Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 8 · 1 year ago

The Fab Five - A Change of Plans

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

www.friendsandfiction.com The Friends & Fiction authors discuss how Coronavirus shifted their 4th of July plans, their first concerts, favorite writing tips and what they're reading and loving lately.

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 and independent bookstores bound them together. With chats, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing, these friends discussed the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. 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, hi everybody. We hope you had a fun and or peaceful for the July and you know, we're friends in fiction. We are five writers and friends whose common love of reading, writing and independent bookstores binds us together. Every week we come together to tap with each other and you all, to support independent book sellers, and we are so glad you were here. So course. I'm Mary Kay Andrews, I'm your host tonight and my latest novel is Hello Summer. I'm Christen Harmel and my latest novel is the Book of last names, out in less than two weeks. I'm Christy Woods and Harvey and my latest novel is feels like falling, and Patty Callahan Henry and my latest is becoming Mrs Lewis. I'm Mary Ellis MONROARD. My latest novel is on Ocean Boulevard, and this is friends in fiction, as I mentioned earlier, and important part of our reason for being is to support independent bookstores who, like so many other small businesses around the country, have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. Tonight we'd like to tell you a little bit about our bookseller, and that's bookshop dotorg. Bookshop DOTORG is an online book store with a mission to financially support local independent book stores, and their mission says that we believe that book stores are essential to a healthy culture. There were authors can connect with readers, where we discover new writers, where children get hooked on the thrill of reading that can last a lifetime. As more and more people buy their books online, bookshop dotorg wanted to create an easy, convenient way for readers like you to get your books and support independent book stores at the same time. If you want US find a specific local book store to support, you can do that at bookshop dot org and they'll receive the full profit off your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent book stores, and Bookshop Dot Org says they also support anyone who advocates for books through their affiliate program, which pays a ten percent commission on every sale and gives a matching ten percent to indy book stores. Now all of the FNF, that's friends and fiction, authors books and any other books we mentioned tonight on the program can be ordered through the link that you will find on the friends and fiction website. That was a mouthful. I don't our show wine. I don't know the rest of you, but we got a very quiet fourth of July weekend here. You know, normally our small town has a funky little parade where neighbors gather for a viewing party with ...

Hammond biscuits and a bloody Mary Cart, followed by Picnic Summers around our lake and a fireworks display. So but you know, this year the pandemic rained on our parade, so instead we puttered around the house. I wrote. We had some socially distanced barbecue on our back porch with another couple and since we can't go to our neighborhood pool this year except by reservation, on Sun Day we sat in a leaky, inflatable kittie food had rips. What did you all do? If? We actually went sailing, which was really fun. We went with just like one other family and it was a big boat that we weren't on top of each other or anything, but we went out into tape lookout, which is like an island here, and as his beautiful lighthouse and the water it looked like the Caribbean. It was an absolutely beautiful day. And then we they did have our fireworks. We did not have any parades, but there were lots of fireworks, and that's I love fireworks like I am just a sucker for fireworks, so I was probably more excited than the children to watch the fireworks. That's what I missed the most is the fireworks. They canceled all the fireworks Isla bomb and Sullivan's and so for the beaches. They didn't want the crowds. So my children and friends were all of the house. So Marcus and I high tailed it up to the mountains and it was really cool. I mean it's kind of sad. This is like a religious holiday from my husband. He is actually a member of the pyrotechnic guild of America. Oh my good, a little bit of a Nerd, that right. And Miss Fireworks is like missing church for you. So we went up and you know what we did which made it really special, is we watched Hamilton, and was the first time I'd seen it and now I understand what everyone was so excited about him. It's all quite patriotic to watch it on fourth of July. Now, Kristen, did you get to the Disney world after all or no? You know, Disney world still isn't open, and it's funny you say that, because that's our fourth of July tradition every year. Actually, on July third, because they do their July fourth fireworks July third and fourth. It's a traditional type with my mom for probably twenty years now. So we felt really sad we didn't get to see her on July third. I haven't seen my mom since March and to miss those fireworks with her really hurt. But we did the same thing Mary ellice did. We watched Hamilton. So, yeah, good, that evil is a little but Mayn I. I missed the fireworks and I really missed my mom. Yeah, Daddy, what did you do? So we watched Hamilton and then famous odd women I know, and we have we my sisterinlaw, one of my favorite people in the world, Serena, was here and we did our best to memorize the entire King George Song. Good people spent a fully armod Italian to remind you of my love. We just thought that was a funny song. We'd ever heard it. So look how he did. Yeah, but we are battalion to remind you of my love. But we had all these big plans for the parade. We're going to do the golf cart and we'd ordered all this stuff to decorate the golf cart under the sea with her two little girls and when they canceled everything, we decorated the golf cart anyway, road it around waves and jellyfish and we did the whole thing and just try to salvage what we could and sang the King George Song and drove around in a decorated golf cart that were you do realize you're now going to have to sing the King George Song for us right like you know what you set yourself up for? I don't know a lot of things. I'm friends and fiction and sing is not one of them. We'll see, keep taking it. Won't see Baddis in fiction live? Yeah, no, no, no, okay. So last week we got on somehow got on...

