Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Friends & Fiction with Nancy Thayer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Fab Five welcome their friend Nancy Thayer to discuss her latest summer sensation, FAMILY REUNION. Hear all about Nancy's long career as an author, her love for old houses and how they figure prominently in her writing, writing romantic plot lines for cahracters of all ages, and her love of Nantucket—a place she has called home for more than three decades and which figures prominently in all of her fiction. https://nancythayer.com/ 

Welcome to Friends and Fiction. Five best selling authors and the stories. Novelists, mary Kay andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson harvey patty Callahan, Henry and mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books to their credit In 2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviews and fascinating insider, talk about publishing and writing and to highlight independent bookstores. 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. Well hello everybody and welcome to friends in fiction. Five best selling authors, endless stories. I'm mary Alice Munro, I'm Christine Harmel, I'm Christie Woodson Harvey and I'm Patty Callahan Henry. Tonight is our 17th episode. Can you all believe that it just goes so fast. We have hosted so many wonderful authors and tonight we're really thrilled to welcome another wonderful author and a friend of us all new york times, best selling author nancy there. Her new book family reunion was released May 4th and we're looking forward to talking with her about this new novel, her long career and her beautiful setting for her books, Nantucket isn't that like the best setting for summer feet? He doesn't love Nantucket. And tonight again, we have some very special announcements to make that we know you're going to love. And we did want to start off by saying just in case you were worried about her mary kate andrews just doing something else tonight, but she'll be back. Don't worry, everything's going to join us on the after show. Well, fantastic. I just assumed that she's taking the night off so she can go scarf mama mama g's momentarily. There we go. Yeah, that's what I'm assuming everything. Yes, yes. So if you want to be like mary kate andrews and lots of mama Geraldine cheese straws, um you can get 20% off at Mama Geraldine's dot com with Code Fab five. They're a great partner for us. We love their cheese straws, we love their cookies. And if you haven't tried them yet, we hope you'll try them out. Uh huh. And you know, we have been telling you about our big podcast surprise. Well, here it is, we have partnered with the indomitable and adored librarian Ron Block for the Friends and Fiction Writer's Block podcast. So excited. Now you can join us for more than just the show. Listen in as the five of us at Friends and Fiction along with library and Ron Block have fascinating conversations with authors and in the know publishing experts. This is the podcast for book lovers and storytellers alike. Let's bring her on on to tell us all about it. I am so thrilled to be part of this team and I can't tell you what a thrill it is. But I will tell you that eight year old me is inside here screaming some of my favorite people on the planet. You know, I adore you all and I just I'm just so thrilled to have this opportunity to work with you all. Um I want to just tell you the first one we have coming up because we've got quite a plan already in place on june 11th Christie Woodson harvey and I will interview wade rouse who is the author of the Clover Girls and Elissa Friedland, who is a new author for me,...

...but I'm loving her book a summer uh the last summer at the Golden Hotel. So it's there, is that there we're ready to go, and it'll be our first one, isn't it? isn't it? It's very different. I'll tell you how to time if you like um watching mrs Maisel on Amazon Prime, you're Gonna You're gonna want to read this one so we're gonna have a lot of fun and I can't wait to get started with that. But looking ahead we have so many other things coming up and I'm not going to tell you the details so that you'll come back and read them. But I'm gonna give you some of the categories. We are going to have a couple of amazing origin stories. You know we all like to know where books come from and what the original Colonel is and how it blossomed into a book. So we've got a couple of really great ones coming up. We're going to have a special Pride Month episode. We're going to have three very different but very very awesome. Members of the L. G. B. T. Q. Plus community on to talk about their work and their history and that's going to be very fascinating. We're gonna look for library superstars. We're gonna try to bring in a new angle and some people in the publishing industry, Did you ever want to know how a library puts a collection together that might be coming? You never know. I know right. Like we walk in the door and we were like oh how did they get all that? Well that's one of the things we're gonna do. Great authors, fantastic authors, debuts, memoir, lots of diversity and there's so much more it's so much more so I want you to stay tuned to the friends and fiction outlets on every platform. Uh make sure that you go to your favorite podcast platform and subscribe and like them because that's how we get stronger and bigger and we can bring better things. Um so I do want to thank the Fab five For inviting me to this party. You are all amazing and I'm just so honored that you're trusting me to be a part of your community. So I would like to propose a toast to your 70th episode. I have a special guest Show us Mary, Kay's here here 70th anniversary. Thanks y'all. That is excellent, thank you. So this shows us how great the podcast are going to be and the only thing we forgot to mention is that they are going to be every single friday. So every friday there will be a new podcast episodes starting this friday. I am so excited to get started and I just have to say this if you're one of those people that's kind of like not into podcast and you're like, I don't know what I'm going to fit that in my life. My new thing now is like when I clean up the house at night and get the kitchen ready for the morning, I listened to the pie, listen to the Friends of Fiction podcast because there's so many episodes that like one of you guys have done that I haven't done and it's like the greatest thing in the world and I like look forward to like cleaning up my kitchen now. That's amazing. That's awesome. That little something waste. It could be wasted time or you could be listening to one of our podcast and listen to that beautiful, soothing voice of Ron block. It's gonna be amazing. I want that on your radio. That's funny. I don't hear that on this end, but you sound great. I'm sorry. No, no, no way. Oh, you are you ready? I just want to remind people anybody who wants to connect on social media. I met Ron block on facebook, RS block. MTM on instagram and rS block on twitter. So um, tune in. I'll give you some behind the scenes tidbits. I'm so happy, so great. I commend patty on everything she's done, getting this up and running patties kind of been patties, our podcast person and she's done such a great job. So what we have also excited about this, we will be totally lost without this is all very exciting and I have to say we can't wait to hope you all can't wait. This is bringing our podcast to a whole new...

