Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Friends and Fiction with Emily Giffin

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Blockbuster bestseller Emily Giffin joins the Friends & Fiction authors to discuss giving up her law career to write, launching The Lies That Bind on the day of a nationwide social media blackout, and staying connected during the pandemic. https://www.emilygiffin.com/

Welcome to friends and fiction. Five best selling authors Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast with five bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independent bookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing. Thes friends discuss the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Bestselling novelist Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books. To their credit at the Start of the Pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, their favorite bookstores writing, reading and publishing in this new, uncharted territory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinating discussions with other bestselling novelists, so join them live on their friends and fiction Facebook Group page every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern, or listen and view later at your leisure. Hi, Welcome to everybody. This is friends and fiction. Five bestselling novelist Endless stories were five writers and friends whose common love of reading, writing or independent bookstores binds us together along with our love of a for a few fit. Oh, no, it's impromptu along with my love for a few other things, like kids and decorating and laughter and drinking and supporting Feather um, guys. And this is our weekly friends and fiction show. I'm very quaint through my latest novel is Hello Summer. I'm Christine Harmel in my latest novel is the book of last names I'm Christi Woodson Harvey and my latest Novelis feels like falling. I am Patty Callahan, Henry, and my latest novel is becoming Mrs Lewis on Hello, I'm Mary Alice Munro, and my latest novel is on Ocean Boulevard. And as you probably already have noticed, we have an incredible guest tonight. We're so thrilled to have New York Times best selling author Emily given with us to talk about her new book, The Lies That Bind. But first, a little bit of shameless self promotion from a Bridge and Husi that would be me Look tonight and no, I am not a pregnant except with book. I'm so excited. It's not to reveal the couple cover of my new novel coming May 4th from ST Martin's Press, the Newcomer. The book is set in a mom and pop motel on the Florida Gulf Coast. The newcomer is the story of Lady Carnahan, who discovers the body of her younger sister on the floor of her posh New York townhouse, and her sisters, four year old daughter Maya, upstairs whaling for her murdered mother. Let he flees the city with Mayan toe to an uncertain fate at a motel called the murmuring Surf, where she encounters a cynical and suspicious local detective whose mother owns the motel. Plus the motels regulars, a tight knit flock of snowbirds and retirees who regard the mysterious newcomers in their midst with more than a little hostility. We're gonna have a special offer for you tonight for folks who preorder the newcomer from our bookstore, which is a cappella books. I'll tell you about that later. Now we're going to switch the spotlight back to our guest, Emily Giffin, who I met decades ago at a book event in Atlanta with when her first novel, every something borrowed I'm so excited I'm just blathering, something bothered. Something borrowed was published to huge acclaim and shortly thereafter became a hit movie starring...

Kate Hudson and My Pretend Husband John Krasinski E Tell me he's this nice if he seems like Hey was very nice. Okay, he's very intelligent to Shortly after that Emily, you know, in her spare time, managed a birth twin sons and then a daughter, but to proceed to turn out an uninterrupted, uninterrupted string of New York Times bestselling novels. Now, as it happens, our mutual friend Patty Callahan Henry was also with that event that night and introduced us, And I Onley know that because Patty told me my memory of that night is pretty cloudy because I'd flown down from Raleigh, where we briefly lived three days after having some non essential lady bits removed. So I think I was living at the time on pain meds and apple sauce. Ah, few years later, Emily and I passed like ships in the night when I moved publishing house into ST Martin's Press and Emily packed up and left. Um, as a rabid fans know, Emily is an Anglophile with an enduring love for the British monarchy, as well as the diehard Demon Deacons fan. Ah, Chicago, all sports, right? Am your golf course right? Pretty much. I like college basketball the best, but you're doing your your now like you're now in a Chicago native, she graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia Law School. After what schools to practice litigation for a large Manhattan law firm. And you're in a novel in her spare time, as one does later. The novel that I wrote in my spare time as a lawyer was rejected. Well, the way just have. Let's just be accurate here, though that one was rejected. And then when I wrote full time was okay. God, Ugo. First time we were interrupted someone's bio before, but I feel like I could do that that way for people to hear that this way. All interrupt each other. Okay, something borrowed came out in 2000 and four, which prompted her. Is this right to vow to never practice law again? That's pretty accurate. Went on to Penn. Eight more New York Times Bestsellers including something blue baby proof love the one you're with heart of the matter where we belong. The one and only first comes Love and all we ever wanted. I could go on. But if you have a question for Emily, post it during this chat on our friends and pit fiction Facebook page, and we'll Post will be pulling a few questions shortly. But before we get too deep into this, I want to remind our viewers of the reason we got to start it on this endeavor. Our love for indie bookstores. Each week we highlight in India's bookstore and tonight Emily has chosen a cappella books in Atlanta as our indie bookseller. So they're graciously giving you 10% off all of our books. The link to the bookstore is posted on the Friends and Fiction Facebook page, so we hope you'll go over there and order books. Welcome, Emily. Finally. Thank you. U s so glad to have you so much. Yeah, we're gonna talk about stuff in a few minutes. Um, tell me how I have to say something first, I have to say a few things for thank you. And I'm so glad that my readers and readers in general are joining us. Um, but Mary Alice has the best voice for this way. Come on. They're probably I'm not talking My son George, about my headphones. There's somewhere in my bedroom. Um, yes, you're a very professional, and we already have one. So we didn't wait. Very happy. E. Emily. Tell us about how Cove it has affected your personal in writing life. Remote schooling, virtual bookstore. Barnes...

