Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Friends & Fiction with Kristin Hannah

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Fab Five were so happy to welcome back their good friend, mega-bestselling author Kristin Hannah. She jpined us to talk about her brand new instant #1 New York Times bestselling novel THE FOUR WINDS, as well as the #1 Netflix adaptation of her book FIREFLY LANE. We've sure come a long way since we had Kristin on the show as our first-ever guest back in April. And now she's got lots to talk to us about as two of her books sit atop the bestseller list. https://kristinhannah.com/

Welcome to Friends and fiction. Five best selling authors and the stories novelist Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey, Patty Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books to their credit. In 2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlight independent bookstores. These friends discuss the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hi, everyone. Good evening And it's time to welcome you to friends and fiction. Five. Best selling Authors. Endless Stories. I'm Patty Callahan, Henry and I'm hosting Tonight and we are thrilled that you're here with us. Hi, I'm Mary Alice Munro and I'm Mary Kay Andrews. I lost my place. That's who you are. I know who you are. I'm Christine Harmel. I'm Christy Willson Harvey. And as you know, part of our mission from this inception of this show is to support independent booksellers. And this week we are supporting, well, Ashleigh bookstore in Boston. And you can do and we will talk about that in a bit. But we have quite the night ahead of us as we will be diving into the world of Kristin Hannah, the New York Times best selling author and now the co producer of the number one Netflix series Firefly Lane. We'll be hearing about the deep and incredible research she did for the extraordinary An Instant Number one. You're going to get tired of hearing the word Number one Tonight New York Times bestseller. The floor Wins. We're going to talk about reinventing yourself about writing from the heart, and we just might ask her how it feels to be number one in everything in one week's time. In other words, tonight we're welcoming winning. We are welcoming the K H club because we have Kristie, Kristin and Kristen, all with the last name that starts with an age. And I am actually a Kristen with an iron. Also, I just care about Christie's. Yes, it is crazy. So Mary Kay, Mary, Alice and I are talking about forming our own club. We don't know what we're all Yeah, So any ideas of our club name are welcome in comments you know my real name or, you know, my father. When I took on the student American Andrew said, What? What is your alias again? But my Yeah, aliens, I said, I think that's for criminals. Um, my real name is Kathy Hogan, so I'm another que another kh. But I want to talk about another Cathy, Cathy Cunningham, who is the founder of Mama Geraldine's. And she was an unsuccessful while she was so successful but unfulfilled radio executive in Atlanta. And one night, while she was so doing what we all do. Sipping wine and snacking on expensive cheese straw, she realized her mother her Molly Geraldine Zone cheese straws were way better. And so that's how the idea from Mama Geraldine's was born. Mama Geraldine's cheese straws now coming six varieties. They are the best selling cheese straw in the U. S. And the cookies are lovely, too, and so, you know, yummy snacks and women own empire. And my other thing that I love about them now they have the little individual packs. And so, you know, if you're having people over and people are worried about, you know, cross contamination, you can you can you can just put your little bit snack packages out. And the other thing is that way other people aren't stealing your snacks. Good thinking. I we want we hope you all get behind a woman owned empire like Mama Geraldine's. And like friends and fiction, this is our little empire. Um, we haven't elected an Empress yet. We're taking We're taking nominations. So we can't be somebody with the name Kristin. It's honestly, probably going to be Kristin Hannah, given how the week we hope that you will try Mama Gerald jeans and you will be glad you did. And plus, you get 20% off on your online online order with the code all capped Fab Five. Awesome.

And we also want to mention our partner page one books who offer a book subscription package that we absolutely love. So what happens basically, is when you subscribe, you fill out a survey and tell them what you like. What you don't like. You know, the things that interest you about books and each or by Christians. Yeah, exactly. So you can just check the K H box and it's fine. You'll just get a steady diet of Kristin Hannah Christie Winston Harvey and Christine Harmel. No, I'm kidding. So when you subscribe the hand select books for you each month based on those preferences that you've expressed and also based on their book knowledge, and because the reeds are actually being chosen by real live independent booksellers as opposed to an algorithm, you know you're getting something that's really personally suited for you really personally chosen for you. So the subscription package, which can run 36 or 12 months, is a perfect gift for a book lover. Even if that book lover is you, which I like. It's always nice to buy yourself a gift, right? So first time subscribers get 10% off with the code Fab five at page one books dot com. But, Patty, I know you're going to try to jump on me and bring in our guests. But it's not time to make this like a three Christian segment quite yet, because before you do, um, we have something for all of you out there. Erica, do you have a video you can play for us? Hi, it's Christine Harmel from Friends and Fiction, and I'm here with Christie, Woodson, Harvey, Mary Kay Andrews, and Mary Alice Munro to tell you all about why we love surviving. Savannah out March 9th from our dear friend Patty Callahan. No one can turn a phrase like Patty Callahan. The language in this book is breathtaking. I was on that ship, Paddy Callaghan breeze new and compelling life into a forgotten chapter of Savannah history with surviving Savannah, Pat and Callahan rights from her heart into the hearts of your characters straight into yours. You will love this book. And for me, that message of how we can all survive the surviving really hit home. Especially in the midst of these strange times we find ourselves in. Now, surviving Savannah is the sweeping story of the Titanic of the South Order. Now, wherever books are sold going to love it. Okay, Okay, go. I am wearing contacts live in our first show, and that was probably not a good idea. So everybody out there, they did that behind my back. And if anybody is going to do something behind your back, let it be that we're doing other sneaky thing. Yeah, we don't. I'm going to say that. But we love your love for nine. I keyed your car today. I would have noticed that. All right, it is time to bring on the Kristin. Hannah, could you bring Kristen in, please? Erica? Yes. Welcome. Uh um, we are so happy that you're with us during these extraordinary weeks in your life. And I think we're gonna have to choose some rapper names tonight because so if we get if we get mixed up, we will see that we're so glad you're here. I am so glad to be here, too. I think I was one of your first guest, so it's really exciting. I'm number one. It's exciting to be back. You're always number one a number one. It's career. You are first. You're our first. And it was really memorable. Anyone who hasn't seen the episode can go to our website and watch. It should go back. Exactly. Right then. Kristen was on her phone, and it was pretty funny. It was our early days, but it was great. It was great. Well, Christian, as you know, and as I think a lot of you out there now we have partnered with parade dot com and we are writing an essay each week for their online magazine. And so this week, I got to write about the joy of unexpected snow. Days are really just an unexpected day off, especially, you know, when you're a child and it's magical and fun. And Kristen, I saw all your snow photos in the Pacific Northwest, and it looked like Wonderland. Um and so I'm sure they're not uncommon where you are there a little more uncommon where I am. Um, but once I read that, you said writing has become such a part of you that if...

