Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 5 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Jayne Allen

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode we welcome Jayne Allen who burst onto the fiction scene in 2021 with BLACK GIRLS MUST DIE EXHAUSTED. Jayne joins us to discuss her highly anticipated second installment in this series, BLACK GIRLS MUST BE MAGIC. With the Fab Four, Jayne discusses her inspiration for this trilogy, the deep bonds of female freindship that inform her novels, her writing process, and how she made the shift from non-fiction to fiction.

Welcome to friends and fiction for New York Times best selling authors endless stories. Novelists Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Christie Woodson Harvey and Patty Callaghan Henry are for longtime friends with more than seventy published books between them. Together they host friends and fiction with author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing to highlight and support independent book stores. They 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. Hi Everyone, it is Wednesday night and that means it is time for friends and fiction. It is the happiest night of the week and we're so happy that you are here. I am Patty Callahan Henry, Mary Kay Andrews, I'm Christin Harmel. What's in our and they're scarting off with a rock and start here. Had Our names alphabetical. Listening are difficult anyway. This is friends and Siptim for New York Times best selling authors endless stories, to support indie bookstores, authors and Librarians. Tonight we are so excited. We are going to be talking with the author, Jane Allen, about her series that began with black girls die exhausted and just out her new one, black girls must be magic. We'll talk about debuts, about series, about how it felt to be on Good Morning America and so much more with her. And, as you know, we continue to encourage you to support independent booksellers when and where you can, and one way to do that is to visit our own friends and fiction bookshop dot org page, where you can find Jane's books and books by the four of us and our past guests at a discount. And I'd like to take this opportune tunity to thank each and every one of you for the overwhelming title wave of love and support and prayers that my family and I felt after we lost my daughter Katie last week from pomp complications of Covid you know so many of you are have asked what they can do for me and for our family. So I'm going to tell you what I've told everybody who asks. Be Kind, get vaxed and make every day count. Now, don't forget, our springbox is now available for order from our friends at Oxford Exchange. Order now and receive Christie's the wedding veil in March, my the home wreckers in May, and a special friends and fiction notebook complete with sticky flags for marking all your favorite pages with all the F bombs. I don't think Christy puts the bombs in her books, but I've been I've been known to. It's a trend. The Nice thing about the sticky notes is you can insert fbombs Gat them on this picking over, but it reads brand. If you find my book lacking, just insertain in there yourself where we're appropriate. It's a treasure box, all right, where in the second month of our very first friends and fiction reading challenge. So each month of the year they'll be a different reading prompt and we challenge you not only to complete all twelve months but also to keep track of what you've read this here. One Way to do that is with our beautiful reading journal designed by US IN CONJUNCTION WITH INDEPENDENT Bookstore Oxford Exchange. This month's prompt, as many of you know, is memoir or non fiction, and our friend in Nisa Armstrong has posted the graphic in our announcements and we cannot wait to see what all of you have chosen to read. All right, you're all ready to welcome our guest for the evening. I am. Yeah, Jane Allen has authored full for non fiction books in addition to the first two books and her black girls must die exhausted trilogy. She writes her fiction novels out of life experiences, calling every chapter fragments of Reality Strung together other by imagination. Her series but girls must die exhausted touches upon contemporary women's issues such as workplace, womanhood, race, modern relationships, fertility and mental health. Jane is originally from Detroit, which we were just talking about. I was saying how much I like it there, and she's a serial entrepreneur, a Harvard trained attorney and an engineer. She also founded book genius, a Full Service Online Book Marketing and author Brandon Course coming early this year. Oh, I was going to say ...