...are you know how many of you are? I know you're not Mary Kay, but how many of you are introverts on here? Yeah, just in terms of my life or just personality. Like just I guess my answer is because I'm such an introvert and I prefer to sort of hide out. Um, it hasn't affected my life. Muchas I think it's affected. Some people's like a zoo, Much as I love going on book tour. From the standpoint of, you know, once I'm in the moment like it's a classic introvert, once I get into the moment and I'm like, you know, talking to my readers that I'm out of event like I have a blast. But I just it takes so much energy for me to get up to want to, like, get on an airplane and then go into the situations that there was a, like, a lot of relief involved when they said, You know you can't. My book came out on June 2nd e don't know if you remember was black out Tuesday. Eso Nothing kind of happened that week, which was which was wonderful for the movement. Um, and and I There was a huge part of me that was like, I don't have Thio. I don't have to leave my house. I don't have Thio. Job is up, okay? Don't worry about it. I know what you mean. No, no, no. I think we all so there was worried about it, but of course. I mean, that's just kind of, you know, one angle of it. I think like everyone it's been, um, you know, it's been really challenging. I mean, you go through cycles where you're so you know, you're so worried. And, um then you think you have it under control, and then you think like, OK, things are gonna open back up, and then they're not. And right now I have three teenagers, my twin sons air 16 and my daughter is 13. She's very she's very social and really likes to be with her friends. Um, the boys were probably a little bit more like me, but that's a hard thing to manage. I don't know what Ages e No, some of your ages, of your Children. I know Patties, kids. But, you know, I think that Zubin challenging. But I have noticed that we've had as a family, we've become. We've had really deep conversations. I think that's kind of been a scene throughout many families where you, you know, you don't have anything but each other, so you might as well dig really deep and have really, uh, you know, important conversations that we might not have otherwise had, or at least not in the same way with intensity. So overall, you know, I feel I feel bad saying this because of course, there's so much suffering out there, and I wish we could get back to normal and everyone could be healthy again. But for for us personally, it's been sort of a quiet nice time. Yeah, it's a very long winded answer. Sorry, no, very important because I do feel that now that we're coming to the through it at the end of summer, that we are actually seeing there were moments that were valuable and lessons that we learned I think that was a very true answer. Yeah. Yeah, but now the kids are back in school because we live in Georgia. So Atlanta, you know, Atlanta, Georgia, Red State. Everything's pretty open, you know, we're back five days a week, so knock on wood that everything sort of stays that way. But yeah, it's just it's been the you know, if you think about it like if I said to you right now 2017 tell me about what you did in 2017. I don't know about you, but my mind goes like, totally blank. Yeah, it's like you have to really kind of think about 2017. What happened then? Or, like, 2014 or 20? Hell, even 2019. I'm alright, 2020. And it's like, you know, forever Year has just been full. So crazy, but great. Great year for books. I mean, great. You're escaping in literature. E over the rest of you. It's September, and it's semi foll ish. I know we have all been dashing to the finish line with our upcoming novels. Can everybody give me a progress report because I'm taking names way that yeah,...

...it's on your permanent personal record. Oh, Christine, show the cover. But I have a RCs so excited. Yeah, cover comes down a couple weeks and hopefully you guys will be well, you guys, my friends on the screen. But also you guys, my friends on Facebook will be able to get some of these and when some of them. So I'm super excited. I feel very accomplished when it's in my hand. It's like a real thing. At that point, I just gave me a heart palpitation a It's, um, how about you? I think I'm in about 77,000 words. In my manuscript we have a title, which is a big development. It's gonna be called the Forest of Vanishing Stars, So that will be out next summer on bond. But, well, thank you. But the most important thing is I set a goal for myself that if I wrote 8000 words this weekend, I could get a new pair of shoes and I did so the shoes around. A important thing of all your e. Next week I'll wear them and kick my heels up in the show. No problem. Thank you. What about you? I got my page proofs for the March book. And so we've been spending Emily that five of us have been doing this thing called morning sprints, where we check in with each other every morning to make sure we're writing or doing whatever our goal is. And so for this whole week, it's been my page proofs for surviving Savannah and I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm reading them out loud from front to back. Has anybody who else s? I do that and I feel like I catch 10 times more. Thanks. It's crazy. Yeah, Yeah, when you're doing your audio book that that's not a good time to get. You know, I read out loud after every chapped like I read it loud every day. Yeah. Wow. Like a very quiet. I mean, it's not theatrical or anything. It's just really reading it out loud, but just close, particularly with, like, dialogue. Having any seen you get out loud again when you get your page proofs, or do you only do it when you've written it and then your page proofs you just read it? I don't know. I feel like I'm the slowest writer and I just like edit to death everything. So I feel like I do every variation of editing that their existing anxious Well, I've never read out before and I am natural lot. You could change a lot when you're reading. And I thought my kids like when they're when they take it like an essay tested school Thio like obviously you can't say it completely out loud, but you kind of could read in your head like hear the words in your head or even like mouth, um, or was for them. And you catch so much crazy. Yeah. So I'm hoping next time I'm going to do it. My goal is next time, if I ever write another book is gonna read it out loud during, um, copy edits instead of page groups. Because, you know, we get that letter that says you're only allowed x number of changing Got chapter four. I'm, like, Mhm. That's what I've been doing all week. Kathy. About you, Mary Alice. Well, im It's been a long summer Long spring. I actually have had a lot of projects. I had my first middle grade book, which was finished and edited, and so that's the Islanders and that's done inviting to come out. And then we did a short story and caddies involved in that project for a book. It's an anthology Beach Re union. And so writing that novella WAAS of Exercise and that's done and I shoved it off and I'm behind everyone else. My...

