Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 1 · 1 year ago

The Fab Five - Our Virtual Happy Hour Goes Big!

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Friends & Fiction authors celebrate Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews and On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe hitting the New York Times bestseller list. They also talk about ways to support independent booksellers and announce their amazing summer 2020 schedule and guest line-up for the coming weeks. www.friendsandfiction.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Five best selling authors endless stories. Friends and fiction is a podcast with five best selling novelists whose common love of reading writing in independent bookstores bound them together. With chats, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing, these friends discuss the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Best Selling Novelists Mary K Andrews, Christen Harmel, Christie Woodson Harvey, Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Monroe are five longtime friends with more than eighty published books to their credit. At the start of the pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, your favorite bookstores, writing, reading and publishing in this new, unchartered territory. They're still talking and they've added fascinating discussions with other best selling novelists. So joined them live on their friends and fiction facebook group page every Wednesday at seven P M Eastern, or listen in view later at your leisure. Well, welcome everybody to friends and fiction. Are Weekly happy our chat to benefit local independent book stores Featuring Best Selling Authors Mary Kay Andrews, Patty Callahan, Henry Christy Woods and Harvey, Mary Alice Monroe and me, Christin Harmel. We are so glad you're here. So since April we have been meeting on facebook live every Wednesday night to talk about books and writing, to chat with you and each other and to answer your questions, all in the name of reminding you to support local booksellers. Today will be telling you a bit about our books and will also be telling you what to expect from our summer schedule, which is kind of a book tour in your Living Room. And, of course, each week I tell you all about one of our favorite independent booksellers, and tonight it's my turn to tell you about book people, the largest independent bookseller in Texas. I'll tell you a little bit more about them later, but for now just know that if you buy any of our new or upcoming releases by Saturday met thirty from book people, you will get ten percent off with the coupon code friends and fiction, no spaces, and you will be entered to win a twenty five Gift Card to book people. I will post all of that in our friends and fiction group and speaking of our friends in fiction group. If you were catching US elsewhere, for example on Mary Kate's page or Patti's page or wherever else we're appearing. If you want to ask US questions live, the place to go is the friends and fiction group. You can search for it on facebook. That's where we're answer all your questions. We interact with you all week and it's just a whole lot of fun. That's where all the cool kids are. I have to say wow, speaking of the cool kids, I mean, and look how good I am with these segues, tonight we have two super cool kids among US night. Mary Alice Monroe, who's on Ocean Boulevard just debuted on the New York Times best seller list, and Mary Kay Andrews, whose Book Hello Summer is back on the New York Times best seller list. So we are thrilled. It's amazing and we are so happy for them and we'll be talking more about that's for you can and pretty. Yeah, cheers yet. I'm gonna get my wine glass. Thank you. Hold Up, I'M gonna help everybody. Are you all toasting US too? Because we don't want to drink alone. It makes us look like alcohol excited. Here's to all of us. If everyone out there raise a glass to our two New York Times best selling authors, this is amazing, and to all you who went and bought books, all of our books, any books, if you're buying, especially from indies, we're toasting you. Yeah, thank you. We have such gratitude to all of you, and especially those of you who have been joining us here week after week. We know you're all supporting us. I've received, and we've all received just the loveliest notes from you. A lot of you have invited your friends to join the friends and fiction group, and it's great. We just love sharing our love of reading, Our love of writing, and we love that you're sharing it back with us. So thank you for that. So, with that in mind, before we get rolling, I wanted to tell you all something really exciting. So we had initially said that starting next week, June third, we would be going twice a month instead of weekly throughout the summer. A lot of you wrote to us and expressed disappointment about that, and it's what we listened and realized. We were kind of disappointed to it seemed like the right decision back in April when we started out, but we're just having too much fun, and so I am happy to announce that we have changed our minds and we will be with you every Wednesday night through at least the first week of September, and even after that. We have no plans to go anywhere. I can't guarantee you we're going to be weekly, but...