...someone we might need to sign up. Yeah, I know exactly. This second novel in her series, black girls must be magic, was just released earlier this month. Sean, can you bring Jane on For us? Hello, hid, we're so happy to have you here. Think I'm so excited. I wear my sparkles. Special occasion calls for spectation sparkles. I actually like the color of your sparkles. It looks like it might be for Auburn University. I'm just saying. It looks read to me. It looks so much to me. Well, good Dane, we're gonna stand study. I think. What's a reddish orange? So it but it's a Valentine's Day is red, which is just trying to be nice with the orange. All right, we are so happy to have you here and we've been so fun watching this series just burst onto the scene. Probably not as much fun as it's been from you before we took a deep dive. Can you tell of our readers a little bit about these books? Sure, so, I'm so excited again to be and hello to everybody. Blacks must exhausted. Is a series that talks. It was I called EPTAP of my s. So basically, I wish somebody had handed me this book when I was in my weight S, early s. But it's centers the story of Tabitha Walker and she is a woman in her early thirty she's thirty three years old and living in Los Angeles. She happens to be a black woman and she thinks she's living her best life, and we meet her on her very worst day when she finds out that that is not at all what's happening. And that checklist goes right out the window because she finds out that she has an infertility issue, which is kind of how that happens to people where all of a sudden, it's not something that you know find out when there's a whole bunch of time. A lot of times it just one of those things that comes upon you and it just starts to unravel her perfect life and her unraveling causes the unraveling of all of the people around her, her friends, her family, and she's got a deal with her complex family history and figure out for herself what fulfillment looks like, not according to societal definitions anymore, but for her own internal compass. And it's about finding your voice, it's about finding the courage to live fulfillment on your own terms and just a story of authenticity. And it just happens to be from this particular woman's perspective, which layers in the experiences of race and what workplace dynamics are about, and and it's hopefully a delight to to go along with her and somebody that you really can root for it is a delight and at by the opening pages your voice you're along for the ride. Thank you about that. Well, you just as you just mentioned, at the beginning of this series, you said I wrote the book that I wish someone had handed to me, and I also read that you said the title might have come to me before the book concepted. It occurred to me in a period where I was feeling unseen, unprotected and UN celebrated as a black woman. Specifically. Can you talk to us just about that very initial spark for this novel and what made you choose that title? Sure so. In my life, the way that I view books and when I'm in a bookstore, and I've always thought this even since I was a little girl, that people put the best parts of themselves in books, and I thought, wow, if you really had to have something important that you have to share, that's really good to take the time to write a book and to put in a book. So whenever I go into a bookstore or being a library, in my mind and always envisioned that I was like bathed in this golden light of goodness and positivity. I would even when I'd have problems, you know, or like feel down I would go find myself into in a bookstore for like an answer or just, you know, for good vibes. So when I felt like I needed to do something good and there was something good that was needed, the first instinct for me is always to write in a book, and for Black Girls, was exhausted. This was my first time to think, oh maybe I can do fiction, because I tried this with nonfiction and I was see, I was. What I guess sparked that for me was that feeling of feeling unseen. And we were in period where it was just unrelenting on the news, eat somebody died at you know, the hands of the police, or it was something else happening or, you know, being told that you're not enough in one way or another, and dealing with the issues of gender and race and all of it comfounded into this...

...big snowball and around that time and I felt like if I am feeling this way, if I'm feeling unprotected, unseen, I'm safe, UN celebrated, I can only imagine what other women are feeling like, other women similarly situated and other women not. And I wanted to do something that was going to acknowledge the weight of the Times that we're living in and but also create a celebration to say wow, but look who we are in spite of this. Like it just to celebrate being a woman, celebrate being a black woman, but just generally celebrate womanhood from all the different perspectives and layers. And there's so many perspectives in this book because there's, you know, different there's characters beyond tabby and then there's other perspectives. So I just thought it was possible to make it, to write a book that would be both an acknowledgement and a celebration. And the the word exhausted came to me to describe how I was feeling and when I was hoping to do was to provide the provide context to that and provide perspective. So, looking at your life, I think for all of us we're living a word and we don't realize it. And I realize that the word I was being at that time was exhausted, and I will I woke up to that and I decided that's not the word I would choose for myself if I'm looking back at all of my days, you know, the end of of well, a lifespan, and if that word was exhausted, that I was living like. That's not that is not my word. So I decided that I want to change that meaning and try to do that through the story first. And so in the story you see the word exhausted change its meaning and this whole phrase change its meaning. So it turns out it starts out its acknowledgement and then it turns into a celebration and then it winds up being a call to adventure and fulfilment and and finding your word and not and whether it's exhausted with a different meaning or something else. It's just about it's sort about finding your word, how that's so fantastic, and claiming it. I mean, that's that's my incredible message for all of us, I think, is you know, none of us want our word to be exhausted at it's got to be running right now. What is our word? What is their word? I know I've been thinking that. You know, Jane. I think it's not just about finding our word, but finding that mean these books are so much about finding your family, beyond your family, right. I mean women and family bonds are so incredibly important in both of these books. So like tab that they would that have made it through