Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 5 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Karin Slaughter

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Back by popular demand, is the one, the only Karin Slaughter. The wonderfully witty and wildly talented New York Times bestselling, Edgar-nominated author of 21 novels with 35-million copies of her books sold around the globe joins us to talk about her latest up-all-night thriller, FALSE WITNESS. This is a can't-miss episode! Karin is always full of surprises. This time, we have lots of fun surprises in store for her! https://www.karinslaughter.com/ 

Welcome to Friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors and the stories novelist mary Kay andrews, ChristineHarmel, Christie Woodson harvey patty Callahan, Henry and mary Alice Munroare five longtime friends with more than 80 published books to their creditIn 2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviewsand fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlightindependent bookstores. These friends discuss the books, they've written thebooks they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books andyou're curious about the writing world you're in the right place. Hi everyone it's Wednesday night andthat means it's time for friends and fiction. Welcome to our show we've gotso much look forward tonight I am mary Kay Andrews on your host tonight I'mChristine Harmel, I am patty Callahan Henry, I am Christy Woodson harvey andthat was my husband. You just heard porn me somewhere that's all I can. Hestopped by over here. I don't think he can make it to Birmingham. All right,so this is Friends and fiction, five new york times bestselling authors,endless stories who support indie bookstores tonight. You'll figure outwhy I need more wine because our guest is Karin slaughter. We're going to talkabout her new book false witness which was released earlier this year in whichof course was an instant new york times bestseller. Um and in our continuous support Can Istill can't say that word can continuing support of indie bookstorestonight our bookstore the week is foxtail book shop located right herenear me in Atlanta Georgia. It's actually in Woodstock and we're goingto be telling you about that in a little bit. Yeah. And also am I talking about Caroline'scakes tonight? Looks like it. I think I am, I'm talking I don't even have anyweak right now. It's so sad. Okay, Friends and Fiction has partnered withCaroline's cakes for the take a bite out of summer campaign which runsthrough the end of this month which is coming up and it culminates in a grandprize um awarded just in time for Labor Day weekend. One lucky winner willreceive the Carolinas cakes, tote bag tuft with totally good swag fromCaroline's and Friends and Fictions. 10 books that's 10 crazy. I know it's fromeach of us. Plus another book of each host author's choice and Caroline'scake bites in the winners flavor of choice. So enter tonight for a chanceto win. Also tonight we do have some exciting news because Patty hassomething to show us. Yo my publishing house has designed and made the mostgorgeous trailer for once upon a wardrobe and I want everyone herebefore I even put it on social media. I want everyone here to see it first. Iswooned when I saw it. It was like seeing George and meg's walk off thepage. So you ready? Alright show it Alan where do you think Nanya came from?I simply must find out discover how the world of a boy infailing health and his logic driven sister are changed in Once upon awardrobe from the best selling author of Becoming Mrs Lewis comes anotherbeautiful story inspired by C. S. Lewis. George wants to find out where Narniacame from. His big sister makes will do everything in her power to answer heryounger brothers question the gift she thought she was giving toher brother. The story behind Narnia turns out to be his gift to her.Instead hope You've read the story set in Narnia nowenjoy the story behind the stories. Once upon a wardrobe by Patty Callahanon sale October 19. That was great. It was like a movietrailer. I know when I first saw it. Um Anyway there's so much to tell youabout this book and it's out in seven weeks. I can't believe that we'refinally coming up on it. But I think for now that trailer tells youeverything you need to get started. But...

...in working I have one more thing I wantto tell you because in working on this book, I also worked with Joy David Monsson, you know, C. S Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham. I know and he read thebook and he steered me when I got off course and he's a beautiful supporterof the story and y'all, he has agreed to do a virtual an exclusive the lionthe witch and the wardrobe Book club? Yes, he's going to join us for a zoomBook club and he said he would answer questions he's agreed to walk throughthe wardrobe with us. So if you pre order the book from anywhere all youcan do you can attend this book club. We will be live on sunday afternoonseptember 19th with Douglas and with David Downing who is also a Narniaexpert. But Douglas will tell us stories about living with C. S. Lewis.He will answer questions and he will tell us the hilarious story about thefirst time he met the man he calls Jack and he thought he would be a night fromNarnia instead of the common man. He was living in a house in the woods. Yes.So you can find all the information on my website and on social media andKristen I thought your blurt out there. I knowTaylor was great, I love that you know, but also you have some book news thisweek. I do and I just have to say I'm so excited about your book and aboutthe awesome opportunity to virtually meet C. S. Lewis's steps are going tobe amazing. Like what a what a once in a lifetime opportunity for anybodywho's even a little bit interested in Narnia. I mean it's just it's legendary,it's amazing. But yeah I wanted to just say that my first ever mass marketpaperback is out. So that's that little like 9 99 that 9 99 size that you canfind in like drugstores or wherever. And it's actually it's the WinemakersWife, which was my 2019 novel. Um and uh but it came out in paperback theweek Everything shut down. So this book totally missed its chance. In normalpaperback, I came out, March 17th 2020 was like everything was canceled. Thebook didn't make it to shelves all that. So this is like, it's second chance.It's everywhere everywhere. You can find mass market paperbacks, Krogerwalmart sam's, the Airport, the drugstore anywhere. You usually pick upthese kind of books, so it's a cheap opportunity to pick up the winemakerswife out this week. Please don't use the word cheap. I'm just a cheap pussyfor this. You know, we call that, we call that budget, it's a budget, Ithink. They're so cute. I love them. I love them. I like to know if it's in mypurse, which is not. Yeah, I know. And so, you know, every week we partnerwith Parade magazine online, we stream from their facebook page and we have anoriginal essay in their online magazine this week, Christie wrote about the joyof buying school supplies and you can find that s a linked on our facebookpage and in our instagram bio, but meanwhile, Christie, could you tell usabout your shopping exposition? Yes, I can um while I am taking this offbecause I'm reading that it's making a scratching sound, Sorry and I wasn'tsupposed to have it on anyway, which is why I was laughing when we came on. UmBut yes, this week, Is that better this week? I wrote about what I think shouldbe a national holiday, which is back to school shopping. It is one of myfavorite things in the entire world. I have loved it from the time I waslittle, I don't know that will loves it as much as I do, but like he pretendsfor me which I think is like really kind um that he's like yeah and reallyI think he's like I would rather be swimming or you know whatever, but hepretends and we get all the things and um so I wrote a little bit about thatthis week and it was just super super fun and so I wanted to ask you guystonight really quickly. I think one of the reasons that I like back to schoolshopping is because it just feels like a fresh start. Um And so are there anyum like rituals or times of yours? There anything that happens in yourlife that feels like a fresh start to you? Oh that's a good question. Um You knowwhat? I think it's I think I make a conscious effort to try to make a newstart on my birthday every year like I kind of say you know this is this is anew opportunity and like I kind of try to think about things. I feel like I'vebeen doing wrong or weight, I've been carrying on my shoulders or like angerI've been carrying that I shouldn't. And I kind of try to let it go with theprevious year. And I also, I want to say that I really liked about youressay Christie. Um it wasn't just a fresh start for will, it was a freshstart for you. Also the school school shopping. I liked how you tied that in.Thank you. Thank you for me. I just buying school supplies. Always felt sohopeful right? Like maybe this time...