...you know, you guys are stuck with us. You're going to be having friends section in your life for a long time and we have lots of fun in store for you this summer. I know we've teased a little bit of it. We talked a little bit about it last week, but we'll be telling you all about that and our amazing lineup of guests that we have concerned it confirmed so far later in tonight show. But for now, again, join the friends and fiction facebook group if you haven't, and invite your book loving friends to do the same. The more the Merrier, and we promise we will continue to interact with all of you on there. So, without further ado, let's get started by catching up with these ladies and seeing what everyone else has been up to, other than dominating the New York Times. But well, I will say it's a hack of bullness. I mean it is the books that are out this summer. Is Our amazing so I am so thrilled and again, like mere case said, we're so delighted that you, God is there and it is all of you. So thank you. We really truly and I spent the day either tropical storm Bertha. Y'All getting affected by that water. Charleston's getting clappered and is coming up into the mountains. So there's a lot of water today. So I think we're all just I put a lot of food in because we're going to be. It's dumping rain. You know, last week there were people riding boats and, you know, canoes down King Street and Charleston, and so it's it's wet out there. What about you? or You are it's rain here all day, which is part of the course when you're trying to do an outdoor project. Yeah, but your lovely little you new auditions done, isn't it? I saw pictures. It's Storg now we're trying to build a patio, so that's awesome. You can't build the patio when we're having a drought cafee. You have to build it when we get them on soon. So you know talking time, but you're still in here at Squirrel Hollow. Yeah, we're still and Expo Hall in at Lambs. Okay, I returned back to Birmingham. I see your bookshelf. Yeah, back in my office, back trying to I don't know about y'all, but I'm time. In the last week or so I feel like I'm emerging back into having, you know, ideas and sitting back at the desk and getting organized and like pulling out my bullet journal and making lists and all of a sudden it feels like, okay, we can do this and get back on the horse. So I'm back in Birmingham and back at my desk and, yeah, thrilled. And I woke up this money I was like, it's Wednesday. I gets everyone. Yeah, yeah, I did too. Yeah, we's when I knew I'd be celebrating for crying together with you too. Either way, you need. You were bringing whine, I know I would giving you and I thank you girls for having my back. We should explain to everybody that the way the book business works is. Thank you. Yes, new release books are published on Tuesday and then the way you get on the big list, which is a New York Times list. It isn't the number of books, it's velocity. So it's the number of books in the space of a week at stores that report sales to the New York Times. So if you're buying the book at Kroger, The Times don't care. If buying it in any bookstore, and they care target Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, of course, Indie book stores and Amazon. So all of that, all those sales figures, get reported to the times and around five o'clock on Wednesdays, if you have some hope or expectation that you'll make the list, you do one of two things. You hang out by the phone or you act like you don't care. So when feels like following came out at my agent, I was like working out. It was Tuesday and she texted me. I was like, I am refreshing my screen every like two minutes to look at the USA Today List because yeah, it was my first time and and I was like Oh my God, like wait, what, it's Tuesday, like what? And I was like, oh my gosh, I'm wrong. They must get it a day early. So for like an hour. I'm like freaking out and then she calls me and she's like she calls me and I'm like okay, like you know, I made art and she was like, Christie, it's Tuesday. It's here for an hour, like in a knot there. Thank. You know. Just defines covid time. Yeah, it's time. Days hold wrong. Hey. Yeah, let me say this. Two readers who like Cathy that I never know Kathy tro check, Mary Ca Andrews. I don't know what I know. Yes, thank you for explaining that. But I think one of the things a lot of readers don't understand is that if you love an author and you say I'm going to get her book when it those first two weeks, specially the first week and maybe the second if you didn't,...

...if you can't get it the first week, that matters. Or Pre orders to helping anybody make the list. So it may not matter across the board, but if you feel thinking of getting the book anyway, for any any author you love, that first week or two that it comes out is very helpful, very helpful. It's like an elet of yeah, preoders are the name of the game and and you can preorder it indie bookstores and especially during the covid nineteen a lot of people assumed that booksellers were not open and a lot of weren't. They didn't have this physical stores open, but they've been doing tremendous amounts of mail orders, deliveries, everything they can do, and so they are there. No matter where you are, those indie bookstore people are there and they are really you can make a difference in keeping them in your community by buying books. Ordering books don't have to be our books. I went to my closest bookstores, Eagle I books indicator. I went to sign the stock last week with my mask and they were wearing their masks. They're not letting people in the story yet, but I bought a hundred dollars of books worth of books in the store that that day because I want to support them and they're all books that I would have eventually bought any way and I'll give them away as gifts or read them. So right. And the other thing is I this year in particular, booksters have been getting independent bookstores have been getting the books earlier, in getting them out earlier than Amazon, because Ammas, I'm Amazon has been pushing really hard for his essential services during covid and I have to my hands off to all the indies who have really made the effort to get those books in and out to you as soon as possible, which I think is a great something off point for talking about our bookseller of the week, you know, and those are such good points. I'm so glad that you all mentioned how important it is to support independent booksellers, because it really is. I mean, it's those booksellers who help us to discover new books, new authors we love and, you know, kind of give us all a place to unite at as book lovers. They give us a sense of community, whether we're physically there with them or whether we can just interact with them online. So, as many of you know, we've been featuring some of our favorite bookstores each week and we will continue to do so throughout the summer. This week we chose book people in Austin, the largest independent bookseller in Texas, and I wanted to tell you why. So I think bookstores are all about connection, and when the world suddenly went virtual, a lot of us lost that sense of community. It's one of the reasons we've been doing this friends and fiction thing it's our way to connect with each other and with you in a world that kind of feels like it's been turned upside down. So book people has essentially been doing the same thing. They're well known for having a consistent, robust events series of interesting, diverse authors and they have been one of the bookstores nationwide to pivot very successfully to virtual events right off the bat. So I think there's a lot to be said for the way they managed to do that so quickly and so well. There are a lot of other booksellers around the country. Foxtail, I think, is doing a wonderful a lot of wonderful things with events. Libraries are doing great things to Cuyahoga County Library and Ohio Ron Block there is doing wonderful things, I'm gown with live events. So I mean there are a lot of bookstores doing this, but I really wanted to mention book people because I think they're just providing a ton of content for book lovers across the country. Also, is such a cool town. It is, it really is. It's just such a creative, I don't know, just a creative melting pot. It's wonderful. I also wanted to mention that when I went online earlier this week to buy Patti's new release, losing the Moon, which we're going to be talking about in just a few minutes, or suprise new release, her old new release. We'll talk about it in a minute. So I went to book people and bought it this week through our page, which is listed at the friends and fiction group, and I actually get a personal note from Rachel at Book People, who's part of their Internet sales team. It warms by heart. It was not just a transaction being processed by someone remote who you know you never have any contact with. It was a personal interaction that reminded me of what it would have felt like to shop their facetoface. So I know a lot of scars are doing that and it matters, if I really think it does. So that, I think, is part of the difference you can expect when you shop a local independence store. So this we remind them. Ten percent off from both people. percent off exactly. So if you want to order one of our books at book people, the link is on the friends and fiction group page and you can use the coupon code friends and fiction. No spaces today through this Saturday may thirty. The code and link Er up on the friends and fictim page. Additionally, anyone who buys one of our books there by Saturday using that coupon code will also be when entered to win an additional twenty five dollar Gift Card from book people. So now it's time for one of the parts the happy hour I like the most. The question and answer session. My favorite part too. It's so fun. I just did it. So nice to hear from readers, which reminds me, ladies, did we ever figure out how we're going to address live questions tonight? The face but friends and fiction page just,...