...you go more than a day or two without of it, without it, you feel on edge. And as writers, you know, there are no office hours, so I'm just wondering, What do you think? I mean, do we ever, even in our heads, take a day off? You know, that is such an interesting question, Christie. Um, and the longer I've done this, you know, my answers to these kinds of questions change. You know, I've been doing this for 30 years, and you know, now we're 24 novels and I would say like in the last five years, I do take more time off now, and it's been an interesting thing because, you know, I was for many, many years on a book, a year cycle. And what that means in the real world is finish a book and you get an idea very quickly and you move on and you begin again, right? And you have a compressed time to edit, you know, And so as I when I got to a point where my son was gone and it was just me and I was doing this just for me and I decided to take more time with each book. I went from one year to two years, and now I'm on three years. And the reason that I do that really is not because I don't love writing just as much, but I I now need more of a life to keep filled up. I need to see my son. I need to see my friends. I need to travel. I need to do a lot of things. And I have found that, um, I'm a better editor and I'm a better writer when I walk away, sometimes for a two week vacation. I mean, I'm still, you know, I'm still driven and dedicated an O. C. D and obsessed and all of those sorts of things. But I do have a lot more time in between now. Oh, that is so inspiring. It really is. And I'm listening keenly. And, you know, I was at dinner just over the holidays and jokingly, one of my son and my son in law said, Oh, Mary, they call me Mambo. You're addicted to work. Yeah, I'm sorry, but that was not. I don't want to be addicted to work, but I think it's because we all work so hard, so many hours and and we love what we do. It's not like we're drudging it. It's so I started turning as a reprieve for myself. I just started turning off, unplugging in the mornings, and it's been rough. You know, I'm sure I irritate a lot of people because I miss things, but it's the only way I can get any kind of sanity back for myself. And I'm going out more getting back outdoors, which is so important, so unplugging has been Yeah, yeah, I can I can definitely see that. And and the, you know, the thing is, the truth is I would rather write than almost do anything. I mean, no, no problem. And when writing is going well, you know, you it's like skydiving. You're on top of the better. And it is. I think you get addicted to that feeling of how fun this could also be. That's it. You know, I had not an unexpected snow day today, but an unexpected sunny day to Oh, yes, yeah, I'm down at time. Me and, uh, it was 71 degrees and I've been working all morning, and I just told my husband I am going to go walk out onto the beach and sit there for 15 minutes and get my vitamin C, which I think it's actually you get vitamin D p d B only You guys did something that I was watching. Um, you know, in my stocking of friends and and I can't remember when this was but you did like a like a We will write together every morning, and I have to say I have found, uh, that sort of impetus from friends. I have one girl in particular and you know, if if someone doesn't produce, we want to know why it's a great motivator who get something, then? Because we all know that that not all your pages are great, but not all. You think we're great. But even, you know, when you look back Months later, on a day that was the worst day possible and you were pushing a rock uphill. You can't tell that page from the page from the flying. I think that's a great tip for new...

...writers, you know, to find someone that that they can be a partner with and be an encourager with. I thought that was great. Yeah. Accountability, I think, is it has has been a great part of the success that we found. That was sort of one of those unexpected gifts we found in the midst of the pandemic. Although I remember Christians, you said you were going to pull out the whip and start the group again. I should fall. I dropped the ball. Oh, man. I know every morning. Morning. Seven o'clock. All right. Hey, I'm I'm there sitting down every day. I'm just so worried I'm gonna bother you guys, but yes. Okay. We need to start doing that again. You know, I've had a real struggle with the with the taking time off it. I used to be better about this. Um, I used to say, you know, weekends are for my family, unless I absolutely have to work. And this pandemic has really thrown me for a loop. I mean, as you, as you all know, I've talked about this before. Uh, you know, as some of you may know, I have a five year old and he's not in school right now. And so I've lost all those hours. That used to be my writing hours, which makes me feel like I have to make up for them elsewhere. So I'm getting up at, like, five or six in the morning to write every day. I'm writing in the evenings and I'm like, on Sunday I worked a 13 hour day. I mean, I just It's like in finding places to 50 hours in. I've lost the ability to turn it off also, um, and I I need to go back to this episode and listen again to what Kristen said, Um, because you know, you're right. I mean, you're a better you, and you're a better writer. If you can live that life outside of your books also, So I need to learn to be better at doing that. Well, it's a It's a big difference. Doing it with no kids in the house and doing it with the five huge difference. Oh, yeah. I mean, I was there when? When my son was, You know, your child's age. I was exactly like you. I mean, I did that for 2020 years. Probably. Um, it took a long time for me to get to the point where, um I don't know. I mean, in some ways, you have to say I'm prepared to disappoint everybody. Yes. Yeah. That's the line I have to remember. I'm getting a lot of I'm getting a lot of lectures this week from my family. So back. Yeah. I mean, you're right, Christians. All of all of the Christians are right. Like as we usually are, as you usually are. Amazed, uh, we're doing pretty good. They have, uh, okay, but there is something about, you know, I also think there's something about not really being able to go anywhere if we've lost our time. It's not like we're going out with friends. Or were, You know, I mean, maybe minimally, but not like we used to be. So your weekends and your weekdays are just all they run together. And I think in some ways I don't know about you all. But I think writing is kind of in the thing that has, like, saved us a little bit. Then I would have been our life preserver 100%. And I think, too, that what you just said, Christie Woodson. Harvey, I'm using everybody's full name because, uh, the the days blending together right, So we can't We used to have these more structured. This is when I travel this when I go on and much easier in this time to get off balance. Yeah, work too much. We're stuck. Anyway. The other thing, too, I think. Patty, is that the thing that that several of you are doing now? Um, you know, particularly Christian and Christie, as you're, um, doing like one book a year, right? The discipline that you learn from that is life changing, you know, card. And and you always feel like you're letting something go or something isn't quite right or you're going into earlier. You're not editing long enough. All of you, you know, build up on your shoulders and everyone wants the book Now, Now, now and and you learn this skill set, which is, you can write fast. Yeah, the point where you can write fast, but you can also put some time into it. Um, it's kind of life changing, but I think you have to learn the whole skill set first. And there's a confidence that comes with that and reliability, reliability yourself and your publisher and everybody. Okay, Kristin Hannah. You must be floating on air this week with all the number one...

