Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 9 · 1 year ago

Friends and Fiction with Jasmine Guillory

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jasmine Guillory discusses her New York Times Bestseller PARTY OF TWO and her transition from the practice of law to writing romance. https://www.jasmineguillory.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors endless stories. Friends and fiction is a podcast with five bestselling novelists whose common love of reading writing in independent bookstores bound them together.With chats, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing, thesefriends discussed the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the artof 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 fivelongtime friends with more than eighty published books to their credit. At the startof the pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk abouttheir 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 bestselling novelists. So joined them live on their friends and fiction facebook group pageevery Wednesday at seven P M Eastern, or listen in view later at yourleisure. Hi Everybody, and welcome to friends and fiction. Are Weekly facebooklive show featuring author chats in support of independent bookstores. Our Community of readershere on friends and fiction has grown to almost thirteenzero members and we could notbe more thrilled to be welcoming you here tonight. So let's get started.I'm Kristin Harmel and my latest is the book of lost names, which comesout in just six days. Yay. I'm Christy went's in Harvey and mylatest novel is feels like falling. I'm Mary Alice Monroe and my latest novelis on Ocean Boulevard. And I'm Mary Kay Andrews and my latest book isHello Summer, and this is friends and fiction. We are so glad you'rehere. Of course we're missing our Fifth Patty, Callaghan Henry, whose latestis becoming Mrs Lewis. She's visiting family, but she will be back next week. We're going to miss her a lot tonight. But tonight, asyou can see, we have a new face among us, another wonderful specialguest. We are thrilled to welcome New York Times best selling superstar Jasmine Gillery, the author of the wedding date, the proposal, the wedding party,Royal Holiday and Party of two, which I handily have right here just cameout a few weeks ago and was, of course, an instant in NewYork Times best seller. You may remember that the proposal Jasmine second novel wasa Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick, which is amazing. Cosmopolitan magazine hassaid of Jasmine that everything she touches turns to gold, and clearly they'reright. She has become a queen of the romcom and I have to sayI am pretty honored that we share a literary agent, the Fabulous Holly Roots. So I feel like I'm in great company and I'm so glad that Jasmineis here tonight with us on friends and fictions. So welcome Jasmine, welcome, happier here. Thank you coming. Thank you so much. So,before we get rolling everyone, I just want to remind you that every weekwe feature an independent bookseller, and this week we're working with Banks Square booksin Mystic Connecticut. You can head over to our friends and fiction page tofind a link to bank square books, where all of our new books shipfree, no coupon code required, which is actually a bit more of adiscount than our usual ten percent. And of course that includes Jasmine's party oftwo tonight, which will be talking about. We also wanted to tell you thattonight will be donating one dollar per book sold to the Hurston Wright Foundation, which supports emerging black writers, which we all think is so important forcreating more diversity and representation in literature in years to come. So now,jasmine, without further ado. We are so happy to have you here andwe would love to start off by talking a little bit about what you've beenup to these last few weeks since your new book came out, and Ithink we'd all be so interested to hear how the shutdown has impacted your tour, how you've been still finding ways to connect with readers, things like that. Yeah, you know, of course, like my whole two tours were atrole. So my first week I did, I think, an eventlike for events that week and then a few the following week, and Ihave to say like going into it I was really worried, like I kindof thought virtual tour would feel depressing that, you know, because one of thethings that I really love about new books and going on book tour isbeing able to meet readers and track with them. But it was. Itwas really exciting like it was great to be able to chat with like authorfriends about my book and about their books and people that I wouldn't necessarily havegotten to talk to because of geography. You know, now it's easier tolike set up that stuff and to be able to have like people from allover the place be able to join these...

...events, which isn't usually the case. So that part was really exciting and I got to hear, you know, it got interesting questions from from readers like all over, from all over. So that that's been really lovely and I and I've gotten to like beon the other side of some of those events. Like, you know,did a virtual event with am a straw for her newest book, which Iloved, Altholt here, and then earlier this week I did a virtual eventwith Kates Damon London, whose debut novel just came out. It's called oneto watch. So that was really fun to like be on the other sideof that and get to talk to like writers whose work I really love,about their work. It, you know, in a in a way that likeit's not better than bookstore events, because I love those, but it'sdifferent in a fun way. So so that has been good, like andI'm glad that I was. Like I was wrong to be worried about it. You know, it's been a lot better than I than I thought itwould be. You know, it's cool because I feel like this is it'sbecome this new normal now and I feel like when we go back to thingsbeing as they were, I think this is going to continue because it's acompletely new way to interact with readers. I need. It's just been,I think we all agree, right, like it's just a wonderful new change. Yeah, still go on, for I don't think been able to goto places go ahead. Just was like bookstores, who managed to just figureit out really fast. Yeah, and they knew how to do the zomething and set this up and like they just know, you know, theygot their chech people on it really early, which I think we were all stillfiguring that out, and bookstores of really led the way and that.So I've been really impressed with it us too, since we sort of stumbledour way into existence. Right, Lady's yes, completely. Things that Iwanted was going to say is that we are reaching bookstores to ye that orpeople in communities that we couldn't go to. Yeah, absolutely, yeah, it'sa bonus for that. Yeah, yeah, sorry, Christie. Iknow we're just going to say and new definitely hit on this, but it'sbeen so fun. I was actually like laying in bad this morning thinking aboutthis because Mary Alice and I had did an event together this afternoon and it'sbeen so fun to get to like meet authors that I've never