...level and we're all excited on to have you as part of friends and friends and fiction family team. And for all of you out there we will put the list of all the upcoming guests on the podcast on our website and of course announce them on our friends and fiction page, as well as our website, www dot friends and fiction dot com. And you're going to be prepared for amazement. Yeah. Great. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, give she's looking a little flat. Oh my gosh. Oh, thank you. Okay, we have another special surprise tonight. We love giving you surprises. We all know that mary Alice has her first middle grade book, The Islanders. So that's grade, grades two through six. So it'll be perfect for a little while. Um, and mary Alice has her trailer to show us tonight. We are so excited. So yeah. Sean take it away. Mhm Yeah, yeah, very short. Very so she's like a middle grade book would be the way it is. You notice Patti the turtles. They're, they're my turtle hat here, I put it on. We should all wear. But I'm really thrilled just coming out. Never be back. This will be on june 15th. So right around the corner and I hope you all think about it for your Children's vacation. And the story is really about three kids on an island and they are unplugged, which is something that I hope everyone helps to do with their kids. No cars, no stars, no wifi. So it's also a beautiful grandmother grandchild relationship in the book and I'm just thrilled it's coming up. That's all I can say. I'm absolutely delighted. And don't forget that mary Alice will be launching the Islanders right here on june 16th with her special guests, I Montgomery. And if you pre order the book tonight um, from our bookstore of the week, which will be telling you about shortly, mary Alice will send you one of the very cute and handy non plastic telescoping metal straw kits from Friends and fiction. Um, and we cannot wait for the launch. We're so excited. And speaking of book launches our very own kristen Harmel has a special one this week. Yes, I went to target yesterday so I could see it in in the wild and took a picture and send it to her the book, hold it up again. The Book of Loss Names, which we know was a favorite for, so not was is a favorite for so many of you is brand new in paperback and is available wherever books are sold, including your local indie Target Costco walmart and our bookseller of the week Mitchell's book corner in Nantucket. It is a great opportunity to get a fan favorite and a gift at a great price. Uh well thank you so much. I can't thank you all enough for your support with this book. Everyone in the friends and fiction community has been so great. I'm so happy that it's out in paperback. It'll, you know, be able to maybe find its way to a whole new audience. But speaking of fan favorites, Christie's, the Southern Side of Paradise is also new this week in mass market and we were saying it's like kristen sized, I can carry carry any. It's that it's that awesome little 9 99...

...size that's just begging to be taken to the beach. So they're available basically everywhere. So this is your a great week for new paperbacks I think mary Alice and mary Kay have new mass markets out too. And we hope you will grab these books for your summer reading. Yeah. So you know that every week we have a parade essay and this week's essay was written by Christie Woodson harvey. It is called five lessons my son and the surf taught me, tell us about it, Christie. Um, it's funny because when we were talking about the Islanders, I was like, wow, there's, there's so many echoes here of my, my parade essay for this week, but my son is very outdoorsy and adventurous and he just loves the water. Like he always has just like nothing I've ever seen before. And so I wrote this week about Some of the things that I learned on a little island adventure that we had a couple of weeks ago that he taught me. So, um, yeah, it was great and he's um, he's so good at just unplugging and noticing the world around him in a way that I think I've lost in some ways. And so watching him, you know, be back in that experience has been really incredible and it was so fun to write about it and actually, you know, he's like almost 10 and like not that impressed with me, but I think he was like kind of excited to be in the essay. Uh he was um so have any of you learned any surprising lessons from your Children or grandchildren? I remember when Rusk was little Really little, like your son's age eight or nine, he's 23 next week. He would wake up every single morning and he would say, what are we doing today? Uh and I will never forget it because he woke up with a zest for what are we gonna do today? And I want to be more like that. That's wonderful, wow. It's very inspiring, isn't it? I like he's so inspiring kid. I just think he's a sweetie. Um, for me, I think it was actually very recent and it was about the book we just showed the cover for its when I was writing my first book for this age group and my 10 year old grandson at the time, I basically had to pay him to read some pages, you know, here would you help me out? So he was my first critic and it was he took it there seriously and he, because he's a real reader and he read it and not the whole thing just may be the 1st 456 chapters and he said, you know, I really like it, but it gets interesting and he tells me when it got good. So like a good critic, he told me, you know, for my group, he says mom a mambo, which is what they call me for my age group, you know, for kids my age. So we put it, we like to get into the story fast and I'm like, ooh, that's a good lesson for a middle grade author to learn. So I did, I revised, I cut it and you get right into the story, but thank you Jack for teaching me a lesson. That's great. How convenient to have your target audience. Uh, in the room. You know, I would say the lesson, Noah has taught me, he's super into lion guard right now, you know, which is a spin off from the Lion King. So he will often, he's five. He'll often say to me like if I do something and I'm like, oh no, I'm so sorry. He'll say Mom, Hakuna Matata, no worries. I mean, he really means it. Like he's not, he just really means no worries. There's nothing to worry about it. Sometimes I get so caught up and worrying about things are worrying that I failed him or failed in something or you know, done something wrong. Just no worries. Is a good, a good month. A sippy cup with that on it. I think we do. No worries and worries on Whiteside.

