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. Five best selling authors endless stories. Friends and fiction is a podcast with five best selling novelists whose common love of reading writing in independent bookstores bound them together. With chats, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing, these friends discussed the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Best Selling Novelists Mary K Andrews, Christen Harmel, Christie Woodson Harvey, Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Monroe are five longtime friends with more than eighty published books to their credit. At the start of the pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, your favorite bookstores, writing, reading and publishing in this new, unchartered territory. They're still talking and they've added fascinating discussions with other best selling novelists. So joined them live on their friends and fiction facebook group page every Wednesday at seven P M Eastern, or listen in view later at your leisure. Hi Everybody, and welcome to friends and fiction. Are Weekly facebook live show featuring author chats in support of independent bookstores. Our Community of readers here on friends and fiction has grown to almost thirteenzero members and we could not be 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 comes out in just six days. Yay. I'm Christy went's in Harvey and my latest novel is feels like falling. I'm Mary Alice Monroe and my latest novel is on Ocean Boulevard. And I'm Mary Kay Andrews and my latest book is Hello Summer, and this is friends and fiction. We are so glad you're here. Of course we're missing our Fifth Patty, Callaghan Henry, whose latest is 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, as you can see, we have a new face among us, another wonderful special guest. 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 came out a few weeks ago and was, of course, an instant in New York Times best seller. You may remember that the proposal Jasmine second novel was a Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick, which is amazing. Cosmopolitan magazine has said of Jasmine that everything she touches turns to gold, and clearly they're right. She has become a queen of the romcom and I have to say I 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 Jasmine is 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 week we feature an independent bookseller, and this week we're working with Banks Square books in Mystic Connecticut. You can head over to our friends and fiction page to find a link to bank square books, where all of our new books ship free, no coupon code required, which is actually a bit more of a discount than our usual ten percent. And of course that includes Jasmine's party of two tonight, which will be talking about. We also wanted to tell you that tonight 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 for creating more diversity and representation in literature in years to come. So now, jasmine, without further ado. We are so happy to have you here and we would love to start off by talking a little bit about what you've been up to these last few weeks since your new book came out, and I think 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 at role. So my first week I did, I think, an event like for events that week and then a few the following week, and I have to say like going into it I was really worried, like I kind of thought virtual tour would feel depressing that, you know, because one of the things that I really love about new books and going on book tour is being able to meet readers and track with them. But it was. It was really exciting like it was great to be able to chat with like author friends about my book and about their books and people that I wouldn't necessarily have gotten to talk to because of geography. You know, now it's easier to like set up that stuff and to be able to have like people from all over 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 be on the other side of some of those events. Like, you know, did a virtual event with am a straw for her newest book, which I loved, Altholt here, and then earlier this week I did a virtual event with Kates Damon London, whose debut novel just came out. It's called one to watch. So that was really fun to like be on the other side of 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 like it's not better than bookstore events, because I love those, but it's different in a fun way. So so that has been good, like and I'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 it would be. You know, it's cool because I feel like this is it's become this new normal now and I feel like when we go back to things being as they were, I think this is going to continue because it's a completely 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 go to places go ahead. Just was like bookstores, who managed to just figure it out really fast. Yeah, and they knew how to do the zome thing and set this up and like they just know, you know, they got their chech people on it really early, which I think we were all still figuring 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 stumbled our way into existence. Right, Lady's yes, completely. Things that I wanted was going to say is that we are reaching bookstores to ye that or people in communities that we couldn't go to. Yeah, absolutely, yeah, it's a bonus for that. Yeah, yeah, sorry, Christie. I know we're just going to say and new definitely hit on this, but it's been so fun. I was actually like laying in bad this morning thinking about this because Mary Alice and I had did an event together this afternoon and it's been so fun to get to like meet authors that I've never met before and like, do you know, events with authors that I've never met in real life and I might never have had the opportunity to and now I feel like I'm going to be kind of spoiled when I go back on real tour because I love just being in conversation with another author and all the cool places of that takes. You good point. Yeah, this room service, though, I didn'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 delivery to try to pretend that, ha ha, how did that? But it was nice 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 the time 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 store right before everything started, so I didn't have everything. So it's like it's just I'll just sort of Sushi. That's better. But we were talking before 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 miss about the worlds. A few times I have tried to order then delivery or like curbs I pick up out of the restaurants around here doing it's just not the same. I just given up on it. Like I feel like French tribes will be a thing that I will save, you know, for after the pandemic. I'll keep that hope alive, though. I'll have, for that's right, hugs, handshakes and French fries. Agreed. So so, Jasmine, we want to dive into asking some questions of you, but first I just wanted to mention we have a birthday come up among us. One of us is turning, I assume, twenty nine right, twenty nine, Christie. I'm LISTINGNA. I'm just staying there. I feel like it's a good for me. If you Google me, twenty nine still comes up, so I don't