without the love and the friendships that she's able to surround herself with, which is just like us here. I mean that's we talked a lot about that, the love and the friendship that we all share. Can you talk to us about diving into these deep bonds and did you know that they would in many ways be the be the backbone or the novel? Well, it seems like for me you're thinking about my life as a you know, living in the layers that I've lived as as a woman, as a black woman in the society, and I've been single. You I'm and what is it? What is my life like? What's important and the connecting tissue has been my relationships with other women, and it's just that friendship, you know, and in in a lot of ways those relationships wind up being our soul made relationships. That's where we get our strength from, you know, that's where we get our support from. It's it's a beautiful thing and I wanted to celebrate that. And she also tabith that. She she is seeking to have her own family Bein partially because, as we find out earlier in this early on in the story, her family is really dysfunctional. It feels as functional, except for one particular relationship, and that's with her grandmother, and her grandmother happens to be White, and that's and that's an interesting part to the story, but it's neither here nor there, other than the fact that that relationship is just one of pure love and intimacy and I loved writing that relationship because it transcends everything and in society I think they've been living in these divisive times where we're being led to believe that's there's so much that separates us, but once you put love the center, you realize that there's nothing more important and there's nothing stronger. So it was so important to me to write that relationship and to show that and to give them the space to explore everything from that center point of love and connection. And with her friends it's the same thing. They're so imperfect, their friendships so imperfect. We are, you know, they're busy, they're crow out each other, they're getting be Claddie, I learn. There's so I love. I'm writing their friends and just you know all of the hijinks and you know how they could be canty with each other, misunderstand and kind of be like, you know, the Tabby,...

...sometimes a little bit of unreliable in the narrator because the first person and did that was fun. But it was important to me for their friendship to be imperfect because it's still perfect. They're still there for each other. Show that that we can. We can be imperfect, we can have the jagged edges, we can be broken, but when it comes down to it and our friendships, we show up for each other and it's perfect the way that we manage. Now I was wondering hearing I was wondering hearing you talk, Jane, if you always knew that you would write abby first person or if you try it at other ways. That is such a good question. So I it came to me as first person. Again. This is my first novel, so you know, as an experienced writer, it's really difficult to do what's first person. I wrote my first novel First Person. I didn't know it was difficult. I was difficult for me because as I got into it, because if she doesn't see it or know about it or learn about it, it doesn't happen. And there's all these supporting characters with all these complexities and stories. So it was really a challenge to figure out how to be authentically and seamlessly in a great their storylines only through Tabith this perspective uniquely. There couldn't switch perspectives. It really had to come. So I did be really inventive about, I'll she being out or you know, or even the fun thing about it was when she's wrong. You know, that was really fun because it was is she's able to grow and learn and the reader is able to kind of grow and also kind of judge her a little bit. You know, maybe they see things as she's recounting them. You know, she gives her interpretation, but sometimes even the reader will know that she's wrong, but her perspectives. So it's, you know, strong in that point and she has some growth to still undergo. So that became fun. But it was really a challenge and at one point I did regret it. I was like, Oh Gosh, I really I could remember thinking that too. How do I let the reader know this happened when she is going to tell them away? Yeah, and that's when I discovered, Oh, I could do split Pov, tell their story from their pointed I like, why didn't do nobody tell me how hard. I just was like, Oh, I've been a journalist and I thought I am going to write first person and I'm going to use bad words and I'm going to have like this. Nobody told me. Okay, so we just some way nicely into writing process. Now I know you've written for other nonfiction books and being a lawyer, how did you marriage? I mean, you said it was hard. We got that. It's hard, but you didn't make it look hard. You made it look easy. Could you talk a little bit about your use of imagery and you're writing process? Well, I so. I was an engineer underground and so this was really a new world for me and it took me a while just to build a confidence to know that I could write and that there I had a story to tell, especially in the fiction space. I felt pretty comfortable with nonfiction because I can, you know, set up a thought in explain it very well, but that was a completely different skill set to bring about this imagery and a world and create an experience for someone, and it I did build a confidence. I'm it took a realization that writing for me, my view of it, it's not some kind of bestowed gift from the Gods, you know, Golden Rain Happen, like landed upon your head, anointed one that who lives your glitter course, sneezed on you, you know, and so I realized this is a craft that I can learn, and so I, once I kind of knew that, internalized it. I went about learning a craft. And the other thing that I did, and now I'm realizing this in retrospect, I started doing a lot of internal work of just understanding my experience as a human being in perspective and really doing the like internal investigation of just people, how we're structured, why? Why do we respond in one way or another two things, and why? Wide what makes this person upset and what are the mechanics of the human experience? I really spent a lot of time thinking that through. So for me, a lot of the fun has been character development and putting these people together, and I just kind of have a framework about who these people are and what makes them who they are, you know, and gives them their unique experience of them. And the other part of it was trying to think in a fresh way about writing. I had to really think about I started researching. I'm such a nerd. I was like, what is is her novel like, what is a novel like? What was the origins of a not why do we call your off screen such a nerd? I was like, why is...