And what are we doing today on the other? Well, I think we all want to be sure to read the essay because it's going to spark a lot of conversations at home. But now we get to bring back, bring to us all the author. We're all looking forward to meet Nancy. There is the author of 31. I thought I had a lot but 31 best selling novels. And what I really love her books concerned the mysteries and romance of families and relationships, marriage and friendships, divorced and love custody and step parenting. Family secrets, private self affirmation, and the quest for independence and the normal hunger for human connections. And that's what we all love about a good novel. Nancy was a fellow at the bread loaf Writers Conference in 1981 in 2015, she was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for mainstream fiction. She has lived on Nantucket Island year round for 33 years with her husband, charlie Walters. Let's bring Nancy on Nancy. We're so excited You're here. I'm so excited to be here. Yes. Your book, your new book the last time I saw you nancy was when you came to my Wild dunes event on island palm south Carolina. And you were with, even though she's not here tonight, mary Kay andrews And everyone went crazy for you both. We have that a southeastern northeastern thing going on at the beach and it was just a love fest. You remember that? It was wonderful. Yes of course I do. And I remember when mary Alice came to Nantucket for the Nantucket Book festival. That was when you took the job, the dress shops, she had, she had arrived and they had lost her luggage, the airline had lost her luggage. So she went to one. Now this is summer, this is summer on Nantucket. And she bought this beautiful navy blue out that it was gorgeous and she said I've never paid so much for anything in my life. I hope you wanted again. I don't know that's Nantucket in the summer. That is so funny that you remember that because I mean the dress was great but I came off the ferry smelling very right but nancy was my God dance. She was my guide. And I thank you so much. We should do more of that. All of us. I think we are. Yes, clothing shopping on the ticket. I mean waving now. Uh huh. Okay. Do you want to tell us about? Yeah. I think this is the time that we want to talk about your book. Family reunion. Come on. You can sit. You come into. I've got one in my lap. I've got a cat, a little reality here. I've got a cat who has a urinary tract infection. She wants to sit on my lap. So I hope you don't mind. No, we love it. Then she's had a tough day and sometimes you just need health, needs to sit in your left and right. We need your mom while you're hugging your darling cat. We all are animal lovers here. I've got a dog in my lap. Tell us about family reunion. Family reunion. Has a cat in it uh named Shadow. Uh The cat doesn't show up very often. Shadow. The cat is owned by Eleanor Sunderland who is 70 years old and who is a very happy widow. Her husband died. But she's living on Nantucket Inn, a...

...wonderful big old house. And she's lived there for years. Her mother lived there, her grandmother lived there, the houses and her family. Um and Eleanor has a family and she has friends. Uh but her best friend has just left the island to go on a cruise for the summer. So Eleanor's feeling a little alone and she invites her family, which consists of who daughter Alicia who really wants Eleanor to sell the house because on Nantucket as many places on the coast, um houses are becoming more and more expensive and uh Alicia would like Eleanor to sell the house, they'd all be millionaires, everybody would be happy, but Eleanor wouldn't have her house. So part of the story is Eleanor starting her life over in a way without her husband, without her best friend. Um but she has a granddaughter who's 22, who's just graduated from college and who has just broken off her engagement with a man who is going to go to Harvard Law. And Arianna, her mother, Alicia calls her Ariana, she calls herself Ari. Ari has graduated, she's come home, she's told her mother and father that she broke the engagement and poor Alicia is very upset. You know, he's he Harvard Law, how can you not marry a man from Harvard Law? Um And Ari asks her grandmother if she can live with her and work for the summer and Eleanor is delighted and that's the way the novel begins. Yeah, and it's such a strong story of family. I just look well, there is a family reunion in it. Yes, you work towards it. So, nancy, every week we highlight a different independent bookstore and I know that this week you chose Mitchell's book corner, which is up there in Nantucket. Can you tell us a little bit about why this bookstore means so much to you? Oh my I've lived here for 36 years and Ron Block knows the woman who owned it when I moved here, who was named Mamie Beaman and I read the new book signings for me, me. But as I got to know me, me, um I was a little bit terrified at first because she would she would bellow she would, she knew what everybody read, she doesn't care who you are. David Jalbert Sam would come in and she would say, oh, you don't want to buy that book or or some other celebrity would come in like Tommy hilfiger and when he would leave she would say he's a tool. And I was I was like who does this? This is a small town. Um There were many other instances of that and I wrote away and uh for a book about bookstores and I mentioned that made me terrified me. And Ron block said, you know, she's always terrified me too, but her heart was enormous and she knew everything about books and she would look at each one of you and say you should read this, you should read this and she was always right. Um So she sold her store to Wendy Hudson who has had it I think for...