really see a reason to change. I feel like it's just right there. My mom always says the opposite. She's like you should always say you're like ten or fifteen years older than you are so that people are like, Gosh, she looks great. Well, you still look great for twenty nine. You're right here, twenty nine year old age. Thank you all right, but when we had a guest on our show, we each love to ask a question. So to start off with, we have been asking our guests to answer the same question. We all answered it last week and we're also curious to hear your answer. So to begin, when you were growing 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 reader my whole life. Am like we just had a ton of books in my house, 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. We went to the library all the time. I still drive by what was my like my childhood library sometimes, which is actually sad for me because they tore down 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 we both. But yeah, we went to library all the time like, like you know, reading was just a thing we always did. My Dad was working on his dissertation when I was a little so that, like reading and writing, felt like a thing that you just did constantly. And it was funny. One of my friends who came to stay at my house before the pandemic, like in January, made a joke about how I have like books in so many places in my house. It's like I'm just waiting for an emergency to happen when I'm like a book right here. It's there. Growing up they were just books are that's awesome. It's awesome and that's our kind of household, I think. Gratus for sure. Jasmine, you want to start 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 read my first book, the wedding date. She was the sister of the main character in that book and at the very beginning of this book she moves from New York to California. She's starting her own law practice with one of her best friends and she's at her hotel par she hasn't even moved into her new 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 maybe a little to charming, and then when she goes back to her room she discovers that he isn't just sort of the out of work actor she assumed he was. He is Californ for his junior center, Max Howell, and they run into each other again a few weeks later at a fundraising luncheon. He pursues her. He'd been thinking about her the whole time and so they start a 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, speaking of hungry, I mean I think, yes, I agree. It is such a great mood in your books, but I think party for two is such a delightful romantic comedy. It's fun to read, but you also like a cake, you know you layer in with it a lot of really serious topics 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 the heavier issues that I just mentioned? How do you achieve that balance? You know, that's something I think about a lot because I want there, I want the issues that they deal with and their conversations to feel real and in real life there is often that sort of balance where you're you know, you're dealing with something hard, but then, like, someone makes a joke and you all start laughing and then, you know, everybody changes the topic or even keeps going on with the hard thing, but jokes throughout it. Like that is 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 to one 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 need someone to balance that out for me in life, and I feel like that works well in books too. So that's something, you know, I think about as I'm writing, like I want the pacing to feel right I don't want it to be too much heaviness at once or just in too many scenes in a row, because I because I think I want to address us off of my books and I think it's important to have it there and it feels realistic to have it there, but I don't want that to be the center of the book. So, yeah, it is something that I that I do think about a lot as I'm writing. That's really interesting about the pacing to you 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 and you 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 up the law and not only switch to fiction but to rom calm, which you know I've kind of write some of...

...that too, and did you get pushed back from, say, family or friends or professional colleagues who had said, you know, what are you doing? You all that education right down the drain? Did you get pushed back? Not Really. I mean I think it 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 that I would be able to succeeded since. But you know, I think it also helps it. I had been practicing law for a while, so my you know, I was old enough that my parents, you know, my dad did have a very funny reaction when I told him that I was coming out 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 gonna be 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 just doesn't want to know it. But luckily, first little girl about that feeling and friends were all really supportive and excited for me, which was really wonderful. And I are so successful, you can tell. Let me actually take that quick opportunity to ask question of all of you to all I have all of you written sex scenes, and what are the people in your lives think of that? I mean, I'm just curious because I remember for my my first novel, I was so paranoid because all I thought was my grandparents are going to read this, my grandparents are going to beat this. I need to me the story about that. My sister asked because I had given my my mom an early copy of the wedding date, which she read, and then she gave it to my grandma, and so my sister asked my grandma, like so, like, what do you think about all the sex scenes JESSIN'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, you know, for a long time, especially now. I started out writing mystery. So whenever there would be a love scene, I would picture like the crime 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 until my dad was dead. Wow, he's been had fifteen years now. And you know, it was Irish, Catholic and I think he I think because we have two children, he understood that I had had sex. The first question I've ever gotten anywhere was at a I was at a book Pressler or something, 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 that jibe 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 a long time. Awful about you, Mary ellist. Your books back in the S, so you know a lot different than S. I actually wrote a story called it was the girl in the mirror and it was a story based on an actually two patient of my father in law who had severe dropped jaw and had an implant and then she had she was beautiful afterwards, but she had an allergic reaction to the implants and so it was all about so I had 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 a steamy book it's a really and and it's I love the story, but for a parent, for some of my readers now who I don't put sex scenes in my book, they kiss and I I you know, the close the curtain kind of thing. But I enjoyed writing it. Number One. It was it was very emotional. But whenever I see it someone, especially someone who doesn't look like they want a lot of sex mirror books, and I see them, they're buying all my backlist...