...the structure like this, you know, and so I thought, okay, well, what can I what it's really happening in the reader's mind? How can I make this its own experience? And so I just deconstructed all of that and craft and what I wanted to create as an experience for the reader. That means exciting for me. So that's kind of how I thought about it. I wanted it to feel like it was immersive. I wanted it to feel emotionally evocative. I read a lot of erotica. I wanted to and Classic Erotica, like and I snean and because that, you know, people like it's kind of this whatever, you know, taboo world. But I thought, wow, this is so ingenious that somebody can use words in a page to create a visceral reaction in someone's body. We're alloused by reading them. What's so I studied that and I wanted to bring the emotional, you know, emotionally evocative energy into what I was writing. So I don't know, I just I want a pretense psychoanalysts. So we, yeah, dive into why. And Yeah, that makes me wonder how much, because you said you've totally nerd it out. How much did your first draft change to the finished manuscript? I mean, was that one of these how long, like how long start to finish, and what kind of change is evolved as you as you took literally, like most of us do. I think we taught ourselves how to write a novel. Yeah, now knows how to write a novel. Yeah, so you write a novel. I'm so glad he said that. Yeah, it's it was kind of like that and I realize I really operate well with structure. So the engineer and me makes an out you know, the outline and the structure, and then there's a creative you know, something, not writing into a void. So I feel so much more comfortable knowing, having an outline, knowing where I'm going, ring the stories going, knowing where the reader is in different points. So it's stretched out for me and then that makes me excited to write for word and then I feel comfortable and confident in writing. So it took me about two years all together. The first draft for me was really a detailed outline and my first like seven drafts were creating outline. Oh yeah, I I was. Do I write in this outline form? I have a story structure, I have arc you know, I have, I know, math being wise, the emotional art, because it's, you were, that where I'm taking the reader. So I'm really think it through about like what this journey is for the for the reader, in the outline before I ever write the words. So storyboard, as sometimes I do all kind of whatever. I've tried so many different things. I've done the like no cards, I've done the every process. I tried all of it at the very beginning and to figure out what was going to work for me. And so I now do a kind of a blend. You know, you like do all of that and then you throw off the window kind of go back to the basics. So so now I just have a really tight story structure and then I focus on the emotional art because I kind of want the reader to go there's, you know, there's an emotional intensity, but there's that builds to this payoff. And the other thing that I realized perspective wise, if I'm doing something traumatic, like if I'm going to take the reader through something. I'm never going to. I'm I'm never going to leave raw trauma, unprocessed trauma put that in my work. Yeah, okay, I'm not. I don't write like them. Sometimes, if there's some you know authors that that's their thing, you know they'll put the trauma and it's just there and it's raw. But I don't. I don't do a raw, unprocessed trauma. I always bring it to some kind of careful, this completion point. So I don't write about anything. I have a processed wow, look, that was our writing tip. I'm going to ask you know there's more. There's more. Both of the novels there's a solid thematic thread about getting rid of assumed identities and how to stand in your own power. How did life on your own terms, whether it's how you wear your hair, to the people you choose to love, and it's a lifetime of work, as we all know because we're doing it ourselves. So talk to us about this. was was it a theme that rose up as you wrote or one that you went in wanting to portray? When I wrote this story, I wanted to have a sort of objective reason to center of black female protectionists because I didn't want to just write...