...the topic of our first raw concerts, and that might have been somehow. I talked about one of my I think my first one was James Taylor, or tailor and Carol King, way back when dinosaurs roam the earth, and we did promise we would talk a little bit about concert music that week. So what was everyone else's first concert? Chris, mine so embarrassing. Yours is so cool and mine was I'm ruining any cool rap I had. It was air supply. Oh No, I can beat you at that with uncle. I'm all out of love. I'm so lost with that. You said you wouldn't already thinking. I mean, we've already got we're gonna have her with that King George Song and the surmoney. Anyway, that was my terrible yeah, that was my first concert. Okay, now I can be true. I have the four. I was dating his older guy. I was like maybe twenty, and you have to remember my idea of a concert was going the apport. I mean my first occasion was Muddam Butterfly. That's what I read. So, but so, the first time I actually went for a concert, I was nineteen or twenty and I was with an older judge and it was Tom Jones. Usual to have fun. Good one, good one, a good story. That's awesome. I love toime. Wanted to tell you honestly. I asked my husband, Marcus, who was kind of cool back then, and I said, okay, what was your first concert, because I was going to steal it so I didn't have to admit it, and he said, Oh, let's see Jimmy Hendrix. Oh that's awesome. He saw Bob Dylan Sing it, and mean he back when he was he saw Janet Japlin. It's like, no, I saw Tom to all right, Christ and who was your first concoct? So my first, by a very narrow margin, was Paul McCartney, which is awesome. Could there be a better first concert? Right, yeah, no, I think it was just a couple weeks later I went to the new kids in the block. So if if catels had been reversed, but so Paul McCartney. But I have to say about Tom Jones. I you guys, I know you all know, but I have been working on Chubby checkers autobiography and have known him for years and years and years. Chubby Checker, who's sang the twist in the sixties. He was on for his seventy birthday, which was eight years ago, something like that. A long time ago. He was on dancing with the stars and so I was in La with him for dancing with the stars and we went out to dinner for his birthday and Tom Jones was dining a couple of tables away and Chubby Chubby walked up to him and started singing Tom Jones songs to top to Tom Jones. It was one of those moments of like rock and roll fame colliding. It was so funny. So they heard Jones concert when I work for the SAVANNA paper, and all the way people were throwing. Ladies were throwing your panties and in their room keys at Tom Jones. I was I was like what, I'm so naive. I was like they're throwing their unscrew what that added the air supply concert. I'm just saying, yeah, see what we're doing. Okay, so my is kind of ridiculous, but I went. My first concert was the wallflowers. Yell, remember the Wallflowers? Yeah, of course, yeah, cool, and it was so funny because I don't know like what I was thinking, but I mean I remember thinking, like really digging in about what I should wear to this concert and I and I'm wearing this, like I remember wearing this like Cardigan, like what, what? How is I thinking? That was a cool thing to wear to a concert. I mean I was in like sixth grade, you know, I'm I don't know, but I like remember like picking out like like of all the things to pick out,...

...that was like the worst thing that I could have picked out. To where to unswer. Now you could have worn Lily Pulitzer. That would have been worse. So that would have been worst. That would have been worse. You're riding. This is like like a step away. I I thought I'm like jeans and like I remember wearing some like clogs were really in and I had some like clogs that are work. So, yeah, that was my first one, but my second was bruce springsteen. That was a pretty good and now that's cool. That was a cool line. You should just lie and kill people, Bruce say, Bruce Springsteen. Right. Yeah, just everything to show you how old I was when I was in school, Graduate School. Yeah, I was in Jersey and he was putting up signs, you know, just hanging up up on the lamp post to tell talk to people about Winnis concerts were just to get people show up. Yeah, and I didn't go, otherwise my first concert would have been yeah, good mind, Mary Alice. So this is where we'm segway into talking about music and poetry and how it affects our creativity and our writing. Now, I've known writers who create playlists or spotify list to inspire them while writing. Do any of you ladies do that? Patty? Do you do that? I do. I don't necessarily make a playlist. But I do try to listen into music that has something to do with the book I'm writing. So, for example, when I was working on joy, I played a lot of that kind of English Baroque music, that Oxford in London, that kind of thing. For me, though, it can't have words. So if I'm listening to music while I'm writing, it can't have words or it will. I'll get my brain, you'll start trying to sing the lyrics or like that hard drive in the back of ourt my head. Well, but yeah, music is always been, but more so, and I think you'll y'all are agree. I can't wait to hear your answers. More those songs have inspired me. I've heard a lyric or like I just was joking about that sending a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love. There's you'll hear this line and it sticks with you and that's inspired things in stories, for sure. So not necessarily listening to the words. How about you know, Kristen, what about you? Do you do playlist or spotify or it kind of like what Patti said, words take me out of it. So I can't listen to anything with words and most of the time. I just write in silent and so I don't think I found I mean, you know, I write mostly about World War Two now and I'm not sure I found the right music that feels like it transports me to the writing I need to do about World War Two, because it's not World War Two people dancing and dance clubs or something. It's a different kind of writing and the I haven't found the music to get me there yet. So I think it's just easy. You're in the silence of my own head. But I completely agree with you, Patty, about lyrics being really inspirational and just sometimes songwriters can execute a turn of phrase and just a different way than we're able to and in a way that like my mind just never would have connected those words. And it's one of the reasons I'm excited about our episode and a couple of weeks when we have sister Hazel here, because I think they're really they have some amazing urns of phrase and their lyrics, so I'm looking forward to discussing that with them. Girls, do you listen to music when you're writing? You know it's thereries I don't usually, but when I do I read somewhere that the music of Mozart actually is gets your your brain synapses to go. It's healthful, helpful. So it sometimes I'll have it very soft in the background, but for the most part, like Christen, I write in silence so I don't get distracted. Christie, do, what do you do? I'm silent a lot, but I'm sort of strange and that like if I I think we've talked, I don't know. I think I've talked to one of you about this before, but if it's something that I have listened to a million times, like James Taylor's an example, where I know every word so well that it's like I don't think about it, it just blends into the background and it's like very soothing. When I'm editing, I like crank up whatever I'm loving the most right then it's like when I'm like making corrections, because that feels...