met before andlike, do you know, events with authors that I've never met in reallife and I might never have had the opportunity to and now I feel likeI'm going to be kind of spoiled when I go back on real tour becauseI love just being in conversation with another author and all the cool places ofthat takes. You good point. Yeah, this room service, though, Ididn't Miss I did actually try that first week. I was like,all right, I'm just gonna try to like maybe order a lot of deliveryto try to pretend that, ha ha, how did that? But it wasnice because I'm in California, so a lot of my events were like, you know, four or five o'clock California time, and then by thetime that they're done, I was like I have to think about dinner,like I didn't prepare well, I didn't, like do go to the grocery storeright before everything started, so I didn't have everything. So it's likeit's just I'll just sort of Sushi. That's better. But we were talkingbefore we went live, though, about like the problem with French fries,like French fries just don't arrive correctly right like that is something we really missabout the worlds. A few times I have tried to order then delivery orlike curbs I pick up out of the restaurants around here doing it's just notthe same. I just given up on it. Like I feel like Frenchtribes will be a thing that I will save, you know, for afterthe pandemic. I'll keep that hope alive, though. I'll have, for that'sright, hugs, handshakes and French fries. Agreed. So so,Jasmine, we want to dive into asking some questions of you, but firstI just wanted to mention we have a birthday come up among us. Oneof us is turning, I assume, twenty nine right, twenty nine,Christie. I'm LISTINGNA. I'm just staying there. I feel like it's agood for me. If you Google me, twenty nine still comes up, soI don't really see a reason to change. I feel like it's justright there. My mom always says the opposite. She's like you should alwayssay you're like ten or fifteen years older than you are so that people arelike, Gosh, she looks great. Well, you still look great fortwenty nine. You're right here, twenty nine year old age. Thank youall right, but when we had a guest on our show, we eachlove to ask a question. So to start off with, we have beenasking our guests to answer the same question. We all answered it last week andwe're also curious to hear your answer. So to begin, when you weregrowing up, what were your family's values around reading and writing? Well, I mean this is why I think I've always been such a big readermy whole life. Am like we just had a ton of books in myhouse, like my parents were both in...

...graduate school when I was little,and so they just had so many books that they were always reading. Wewent to the library all the time. I still drive by what was mylike my childhood library sometimes, which is actually sad for me because they toredown the old building and I didn't realize they were going to be rebuild it, and so the first time I drove by in the building was gone,like I almost got in a card. So yeah, so the they weboth. But yeah, we went to library all the time like, likeyou know, reading was just a thing we always did. My Dad wasworking on his dissertation when I was a little so that, like reading andwriting, felt like a thing that you just did constantly. And it wasfunny. One of my friends who came to stay at my house before thepandemic, like in January, made a joke about how I have like booksin so many places in my house. It's like I'm just waiting for anemergency to happen when I'm like a book right here. It's there. Growingup they were just books are that's awesome. It's awesome and that's our kind ofhousehold, I think. Gratus for sure. Jasmine, you want tostart for telling us a little bit about party too. Yeah, absolutely.So Party of two is about Labia Monroe, who is any of you have readmy first book, the wedding date. She was the sister of the maincharacter in that book and at the very beginning of this book she movesfrom New York to California. She's starting her own law practice with one ofher best friends and she's at her hotel par she hasn't even moved into hernew place yet, and she starts chatting with his charming stranger at the bar. She's a little she's a little suspicious of him. She thinks he's maybea little to charming, and then when she goes back to her room shediscovers that he isn't just sort of the out of work actor she assumed hewas. He is Californ for his junior center, Max Howell, and theyrun into each other again a few weeks later at a fundraising luncheon. Hepursues her. He'd been thinking about her the whole time and so they starta little romance. Love it and there's so much good food in it.I was so hungry reading this is a lot of desserts. All Right,Mary Alice, did you have a question for Johns then? Yes, speakingof hungry, I mean I think, yes, I agree. It issuch a great mood in your books, but I think party for two issuch a delightful romantic comedy. It's fun to read, but you also likea cake, you know you layer in with it a lot of really serioustopics like racism and sexism and privilege. And what I'm curious about is,as the author, how do you balance that romantic comedy that's lighter with theheavier issues that I just mentioned? How do you achieve that balance? Youknow, that's something I think about a lot because I want there, Iwant the issues that they deal with and their conversations to feel real and inreal life there is often that sort of balance where you're you know, you'redealing with something hard, but then, like, someone makes a joke andyou all start laughing and then, you know, everybody changes the topic oreven keeps going on with the hard thing, but jokes throughout it. Like thatis something that I wanted to feel real and balanced and so sometimes,you know, I was sort of flip from like one really heavy seen toone really light scene, partly because sometimes, like that's what you need in life, like when you're going through really heavy things, like I usually needsomeone to balance that out for me in life, and I feel like thatworks well in books too. So that's something, you know, I thinkabout as I'm writing, like I want the pacing to feel right I don'twant it to be too much heaviness at once or just in too many scenesin a row, because I because I think I want to address us offof my books and I think it's important to have it there and it feelsrealistic to have it there, but I don't want that to be the centerof the book. So, yeah, it is something that I that Ido think about a lot as I'm writing. That's really interesting about the pacing toyou know, how you try and balance chapter chapters. Not yet.Yeah, definitely. Yeah, Mary Kay, did you have a question? Yeah, you know, I I thought your background, Jasmine, was interesting. You know, very few of us go to school to be novelists andyou know, and I and I saw, Oh my God, this this chick, she's got some she's got some background on her. She's got,you know, Wellesley and sand from law, and I wandered when you gave upthe law and not only switch to fiction but to rom calm, whichyou know I've kind of write some of...