I'll get it right. Maybe this time I'llstay organized. It's like buying, I buy a new notebook for every book I writeright. And so when I do that, I think this time maybe I'll get it right. Ihaven't done it yet, but maybe you know. Yeah, well you know for me schoolsupplies, you know, I have grandchildren now in school and theirmom buys your school supplies. But for me school supplies equals officesupplies. And so every time I venture into a store this time of year I loadup my cart with my favorite black and white composition books and my fine tipfelt pens, they have to be black. Do you guys agree that we can only writein black or are you okay with other cars? I write a lot of blue. No, I knowI like I like pink and purple. And do, I really do orange. You probably havesparkly pens. No, they always felt tip. I'm with you. Like I'm a real right now.Sharpie pens are kind of my, my love sharpie pens. Yeah. Sharpie pens. Wewould love to be sponsored. Okay, that was not whoring yourself out at all.Kristie not at all. Always be closing always. You know, the other thing Ilike to buy is an office calendar because every year I tell myself thisis the year I'm going to get organized. This is the year I'll make it happen.So maybe a little when Karen comes on, maybe we'll ask her if she likes officesupplies. God knows what she, I do want to know that. I know we'll ask her that.Okay, so now let's talk about our incredible guest Karin Slaughter who'scooling her heels in the green room even as we speak. She is the New YorkTimes best selling author of 21 novels including Pretty Girls, The GoodDaughter Pieces of her and the Grant County and will Trent books, Her novelshave been published in 120 countries. Wow with more than 35 million copiessold worldwide. Karen was nominated for a prestigious Edgar Award for her novelCock Town, another of her standalone novels pieces of her is in developmentwith Netflix. Carrie is also the founder and save the libraries projectwhich is a nonprofit. It works to support libraries and has raised morethan $300,000 for the is a D Cobb County Library Foundation. Am I goingto say that right? That's right. So Karen lives in Atlanta and her new bookfalse witness shippers. It's so terrifying and good mary. Kay, we don'tknow what you're doing but it's cracking me up. Okay, Karen's new bookfalse witness came out in july. It follows lee collier defensive for me ata prominent law firm in Atlanta as secret from her past threatened tocatch up with her and ruin the perfect new life that she a perfect life isalways the beginning of the end. Right. Another in trouble with your life whenyou're like that when your life is going the way you want it. There'ssomething around the corner but the perfect life she has built for herselfand her daughter Karen, I can't wait to see you. Oh what What is even happeninghere. Welcome Karen, I just, I need to explain to you all that. I turned mycamera off because I poured a whole glass of wine on my judges barristerswig which cost $12. So that happened Karen, welcome. Thank you. We are alittle bit afraid that you're here but in light of your new book false witness.I thought we would play a little game. I call false witness. Okay, in simplerterms liar, liar pants on fire. All right, so go ahead. Judge one head.Excuse me, I'm in charge of this court now by the power invested in me by thesovereign state of friends and fiction. We intend to put you on the hot seat orwitness stand and question you about your checkered past. Now I'm going tobe the judge of course, because I'm judging like that Kristen Kristy andpatty will be your jury and they will determine whether or not you are a liar,liar and just to make things a little more complicated and edgy becausethings are edgy. My wig is not where...

...the pirate. We're pirates. Right, right.We have appointed I've appointed a special prosecutor for this crossexamination. Alan, will you please bring in our district attorney? No damngood hands. I was running. I was not told that I had to wear a hat by lisa.No one told me anything either. I don't have a hat. We don't need oneprosecutor. You need to be serious. So it's good that you don't have one.Right? That so that that is so bad. It's itching. Yeah, it's a specialpersonality to stand up to someone like Karen. So we invited totally impartialnew york times bestselling thriller writer lisa Unger to join us againtonight. The last time lisa was here last time here we talked about hernovel confessions on the 7 45 but tonight it's Karen's turn to take thestand lisa, please proceed. Okay. Hi Karen. Hello. Special prosecute tricks.Yes. Okay. MS slaughter. First off the burning question of the night. Is isthat your real name? I mean, isn't it a little bit too perfect that somebodywho writes books that are often, you know, somewhat grisly somewhat Mercurywould have the last name slaughter. Um, just a minute. Let me refer to my notes. Yes, my No. What time you can't handle the truth way? No,you're you're stepping all over our lines. Just wait. Um, okay, isn't ittrue that MS slaughter MS slaughter, Isn't it true that during college youworked at Disney World as the operator, engineer, engineer for the pirates ofthe Caribbean experience ride. Is that true? Did you do the right thing? Look at my calendar on those dates Iwas dropping out of college. My lawyer has advised me not to admit anythingregarding the death that occurred on that day. The pirate community takesserious offense to that. Is he refusing offensive? Is there a verdict delivered on that?Is there we have a we'll table that for now. I don't think the woke pirate go.Um, let's talk about your slaughter. Let's talk about your past involvementin a criminal operation working as an alleged exterminator for an allegeddrug ray. Did you ever in fact kill a single bug as a part of that job? No,no, there wasn't even Exterminating fluid in. Uh, it was water. I know thatbecause I tasted it there. That explains exactly what I was going toask for water. All right. I don't hearing no objections. Um, MadamDistrict Attorney, I'll let you proceed the slaughter. There have also beenallegations that you've run a cat rescue apparatus operation out of theslaughterhouse. You're sprawling mansion, the fence in town compound,which neighbors have come to refer to as the litter box. Is that true? I refuse to answer on the grounds thatmy cats have all declared themselves as sovereign citizens and acknowledged theauthority of this court. How this horny the authority parlay. Isn't thatpiratey Harley? Piratey? Pirate. That's piratey. Yeah. Okay. MS slaughter back to yourcriminal past. Do you now? Or have you...