...things. So tell us about the four winds. How do you describe the novel when someone asks you about it? Well, it's hardly been asked about it in the last couple of weeks. So is anybody even reading it? No one's heard. We tell everybody about this novel that's just out of work. You know, it's one of the things about this. Is that? But here we are. You know, I'm in Week three. I think, and and thousands of people have read it. I mean, usually, I would go on a show like this three weeks in and like you guys would have read it. And so it's this whole new world to to have the visibility, uh, that this book, you know, has had and, um, I certainly didn't see it coming. I don't You know, maybe someone did, but I don't think so. Um, it's this, you know, it's the it's the lightning in a bottle that comes from the nightingale and the great alone and and all the things that we've talked about before. The right cover the right packaging the right months, you know, the right story at the right time. And, you know, this was a This was a scary book to bring out in the middle of a pandemic. Um, but it was all, you know, I turned it in before the pandemic hit, and I worried Who is going to want to read a book that talks about, you know, resilience in the face of such hardship? Um, but I guess I got lucky. So I think what we need in the world that's true. It's exactly what we needed at the right time. And I think sometimes that's the serendipity or even being a little present as an author, that you are you pick something. And when it arrives, the time is there. And speaking of that kind of courage of choosing a book, I have loved the way you've had the courage to really decide what your story you want to tell. And it's now genre specific. You just choose the story. You wanna tell Alaska the great alone. I tell you, that book haunts me to this day. It really does. And the World War Two books. And now you moved on into the Great Depression. And the fact that you never put yourself in the box is really like I said, courageous. It's also inspiring. How do you What does that kind of freedom feel like? You know what, uh, what do you think about when you say I can write about anything I want? And where is that going to take me? Honestly, Mary Alice Answer One is fear. Um, you know, because after a lot of years in genre and, um, and writing a book that I became very comfortable with, um, I knew what my readership was going to be. I had a good what? My reviews were going to be somewhere better somewhere worse. Um, but But I was comfortable in that space, right? And I knew what readers expected from the kind of books that I was writing, you know, predominantly the ending, but also the journey. And so when I sat down, you know, to to specifically say no more. Now the whole world is open to you, you know? Do you want to bring your fantasy element? Do you want to have an unhappy ending? Do you want to do time travel? You know, and and it's scary. You know, it's scary because you're standing at the edge of the cliff and life's pretty good and you're still going to jump. And, um so you know, it's I don't know. I mean, I'm very happy obviously that I did it. But every time it feels a little bit like reinventing the link Yeah, I would think so. Because you have to say, How am I going to tell this story? I remember you know, when I first when I left genre, uh, paperback romance when I left Paperback romance in 1990 Whatever. And I went to this really great and terrifying cause of an editor over at Random House and, you know, We worked on a book called On Mystic Lake, which was my My heart. I remember that. Yeah, really No. Look like that out there. Then you know, you can either be Danielle Steele and liberal Spencer or you could be an time. There was no room, you know, to be anything else. And I remember my editor saying, Kristen, if you write three books like this, you can write anything you want, you can go...

...anywhere. You. And at the fourth book, she said, Okay, just three more all you need more books like this. And then it was three more books like this and begets success. I just realized that that I simply had to say, I'm done. And I had to. I walked away from a publisher. I walked away from a contract. I walked away from everything to say. I'm going to try something, and, you know, we'll just see how it goes. So I took my dear little money, um, to to sort of reinvent myself. And that's Firefly Lane. Yeah. You know, you know, Kristen, Kristen and I have the same editor, and I, um, left a house I loved. And the editor I loved because it just felt like time. And I remember when I went, I told you the story. Kristen. I went to see this incredible editor that we share editor slash publisher Jann Underland, and I had my my agent was with me and they had put, um, Firefly Lane on the coffee table and Sally Richardson's office and my age, and Stewart looked at me and he pointed to that jacket and he said, That's what house that understands you and an editor understands not not not understands not what you've been doing, but what you could do the potential. It's amazing how how revolutionary that cover is now you know it. Within a year, there were 100 of them, all right? But it was like, Wow, So you're saying you can be romantic and and somewhat serious at the same time and that, you know, female relationships matter as much as a love story, and I'm pretty revolutionary back then. Yeah, you know, I figure have figured out I don't. Maybe you share this this concept, that if it doesn't terrify you, why are you doing it with writing? You said that last time you came on the show because I was thinking about writing something that terrified me, and I did so thanks. It might be bad, and if it is, it's on you. It's hard because the whole industry mean we're very lucky, Like Mary, Kay said. We have Jen Enderlin, who is, I think, unbelievable and embracing and and, um and thoughtful. But the whole industry is designed to sell books and women writing for women and especially kind of a genre field. I remember when editor said to me one time, you know, But you guys keep the lights on, and I understand that it's very important that these books come out and they come out with big numbers. And so when you say I choose not, I choose not to be certain that I will sell. You know, it's it scares them as much as it scares you. And yet we look around us, and it's very difficult for genre to really hit the big numbers without some kind of a breakout elements. Yeah, well, I think you I think you've kind of shown the way. Um, not just with this book, but the last two. But you know this book, it's so immersive I could taste for it. And the dust? Yeah. Thank a lot of water. Yeah, actually would talk about. I read somewhere that the photo that a photo kind of inspired you. And was that a Dorothea Lange? One of those, Dorothea Lange of Farm Secure Farm Security Administration Administration photos was that sort of the touch point for you. For four wins, there was a photo. There's a photo called The Woman of the High Plains, and I think I posted it on Instagram a while ago. Maybe that's what I saw. Yeah, yeah, and And it was impossible to look at this woman and not see, you know, everything I love in a story, you know, She she's scared. She's, you know, she's nervous, she's desperate, and yet she's standing tall. She's looking out towards some future, and I just knew looking at her that that she was a mother standing there, trying to figure out which direction do I go to save my Children and and you know, it's It's hard to do better than that. And I will...