...that too, and did you getpushed back from, say, family or friends or professional colleagues who had said, you know, what are you doing? You all that education right down thedrain? Did you get pushed back? Not Really. I mean I thinkit helps that I was doing both at the same time for a while. Yeah, and so I didn't really stop practicing law until I knew that, at least for a little while. I mean keeping our fingers crossed thatI would be able to succeeded since. But you know, I think italso helps it. I had been practicing law for a while, so myyou know, I was old enough that my parents, you know, mydad did have a very funny reaction when I told him that I was comingout with Romances. First he was just excited, like you're a book.That's so exciting, and then he's very excited for a while and then,like all of a sudden, it clicks and he was like a Roman's gonnabe sex. Don't read those pots stories. But he's still struggles about work,but it's less because of the stigma word and more because my dad justdoesn't want to know it. But luckily, first little girl about that feeling andfriends were all really supportive and excited for me, which was really wonderful. And I are so successful, you can tell. Let me actually takethat quick opportunity to ask question of all of you to all I have allof you written sex scenes, and what are the people in your lives thinkof that? I mean, I'm just curious because I remember for my myfirst novel, I was so paranoid because all I thought was my grandparents aregoing to read this, my grandparents are going to beat this. I needto me the story about that. My sister asked because I had given mymy mom an early copy of the wedding date, which she read, andthen she gave it to my grandma, and so my sister asked my grandma, like so, like, what do you think about all the sex scenesJESSIN's book? And my grandmother goes, I had three husbands. O,grandma, grandma, hilarious. What about? What about you, Mary Kate?I didn't want to. Yeah, I really could not write, youknow, for a long time, especially now. I started out writing mystery. So whenever there would be a love scene, I would picture like thecrime scene tape around it. I had the reader outside the bedroom door,you know. They but and I didn't really write a real sex scene untilmy dad was dead. Wow, he's been had fifteen years now. Andyou know, it was Irish, Catholic and I think he I think becausewe have two children, he understood that I had had sex. The firstquestion I've ever gotten anywhere was at a I was at a book Pressler orsomething, and some of course, it was a man said, Miss Andrews, I understand that you're a you're a mother and you have a grandchild.How do they how did you know? How does that? How does thatjibe with writing? Six? He did not. Oh Yeah, Oh yeah, he did, and I just went dude, I ain't dead yet.What if? What? PS? I bet you haven't had any in along time. Awful about you, Mary ellist. Your books back in theS, so you know a lot different than S. I actually wrote astory called it was the girl in the mirror and it was a story basedon an actually two patient of my father in law who had severe dropped jawand had an implant and then she had she was beautiful afterwards, but shehad an allergic reaction to the implants and so it was all about so Ihad this story about this woman who physically became beautiful because of the surgery.So it obviously the body and the senses or part of story. It's asteamy book it's a really and and it's I love the story, but fora parent, for some of my readers now who I don't put sex scenesin my book, they kiss and I I you know, the close thecurtain kind of thing. But I enjoyed writing it. Number One. Itwas it was very emotional. But whenever I see it someone, especially someonewho doesn't look like they want a lot of sex mirror books, and Isee them, they're buying all my backlist...

...and they buy the girl in theMirror, I just maybe you don't want any. It's my sexy book.So anybody wants to read my sexy book world in the Mirror? All right, note to self. How about you, Christie? Now I'm I'm sort oflike Mary Alice. I have very sort of like off I amor Imean you know, you know what's happening and sometimes but there's nothing super butI'm always like, well, my grandmother reads my books, all right.But I do remember this one time. Will, my husband and my sonwere in the car together and they were listening to one of my books onaudio. All of a sudden to just hit me and I call well andI was like skip chapter twenty three after twenty. It's like couldn't read thegirls and I can't read this because of the sex scenes. Yeah, yesswhe I read my audio books, but I couldn't read that one. Ijust would be exactly just on chapter twenty two. Oh. So I wrotemy first novel. I sold it in two thousand and four so I wasjust about to turn twenty five and I didn't know what I was doing andthat I like I said, I have the voices of my grandparents in myhead, and so I wrote it with that. I thought I had tohave a sex scene, and so I wrote it with that like complete paranoia, and my editor at the time said, don't ever do that again. Everyevery time I like stick down to write something sexy. Now, likeher voice rings in my ear. Don't overdo that again. I'm like,oh no, the embarrassment comes flooding back, but now that I've taken us onlike a sexy side trip. So Patty actually left us with a questionfor you. She was disappointed she couldn't be here tonight. She's often visither granddaughter, so it's for a very good reason. But she said Iread this great interview with you in catapult about how hard it was to callyourself a writer. When did you finally feel that happened? When did youfeel like you could really do this? I think for all of it it'sdifferent, all of us it's different. You know, it's really been onlylike since so my first book came out in January of two thousand and eighteen, and it was really like at some point last year, so maybe atsome point in two thousand and nineteen where I could easily say I'm a writer. Once one asked when I did, I could say I'm a writer andnot think about it. But it is actually sort of funny in the Becuznow, like at the beginning of Party of to, one of the thingsthat happens when they first meet is that Olivia lies to Max about what shedoes because she doesn't want to say she's a lawyer, because people always saylike annoying things. Lawyers are nasty things, lawyers, but what they are.And and now I sort of have flipped sometimes to going back and tellingstrangers that I'm a lawyer instead of a writer, because people say the weirdestthings to you when we find out that you were right. Romance, likeone time I was in a taxi with my mom and my mom who likeloves to Brag about me. So he so the dads driver asked what Iwrote and I, you know, said I was a writer and then,like my mom said that you write Roman's dolls, and then the taxi driverslike who the fellows? What is it from real life? And I waslike that's gross. Secondly, my mom's here, like what? So thatdid make you make it like make me feel more normal about saying I'm awriter, but now I don't want to like have that conversation with people becauseI don't know if they're going to be gross or not. Are Always say, Oh, I bet your research is a lot of fun. Very goodanswer, Christie. Did you have a question for Jestin? I do,yes, so this just felt like I had to ask it because I juststumbled upon it and you were going to be our guests this week. ButI read the amazing piece you write for the July twenty issue of time aboutthe power of black fiction and why we all need to be reading it,and I was so moved by the whole piece, but the line that youworld to know not just our pain but the whole of our lives. Andespecially our joy, and that just like seared me. That was so beautiful, and so I'm sure not all of our viewers have had the chance toread that article yet, and so I was wondering if you could elaborate onit just a little bit for the people who haven't read it yet and thenmaybe give us a couple of recommendations for black fiction that we all need tohave on our list of the summer. Yeah, you know, I thinktoo often, especially right now, there's all these like anti racism reading listsand stuff, for even some of the big fiction list that people recommend buyingabout black people are kind of the heavier ones, and those books are allgreat. But like read books about, you know, black kids playing orlike black women falling in love or, you know, black teenagers like gettinginto college, you feeling successful, like...