...ever illegally operated a forkliftwithout a commercial driver's license? Okay. Which is the judge drinking onthe job? I also don't have a drink. Well, lisa was prepared for this. Thatwas short. That was that was your own like George judgment call. You're right,You're right. That's a personal problem. No, it's true. Meg says our wholecourtroom is out of order. I don't feel like hearing ever answers the question.He has not. Well, you see the palate needed to be moved and I was willing toget on the forklift and figure it out. That's what you do. You like heavyequipment? Yes. If you if you have never operated heavy equipment before,but something needs to be moved and a forklift is there? It's what any redblooded american would do. And if you don't believe in that, you don'tbelieve in God or the constitution. Amen. I mean you can't argue with that.I mean, I have to say it's a jury. I'm just going to say, I agree. I'm justgonna say, are that thanks? Uh MS slaughter one last question. Is it truethat you've written a part loosely based on your own life in the netflixseries? Pieces of her that will be portrayed by Dakota Fanning. Um I need to consult with my attorneybefore I answer that. Excuse me one moment please. Uh huh uh Oh, uh huh. I'd like to um invoke myfourth amendment right to search and seizure. Uh Kathy, would you pleasecome in search and seizure me? I'm uh Karen, I want the truth. You can'thandle the truth. There you go, ordering the court jury. What say youabout this defendant's testimony? Fire fiction writer, liar, liar. I feel likethat grandparents are indicated the add some credibility. I have. All right. Uhoh that all right now the wig is soaked with chardonnay. That's not good. Okay,everybody lisa. Thank you so much. I know there were storms going on downthere in ST pete and all the things and lisa was I mean Karen was probablyputting some hoodoo on you. I just want to tell folks that we are all lookingforward to your new book, Which will be out October five, the last girl ghosted,can't wait to sit there. It is, that is, that is a stunning cover, I gotta say.Anyway, thanks so much for coming on tonight way. Okay, now my hair looksgreat, christian and I are like, kind of just content with our pirate hats,what's gonna say? Do I just texted, do I need to put my pirate happen? You doyou do you do you do you Okay? Now that the fun and games well, are sort ofover, let's let's get serious, Karen. Um, can we get you to give us the, theelevator pitch for false witness? Um, well, you know, I feel like people havealready bought it, so I don't have to really pitch it. Um, humorous, it'sabout trauma, it's about trauma. Uh, something really bad happens And thenwe catch up with the people, this bad thing happened to 20 years later andthen another bad thing happens and they're like, oh, this is a bad thingagain. Yeah, okay, that's what you want to.All right. So, so, to get a little bit more in depth about the bad thing, Iknow that the two sisters in the novel are survivors of sexual abuse, whichyou portray pretty graphically in the novel, Can you talk a little bit aboutwhy this is important to you to approach? So, honestly, and head on inyour writing. Well, 1st, I Love Your Chili. Um, but uh that's Hormel, notHarmel, oh uh awesome. If I were the...

...heir to the chili fortune wouldn't behere. That's uh red hat. No, you wouldn't from France. Um you know, so Idon't write graphically about the sexual abuse. I write about the falloutfrom it. I guess if I'm gonna talk about sexual abuse us to take this off,um you know, I made a decision a long time ago with my first book that I wasgoing to write realistically about violence against women because it's notsomething that I was seeing as a reader unless it was from a man's perspectiveand a man's perspective was always if this, you know, a woman is raped orassaulted the magic potion to heal her is for a really good guy to make loveto her and everything's fine and that's really not how it works. And I bring apersonal perspective to violence against women because when I wasgrowing up, my grandmother was being violently abused by my grandfather andyou know, like a good, all good southern girls, you know, our familywould go to church and then we go to my grandma's for sunday dinner andsometimes my grandmother would have a black eye or a cut lip or a broken boneand my uncles would tease her about being clumsy and as I got older Ithought nobody's at clumsy. My grandfather's beating the hell out ofher and they're making light of it because it's really horrible and theydon't know what else to do. And so I thought looking at that us making lightof it or not acknowledging it only protected my grandfather. It never everhelped my grandmother. So I decided in my books to write about it for what itis. Um and it as I continued writing, it became more important because Iwould have women say to me, you know, I experienced violence. I was never ableto articulate what it was right for people to understand because that's thepart that fades to black or, you know, it's it's made titillating somehow aresexualized in a really gross way. And I wanted to show it for what it is. So,you understand, it's not sexy, it's not something any sane person would wishupon themselves. It's not bondage and s and m it's not rough sex, it's it'sviolence. And so that's why I chose to write about it. And and also just beingreally conscious, these are real people that this happens to every minute ofthe day, every minute of the day. This kind of crime happens. And I knowKathy's, you know, much older than me, but maybe some of you guys remember theLong Island Lolita story with Amy fisher. This story. The part that takesplace in the past is uh like three or four years on from that. And Amy fisherwas a teenage girl who was having uh sex with a guy in his, I think he wasin his late thirties, Joey buttafuoco, which is statutory rape and theneventually he's sex trafficked her and you know, she did a horrible thing, shetried to kill, she wanted to murder this man's wife, but when this all cameout, it was sort of weird how she stopped being a girl and she was awoman and it really and it's Long Island Lolita in that really disgustingsense where you know, oh this poor guy, he has no control, he was seduced byher and you know, it's just this kind of disgusting sexualization of younggirls. I mean Amy Fisher is a white girl, but particularly young blackgirls or girls of color. This happens to a lot where they get reallysexualized at a young age and I don't know if you guys have talked to like a13, 14 16 year old girl lately, they're really stupid, you know, they they'renot emotionally developed, they don't understand relationships, they don'tunderstand power dynamics. And so that's what I wanted to talk a littleabout that whole Nabokov, oh, you know, I'm just a poor guy, you know, youseduce me is bullshit, it's bullshit and we need to remember that when wehear these stories uh that you know, these are girls, they're not women,it's not sex, it's rape, it's abused. Thank you for putting words to that,You're absolutely right, Yeah. Well, Karen, that's yeah, that's powerfulchills thinking about it. Especially since um it can get romanticized, whichis even worse than excusing. It is romanticizing it. So yeah, so I want totalk a little bit about your writing process and how it differed for youbecause you wrote this book during the...