...say I that that the reason these books are selling so well, like from Nightingale on is because I combine a genre sensibility with sort of deep emotion and a lot of research. And so the book feel books feel big and epic and sweeping and emotional and all those things. But they also even for their length they move. You know, I believe in a book that that you have to keep turning the pages. And, um, I think that's a That's an area that I really believe is opening up. Um, yeah, people love books that make them feel something. And that's what we were trained to do. Absolutely yes, Emotion is the key. So all right, So, Kristin, each week we choose an independent bookstore, and this week you chose was Wellesley in Boston. And I want you to tell us real quick why you chose it. Oh, you know, I looked around. There's so many. I mean, as you guys know, there are so many wonderful, wonderful, um, booksellers and Indies, and they need help right now. And so it was very, very difficult. But one of my best, um, book events ever was in Boston, and I just love these guys and I thought, Let's, you know, bring them into this great event. Well, thank you for doing that. That's awesome. Kristen, I assumed you tourism because I was born at the hospital. But you know that that wasn't it. I thought we were working on like a Christian H wave. Now you know that what she was supposed to feel left out roll any of us out with her love. But yeah, there's a great book store and they're offering us 10% off of all of our upcoming releases, including Patties Beautiful surviving Savannah out in a couple weeks and as well as Kristin Hannah's The Four Winds. Um, in case there's anyone in the country who hasn't bought it yet, but the discount code is F F 10, so you get 10% off at their website and the links are on our Facebook page. Um, so speaking of the four winds, here's what The New York Times said about it. It seems eerily prescient in 2021 with its Depression era tale of blighted land, xenophobia, fear of contagion and determination to join forces and rebuilt. Its message is galvanizing and hopeful. We are a nation of scrappy survivors. We've been in dire straits before We will be again. Hold your people close. Wow. I mean, yeah, that is I can't even first of all, I can't even imagine opening up The New York Times and seeing that, I mean, that's just so how awesome. Yeah, good for you, Kristin. But so, as you know, I I wrote to you and told you how much I loved the book. We all loved it so much. And I've been struck again and again this last year by the idea that historical fiction is so strangely relevant now more relevant than ever. So that idea of being almost led into the future by recalling the moments of the past and the things that those moments of the past have taught us? I know you said you turned this in before the pandemic began. But did you have any idea how resonant this book would be for today? Maybe not just, you know, pandemic related. But, you know, just it feels kind of like the moment or the book we needed for this moment in time, even even removing the pandemic from the situation. And in addition to that, do you think that readers are finding comfort in these stories from the past And why? Well, first of all, no, I'm really not that smart. I mean, obviously, I was interested in ideas, climate change, environmental disasters. Um, you know how we treat each other? Um, how we look upon each other. Those things were definitely what spoke to me. I did not. I did not foresee, you know, the pandemic. I didn't, you know, see that being or anything but I But I have two things to say about that One is that I think that we writers are like, like, open individuals. And we look around and we see what's happening in the world. We have an opinion on it, and the way we express our opinions is often through our work. And so you go back. You know, like when I was writing the Nightingale, it never occurred to me that that it would feel as relevant...

...as it did when it came out. And then I took on, you know, survival groups in Alaska and I and that became sort of relevant. And I think it's not so much, you know, that I'm that I see what's coming. It's that I see what is and then I look back in history for a time that has something to say about where we are right now. You know, that's the thing about history. What's past is prologue. Everything has happened before. And when you look at it like you look at, I mean Savannah, you look at there's a lot of books out right now, Jess Walter's this cold, cold millions. There's a lot of books that are dealing with the kind of disenfranchisement and fear that we feel right now. And I think it's because, you know, in the last 10 years this, um, this sense in America has been building, and we are responding to it in the way that that we do best, which is trying, trying to to, to say, like I think the thing that the one of the reasons the Four winds is so resonant with people is what it ultimately says is You can survive. We've been before. We have survived much worse than what we're going through right now, and we will survive again. And that's a message you think that that we almost always need to hear, especially now you're absolutely right, and your book is just such a beautiful reminder of that. And I love that idea of using the past to teach us lessons that resonate today. It's incredible. And you do really right about these very universal themes, whether it's in, you know, these past three books or even looking back toward the past. I actually remember when the Nightingale came out I came. My first book was getting ready to come out, and I came to Quail Ridge to your signing, and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm going to be doing this one day. Uh, and I remember you talking about Firefly Lane and how that was such a big break out for you. And I've been thinking about that a lot with the huge success of the show and how even though it's years later, you know, these these universal themes still are so resonant for us, and I think you know, especially with fire falling. But really, in all of your books, no friendship is a lifeline for us in real life, and it is in these stories, and you also write so beautifully about the family that we choose for ourselves and how important that is. Can you talk to us a little bit about those themes and your novels. You know, Let me just say first before I get onto themes and remind me because I will forget we are living in this moment that I don't know that I ever could have actually imagined 20 years ago or 25 years started. Um, this moment where women's stories are front and center. You know, this this surge of women's, uh, women's historical stories, you know, primarily. Um sorry, primarily so glad that was, you know, uh, how many girlfriends? Yeah, women primarily World War two. But But I hope that that that the Four Winds is one of those books that opens up all of history That reminds publishers and readers and everybody that that there's a lot of women's stories out there to tell and and we can move through a lot of, um, different times and and this is true, you know, we're seeing with Firefly Lane we're seeing on Netflix. We're seeing films like Bridger to you know, series like Bridger can come out and and change the landscape, and people are noticing that women buy books and women read and women watch series and and there are opportunities for us that I don't think we've ever had before And very writers out there, I'm sure, Yeah, I mean, it's it's just great. And then with regard to, you know, um, the universal themes, that is something that from the very beginning has been sort of the hallmark of what I do. You know what I'm trying to do always is to write a story about a specific woman or a specific relationship or a specific family, but I want it to feel like it's everyone you know. I want you to feel like that's your mother in law. That's your sister. Or it could be because I think that in our universal experience, um, we sort of share a level of emotion...