...all of that stuff is great too, because it's not like the whole of our lives is not about the painand the struggle. So I have a few that I have read recently thatI just loved. First, you should see me in a crown, whichis a young adult novel. It is just a joy to read. Ireally loved it. It is by Leah Johnson. It's about this black girlwho lives in a small town in Indiana and she runs her prom queen andso it's a great story because she's running for prom being for a specific reason. There's a scholarship money attached to it. She really wants to get that tolike be able to go to the college she wants to go to.You know, she falls in love during the book and she's like figuring thatout. She has friendship struggles and she sort of figuring out how to,you know, work with friends who have like been her friends for a longtime but now they're kind of going apart and she's figuring that out and Ijust really love so much about that book. It's just great. I also lovedfrom the desk of Zoe Washington, which came out earlier this year.It's a middle grade but just Boca for my granddaughter. Oh, it's sofun. I love it. I recommended sixth grade. I just vote itfor her. Yeah, it's so many kids. You know. It's abouta girl who loves baking and she is like trying to, you know,be able to get on this baking show, but then she's also writing letters toher father, who she's never met before because he's in prison, andso they are like finding their way to a relationship together, but it's it'sstill like fun and frosty and delightful, but it's about real issues. Yeah, and then the boyfriend project by Fara Roshan, which is a romance abouta woman who lives in Austin, Texas. She works in a Tech Company andshe, you know, she's dealing with all the stuff that comes fromlike being a black woman and working in tech, which is a lot,and then, you know, she kind of starts a romance with someone whoworks with her who has his own secrets that she doesn't know about, andso it's it's just such a fun story and really interesting. So I justlove all those books and recommend thank you. Thank you, and I'm resolutely whenthe website right, I write them down to all we have at littlethanks for doing that. Yeah, I was just thinking, like I'll haveto listen to other because I'm sure I'm not watching live, but I knoweveryone's going put that on the page. That right after that sounds perfect.Thank you, Jasmin. That was great and actually kind of leads naturally alittle bit into my question, which is one of the blurbs I've read aboutyour book is from or your books in general, is from the Seattle Times. They say the real pleasure here is the little world Gillery has created,a Los Angeles populated with a diverse, devoted crowd of Nice people who holdeach other up, treat each other two cupcakes, have each other's back andoccasionally fall in love. I feel like I feel like that when I readyour books, to that the world you create on the page is just areally nice one. Do you think that writing fiction like that, we're we'rekindness and decency sort of rule, can actually move readers a little further alongthe road to being better people? I absolutely do think so. I meaneven just writing it, it feels like it makes me want to be abetter person. Or you kind of think about you know, one thing I'vein the amount a lot lately is like we're all going through something really hard, and so I have been really trying to like give people the benefit ofthe doubt more. You know, it's like someone's being grumpy in the girlshoe store or cuts you off in traffic, like I think, like maybe they'remaybe their family members in the hospital, like maybe they're stressed, maybe theyjust loft their job, like all of those things, and so that'ssomething that I try to think about in fiction. Like they're always, youknow, your characters will always do something bad or like something unkind or whatever, but I want there to be a good reason for it and for themto recognize, Oh, maybe I shouldn't have done that, like let me, let me figure out a way around that. And so it's sometimes makesme want to think like like, you know, try to be more empatheticwith other people and then like be gentler on myself, because I think weall beat ourselves up about a lot of stuff, and so that's something thatI think reading helps with, and then writing also those two good answer.Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, thank you so much. This isthis has been so enjoyable, but just finding out more about you, Jasmine. So to all of you watching out there, make sure to post yourquestions for Jasmine or for us now. We're going to be pulling some livein a few minutes. I also want to remind you to head over tothe friends and fiction facebook group. If you're not, they're already and thereyou will find a link to all of our new books at bank square books. All of our book ship free, which is actually a slightly better discountthan our usual ten percent, and that includes Jasmine's Party of too, MaryAlice has on Ocean Boulevard, Christie's feels like falling, Patti's becoming Mrs Lewis, Mary Kay's hello summer, and mine novel, the Book of last names, which comes out in six days. Plus again, we will be donatinga dollar per book to the Hurst and...