...and they buy the girl in the Mirror, 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 of like Mary Alice. I have very sort of like off I amor I mean you know, you know what's happening and sometimes but there's nothing super but I'm always like, well, my grandmother reads my books, all right. But I do remember this one time. Will, my husband and my son were in the car together and they were listening to one of my books on audio. All of a sudden to just hit me and I call well and I was like skip chapter twenty three after twenty. It's like couldn't read the girls and I can't read this because of the sex scenes. Yeah, yess whe I read my audio books, but I couldn't read that one. I just would be exactly just on chapter twenty two. Oh. So I wrote my first novel. I sold it in two thousand and four so I was just about to turn twenty five and I didn't know what I was doing and that I like I said, I have the voices of my grandparents in my head, and so I wrote it with that. I thought I had to have 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. Every every time I like stick down to write something sexy. Now, like her 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 on like a sexy side trip. So Patty actually left us with a question for you. She was disappointed she couldn't be here tonight. She's often visit her granddaughter, so it's for a very good reason. But she said I read this great interview with you in catapult about how hard it was to call yourself a writer. When did you finally feel that happened? When did you feel like you could really do this? I think for all of it it's different, all of us it's different. You know, it's really been only like 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 at some 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 and not think about it. But it is actually sort of funny in the Becuz now, like at the beginning of Party of to, one of the things that happens when they first meet is that Olivia lies to Max about what she does because she doesn't want to say she's a lawyer, because people always say like annoying things. Lawyers are nasty things, lawyers, but what they are. And and now I sort of have flipped sometimes to going back and telling strangers that I'm a lawyer instead of a writer, because people say the weirdest things to you when we find out that you were right. Romance, like one time I was in a taxi with my mom and my mom who like loves to Brag about me. So he so the dads driver asked what I wrote 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 drivers like who the fellows? What is it from real life? And I was like that's gross. Secondly, my mom's here, like what? So that did make you make it like make me feel more normal about saying I'm a writer, but now I don't want to like have that conversation with people because I 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 good answer, Christie. Did you have a question for Jestin? I do, yes, so this just felt like I had to ask it because I just stumbled upon it and you were going to be our guests this week. But I read the amazing piece you write for the July twenty issue of time about the 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 you world to know not just our pain but the whole of our lives. And especially 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 to read that article yet, and so I was wondering if you could elaborate on it just a little bit for the people who haven't read it yet and then maybe give us a couple of recommendations for black fiction that we all need to have on our list of the summer. Yeah, you know, I think too often, especially right now, there's all these like anti racism reading lists and stuff, for even some of the big fiction list that people recommend buying about black people are kind of the heavier ones, and those books are all great. But like read books about, you know, black kids playing or like black women falling in love or, you know, black teenagers like getting into 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 pain and the struggle. So I have a few that I have read recently that I just loved. First, you should see me in a crown, which is a young adult novel. It is just a joy to read. I really loved it. It is by Leah Johnson. It's about this black girl who lives in a small town in Indiana and she runs her prom queen and so 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 to like 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 that out. 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 long time but now they're kind of going apart and she's figuring that out and I just really love so much about that book. It's just great. I also loved from 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 so fun. I love it. I recommended sixth grade. I just vote it for her. Yeah, it's so many kids. You know. It's about a 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 to her father, who she's never met before because he's in prison, and so they are like finding their way to a relationship together, but it's it's still 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 about a woman who lives in Austin, Texas. She works in a Tech Company and she, you know, she's dealing with all the stuff that comes from like being a black woman and working in tech, which is a lot, and then, you know, she kind of starts a romance with someone who works with her who has his own secrets that she doesn't know about, and so it's it's just such a fun story and really interesting. So I just love all those books and recommend thank you. Thank you, and I'm resolutely when the website right, I write them down to all we have at little thanks for doing that. Yeah, I was just thinking, like I'll have to listen to other because I'm