...so tedious to me. So I like, you know won't really listen to me that you're in that, but I agree with Patty. I think you know they're d'll See. I'll hear a lyric or they'll be something that you know. You hear it makes you think of something, and I also have sometimes used it. Like I want to remember, like, what it felt like to be sixteen. I want to remember what it felt like to go on that first date, or yet, whatever it was. There's always a song that makes you think of that and at her friends that and he's gonna gonna do. When I wrote my first Christmas, Nobela Blue Christmas, it was August and I was writing in a rented beach cottage on Tybee Islands, so it was a hundred and twelve degrees. So I took a boom box with me and I played Elvis has Christmas albums, because obviously blue Christmas and Phil spectors are Christmas gift for you album to get myself because I was trying to summon a Christmas spirit. And then, you know, sometimes a certain song I like, I will think about if I have a couple that's been together, I'm putting them together in a rom calm or, you know, any kind of a book like that, I will try to think about what their song would be. Oh, I like that. Yeah, yeah, so I was thinking this especially. I think that's why I do. That's a good idea to think of. Yeah, he was when I was writing a book a few years ago called spring fever. It was about my character had a girlhood crush on her best friend's older brother and they ended up getting married and stuff happens. So when I was writing that I was this is the worst story ever, it's so corny. I channeled my girlhood crush on my best friend's twin brother and tea and I would have died if anybody new. But are we had a song. He didn't know it. First Song was this Paul Mariat instrumental called love is blue, Oh Dune, good Hita, you know, and it that song. I played it over and over again trying to sum it up and and when I was writing that, that story, I was trying to summon up that feeling of hopeless teenage crush, M and you know, back then I was trying to write poetry. That's so. You know, last week we talked about poetry when we had Dalia Owens as our guest and everyone, I think, was amazed that the poetry and where the craw dad sayings was her own original poetry. And I know some of you ladies actually write poetry, so could or you know. I know poetry his a huge place in Patty and your writing practice you want to talk about that? Yeah, I think that for me, poetry is an art form that I can appreciate without ever feeling like I have to try it or do it. So when I read an amazing novel and the pro is blowing me away, I kind of stopped in my tracks and want to figure it out or try to emulate it, but with poetry I can just bask in it. I don't never try to do it, I don't need to do it, I can just it's so one of my favorite poets is David White and one of my favorite quotes he says is that poetry tries to say the unsayable, and I just I really like that a lot. When my daughter get married, I had no idea what to do for the speech at her wedding, so I memorized my first poem and then I recited it. It was a poem by William Stafford and the first line is the first line is starting here. What do you want to remember? And he said what I couldn't say. So and then when I feel out of sorts, I...

...think y'all feel the same. Poetry is a very grounding thing to do and, like I said, I don't feel like I have to try and do it so it's easy for me to enjoy fully, but they'll do that. Do you listen to it? Yeah, I do. I mean, like you, when I'm writing, I don't like to read other novels ever being cut and it's that's why vacation is reading novels, because you get to catch up, because I don't want anyone's words in my head. But when I do read poetry a lot when I right novels, because I think it's the most highest form of writing and that it hits so each word is chosen and they expressed in so few words what is so profound and so many times when I get stuck or I just want to be lifted or inspired, I'll I'll go to my favorite poets. We were talking last time about how the summer, during the pandemic, it's been really refreshing to read poetry. In the morning. We just read one poem. We take turns, me and my sister's, and it's just sort of the most fun one were Mary Oliver, and I think why Mary Oliver so accessible? If she writes so it makes it look so easy. It's like lettily Dickinson in our day, you know, just very makes it straight, as she'd say, and it's just like I think, wow, if I could, I could do that. It's the old I could do that, but of course you can't. And we're friends with Patti even, a really wonderful the poet laureate of South Carolina, who's Martin Birth, and she is this energetic woman who can just zoon in and write great poetry. So I do write poetry, but not a lot of it. I've always been embarrassed to show it. That's what I said, you know. It's like, you know, it's not what I do. I'm not a poet, but I write it just because it helps me express emotions raw. That makes sense at all. And so the only poem I've ever published was the one in is, the one called Odyssey that's in on Ocean Bollevard. It's the first time that I published it and I really love that poem. I mean I really it nailed what I wanted to say at all my books about turtles. So there you are, Beautiful Christie and Christen. Just poetry speak to you, or I write it sometimes and I would see her die than have anyone read it. But I really like but I'm like tell me, like that's really good, and then I'm like is it or is it really really bad? You know, you don't really know, but I I am not. I've never been someone that reads tons and tons of poetry. I mean, I love Mary Oliver and I know we all do, and I do think you know that. What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life like that has to have changed everyone's life. I mean that runs through my head all the time when I'm like trying to make a decision, and it's such a good way to describe your life, and I think that's what you're saying, Mary Alice, like she does make it look accessible, even though maybe it's really not. We all think we can write high co because it's only seven syllables. It's really hard. You do you write or read poetry or you have a four year old? I don't know when you would have. Well, my four year old and I were making up rhymes about Gluteus maximus today, so if that gives you any idea of the level of poetry I'm working on. But my very my very first published piece ever, when I was in fifth grade in the St Petersburg Times on the kids page at the same peak times. Was a poem I wrote called Mr e and the apple tree. So my post it I have. I don't even know where I would find it. I don't know it was, but I was in fifth grade, maybe not even fourth grade, maybe, but yeah, so my first and only published piece of poetry. I greatly admire poets. It's something I don't think I can do. It's as mysterious to me as Songwriting, which is another beautiful thing I wish I could do. But I have been reading a book of poetry recently called when rap spoke straight to God, by a writer named Erica...

