have to Um. Yeah, she's she's my Um, my spiritual guide to all things of this of this new century. Right Um to Amie. I know that you before you were a novelist, like all of us, you had another life. You work for Harpercollins. I worked for Barnes and noble dot com and bog dot com. So you know, you've seen a lot of these sides of publishing and writing worlds. But tell us about your journey becoming a published author. Sure you know I took all those jobs because I didn't think that I could actually be a writer. You know, there was no I didn't have any examples of people having creative careers growing up. I would grew up in suburban Philadelphia and I literally remember telling my fourth grade teacher I I want to be a writer when I grew up. I don't think I said novelists, I think I want to be a writer when I grow up, and she looked at me and she said, well, maybe you can be a teacher, and be a teacher is like amazing profession and calling. But that is not what I said to her and I definitely got the message back loud and clear. Um, and I always thought, well, I am going to at least work in books. So when I graduated college, I went to work at Harpercollins and various things, and when I slowly realized, and this is why I talk about not waiting for permission, is I saw behind the scenes, I saw writers turn in messy manuscripts or late manuscripts and I saw the team of people behind the scenes, the editors, the publicists who helped make a book Um, you know, reach the world, and it gave me a confidence to just try, seeing that there's no magic to it. You know that it's a out of it. Maybe more than half of it is is effort.

So that was my journey. I had to say I'm Never gonna do this, watch other people do it and then take the leap. Yeah, one advice, Um, Jamie and Ellen, do you have for aspiring writers who, like so many of us, we're looking to make a change in their lives and to figure out a path to being published, reinvention? Yeah, I mean I think you just have to do you know, obviously there's the impetus to just get started and do it. That's actually not the hardest part, as you guys know, the hardest part is keeping with it and when you get to the nebulous middle of your novel and you're like what happens next, Um, it's you know, that's when you have to keep going. I also really like to tell people to dramatize because, Um, one of the things that I don't care for in a novel is when when the AU or is telling me too much, you have to dramatize. You have to have scenes that have dialogue, that have setting, that have drama and conflict so that when we're when you're referring to the book about someone else. Oh, I loved the scene where you know Chad found his friends in one of the rooms, like that kind of thing. So you have a scene where something happens and that and that is something that I think a lot of aspiring writers need to need to keep in mind. I think, having worked in publishing, a mistake writers sometimes make because, one, they don't read enough in the space that they're actually going to endeavor to write in. Um. So look, yeah, I think some people really interesting. Oh, you know, I read Um, you know, really literary stuff. But it might be easier about start writing romance. But if you're not a true romance reader and if you're not really inhabiting that space creatively and spiritually, it's going to be a very rough road. You know, if you want to write mystery, you have to know, Um, you have to read it. Who else is on the mystery bookshelf? Um, what can you do differently? What do you want to what could happens? Do you want to pick up? So I think for anyone starting out, the first thing to find what you want to write and hopefully it's something that you're already completely in love with. That's great advice. I've never heard that before, Um, and I needed to be reminded there's this one. I was just going through my manuscript and there's like this one scene that like plays out. I was like, oh, that doesn't need to be something that you're being told. That really needs to be a scene and like I don't want to write it, I just want to charge the book in. So, thank you, Ellen. I need to do it, so maybe I can get away with it. No, I can't. Um but you know what, Christie, it's usually the scene we want to summarize that ends up being the one that we need to see the most, and I don't know why that is either. It's like, I think it's always something that's for me. It's always something that's really like emotionally heavy, and so having to like go there is just like hard and you have to like from I feel like it's always a scene like that. It is in this book for sure, and I was reading it this morning and I was like, yeah, that's not gonna get it. Yeah, well, Jamie, and yeah, exactly, it's not gonna work. You both write about places that you love and, at least in part, that you live in. So for Ellen, you of course Nantucket, his home, and Jamie you're a new stranger to your two settings in guilt, New York City and Provincetown, and so this experience certainly brings this layer of authenticity to your stories. And I know firsthand from setting my peachtree bluff series in Beaufort, which, of course, everyone local knew what it was. Um, the writing about a place that you know and love can bring about its own set of challenges, like either people thinking that you wrote about them or that you didn't write about them. Or, you know, restaurants are businesses that you didn't include because they didn't work for your story. But why didn't you include them? I'm ellen genius to put a travel guide. So