Right Foundation, which helps support andfoster emerging black writers. As always, each book you buy at an Indiestore is a good deed. You are helping to keep the literary community thriving, plus you get to read awesome books. It's a win win. So nowthe four of US had a chance to ask jasmine some questions, andnow we would love to let you do the same. We've chosen two fromamong the questions on our facebook page and we would love to let Jasmine answerboth of them. So, while you're talking or while we are talking again, if you have something you would like to ask all of us, justpost it below the video and Christ you'll be drawing those questions and them comein right now. Perfect. So everyone, do your work. Give us yourquestions. But Mary Alice, would you like to ask Jasmine the firstquestion? Yes, when I have the first one. Alrighty, this isthe ladies are the top on honey book circles in Los Angeles. Say Thisis a five book series and is it possible we see additional characters introduced inthe wedding dates series? And does each book have its own cake? Andwill you ever create a recipe book is not have its own cake? Butthat's a great idea. Like if you book was a cake, what cakewould they be? I'M gonna have tog out that a lot. Cookbook.You know, it's funny because one time someone asked me if I would everwrite non fiction and I was like no, I can't think of any MON fictionI've ever interested writing. And then later some won't like what about acook book? And I was like, okay, maybe much more of ahome cook. So I just I often will like pull recipes or throw thingstogether, but I'm not like, I don't, I just, you know, have learned from doing so we'll see if I can I would ever beable to write a recipe in the way that like actual recipe writers do.That might be fun, but I have a lot of my played in thenext year. So so we'll see what happened. That would that would bea lot of fun. Okay, book, Um, there might be more bookswith these same characters. Will See. I mean, I think everything rightnow and a pandemic like I'm finding writing to be really hard. I'mproud of myself for any writing I get done any days. So hopefully let'skeep our fingers cross like that. You know what? That makes me thinkof what you just said about, you know, not beating yourself up andbeing yeah, very true. Mary Kay, did you want to ask the otherreader question? Yes, this question is for Dibby Bowen Boean, whosays I've previously read the proposal and I'm a third of the way through partyof two. What I really like about these two books it's a diversity ofcharacters and their interactions. Was the diversity intentional and if so, what isyour motivation? I mean it was indenteral and a certain extent, but alsoit just felt natural, like the you know what, the Los Angeles thatI know, the bay area that I know, are full of people ofall sorts of, you know, ethnicities and races that. You know,I've lived in California my whole life and that's the California that I see.So it didn't it wouldn't make sense to me to write a book that didn'treflect the reality that I seem. So yes, I mean yes, itwas intentional, but also not. I didn't have to work for it,I put it that way. So, but that was really fun to write. I mean just in like I don't live in Los Angeles and so theproposal and party two were my two books that are set there. So Ihad to get a lot of Intel, you know, I did some visitsand they got some Intel from friends who do live there. So, youknow, figure stuff out and where were people go and where would they liveand all of that stuff. So that that the parts were lots of fun. Awesome. Christie, do you have a few live questions? I do, I have some live questions. Pretty Guys, sorry, I'm looking atI'm Adam. I'm just telling you I'm out of town. So my lightand stuff is weird. I did not have my like normal zoom space,so I'm sorry that I look a little strange, but that's okay. Okay. So Fran Handelman, long wants to know what personal experiences have you hadthat have influence went to writing. So, Jasmine, do you want to takethat first and then we all kind of chime in? Yeah, Um, let me think for somebody else can take it so we don't put tooon this spot every question. Okay, Mary Alice, what about you?I know you have a good answer to this one, so talk about yourself. Well, I think to do. Okay, well, I can talkabout I'll take it first. This wasn't necessarily like my personal experience and Italked about this earlier today. So sorry,...

Marialice, you've just heard the story, but I was talking about my next book, under the southern skyis. It's a different kind of story for me and it's about some frozenembryos and like a some you know, issue surrounding them, and I reallygot the story idea from a friend who came to a party one night andshe was pregnant with one's at the time and she was like, oh mygosh, I have all these frozen embryos, what am I going to do withthem? You know, I didn't think about this, I didn't thinkabout the ramifications of what I was doing and I just thought that was sucha really interesting kind of ethical situation and then I sort of ramped it upby having the woman whose embryos they were no longer alive. So, butI that didn't necessarily happen to me, but I feel like it was.You know, it was something that someone said to me and and she saidyou should write a book about this, and so I've been thinking about itfor five years and it was really, really interesting to write. I'm goingto try to move myself. I'm sorry about my light here. Fine,just what do you think? What's your answer? You know, I think, Um, it's not so much experience as I've had, but like relationshipsthat I've had that are really influenced my writing. Like one of the thingslike, especially in the proposal, the main character in that book has tworeally good friends and they're sort of constantly texting each other and asking each otherfor advice, and that is absolutely how I interact with my friendships, likethey're very close to me. You know, my friends I text for advice allthe time. It was actually actually two of the friends that I wassort of thinking about as I wrote that friendship story. One of them hasa teenage daughter and she does. Says just today, like about her daughtergot this really cute haircut and she was like are you going to test yourfriends and show them your hair cut? And her daughter was like why wouldI do that? That's stupid, and she would like well, I meanwe do that. It's funny, and then she told her mom will youguys are old and I was like thanks, need to remind yeah, exactly.Happy Prittay Christi Tomorrow. How about? How about Mary Kay or Mary Aliceeither? You have anything you wanted to answer for that? You know, when I wrote hello summer, it's about a big city journalist and Iwas a big city journalist long time ago, and and so I did try tochannel some of the experiences that I had as a newspaper reporter and theidea that sometimes you write a story and you get a lot of push backfrom the community. They don't want to they don't want to know the truthabout somebody, and and so I thought about that a lot when I waswriting the book. But the main thing was at the beginning of the bookand the beginning of Hello Summer, it's at Conley's going away party at inthe news room at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which is the last paper I workedat, and so I kind of channeled that and I thought about,Oh Gosh, you always get this stale cake, stale shee cake, andyou know lukewarm champagne, and you know half the people there hate your gutsbecause you're going somewhere better. So that was that was kind of fun tothink about. Yeah, good, it's awesome. Have About Mary Alice.Well, I know so many experiences. I ween did with wild life andI write about those. But I remember one thing, as someone said wasmy was actually my daughter who finally read the Beach House ten years after itcame out and I had already written continuing books, and she said she wasreading about how lovey the character having abuse of husband, and she and mine, I don't see why I love you just didn't leave her husband. Idon't understand and it was a really enlightening moment for me and I went ohmy goodness, little girl, because in the S it was a very differenttime, especially in Charleston, South Carolina, and I knew that this whole younggeneration had no idea why a woman would stay in that marriage at thattime in history, and so that's when I wrote because memory, so thatthe children would, my children as well as other people, would understand thatdecision is you know, that heartbreaking decision makes sense. Christy, have haveabout idea of some other questions. Yes, so Julie Bowdie wants to know.or any of you planning on writing a book about this time of Covidor plan to and the sea? Oh yes, yes, when you divein first, you're our guest. Um, not right now. I mean Ifeel like this is a time when...