...about 10 years now and um they redid the inside of the store, it's beautiful, it's more um modern and it has one of the three. I think there are three. There might be four elevators on Nantucket Man tuck it all the buildings cannot be taller than three storeys high Mitchell's. And in the hospital and in the library you can take an elevator from the first floor to the second floor. Um and you can't go to the third floor that's off limits. So it's a very it's a very special warm place. Everybody who comes to the island for the summer knows it because they managed to cram so many books into such a small space. And I know they're going to carry your your book mary Alice not just your novel but your Children's book. Thank you. That's really cool. That's amazing. Well and if you order family reunion from Mitchell's but corner you get 10% off the price and it will be autographed by nancy. So that is a special treat for yourself or for a gift. Now, Nancy's brother start talking about your wonderful book. But I have to say that Susan God is one of your viewers who says she's crazy about your necklace. Yeah. Yeah. I just want to get that out there. Yes, jewelry. Yeah. Well that is pretty, that's that's what you call a looker. Alright, so let's talk about family reunion. So with a title like family reunion, I think this book is particularly pregnant this year when families, you know, we weren't able to get together so much. And so the idea of a book that's about families gathering together just sort of strikes a really good cord. So I'm curious because this was a year the pandemic year when we were not able to get together. Did this influence any of the topics or your plot when you were writing about a family reunion? I think one of the things that I wanted to touch on, because I'm learning more and more each day now that I have five grandchildren. Uh One of the things that I'm learning is that our family consists of people we can really argue with and yell at and dislike and still love and still sit down at the table for Memorial Day dinner and still do things together. And I've always been interested in families because there are so many different kinds of people within a family. They're the ones that go off and they're the rebels and then there ones who stay there and and love being around their family. Um but one of the things that I've noticed and that I write about or that happens in the plot of family reunion is that Eleanor, who is 70 and her granddaughter, Ari, who is 22, are much closer in their values than the mother Alicia who's in between and I think I've noticed this and I, and it's part of the plot of the book. Alicia's grandmother who is Eleanor's mother or was Eleanor's mother. It was very proper and very much interested in the tea cups and the, and the lace uh, table cloths and mind your manners. And...

...uh, I'm wearing this necklace. My mother in law used to believe when she came to dinner any time, not just on christmas day, that charlie should wear a blazer And so should my son. And that was not always something that either Charlie or my son appreciated. Um, but Martha and my mother when they were 70, they started new passages in their life. My mother in law, Martha started a social newspaper in boston and it was called around and about boston and cool. She went to waltz evenings at the Ritz. I don't even know if they still have waltz evenings at the ritz, but she would go to the opening. She had champagne breakfast at the Museum of Fine Arts when there would be a new Van Gogh show or something. Uh, lady she had and hats, she wore wonderful hats. And so at 70 She was starting a new enterprise at 70. My mother who had been widowed, uh, married another man. My father was deceased. My father was wonderful, my sister and I weren't as fond of my mother's new husband, but that didn't really matter because my mother and and her husband Had 10 wonderful years together. So I've always thought being 70 isn't when you sit in your rocking chair and start knitting. Um, and the older I get and the older our our population gets, the longer we're going to live and the longer we're going to live, lives that are fulfilling and helpful and we're just now learning this, this is scientific. I'm not making this, it's really happening, which is why Eleanor is so important character. Yes, she, she represents that, that I'm turning 70 or 70 but I am, I'm starting well is she really at the beginning? But that that's where you're going with. Yes, yes. And she learned through the book, uh because of what Ari her granddaughter does, Eleanor learns to change her life, which is what I love. Yeah, that's incredible. So nancy, your, your name is just synonymous with Nantucket. I mean we think Nantucket, we think of you uh so much so that I actually did an event last week with Ron block and wade rouse and we were talking about how wade right, so beautifully about michigan. And we all said, oh yeah, like nancy there writes about it was just like, all right, So I think you bring it alive so beautifully and you know, something we've talked a little bit about on this show here, that at a time when we're still not traveling a ton or we're just getting back into travel books like yours, allow us to do, you know, experience other places and to really be immersed in other places. Can you talk to us about why Nantucket is such a meaningful, I mean, I know you live there, I know you've lived there for a long time, but I live in Orlando and I lived in Orlando for a long time and I don't set books in Orlando. Wait, we don't have to get into that. But I love Orlando, it's just not, you know, it's not right that my books. So nancy can you talk to us a little bit about why Nantucket moves you and continues to move you to set these beautiful books there. I think one of the differences between Nantucket and Orlando is waiting in your car and you can drive wherever you...