I think, how we're all MOM, if you're watching, do not text to me and say quit looking down at your friend because I'm getting questions. Doing it for a reason. All right then. So we've pulled for questions, just to start with from people who have emailed US ahead of time, and then, if you have questions for us, type them in now on the friends and fiction group page, underneath the videos that you're watching. Right, Christie, that's the best way to pull up, underneath the video, that's underneath the video on the friends and fiction page, because that's the only place I could get right. So we can't see, we're not going to see your questions if you're asking them on Mary K and Mary Kay's page, on Patti's page, anybody else's. You've got to ask them to us on the friends and fiction page and we will, you know, do our best to get to some of them. So on to the question some of you had asked. So First Carol Tillis Hale asked us. was being an author always a career goal or something that came later in life? Mary Ka, New York Times best seller, would you like to start us off? When I was a young kid, before anybody told me girls can't do stuff, where I go out that message, I thought I'm going to grow up and write stories and write books. And then, and I think in high school, I got the message that girls can't do stuff, and so I thought I'll be a newspaper report and I'd always been been interested in journalism and so that really was a passion and a goal online. So I was always going to be a writer and I think it was only until, not until late in my journalism career, when I got beat down by editors and politics and all that stuff, that I decided. You know, I really I wonder if I could do this. I don't believe girls can't do stuff anymore. I'm not listening anybody tell me I can't do anything anymore. And then I started writing fiction in secret while I was still working. The first book didn't sell. The second book sold based on five chapters. Wow, you were awesome. Yeah, that's great. All right. So Nancy Maynor's asks. Do you write better at home or do you write better in a getaway location? What are other fabulous New York Times best selling author of the week like to answer? That I can already be you were such loose just because our books aren't new. You guys are. Time is coming, your time and at home I could never. I'm always amazed when I read about JK Rowley and my friend, our friend, Diane Chamberlain too. I go to they go to starbucks and say, Oh, I just like to go there and write. Now's like, Oh my God, yes, diractions, there is no way that I could ever write with those distractions. I have to be like Captain Kirk in my you know, I'm surrounded. I always have a desk. That's a half shoe. Which shoe worse? What? What are you called? The short to or I do. I'm you don't have to know words. You're on the New York Times this fellar time. I won't when I'm in the zone, they just comet. So at anyway, speaking of the zone, when you're alone, I don't know. You probably feel the same. I feel very I let go. Yeah, and this is a scary thing to let go, and when you do, I need to feel safe. So I'm always in my office, surrounded by my books, with the door closed. And you this is my desk here in North Carolina, and I'm facing away from the windows, because otherwise, you know, what's that bird doing out there? Look at that squirrel in the trees, so cute. Oh what the come back in your dog. I mean, anything happens and my attention is gone. Yeah, but if I'm focus tonight, don't have any distractions, then you lose yourself and that's how you get to the zone. So I could never write anywhere but at home. But I really add this little extra bit when I'm taking notes or ideas, like a car ride at a stoplight. They always say were authors never have deposit slips in their bank, because we're riding on notes Ondom and the other thing. There's something about do you think this is true? There's something about being in an airplane. HMM, way up high, we're ideas. Come. Does that happen to anyone else? You're like away from the rest, being like your I totally agree with that. But I get mission sickness. So I sometimes I'll like pull my computer out and like I can't look at it, you know, like I'm typing but I can't look at the screen because it's just even in an aeroplane. HMM, oh my gosh, so bad at an airplane. Oh, that's hard. That's all. I really tried everything. I mean, I can wear like a patch, but you know, it's not worth being like super woozy if you're on like a two hour flight, because I'm fine as long as I'm not reading. Yeah, yeah, really, and it's you know what I can do on the plane, even though typing might make me car six cy sick motion, sick my hands, I can do that with Ye, that's right. Yeah, when I don't know, I can't read it later, so it's like I just am...