...that is just deeply powerful. And, um so, you know, I'm really pleased to see all of our stories mattering. I mean, look at how many of us are now hardcover. I mean, that just never would have happened 15 years ago. So I think that's showing how how much these stories are valued. Yes, that's such a good point for sure. So we're supposed to remind you about theme about What? Okay, okay. I'm kidding. Okay, So our lives our lives. As we've seen this year, our lives turn on a dime sometimes, you know, from outside forces, or sometimes when we change our own path on purpose. And in that extraordinary New York Times piece about you, you talked about how, when you were growing up in California, you never wanted to be a novelists. But then your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in your third year of law school, everything changed. And then also, when you decide to write the nightingale, everything changed. So I want to talk a little bit about those wise in the road. Sometimes they're from outside. Sometimes they're from inside choices, huh? That's an interesting thing. I never would have put sort of those two stories together, uh, in a single narrative. I think that I think that I was destined to be a writer, and I think my mother knew this in the way that we know our Children. I mean, you know, we just know them that well, we know what their strengths are, and and, you know, she definitely put me on that path and and I got to work the way I did in law school or undergrad or anything else. And it was about I was 10 years before I thought to myself, you know, I might have talented this. Maybe, you know, maybe this is more than just hard work. And and that was the moment when I started thinking to myself, Okay, if you know, you can do this. Now, you've written, like, 10 books, so you can write books. People like your books. Um, you need to find out what you can do. You need to find out how how good you can be. And and that was sort of that was the biggest change of all of them. Was trying to, um, to just get better with every single book. Yeah, I just There's always I just thought it was fascinating looking at the wise in all of our lives. And you had a big one at that point and then a big one at that point. And sometimes their from the outside, your mom getting sick, and sometimes they're internally driven. But then we take that y in the road instead of trying to keep going straight. I think it's fascinating because in my book, So I'm gonna pretend psychoanalyst so like, um, so we have reached the time where we get to hear from our community and they love to chime in. So Mary Kay. Yeah, well, So Stephanie Brown, of course, says I love all her books. She loved rereading Firefly. What a friendship and watching the Netflix series. And she said she's enjoying the fashions, and the flats would act. And and And this music, she wants to know What is your favorite song from that era? You know, whenever I think of the seventies, I think Goodbye, yellow brick road it. I wouldn't have thought that Was it the first time I ever You know, I walked down with my own money, bought the album, Probably listen to it. You know, I love that. And you got those boots to those giant. Actually, I have them now. Mary Kay. I couldn't afford the bend. I love Joe. It prove it up. And then what? But he also wants to know. Are you more like Tully or Kate from Firefly Lane? I'm a Kate. I'm okay. In fact, Tully is what has been was always one of the most difficult characters for me to write because she's outside the comfort zone. I don't know a lot of them. Um, and so she was always, you know, I was always thinking, Oh, don't go there. Don't go there, you know? Well, I have a question for Rhonda Parrot. She says I have been a fan for decades. I have to admit, after reading your books, I feel so emotionally drained. Probably a half a box of puffs. Plus used. So how do you feel after writing your books? I get this a lot. You know, everyone thinks that I'm Kathleen Turner from Romancing the Stone. You know, we're...

Kleenex flying in a cat next to the typewriter, and I'm stopping at the end of my books. Uh, it's actually not true. I'm I'm a very easy crier in life. I'm a very hard crier in my own books. I actually cried, um, while writing or in my own books two or three times and and I'm likely to feel that way is when the books are in what we call page proofs, so no longer change it. I can no longer fix it. And for the first time, I read it as a reader, as close as I can. And so there was a scene in Nightingale that made me cry. Obviously, there's a scene in Firefly Lane that makes me cry. It's pretty close to home. And, uh, those are the two biggies. Um, this one. This one has an ending that made me cry as well. That's too. There you go. Yeah. Mhm. So, uh, Patty, we're moving away from the live questions. Yes. I think we are going to have to move along. Or so Go ahead, Christians. Okay, Perfect. So, Kristin Hannah, other Kristen, um, one of our favorite parts of our weekly show is receiving a writing tip from our guests. So we might pretend it's for our viewers, but really, selfishly, it's for us, then poised and ready. Can you give us a rating tip? Gosh, you guys have probably gotten so many really great writing tips. I mean, you know, there's all they don't quit. Sit in the seat, don't get up, right? Your pages. You know, there's all that stuff, but let me say something that maybe somebody else hasn't said. Okay, that's what I do. If if if I'm sitting down like when I when I am writing like I'm sure you guys are. I am writing. There's no capital going. There's no bath salts. There's no soft lighting me in the mood to write the platform boots, right? Just You just have to You have to get it done. So what I do in one of those days when I can't think of what to write, like, I know where I have to be and I'm not there yet. And so there's this kills them in between where I am and where I need to be, and I can't quite figure out what to do. I just write description and bring each character onto the scene and see who says what. And Buddy says something that sparked something. The other tip that I have that has really helped me in the last few years. In both Nightingale and the Four Winds there's a prologue, and this prologue is designed to tell you sort of what this book is going to be, what the journey you're going on is and you don't know who's speaking. And as the novelist did not know who was a trying to figure out who said that. And when did they say it? And so it kept me. Um it kept me from that really comfortable with what I was doing. Now, that's something I've never heard before. I love that. Awesome. Thank you. Next year's books there will be five Prolong things. They're all going to have a prologue. That's awesome. Actually, we tend to hear versions of writing chips, and they're always fascinating, but I've never heard anything like that one. Yeah, that's amazing. Well, in addition to writing tips, our our viewers always love to hear, But our guest authors are reading. So do you have anything that you like to recommend for us? I do. Actually. I was going to hold up surviving Savannah. But you guys totally school my thunder here. Yeah, I quoted the book. I loved it, Patty, as you know, So I'm super excited about that, but I am also holding up Lisa Scottoline. You, uh, Lisa on the show having her were with her in three weeks. Uh, she is more fun than is legal. I'm telling you a great time and, uh, you know, this is another one of those books where she's really stepped out. I think of her comfort zone and, you know, is reinventing herself. And I always, um I just love...