Dawson, who I met a couple years ago. We did an event together. She's a poet and a creative writing professor, and Oprah magazine described it as a labyrinth of race, religion, rap and wonder. It is opening my eyes, two things I didn't realize poetry could do. So I feel like every everything I read that's outside of what I myself from capable of. It expands me as a writer and expands me as a person. So I'm appreciating that. Now I just say one thing about that, because I was really intriguing that you brought up about the hip hop. I think that's what was so striking about Hamilton was, yes, poetry of the young and as a someone of a different generation, to hear that and the power and the beauty was phenomenal for me. It made me realize, you know, these guys who started our country. We're young and this was the language of our young and it was I'm glad you brought that up. Ye, and now we have a couple of announcements about forthcoming releases and re releases and make sure everybody knows about them. Now, Maryalis, I understand there's a gorgeous new reissue of the Book Club. You told about that. I am so excited and I don't even have a copy of the book to show you, but if you go to my facebook page or website it'll be up. But it's called the book club and that's it's a rerelease, so it's not a new novel and it's been re released in trade paperback and it's been re edited and I have one of those dear reader letters at the beginning. I'm happy to say. You know, it holds up. You know you write a book ten years ago and it's nice to see. And this is a story of women in there who approaching forty and I always thought being forty was a time of change. You're saying goodbye, it's a second adolescence. I thought I was so wi. Is it forty? Now I know how young I truly was, but when I wrote the book and at s I just had so much to say about that second adolescence, about being yourself and not being someone's mother all the time or someone's daughter, and how one thing I've been in a book club for so long, and I know people in this was listening now, have when you read a line or you're reading a book for a group and how something sticks with you and makes you think about your own life. I wanted to bring that into the novel. So it's called the book club and it's a re release and it's out July twenty one. Thank you, Christy. Do you have a really please? Yeah. Well, the secret the southern charm just came out in math market paperback, which is kind of fun, and that's the second book and my Peachtree bloft series and it's been really fun because a lot of you guys have sent me pictures of it in your kroger and your wall grains and all of those fun places. And I love math markets because you can throw them in your beach bag and they don't want much and you can. But it's the second book of my Peachtree Bloft series, but you can definitely read it as a standalone. And Yeah, it was exciting. It's number thirteen on some sort of best seller list at Kroger or something. I'm not really sure. Someone send me a picture. I was like it's on this Beth sellar let's and I was like, I don't know what that is, but great, that's fantastic. Con You. Thanks. Christen's new novel, the Book of Lost Names, comes out July twenty one and, as we might mentioned, pre orders are incredibly important to success of a new novel, even more so in a pandemic. So we have included the link to pre order and and we do hope that you'll be inspired by what we've talked about to we've all read it and loved it. So that's all I'm going to say about that. So we're all going to we're going to go move to the discussion questions. We're trying to do kind of a lightning round to it so we can get to a lot of your questions, because we want to know what you want to know. We want to tell you what we know about what you want to know. My question was from Robin Shelley and these questions were all posted on the friends of fiction on facebook page. Robin showing asked what I do when I get stuck in the dreaded Middle Section of the story I'm writing, and I chose this...

...because I am that's right where I'm at with my book in progress, which will be out next summer. I am in the sloppy, saggy, dreaded middles and they are always a struggle for me. I try to tell myself you're halfway home, or a third or whatever, and so to get through it, I might write down a list of plot points I still need to check off before I get to the finish line, or think about what emotional turning point my protagonist needs to have reached. Today I was just trying to get to a kiss, trying to get to where the love interests kisses a protagonist, and you know. So I just put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, to change things up, I'll ride out a scene out of sequence, but I write in a linear fashion. Now, who else has a question that they chose? Christian, did you choose a question to answer for yourself? Yeah, so this one is from Patricia Delo since there are hundreds of people watching and joining, how does this venue compare with book tours for you, and how long do you intend to do this? Well, first of all, I think I can say we're all in agreement that we plan to do this in definitely. I can't imagine, right. I mean, ladies, would you agree with me? I can't imagine ever stopping. I mean I feel like we found we just found a place to be ourselves and to meet our readers and to get together with each other every week. And you know, one of the things that I think we've all really appreciated is that people are commenting all the time on our friends and fiction group, saying they feel like that we're friends like that. You know, they've found friends in each other and they feel like they found friends and us, and I that just means the world to me. I think you all agree. So we're going to be here, whether you all like it or not, we're sticking around. But but how does this pair with book tours. I think it's not. It's they're just two different things. We started this off because we weren't on tour and because this seemed like a substitute for book tours, a sort of in a way it's not. I mean there's there's no comparison to being there in person and meeting you and shaking your hand or giving you a hug, which we wouldn't be able to do, no anyhow right, or being in these wonderful bookstores that we all feel so strongly about supporting. But this is just a whole new thing that we found. I mean, how else would we all be sitting in our own homes on a Wednesday night interacting with eight hundred or a thousand of you? I mean, this is amazing. It's an amazing opportunity and I think we just all feel so blessed and so grateful that we're here and that you're all here with us. Totally. What question did you want to answer, Patty? That's I actually didn't peck one of the facebook because, if I of us, we're talking this week. Oh yes, right, I forgot matter and we start. So one of my favorite podcasts is called on being with Christ to Tippett and I love how every week she asks every guess she has the same leading question. So the five of US talked a lot about what would be that question that we will ask every guest, and we have some we've had some amazing guests. We have some blow your mind guests coming up. What is that one question that kind of gives you the background of their life without doing a full, you know, background check, and so I thought of fun for me to ask you guys that question. And the question we all thought might be really interesting is what were the values of reading and writing in your family growing up? How was writing and reading value? Did you have a library full of books? Did your mom encourage it? So I'm going to shoot it around the circle. Christie, how about you? Yes, reading was definitely highly encouraged in my house and we had so, so,...