...about a black woman just to have done it. I wanted to have meeting within the story and be part of the lesson that the reader is getting. And so thinking about it, you know, it's a human story and the societal layer of race, that a societal layer of gender. What is that impose? It imposes these kind of made up stories that tell us who were supposed to be and in some way, who we are, why who we are is not enough. And so, you know, you amplify that with what? With gender? You amplify that with race, and you've got this person who's got to fight those two. Think that that's the foundation of the human journey in this story. So I wanted it to be a authentic lesson to learn from this particular perspective in this particular protagonist, that any body convert it's not just a black woman story to human story. But Tabitha is the right teacher. And what's the what's the right lesson? That Tabitha is the perfect teacher for us to learn and that's about authenticity and it's about fighting through those layers, it's about breaking down those walls, it's about getting to the point where we're at the most fundamental place, where we all connect and we're all speaking the same language and we understand each other viscerally, and so that's that is that's her journey, that it's that journey towards authenticity, and it's the best feedback. I guess I love this from hearing from readers from all over the place, from different perspectives and different just different genders or orientations, different identities, and saying, wow, your Tabitha and I on the surface were so different, but he is me, I'm inside, that's me, and so that's to it to me that I'm like, okay, yes, you know, I this is what I intended to do, this is what I wanted us to understand that, in spite of what society tells us, is so different, this is we're all feeling the same thing. It maybe rereaes O, we're all in the same struggle and we can all support each other, especially once we know that what you're feeling is what I'm that feeling like we're that's the same feelings, it's the same struggle to the same journey and we can support each other, that we can relate to each other. When I won't give it any spoilers, but there's a very in particular scene in black girls. Must be magic and like don't want to give it away, but I put the book down and I thought, how does that? What are the things I'm doing that are are are imposed from somewhere else? I mean made me put the book down and think about I had to pick it back up to see what happened, but it made me I I was really curious how how you came to that in it or whether it goes up. So thanks for sharing that. It's really powerful. Well, and it's I think it's so true. And you said, I think you know, we talked about this a lot, that in fiction we understand each other stories in a way that sometimes it just doesn't happen, and nonfiction, like it's just not the same thing. Like we understand and connect to each other because we are the same and it's just it's it's magic to corea. Yeah, I have to ask you a super quick question. Do you have a new word? Yeah, but what was I did? So I'll just tell you that my perspective on things is it's two words. It's without regret. I mean it's like Yolo with my word, that's a good one, but I am in conscious for a story. One of the reasons why I wanted to kind of center the relationship between tagging her grandmother. I mean culturally that's a big thing. We definitely have in the black culture, and I'm in everybody's family too, but it's like you're not just in your generation like you definitely have. You know your grandparents and it's very much that inside and that presence. They're like it's not a Thanksgiving table. You know the grandma it's or the uncle like you've got. It's family oriented in a lot of ways and sometimes a family we create. But but I wanted to show that because I just, you know, the story and a vacuum of kind of you see the women in their s and they're just in their s and they're singular living life. You know, I didn't think that was authentic to taggy and that wasn't at the tick to what my experience has been that I hadn't seen so much to that, and so I wanted to show the experience with her, her grandmother, and the reason for that also for me it's in my S. my grandmother went through a period of dementia. So I and she was going to assisted living facilities and so I would go to visit. So this is where I got some of this perspective from, and I remember in those spaces I was thinking, why these are people who have lived so much of life and have so much perspective. These are treasures and they're like kind of...