...scrawling like illegible things to myself that I later have to figure out. Like what did I need that doesn't make which Cathy, can you believe that, considering I used to be a reporter, that I could never read my own hand right? All right, so next question, Sharon Collins asks I have ideas for a short story or book, but I can't seem to get started. Do you recommend writers groups for accountability? How about another New York Times best seller to answer this, Patty Callihan himry. Know, the writer group question is a hard one for me because I joined large groups, but I never had what's commonly referred to as a critique group. I never joined one. So I entered contests and I started to show it to people I trusted. But I do know that those critique groups can either be devastating or completely helpful, and so I'm leary of them, except for support, and I think that a lot of really good ones right now can be found online through professional organizations. And Cathy and I were both members of the same Atlanta our Wa, way back in the day before I was published, and that was incredibly helpful. For historical fiction, there's the historical novel group, for you know. For mystery, there's, what's it called? Cathy, Mwa. Mr Mr Rightso America and there's also s Sak, which is sisters in Kraud, sisters in crime. That's when I was thinking about so I believe that those professionals. For me, if you line up a hundred of this and ask the same question, you're going to get a different answer. But for me the professional groups were way better than trying to meet with six unpublished writers at while they tore my work apart and sent me to the bed. So I know there's a lot of people. I have a lot of pals who have critique groups and they're all professional writers and that's really helpful. But I'm really get nervous about, you know, six new writers getting together to rip each other's work apart. But there are some really amazing professional organizations out there that support writers, that give you information, that have yearly conferences. Except for two thousand and twenty just scrapped. I mean the historical novel society was supposed to be in Australia this year. Not that I was going, but yeah, so that's my short answer. Networking, networking, networking, you know, and I'll also say Sharon specifically. You know, she mentioned accountability and when I was writing my first novel, I didn't belong to any writers groups or anything like this. This was a million years ago, this was back in like two thousand and three, and I didn't know what to do. So I asked a few friends of mine who were readers, who I knew were not aspiring writers at all, so there would be no sense of them trying to, like him, set their writing style on my books. And I just said, Hey, I'm I feel slowly say in this to you, I'm trying to write a first novel. Could I send you a chapter every couple weeks and just so I have someone to sort of be accountable to? And that kind of kept me going through my first draft. It really did, because I felt like, okay, I have an audience of three people. You know they're going to they're going to cheer for me, which is what I needed to slog through my first draft. I don't know if that was just me, but and the other I did was I took some classes. I went to M so my master's degree is in pediatric nursing, it's not in writing, and I figured if I spend all those years, you know, to do that, I had to log some hours on this end to so I did I signed up for classes at emery and I took writing classes and had accountabile and then I track down people like Mary Kayne based and said will you go out to lunch with me, and she said first started, I started writing fiction in secret at while I was still a newspaper reporter and there were a group of four or five of us that we're all working in the news room and so we had like a little writers group. We can critique each other's work, but it was about accountability. So we would need lunch and it would be would exchange chapters and so I knew the night before we were going to meet that I had to ham more out something. So yeah, I mean even if it's just a friend who doesn't even write, you can say hey, can you just check in with me on Thursday and say hey, what did you write this week? There's yeah, there's lots of ways. Other point, the other point that I went add to all the excellent points that've been made, is that one of the ties in with a networking that Mary Kane talked about that when you're writing it's a very lonely process and often you face a lot of rejection and it's nice to have a group that is with you, that it knows what you're going through, that supports you and again with networking that has oftentimes agents will come to their yearly conference, and that's a whole nother discussion we can have one...

...day, but just seeing an age and listening to agents makes you writing a novel is a publishing ISS be and that Nice Professional Group helps you with both point. All right, perfect, and those were such great answers everyone. And finally, for Christie, I have sort of a two part question I can bind to reader questions. One is from Dane Schroeder, who says is it more rewarding to write a series of books to continue plants, or is it more rewarding discussion novels, and Beck to bulware also asks how do you decide if you wish to carry characters over from one book to another? Is it story driven or de Fans influence you? So, Christie, you have experienced writing both the series and Dandaloons, but you think that's a really good question and I don't know about one being necessarily more rewarding than the other. I think they're just very, very different experiences and may feel like writing a series is it's sort of like going back to a favorite vacation spot and then you already know what your favorite restaurants are and like, you know, maybe the waiter remembers you from last year and like you loved that dress that you bought it that store. You know, it's just it's familiar. There's something that is sort of like coming home about it, and so I loved writing a series because I loved knowing already knew the characters, I already knew the setting and all I had to do is put them in new situations and I was like wow, this is really great. But then I think you do get to a point where you have all these stories that are in your mind and you have all these things that you want to keep working on and you want to keep you know, you have new ideas that you want to explore, and so I think at that point, you know, leaving that series and being able to go to a brand new story is so exciting, and Patty sort of touched on that earlier. But I feel like I'm in that same place that I'm finally to play, place where I just turned in my edits yesterday for under the southern sky and I have something new that I'm so excited to work on, and so I feel like I'm just like so excited. It's just like when everything's fresh and it was like falling in love, you know, you're like you just can't wait to get back to that manuscript. Are So excited about it. So I think they both have their works. And as for readers influencing you, yes, they totally do, because I had said the whole time I was going to write a three peach tree bluff books and I still might not write a fourth, but I get so many like notes and messages from people every day saying please write another peach tree bluff book, and I kept saying no, I'm not going to, I'm not going to. And then a few months ago I just had this idea and I was like, oh my gosh, this has to be a peach tree bluff book. It can't be anything else. That has to be a peach tree buff book. So I don't know if I'll end up writing it or not. I mean it's not totally up to me. It's, you know, my publisher and I'm going to be under new contract soon and all that, all that. So there's so much that goes into it, besides just, Hey, I want to write another peach tree bluff book, but I will tea. Yeah, but they're both. I mean they're both really exciting. They both have pros and cons. For sure. They're Mary Alice. Did you see some benefit and kind of taking a little break from the the Beach House series between? Yes, okay, and you talked about that a little bit. I think the like Christ she was saying, you you know it so well. But the challenge for me is always I love to dive into a new arena and do the new research, rich new characters. It's keeps you fresh. And there's always the other idea you've been waiting to get. And so when I write more of any series, in particular the beachose series, it's because there's something, like Christie said, something I want to say that this series will say the best. But you have to. I think it's smart to get away once. So I know that some author just keep keep it going and that's their power, that's their strength. They know what they want. I just feel that every want some my I usually wait two to three years between and I've been doing them quite a bit backtoback beachause reunion this one and I'm writing another. So that'll be three in a row and that'll that'll probably give me pause afterwards. So I want to do something else. I love the characters, but there's so many books I want to write so little time. Feel the same way. That's how I am too. That makes sense. Christie. Do you have some questions for you? I love this one and, like, so does everyone else. Has Questions. Gotten like a million, like so this is what we're starting with. Shellby Jackson wants to know how did the five of you become friends, which I think is such a gred which will all have a different answer to. I could be not great, like it was just it was to me. Fine. I love that question. I thought it was really good. So who wants to start? You. Sorry, you, sorry. Okay. So I first met Patty and Mary Alice and and I met them both at the pulp wood queen's weekend in Texas and I was actually doing a panel with Patti, who have been one of my favorite authors for like a really, really long time, and when I found out that I was doing a panel with her, I like was like stick to my stomach. I was like, oh I can't sell they guy. I'm like no, I can't do it, and I mean I did a million speaking events at that point,...