...books like that. Yeah. Thank you. Can't wait to read it. Thank you. Yeah. And, you know, um, it's interesting, because for so long when you were reading historic fiction about World War Two, it was like, Okay, you're reading about the resistance in France or you're reading about wartime England. And now, at least this kind of flip the switch with this book in Italy. And I know, um, my our friend Jennifer Robson has also got a book, uh, set for time. Yeah, our darkest nights spent more time Italy. But I wanted to talk about the book that I have been listening to because Tana French, I'm going to do a podcast with Kristin, and I are going to do a podcast with Tana French next week. So I have been listening to because I've had these long drives and other stuff going on the searcher, and it's so, so good. It's so beautifully written. Uh, it's such a powerful poetic story, and I have to admit, this is my first book of hers, and it's a It's a one off. She does this great Dublin murder squad series that I'm going to read now, but wow. Wow. The searcher, Um and I love a good audiobook, so thanks. Definitely want to take that one. Yeah, and that is a beautiful cover. Honestly, when that book popped up like clouds. Okay, so we have a woman. I'm irish, So I was gonna say, Can't hardly can go wrong with something on the green aisles. Okay, so we have a few amazing things to tell you about, but stay with us because you don't want to miss our final question for Kristin Hannah. I'm going to ask everyone if you know about our podcast. So not only are our weekly shows available for you to listen to, but now we have extra interviews like we just talked about, So go check it out. And this week, Patty and Christian have an episode called Books About Books, and they're interviewing both Catherine Ray Ray of the printed letter bookshop and Janet. And I hope skeleton Charles is I hope I got the middle name right. Janet's gallstone Charles of the big best seller that we're all excited about the Paris Library. Yeah, And speaking of books, I would love to remind you about the bookstore. The Indian bookstore we're supporting this week are Independent Bookstore the week as well as the books locally owned independent bookstore in the Boston burbs. And, uh, they are known for their welcoming staff. And they're great Children's department. Unique selection of gifts for all ages. And, of course, tonight, not just tonight, but until we get tired of it or they get tired. But 10% with our books and of course, Christians with the code F F 10. And so, um and that includes Christians, four winds and fire via lane as well as our recent and upcoming books. So don't forget wealthy books. And I just wanted to say a big thank you again to our partners tonight. Um, Mama Geraldine's, who are the maker of the country's best selling cheese straw and my personal favorite, the pecans and many cookies and our partner Page one books were real true. Book lovers hand curates elections that they know you will love and put them in a subscription box. So it takes a little bit of the guesswork out of buying So, um, we always love it when you support our partners. And, uh, we love them. So thanks to them and thanks to you guys for supporting them so wholeheartedly. Absolutely. And we wanted to remind you also about our book club, the Friends and Fiction Official Book Club. So they're doing amazing things. They're growing so fast. We've got Lisa Harrison and Brenda Gartner at the helm this month. They're reading Mary. Alice is the book club, which is just the perfect book club pick. Right. Um, so you can take part in that You can chat about it with Mary Alice. They're going to be meeting with her in the middle of March, so you still have time to get the book and give it a read. So that's the friends and Fiction official book club on Facebook. And I also wanted to tell you before we get out of here, um, that on Sunday you're gonna have another opportunity to go behind the scenes of books with us. We have author Julia Kelly, who recently released The Last Garden in England. She's going to be coming on Sunday at five Eastern to talk to us about setting she lives in England. She writes about England, and she does it fabulously so. Join us Friday at five Eastern and Our Guests next week on Wednesday night, is hosted by Mary Kay Andrews, and it's the astounding Lisa Unger. And then the following week, I know I'm so...

...excited. And the following week, March 10th will be having an outright party for surviving Savannah's released Wait until you see what I haven't Kristin Hannah. You might just have to come back to the party way. You should see what I have in store for these ladies. They don't even know yet, But we are going on a journey. All right, Kristen Hannah out. One more thing we really want to talk to you about. You have said that you consciously put your characters through really terrible things, and in doing that, they find out who they really are. I just love that you put them through terrible things so they can find out who they really are, and I feel like reading them. Then we get to find out who we really are, too, and I remember a discussion you and I had back when we could travel and hug and see each other in the world where you told me that when you were writing the nightingale, you were watching breaking bad and it taught you something along these lines. So I want you to talk to everyone about that because I think it's fascinating. You know, it was one of those aha moments after writing 20 books or however many I had written, and, um and I was I was watching not only breaking bad but game of Thrones at the same time. Wow. And it was transformative to realize, like Wait a second, you can just keep upping the stakes. I mean, we all know that writing is about steaks. It's about conflict. We all know that. But I think I had gotten into a kind of a sensibility where the stakes were almost always emotional and what breaking bad taught me. And what game of Thrones taught me is no. They can be physical. It can be Oh, my gosh, the car crashed. You know, things that come out of left field and change the whole paradigm. And and I and in fact, a girlfriend of mine. Um, some of you know Jill Marie Landis uh, one of my besties. She read a very early draft of the Nightingale, and she gave it back to me and she said, Make it worse. We're watching to make it worse. And that's when I, like, brought in the second Nazi and and the whole end of the book changed. And so I'm constantly now thinking, Make it worse, make it be as difficult as it as it can possibly be so that people can get to the very heart of who they are. Wow, that's writing Tip number two. You know, when that school of it when you told me that it kind of shifted and you probably see it in surviving band like the perils, a constant peril, right? And this idea it did. When we talked about that, it shifted things for me. And what I think is great is not only does it, um, reveal who your characters are or who they can be or who they'll become. But when we're reading it, we get to say, What would I have done? Who would have I have become from them? I in that kind of subject. So, um, you also as a reader, start thinking to yourself. Where is this going? I mean, remember when the great at the end of the first season of game of Thrones, when they kill the hero I mean, to me, that was this moment where you're like, OK, all bets are off. Program will go anywhere. They will do anything. And you never get to sit back and think I know what's going to happen. And I think bringing that into fiction is huge. It is. And people like to not to be surprised and not to be able to predict what that ending is going to be. So the more you throw at them, the more they're they're glued. Right. Oh, Kristen, thank you so much for talking to us. I wish we had another hour. Someone I know. Thank you for talking party. If I can, we would love it. Thank you. This extraordinary month in your life and you came to talk to us. So thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for talking about changing your life. Thank you for talking about writing tips. Your incredible We've so loved having you. Thanks for coming to say I am, you know, so admiring of what you guys have done and how you hitched in in the in the pandemic to help other writers and to support independent bookstores. And, you know, I think a lot of people sat around and said, Boy, I sure would like to do that and I sure would like to help people. But you guys actually did. And, um, so could you. If I wasn't out of champagne, I would cheers you. But to be honest, Kristen,...