everyone's good now, um, but I just interested in, like you know, what is it like, Um, writing about a place that you love so much, and then what's the reaction locally been to that like? Do you have a I mean, I know Ellen, you've been doing it a long time, but do you have like a feeling for what, Um, for what that response has been like? Um, I I used to think. I used to say I wasn't sure, like when I started writing, I wasn't sure I could even write about real places on Nantucket. So I think right up into the CASTAWAYS. I was using some real places, but I was also inventing places and then at some point it made sense that people were actually reading my books and looking for the real thing, and so I started writing about the real places and it has been fantastically received. I mean, everyone wants to be in one of the books, right, everybody wants to be, you know, the scenes whatever. And so knowing that now, with that, armed with that knowledge, I then sort of struck out to be more cradic about how I included people and also,...

...like I don't want to repeat myself by continuously having scenes unfolded the places where I'm always showing up. So I try and use different, different places. But in general nantucket has been very supportive. St John has been even more supportive. Like St John It, which is I was very relieved about, because I don't own property there. I am literally just a visitor. And yet every business owner, every single business owner that I have written about in St John has reached out. Come in for dinner, we want to treat you. You know, it is amazing reception in Saint John. That's I am very grateful to that community. Jamie, I probably would have to write this more at provincetown than New York City. They're probably not quite as it's harder to how does New York City feel about you writing the whole city and throw away into my next book? You know I lived for twenty five years provincetown. On the other hand, Oh my goodness, I felt almost nervous writing the first book set there because it's such a unique place with a huge history of writers and artists who spend time writing there, either painted the landscape or you know, Michael Cunningham wrote a beautiful nonfiction book about province town called Lands End Um. So I relieved and the people who I really respected there told me that like that I got it, that the province town on the page and the forever summer and Summer Longing and now guilt is the is the province town they recognize Um. But yeah, there have I lived there the summer of when I wrote guilt and there's this woman, I'm not gonna name names, but someone who owns a bunch of restaurants, did confront me about having mentioned one place over her place and the previous novel. So I was very careful to write it in. But then I was just back last weekend and I was visiting my seamstress and she's like, I hope there's a seamtress in here because I think we talked about that and I was like did we? I can't, but that was I'm writing on the next book. So it's it's great to have a small town that embraces and feel so invested, but I think you know you've got to be careful of feelings and you know you wanna, you want to celebrate everyone. So but I love that place. It's changed my life in a lot of ways. I went to provincetown to write about it and when the pandemic hit New York City, I moved there. Like I realized it was my favorite place in the world. I love that. That's awesome. Okay, this is like a super quick question. I know y'all get asked us all the time, because I get asked this all the time also, since the summer vacation time, no bookstores, but can you give us like two or three of your favorite camp miss spots in Nantucket and province town? Jamie, why don't you start us? Oh, okay, listen, all right, there's a miss just I okay, you got it. Okay, just between you and me, Christie, and the just a few of us here. I mean, no boot Jersey said, not yet. Okay, later. Um. I mean I love the canteen, which is my favorite go to, lobs to roll for dinner, froze by the beach place. Um, and the anchor in is where I always stay and fantastic bed and breakfast and I based the beach rose in in the forever summer on the anchor in. What that's awesome. What about you? Ellen? So I do have one of the exciting things about the blue book, I mean about the hotel Nantucket, is the blue book at the end, which is my recommendation guide for Nantucket. You would not imagine, or maybe you can't imagine, the number of requests I get for weird I'm going to Nanswer that. I go, and so writing the blue book was a little bit of self preservation because I am now no longer going to answer any of those questions. I'm just going to send everybody to the Blue Book. But if I had to pick three highlights that you absolutely should not miss, I would say sand bar at the jetties, which is an easy walk from town and it's it's sounds like it's a little bit like the canteen. It is on the beach in the sand. Um, you know, great fish, sandwich, fish tacos, lobster rolls and raw bar, live music, so much fun. The chicken box the best dive bar in all of America. You have to go there. Um, they have a lot of pilgrimage people, Ellen Hildgrand pilgrimage people showing up there, and the owner and I are friends, so of course I face time with them almost every single day. Um, just for a minute. And then I think the third place. I mean, why not, say at the Nantucket hotel if you're looking to spend the night? The nantucket hotel is the Grand Hotel in town that I based uh used for my novel. That's okay. Let's talk about...