...so many bugs and my mom would read to me for hours and hours and I love being read through and she always tells the story about how I was like two or threeally, very tiny and age where you will not sit still, and that she sat down with me. I just wanted to see how long I would let her read and after like three hours she had no voice and I was still saying one more story, Mommy, want more story. But we definitely, I mean we went to the bookstore every week, we went to the library every week. There were not enough books for me, ever. Like I remember this little used bookstore in our town and my dad would take me on Saturday mornings, and I mean I would spend his very patient, I mean hours and they're and just have, we know, hordes of books that were like your fifty cents or whatever. So yeah, definitely, definitely grew up a big reader, for sure. About you happy. My parents didn't have a lot of money for books. There were five of US born right one after the other, but my mother was a huge reader and so we did have books in the house by Hook or by Crook, and we were big library users. The book mobile came to the shopping center near our house. When it came, we would get on and all five of US would check out the maximum number they would let us have and then we would all climb off the bookmobile and the tires would rise because we had all the books. That's an amazing how about you marry us? Well, I'm one of ten children and so we there were a lot of books but never enough. You know, we re read the same books all the time. We had a library in the house but not so many little kids books, so we would go to the library. When we went to the library was a major effort because we'd all know, here come the children from Matt Fam like, and we're good take over and our books were always overdue and so but we all I think what was interesting to me is my mom was an average reader, but she was pregnant. I'm not their third eldest and she was pregnant a lot when I grew up, and so she was in bed a lot of the times towards the last five because she had tends to Saraian sections and so the Dr Yeah, back in the day, so the doctor would put her to bed for the last couple months and that's where storytelling, I think, was such an important part for me as a one of the big kids, the elder sisters, we would read books to the kids to put them to bed, but a lot of the times we made up stories. So, you know, for something I'd read, I would we were all into fantasy, a little too much perhaps, and we would stories would be very much a part of our lives, but we read, but we also made them up to put the kids to bed, because this ten of you, it's a whole nother scenario. It ISS so interesting to think about how our families either fat or didn't feed into our desire to do what we're doing. Christian, how about you? Yeah, I came from a family were reading was very value. My mom read to us all the time. You know, I was that kid, as I'm sure you probably all were to, who would sneak books under the covers at night with the flashlight, you know, like that was. That was being badly behaved and what I was just reaching for. As you were talking about it, it occurred to me I had this book on my self. Guest was a friendly ghost and this is one of the few things I took from my grandmother's house after she passed away, because it's a book I have memories of her reading to me when I was a child. So you know, I still them's like tearing up. I read this to Noah the other day and it kind of brought my grandmother back. I was really close to our lover very much and I have an aunt WHO's only about fourteen years older than me, and my aunt Anna if Donna, if you're watching high but she was. She was a big reader and I looked up to her so much when I was a kid because she was, you know, the young cool aunt, and so reading was cool. And Yeah, so aunt Anna helped make reading really cool...

...for me too. Who else has got a question that they pulled off the website? I have one stay. So Carol Baker Falcon Berry asked, do you ever include some family figurets or your own secrets and any of your books? And that I just had to answer this question because I know this happens to all of us when we have readers come to us and say I have a story that you have to write, and like ninety nine point nine percent of the time we would say, thank you so much, that's your story, you should write it. Well, one time I had someone tell me a story that I had to write and she said I'm the last person living that knows the story and you have to write it. And she tells me this secret and I said I didn't have her write that because no one would believe that that actually happened. And so some of you probably know the story. But when I got the deal for my peachtree bluff series. I was not expecting to pitch an idea for a series and I pitched it off the top of my head and that was the secret. It pops into my head and I swear it was like her coming to me from the other side because it was absurd, like I thought I could never pull this off, but it was all I could think of in that moment and I pitched that secret and the woman that became my editor was like, I have never read that before. So it's like I have to answer that question because it was just it wasn't really the secret that she told me, but it was a takeoff of it, and so it was. I just I think it's so neat that something that someone else told me you could have inspired three books the whole series. That's amazing. That is what else has got a question that they pulled to come Kylie Walton, and she yes, do you edit as you write your first draft, or do you sort of pull it together as you write? And that's an interesting question. I think every author does his cur own thing. For me, I usually write fast, like we're doing our sprints, and I just write a lot of words, but the next morning I always begin by reading over the previous words and that gets me back into the flow when I do that, and a lot of times I'll edit. You know, she wouldn't. The dialog didn't sound quite right and I like to read aloud. So I do added just that much during my first draft and when I send the book in, then real editing begins after that. But the first draft is light and do I cut and paste and move things around? No, I keep going forward because the goal for a lot of first drafts is to make sure the book is done the pot you have. You don't really know what you're trying to say in a novel until you're about a halfway through and a couple light bulbs go off. So you can do just as you move forward. So I think my my recommendation to all young writers. And what I do is I just get that for Shitty draft done. Who else has got a question that they pulled? said it weed. You who is pulling the live questions off the website? are at you guys. I have a few that I've saved that I've just been watching them come in, but if anybody has one right now, you can ask it right now and I'll try to get to it. Okay. So the first one is, Oh, this isn't a question, but I just had to say it because I remember this too. Season Short sellingman said my favorite days in school where Library Day, Book Fair Day and when it's the lasting book orders came out, and I mean all yourself for that. Yeah, yes, I mean just all three of those, like real highlight. I have this rat meme I saw once that said I'm still chasing the high of a scholastic Book Fair. Yeah, so much fun. I love to go work it at will school because I'm like, I could get to be here again. I get to read the book friends. So groping. Shelby Henderson has a...