sure I'm not watching live, but I know everyone'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 a little bit into my question, which is one of the blurbs I've read about your 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 hold each other up, treat each other two cupcakes, have each other's back and occasionally fall in love. I feel like I feel like that when I read your books, to that the world you create on the page is just a really nice one. Do you think that writing fiction like that, we're we're kindness and decency sort of rule, can actually move readers a little further along the road to being better people? I absolutely do think so. I mean even just writing it, it feels like it makes me want to be a better person. Or you kind of think about you know, one thing I've in 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 of the doubt more. You know, it's like someone's being grumpy in the girl shoe store or cuts you off in traffic, like I think, like maybe they're maybe their family members in the hospital, like maybe they're stressed, maybe they just loft their job, like all of those things, and so that's something that I try to think about in fiction. Like they're always, you know, 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 them to 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 makes me want to think like like, you know, try to be more empathetic with other people and then like be gentler on myself, because I think we all beat ourselves up about a lot of stuff, and so that's something that I think reading helps with, and then writing also those two good answer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, thank you so much. This is this has been so enjoyable, but just finding out more about you, Jasmine. So to all of you watching out there, make sure to post your questions for Jasmine or for us now. We're going to be pulling some live in a few minutes. I also want to remind you to head over to the friends and fiction facebook group. If you're not, they're already and there you 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 discount than our usual ten percent, and that includes Jasmine's Party of too, Mary Alice 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 donating a dollar per book to the Hurst and...

Right Foundation, which helps support and foster emerging black writers. As always, each book you buy at an Indie store 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 now the four of US had a chance to ask jasmine some questions, and now we would love to let you do the same. We've chosen two from among the questions on our facebook page and we would love to let Jasmine answer both 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, just post it below the video and Christ you'll be drawing those questions and them come in right now. Perfect. So everyone, do your work. Give us your questions. But Mary Alice, would you like to ask Jasmine the first question? Yes, when I have the first one. Alrighty, this is the ladies are the top on honey book circles in Los Angeles. Say This is a five book series and is it possible we see additional characters introduced in the wedding dates series? And does each book have its own cake? And will you ever create a recipe book is not have its own cake? But that's a great idea. Like if you book was a cake, what cake would 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 ever write non fiction and I was like no, I can't think of any MON fiction I've ever interested writing. And then later some won't like what about a cook book? And I was like, okay, maybe much more of a home cook. So I just I often will like pull recipes or throw things together, 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 be able 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 the next year. So so we'll see what happened. That would that would be a lot of fun. Okay, book, Um, there might be more books with these same characters. Will See. I mean, I think everything right now and a pandemic like I'm finding writing to be really hard. I'm proud of myself for any writing I get done any days. So hopefully let's keep our fingers cross like that. You know what? That makes me think of what you just said about, you know, not beating yourself up and being yeah, very true. Mary Kay, did you want to ask the other reader question? Yes, this question is for Dibby Bowen Boean, who says I've previously read the proposal and I'm a third of the way through party of two. What I really like about these two books it's a diversity of characters and their interactions. Was the diversity intentional and if so, what is your motivation? I mean it was indenteral and a certain extent, but also it just felt natural, like the you know what, the Los Angeles that I know, the bay area that I know, are full of people of all 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't reflect the reality that I seem. So yes, I mean yes, it was 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 the proposal and party two were my two books that are set there. So I had to get a lot of Intel, you know, I did some visits and they got some Intel from friends who do live there. So, you know, figure stuff out and where were people go and where would they live and 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 at I'm Adam. I'm just telling you I'm out of town. So my light and 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 had that have influence went to writing. So, Jasmine, do you want to take that 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 too on 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 talk about I'll take it first. This wasn't necessarily like my personal experience and I talked about this earlier today. So sorry,...