...books. Um, I would like to know from both of you if there are any books on your nightstand that we might be surprised to find there. Jamie, what about you? I don't know if there's a surprise, because people who really know me would not, but I just got the biography of George Michael, George Michael of life. That's a good one. Yeah, I my two. Well, right now I'm reading razor blade tears. So this feels very off brand, but I mean these are the books that I like to read. So right now I'm reading razor blade tears by essay cusby, which is a thriller, really, really good. And then my other favorite book this year was notes. I can't even say about loud without laughing because it's so off brand. Notes on an execution. It was such a good book. I don't know if any of you read it. It's about a serial killer. He's on death row Um and it's the day he used to be executed and his story is old by the women in his life, which are his mother, his wife's sister and the detective who's caught him. It is absolutely riveting and that sounds so good. It was so good and it's so like not necessarily what you might think of as a beach book, but it was the best book I've read this year and I highly, highly recommend it. Notes in an execution. You know, it's so funny what counts as a beach book. You know. Often you know it's just a fast paced read. We I texted all of them. I just finished girl in ice, which is from our guest last week Erica and you're like, why would you read about a girl in ice and Antarctica on a trip to the Bahamas? But it was so good. So if you can read about an execution, I'll read about it an Arctica. There you go, there you go. Um, go ahead. What did you say, Marykay? I just said I sneezed. Oh God, bless you. All right, I want to go back to the question we got asked in the opener, because now I am so curious what y'all would say. So I'm going to repeat the question in case, Um, it got lost in the shuffle. Imagine that your Maui from the movie Mo wanna, and instead of transforming into a Fishhook, you have a magic bookmark that lets you shape shift, and you can shape shift in any way you want. You can benefit mankind, you can just have fun, it can be selfish, whatever you want. Who or what would you become? Helen, I'M gonna say an Otter's a good one. Honor is my favorite animal, for obvious reasons. It's just having so much fun. I love that. How about you do? I'm trying to rub my mind around this. Um, didn't love the idea. Um. Well, I'm gonna say so a bird. I looked at my window here I saw a bird in north caroline I've never seen before. It was this long white bird with a long beak, and I texted Christie, what is this and what did you say? Well, I think it's an Egrett. Okay, it looked very happy in this in this environment, and I thought that would be a great way to go around the next time. I Love Ellen and Jamie, if you wouldn't mind sticking around for just a minute, we have one more thing to ask you, but first just a few reminders from us. Always a quick reminder about our writer's block podcasts. So you know, we have a podcast that is different than the show and it drops every single Friday and it's with our rock star library and Ron Block, therefore the writer's block. On the last episode, Ron talked to Kate white about her new thriller, the Second Husband, which was just released yesterday, and next week he will be talking to just send to Townsend about her much louded novel mother country. And we'd also like to remind you, guys about the friends and Fiction Official Book Club, which is a separate facebook group run by Brenda Gardner and Lisa Harrison, which you know. They're otherwise known to US AS PBN j. They have happy hours with our WITER's block podcast host, Ron Block, and they keep everybody in the loop about suggested reads and upcoming releases. Up next they're going to be discussing book lovers by Emily Henry on July eight. And before we talk to Ellen and Jamie again, don't forget, don't, don't go nowhere, because we have the awesome Robin Carr on the afterwards show. Now, Ellen and Jamie, a little bit of a different final question for you guys tonight. Um, so, for our readers who might not only vacation this summer in the pages of your books, but who might also be visiting the real nantucket and the real problems town in real life, can you tell us all about I can't Miss Bookstore? Gosh, I really think we already know what gonna say. Each of you...