...novel isn't done, but it will be done. Her editors offering my sprints and it's a common. It's I'm giving birth. I'm still in labor pains birth here. I finished. I finished my book, Um, Christmas Eve Day E was like Scarlett O'Hara. I was like, I will never as God as my witness. I will never put myself through that again. I've done that. You're smart to say that It's horrible. It's like it's Christmas E would have taken a champagne and no, I gotta work. I don't even you know it's a Blore, ER, but anyway, I we started sprinting May 1st, and I finished. Um, I finished the first draft Labor Day at noon, so I'm cleaning it up and then I'll send it to Gem, Emily's former editor and mutual friend. So I feel I feel somewhat, really, but there's so much work to be done anyway. Now let's ask Emily to tell us about the lies that bind. Well, let's see. The lives of mine is about a young reporter, Cecil E. Gardner, who's living in working in New York City. And she meets um, she meets a guy at a bar late one night. It's actually kind of nursing a break up and going through all those emotions of Break Up, but she meets this guy and he's absolutely amazing. He's perfect. Andi In the aftermath of 9 11 she discovers that he's not what he seems to be. So the story is, is a bit of a mystery, and it's about our own kind of search for authenticity and understanding. You know who we are? Ondas much just we tell each other lies and our relationships. Um, we can we could we also tell ourselves way tell ourselves lives as well. So it's sort of about Cecil E. Understanding, like who she is in her quest for, you know, and and figuring out who this mystery guy is. So and it's so timely that you're here tomorrow. I mean, day after tomorrow is free. Today is today is 99 and two days from now is 11. You know, it's it's crazy when you when I was writing and I'm thinking it was just a few years ago, a few years ago. But it's like it's historic election. I mean, it's 22 decades passed almost. It's crazy. Uh, time has gone, uh, what my book is, really, Even though it's it has a you know, 9 11 component to it. It Z in many ways, like the reason that I chose to set it at that time had more to do with that, like last summer of innocents, you know, cause a lot happened before 9 11. It's sort of the summer of 01 to me was such a vivid time. It was I was living in New York and practicing Law and ended up putting that job and moving to London to right full time. I hoped that was the plan to write a novel. I wrote something borrowed my first year there, so it's kind of an intense time. I think for a lot of people, when we look back and think about New York City and how innocently all were, and how could we not have known what was coming, but also in my own life, it was such a poignant, um, time that it was okay. There was something very satisfying about going back to that summer and writing a book at that time. But I think 9 11 was a good device, for it was weird how much it was mirrored when the book came out with everything that was going on with, you know, the black lives matter, movement and the coronavirus and everything else. But I think these really big events in our in the world can sometimes, um, you know, of course, they impact us in obvious ways. But also, I think there's this whole thing that goes on internally. You know, we touched on it a little bit earlier with your first question. But you know, you you ask yourself like, Am I living the life that I'm meant to be living, or is this relationship right for me? I mean, I can't tell you the...

...number of, sadly, like four or five friends who are either going through really big breakup or divorces. E. You know, you know a couple of authors who are going through that, and it's just e think it's because when these big things happen, it causes you to, you know, really have this internal. Um, you know, all this reflection of is this the job I want is just a relationship I want. Like, should I be commuting to work every day when I could be here and spending more time with my Children? Or maybe it's the reverse. Like, get me out s Oh, yeah, That's the other reason. I kind of said it at that at that crossroads. Patty, you've got a question, right? Emily, It's so good to see you, Patty. No, One of my very dear friends. I mean, I love you all, but we're very, very close and were both born on March 20th. Yeah, were both born on the same day with George. And our first book came out in the same year. And we way had to do these. Kathy, Mary Kay Andrews. Remember when me and you and Emily did that event? What was it at Neiman Marcus Booth? One where Mary can't remember meeting me, which you could just get out of your repertoire. I remember meeting you, but I remember nothing else because I was on pain. meds. I just think I'm just using you. Hilarious. E looks very good. Very K can you again? What? Your drink. E drinks. Strawberry A Your, uh, Mary. Oh, where you are in your manuscript, Mary. Alice. I think that's an appropriate beverage. O E o e. I don't know. You've been writing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or thereabouts. So the worst you guys all are impressive to may, but continue. What were you gonna ask? Okay, so what a year this has been. It's like nothing like it, ever. And you had I love watching your instagram because you're been and you're honest and you're vulnerable and your with London like I am and with the Royals. But you posted this amazing thing a couple months ago, and I know I wrote to personally about it, but I'm going to read it because I want you to talk about it a little bit. Um, you say, for myriad reasons, some obvious and universal in some too personal to share, the last few months have been really tough. Like a lot of people, I've been depressed and scared and unmoored. Been more introspective than I've ever been before. I've done more thinking and reading and soul searching and talking to trusted friends about life and love and relationships and race and power and privilege and pain. And it's led to a feeling of humility and calm and personal growth, along with a shifting of priorities. So I just want to take a moment and say thank you to those people who were there for me, who challenged me, who inspired me. I am grateful. I am hopeful and my heart is full. And now I'm all choked up. And it's just so like when I read it when you posted it, I was like, There she is, That's that, Emily I know. Mm. Talk to us a little bit about it. Well, I mean, I think it's just all those cycles of emotion that we were talking about earlier. When you know it, zits. There's so much pain and you're reading these stories and it's just daily agony for, you know, our friends out there on our fellow citizens in America. And, um, there's just so much going on, and I...