...want on Nantucket. It's an island and it's 30 miles from the mainland from Hyenas and there are fairies that come and now there are fast ferries that come and go in an hour, but they can't always come. The planes can't always come. We often have gale force winds and we often are truly cut off from the rest of the world. And if people decide to live here through the winter, they know they're making a choice to be isolated. So the people who live here are very um capable of, of reading or crafting or walking on the beach or going to dinner with friends. And it's a real community of crazy people because we love it here in the winter. We love the waves. Um we love the storms. Uh the people who are here are very interested in the environment. They're like mary Alice's people uh lots of people are interested in conservation. Lots of people are worried about the water rising. Lots of people care about the seals I've and the sharks. Um and we can go to lectures and meet guys who who pulled on, oh, search, they pull sharks out of the water, tag them, put them back in the water. Um so there's this feeling of being so inseparable from nature, so much part of nature that it just, it gives you it's a spiritual feeling, but it's also a practical, very practical matters. Yeah, very practical. You know, and and there's also there's such beauty as a storyteller in dealing with with the scenario that's kind of cut off and away from the world at large, especially during the winter. And I think that's something that appeals to a lot of people about historical fiction that takes place a lot, you know, that sort of separation from the world outside takes place a lot in history. But it's interesting to find that in the modern day because of the place you're writing about. I think it's just beautiful that you do that. Oh, thank you. Nantucket is very similar to go for where North Carolina where I live in the fact that it's an island. There's a ton of conservation. People are very much the winter, isn't it? You know, reading when I read your stories and you talk about the difference between the winter and the summer and you know, our our winter populations like 3000 and our summer populations like 30,000. You know, it's a very different. Um, there are a lot of similarities and so I love kind of reading about, you know, the similarities between the two places. Another thing that you and I have in common is that we both really love houses. Um, so yeah, in my other life, I have an interior design blog called design chic and I love when I'm writing a book, thinking about the houses that are going to be in this story. And you know, I noticed that houses are really at the heart of a number of your novels and Island Girls, three sisters inherit. And Nantucket House heatwave is about a B and B. Summerhouse tells the story of a wealthy family in a beautiful mansion, then summer house, the guest cottage and the island house and others. So I'm just interested what interests you in writing about houses And how do you think that um they influence your setting in your stories? Oh, that's a wonderful question, Kristie, thank you. And before I talk about houses, I just want to say this is such a spectacular group. You will...

...just looking at your faces, your wonderful books. I love all of your books and even though I might meet you someday, I really might um but I am, I'm honored to be with this group. I'm and I'm thrilled to see all your beautiful faces. It's just um and and you all as mary Alice knows you're also young and I love reading. I'm more a reader than I am a writer. So I gobble books up and when I get a good book by a new writer, it's the best present in the world. When I go into the bookstore, I just like, and I said to one of the people who works in Mitchell's, I just want to buy all these books and go home and read. And she said she felt the same way. Uh so houses, I was raised in a modern ranch house in Wichita Kansas and my mother had chosen to live there because she didn't want to like stairs. I thought was, well, I never, I never liked the house because I was always reading books that were set probably in a castle in England. Well, I always wanted to live in England. I've always felt on this island. It's inescapable not to be aware of the architecture because most of the houses look exactly alike because it's something called Greek revival. And when they settled the town they decided this is what the houses should look like, because this is getting too Uh complicated, but because they believe and the uh, separation of church and state that they were going back to the Greek ideas and a lot of the houses here have Greek pillars. Um, but the other thing about our house is that it was built in 1840. Oh, wow. And that gives a lot of that atmosphere, but it also gives a lot of work, I know, patching something, adding something. Um, we had four floors. So when Sean the tech guys, can you go get your ear bugs? I walked up two flights of stairs and and found them because for my office, and I'm sorry, it's a big house. I'm there, there is an atmosphere in this house and I I'm not saying there are ghosts, although a lot of people believe there are ghosts in the house. But This house has stood here since 1840. It was built by the captain of the whaling ship. If you walk down the street to Union Street, those houses were built by the like lieutenant of the whaling ships. And if you go up main street where there are these beautiful brick houses with white columns, those houses were built by the owners of the whaling ships. So there's lots of history here and and there's something about house, a wall...