...like it was not like some brand new thing. But Anyway, she was so nice and we hit it off and then I met Mary Alice at the same thing. When we were dressed up. I told this story. Oh yes, here prossed up as Tinker Bell and Wendy from Peter Pants. Oh yes, happened to be. I mean you, I mean you know you're going to be friends when you're both dressed up as characters from Peter Pan. Kristen I actually met in Orlando when I was doing an event there and we had brunch together and it was really fun and then we started kept in touch and then we got to hang out for a long time in California. So that's really fun. And then I met Mary K at the dicator book festival and she was there promoting her cook book. So it's a few years ago and I was like super nervous to meet her too. Scary's so scary, and I was like waiting around in the green room because I didn't want to like you know, and so whenever and I was like hi, I'm a really big fan. I'm Christy Harvey and I write books. Since she was like I didn't, and I was like that's it's lovely. That was a nice answer, to be nice, although it was like my fourth book or something. I don't know. It wasn't like it was my like first day as an author or something. But anyway, that was really exciting and we had a really nice chat about editors and I don't even know how we got on that, but I was having this like question about my editor and she liked told me this great story about her. Yes, so that's how I'm at all these lovely ladies. And then why don't you tell us, Mary Kay, how this got started? It got started because all of us had, I think we all had spring summer releases, and so, you know, the only thing authors love to do better than writing is bitching about writings. Well, I think we were emailing back and forth or texting. We were terrified. Yeah, how what was happening? Yeah, we said how we're going to do this, and I said, well, you know, I signed up for a professional zoom account. Why don't we do a Friday happy hour wine and Whi any and so that's what we did and and we sort of talked about the challenges bookstores, not knowing whether the book stores would be open, not knowing if our books would actually get out of warehouses. Yeah, because Patti and Christie in particularly face face that challenge. So we I think one thing women do really well is is we ban together. It's sort of like PTA bake sales on stage and it's so good for us to hear what how you know? How you doing, and I feel alone, I think. I think we know how to work together. I think we know, I think all of us realize that a rising time, white floats all boats. And so we got together and talked about what we could do, what the options were, what our publishers were saying, and then probably Christen or Christie said, hey, why don't we do a when we try doing a zoom with our fans? And so that's how it all started. And the motivating force for all of us was we knew we are you know, our books weren't getting out there, but we really knew the booksellers when the biggest trouble because they were closing their doors and all of us wanted to somehow, in our own way, supporting independent bookseller, and we felt that's where this really came from, this connect with booksellers for our books and and celebrate them and encourage people to not go elsewhere, just to go to their local, independent, favorite bookseller. And by introducing booksellers every week, we give them a chance to be known to you and it gives them, I think, a financial boost, but it also, I think, gives them a heart to keep going in the stuff time. And I think we owe a thank you to all of you out there for the support you've shown to your own stories, but also to the stores we've meant into you. I mean, I think it. Tell me if I'm wrong here, but I think each of us has received really positive feedback from the stores we've worked with each week. So how we've kind of done this is each of us so far has chosen a different store and been sort of the contact person for that store, and I think after each of these we've gotten really nice notes from most of the booksellers saying that they were really happy with how it went, that you know that it was helpful or they get to connect with a lot of you, and so thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting the stores. That means something to us, and just for keeping these stores alive and and, as Mary Alice said, keeping them encourage that there are still people out there to buy their books and that this is that there's a way forward. I mean, I think this is really important. And while I'm saying thank Yous, I also have to say I was kind of the newer one in this group. I knew Christie, I knew Mary Alice, but I didn't know Mary Kay and Patty yet when we had that first chat, and you all, I mean you, even though you didn't really...