...it's been a blast. To be honest, Christian, we had so much time talking to the authors and your favorite. We're so glad you came. You are Thank you for being Thanks. Thank you. Congratulations. And we hope for some more number ones next week. I don't know. We don't know what three years? We're going to have to start creating some more number ones for Kristen, part of because life is just going to get a little bit Monday. There's really nowhere to go. No pressure, but thank you. All right, all right. Or stay put for our after show and click at Wellesley Books and grab the four winds. Preorder any of ours join friends and fiction on our Facebook page YouTube and parade dot com Facebook page Give our podcast to listen. And now with original new interviews. And don't forget, we're on instagram. Thank you so much for joining us. And that is a wrap. I am. Thank you for tuning in. Join us every week on Facebook or YouTube, where our live show airs every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Eastern time. And please subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Instagram. We're so glad you're here. Good night. Oh, my God. Let's bring her back here so we can just talk, You know, she's amazing, Lord. Okay, We ended at one hour and one minute I was like, Okay, good. Excellent host. It was so good. And, you know, it's It's Christian. Hannah. So you think we can go a few minutes long, right? Yeah, sure. People would have stayed to listen to her for another hour. Yeah, that's why she was here with us now. Yeah, we'll bring her back. We'll have. We'll bring her for the parties will bring her for the good stuff. I love how at the end she brought it around. Hey, Kathy, your Mary Kay, You're muted. I can hear it. I can see your lips moving path, Mary, her lips were moving. Okay, Go ahead, Christian. What do you think? I was just saying I love how she brought it around. In the end is something that kind of circle back to the four winds. That idea of finding out who you are in the greatest kinds of darkness. I mean, you know, she was talking about breaking bad and all. You know, all the bad things being thrown at you and upping the stakes. But really, what that is is plunging us as deeply into the darkness as we can go, because that is when you find out what you're made of. Um, and I love I love how that connects to the four winds. And I, like I really like how it connects to where we are today, in February of 2021. You know, if I'm, like, good enough with knowing who I am, Can we, like, go back to the light for what? I know. Ready? Let's follow that blue school where it was great today. Magic. I really was It was a beautiful, you know, I can remember when I was trying to start writing my first book and then on into that someone said to me and course I started out writing Mystery and they said, OK, what you need to do is to create, um, mhm, uh, conflict for your character. Have your character be chased by a bear and have the bear chase your character up a tree and then cut down the tree. I feel like that's kind of like what she's saying. I feel like that's kind of what, Like what she's saying. I think back to, uh, I think I have a clue about what she was talking about with With The Nightingale was like, How could I make anything any worse? We'll put a Nazi in the house, move a Nazi, a horny Nazi right there into the house and then see what happens. I remember one writer talking. I remember one writer talking about how doing one of the many we listen to. Her tip was, it was when you box a character or your hero in a corner, and they absolutely you can't let them sneak out. There is no way for them to go. That's when they make not just a choice, but they make a moral choice, and it's that morality that decides if they deserve to get with their heart's desire or not. And I think that's like the 12 punch of giving everything, throw it at them. But they have to reveal that they are deserving to win at that point, too. Kathy I Mary Kay. I just have to point out, though, that I spent an entire...

...year writing a novel about a forest. And never once did you tell me to cut down a tree. I'm just telling you, I I think you were holding that advice back for me. I literally could. Not a whole lot. You are so funny tonight. You're like, I'm, like, laughing like Ed McMahon back here. I was thinking, too, when Mary Kay was talking about how Lisa Scottoline E and Jennifer Robinson went to Italy. You went to Poland for you? Yeah, you flipped it up to in the World War Two and you know the other thing up Jonah off The woman in the Blue Star is also set in Poland. So I think it's wow and she's been writing about Poland for a while. I think she She lived there for a little while and, you know, she worked for, um, State department. Pam is a lawyer by training, and she worked with the State Department and she was sent to Poland to work on reparations World War as well. Uh, on the background, they're not. I'm old enough to remember back in the day when for historical it was England. Don't go to France, Don't go to Italy. Certainly. Don't go to Poland, stay in England and look at what's happening, though. Yeah. I mean, I don't want to brag, but I've gone from Peachtree blocks to Cape Carolina, so that was like, I've come from South Carolina. Went over a bridge. I mean, I'm a It was a big week, but you all were there for me the whole time. Yeah. Yeah. When I go in the mountains, it's like, Who is that even going to read the book? How did we went from, um, uh, England back to Savannah? Back to England? Yeah, I'm all over the place, but with surviving something back and forth across the pond. Yeah, but with surviving savannah, you're going to go back to see your descriptions of Savannah in this book are just magical. And they really are like, they just make it. I'm like, I mean, I've been to Savannah, but just seeing Savannah through your through your pin is absolutely And you know, the president, the present and the past not, you know, it's you get to see it kind of threw two different points of view, which is incredible, but amazing. Patty and I were down on River Street. What? Three weeks ago, Patty Mhm. And it was I mean, the book surviving Savannah starts out on a hot summer day. But we're standing. Yeah, we're standing on River Street, which was where the WARF would have been in the day and looking out at the river and the boats, the ships going out. And it was kind of like, Oh, my God, time time stood down a little bit there. That's awesome. It's like if you put Bell um, you know how you put Belem over those books where the past goes over the the president. What were you saying, Mary Alice. Sorry part for me, though. I mean, I read a couple of times, actually is we knew it was going to have an explosion. But it was I was nail biting. I mean, you knew what was coming. Then you switch time and I'm like, No, no, I don't want to treat the ankles. I'm not going to say anything else. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. It was cut the tree down. She cuts the tree down. Yeah, I didn't have to get the advice that a ship rocky, like all the trees are cut down forests is gone. You know, when I when they were on that clinging to that thing, I was like, Oh, my God, I'm so hot. I'm so Oh! Oh, okay. You guys are awesome. You guys are awesome. Okay. All right, I will. Sorry. I was just gonna say I had a book I wanted to recommend, and I didn't. But it, like, so, relates to what we're talking about. And it's nonfiction, which I know we don't normally do. But you probably saw this because I think it's like number one right now, but believe it by Jamie Curren Lima came out this week, and you want to talk about a woman who is like, real life story has been the bear chases you through the forest, and then you get up the tree and then they cut the tree down like that is her life. And she has built like this just one of the biggest cosmetic brands in the world and has been successful. But she's just an amazing person. She did all. She has been doing all these lives all week with, like, Tony Robbins and Chrissy Metz and all these people, and it's been really incredible. But her story is so great. And I just, um if there were just things that Christian was saying tonight about reinvention and what we all do, I'm getting and being in the darkness and kind of coming back...