...pandemic. So I know you're home bodyanyway, but was it different for you writing during the pandemic? And is itjust me it felt like this one was closer to your the real life Atlantathat you live in? Yeah, it is. And you know, Cathy you remember when you weredriving to ST Simon we were talking and you're like, oh, I finished my bookearly for the first time and I was like, well, fuck you. It was really hard. Ithought it would be. I mean, did you guys think, wow, okay, we're nottraveling, we're not doing events. It's going to be so much easier to write,but just like the sheer horror at the number of people dying or who are sickand who have long covid or who lost their jobs or their businesses are allof that was so stressful. And then this weird politicization of everythingvirus don't care. You know, it's like you don't care if you're a communist oryour, you know, Egyptian or whatever doesn't care. Um and so it was just sohard to focus on writing. Um but and for the first time in my life I waslate, I've always delivered on time. I mean, I'm very, very uh conscientiousabout that because I know that and you guys know this if you don't do your job,you're screwing over so many people in your publishing house and they're like,oh, that's okay, but it's like, you know, Jack eating and you know, and I'mreally conscious because my first edition is always in the Netherlandsthat I'm screwing over my dutch translator, who is a wonderful woman,you know, by pushing her schedule because she has other things to doother than wait for me to finish this freaking book. So, you know, I got tothe point where I said to my editor, you know, I see why some authors who Ilove just deliver crap books and I'm not gonna do that. I would rather notwrite a book this year this particularly with this book, because Ireally love the characters and story. I was like, I'm not going to deliver abad book, I'm just not going to do it. And so they gave me a little extra time.Honestly, I think they could like printed two weeks before at Prince,it's just a lie, they need that long. Um but so, uh I got it, I got it done,but it was it was really difficult to write for a lot of reasons, but youknow what, it's a very emotional book, a lot of the suspense come from theemotion of the characters and that's very hard for me to write because I getso immersed in their lives and their feelings and you know, all that kind ofstuff. So it's really draining for me. Um But I'm really proud of it came outthat way but also very angry at Cathy that she'd be her deadline. Well youknow the thing is um didn't you have family members who were sick? Oh yeah.Yeah. Well my sister got Covid, it was so new that when she went to thehospital, they literally like put her in her room and they pushed a rollingtable toward her that had a thermometer on it and the blood pressure cuff andthey're like put these on, they don't want to go near her. Um And she endedup going home because they were so freaked out. But she got days just onthe floor. Yeah and it was very scary. Um And of course, you know, no onecould go help her because they were they were scared. Especially me. I'msuch a delicate flower, you know, I'm the youngest. So it's not really my jobto take care of everyone takes care of you. That's what life as well. Yeah. Imean it's like nature. Um And then my dad had some health problems, right? Iknow that you had you had you were taking care of family members and all Iwas doing was sitting up and writing in bed. Yeah, Yeah, that's true. Anddrinking and yelling at us and yelling at us right, yelling at them like, uh,Jamie, uh, did you write this morning? She would text us and if we didn't, butI felt it was harder to write even though there was more space. So that'swhat was fascinating was, and I started and stopped so many things like, oh, Ithink I'll write about this. No, I think I'll write about this. No, Ithink I'll write about this. But once I did figure out what's right. Then, thenit was like this still point in the middle of the chaos, which is, um, but,but this is closer to your real life in Atlanta, isn't it? This book? Well,it's not in a part of town I live. It's more like, um, the ghetto area whereCathy is. Okay. Okay. There were some parts that were closer to where you andI live. I don't want to get too specific, but I will tell you, I did abook club at Anzio golf club last night. Yeah. And one of your fans was thereand uh, she was asking me about, she...

...was telling me how much she loved yourbook. And I said, well, watch tonight. And she was saying, um, asking aboutCovid and I said, well, Karen will be on the show tonight. And I said, and bythe way, if I'm not mistaken, one of the bodies in that book is found in thewake of the answer Golf club. Isn't that right? No, Brick Hayden Golf club.Okay, kevin. Yeah, way to do a close read Cathy just someplace I can'tafford to live. So I don't know. Yeah, once she spelled the chardonnay on herwig, it all went down. You know, it's weird because we have a lot of golfclubs in Atlanta, like Cherokee and druid hills and Anjali and Brookhavenand they all have like these really distinct personalities. And so I wastalking to a person who is a big golfer and has played at all these clubs andhe's like, oh yeah, that's where the douchebags are, this is definitelywhere your guy would live. And so it's been, his name is Kevin, so it's hisfault if you really love that club. Um, but that's a, that's like a crazyneighborhood too because it's Justin Bieber lived there and you know, a lotof rap people live there and hip hop right by these fees and Buffy's so it's,it's like a crazy encapsulation of what Atlanta is, you know, which isbasically a city where if you have the money, you belong, right? That's alwaysbeen the story of Atlanta, uh, interesting. So to put lee and Calliein a part of Atlanta, which I made up, I call it Lake Point, but it's kind oflike an amalgamation of Lakewood and um um Riverdale, but I thought, you know,those were rough areas when I was a kid and like real people live there. Mysister has a lot of friends who live there now and it's like, I don't wantto really trashed this part of town because it's more like, I mean theytotally uh Stewart Avenue, that kind of area, They changed the name of StewartAvenue out after the, or before the olympics because it had such a badreputation. Um so you know, that's the area of town that I was thinking of.Okay, so now the two sisters in false witness are understandably pretty toughcharacters and for large portions of false witness there, they're not very likable. I mean welearn, well, hang on, we learn early on that they are, they have, they've, youknow, they've perpetrated a pretty gruesome crime and it takes a lot ofbook, it takes a lot of the plot until Ithought to myself, okay, I get this. So what I want to ask Karen, that's a longway of asking is how how important is it to you that your protagonist rightfrom the get go be likable or relatable. Well it's not a driving point for me.Um I think that you should be interested in. I mean, you know, wantto know what they're gonna do next and what's gonna happen to them. That'sreally, that's, that's some flannery, O'Connor shit there, the mystery ofcharacter, right? That's the question that pulls you through the story iswhat is this person going to do? And for me, I think you rely on that.There's a big switch in the very the prologue, the opening of the book thatshould shock people unless they know me really, really well. Um and you know, Iframed it that way because I wanted you as a reader to sort of relate to thisperson in a way. And then when you catch up with her 20 years later tounderstand how she got there, right? I mean, that that's the thing for me,especially given Covid we're all living in trauma right now. It's true. And Iremember we would go to um to um like lunch or something at the howardjohnson's with this crazy aunt of mine, like a great great aunt and she hadsurvived the depression and whenever we would leave, she would put all thesweet and lo in her purse and any bread on the table, because, you know, she'slike, the depression really affected her even all those decades later. AndI'm like, I wonder if like, when we're gonna go with our great great grandkidsor whatever, are we going to go to the bathroom and take all the toilet paper,just hand sanitizer, right? How's this gonna be? I'm gonna be hoarding thathand sanitizer. Someone tried to shake my hand today and I had the most likeappalling physical, like diving in the opposite direction reaction and I waslike, okay, that was like a little over...