...set apart from, you know, our everyday interactions, and I wish needs to know what they're thinking, like I just need to know holding the keys to life, like you know everything. And so I would sit there and ask myself, what is this person thinking? What's important to them, and I would try to project into that space. And when I realize is that they're not sitting there obsessing over the stuff that I think is important. Or I was thinking it is important of my s, like Oh, I shouldn't have, you know, said that in that meeting, or I wish I hadn't gone on a date with that guy, or I wish I had to drink so much that party. Just like know where there's there thinking about the big things in life and it's not, it's in it. And I realized in that moment that regret is the most expensive thing that I can generate in my life and I realize that my thirty and so I've been trying to live to minimize regret because it's awesome of beautiful. Yeah, oh my gosh, we have so much more to talk to you about, but we love our live audience and they are going in with the questions. I realize. Yeah, we really are. I'm sorry, I'm leaning him like an Old Lady, which I am. Joyce Merrill wants to know. Back to the question of process. Do you feel locked in once you start writing first person, or do you, and I'm going to take it a little bit farther, do you feel free to when you started writing, come to Oh, this character, I know more about her now then when I did when I started. How what's your process on that? I definitely have felt her growth and it's so I had to allow that and the series has to have that growth for her and I for me, the way that I'd be my characters. I mean like for me, the fun part is creating these people and I'm just like, okay, these are people and I'm putting them into play with each other in these situations and scenarios and I can't wait to see what happens literally. It sounds like a crazy person, but I I am watching this scene play out in my mind with these people I've invented. I could. So, look, we're little gods, we're reading your good spots for the same kind of weird. So I that's a great title. Same kind of weird, the same kind of weird. So, but it's if I can't have a conversation with this person in my head, like then I don't feel like I've done enough work to round them out as a character. So with Tabitha, that's kind of how I felt. And with the story, what was really important to me was to get past this like strong that get past I'm fine, because I think those are the worst two words and ever invented in womanhood, like I'm fine, like no, you're not, you know, and let and so I wanted to write, I want you get past I'm fine, and I realize the amount of fireballs I had to throw and, you know, into at these people to get them past I'm fine, and to get them to like finally be vulnerable and break down and show in the dirty, you know, the messy look of the insides, and so that we can now really see what's going on, and so can they. So I so that was the one of the things with with her that you know, I'm in the first book, Oh my Gosh, I'm like having a throw all, you know, can sink and as we're past it, you know, getting in the second book, She's not at her lowest point anymore, but she's she's at this inflection point. Is She going to backtrack, you know, for comfort, or she going to keep pushing forward? And one of the things that I love about this character is that I find that there's still always that plane that she wants fulfilment. It's not getting extinguished no matter what I throw at her. It's like still that little flicker there. So I can push further and she has further to grow. So I feel like it's the growth is very much authentic to her and and I think still a first person was that that's the way to go. Now it's really difficult again because all of the other characters there are storylines there are still complex and, you know, and there's one character in the second book who's not as present as she's in the first book, but she's going through a lot and what I realize is that in life this taught me something. Sometimes when somebody's going through something in life, it looks like being a bad friend to you, and so I've got to write it like that. People ask me, where is she in the second book? Like she's going through something, and that's what it looks like, and so I have comfortable showing that authentically, that this is this is what that looks like. It looks like selfcare. Sometimes, when you're asserting your own self care looks like you being a bad friend, and so you know, that's the truth of it. Yeah, that's such a good point. Okay, so we have another question from...

Anisa Joy Armstrong. She's saying and since she knew it was a trilogy going in, did that make it easier or harder to write these books it? Well, I knew about like kind of halfway through the first book that this was going to be the should be a trilogy, and I think it was partially because of the other characters. There's just so there's so much story there. So it made it easier because I didn't have to cram everything in that first book. I just knew that. Okay, we can stop writing here. This is a natural conclusion to this part of the story and now the whole art has to be ginning, middle and and and it was just great, especially kind of is a debut author, to have that space and to know early on on the space. Yeah, you know, it breathe. You can let the story breath, you could let it develop and so it happen. It up. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so made a lot easier that. You know, I can revisit something or I can just really let it play itself out and have a good time and learn along the way. It's great. Yeah, sometimes, sometimes, knowing that you're writing open ended m gives you a little bit more confidence to say, okay, in the next book I'll figure that out. Yeah, yea, yeah, sure. Jill's the last has a great question for you. Did you find it hard to switch gears from writing non fiction to fiction? I did a little bit, but I had some runway over the time that I was learning how to craft and novel and so it was a little bit difficult because I had to make sure that I was I had to even learn what it meant. You know, we say show, don't tell. Well, I'm like good, is that? You know? So, I mean probably every writer has a definition for themselves of what that actually means. But I had to make sure that I had internalized my version of that because it's very different in nonfiction. You know, people want you to tell them. Okay, I I just gets a point, and in fiction it's like people want you to show them, and so