...think there's the pain, and then there's also the way that that causes you again to reflect on your own life and and kind of put things in perspective. And, you know, you you realize who you know. Your true friends are what really matters. And we let go of some of the small things. I mean, you know, Azaz authors, we get very, you know, we're worried about our launch and the book doing well and being, you know, selling and being well reviewed. And we want our readers to be happy and all of that. And when when your launch kind of it was such a footnote to this year with my book coming out. And of course I still so appreciated everyone who read it. And, um, you know, my friends and family were there for me, but it just didn't seem like a very important thing. I mean, is important. This books became to me, and this time my own kind of career and book launch was like, Oh, like who? You know who really, who really cares, like there's so many more important things out there, and I think that's kind of what I mean. And I think relationships that were, you know, I'd like to think that I got rid of all like toxic relationships in my twenties, which was sort of something Barb was about. But I think we can. We all tend to get caught up into, you know, relationships and friendships and situations that are really worth the effort we put into them on we, whether it's because we're trying to be, you know, a perfectionist or project a certain image or because we just want to be a good person so much. I mean, that's of course, very important that those things can be important. But when you strip it all away, uh, you know what? What defines us? This is people. You know what it's like, what I write about it. It's our relationships. It's our friends. It's our, you know, our marriages and our kids and all of that. And I think that that some painful things happened, um, to meet this summer and again personal things, difficult things to deal with. But it helped me kind of really focus on e mean. It sounds so like cheesy and like. But focus on that on gratitude, like really focused on gratitude. And as much as I've tried to keep a gratitude journal before and you know, said that I'm going to do it and like you get those little novels that, like paper, sort like those little little paper source That's a list five, You know, you do it. You're like, I'm gonna do this on, but it kind of just falls by the wayside and like, you get to it or you're not, it's a chore, but this was sort of a concentrated effort. The other thing that I did was jigsaw puzzles because that really, like, just use like puzzles. And instead of my kitchen counter, my husband and two boys didn't throw across country to train their big run a cross country runners. And so my daughter and I, Harriet and I were left kind of home, and we had no schedule, and we kind of lounged around a lot. They're go getters, and we're sort of like Slough like a There was a lot of just like jigsaw puzzles, and I'll have another glass of wine And what really should we watch? And then that all of that time I think I had an emotional few days around July 4th, and I and I wrote that post because I wanted I wanted to share that. And I think also remind people of, uh, of that centering that we all need to dio and it's a good time. It was a good time to really think about that and think about in our case, the privilege we have and what are we doing with it? And, you know, the pain that other people are going through. And so it was just It was a lot converging at once, but I I would guess that every single one of you have had moments like that. Absolutely. You went over poster, though. I post like, five times a day. So, like, I'm inevitably going to share that on instagram with other people. Might not share that. I'm very open.

But Emily and sharing it you made it okay that we were feeling that way, right? So when you posted it, it makes you say, you know, it is universal. We're all we're all hurting. We're all figuring this out. It was beautiful. Oh, thank you. Now I do think that there is a tendency. We tend to think that other people have, like, perfect lives. You know, we look it's an easy thing to Dio. You know, you look at a marriage from the outside or you look a other people's Children or you look at, you know, in in social media has made this worse And and I think we're all we're all suffering in our own ways. And I think that Zim Porton sometimes to share that, particularly when you have something of a voice or a platform. And you can kind of say, You know, this is what I'm going through and it's not just puppies and you know, And so how about the Queen is really important. She's everything you go a lot of book tour. You go on this fabulous trip toe London where you were nominated for award and you're getting to do all these things. And I'm just like coat tailing off Patti's experience and re posting everything like E like another thing from Patty and another thing from Patty. Oh, my gosh. Look at this, like bird that Patty saw because bird is in London and near the queen I know wasn't in the courtyard of Westminster Abbey. Yes, I think it waas, but e look for the meaning for you. I e wait between in the backseat of my car and my mother's car. So, like, you know, like the detail my boys were like, at one point, their car was in the shop. And I said, You know, can you just take Mattis car like we're not taking the queen to school? Come on, E. Come on. E. Well, I should I should tell you that I have my picture a picture of me from D. C. When Anna came to the U. S. Thio open the treasure houses of Great Britain exhibit and I went up and I was reported for that page a say and I stood on the White House lawn when their helicopter land, and I saw them stand by Nancy and Ronnie Reagan. And I saw Nancy reach out to hold Diane his hand, which apparently she did not get the memo e have this hysterical picture of me with cardboard cutouts of Charles and Diana with my arm around them. And I said my family at Christmas, and they just they thought Oh, my God, she Z that's amazing. Okay, I have a question for Theo. Events of 9 11 are seen through the eyes of journalists. Your journalist protagonists Thessaly, and she's even watching the Today show from her apartment two miles away as the second tower is hit. How difficult was that for you researching it and reliving those scenes? Because I know you must have gone back and and watch the television footage and all that kind of stuff was that Did you have? I don't know PTSD from that It was, and it was going back. So I watched the today's show and I would pause it after every line of like and I was watching the Today show when it unfolded. Let me back up. I lived in New York and I moved to London on Sept 16 so my flight out of New York to London was pre scheduled for Sept 16. So my last day at work was like September 7th, and like the going away party that I had was on September 9th, and then I moved into the power of Hotel in Midtown on like the 10th. So I'm in this midtown hotel getting ready to move to London when this happens, and I was actually I have been going...