...that, you know, other people have touched. Other people have said and looked at the fire and wondered what the world is about. And we have fireplaces here. And I won't say we all wonder what the world is about, because once my son was in here with a friend and they decided to uh stick stick into the fire and we'll see if they're here. We're burn. Oh, these are great questions. These are the deep, deep questions. A fireplace. They are the deep, deep, that is such a good answer. And my, it's funny that my husband always says, you know, my friend is a very old town too. And he always says, you know, people say like uh something about our house and he always say, well, it's not our house, we're just the caretakers until you know, the next family moves in. Because I think about that so often about all the people that lived in this house before us and how very, very long it's been here. It's pretty cool uh nancy. You're making me probably all of us now want to visit, but you're making me want to live there. It sounds like there is a story on every corner nancy. Like if you want to tell a whaling story, if you want to tell an 1800 story there, just waiting there for you, fascinating. I wish I could do historical fiction and maybe I will someday because this is a very strong island for women, women. And one of the main streets of the town um, is called Center Street, which being Nantucket, it's not in the center, but it used to be called coat robe because when all the men went off on their whaling ships, the women ran the businesses. They ran the grocery store. They, they sold the needles and the hammers and they ran the town. And we've always had very strong women here and um, we've always had a very wonderful african american group here. We've had many Quakers. We've had many women, um, like Mariah Mitchell who was an astronomer who discovered a comet. Um, it's, it's a very intellectual place. There's no university, but as I said, there are so many people who are interested in, in the history, in the culture and the environment. Come here. No wonder you live there will have and write about it. Oh, hell yes, I'll have you all come and you can stay uh, if you're not allergic to pass. Uh, even if I was, I would pretend that I wasn't. So just to come. Okay, back to the novel. I want to hear more about family reunion. Here we go. Okay, so family reunion is also among all the other things. It is a coming of age novel which are in many ways some of my favorite novels. So two women, a grandmother and a granddaughter. And you talked a little bit about the multi generational thing going how they're teaching each other. But in this book, they both fall in love. And a number of your novels, you show how characters can fall in love at any age. We're not we're not saying, you know, it's only for the cute young ones, my daughter and kids. So could you talk a little bit about the love story aspect in two generations, you know, sandwich on either side of the middle generation and how they find love where they never expected it. First of all, I have to say a lot of people do fall in love on Nantucket. A lot of, I mean I met my husband when I...

...was visiting a friend, the director of the library, met her new husband when she was introducing a talk. So it's, I don't know if it's because when people come here they feel a little more care free and open to the possibility of love. Eleanor is widowed and she was married to a very nice man, but he was very um very uptight, very, very proper and um interested in the rules and being punctual and all of that. And when he when he's deceased, Eleanor of course is sorry, but um she's very happy living alone and she doesn't even think about being with another man, but she meets just by accident, an old friend named Silas who is like many of the men around here who are who have fished and they voted and they've sailed and they've walked and and they have accepted old age with real joy. And and when Silas meets Eleanor um there at this concept market and they're eating ice cream cones. And to my husband said, I have a lot of food in my books and it's who I do, But what a nice way to meet someone over an ice cream home. I love. That is adorable. And Ari, who was 22, uh meets the brother of a friend of hers and she's not even looking for romance. She just broke up with someone and she is just learning what she's really interested in and and her values, she's learning her core values. That's one of the reasons she broke up with her fiance. Um and so she gets to know, not just bec but his family, his younger, his younger daughter, a sister, his older sister is a friend of Ari's and they do the things that you do here in the summer that are so wonderful. They go sailing together, they go swimming together, they stroll around the streets and again, it's not it's not a romance. My books aren't romances, although there is romance in them and But I think we all want romance in our lives. I think even when you're 70, Eleanor's age, you meet someone, it's nice to have a companion to do things with. My mother was very happy when she met a man and married him and they got to travel together. Uh, so that's a strong point of the novel without any question that they're both the generations. Um, I love and I think the word coming of age doesn't always mean a 12 year old or a 17 year old. Sometimes at 70 we can be coming of age, coming into a new, a new last may new. Yeah. Like I wonder what we should do today, but where, who is the mother who is so trim? I am such a problem. She has a transformation in her life and I'm not going to say what it is. Um, but I think at any age we can have a transformation and that's what, what part of family reunion a reunion is about. But we're also with our families...

...and um, we can argue with him. They can surprise us, our memories talking about houses. Eleanor remembers all the times her son used to ride a little tricycle in the house and ram and all. And that's, that's not a bad memory. It's a wonderful sweet memory of of the house and the little boy and her life and that passage of life. Yeah, amazing. Kristen do you have a question? Should we move on to the, did you want to question why did the live questions? All right. We have some nancy. What we do is we get to ask questions and then we asked our audience if they have questions. So let's move right into that. So, from our viewer named Diane Russell, um Harrison, how do you think Nantucket has changed over the years you've lived there? Has it changed for the better or the worst? Hi, Diane. Nice. I see you on facebook. Um you know, it's easy to say things are changing for the better or the worse because things are changing. Um as I see it now because I like houses and love houses and care for them. They're changing very much for the worse because now people who are billionaires can buy any house and there is a historic district commission that has a code, but a lot of the people will say, um, I don't really care what you think. I have so many lawyers, they can bank from the town and I'm going to tear this house and who cares if there's wood to Was here 200 years ago. It's horrible. Lots and lots and like a knife. I mean that just is heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking. It's very sad. I've seen that happen Next door. We live in town. We have, as I said, a house that was built in 1840 and the twin right next to it um was bought, it was torn down, it was renovated now. They've just chopped down the magnolia tree so they could put a driveway in, say not begin karma. So there is a feeling and it's not just, well mary Alice talks about it in her book. People now come here because there's air, it's beautiful and they can have a house built or knocked down a house. And um, and it doesn't, it doesn't does it change for the people who are growing up here? I think it does because they can't afford to buy a house here. They have to live with their parents or they have to leave the island. Um, I feel that I feel like we're changing not for the better, but we just have to wait and see, don't we? Because a lot of the people who are tearing down the houses and building new houses are also giving money to the library, giving money to a safe kids giving money to the hospital. And as our, as our population becomes much more diversified, it's the people who who are tearing down the houses that are also helping to keep our hospital running. So Diane, it's both. I guess it has just changed in an breath...