...tell us about it can't Miss Bookstore that they must visit while they're they're um bonus points if they can buy signed copies of your books at those stores. Allen Uh. So there are I live on an island, and there are the two independent bookstores that are on Nantucket are owned by the same people and together they're called Nantucket book partners. They're a little bit different. NANTUCKET UH Mitchell's book corner is on Main Street. It has a lot of signings. So Mary Kay signed their last summer. Um I signed every week Wednesdays at eleven. I was there today, longline. Um, Nancy thayer signs there, Nat Phil Brick and then they have a lot of visiting writers. And then Nantucket bookworks, which is on broad street, like two blocks away. It has a wonderful children's section. They have toys and games also, you know, wonderful books as well. And you you can get signed copies of my books and I feel like at times of the year you can also get signed copies of your all, y'all, y'all's books. Y'All, y'all, that you did get. You did that really well. Element I feel like I did that really awkwardly, but yeah, we really bought into it. We're here for all. So provincetown now only one bookstore left. People. We've got to keep buying books from independent bookstores. The bookstore, luckily it's a fabulous store, east end books, owned by Jeff Peters, who's a dynamo and yes, you can get signed copies of my books. But I think more uh, importantly, you never know who you're going to see in this store. You know, you look over your shoulder, there's John Waters or there's some fabulous writer who's trying to be under the radar in this town and failing miserably in the bookstore, because you seem to be hyper aware of note where the artists of all stripes. So east end books mustop. Oh, I love it. WELLN and Jamie, this has been so fun. Thank you, guys so much for coming on and spending time with us. Jamie and I have got two events, so we've got lots more fun to come. But everybody out there, if for some reason you have not yet read, I guess I can't get used to this. We've been doing it for two years and I still can't do it. You have not read. I'm telling nantucket yet run, do not walk, to your local independent bookstore or check out our bookshop dot org page and make sure that you check out these fantastic, fantastic reads, uh, for summer or really any time of the year. And Lady, thank you for just being so open and honest and answering our questions and talking about your lives and reinvention and, Um, all of these beautiful things. Were so grateful for your time and we know that everybody out there echoes that sentiment and happy summer. Thank you, thank you for having me. I'm so, so grateful. Love you, Jamie. Good to see you. Thank you, and don't forget, you can find all of our back episodes on Youtube. We're live there every week, just like we are on facebook. And if you just shove I'm Jamie out of yeah, I'M gonna send around to the yard with salt. He really likes her, like her, like when to sit on her feet at lunch, and you know she's been very patient. Um, but be sure to come back same now. I'm messed up. Are you be sure to come back next week, same time, same place, as we welcome Alpa Joshi and Martha Hall Kelly Anita Prose will join us for the after show. And don't go anywhere because we've got Robin Carr coming right up. A night nice. Oh my goodness, was so fun. I just feel like I had so many more questions. Like you's always in the credits, because it feels like she's here with us. I know, Um, and I'm sorry that I accidentally muted Jamie for like three seconds in the middle of all she was talking ing. I was like getting ready to say something to you guys in the chat and then I was like, oh my gosh, I can't mute her. Sorry, it was fine. It was fine. We got the gist of it. Um, I know Kristen is here in our announcements. Meg, you're right, like she's not really. Yeah, I love that. I love that. Well, Um, Gosh, you guys, we have another great guest coming up, so let's welcome our friend, Um, Robin Carr. And just a second. Robin Carr is the number one. Gosh, that seems to be a theme tonight. Number One New York Times best selling author of more than sixty books, including the Popular Virgin River, thunder point and Sullivan's crossing series. All of Robin's books are about strong women, for example on the screen. Her titles have collectively sold over twenty seven million copies been translated into nineteen languages in thirty different countries. Eleven of her...