...know me that well, welcomed me with open arms, and Mary Alice, you were the one who kind of invited me into that fold. So thank you all of you. I'm just so happy to be a part of the group. We are so gratefully you're here. She's she organizes us. Is like hurting cants out there. I'll tell you kind of little that. I'm mean. I do it all with a smile, so you don't know you're being bullied by me. Right just getting no. You're always you're always cheerful when you stick the pin. You're always cheerful when you tell us that we're doing it wrong. Now I'm like no, no, no, you guys are so cupid. No, no't just shocking said, totally kidding. You're so precious and you're so fucking long. Yeah, the old southern Oh, bless your heart, right, we're not that way. What I think is fascinating about that question is that we didn't all need at the same time. No, so, you know, I met Kathy, Mary Kay Andrews, wow, eighteen years ago, maybe car so and then? And then our husband's worked together. And then I met her at a Christman Work Christmas party before I'd even finished my first book, like eighteen, nineteen years ago. And then I met Mary Alice after I published, and met Christie Polpe. was showed up on my front door with the suitcase. Hi, I'm spending the night. I Dec we talked all night long. I you. Then Patty Funny, Mary ells. That's how I met Christina mcmorris. Then, Oh, no, easy yet, just me just last year. Yes, what month was it? January? Yeah, yes, isn't that crazy? Oh, wow, she's great. I'm so excited when she comes to join us. Yes, yes, feel like pope with Queen. Spending the night together is like a vivid dream. Of another life, something that happened and we sat on a floor and I passed around bottles of Champagne and saying show tunes. For like that was a life. I don't what like. I think it actually liked about, like, not like publicly, but like for myself, because it was like all so weird, but it was like the most fun ever. We were in Lu we in our pajamas. Was it just me, because that was my costume now, but jam was. Yes, I worked, I was Wendy. Look at this, I was still in my Glenda, the good witch costume on. What was it? What was the theme when we were together and I stole your glasses? Yeah, that was that year. That year was the wizard of Oz. That's what I was thinking. That's a good year, and I I dressed up as a rainbow. I want to see that picture. I want to see that picture. Remember that Pat Conroy was there and they this event we're talking about. Everybody is the pop would queen's weekend, book club weekend in Texas, and every year it's a it's a crazy theme. So this year Pat Conroy and his daughter were there and they have a night where the authors serve dinner to all the people who are attending, and so I've got somewhere I've got a great picture of all of us and pat dressed up in an apron and Pat Conroy being Pat Conroy, you know, slopping food on people's place it. And then then I accidentally it's totally and she couldn't see. I couldn't see and we were announcing from the front of the room. Does anybody have and like, does anybody hours later? Cant. Mr mcgoo, do you the saybody? Speaking of glasses, I have to tell you our beloved we mentioned her earlier and Riverson's. She passed. It was very sad, but I don't know if I ever told you this girls, but they had an auction of her belongings. I have the red glasses. You want the red glasses? That's right, I got them. I should put them up on that shelf right behind me from that home. What are you one more question. I'm sorry, we know what Christie I I was going to say. Would you mind if we just I would spend all night doing the questions if we could, but I was just thinking we have so many things to get you tonight because we want to mention the summer. Is that okay? Or was it? I was just going to say one thing. A couple of people have told me that feels like following is out of stock in book people. Merited said she ordered it somewhere else, in another independent book store. Thank you, Meredith, but I will just say one of our book stores from earlier in the summer is still offering tim person off on feels like falling. So I'll just drop that link in the friends of fiction page. I also want to say I was looking at the book people site earlier. A lot of them are listed as. I don't think they're out of stock. I I think maybe they are. Maybe it changed from the last time I...

...looked at it, but a lot of them say not on hand, which just means don't physically have it in the store, but it might ship from their warehouse and like a day or two. So it is long as it says it will ship in a few days. It'll ship in a few days. I don't think I could be wrong, but I don't think it was out of stock there. We can step by the way. People can still you guys can still post your questions on the friends and yeah, we'll go to answer things and and now that we're going to be going weekly, there's going to be plenty of time to answer questions. I mean the some of these questions have come from comment chains from the past too, so we kind of go into those and look and pull them and if for future episodes. So we will try to get to all of them. I've sense good questions. I know everyone's asking such great things and you would think we'd be repeating ourselves by now, but we're not. I mean, for the most part I feel like it's all really new good stuff. So moving on a little bit and again I hate to leave the question and answer behind, but we've got so much cool stuff to tell you. So first of all I wanted to tell you all when we started friends and fiction, four of the five of US still had upcoming releases to go, and most of you know that three of those have already come out. Christie's feels like falling, Mary Kay's Hello Summer and Mary Alice's on Ocean Boulevard, and I still have my new book coming out on July Twenty one, the book of lost names. But we all thought that Patty's newest release was behind her. The paperback of becoming Mrs Lewis It, which had just come out March twenty four. We'll guess what. Patty apparently didn't want to be out done. So Berkeley, her publisher, has repackaged and released one of Patti's older books, losing the Moon, and book people has it this week for just nine hundred and ninety nine plus. You get that ten percent off if you order from them and use the code friends and fiction. It just came out yesterday actually, so, which is amazing. So, Pat did you want to just tell us for a minute or two about losing the moon? I will take the little bit of littlest bit of time. So we went here. Came out sixteen years ago. Sixteen years ago, if you go to my facebook, was live test. I know, man. If you go to my facebook page or my instagram, I posted a picture of my first book signing for losing the Moon and I'm with my daughter in the picture and she is now married and has a baby and I'm a grandma. And yet I look at that picture and it was yesterday, you know, that losing the moon came out and I remember being over the moon about losing it because I was the first they called them emerging authors at the Margaret Mitchell House. I felt like every dream I've ever had had come true. My family and friends were there and I was the first emerging they'd only had well established authors and at the time it was run by this fabulous woman and she fell in love with the book and she started an emerging author program. But losing the moon is actually and Cathy, we have this in common, is it's actually the second book I wrote, but it's the first book that was published. For a lot of you aspiring authors out there there's this you know, we can get really bummed out and dejected and lose faith when the first book doesn't get published. But my first book I wrote didn't come out till four years later. So losing the moon was the second book I wrote. I love the book. Let me just say right there. I love it and it is actually of my contemporary novels. It's the book I get the most letters about. It was inspired by a situation that happened when I was at a tailgate. I went to Auburn University and, as you know, it's huge football school. And I'm ignoring happy because she's probably barking at me. I'm sorry, what did you say? There's good and and tailgates are a huge thing. You know these SEC colleges, and I was hanging out with my dearest friend, who is a guy, and his wife, who's also my dearest friend. I was in their wedding and my husband and they had a little boy and I had a little girl at the time and somebody jokingly said, wouldn't it be funny if your daughter and son got married one day? I was like no, it would not. That's not a good idea. I don't like that idea, and yet I took it and I ran with it. So losing the moon is about to college xloves who one's daughter starts stating the other son and they haven't seen each other in fifteen years. HMM, I can't wait. I got my email from book people today telling me the books on its way. So I've I'm so excited to dive in. After I finished reading audotion Boulevard, which is what I'm working on right now. Not Think took job, but when you rerelease, happens? I was like, wait, you should just told me. Maybe I want to rewrite it, maybe I want to ask I'm sure there's mistakes in there. But yeah, that's the beauty of early releases, is that. I love when I said if I love you, but I if you fall in love with Patty Kelly and Henry today it's fun to go back and read her works going all the way through. So I like them the way they were. Yeah, yeah, that's a good point. Me To a question. I know we have to move on, but so the mass market of the secret of southern charm just came out...