...out of it, that really it was like a good thing to read right now, it just makes you feel sort of like, uplifted. And like I can't do this. You do that? That? Yeah. In my beginning of your book, Christie, there is a character who loses everything and starts a cosmetic company. Is it based on her? No, I didn't Even I didn't even know about her. Oh, my God. Kind of weird. You know, that is really strange, isn't it? Yes, serendipity again. There's that I had on you that happens. I think it happens so often. I was when Kristen was talking about the stories that kind of come to you. And I think his writers it's important for us to have our antenna out. Yeah, and sometimes, you know, I think your antenna just kind of quiver. And, um, I think we should I think, would be interesting for all of us to talk about a time when our antenna kind of went Oh, yeah. And I You know, I think we'll probably talk about that when we're talking about surviving Savannah and everybody else's book. But I'll tell you what time I would love for it just for like, one minute, because we're all starving. We've all been I was gonna say yes. What's the lightning round go? Um uh, an antenna moment. I you know, I love antique ng and I'm on all these websites and I saw on an auction site a portrait, a beautiful portrait of a woman who turned out to be a an Irish Paris. And her portrait was sold at auction in Atlanta. Mhm. And I got so intrigued with it and I I kept I sent it to Patty, and I sort of looked I sort of got sucked into it. And I thought, some at some point, I'm going to Ireland and I'm going to write about Hasan's this portrait and how, you know, over the years, it came to be in a house in Atlanta. Now, everybody else tell me your antenna moment. Mm. Go, Christy. Okay, I'm not allowed to say this, but I'll say it anyway. It's just the after show, and it's just us in, like, 1000 of our closest friends. So it's not that big a deal. Um, So when we evacuated for Hurricane Florence, we went to build more, and we were touring Biltmore State. And I went home, and I started reading about Edith Vanderbilt. Um, because they just don't say like a ton about her, you know, um, and there's not much written about her, and I started doing a little digging and I was like, Oh, my God, like she basically saved all of this like the estate and the family. And the reason that all of this is still here is because of her, and I was like someone should really write a story about her. Someone should. So that's all I'll say. I love that. Mysterious. Yeah. How about you, Mary? Alice? Yeah. Oh, you're needed. Mary. Alice? Yeah. Mhm. Nope. Still can't hear you. I can't hear you. What? You're trying to fix it, Kristen, tell us real quick and 10 a moment might have been, um, when I was researching the sweetness of forgetting and I had all these storylines and the final one that fell into place that made the book What it is, um is I just stumbled across in the research the story of the Grand Mosque of Paris and how Muslims and Christians had worked together to help save Jews. And it was this moment that fell into my lap and that shaped the whole story. Um, and it it felt like it had been delivered to me on a silver platter by fate. And all I had to do was accept that gift and then dig. And it became not just a core of that story, but a core of I feel like I've written in some way about religion and how, um, we're connected even if we're different religions. Since then And it kind of set me on that journey. So yeah, I'm chill. Bomb. What? You're on the unit, and I hope you can hear me now. Gosh, now we can hear you. Yeah, okay. I usually have a species, as you know, and I already have planned out. But I had gone up like Christie was. It was Hurricane Irma and I escaped the hurricane with my PTSD of hurricanes. And I went to this farm to to hide out while I was trying to work with rescue horses, which was the animal, and it wasn't working. You know, sometimes it...

...just isn't clicking. And while I was there, we were helping out all the There are 300 plus horses that had come from the south to the try an equestrian center to stay. And so we're mucking stalls and feeding horses. And we're just all these women hanging together in this house working together. And here we are one night and Laura Rombauer is Why was there She was She was there and the music was playing. We're all filthy, dirty. We're making a big pot of spaghetti and we're laughing. And I saw the mother and daughter and the new baby and the dogs barking. And I looked around and I thought, Wait a minute. This is the story right here. This is coming together to help people, and usually it's much more planned, but that I changed the book and that was the summer guests completely different. It was a nice moment. How about Patty? It's it's crazy. When did your antenna go up? You know, I think it's it's crazy. I think we can tell when we turn our antenna off because we feel like we're not getting any ideas. But I mean, I I gotta tell you, I mean, it was and we'll talk much more about this in two weeks. But one of the craziest things that happened to me when I was writing Surviving Savannah is that, um, I was trying to decide whose point of view to tell it from, and I was telling it from one woman's point of view, and the shipwreck hunters found her luggage tag. Oh, yes, it's the only luggage tag. Yeah, and it's the only luggage like they have to make that up. That's crazy. You cannot make that up. That's I think the heavens coming down and pulling that out. You're You're going the right way. All right. Y'all are amazing. Thank you for tonight. That was so good night. How do you degree? Have you went out there? Bye, guys. Bye. Thank you for tuning in. Join us every week on Facebook or YouTube, where our live show airs every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Eastern time. And please subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Instagram. We're so glad you're here. Yeah.

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