Marialice, you've just heard the story, but I was talking about my next book, under the southern sky is. It's a different kind of story for me and it's about some frozen embryos and like a some you know, issue surrounding them, and I really got the story idea from a friend who came to a party one night and she was pregnant with one's at the time and she was like, oh my gosh, I have all these frozen embryos, what am I going to do with them? You know, I didn't think about this, I didn't think about the ramifications of what I was doing and I just thought that was such a really interesting kind of ethical situation and then I sort of ramped it up by having the woman whose embryos they were no longer alive. So, but I 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 said you should write a book about this, and so I've been thinking about it for five years and it was really, really interesting to write. I'm going to 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 relationships that I've had that are really influenced my writing. Like one of the things like, especially in the proposal, the main character in that book has two really good friends and they're sort of constantly texting each other and asking each other for advice, and that is absolutely how I interact with my friendships, like they're very close to me. You know, my friends I text for advice all the time. It was actually actually two of the friends that I was sort of thinking about as I wrote that friendship story. One of them has a teenage daughter and she does. Says just today, like about her daughter got this really cute haircut and she was like are you going to test your friends and show them your hair cut? And her daughter was like why would I do that? That's stupid, and she would like well, I mean we do that. It's funny, and then she told her mom will you guys are old and I was like thanks, need to remind yeah, exactly. Happy Prittay Christi Tomorrow. How about? How about Mary Kay or Mary Alice either? You have anything you wanted to answer for that? You know, when I wrote hello summer, it's about a big city journalist and I was a big city journalist long time ago, and and so I did try to channel some of the experiences that I had as a newspaper reporter and the idea that sometimes you write a story and you get a lot of push back from the community. They don't want to they don't want to know the truth about somebody, and and so I thought about that a lot when I was writing the book. But the main thing was at the beginning of the book and the beginning of Hello Summer, it's at Conley's going away party at in the news room at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which is the last paper I worked at, and so I kind of channeled that and I thought about, Oh Gosh, you always get this stale cake, stale shee cake, and you know lukewarm champagne, and you know half the people there hate your guts because you're going somewhere better. So that was that was kind of fun to think about. Yeah, good, it's awesome. Have About Mary Alice. Well, I know so many experiences. I ween did with wild life and I write about those. But I remember one thing, as someone said was my was actually my daughter who finally read the Beach House ten years after it came out and I had already written continuing books, and she said she was reading 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. I don't understand and it was a really enlightening moment for me and I went oh my goodness, little girl, because in the S it was a very different time, especially in Charleston, South Carolina, and I knew that this whole young generation had no idea why a woman would stay in that marriage at that time in history, and so that's when I wrote because memory, so that the children would, my children as well as other people, would understand that decision is you know, that heartbreaking decision makes sense. Christy, have have about 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 Covid or plan to and the sea? Oh yes, yes, when you dive in first, you're our guest. Um, not right now. I mean I feel like this is a time when...

I'm going to need to be able to reflect on it after it's over, to be able to write about it completely, because, you know, it's still so ongoing, like hell and wor 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 think it'll be a while. Yeah, I'm actually doing that very thing. I actually am. I'm I'm it's difficult in a way, and it's not difficult jazzmine, only because the it's about the interpersonal relationships in the family I'm experiencing and I'm exploring. It's are actively exploring it. But we were saying just earlier, when I was talking about Christy earlier, I don't know how this summer is fully going to end. Is there going to be a hurricane or what'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 to live in real time. But it's a challenge and I it's it's something I just 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 to be 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 two ways. 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 far as 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 good time and as far as I can tell, there's not a whole lot of in a pandemic. But you know, I find that there is. I am finding some really beautiful moments with the family and and showing each other up and like people living with each other. Like a niece is living with me now. That wouldn't have happened in another time. You know, I and actually a sister from well, how often would she be able to just leave California 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's this is an odd moment in time. I played monopoly with my grandchildren. How cool is that? Yeah, I my two thousand and twenty one book started in April of Two thousand and twenty, and Y'all know because I like didn't catch it, like no one caught it. I had read it, my editor had read it and I got my copy at its back and I was like, Oh my God, I just wrote a book that starts in April of two thousand and twenty like that can't happen. And it ended up not being navig of a deal. But the book spans like thirty years and there were some places in there we're moving something back three years. made it so like it wouldn't have had that kind of cell phone or that album with the been out or you know, they were like little it even it was not a huge deal, but it was just funny that like three years can make that much difference. But I thought, I don't know what this is going to end. So there's no way that I can put out a book in Two Thousand and twenty one talking about, you know, September of two thousand and twenty, because I don't know what some umber of two and twenty all like. Yeah, lesson. It was a lesson. It's appearing when you have to change things. My for the book a last night, no, not the book. Last names the wine maker's wife. There was a scene that centered around Notre Dame and I think we were in second past pages when when the fire have there, and so I had to go in and completely rewrite the scene, like at the eleven. I mean it just changed the tone of that part of the Bun because, and I had to do it so hastily, but I mean, but I couldn't have had like a jokey scene about Notre Dame. It just did, I mean, and thank goodness that happened, you know, while I still had time to fix it. so that was kind of crazy, but those were great questions. So Um on. So that Jasmin on every friends and fiction episode we try to give our viewers out there a writing tip. So, you know, we have a lot of aspiring writers with us. So tonight we thought that people might want to hear those words of wisdom from you. Do you have a tip for people trying to write a novel? I do. My biggest writing tip is to read as much as you can. You know, reading, like just reading in general, helps with your writing because it expands what you know about fiction. Expands what you know about writing, like how different people do things in different ways, and that's okay. You it introduces you two different, 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 to read in, like read a ton, because I see, I get you know, so many people ask me questions...