...playing. But I'm like, who will shakemy hand? Yeah, yeah, because you know where it's been. But yeah, so I but youknow, that lee and kelly experienced a really horrible trauma and they haddifferent reactions to it. One of them like went the whole type a full on lawschool always hustling and the other one just spiraled into an addiction.And so I I wanted to show, you know, we we all write about kind of bad thingshappening to people and, you know, usually by the end of the story, ifthey're not dead, they're doing okay. But I want to talk about the fact thattrauma lingers. I mean, we know all kinds of scientific studies abouttrauma and early childhood trauma you can have as an adult, a predispositiontoward depression, heart disease, diabetes, suicidal ideation, you know,drug abuse, alcohol abuse, all these things just from childhood trauma. So,you know, I wanted to explore that through these two characters whenyou're talking about that. Sorry, I was just saying when you were talking aboutthat, Karen, it makes me think of that book. It's called The Body keeps thescore. And when you're talking about your characters, like their body keptthe score and then they acted out on that. I just think it's interesting,sorry, Cathy go ahead. Okay. No, I was I was just thinking that the twosisters are so their, their lives are so bound together and there's a,there's a plot twist, Karen, I did not see coming, I love that. I did not see coming when lee and walter were living in Chicago.I don't want to give away any more than that, but that totally twisted my headall the way around. So um we've got, we've got some live questions. So umwho do you guys want to ask? Some? Uh some of the live questions people aretyping in. Absolutely. Um so Diana Mcgoldrick says, Karen, what do you doto help you when you're deep in your feelings with these tougher parts andpieces of your story. Um I get on the trip. Yeah, I find the treadmill isvery useful for that and I'm I'm like an all or none person, like if I'mgonna eat peas, I will eat piece at every meal breakfast included, which Ihad like a summer of peace where I did that. Um but you know, I'll get on thetreadmill for an hour and a half and just like get it all out and that's,that's kind of a reset for me? And you know, it also helps because I think youneed a little distance as a writer because you're in control of thenarrative and I don't, you know, I didn't want to fall into like this long,dark night of staring at my navel sort of stuff because the story, it's athriller, it needs to keep moving. But I certainly could have gone in thatdirection if I hadn't been more disciplined. Um I think just, you know,having written so many books, I, I can realize that and stop myself when Ifeel it happening. And you know, it doesn't happen with every book becausesometimes the thriller part comes from who done it, finding out, you know,that that is the important part that drives the narrative. But this is avery emotionally driven book. So I had to be very careful not to just make itlike a open sore kind of thing, you know, so things are happening and youknow, the the chapters move very differently to, because these chaptersare like going like this and Callie's are like this, you know, and that'sjust their personalities. But it's also a way to kind of slow it down becauseall the stuff that's happening, you know, you've got to have a moment todigest it. Yeah. And there's no doubt in the reader's mind that um, the guy on trial, hmm, whose namechanges, right? Yes, there's no doubt that he did it. Right. So, you know,where does the suspense come from? And it has come from a very emotional placeand that's one of the challenges of writing a book like this. And you know,I was like, jesus, this is why uh Buffalo Bill had Hannibal Lecter, right?Because you, you have to have something driving it. So, but also, you know,when you write about bad people and the focus is on those bad people, I thinkit's very important not to make them larger than life are unbelievable oryou know, we all know a guy like the bad guys in this book, you know, andhopefully they're out of our lives now.