...really good question. She said I want to read some more modern poets other than Mary Oliver. Any poets suggestions? Yeah, I just said I would read Marjorie Wentworth, Quadi, Alexander is is, you know. He's the new beirboard winning poet, and Wendell Berry. These are really of course frost. Everyone knows that, but it's just those are really accessible pollards. That I think our Emily Dickinson, who's the Irish poet. He came to the Decatur Book Fair a few years ago. He was phenomenal, not shameless, for Haney, Billy Collins, Hailey Collins. So Billy Collins Really Fida, he's that. He's the poet Lori at a Florida I actually didn't met with a couple years ago. He's great. He's so funny and reverent. And Yeah, Billy call and I would definitely suggest that quoted in a minute ago. David White. He's modern, he's active. Now he does he's not doing them right now with the pandemic, but he does walking tours of poetry in England and in Ireland and he's amazing. Saying too. So and and Eric Ha Dawson as well, the one I mentioned earlier who wrote when rap spoke straight to God, which came out in two thousand and eighteen. So that's relatively new and she's still writing and she's phenomenal and accessible and really interesting. I think we will start a thread because I know, yeah, yeah, I know, the minute we're done I'm all going to start. Yeah, it's always hard on the spot. So we'll start a threat and everybody can add their favorite modern poets. I think it's a great day, great idea, because this is this is another not really question but I just everyone has to hear this because I love it. Connie Cooper said, anyone remember weekly readers that you receiving? I had totally forgotten about this. This is a good one. This is a really good one. I'm Julie Jordan booth and I'm going to toss this one to you first, Mary Alice, because you have the best answer for this. Says I love listening to audible books. When any of you narrate your own books? Yeah, I I do. I actually always thought I wanted to, but I auditioned. I sent my tape to brilliant audio and they said yes, because I always figured I didn't want to be the author hand. That's always like this. I'm wanted done her but no voice. So I've read most of my books from the Beach House and then they other beautiful recording artist did the earlier ones. But it's very hard work. But I love the only thing not read my author note. I read. I've read my author's note. It was beautiful too. Oh, I read that well, and you podcast very well, and that's kind of a look similar. What are the questions we have? Christie, we have time for some more. Okay, yeah, I think so Nancy Langan says titles during the writing or prior to Oh, during, because I still don't have a title for my book that and I need a title within the next week. So you guys have all helped me. But yeah, you usually for me the title comes once I have the idea. This is a very late title for me. For me usually I start with a title. I think it's a throwback to my newspaper days when I was a newspaper reporter. I would write my own headlines because I didn't like the ones a copy desk gave me. So I would write it at the top of my story and it gives me. For me, it helps me keep my mind on what the story is about. But you know, with Hello Summer, my editor came up with that title and she's just said, all right, write a book about Hello Summer. Wow, my come before, during or after they've come. All I've changed titles right before the title was released. I've had it before I've written it and I found it in the writing.