...through the phone book to try to figure out where to get my driver's license renewed because I had to go meet a friend downtown and he had said, Well, let's just meet between the towers and I'm like, I don't want to go all the way down like you live in Manhattan. You don't go downtown unless you work down there. But he was like, You know, can you like That's really the only way that I can see you And so I said, Okay, I'm gonna get my and my now husband, then boyfriend. So what? You have to get your driver's license renewed anyway, So why don't you just go to the D. M. V? That's like near the World Trade Center? It's probably like less of a line than in midtown or whatever. So I'm like, OK, so I looked it up in the phone book like this in the phone book days like, you know, I didn't look it up on my BlackBerry or my flip phone. I think it was I was like Okay, like, go through it like getting the address and trying to figure out where it waas and then the guy that I was meeting, who happened to be my ex, um, interestingly was, he said, Hey called me and said, Don't come down here. There's like something. There's like an accident here. So go get towers and you could hear in the background Kind of like what was happening was very early on. And it goes, Turn on the news. It's probably on the news. So I turned on the news, and from that on I'm watching. You know, I was always watched the today's show like So I'm, you know, watching the Today show and sitting in this hotel room and thinking like Like us, I shouldn't go down and get my driver's license renewed. You know what? It's like a dawn on everyone. And then I'm like, Wow, I should call, you know and I won't get into the minutia because we all have those stories. But calling my friends, who are lawyers who worked at the World Trade Center getting the fast busy signal because there were phones were like not working because, you know, one reason or another or my phone wasn't working, it was just the whole, you know. So when I went back to write that, it was like for me, like reliving it because I had been watching the Today show and I had been living in New York and I had been very close to the site. So it was It was kind of a strange it was it e don't know how long it takes you all to write a chapter. I think I'm much slower than you have published every other year. And I think you all published every year. Eso uh, one What? That scene took me like a month to write, like maybe even 16. So I would pop after every line of the Today show and write down exactly what happened according to the time that was also on the Today show and then superimposed like her experience and slow realization onto it so that she was talking to her friend on the phone and then watching the news at the same time s so it was definitely a lot of PTSD. I mean, I think that's the case for everyone. Even if you weren't living in New York or, you know, if you were alive at that time, you have your story. You know where you were. It's like, you know, it's like are the John Kennedy generation like, uh, s. Oh, yeah, it was It was a lot, but again, that's it. That's a small part of the book. Yeah, I wasn't I didn't have to Kind of, you know, I didn't spend a lot of time with that grief I just wrote. The scene sort of moved on, but it is coming up, isn't it? Yeah. Wow, that was quite a story your way when we took off. Like, you know, the plane took off on the 16th. It was the first international. I don't know if it was the first international flight that they let out, but it was, um it was the first within the first two hours of the first flights. It was that Sunday evening and, you know, we took off and it was the red eye, but it was still light out because it was, you know, September mid September. So it wasn't dark at that point yet, and you could just see still was smoldering. Still the smoke, like, five days later, smoke coming up as you took off. And I remember thinking like that I was like, such a like Like that I was like abandoning on America. And, like, how could I fly off and go to England? You know, like my dream place, England. Um, instead of like, staying here and like,...

...the grit of it all but s O that was there was some parallels there with, you know, I think every book you write has some autobiographical elements, particularly when you're writing the first person. So although especially I don't have that much in common, we did, you know, without giving the plot away. There were some parallels there with her. Her relationship with New York. These at me 9 11. I guess you Yeah. Yeah, that was powerful. That was quite a story. Um, sorry. It was a little bit of a downer. No, but it really kind of leads into my question because you went right Thio England. And I remember reading your interviews and you were saying how it was difficult for you to wander around because you weren't in America at that time. But I like you like Patty, Like probably everyone here. I really loved London, and, um, it's my favorite city in the world. And I have this fantasy which we all probably do of being able to go and right bear or write in any foreign country where you're setting the book just and you spent, what, 14 months there? And so I'm just curious having done it. You have you done it? Is it a fantasy that we get to go to this country love and right? Or is it actually in reality? Hard? It's a distraction. Doesn't help, E would say. For me is an introvert. It was bliss because my friends and everyone, I was slow to make friends. I only ended up making a few friends there. I don't know if that's like I've heard that that's like very English. It's hard to sort of penetrate those Londoner circles, but, um, but I didn't make a lot of friends, and I was kind of liked it that way because my friends in New York and back in the, you know, my family didn't wake up till, like, one o'clock. So I wrote so much like no distraction whatsoever, like my phone didn't even work. Like for months after I got there have been the house line, but not the flat line, but not my You know, I didn't have a cell phone that worked. So it's just like it was and it rains all the time. It's like perfect weather to write in. I wanna know anything like you're living in England, but it's the English legs. So it's like You're not really brave. It's not like I ventured off to Italy, not knowing the language like eight pray love kind of thing on DSO. But yeah, I think I think it's ideal. Set up too, right? Even if I weren't And at that point, because there were more scenes. E there were some scenes at the end of something world. But it doesn't even really matter if you don't even need to be doing research. I just think it's stimulating to be somewhere else. Even if you're saying that you're Bahamas, right? Do you all go hotels, right? Yeah, That's why I'm fantasizing. But would you go to parents, maybe, or Thio Rome? Or would you go to a city? Another one. If you set the book there, would you do that? Well, it's you know, that was before I had Children. I wasn't even married and I had had Children. And so the reason that we moved back, we actually lived there for two years and eso Then I got engaged. They're married, married back in the States. But in that time period got engaged, got married and got pregnant with twins. And so we moved back because we were having to We were going to stay with one that when we found out it was way said, Like we have to get home. It's a high risk pregnancy. We just want to be home. So we moved back on Dso What? I love to do that again. Yes, but like right now, my kids are 13 16 16 like it's not in the cards anytime soon. But I fear I know how fast it's going to go the next few years how fast it goes. So you never know on the on the back end of that, I don't like Thio. Ever think that something is the last time you'll do it? But that Z, uh, so makes you still felling Holly to think like you...