...it. I did. Yeah, and I got to like rewrite it kindly. Why didn't you tell us that? We would have started reading. I didn't think about it till right now. But what, like, so do y'all that means? Y'All do that? Like do they give me the book back and say no, they just basically say, O, there any mistakes that you know are in there? That's what they said. But like they were like Oh, like, take it in if there's anything you want to change. HMM. Nobody actually the book club, believe it or not, because do release will celebrate in July. It's coming out again, repackage for July, and that book is twenty years old. And they did say look at it and see if there's any and they didn't have cell phones. Yeah, so you have to change things a little bit, but you don't rewrite the book. You just write like you tweak and funny. The only thing I changed at the silence south of so P will actually change a few things, but the only thing in the secret of southern charm that I changed was there were like three lines that. I don't know if y'all know this. If this happens to j all, it sometimes like when they're line editing, like they'll change things and I would be like well, I mean, I guess I should give them that and then it would still I would read it and I would be like that line, it's just like not enough syllables or whatever. Just did in hit my ear right and I changed all those lines back to how I had originally like I still remembered him, and I mean I wrote that book in like two thousand and seventeen or something. So that, oh, that's crazy. Well, I guess that is a good jumping off points to talk about and we'll have to add that book, Christi, Next Week to our bookseller. I didn't realize you had a new release out. You've everyone. Everyone keeps you. See, it's very nice of us, I feel, to just keep our friends and fiction friends out there just stopped with all of our new books right. We'll just keep releasing them, and you all know that the book of last names is out in July two, which is my my new release, and people magazine actually just named it one of their twenty bis books of summer today, so I'm excited about that. So yeah, happy was saying what Mary Kay was saying about how important pre orders are. Y'All. Don't order it now and then it'll be sitting there for you on up day and we'll tell you all about it, and actually I have, so I'll be talking about it in this summer. But we're going to have a super special surprise for you in the episode where we talked about the book of Lost Sams. I'm just going to leave it after tell anyone. Well, we're getting what we're going to tell people now. Some of our guests us, I think. So let me talk about our summer schedule a little bit. All right. So this summer we are going to be launching a podcast companion to this facebook live, but we're going to be doing that. We're going to be launching a website and perhaps most excitingly, we have a full schedule of amazing guests. We have Kristen Hannah coming next week, which I am so excited about. Love, love Christian, but of course she wrote the nightingale and the great alone. I know you all have read her. She is incredible. So that's next week, June third. After that we're going to have weird working on someone for June tenth, but then we have Lisa wingate confirmed for this summer. We have Delia Owens confirmed for this number, which is amazing. She wrote. Of course, where the CRAW DAD saying? We have Karen Slaughter and Debbie. I'm so bad. Everyone Calls Me Harm All of Harmel whatever. It doesn't whoever we are, but yes, that's going to be amazing. We also have Christina mcmorris and Ellen Hildebrand coming in August one. We're adding. We're adding more guests as we go. We have a few others that were about to confirm, so stay tuned. Make sure you're on our friends and fiction facebook page. will be posting schedules and updates there. But absolutely join US next week for Kristin Hannah, seven o'clock on the friends and fiction facebook group page. And you'll be able to ask her your questions live, which I think is so cool. So we're going to wrap this up in just a minute, but we don't want to leave you without kind of doing our things we love to share with you. So, a patty, do you have a writing tip you'd like to share with us this week? Sure, so, I feel like our writing tip was talking about all the groups, and actually we can dick kind of do that, didn't we? I shouldn't have given you that question, and then also how I read. I had plenty of tips. Who knows if the ships work? So the last time we did this, my tip was about knowing what your character wanted, and really knowing what your character wanted and why they wanted it. So I thought it might be fun to give one of the little cheats I use to find out what your character really wants, and that cheat is called the any agram. Do y'all know that any of Graham? Never done that. Do you know what the any Agraham is? Right? So, if you know what the any a gram is, you probably know your number right. So the any a gram, if you haven't heard of it, if you have heard of it, you probably know what number you are, but there are nine types and each type has a want and a fear and a desire and each type has levels of personality, meaning when things are going well or when you're disintegrating,...