...about certain things and the answer is often just read a lot more in that genre and it will help you know the answer, like can I do this or can I do that, or how 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 that genre, you'll know more. You know, it'll come more naturally to you. 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, you know, just diving into books like go you know. I know people can't Google the library now, but like get libraries, get library books, you know, Ebook or you know, get them from like curbs I pick up from your library if that's open. Do whatever you can to just read a ton, because it teaches you so much more than you would find out in any 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 you almost have to internalize that rhythm as a put like. It can't be something someone tells you to do x, Y and Z. It has to be something that you just know in your gut and then you can pour your story on to the page. It's such a good more pent and when I was, you know, when I first started writing, like I sent, you know, a little bit of something that I written to a friend and she was like you need to go back and look at you know, are if there are books that you really loved, because, like, I was struggling in the dialog and she was like, go back and read those and pay attention to how they do the dialog, and that helps to me more than anything else has ever done. Like I would you know, because I think reading a book for the first time you're just sort of experiencing it, but when you go and reread it and think hard about the choices that they made or what you know, why is the structure going one way? You learned so much about it and I learned a tongue just doing that. It's interesting that 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 really stands 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 us some great book recommendations. I know, Mary Kay, that you had a book 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 same books and that was one of our favorites last year. I was gonna hold it 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, but I 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 have a book you'd like to share tonight? Well, last week I recommended US Susan wicks has this oyster fill sewing circle and I got a lot of fus comment saying what about the bookshop of lost and found, which is her new book, and I've been reading that and it's just wonderful and it's it's a beaut if you finish the one, it's time to move into this is a big second one. I have a very special book that I'm getting ready to talk about in just a second. So we can. Okay, do you want to tell us about next week? Christie, about was about what's happening next? I do. Next week is pretty much the biggest week we've ever had on friends and fiction, because Kristen Harmel's the book of lost names were RELEASA's on Tuesday and I just want to say you, guys. I mean we 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 of this happen. We all were like, oh, we should start a facebook live show, and the next week Christen's like, okay, here it is, like we're ready to go, and we did it. It was because of 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 out on Tuesday. I have read it. We've all read it. It is it'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 who is 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. I absolutely loved it. I cannot say enough nice things about it. We have all read it, we have all loved it, we have all put our blurbs all over the place. So see the book. Don't let me talk about it anymore. It's fabulous thing, okay, but she has a huge surprise 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 is in block and drew copeland from the...