...wouldn't do it again. But I don't know what fingers crossed. We can I am. Right. Right? Yeah, I know, Chris. And you've got a question for her. Yeah. Emily, uh, Mary Kay mentioned how the two of you met, but I wanted to tell a story quickly of my own that you may not remember. I e in 2009 way were like, totally e had a navy blue like, um, dress that was, like hot, remember, was hot e o from the night. Are you kidding me? Do you think I remember e crazy e? I wanted thio e feel like, Well, you know what I wish I was doing in touch with you, But I was so shy and like so I wasn't such an early point in my career. And it seemed like you were You were like, Oh, my gosh, like you were just had the life I dreamed of. And you think Oh, my God. I was, like, sort of a little star struck. So that's why I didn't stay in touch because I was like, early. She wouldn't want to hear from May E for a little while, but you really did take off a e. But I was like, Gosh, I was nothing done, but but I But I wanted Thio tell a story that has meant so much to me over the years. You were so kind and gracious than and a year so later is when I kind of decided to take my career in a different director. Um, I wanted to be writing bigger historical women's fiction, and I left my agent. I left my publisher. I was very much a drift, and I reached out to you for help and without reading my you know, like without I didn't have a but still yet, But you offered me the sweetest, most generous blurb on Guy was able to bring that to the new publisher as part of the package. And I think that was one of the things that really helped with the sweetness of forgetting, which is the book that were in my life. I've always e don't think I've ever had a tell you that. But that has always with me just how kind that was. Especially your kids must have been young and you have a million things on your plate and you took the time to do that. So I wanted to say you're very welcome, but you're my My blurb had nothing to do with that wonderful book that you had written like you were You were You were taking off. You were taking off. And, you know, that's the thing. Like meeting you. It's like whether whatever, wherever you are in your career, you can kind of remember in the beginning. You remember that first, you know, you remember where and you seem so beautiful and young. I do remember that because I was in the throes, like three Children under the is 2009. So I had a two year old and too four year olds. Yeah, that was not a pretty It was not a pretty time for me, but you were born. I'm always so happy to do that for, for for other authors, especially ones who have met and really like we were like pals that night. We kind of went around to the different tables and gave our little analysis e that. But yeah, e was fun, e. In any case, And Mary else didn't we meet in Winston Salem? Did we never meet in Winston Salem? I'm making that up. Have you been to Winston Salem? I have, but I would have remembered meeting you. I mean, Patty talked about you all the talk, So maybe it was. Maybe it was like early, maybe like I was the Christian in this story, E maybe like to think I would have remembered a pretty young well, e had brown hair of the time. Maybe I would like to, as I like to tell my Children when I say, like I got so tired of dying my hair brown eso It costs so much money. It was so time, really,...

That I just went back to my natural blonde e Maybe you're on painkillers to at the time area E, I'll refresh. I'll think about it tonight. Okay. E Christians will move on to your question. We're running out of time. All these people were asking those questions and is very e blowing up. We're never even gonna get to it. Okay? Mine's actually kind of a quick question then. So that's good. I think I e my I think my computer since your back will sleep soon unless plugged in e disappeared for a minute. E baby, we're so proud of our announcements, don't you? I mean, I want to get to your cover, reveal that most important e Oh, my kids. Kathy, why don't you do your cover right now. Waiting. That's perfect. See if Sean can put it up. Sean, can you put it up? E love it, e. That's the newcomer. Next summer. Summer 2021. That's, um I love the pink shark fins. So on. And it's the first time anybody's ever seen it. Yeah, it's so great. Made for a shooting on it up there, baby. Fresh look, all different love. It has for humor in it, but I love. Yeah. So if you order tonight through pre order tonight through Sunday from a cappella, um, you're gonna get 10% off. You won't get the book until May 4th. But we'll send you, Ah, one of our friends and fiction cozies. And that's enough about that because we're going thio question Christie's person. Yes. My God. Are you got Emily? Are you plug done? Well, if we die but he's coming in charge now. E before on friends infection. But I got the idea for my debut novel when my son was like, three days old, which was not probably the best time, but as we all know, when you get an idea for a story, you just sort of have to write it. It kind of takes over your life. But I had so many excuses in so many reasons that this wasn't the right time for me to try to get an agent. It wasn't the right time for me to submit. It just wasn't the right time. And my mom sent me an article about you and about how you signed your first book deal and then found out about a minute later that you were pregnant with twins, no less. And I thought, Okay, well, if she could do it with two babies, then I could do it with one babies, certainly. Uh, right, I hope, but really mean spent an entire career being this incredibly successful author, wife, mother or philanthropist. All of these things. And I'm not going to ask you the balance question. I'm not going to ask you that. Um, but do you have any advice for people who are, you know, just kind of getting started? We have a lot of writers on the show who feel like they're in the throes of all these things. And, like, maybe they don't have time. Um, yeah. Oh, I think you're muted. Your muted Emily family. Did you? Emily? What am somebody muted? Um, you muted yourself, I think. Accidentally, Sean, can you? Right there on the bottom. Seo bottom left. Damn.

Okay. Hurt that so loud. It's kind while she's trying to Owen Mute What? Oh, I'm looking. She says it won't on mute show you It's doing the scrolling rainbow. Why don't we talk about the bookstore while we're waiting for this Christian? Are you going? They just made a secondly, but order, I can One thing I do want to remind everyone while Emily squirreling Riendeau is swirling that as all our watchers know, that Kristin's book The Book of Last names waas such a huge hit that it sold out on I think, what dig our one way have a huge announcement and it is finally back in stuff so Sean could use a little flash of the booth. And so if you've been spending time, you know that this has happened. Now it's in stock. Everywhere it's been out of stocks is that we could came out and we're excited to know and to share that is back in stock. So tell everyone, you know, it's almost like public all over again. Thank you. E. Are you back? You text. Emily and Pluto. Go out. Come back in. Oh, she can hear us. You can hear us right in. Um, go out and come back back in. Okay, E. It is your friends and fiction. If something wasn't going wrong, right? I mean, I think a wide exactly. They're really on and then come back. You can like Kristin. Do you talk about bookmarks? What? Marx. Yeah, Really? O e um You know, I just wanted to say super quickly over the weekend, we posted about bookmarks from North Carolina. Um, they're an independent bookstore. Also a literacy nonprofit. They had something terrible happened to them. They flooded Andi when we told you about it. More than 150 of you immediately stepped up to donate. We were floored. We were so touched. And their operations director, Jamie Rodgers Southern came on and said it really must true that reading fiction develops empathy. I'm so encouraged. This bleep leap year hasn't made people hate. It's made people bond together in love, trust that our staff is deeply grateful. We will recover and continue to serve our community. So to say thank you. We are giving away find book tomorrow. Books and book plates, Um, to a random winner. One of you who donated. And the winner is Diane Maguire. So she was randomly drawn. Diane, I will. I will email you tomorrow to get your address. That prize packs. Also going to include a book plate signed by Sarah McCoy, who is on the bookstore board. She's another author. She's on the bookmarks board. But all of you. So, Diane, thank you. But to all of you. Thank you so much from the bottom of our all five of us friends and fiction authors are so proud to be part of this wonderful, bighearted giving community. And we were so honored toe walk among all of you. You. So we love you guys so much. Thank you for stepping. Waiting for Emily to come back in. Um, everybody wanna give a shout out to whatever it is you're reading and enjoying right now. I know. Mary. Alice, you've got a book you want to mention? Sure. I'd love to. My gosh, Emily can't get back in. She says, E, I'm really...