...when you're your best self from when you're not your best self. And it's a complicated tool and some people spend their whole life studying it and there are classes you can take. But if you want to use it for your characters and you just want to study the one type that they are, it can really help guide you. It's like a little cheat sheet. So the nine types are the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the in visualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, the Challenger and the peacemaker. And of course it's so much more complicated than a single term. And any of Graham is really ancient. It came from the desert fathers and was forever just a oral tradition, kind of like Irish storytelling. But you can use it to your advantage. So, for example, if you've decided that your character is a nine, a peacemaker, now you know that your character is driven by a need to be settled and in harmony with the world. That your character's basic fear is loss and separation, that the basic desire is peace of mind and so much more. I could get into it for hours. I am fascinated by the Anya Graham I am fascinated by its ability to kind of nail what each type's desire and want and fear is. And so that's a little cheat I have usually about one third of the way into my book I'll try to nail down what my character is so that I can look it up. I have a book about the Anyagram. That's and look it up and go, Oh, you know what, she'd be really scared of that, so let's use it. That's awesome, exciting. Jack. Could you post the name of that or a link or something on the friends and fiction facebook group? That's awesome. That's what a great tip. That's awesome, Patty. Thank you, great tip. I'm very realius. Really good to know what maype you are just as a writer. Yeah, that's a yeah, yeah, well, thank you. Thank you, Patty. That was awesome. Mary Alice, would you like to tell us about a debut author you love? Yes, thank you. This one is an author I don't know personally, but the book is really caught my attention. It's called how to bury your brother by Lindsay Rogers Cook, and it's one of the dysfunctional southern families which I always look to read about. And then this one. It's a sister who explores the dark. Her brother dies and in the process of going through things and letters and the dark secrets and more memories to that you. It's a family exploring their past and learning how to live in the present. And I think Patty knows this book pretty well because she gave a blurb to Lynda. So yeah, I talked about it briefly in one of our other episodes. So Lindsay is the daughter of my college roommate and my little daughter and my daughter's best friend. So, yeah, I just wanted to bring it up because for me it was a she's like fresh. Yeah, I'm you know what, Mary Alice, we might have talked about it the week that you were doing your a ferium event, but yeah, that okay. It's a great I mean I just love the time things that I love the subject and I saw that you've lurved it after I chosen it. I would Oh, this is perfect. I'm so glad you double dipt on that. That's all, and I've been hearing such good things. Some of our members have actually been posting about it too on the friends and picture greater for her. She has last New York Times and one of the projects she worked on want a Pulitzer recently. That's awesome, pressive. All Right, Mary Kay and Christie, we are we are running so late tonight, but do you do you too quickly want to mention I know, Mary Kay, we had talked about a book you've been loving lately. Did you want to tell us about a book you've been reading lately? But even like you just got it and just started reading it. It's our friend Emily Giffens, the lies that blind, and it's got a great premise about a young woman in New York. She starts dating a guy and they very quickly connect and then eleven happens and he disappears. She sees his post she sees posters about where you. Have you seen him? So it's a great premise. I'm just yeah, it is really good. Yeah, and she's such a good writer. I mean I just always enjoy her. Stories just flow so well and yeah, they're always enjoyable. I'm glad you know the lies of blind and it's emily given in it and it comes out next next to say, yeah, it's just coming out, so that's good, coming Tuesday. Yeah, that's awesome, great, thanks for mentioning that. Mary Kay and Christie. Did you have any books you want to mention? Or hoppy and you know it by Laura Hankin. It came out like just a couple weeks ago. It's a fairly new release and I got to I wrote a blurb for it and it was it came out. I mean I read it a couple of months ago, but I love this book. I'm so excited about it. And it's about this Park Avenue play group and the like, the MOMS that are part of this park. I've a new play group and then the sort of struggling musician that's sort of a low point in her life who basically like...

...takes on a Gig as being there like playgroup musician for the shoulders, and it's just it's one of those books that's how good, funny and satirical, but it's also dark and there's like some trees in it too. So I just flew through this book and I loved it. Was a pig. It was a really great book. My Book clubs reading at this month. So well, that sounds so good. Well, tonight has been full of awesome recommendations and tips and all sorts of awesome success for our two New York Times best sellers tonight, which is fantastic. So again we wanted to remind you to join our friends and fiction facebook group and be there next Wednesday night, seven PM Eastern, for Kristen Hannah. We want to remind you that book people is our bookseller of the week. You can get ten percent off our new and upcoming releases with the coupon code friends and fiction, and we also have, of course, a twenty five gift card to give away to one person who uses that Gift Card or that Gift Code between now and Saturday. Will draw a winner for that. And we also have a twenty five gift card to give away tonight to somebody who has joined us, whereas our sppd or is one of our members, and it actually is one of our members. It is Mary Barker. She's the winner of our First Twenty Five Gift Card to book people. So, Mary, I just actually friend requested you on facebook the other day. I know you. You accepted and I will send you at that Gift Code. So that is your twenty five, our Gift Code. So yeah, I think that's it tonight. This was a good a good night. We have an awesome summer ahead. It is starting off just wonderfully next week with Christ and Hannah. We're so excited. Can I just interject? I just want to let everyone know we're called friends and fiction because these authors, these fabulous, unbelievable lineup is going to be specially great, not only because they're great authors, but we're friends. Yeah, so it's going to make all the better. So do join us, and you know it's like a we say it's like a book tour in your living room, but it's also like joining us for happy hours. So pull up a chair for yourself, your favorite beverage and, you know, come be our friend, to come be our friends and enjoy our fiction. All of you, exactly. sixtures everyone remembers. Support your local booksellers and join us at friends and fiction. Everybody. Why 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 www and fictioncom, as well as on the facebook group page friends and fiction. Come back soon. Okay, there are still lots of books, writing tips, interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about. Goodbye,.

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