...balance. Right. All right, okay, mary Alice, did you want to do one more question? I think there's still one more. Yeah. Okay, great. So, we have one nancy from, from marjorie bows roberts who says, I love how Eleanor is only a few years older than I am. I reminisced back to when I was young and how I am and how I am today through your well described words. Do you see yourself in her? Uh huh. I do. Of course I do. I see her, she's much like me, but I I didn't really realize that everyone who's in their seventies isn't like me. There is, there is a lot in the novel where Eleanor says to Ari, her granddaughter, Yes, you can come and live with me and you know, my bedrooms on the second floor, so you can have your bedroom on the first. I want to have a man over. Uh people are wise. How can the grandmother say that? And I realized very grandmother would say that and that's why that relationship is so special to and I could talk about this forever. But we is one more thing we want to listen to Nancy and that is a favorite part of all of ours. And that is the writing tip. So you've been writing for 30 some years. Can you share with us a writing tip? Um The writing tip is, don't be afraid to delete. I keep a file called cuts. I mean I keep it on my computer and I keep a file and I put all my cuts there because otherwise I would think I was losing the best sentence or paragraph um ever written. And I'm so cutting and saving in a separate file keeps me from being anxious. But don't be afraid to delete it hurts, it hurts it nancy. That's funny. I have the exact same file also named cuts on my computer. I do the exact same thing. Yes. Uh nancy. Do you have any books to recommend tonight? Books you've been reading and loving lately? Well, you know, I have been reading, uh, surviving savannah. Thank you. Uh, I did not pay her. Uh, I think you need found. Um, and of course the newcomer, um, one of the books that I've enjoyed very much is called, um, summertime guests. And by, let me see if I can remember her name. The book Automatic. I hm um, is it? Well, that's terrible. I forgot I blurbed it. Hang on. Okay. It's a lot of fun. I've enjoyed it. Of course Viola show. It's windy Francis. It's windy Francis Francis. Yeah. It was a great, I'm sorry. You know how, when you are blowing like a whole bunch at once and it runs. I mean, I remember the book really well because together the titles together, I could draw the cover, but I couldn't remember her. Yeah, The Clover Girls. And you're going to be talking to wait Yeah. Next, next time I've enjoyed that book so much. And I'm going to give it to a lot of my friends. Yeah, we all are. That's a great book. Okay. I you know my goodness. This is I mean the Hours just flying by. So we have another question that we'd like to um ask you. But all of you will will put the titles up on the facebook page so you can get those. But we have one final question for nancy after a little bit of housekeeping. Yes. So I just wanted to say a big thank you again to our amazing partner, Mama Geraldine's.

Um If you have been around for a while, you know that I always rave about their Seminis. But especially during the Summer, Memorial Weekend is a memorial Day weekend is a really good time. Especially if you're at the beach or somewhere where people are gonna be visiting. Always make sure that you have your pantry full of mama g's because you never know when guests are going to stop by and they're an instant party. Good advice. Did not forget to join the Friends and Fiction official Book Club, which is on facebook and hosted by our friends, lisa Harrison and Brenda Gardener. So there are over 6000 strong now, which is amazing, they're still growing. I was just talking to them the other day about a big when your anniversary we might be doing this summer, so exciting and we hope you will join them on june 21st to discuss mary Kay andrews new book. The newcomer mary Kay will be there and in july mary Alice Monroe will be with them to talk about the Summer of Lost and Found and the Islanders. So this is your chance to ask the authors all your questions and really dig into the storylines with a group of friends and fiction friends and if only we had one of them. Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh man, I'm sorry. Oh you're dying. All right. So while she's getting her sound straight I'm going to remind you that next week we are delighted to host authors Sonali Dev and mary Bly who you might know better under her pen name A Louisa James. And if you are ever wondering about her schedule, it is always on the Friends and fiction website as well as the sidebar of events on our friends and fiction facebook page. And don't forget to check out our new friends and fiction Writer's block podcast within every friday episode starting this week. Yeah. I also remind you really briefly, um if I know you have been waiting for Friends and fiction merge and we have it. Finally we've got beautiful t shirts and wine cities and coffee tumblers. They're all available from Oxford Exchange so you can definitely check those out and we would love it if you did so nancy. We have one final question for you. One of the things that we love to know about our authors is what shaped them into the writers they are today. So what were the values around reading and writing in your childhood? Oh well it was read books I I was raised, my mother read incessantly every saturday she took us to the grocery store and the library and we always came home with a pile of books library. Um I I always thought this is amazing, I just have this card and I go to a nice lady and I get all these books I grew up reading. My father read, my mother read everybody read. I didn't know people didn't read and uh my friends read. So I think it's a normal thing to do. And my husband thank heavens, loves to read. So and my Children love to read. And my grandchildren who are perfect. Love to. I That is weird. And you mentioned libraries, we have a running tally on just about every author is library. Library is heading impact. All right, y'all. You can begin summer right now by grabbing a copy of nancy Thayer's book, family reunion. And don't forget if you order from Mitchell's book corner tonight you'll get that discount. An autograph book. I mean you're going to get nancy's autograph book. That's such a deal. And the link is right at the top, sitting at this page for music click and I think we're already girls for our trip to Nantucket nancy, Get...