...excited. This is a nonfiction So it's the first time I've done this. It's called Becoming Wild by the Carl Safina. I read a lot of books about nature, but this is so eloquently done. It's about understanding the, um, you know, for so long people say, Don't anthropomorphize, don't put human emotions into animals. He is a naturalist, a scientist, he says. Yes, they do have these emotions. And he tells beautiful stories that parallel human emotions, animal emotions, human emotions. Obviously I love that, but he does it so well. He's such an eloquent writer, and also he has. It's been so successful. There are two middle grade or young adult versions workbooks for kids. So if you want to get in touch, you wanna have that connection with nature, especially if you're stuck indoors. It's called Becoming Wild, and the author is Carl Safina. He's probably my very favorite nature writer. And Christine, you had a couple of books you wanted to talk about, right? Yeah, well, in since Emily isn't here, I do just want to say, because I really didn't say this tonight, But if you have not read the lies that bind, I know we all loved this book. so much. It was incredible. It was one of those books that I was reading it over Labor Day weekend and, like I couldn't do anything else, you know, like friends would be like. I'm sorry, I'm reading and I stayed up all night finishing the spot come. It was just absolutely wonderful. And then to hear their stories about 9 11 and just how that tight end. And it was so interesting to me to be back in 2001 and to think about we don't feel like it's that long ago. But just all of the cultural references. And you know what? They were listening to what they were wearing their self. It was where they were eating. I mean, it was just really interesting. Thio, go back to that time and be like, Wow, that really was a long time ago. But it's just it's a great book on all accounts, Um, a history in there, too. Yes, yes, I am reading the Age of Innocents, which I somehow I mean, I have a masters in literature, but I never read this book before. I don't know how that happened, but it is so wonderful and we were talking about earlier. How sometimes the classics are not as exciting or, you know, but this'll book just it's really it really holds up. It's just such a great book. I'm like, I'm flying through it like I'm flipping the pages. So, um, not our normal contemporary read, but Beijing. But it's it's a true historical. Yeah, Okay, talking about how awesome. Okay, s So here's what happened. I'm going to stay with this really quickly. My computer, My Joe Biden sticker here, this'll computer do not have chrome. So I got this computer and then when I hit mute when I was trying to plug myself in, it froze, and it kept doing that little wheelie thing that was E. O s. Now my family is yelling at me. Why did you use that ancient computer like? That's not helping. It's not my mute, but well, it. But I told you, I'm terrible at this stuff. We all are way. Always dio a little aftershow eso in it in it, um, it airs. So if you guys will since we Emily you know, we lost her in the ethernet, hang out and we can you hang out with us too. We'll ask you some more questions. We'll drink some or stuff. I didn't even finish, did you? Christie, did you finish your question? Actually, my question works really well for her writing tip to because E that is. You know, when you have all of these things in your life, how do you prioritize your writing? And what does your schedule look like? And I know...

...what I was trying to answer before I realized I was commuted. Just I think you have to let go of the quest for for perfection. Like, I think that your mother probably sent you that article. That clipping because you have been really struggling at that time and probably feeling, you know, terrible about your output and probably feeling like you weren't doing a good job in any one category in your life. And she sent that article and said, Look, everyone's going through this like people you know, young mothers like go through this. And I think that's just to kind of again go back to this sense of Don't be so hard on yourself. Just do do what you can. And some days we're gonna be terrible and some days or you know you're gonna right, And it's going to feel so easy and effortless and everything will flow. And you just on that's the same in relationships are relationships. Sometimes they come together. And if they feel effortless and sometimes like if you could have heard us fighting just now arguing how did you use that old computer? That zeal to me right now when I'm like doing this, you know, So that's like and I think I'm gonna put filmed him sort of yelling at me because I'm gonna put it on my instagram story because that's really dammit. People have been asking questions and so we're gonna We pulled some off the Facebook page, and then we're gonna ask some that have been coming in live. So, uh, Dorsey hates buttocks, and we are just gonna go over. So if you can't stay, you guys go away. But we hope you will be going over, you know, a second hour of the today. A calories? Yeah, Dorian Yates Buttocks wants to know Emily. There's an idea for a book that you just can't write about yet. A story that's just waiting for the right time. Well, I started a book, so, you know, I didn't go on the book tour, so I thought, Okay, I could really get started early and get cranking on this one. And I started one, and it was a little It was just too. It was too heavy. It was, too. It was too heavy for my my soul, my heart to manage. And so I just put it aside and I decided that I would revisit it. And once there's a vaccine, you know, once we're a little bit on even footing. I've started another book in the last few, like the last week. And I think if you follow me on instagram I've been asking about have narrated the names that the baby named choices for this character. I'm kind of getting into that. But eh? So, yeah, I think definitely There are books that stories we want to tell, but the moment doesn't feel right toe us. You know, we just don't feel ready, so I'm That's a great question. Is it, Doris? Doris. Thank you, Doris. Yes, And reality has a question from somebody to right here. This is from Crystal Harden, and it says and this is appropriate that I asked you this. Will your next book finally include a dog? All your readers Heart Dolly, Hank and Darcy. Oh, that's so sweet. Um, you know, I have I really never included a dog. I think there's been dogs. Maybe not like a like a key, integral like dog character. Like the dog is like center stage dog plot. Yeah, maybe I'll have to do that. What? Who is the lady who? Just ask that crystal crystal hartal. Okay, Crystal, I'm gonna put a dog in for a crystal. What a d 00 e. Oh, that's awesome. Dogs are awesome. Okay, Who wants to ask another question that we pulled e okay. Yeah. Sean, do you want to run us alive or I've taken the liberty of pulling a few. Also, Okay, Brendan Gaskell wants to...