I'm going to need to be ableto reflect on it after it's over, to be able to write about itcompletely, because, you know, it's still so ongoing, like hell andwor wild end like that, because I'm too close to it right now.Like I feel like certain things you have to take some time to write about. So I'm sure I'll write about it at some point, but I thinkit'll be a while. Yeah, I'm actually doing that very thing. Iactually am. I'm I'm it's difficult in a way, and it's not difficultjazzmine, only because the it's about the interpersonal relationships in the family I'm experiencingand I'm exploring. It's are actively exploring it. But we were saying justearlier, when I was talking about Christy earlier, I don't know how thissummer is fully going to end. Is there going to be a hurricane orwhat's going to happen in August? I think I'll cut it off in August. But my goodness, I've never had a book where I actually have tolive in real time. But it's a challenge and I it's it's something Ijust want to talk about while it's fresh, because I'm going through it. Yeah, I can't quite figure out if two thousand and twenty is going tobe the most written about year in modern history or the least written about.Your I know, I feel like it's going to go one of the twoways. It's not going to fall in the middle exactly. I don't think. You know, I'm halfway through my summer twenty one book and as faras that novels concerned, two thousand and twenty hadn't happened yet. Yeah,my my readers come to my my fiction for an escape and for a goodtime and as far as I can tell, there's not a whole lot of ina pandemic. But you know, I find that there is. Iam finding some really beautiful moments with the family and and showing each other upand like people living with each other. Like a niece is living with menow. That wouldn't have happened in another time. You know, I andactually a sister from well, how often would she be able to just leaveCalifornia and move in with me for the summer? So it's actually two sisters. So we have a little comming going on, but you know, it'sthis is an odd moment in time. I played monopoly with my grandchildren.How cool is that? Yeah, I my two thousand and twenty one bookstarted in April of Two thousand and twenty, and Y'all know because I like didn'tcatch it, like no one caught it. I had read it,my editor had read it and I got my copy at its back and Iwas like, Oh my God, I just wrote a book that starts inApril of two thousand and twenty like that can't happen. And it ended upnot being navig of a deal. But the book spans like thirty years andthere were some places in there we're moving something back three years. made itso like it wouldn't have had that kind of cell phone or that album withthe been out or you know, they were like little it even it wasnot a huge deal, but it was just funny that like three years canmake that much difference. But I thought, I don't know what this is goingto end. So there's no way that I can put out a bookin Two Thousand and twenty one talking about, you know, September of two thousandand twenty, because I don't know what some umber of two and twentyall like. Yeah, lesson. It was a lesson. It's appearing whenyou have to change things. My for the book a last night, no, not the book. Last names the wine maker's wife. There was ascene that centered around Notre Dame and I think we were in second past pageswhen when the fire have there, and so I had to go in andcompletely rewrite the scene, like at the eleven. I mean it just changedthe tone of that part of the Bun because, and I had to doit so hastily, but I mean, but I couldn't have had like ajokey scene about Notre Dame. It just did, I mean, and thankgoodness that happened, you know, while I still had time to fix it. so that was kind of crazy, but those were great questions. SoUm on. So that Jasmin on every friends and fiction episode we try togive our viewers out there a writing tip. So, you know, we havea lot of aspiring writers with us. So tonight we thought that people mightwant to hear those words of wisdom from you. Do you have atip for people trying to write a novel? I do. My biggest writing tipis to read as much as you can. You know, reading,like just reading in general, helps with your writing because it expands what youknow about fiction. Expands what you know about writing, like how different peopledo things in different ways, and that's okay. You it introduces you twodifferent, you know, ways of putting together sentences, different words like.That's all great. But then also in the genre or that you're trying toread in, like read a ton, because I see, I get youknow, so many people ask me questions...