Um, but we know if we have a, we allhave a friend who keeps dating the same guy, but so I I just needed them to bereally believable and anchored in reality because it was such animportant story. And honestly, you know what terrifies me is a person who isnot abnormal, who's like seemingly can appear very normal and confront thatand deep down there like a horrible person. I mean it's it's ted Bundy, Imean the young republicans and he had a bright future, you know, even when hegot sentenced in florida, which it makes sense florida right Godly to getinto that. But the judge was like young man, you had such a promising futureand it's such a sad that you could have been a very good lawyer because ofcourse he represented himself and you're thinking judge. This guy is aserial killer and you think he just made some bad choices and he could haveotherwise been a really great lawyer and contributed to, I mean, come on,I'd like to see him say that to some prostitutes these sentences. You know,young lady, you could have been a doctor, you know, so much opportunity.Um, so you know that's the kind of person I find really scary is the onewho's like at your dentist's office or you know the coach at school or well Iwon't say priest because everybody knows what priests do. But you know,it's just like that's what's scary to me and that's what the I had toconcentrate on and that's where the suspense had to come from. Yeah, right. You want another like one sure. Um I'mgreat. So Susan God says how does Karen's parrot respond to her book? No,not her parent. Oh her family. How did parents family respond to her books andtheir subject matter? I want to know how her parents responded. Look muchmore interesting question to be honest. I mean, okay, I did it on purpose. SoSusan God wants to know how your family responds to your books and your subjectmatter, but I want to know how your parent responds. So love it, love it.You know, they're very supportive. But I and I think I've told maybe I've toldthis story too many times, but like a classic example when I was growing up,I was I got in trouble at school but not for you know, breaking things orfighting or not doing work, but just doing strange things. Um I know Cathyyou're shocked and I don't know if you can see my lunch box back there. Um butit's got a picture. Uh well since since I moved the parrot, I can move this,this was like my lunchbox at school and you can't see it very well, but it'slike uh Marilyn Monroe after the autopsy. There you go. You know, So Igot, so that my dad got called the school for that and then like, you knowthose baby on board stickers that were really popular, I thought it would bereally funny to put the word dead at the top. So it's a dead baby on board.And so then my dad got called up to school for that and you know, so we'resitting in the principal's office and they're like, you know, hey, howard,hey, hey john because they were on first name basis. Um and uh, he said,you know, this is, this is what she did. She's got the sign in his car in thecar. And my dad said, well is it against the school handbook principalsaid no. He said was it like illegal or is there some rule she broke? No. Andmy dad said, you know what, She's just weird and she's always been weird andwe love her for it and just don't call me up for this shit anymore, but that'sme on the shoulder as he walks out. Um and so that's like, that's how he feelsabout this, you know, he doesn't quite get it, he's not a big reader, you know,when he was growing up, they were so dirt poor that they would have to catchsquirrels to eat. Um so he just does not think sitting around and reading isa good use of your time. Um though he weirdly talks a lot about Willienelson's interview in Rolling Stone about marijuana. Um but he read thatread that, um but he's super proud of me, you know, and he's alwayssupportive and he says he's proud of me all the time and my sister is the sameway, so, you know, they're very supportive and it reminds me of, Ican't remember who told me this. Maybe Harlan Coben, he said um your familywill buy your books but not read it and your friends will read your books, butnot by them. That is the biggest truism...

...of any author's career? I think. Oh mygosh, so true. Yeah, that's true. That's steve do we have time for onemore real right now? We probably need to get to Karen. Yes, ma'am. Um I'm trying to figure out, Okay, so Idon't think we have time for any more questions, but if you will, if you feellike it, Karen, if you're not too busy, you know, slicing and dicing innocentvictims maybe go on to um the friends and fiction facebook page because lotsof people have questions. I mean I have questions. Um, but every week one ofour favorite parts of the show is asking writers for a, for writingadvice. You know how I avoided to see how I avoided the word tip there. So ifyou have a piece of writing advice, you actually didn't avoid it in the end,you actually just, you want just the tip Kathy, is that what you're saying?Okay. Um, just do it. I mean that's the hardest part. Every single person onearth, like literally on earth there's someone in abu Dhabi right now whoprobably has a fantastic idea for books, but the idea is not the hard part, thehard part is sitting down every day banging it out, figuring out how toexpress the idea through character, through seen through atmosphere,through setting. That's the hard part and that's what makes you a writer. Um,so that's just the tip. It's A Good one. Okay, Karen andeverybody else stick around because we have one more thing to talk about andasked to talk to Karen about. But first I want to remind you, we want to remindyou all out there to check out our friends and fiction writer's blockpodcasts. So this show will be a podcast. All our shows are, but we alsohave in every friday writer's block podcast this past week, Ron ChristieWoodson harvey and I talked to Allison Lark in and Tracy Lang that will pop upin two days about origin stories for their books. And then Ron and mary Kayandrews talked to Virginia stand actually that was last week and thisweek Ron and mary Kay talked to Virginia Stanley and nancy pearl aboutbeing library rock stars because librarians are rock stars. Our Karenhave nancy pearls action figure actually she's fantastic. Do you? Andyou know Virginia Stanley quite well to absolutely, I made her go tell it, makeher tell you the story about the cat cafe. I made her go to where she wasterrified of all the cats. Yeah. Oh that's awesome. Alright, if you're nothanging out with us yet in the Friends and Fiction official book club, you aremissing out the group which is separate from us and is run by our friends, lisaHarrison and Brenda Gartner is now more than 8000 strong. They're closing in on9000 which is awesome. So on september 20th, I know it's incredible and theydo such a great job with it. On september 20th, Patty will be joiningthe group to discuss her novel the bookshop Atwater's end and they have somany more wonderful things in store through the end of the year. And nextweek join us right here at seven p.m. To meet Megan Abbott, author of theRead with Jenna pick the turnout and laura lippman, author of Dream Girl, Ijust read both of them and they are fantastic. Then in two weeks join us aswe welcome Daryn Kagan and Paula Faris, if you're ever wondering about ourschedule, it's always on the friends eviction website as well as the sidebarof events on our friends and fiction facebook page and I also just wanted totell everyone, stick around for our after show because you might noticeeveryone, we're all wearing our friends in fiction t shirts and um, we're gonnabe talking Karen insurance, anyone rude. Um, but we're gonna be talking a littlebit about how you can be our friends in fiction merch star of the week. Sowe'll tell you that in our after show. Love it. Karen, Karen stick around. Itcould be, you could be, we've woken up, we're going to mail you a t shirt. It'sjust we are and you can even have my pirate hat if you, if you want it to somany good props. She doesn't need your, although I do, she might want my prop,you might want it and pirate hat comes with dreads. So I remember my muchbetter mind, does not mind, does not mind, comes with two red bows and somelace, johnny Depp dreads. Yeah, alright and you all know that Kathy Christine.I have new books coming out this fall, the santa suit once upon a wardrobe andchristmas at Peachtree bluff and you can be the first to read these bookswho are kind of amazing winter...