...ready And it's always such a treat to see you. It's lovely and your necklace is lovely and thank you everybody. It's a wonderful book. All her books are lovely nancy. Thank you so much for coming tonight. Thank you. Thank you wonder that's our show for tonight. You Yes, you Nantucket and next week right here, seven o'clock Eastern Time and we hope you'll join the writer's block with round block and listen to all the new exciting podcast. So goodnight, everybody happy reading. We're all invited to Nantucket and I think we should plan it. She was great. It was, she was so great. That was such a great show and I think it was funny to like all that, there are just a lot of like nice parallels and all of our segments of the show tonight that I think we didn't necessarily plan. But um, she was lovely. I cannot wait to finish the book and so glad that Alicia has a change of heart because full Christie when you get to the last line. I thought it was one I always say that readers will sometimes forgive bad beginning, but they don't forgive a bad ending and the last line of family reunion is a butte. I just love the way she talks about Nantucket like, like a lover. You know, like someone that she has known all of her life and loves all the same. You know, like you do about Savannah. I have a surprise guest. Uh you don't need to have a surprise guest. Oh, I hope it's one of the babies. Yeah, but she talks about Nantucket the way you know Cathy mary Kay probably feels about Tybee or you do about Beaufort and you know, there's just this great admiration for the place she lives that makes you want to go. Yeah, that's I love that. I think like setting is so important and I remember writing my first couple a was well mary Alice Stop High Delius. It's really see you. I'm sorry to barge in on. You know, you are never welcome. Never barging in. You can barge in every single episode. What really surprised, congratulations on your success has been a very popular being. So, I'm really you were one of those people. All you're doing the authors. Uh you were one of our first. That's right. I was Yeah. Youtube writing up a storm. Sorry, are you writing up a storm? I'm writing a way we can ask for pretty stormy waves, thunder and lightning at the moment. The way we are waiting for your next book. Wait, I love and we can't wait for the movie. It's I've been visiting the onset and um Tate and Chase are so cute pictures where they where they filming, do you? Well they're filming in the swamps outside of in southern Louisiana instead of instead of north Carolina. Because the swamps there and the marshes have a lot of different habitats with the Cyprus and the spanish moss. Just much more adverse. So you know, it's beautiful. It's really beautiful. And who's playing K? Who's playing? Kaya is played by daisy Edgar jones. She's she's nominated for...

...a Golden globe for normal people. She's she's perfect for kite. She's so tender and so tough at the same time. Well we're so excited for you. Well thank you so much. Thank you. And we all want to come on the red carpet so you know, waiting for invitations. I'll help you in the movie. I've never had so many offers for date in my life. Well, I'm shopping for my dress right now. Wait, just lovely. The way I was telling you to come out. That's awesome. That's awesome. It's good to see you. Wait, I could afford the wine. I thought it was gonna be one of the puppies. I mean dealing with the matter, we thought it was a puppy. I know that was an amazing night. You guys. That was amazing. We missed you, Kathy mary, Kay, we missed you. You know, it was uh you know, that was just like a I spaced um when um you know, I was doing an event with our friend um Colleen Oakley whose new book, The Invisible husband Frick Island came out this week. Oh, thank you Sean for dropping that. Um Sean is on his a game tonight. whatever, vitamin Sean, I mean you mentioned of merging that script and he, I wow, that was like boom, I hated Missing tonight. But I had wanted, I wanted to support Colleen. This is a great, such a sweet, tender hearted book. Um fantastic. He says you're sitting around the show in three weeks, four weeks. Yeah, yeah, you can be on the show. I'm just reading my way to have Yeah, well, I think I just love seeing you all, but yeah, it wouldn't be altogether if you weren't here. So I'm glad you got here. I was running into like just turning off one and jumping in the next. So it's, you know, when books are released, its it's a busy time. Yeah, I'm not really sure. My mike for the past, this is the second night in a row. I've done a virtual event all of a sudden. I don't know if my mike, I guess I better check it out. Oh Colleen is going to be on, on June 30 and 30. You all tell? Did you tell people that we have a new thing that we're going to do next week? Not yet. So I'm going to tell them next thing. You know, we know we told them we have a big surprise for them next week. Well I'm gonna be the last today. Yeah, I don't know about you guys. I would love a glass of mine and I see mary. Kay, you already have your, my dogs are barricading the door way. What a night way piers for all tonight everybody. Thank you for tuning in, join us every week on facebook or Youtube where our live show airs every Wednesday night at seven p.m. Eastern time and please subscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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