...about certain things and the answer isoften just read a lot more in that genre and it will help you knowthe answer, like can I do this or can I do that, orhow long does this have to be, or all of that kind of stuff, like you'll know if you you know, if you read twenty books in thatgenre, you'll know more. You know, it'll come more naturally toyou. You won't wonder an he won't feel uncertain. In a way,you'll like it, you'll be able to understand. So I think, youknow, just diving into books like go you know. I know people can'tGoogle the library now, but like get libraries, get library books, youknow, Ebook or you know, get them from like curbs I pick upfrom your library if that's open. Do whatever you can to just read aton, because it teaches you so much more than you would find out inany like googling about the genre. Any of that. You're totally right.I feel like there's a rhythm to books too, and you have to youalmost have to internalize that rhythm as a put like. It can't be somethingsomeone tells you to do x, Y and Z. It has to besomething that you just know in your gut and then you can pour your storyon to the page. It's such a good more pent and when I was, you know, when I first started writing, like I sent, youknow, a little bit of something that I written to a friend and shewas like you need to go back and look at you know, are ifthere are books that you really loved, because, like, I was strugglingin the dialog and she was like, go back and read those and payattention to how they do the dialog, and that helps to me more thananything else has ever done. Like I would you know, because I thinkreading a book for the first time you're just sort of experiencing it, butwhen you go and reread it and think hard about the choices that they madeor what you know, why is the structure going one way? You learnedso much about it and I learned a tongue just doing that. It's interestingthat you mentioned dialog specifically, because I think that's something you do really,really well. I mean that's something that really to me about your writing reallystands out. So you obviously learned really well. So I'm friends and fiction. We also like to share the books were reading, and Jasmine gave ussome great book recommendations. I know, Mary Kay, that you had abook recommendation tonight. Yeah, what you wish for Catherine Center's new book,and she writes Delightful Rom coms. Last year's things she save in a fire. My daughter and I read Katie and I really a lot of the samebooks and that was one of our favorites last year. I was gonna holdit up tonight but she's actually got it. She snatched it away from me.Yeah, which will just hold up this beauty and stuff that we here. St Martin's for us. So it's kind of my publishing sister, butI love her books all that, and that just came out this week,so I've heard. So I've had heard good things about it so far.That's great. Have About Mary Alice or Christie, to either of you havea book you'd like to share tonight? Well, last week I recommended USSusan wicks has this oyster fill sewing circle and I got a lot of fuscomment saying what about the bookshop of lost and found, which is her newbook, and I've been reading that and it's just wonderful and it's it's abeaut if you finish the one, it's time to move into this is abig second one. I have a very special book that I'm getting ready totalk about in just a second. So we can. Okay, do youwant to tell us about next week? Christie, about was about what's happeningnext? I do. Next week is pretty much the biggest week we've everhad on friends and fiction, because Kristen Harmel's the book of lost names wereRELEASA's on Tuesday and I just want to say you, guys. I meanwe hinted this, but if you're new of this is your first time.If you don't know, Christen is our Godmother, like she made all ofthis happen. We all were like, oh, we should start a facebooklive show, and the next week Christen's like, okay, here it is, like we're ready to go, and we did it. It was becauseof her, and so if you enjoy this show, tell her thank you. Guy Going right now and pre ordering her new book because it comes outon Tuesday. I have read it. We've all read it. It isit's one of my favorite definitely one of my favorite books of the year,maybe one of my favorite books ever. It is about a librarian and whois a works as a forger and saves thousands and thousands of Jewish children,in particular during World War Two, and it is a beautiful story. Iabsolutely loved it. I cannot say enough nice things about it. We haveall read it, we have all loved it, we have all put ourblurbs all over the place. So see the book. Don't let me talkabout it anymore. It's fabulous thing, okay, but she has a hugesurprise for us next week. In addition to her beautiful, wonderful book,we are welcoming our very first musical guests, and they're big time. It isin block and drew copeland from the...

...multi platinum band sister Hazel. Yes, sister Hazel, I know, I could not believe it when she saidthat. They're going to join us for an intimate chat about storytelling and song. You probably know them from their nineteen ninety seven mega hit all for you. If you don't, you were probably not born yet in nineteen ninety seven, because if you were alive in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven,you know that song. It was love. This song love, such a goodsong. It's such a good song and like, as soon as shesaid it, I was like singing it. You know, her role was.It's so, so good and they might even seeing one of their hitsongs for us on the show. And of course we'll also be celebrating thelaunch of Christians, the Book of lost names, which she'll be telling usall about. So make sure to be here for the official Christian Harmel Bookof Lost Names Fast. That's what it's going to be. It's going tobe amazing. We're going to have a big Salari and she's going to tellus about the book. Wednesday July twenty two, seven PM. Be thereor be see. That's what kind of hate do we need to have for? That's the answer for Christian. What kind of see to have on hand? Oh No, I don't know an answer to that. Champagne, soapscake. Can we do like champagne cake? Yeah, with Champagne on the side? Yeah. Thank you, Christy. Those were really nice things to say. And and I disagree with you about about being the godmother or whateverour friends and fiction. We all, we all played, I think it'ssuper vital role in starting it, and it we do me. Well,no, no, we do so. And we all brought we all bringsomething different to the table and it's just been this gift that we've been beenable to do this. I mean I think it's grown because of, youknow, because of what we all bring in them, because the wonderful guestslike Jasmine that we're inviting on. So it's been it we've just had thesewonderful conversations and we're so grateful to all of you out there who have beenjoining us. I know a lot of you have been here since day one. A lot of you are new. I hope, I hope you're enjoyingthis as much as we are. So thank us. The just is itfun as a guest, you have to tell it fun. Thank you,guys, so much for having me. Love using you. It was sucha treat to have