So all of the above for me. Yeah, that's why we call it the working title a lot because I remember, I think my I wanted turtle summer and it became the Beach House, which apparently a lot of other authors like to so I'm all over the place too. I mean I'm before, during, after. My next book, under the Southern Sky, I had written. I knew what the book was going to be about and had written maybe like two chapters of it, and normally mine come from a line in the book. I had not written a line at all. That was under the southern sky, but I was all my spin bike. We were talking about this earlier today and I just just popped in my head under the southern sky and I was like that's the title, and it was so shocked because that's in it and everyone liked it, which doesn't happen like that often. I feel like sometimes it's all over the map. Someone loves it, someone hates it, someone likes this a better. So I love it when it sticks like that and when everyone's like yes, that's the title. And the hard part about titles is the harder you try to think of one, those likely you are to think of one. Can I get anything? That? Okay, came up. I remember with the summer guests. That was petty. You came up with that title because I was I wanted to call it whirlwind. I said I love that title and my publisher Said No, no, no, no, no, and I was duking it up. So I was talking to Patty complaining and crying and she says, well, what about the summer guests? Everyone loved it, and there it's so good, so good. I had a book title for Hissy Foot. I was taking a bubble off when I was mad about something that someone had done and I just thought to myself, I'm just going to pitch a hissy fit and that was like, okay, that's a title. I don't know what about, but that's what I'm going to is one of my favorite titles, one of my favorite I just love that title, the great title. We're always doing of Cathy's titles. She always says such, yeah, yeah, yeah, P see, that was a good one. That was a one. I'm that's a forever favorite book of yours. For me, I love that book. I really, really love that one. Somebody wants to know, and I can answer this, or anyone can answer this. I can't find it now, but two different people act. Do Pre orders of EBOOKS help us? Yes, Oh, yeah, all the orders all pretty order help. And so again, we're going to say. Kristen has a book out in a few weeks. So if you're curious about ordering or reading it, now is the time, because I don't think a lot of readers truly understand that those few weeks right before and at point of delivery are so important. Well, and at this time, I mean people are running out of books, the publishers are, you know, everything is slower. It's not like our normal shipping times in our normal warehouse schedules, and so if they know that you need the book, you're much more likely to get it. I think. Thanks for saying that. I appreciate it. Yeah, this is kind of a fast one. So Mary Nelson Can Stra wants to know what are your favorite podcast? Oh, Patti's going to jumped of that. This one. I'm already mentioned it. I think my favorite podcast is on being with Chris to tippet. She interviews the most fascinating people, everything from poets to authors, to neuroscientists, to astronomies, to I mean there isn't a podcast she does that I don't find fascinating. And she has the long version where she interviewed them and then she has the cut version. That's on NPR, but she's amazing. Well, my guilty pleasure podcast. I haven't been walking much lately, but when I do walk, my daughter turned me onto young house love. Oh my Gosh, who is that? Oh, it's this couple and they, you know, Rehab Houses and Oh, they have a show right there, a TV show. Yeah, no, no, they no, they don't have a TV show, but they've been they've been...

...blogging. And okay, just solder house. They had two houses in Marilan, the head of Beach House and they had a house outside of Richmond and now they bought a house down on the floor to panhandle that the redoing. So that's kind of my guilty pleasure. I love like that's it would be. You love houses? Yeah, okay. So that is it for questions, I think. Now, Christie, do you have a writing tip for US tonight? I do. Well, it's a little loss of a writing tip and it's a little more of an editing tip because, as you guys know, that's what I've been doing for the last two weeks and this is really simple, but I think we all do this and we we're sort of chatting about this in our text this morning. But there are certain words that we tend to overuse or to say a lot. For me it's just yes, well, I mean there's a whole list of them, and so about three books ago I decided that, instead of having to realize that every single time I wrote a book, that I would just keep a running list of them. And it varies from book to book, but there's some that just are over and over again, and so whenever I realize that I'm using that word way too much, I add it to the list and then when I'm editing, I go through and search that word and I see how many times I've used it and then try to take it out when I can. So it's not really writing tip, but it has saved me a little bit of time and we're so used to reading our own writing I think we miss some of those things sometimes. So it's it's been really useful for me. Isn't it funny how it changes with every book? Yeah, maybe it's the character. To the characters voice is different and they say a certain word a lot. Christina, which is sort of texting about that this morning. Briefly, it's not just a word. Sometimes it's a point I'm making and I'll say it so many times that it's like, you know that Gus joke this morning. Why say it once when you can say it's seven times? Yeah, exactly. You have to take it out. But I remember one time my other just said Mary Ellis. I think they were always jerking their heads. She said every one of the entire book is different. It's like I rolling, I have to be careful. I roll ten or yeah, yeah, my characters all speak softly and Murmur, so I always have to knock that out of draft. Somebody on here said that every book they read someone pushes someone's hair behind their ears and I was like, Oh, I never say that. And I was reading under the other sky and there was this scene and he would chrisses. I was like, Oh my God, she's right. She started right. That's so funny say it. When I was finishing editing the Florence Nightingale short story I just finished, everybody's eyes kept being a light. Never a word I use, but because I was writing about the S, I was like or s, I was using like that language, but then I just got stuck on that and I was like yeah, not good. Okay, we're going to talk about quickly what everybody is reading and I'm going to just hold up what I'm reading because it is you and are always buddy reading books without knowing it. You know, Chris, I bearing her visit Jasmine Gillory next week and this her book came out just as past week. So that's what I'm reading it. Mary Alice, you're reading, so I loves and wigs. Just adore her. She's great and she has a fabulous new book out called the Oyster Bill sewing circle. Shoe writes groups of friends book stories as good or better than anyone. I love it. Oyster girl, oysterville sewing circle. I don't have the book because it's not out yet, so I only have it on e but I'm reading Fiona's new...