...wonderland subscription. You receivedthe books just as the released along with loads of exclusive swag, includinga video that only the people who buy the subscription sub subscription canget. This package is available through. Our friends are great friends atNantucket Book partners and Karen, we have one more question for you in lightof your work helping raise funds for public libraries. Would you talk alittle bit about why this cause is so important to you and why it should beimportant to every reader out there? Well, it's a good question. I mean, asyou know, I really don't like Children. Um, I don't, they're so sticky. They'revery heavy. They don't, they lack in flavor. Yeah. I mean, I've got somegreat recipes, but like their heads, they can't even like, what is this baby?Come on, learn to hold your head up. Um, but we know a lot of things aboutinfant brains also tasty. Um, and that is, if you have a finite amount of timein your life when you learn language and critical processing and reading andreading fluently and that's in your childhood. And so if a kid doesn't geta reading ability established, they're never going to be a fluent reader. Andso if you look at it just from a financial standpoint as taxpayersspending money on the library is one of the cheapest things you can do. Kidswho read do better in school. If they do better in school, they'll go tocollege. If they go to college, you'll get better jobs. They'll pay highertaxes. I mean it's that simple. Every judge I know in the juvenile justicesystem, Every cop I know who works with juvenile says the library is thebackbone of our community. And we've really seen this with Covid because youknow, our local libraries here in uh, the cabin Fulton County in Atlanta, ofcourse there are closed because of Covid, but kids don't have computers.You know, they're doing math class on their parents phone and then the parentgets a call from work, math class is over. And so they invested intechnology and hotspots because the internet is very expensive. Um, they,the internet companies say they help poor people. They don't, it's stillexpensive. Um, and so they gave hotspots, they gave tablets, they gaveipads, they made it possible for kids, Especially in rural areas. You know,85% of kids in rural areas, they're only access to the Internet is at theirlocal library. So it's very well that we have these libraries. Um, and that'sone of the reasons why I'm a supporter. Um also, you know, just long term,maybe these kids will one day be adults and they'll read my books. Yeah, I'mplaying the long game. It's selfish. I mean all that money you raised isreally just hoping it all, I buy my own books. You know, I have a close familyfriend who teaches in a school in southwest Georgia. That's pretty, it'spretty impoverished. And those kids are driving over to fast food restaurantsif their parents have a car to get wifi so they can either watch classes or oryou know, do their homework online. So it's incredibly important. And I reallyall joking aside care and I really, I salute you for the work you've donewith supporting public. You helped you And Kathryn Stockett and I did a goodyeah, we had a party, we had a black, we'll just we'll do that again.Absolutely, yeah. Okay. It's time for me to say everybodygo out and buy Karen's book false witness, which is a truly riveting book.I read it in about 20 hours. And our uh bookstore the week this week is FoxtailBook shop. So don't forget you can go online and order Karen's book herbacklist and of course all of our books at Foxtail Book shop. And Karen, thanksfor joining us. See you for lunch. Yes, we'll get the ladies together, get theladies together. Nabit is fantastic. You're going to have a great time withhim. I know and Laura lippman is an old old friend of mine. So I think we'regonna have a really good time next week to Megan is one of the smartest people.I know she just knows so much about everything. So I think that will be alot of fun. I doubt she'll have a parent though. No, maybe some balletshoes with their noses or glasses and...

...they just coming. I mean it's like,what's she gonna pull out next? You don't even know what someone. Yes. Yeah,we don't want to, I kind of want to see a screenshot of that desk. I'm justsaying you want to see my closet where I have everything labeled and stored,wow. Hello. Yeah, this, this gets pulled it up and taken care of man,this ain't cheap. I ain't buying no $12 pirate hat, awesome. Thanks again.Thanks again. Karen, Karen, thanks for coming. Don't forget you can orderKaren's book can witness at Foxtail books and we hope you will support ourindie bookstores and of course your local library because that's importanttoo. And we'll see you in a minute at the story point after show and comeback next week. Same time, same place as we welcome special guests, MeganAbbott and laura lippman. Good night, wow. She's yeah, just bring out my wignow. It's very sad. She's so smart and well, I, I just find her fascinating.So I'm so glad she was with us the way we want to tell the story point bottleto our after show, sip and stays with story point because maybe a good storyunfolds over a glass of wine and sometimes good stories spillover ontoonto your wig. Sometimes I have too much story point before you even start.I did not have too much. I just had a lot going on on my table. I had props,I had my gavel, I had my, You know, $14. Oh, it's now, it's soggyand smells like chardonnay. Have my wig. You want me to put it back on? Youshould put it back on, you should put it up on what I talk about our merch.Can we do that? Okay, so while the credits were rolling, you guys talkabout a missed opportunity. We were calling it our friends eviction merchstar, It should have been called our friends and fiction influencer. Right?O our friends and fixed and fascism, maybe that's better. Yeah, I like that.Well, at any rate, whatever we call it every week, starting next week for fourweeks, we are going to pick someone um, and share their picture with theirfriends and fiction merge on the screen. So for those of you who don't know, wehave these amazing t shirts available. T shirts. Yeah. And super cute Friendsand fiction. Wine cities and coffee tumblers as well. Although we're almostout of coffee tumbler. So if you want one of those, you need to get on that,but they are available for sale from Oxford exchange. And so just submityour picture, there's a post under announcements online where you cansubmit your pictures, although people have been like emailing them to me anddamning me on instagram. Like, I don't care how you send your pictures, we'regonna pick some of you and you're gonna win a copy of either my christmas andPete Street left patties once upon a wardrobe or mary Kay's um, the santasuit. I did not ask them before I announced that I just went for it. Sohopefully that's okay. You go in for us, Christine your point with you, you'rerunning contest. We're not ever gonna fight with somebody who was going tomake some decisions and not ask anyone. Then they don't have to think about itor worry about it. We have to talk about that. Recall the decisions fromnow on that with just having that you, because you always make really goodones and then we are just yes, great idea. Maybe maybe you could makedecisions on the cover for next summer's book because we're at thatpoint and I'm kind of out of thoughts. I was going to say, I think that'spretty much a group decision. So that's okay. I don't think we get to hand thatover to Christie. I think that's more of a yeah, okay, my publisher will beinterested in hearing your feedback. Okay. I'm sure I'm sure they're waiting,I'm sure they're waiting eagerly waiting with bated breath. I, you know,I thought it was interesting tonight when Karen talked about how hard it wasfor her to finish that book and and how emotionally involved she gets. You know,we think of all these grisly murder mystery type things is maybe it's justplot driven, but she really gets into the deeper aspects of their of traumaand their lives, I think it's best. Yeah. And she does a lot of prettynitty gritty um research. She's um...