you, Jasmine and you you were. You know,I've always known you were wonderful because obviously we share holly but and and Ilove your books, but it was just delightful to meet the person behind thesewords that make me smile and make me laugh, and it was. Thiswas wonderful. So thank you so much for being with us and to allof you out there. One more reminder to support our books. Dollar ofthe week banks square books. The link is on the friends and fiction pageand you get free shipping on any of our new books. Plus we willbe donating a dollar per book sold to the Hurst and right foundation. Christy'sbirthday is this week, so it would be a great time to order thelatest feels like falling hintent, but Um also consider picking up a party oftwo. I know a lot of you picked it up last week. You'vebeen posting your pictures of it, but this is Jasmine's latest which is wonderful. And please do join us on our friends and fiction page to ask USyour questions and to interact with other readers. And please join us next week whenwe welcome Ken Block and Drew Copeland from the band sister Hazel. Soanything else, ladies, before we go tonight, just join us on ours, on all of our social media. Join US on instagram and facebook.I know Dasmond's you're active on the instant, aren't you? Yeah, absolutely,and twitter. If you a lot on twitter, two, I thinkright. Yep, yeah, that's where you can find out about the realoff the page us. It's right, exactly, it's true. And anythingelse, ladies, just big thank you for being here a Jasmin. Thatwas really fun. Yeah, so much for having me. This was wonderful. Thank you for the recommendations. I think wrong. What a treat andwhat a fun night. Thank you so much, Jasmin, and to allof you out there, thank you for spending some time with US tonight.So we are friends and fiction, and that's a wrap. Good night,good night, good night. Thank you for wine, for the one.So that was great, wasn't she delightful? She was awesome. She really Imean I knew she was going to be awesome because, yeah, bugsare so good and charming and but too as wonderful she really was. Shewas very engaging. For sure. She's awesome. I love that she recommendeda middle grade book that I just literally bought for Molly, who's going intosixth grade, who loves to bake. That's so awesome. Actually that wasa bookseller recommendation from murdered by the book in Houston, one of my favoritebook stores, recommended that Book. So so when I found it from molly, was so excited. That's all that she bought it for, because it'sthe coincidence. But also I've been watching you all summer doing baking with ourgrand daughter's so good choice. Yeah, okay, that's just a good reminderabout why I was just going to say. That's a good reminder about why independentbooksellers are so important. I mean...

...because you've got a recommendation like that, because you went to an you know, you sought out the advice and independentstore or you saw it on social media. That's why there's such animportant part of the fabric of our literary community. Hundred percent. Yeah,one am I and then I am missing that about being on tour, becauseI had like a handful of book stores. They knew what I liked and whenI would come in every year they would say, uh, we knowwhat we know. We know your husband been like thrillers. Here's a thrillerhe probably hadn't read. You know. We know what you like. Weknow you like some historic fiction, we know you like women's fiction and youknow the books are not necessarily on the best seller list, but they're greatbooks. And when a bookseller basically makes you buy a book says, actually, what I've had happened more than once. I don't know about you ladies.I've had them set you just take this book, I can't I youhave to read it. But that I mean when I read major petigrew.Did you read that book? A bookseller put that in my hands and saidI can't charge you for this book because you're going to love it so muchyou're going to recommend it. Well, you know the comment that stayed withme that Jasmine made, but she was talking about how she wanted it wassome the article you you've mentioned Christie about how she wanted people not just toknow about the heart shifts but the every day joy that they have, andI thought that was really a beautiful insight. Yeah, she's some I love howshe balances the light in the serious in a way that that lets youlearn and grow without even realizing that you're doing if that makes sense. Andshe was just like that in our chat tonight too, especially now. Imean these are hard times. They're going to Christy was outraged. She's like, I'm leaving. Well, she went to get more wine. She's havinga hard time to audio. I think in her visual push he's in acabin with a bunch of little boys. So they may have abducted her tighterand put her up in a close tighter in a closet. Are you there? Throws for a moment. There she is. Sorry, no, andjust yet. You know. I so I don't have Wi fi here andI'm like using my friends hot spot and I was waiting all night for thisto happen. So feel pretty lucky that I made it to seven hundred fiftycents. We thought maybe the boys had tied you up and put you ina closet. Well, there there are nine at nine little kids here,so that that was highly possible. So you spending the night there? Yeah, we're going to. Yeah, so they're actually like three different houses.So it's kind of fun because everybody like can be together but like have theirown space. Yeah, fun now. But I was just going to say, Christen, how are you feeling about next week? Um, happy thatthe book is going to be out there. Yeah, I am. I feelgood about this one. I feel I feel should feel good. Youshould feel very proud. Thank you so much for saying that. Thank you. And you know, if those it's those pre released hitters that you know, we, I think we all have. You don't know how it's going todo, how it's going to be received, but I'm just glad it'sI'm glad the date is finally almost here. So thank you and thanks for boutingout from the rooftops and well, and I appreciate that so much.You, the the four of you, including Patti, have just been thekindest sisters from another Mr I could ask for. This has been wonderful andI've got. I just appreciate your friendship and support, all of you.Wow, we love you and we're really proud of you and we cannot wait. It's going to be awesome. Thank you and on that note, cheers. Good night. I know it has happy birthday. Birthday are gonna havewhere we I'm going to say all where we are. That is my birthdayview. There's my us. Look at that, look it's really problem well, enjoy your glass of wine. I'm going to and I canna everybody night. Thanks very hi ton, Hi, you've been listening to the friends andfiction podcast. Be Sure to subscribe to the friends and fiction podcast wherever youlisten and, if you're enjoying it, leave a review. You can findthe friends and fiction authors at www and fictioncom, as well as on thefacebook group page friends and fiction. Come back soon. Okay, there arestill lots of books, writing tips, interviews, publishing news and bookstores tochat about. Goodbye.

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