...novels have earned the number one spot in the New York Times bestselling booklist and not only that, in recognition of the significant contributions robin has made to the genre, the romance writers of America Awarded Her within the Twenty Sixteen nor Robert's lifetime achievement award. Her Series Virgin River has been turned into a television series for Netflix. It is incredibly addictive, you guys, so I highly recommended as your next Binge Watch. If you haven't dipped in yet. I think there's four seasons now and a wild test. Robin. Yeah, Robin now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her children aren't grown and they've made her a happy grandmother. Erica. Bring Robin on a long list of friends and fiction. Thank you for coming. He put the book and this note. I was so touched. Thank you. My pleasure always, Robin. It's so great that we finally worked this out. We have been dying to talk to you. So we asked Ellen and Jamie earlier about the theme of reinvention in their novels, and the four of us who are here, including meg, have all had other jobs before the job that we do now, and it seems to play a big role in your novel, a family affair. Anna mcnichol is at a place where her world is falling apart and she must pick herself back up and carry on. Why do you think this message is important to you, and what do you hope readers take away? I feel like we're reinventing ourselves every morning. Doesn't see love that? Every day, it just it seems like, who am I going to be today? Um, how am I going to be and what am I gonna do? And you know I mean all the women I know and hang with. They want to leave the world a better place then they found it. And and that's a very, very popular theme in my books. That's so great. Do you feel like it echoes your own knife, like thinking about reinvention, that you carry it through in your novels? I do. I have to. I mean, I mean they don't. Don't blame, don't turn your back. I mean, something's gonna Creep up and throw you off kilter. And Yeah, yeah, you have to be flexible and you have to be righting to reinvent yourself all the time, not just your characters but yourself. Yeah, yeah, you gotta Stay Nimble. That's what I think. There we go. I think up to them. Yeah, well, I mean I'm I'm recently divorced. That's something I never thought I would be up. I talked about reinventing yourself. You really have. You have to start from scraw up almost, and think what, who am I? Yes, and I think I'M gonna go in my closet and throw away all the clothes that remind me of my couplehood. I see if that helps. It sounds like a great opening scene for a novel. Really, exactly what I was going to say. Like I still really his clothes in the driveway. I'll probably, but I love it. That's such a hard idea. Feel therapy, you know, I love start. It's great. It's so symbolic. I love it. Yeah, okay, Robin. We love the role of family in this novel. Of course, all your novels, this family absolutely has us ups and downs, but ultimate, ultimately, it's a family that gets them. It's family that gets time through the hard time times. And you know what you just shared with us about going through a divorce recently. What role did your own family play in the inspiration, if the if there was an inspiration for this particular novel? Oh yeah, I mean I have a son and a daughter grown and and they're very, very different and uh, and they and they coped with my divorce in very different ways, and so I wanted to capture that with with Anna's kids and how they how different they were in accepting the death of their father. So that seemed a really good vehicle and I know those characters. I've been related to them. How did your family ever come back to you and say, mom, that's not how it is, you're wrong. Yeah, Oh, yeah, they do that. But what they do more is they say, you wrote about this is our life and wrote about it. Well, you know, it's my life too.