learning that distinction and making sure that I was in that space was really a that was one of the bigger transition that's really interesting, Dan we that's amazing. When I first heard show, don't tell, I was thinking, I take a say, what words? What anybody? Okay, that's so whole book. It's such a deep concept and like because you have one showing you're telling. When you're telling, it's going. Okay, we love a good writing tip and you've given us a ton already, but could you share one of your favorite writing tips with our viewers then with us? Well, what this is really rudimentary, but I have to remind myself of this all the time. Don't edit in drafting, and that is my writing tip and right through, just right through and and for the forgiving and give yourself grace and in the writing process, because excellence happens, like the real writing happens in editing. And so what I talked to a lot of people who are who have a feel like they have a story in them, but they like I could never and they have, you know, partially completed manuscripts or they don't think don't get to the finished point by my one tip is just give you're solf grace and just write to the finish at least for that one ground. Give yourself that. And I think it gets harder every time to do that, because I think the editor on our shoulder, that little voice, gets louder and louder because we know it's coming right. I think that's harder with time. Do you do y'all feel like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm writing now and I'm literally this is what I tell myself in the mirror every day. It just right, just write, worry about it, don't edit, don't edit. It's hard, though, especially when you're like I really needed to like nail that line at the end of the chapter and that's not it, and I'm like really want to spend seven hours on that line right now, but I also need to write the book. You know, I don't have an urge to edit as I go as much, but I have a lot more self consciousness about my writing than I used to. Like. I think I used to just be able to put the words on the page and realize I would fix them. And now that I've been doing this for so long, it you just I don't know, like you see all the missteps you're making along the way, but if you stop and correct them, I mean you just slow way down. I think, yeah, yeah, are you right? And there's that realization of like, oh, someone's going to read this. Yeah, yes, oh, someone. The goal perfect. Someone's going to give me one start here,...

...somebody's going to go on star. Somebody do that, Mary Andrews, because she's never had a one star joke. Good job, we need. I Give Myself One star reviews. So it doesn't even take mean me, anonymous Hayter Karen's on the Internet do it. I mean I get to the point where I can cripple myself with with loathing and and yeah, self patron for what I've written them. And I'm you know, I'm making gagging noises as I write, but I do it anyway. I know only yeah, the only way to do it is to do it. Yeah, yeah, change. Usually as authors to give us a book suggestion and we'd love to do that. But there's a question. The New York Times Book Review Asks Authors that we really love. What book might we be surprised to find in your library or on your nightstand? Oh my gosh, what can I tell you is I'm looking at my bookshelf right now and I'm like what would be surprising? I will tell you. I don't know if this would be surprising or not, but I really love kind of that Selfhelp, but I really love, like could esoteric it, positivity. So one of my favorite books is ask and it is given by fixed book and I just I just find their work delightful and it's so positive and whether or not it's true and whether or not the premises is that, it's just like like there's one, there's like a mantra. She says, like everything's I was working out for me everything. So it's I'm just like, yes, everything's always working. Ever, something sure activity from from their books. So maybe who would be surprised to know that that book? Okay, what is the author, Ganjay? Would you repeat that? It's Abraham Hicks is the author. I think it's. I think they write. Is that it's a whole complex you know, she's she's supposedly channeling like this outer worldly, ultrawise being, and I probably Abraham Hicks, but but it's Esther Hicks. So so yes, it's, but it's it sounds wise and it sounds really positive. So I just like it's not hard to say that. Every time. I read a lot of Gabrielle Bernstein and she quotes Abraham Hicks like all the time and and her allow her mantras or from so I actually haven't read that book, but I feel like that's one of her mantras. It was, oh my gosh, it was so instrumental for me in the like height of the pandemic and I just needed something positive than it was. It was like this is extra positive and I had a little, you know, my little mantras I would write in my journal and it definitely helps. So that's awesome. Okay, if you wouldn't mind sticking around for just another couple of minutes, because we have one more thing we want to talk about. But we also have a couple quick announcements. A new episode of our Friday Writers Blot podcast just dropped Ron and I talked with Robert Dougoony about the staying power of stories and it was so great. And this week ran and Patti will talk to audio file editor Robin and audio narrator fion no Hardingham and an episode titled Are you listening? Funeral read patties wants upon a wardrobe and it won the coveted earphone award for audio file magazine. It's such an interesting conversation about audio books, I think. Speaking of audio books, Patty, aren't you isn't one of your audio books nominated for an audio award, which is one prestigious thing. I'm really excited. It was my audible original wild swan, read by Cynthia a revo. Mean, come on, I'm believe that's amazing and my not in my world she wins everything way, she brings pretty. Yeah, all around winter we have to stick an a and for eat, like in the egott right, like there's all. There also has to be the audio award and like the heavy grammy, yeah, Asco send to this little I'll put it on facebook tomorrow. They send me this little metal says Audi finalist, and of course the awards ceremony is virtual. The year I'm a finalist is virtual. That's such a shame. Mega saying. We call it the EGOAT, the comments, you know. Ye, anyhow, we also wanted to remind you. You know, we talked each week about loco plus, which ares a lot of our back episodes, but they have, you know, one of the reasons we're involved with them is because they are exclusive, fascinating content from local...