...know Emily. What led you to become a lawyer? Oh, Brenda, uh, you know, actually, I don't regret going to law school. I loved I love school. I loved the actual law school. I just didn't like the practice of law. But I think that law, when you meet a doctor, you hardly ever, ever meet a doctor. who will say like, Oh, I just went to medical because I wasn't sure what else to do where I was pregnant. Chase. My like, really dreams. I just went to med school. But I feel like a lot of people go to law school because they were really good at sort of something in the liberal arts and they had good grades and they liked school and they were kind of on the nerdy side and like, I'll just go. I'll just take the else that I go to law school. So I think kind of I fell into that. I was a history major with English minor, and I was just I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I wanted to write fiction. I didn't wanna go to journalism, so I'm like, OK, I'll just go to law school and and go from there So it's It's Yeah, a za Much as I did not like practicing in a big firm, though, I mean, I really do use it all the time, and it enabled me to live in New York City. I guess I could have lived in New York City if I had been like a struggling writer, But, um, it's a lot easier to move there. But you know what? The big firm job and so, yeah, my rambling answer There a question, E o way. Everybody, if we want to do one more way, this is really have time. Okay, um, Melanie Falconer wants to know all of us. What is the one thing you're looking forward to doing once everything is opened back up. So, Emily weekend since you're our guest, you You guys go first. Okay. Hostess pre k G o. Uh, somebody else go first. I was travel. I want to go. I want you to hold on, Judge. I want to go to London with Mary. Alice. Uh, PCH. And you, uh, can I come and just hop across to Paris from there? Michael. All right. A little research done. Exactly. We're supposed to go to a wedding in France, um, in a Memorial Day weekend, actually. And we had a plan that I would get off book tour. We would jump on a plane, take the train to a friend's daughter's wedding. Um, do that and then, you know, run around the French countryside drinking wine. So dio warning the wedding happened But they're gonna have the party When things you know, hopefully pray to God when things get better than well, hopefully go. So that's what I wanna dio You know what I want to dio I want to see all of y'all in real life and e o e o part of the tribe So you guys were sweet. Yeah, I want to go hang out I wanna go right with some of you Oh, come on, I'm talking about that forever Go to a little do a little writer's retreat. But who Who said that they wrote 8000 words this weekend was that I did. But that's what Christine you Well, no, I mean let's talk about Christie Christie. How many words do you write like sitting in the car? The pickup line? Christine's our work girl J B that good. They just know that matter and you know it doesn't like it doesn't. It's just a word that's amazing. E a weekend. But part of that was because I had been Patty and I did. A writer's retreat in captures North Carolina Nice, and she basically put the gun in my head and said because I kept saying I can't do it, I can't do it. I can't do it. I have to You know, I've got to write this big, You know, um, sort of cinematic day. Numa and I...

...couldn't get there and she kept telling me I was self sabotaging and e wasn't writing a word so her to, you know, to, you know, nag me. But it really did help me over the hump because we sort of sat down and talked about all the points plot points that I had to cover by the end of the book. And so I had, you know, my little handy dandy black and white composition notebook that I wrote down. This is what I have to dio. And then once I got home, um, it was like, I have got to do this. So I couldn't have done it if I hadn't had been with Patty and her really kind of putting a gun to my head. You cranked it out. E did. I did. It was I won't say it with a new land speed record, but e But I do think for you, Cathy America, you know it Z. The fact that we didn't have to go on book tour actually made a difference, you know, because otherwise we're on the road of them. Be hell afterwards. So you got that was you got that gift of time? Yeah. There's one more thing we have to dio um newsflash. Breaking news. Um, Beth Woodson has turned 35 way. Love you for giving us Christie. And, um what else do we want to do, Guys? I mean, we're just, like, rolling along here. We should probably let Emily get back to her family. I think you guys should all be special guests on my book club Zoom that I'm doing at 8. 30. 0, no. Yeah. No, no. Well, it's at 8. 30. So we have plenty of time, But I'm not going to do my hair twice. No, like, you know, because it's usually in a baseball cap, and it's like, Well, we all do that. I'm gonna stock these things, so I e think you guys should come on the zoom and surprised everyone dirty. Why waste this makeup Seo put on a listen, I'm going to send it Thio. I'm going to send it to patty and she can share with you. If anyone wants to come on and say hi to this book. Club would be. Oh, really? Oh, we're gonna all made Period. Thank you, Emily. So much A technical difficulty. But you just got a little window into, you know? You know, I don't drive on highways, for example. You know, that e a family would not be friends and fiction if you didn't have technical. Oh, yeah. Okay. Okay. You're going back again having you, because thank you to all of our readers out there. Thank you. Thank you. You're awesome. You 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. Yeah,.

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