Like that. I used to read, I guess I read in one Norah e friends one of her books, that you know her mother was her and Delia and the other sisters Um, their mother was a very both their parents were very well known successful screenwriters and her mother, I guess, was on her deathbed and looked at her daughters and said remember, girls, everything is material. That's true, and I think it's a Lamotte who says Um, if you something about you can write about whoever it is. It's your life too. And if, if they should have been nicer to you or you wouldn't have put them in the novel. I found myself constantly asking people if I'm like a dinner party or something and somebody tells a great story. I'm like wait, but can I use that in a book? Like disclaimer, you ask promotion. I'm so proud of you, I don't. I find that better to ask forgiveness. I'm so sorry. I forgot. The really need experience with a couple of my girlfriends Um we're sitting around my living room after lunch and and one of them said what do you like to do, like in your off time? And I had this moment of total shame because I don't do anything. I'm not, I'm not, I don't sky dive or scuba dive or go kayaking or anything really fun and admirable and challenging. And by the other friend, the third one in the group, said this, I like to do this, and I could have just kissed her, you know, because sitting around the living room with a glass of wine talking, that's my idea of a good time. You know, I don't have to practice, I have to learn anything. M No new skills there. Yeah, an, I love that. Well, we can't possibly have rob and car on the show without getting a little virgin river scoop Um. So we're not only fans of the Netflix series, Um, but the books of course. And can you tell us where will there be more Virgin River books, Robin, and what's going to you know, if I get if I get a really good idea, there will be awesome. At this moment, that, yeah, it doesn't. Nothing occurs to me. I'm working at something else interesting. So what's going on with the show? Well, the fourth season drops in on July and they're filming the fourth it's a birthday gift to me. Yeah, it's the sixteenth, but it's clicks close. Help them up. Happy Birthday. What's have been like, Robin, to have to watch your work be adapted for the screen like that? It's only a lot of fun and I keep the I keep the perspective that it's like two for the price of one. If you really enjoy the Netflix series, you might enjoy the books, and if you really enjoy the books you might enjoy the Rick Netflix series. I don't I don't judge. Sometimes I think now, why didn't they use my twist on that story, and other times I think, Oh damn, I wish I thought of that all all different. It's all different and I stay away from it because I don't know anything about making movies. I make books and I could, if somebody asked my opinion, I could screw it up in five minutes or less. Off You know, they're during up. Well, little break. I've heard other authors Um say that, you know, their job was done. Like I wrote the book and that my piece of this. That's all. It's finished. And so what someone else chooses to do with that story now as a as a TV show or a movie, you kind of have to wash your hands of it, or you have to you have to be willing to let all of it it's it's not yours anymore, you know, and in fact some people have have written me and said how could you let them change so much? And and I'll write it back and say the book is right where I left it, because I like that. So you're you're so prolific. I mean they're you've written so many books and so many different series and and so maybe there are right. But so maybe there's some people out there in friends and fiction lands who haven't read your books yet. And so if there's someone who's just discovered you via virgin reverse series is on TV but hasn't yet.

Reggie. Is there a point? Is there? Is there a book that you suggest that they start as it jumping off. They're interested in Virgin River, start with Virgin rivers, the first one in the series. I think there are twenty one and they're listed and numbered in order on my website, Robin Car Dot Com. Makes it really easy and I've written for a series, Um, the Grace Valley series, Virgin River, thunder point and Sullivan's crossing, and Sullivan's crossing is not being filmed. Is that? If I don't know when it will air, I have no idea to just started filming. Is it Netflix Orroban? Not? No, not necessary. I don't know where who it will be in the United States yet. Could Be Netflix, it could be somebody else. That's amazing, Robin. How many books have you written, Robin Dina? I think. I think six before. It's been doing this for forty five years, but I mean even still, sixty four books in forty five years. It's a lot. I don't know, I'm a little tired. I think I'm tired, hearing you say it. To clean out your closet anyway. Anyway, I'm going to clean out my closet. That's my short term goal. We look green and yellow. So we hope you keep that blouse. I don't think I'm