...creators. So it's people who are kind of just at the beginning of their creative journeys, who were doing really special things and who are inviting you into their community. So we're happy to be a part of that community and we hope you'll check it out. To you, it's called local plus and it's just a cool place to be. And now I want to remind you that about our friends and fiction official Book Club, which is separate from us and it's run by our friends Lisa Harrison and Brenda Gardner. They are now more than the eleven thousand strong. Yeah, amazing. Yeah, and tomorrow you don't want to miss the discussion with Jasmine Gillery about the wedding day. We've had jasmine on as a guest before the show and she's delightful and funny and knows how to write a sex scene. Am I write Jane. Have you read all she does? And he knows because she's a text means. All right, and next week, right here, same time, same place, will have the Schwab of the blockbuster, the invisible life of Addy Larue, and in the after show we are going to have GR MC allister's new fantasy. We are so thrilled. She usually writes underrier mcallister and she has switched over to this fantasy series about a matriarchal fandom. I am so excited about this series and she's going to join us on the aftershow and the week after on March. Second someone no one's ever heard of, colly hoover. I wish someone would buy our books. And I know it's just like she's never on the top five spots of the Times. Was, I know, poor of the Pie. Yeah, that's and that's a guess all of you have been demanding. Yeah, we finally guess, finally got the Schwab and right after that, calling hoover, we wrangled them. Yeah, because we said Jane Allen was coming on and they were like so are we? Well, I'm in exactly our schedules, always on the facebook paint and on our website. Well, Jane, you are up. We have one last question for you. So you have a wonderful mutual friend, zippy Owens, and we hear that you have a role at Zipp be books, her new imprint, and we want to hear all about it. Well, I'm super excited the I don't know if you know about my personal journey, but I started out self published and went to traditionally published and along the way I've learned that I really wish that there were more ways to connect book with readers and more ways to bring more readers to more books, and I think they're a lot of people are kind of sitting on the sidelines for various reasons. So you're really excited to work with to be in the team and figuring out new ways to approach marketing and to try to create a bigger platform for the books that we love and hopefully bring more books to more readers. So it's an exciting time and a wonderful, incredible team and I just love Zippy. She's she's so creative and such a wonderful person. Yes, the two of you together are going to be I was going to stay talk about a power repair. I don't know. I know thank you so much for spending time with us and talking about being authentic and writing it first person and the terrors of it. Here. There's before you say goodbye, can you tell everybody where to find you online? Yes, I am most frequently and instagram at Jane Allen Rights and I try to respond. If you tag me, I will see and I try to repost, and so I encourage to go tag me and make it a conversation and a community. And I am at Jane Allencom so my mailing list is there and I do not send enough email. So don't worry you and not con spand in fact you're probably bad, like, why didn't you see? But that's I can be found. Jane, you are so much fun and somebody just posted you are a delight and you are. Thank you so much for joining that. This has been so much you guys are thank you. This has been so much fun. So we're this Plesi the girl brought the spark. You brought the sparkle in more ways than one. No, thank you, Jane. All right, everybody, make sure you come back next week, same time, same place, and we will welcome be Schwab and Gr mcallister to night, y'all. Nice night. Thank you...

...for tuning in. You can join us every week on facebook or Youtube, where our live show airs on Wednesday nights at seven PM eastern time. Also subscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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