...lines of fifth avenue because she's our guests in a few weeks. Fiona David is, and you know Davis. Yeah, yeah, Piana, is that what I said? Yana Weir's adding her last name and she's like share, she doesn't need a last need a last name. Yeah, she's just Fiona, Fiona Davids lines of Fifth Avenue. It comes out in a couple weeks and let me come on, we're book nerds. The whole thing takes place in the New York Public Library and for book worm nerds like me, and there's a heist in a book goes missing and it's like it's like a childhood fantasy to live in the library and then so I'm loving it, loving it. Yeah, okay, thank you. I want to thank everybody for joining US tonight. We love hearing your questions and your comments and knowing that you're even recruiting members from total strangers you meet on the beach, like one of our members told us this week, called the stars. Yeah, yeah, we would also love it if you would follow us individually on our instagram pages, and you can find the links on the website. And also something I I think I've been meaning to talk about is if you have loved a book, really loved a book, it would be great if you would share that love with a positive review wherever, whether it's on the a word, which we don't say on this show, but it re needs lots. There are lots of places for book reviews and if you love a book, you won't believe what a what I boost you can give a book by telling people that you love it. And author. Yes, you know, last night I finished a book. I've loved this book so much. It's called the Sweeney Sisters, Leandola, and at midnight I finished at my fan girl to her a message just to say I love this book, I wish I had written this book. I hate you for writing it. So don't forget to join us next Wednesday night, seven PM Eastern, when our guests will be New York Times best selling author Jasmine Gillery and her new book and Romantic comedy is part two, and we have posted a link on the website so that you can order that now ahead of next week, and we'll see you then. I'm everybody. Hi, guys, night, two weeks kristen, and it's your turn, because I'm girl over you. Oh my gosh. Talk about it everywhere and the most hilarious thing is I was doing this. I was doing a facebook live the other night and kristen like popped in. She wasn't there, like I've been doing it for like ten minutes. Then she pops in and it's right at time, like you have to read the book of last names. It's so good. I was setting my hair cut, I was crying and she was like what a great time for me to pop it and I'm like, so I clear I talked about all of you Ol bugs every time after something now, because I assume it was funny timing. Thank you for that mention, though, that was really getting ready for the for the non book tour. So what is booked? What does it look like for yeah, everything kind of kicks off next week. I think my first bookstore event is the fourteen, which is about a week before the book actually comes out. So yeah, I mean it's a lot of stuff and I'm I feel very overwhelmed. I think I'm in this I'm still in this quarantine mindset, sort of were like the world outside doesn't exist and like all that matters is Wednesday nights. And now I'm like wait, I have to show up other times other than Wednesday night. I'm so confused, but I'm just excited. It's going to be just an opportunity to meet some other booksellers and other other readers that maybe aren't with us yet on friends and fiction and just going to be fun. Do you have your Zoom Wardrobe One? Yeah,...

...always yoga pants or sweat pants on the bottom, as you know, they said tonight, when I'm wearing a dress, which I realize when I stood up to get that book. I'm like, I probably just flashed everybody. So apologies if you else my bloody as maximust tonight. No rewind and chat. Yes, my my tour wardrobe consists mostly of express Portofino shirts which don't have to be ironed and which I can just snap over my whatever sports I'm wearing. That's it, with my tshirts. And Yeah, what's in good strategy? You get your theretom before book tour, because I'm still I mean, I mean someone of Laura, Laurida, and I'm just nervous. Yeah, putting my own bangs. Otherwise they'd be like to hear it now, but brave. The rest of it just looks awful. This isn't how my hair usually looks, but well, it is, like its great. Yeah, I'm not a bank person. I I cut bangs on a whim in, I think November. I mean, it will not cut them ahead them cut and assumes they would be grown out by now, like it just was something I was going to do for a couple months in the winter, and here I am with no real good way to grow them out. I don't even have to look. I don't know you withouten. So I look. I know, I know, but I feel like I don't look like my author photo. People are going to be like, she didn't write that book, she's the girls things. Have you ever been in this store when somebody speaks to you, or I don't know our signing and you say I wrote that book and they look at Your author put photo and they go that isn't you, or they say wow, wow, you're you know, you look way better on the photo. My God actually said that to me. I always the man who says it. By the way, you one ever said to me I recognize you from your author photo, I go, oh my gosh, thank you a lot of money to look that good. Yeah, I was at I was having my Mamma Graham yesterday. It was pretty early in the morning and I went to the wrong office and, you know, I had on my mask and there were two ladies there and when was it the desk and she turned around, looked at me and she said I know you somehow. I said, don't you know, all she can see is this that. She said You wrote a book, didn't you? Yeah, but I'm late for my appointment. Where do I could go to book, didn't you? And I said yes, she goes, well, tell me Your name again. I said, well, I'm I write as Mary Andrews. The other lady would hold up. That's amazing. I love it. If Cathy and I tried to wear bangs, we'd have two little pom pomps on our forehead. I have never had bangs in my entire life, like, not as a child, not anytime, and I always kind of like want to try it but I'm terrified. You look pieces of their pieces. You can get that, you can tuck in here and it gives you bang, so you can see if you liked it. Well, you can actually do the Brazilian blowout just in your banks so they fall straight in like perfectly, and so I had that for the last time in maybe January and it lasts for about three months. It is absolutely worn off now. So like tomorrow morning I'll wake up and my bangs will be like this and like curled. I mean the only way. I mean they look like this for a couple hours on a Wednesday night because I flat ironed the heck out of them. But it's much better if you can do the Brazilian blow out your banks okay, we're BILIAN. Scares me. It's and I'm not thinking of what a book. It's good. It's like a little chemical treatment at about thirty dollars just to do your banks. It's like yeah, and then I'd forget...

...and they'd be half curly, ha straight. So, Christ and I always find the two weeks before book comes out is more stressful even than yeah, when the book comes out late. I mean don't you know, like yes, do it. So we're with you, we're yeank you. What you you all, four of you, have been so supportive. As well as if there's anybody still watching us out there, you all have been so supportive to and I really it means a lot to me, all the kind words and kind thoughts. They book is wonderful and gradual. Thank you every successful. Thank you so much. Thank you, so nervous. Thank you. I have to go have a birthday party for mine. I Oh, yeah, sor happy birthday. Graded Yeah, ladies, I'm not going to be here next week. I'm going to be seeing my baby granddaughter, Oh Thayn and a half months and see her. So y'all take care of jazz and Gillery while I'm gone and we'll see in a couple weeks. Miss you night by N bye. 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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