going to keep this one. I don't know. I can, I can, I can get curse out the energy. Yeah, Um, and that can. It could be like your new friends and fiction blouse. Like you can associate it with us now, right, robin, this is a favorite question of ours on friends and fiction and we wanted to ask you tonight what were the values around reading and writing in your family when you were growing up? Non Existence. I mean I was not. I was not a reader as a child, although my grandmother and I used to go to the library every every few weeks or so, and I and I used to get a big stack of books that I usually that I couldn't read, and and and I didn't. I didn't read very often. I played outside and I had to be home when the street lights came on and uh, and so I was. I was out, I was out with friends and busy. Uh. One of my favorite books is a treat rose in Brooklyn. It was one of one of the few that I read and I had very fond memories of when I was in college, we passed around love story, a door and loving favorite book. But I I went to nurses training and I didn't read much fiction, just read nursing books and and when I got pregnant. I got married and got pregnant and I had to have my feet up a lot. So I started reading romance after Romance after Romance and back in the early seventies it was like Annie Seton and Rosemary, Holly Jarman. We didn't have a mass market industry back then. Pardon, what Kathleen Wood was? Was She on that list? Um, she was one of the my early reads. She published in seventy five. Yeah, in fact, I made my daughter read it. I hounded her for years and years and years and she finally read it and she said her mother, really mother. Their sexual assault in this book. Are you talking about forever amber? No, no, Kathleen Wood is right. Were in the flame. When I was a newspaper reporter, Robin, I interviewed Kathleen. What it was and the frozen foods. I'll of a kroger. Oh, I was was so far superior to her, like, Oh, this little romance writer. She's sitting at a table in the frozen food aisle at Kroger. There were lines around the store and she had a ring, this like this big diamond ring, and I thought some day I would like to be in the frozen food aisle exactly at a card table. was like yeah, definitely, that's amazing. The other question we love to ask on the show and after sixty five bucks I'm dying to hear your answer. Do you have a writing tip for us and for our viewers? They love to hear writing tips from authors. Do you have a tip that really helps you or that you love to give tips? It's not original.

So I give I would give Nora Robertson and probably many other writers credit for the answer. But you have to be willing to write crap. You have to write anyway, even if if you're not inspired and you don't have ideas. And in every single book from early on I get to a point where I think it's happened, I'm empty, it's all one, I have nothing. You know well, as our Mka says, you can't fix what you ain't wrote. Yeah, there you go, a Robert. That's I think that's the key right. Anyway. Yep, Robin, we wanted Jamie Brenner's here and she wanted to come say hi to you. She's with me in Beaufort today. Hi, Robert, and I've got to tell you I did discover your books through the show at a time I needed escape. I said, I need to go into a world removed from all this, and you gave it to me when I needed it and I just I love both the differences, doesn't matter. The experience, the feeling escapism is just so wonderful. So thank you, thank you. Thank you, my pleasure. We have talked for the last question. Do I get to ask the last question? Absolutely asked the last question. Okay, Robin. Do you have a book recommendation for us that you something that you're loving lately or that people might not think, Oh, why would Robin Carr read that? No, I am reading a book that I'M gonna my my friend Christian Higgins m just she's still funny. Out of the clear blue sky. Yeah, out of the blue clear sky, yeah, yeah, yeah, I picked it up. My daughter said, have you read Christian's book yet, because I'm seeing a lot of your of your dialogue in there, and I said really, so I picked it up to have a look and I'm gonna call her later on today and tell her that I'm done writing her dialogue for her. She's just happy her own. It's literally it's really good. It grabbed me on the very first day. I love her work. She's great. That's great, fresh. That's awesome. Robin, we cannot thank you enough for joining US tonight. What a joy to have you here and congrats on all your success. And thank you again to Jamie for being here with us as our guest today and to meg for filling in for Kristen. And we can't wait to see all of you next week right here on friends and fiction, same time, same place. See you then. Can I you happy. Thank you for tuning in. You can join us every week on facebook or Youtube, where our live show airs on Wednesday nights at seven P M East during time. Also subscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here. H.

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