...multi platinum band sister Hazel. Yes, sister Hazel, I know, I could not believe it when she said that. 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 good song. It's such a good song and like, as soon as she said it, I was like singing it. You know, her role was. It's so, so good and they might even seeing one of their hit songs for us on the show. And of course we'll also be celebrating the launch of Christians, the Book of lost names, which she'll be telling us all about. So make sure to be here for the official Christian Harmel Book of Lost Names Fast. That's what it's going to be. It's going to be amazing. We're going to have a big Salari and she's going to tell us about the book. Wednesday July twenty two, seven PM. Be there or 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, soaps cake. 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 whatever our friends and fiction. We all, we all played, I think it's super vital role in starting it, and it we do me. Well, no, no, we do so. And we all brought we all bring something different to the table and it's just been this gift that we've been been able to do this. I mean I think it's grown because of, you know, because of what we all bring in them, because the wonderful guests like Jasmine that we're inviting on. So it's been it we've just had these wonderful conversations and we're so grateful to all of you out there who have been joining 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 enjoying this as much as we are. So thank us. The just is it fun as a guest, you have to tell it fun. Thank you, guys, so much for having me. Love using you. It was such a 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 I love your books, but it was just delightful to meet the person behind these words that make me smile and make me laugh, and it was. This was wonderful. So thank you so much for being with us and to all of you out there. One more reminder to support our books. Dollar of the week banks square books. The link is on the friends and fiction page and you get free shipping on any of our new books. Plus we will be donating a dollar per book sold to the Hurst and right foundation. Christy's birthday is this week, so it would be a great time to order the latest feels like falling hintent, but Um also consider picking up a party of two. I know a lot of you picked it up last week. You've been 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 US your questions and to interact with other readers. And please join us next week when we welcome Ken Block and Drew Copeland from the band sister Hazel. So anything 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 think right. Yep, yeah, that's where you can find out about the real off the page us. It's right, exactly, it's true. And anything else, ladies, just big thank you for being here a Jasmin. That was really fun. Yeah, so much for having me. This was wonderful. Thank you for the recommendations. I think wrong. What a treat and what a fun night. Thank you so much, Jasmin, and to all of 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 I mean I knew she was going to be awesome because, yeah, bugs are so good and charming and but too as wonderful she really was. She was very engaging. For sure. She's awesome. I love that she recommended a middle grade book that I just literally bought for Molly, who's going into sixth grade, who loves to bake. That's so awesome. Actually that was a bookseller recommendation from murdered by the book in Houston, one of my favorite book 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's the coincidence. But also I've been watching you all summer doing baking with our grand daughter's so good choice. Yeah, okay, that's just a good reminder about why I was just going to say. That's a good reminder about why independent booksellers 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 independent store or you saw it on social media. That's why there's such an important part of the fabric of our literary community. Hundred percent. Yeah, one am I and then I am missing that about being on tour, because I had like a handful of book stores. They knew what I liked and when I would come in every year they would say, uh, we know what we know. We know your husband been like thrillers. Here's a thriller he probably hadn't read. You know. We know what you like. We know you like some historic fiction, we know you like women's fiction and you know the books are not necessarily on the best seller list, but they're great books. 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 you have 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 said I can't charge you for this book because you're going to love it so much you're going to recommend it. Well, you know the comment that stayed with me that Jasmine made, but she was talking about how she wanted it was some the article you you've mentioned Christie about how she wanted people not just to know about the heart shifts but the every day joy that they have, and I thought that was really a beautiful insight. Yeah, she's some I love how she balances the light in the serious in a way that that lets you learn and grow without even realizing that you're doing if that makes sense. And she was just like that in our chat tonight too, especially now. I mean 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 having a hard time to audio. I think in her visual push he's in a cabin with a bunch of little boys. So they may have abducted her tighter and put her up in a close tighter in a closet. Are you there? Throws for a moment. There she is. Sorry, no, and just yet. You know. I so I don't have Wi fi here and I'm like using my friends hot spot and I was waiting all night for this to happen. So feel pretty lucky that I made it to seven hundred fifty cents. We thought maybe the boys had tied you up and put you in a 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 their own space. Yeah, fun now. But I was just going to say, Christen, how are you feeling about next week? Um, happy that the book is going to be out there. Yeah, I am. I feel good about this one. I feel I feel should feel good. You should 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 to do, how it's going to be received, but I'm just glad it's I'm glad the date is finally almost here. So thank you and thanks for bouting out from the rooftops and well, and I appreciate that so much. You, the the four of you, including Patti, have just been the kindest sisters from another Mr I could ask for. This has been wonderful and I'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 have where we I'm going to say all where we are. That is my birthday view. 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 and fiction podcast. Be Sure to subscribe to the friends and fiction podcast wherever you listen and, if you're enjoying it, leave a review. You can find the friends and fiction authors at www and fictioncom, as well as on the facebook group page friends and fiction. Come back soon. Okay, there are still lots of books, writing tips, interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about. Goodbye.

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