...she's tight with um some Georgia Bureauof Investigation agents. I know um we didn't get time, we didn't have time toask this question, but a lot of a lot of false witness. Um parts of it arevery much a courtroom thriller. And so I was I was researching and she talkedabout one of her good friends, you know, we're all friends with people in ourwriter communities and she's friends with Allah for book Allah for burke.Allah for Burke who writes legal thrillers and of course is James leeburke's daughter. But she's a great writer on her own and she's a formerprosecutor and went to law school at Stanford I think. And so she talkedabout in another interview, she talked about al affair, kind of telling heryeah, how to do the legal research in this book because in false witness lee the protagonist who is a you know, areally kick ass lawyer at a white shoe law firm. She gets basically kind ofblackmailed into defending this scumbag rapist and then of course it turns outthere's a connection and so she she has she has to do her job ethically her jobas a lawyer defending someone who's really indefensible, but at the sametime, she's got this really uh deep trauma suffered at the hands of of thisperson, wow, that's powerful. Kind of, interesting that it really is. And talkabout it, we all, you know, Yeah, we all do a lot of research and some ofthat research, you know, is tougher, Yeah. Than others. But I also thinkit's fascinating because we've talked about it so many times on the show withso many authors, how during Covid it was easier for some people to writetheir books and harder for others. And just because you're granted a largeswath of time doesn't mean that everything got easier. No, it doesn't.I mean, it still feels a little bit like that now, like this, this kind ofunsteady tremor beneath everything and to remember that everybody's feeling it,you know, every I was thinking earlier today how, like every tinyinsignificant thing just becomes this whole ordeal, because you're like, doit? Should I not? Is it? Where is it exactly? Do we not? I mean, it's justlike things that are just so ridiculous. And it's just we all have to have suchextreme decision fatigue because it's just like, everything I know, you know,it's like, should we go out to lunch. Well, I mean, we're probably okay, butit is one more exposure that, I mean everything, everything is a little bitmore exhausting. Everything's a little bit and when she was talking about that,you know, everybody's in trauma. I was thinking while she was saying it thatit's good to remember that like everybody's, everybody is an inch away.All of us. I was listening to a podcast about that last night and how it wasreally, really interesting about, you know, how this time has brought up likeevery single thing from our past and we don't even realize it that it's, youknow, any other time we've been afraid before. Any other time we've had toface something difficult before. It's like all these things because we'venever lived through this. So it's like our subconscious is pulling back. It'spulling on every single horrible thing we've ever experienced in our lives forlike in our lives for a frame of reference because well, that's what,that, that's what that book is about. That the body keeps the score and hehas, he has a really good podcast out right now with the new york times withsomebody and it's, that's exactly what it's about Christie is, it's not what'shappening right now. It's pinging everything that happened before. Well,and it's also that reminder that as much control as we think we have overour lives, We have none. And, and as secure as we think things are in ourlives, anything could happen at any moment. I mean I think that that to meis is the scariest part of this time. It's just that realization that we allknow in the back of our minds, but that realization being kind of driven homeagain and again because that's the thing we have to forget to be able toreally live right, We have to be able to forget the page every day. We haveto forget, control can ever happen at any time. We have to kind of be able toforget that to be able to live our...

...lives, but it's like in our face everysecond, you know, I think, I feel like when I was writing the newcomer lastyear, I feel like I wrote most of that book, sitting up in bed starting atseven a.m. And just for the first time there was, I'm not joking when I saythere was nothing else to do or no where else to go and I just put my headdown and every morning at seven a.m. Or sometimes earlier, you know, I waswriting and maybe that was my escape from the reality that was surroundingme because I was in my half dark bedroom in my PJs and my only realitywas the reality of that world, that fictional world I created, I was mostyears, I go away to write to put myself in that world, but last year I putmyself in that world, that darkened room, that was my bubble. And um but I wasn't writing a legal thrillerwith a lot of pretty traumatic detail in a yeah, this must have been a toughyear to go that dark. I mean I know a lot a lot of her work is dark, but Imean that really, I think required a deep emotional dig which this was atough year to do that. It really was because our emotions were we're alreadyon the surface and in a way that was difficult to deal with. So no, I'vesaid over and over once upon a wardrobe was my touch point every day. It's likethe opposite of grisly murder, right? It's but it was the, well everythingelse was burning and going crazy that I could return to that again. And I mean,and I will always remember that. I mean, you know, we kind of joke about it. Butreally and truly, I wrote the entire wedding veil at seven a.m. In my bed.And if it hadn't been for you guys, like I don't know that that would havehappened because I mean, well, I mean I was home schooling, I mean I'm not likeeveryone was kristen was we all were but I'm just saying it was that time oflike okay, I'm actually gonna do this when if I hadn't done that there wouldhave been a million excuses. Of course did not write that book. And I just Iknow those excuses and making them now. Making them right now. Well you know weI mean we all do I'm like you know I mean we all we all do that but it wasreally I think during a time when everything was just so insane like itjust made it that go to point where we were all like we weren't together butwe were together every morning and we were all doing it and there wassomething really kind of special about that that I think made it really Justwork. We should have did her at 7:00 AM. Uh huh. I started to think what shewould have texted. I know I know. Uh Yeah I think uh you know the greatthing what I love about this show is when we talk to different authors. Uhwe're so fortunate I think so blessed to be able to see um how thoughtful andhow intentional writers are. These writers are with their stories thatthey put out into the world and that's and all the back work. I think peopledon't always know whether it's her interviewing the G. B. I. Or or youdoing your I don't I think people are now more a little more aware of theyeah I like the word intention to use but the story behind the story and howmuch work goes into it. It's not just the typing. Right? Right. Yeah. Yeah.Yeah I saw I saw somebody uh on twitter of course where people get really irateand they were criticizing a new york times story and they said that's notreporting that stenography. I like that. I wish it was that easy. Right. Thateasy. Yeah. Only somebody who's never had to report on a breaking story. Goodcall it stenography but that's a different story for a different night.Okay my husband is cooking me something delicious and I can smell it and I'mlucky you. Are you sure that's not just the wig the nearby I'm going to the I'mgonna squeeze the wine, bring it out, bring the wine. Please don't be thatdesperate cheers. You know what we were talking about? The storypoint. Okay, I'm gonna twist everybody at seven a.m. To see if you're running.All right, okay, do it. All right, thanks Ellen mm Thank you for tuning in, Join us everyweek on Facebook or YouTube where our live show airs every Wednesday night atseven p.m. eastern time and please subscribe to our podcast and follow uson instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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