Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 2 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Kristina McMorris

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We are joined by show regular Kristina McMorris for a night of bookish talk, lots of laughs, and even a magic trick! Kristina joins us to discuss her brand-new book, just released this week, THE WAYS WE HIDE. The crew chat about the pressures of following up Kristina's hugely successful million-copy bestseller, SOLD ON A MONDAY, her extensive research process into the mechanics of the magic, illusion, and spycraft of her main character, and are even treated to custom-made dossiers for each of the Fab Four and a magic trick! Kristina also briefly touches on her forthcoming collaboration with Ariel Lawhon & Susan Meissner, WHEN WE HAD WINGS. We round out the night with a writing tip, book recommendation, and a tip for how to raise your kids to be readers. On the after show, Patti joins us live from the streets of the New Orleans French Quarter where she was visiting for an indepdenent booksellers conference.

Welcome to friends and fiction for New York Times bestselling authors endless stories. Novelists Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Patty Callahan Henry are four longtime friends with more than seventy published books between them. Together they host friends and fiction with author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing to highlight and support independent bookstores. They discussed the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hello, hello, my friends. It is Wednesday night and it is time for another episode of friends and fiction. We're really looking forward to tonight, so let's get started. I'm Kristin Harmel, I'm Kristy Woodson Harvey, I'm Mary Kay Andrews, and this is friends and fiction for New York Times bestselling authors endless stories, to support indie bookstores, authors and Librarians. And yes, we know you're probably counting three and wondering why we're saying for Patty is out tonight, Patty Callighan Henry. She is off celebrating independent booksellers in New Orleans with Ceba, the southern independent booksellers alliance, and you know that that's something that means a lot to us to support uh indie booksellers when and where we can. In fact, I'm actually going to Um the California independent booksellers alliance. I'm trying to go Ghaliba, whatever, whatever that stands for. This is this weekend. So Um, I think that means a lot to all of us. We do a lot with independent bookstores. So tonight we're gonna be talking with Christina mcmorris, who was actually one of the six authors on the initial call that led to the founding of friends and fiction in April of she was she was that are in joining us as one of the hosts at the time, but she was ultimately too busy with the book project she was working on. But guess what, that book is finally here. It's the ways we hide. It came out yesterday and we will be talking with her about it tonight. So she's like family to us and we're so glad to welcome her home. Also, up tonight I will be revealing the cover of my novel, the Paris daughter. I'm so excited. It's so pretty, guys, Oh my God, I can't wait to like get in real life. You know, let's talk about it a lot before anyone seen it. But speaking of the kind of booksellers, you know that we continue to encourage you to support independent booksellers when and where you came, and one way to do that is to visit our own friends and fiction bookshop dot org page, where you can find Christina's books and books by the four of us and our past guests at a discount. We also want to share something this week that's near and dear to our hearts and friends and fiction. You may remember, if you've been with us this year, that Mary Kay's daughter, Katie, a thirty nine year old mother of two, passed away suddenly in February due to complications from covid one of the beautiful things about Katie was how incredibly generous she was with her time, her heart and her resources when it came to helping organizations in our native Atlanta that supported people less for fortunate than she, and we were very moved to learn this week that one of those organizations, helping Mama's INC is honoring Katie's memory by renaming their safe sleep and ride program in the spirit of Katie's commitment to providing families in need with a helping hand. Helping Mama's launched launched the Katie tro check able safe sleep and ride program during National Child Passenger Safety Month and Um, we were just all really excited to get to be a part of that and we thought that you guys might want to be too, Um and in K A, if you do want to tell us a little bit about the program if you can. Yeah, yeah, I'm drinking wine, so I hopefully, uh, can be chill enough to do that without, you know, sobbing. You know, Katie believed in helping others and she had a special heart for Um families with not enough food, food insecurity. And of course, MOMS, always moms. So all of us, and we are all MOMS, we know that how vital car seats and packing plays are to providing a safe environment for kids. The problem is that both car seats and packing plays are expensive and they can be cost prohibitive to families living in poverty. Right here in Georgia where I live, under the age of three live below the poverty line and Jamie Lackey, the founder and CEO of helping Mama says that, other than diapers, there too,...

...most requested items are car seats in packing place. Since these items are so costly, helping Mama's usually has a few, if any, each week to distribute. Now, thanks to this program named in Katie's honor, you can purchase a pack and play and or a car seat through Goodler, which will be delivered directly to the helping Mama's warehouse here in Atlanta to be distributed to a local family and need, or you can make a monetary donation which they'll use to purchase supplies for families. I cannot think of a better way to honor Katie's memory. Yeah, it is Um really an amazing tribute to her and you know, I did want to let you guys know that earlier this week I found out in a in a scary way on my phone that if you click add all to Kart, you can actually fund the entire program with one click on Appul Fay. So was happy to donate. You don't think that every dollars in my actually generous of you, Christie, and not unexpected that you would do cars that check bounds, but it's American and yet was literally from day one. She was our original Sean, the one that got us online and kept US straight. Mature Mary Kay had her lipstick on and her hair figs, and we hope that you'll consider making a donation to this program because we literally would not have friends in fiction without her period. End of story. So there's an easy link right under announcements or featured on our facebook group page right now. And so, Um, we just encourage you to do that. It's just a really special program and it's super easy and, I'm nice way to really help MOMS and Honor Katie and R M K at the same time. So, yes, well, switching gear is just a little bit and our night of announcements and good news. Um, we are so excited to share one more special thing, which is, as we've teased, the cover for Christian's next novel, the first daughter, coming in Jee. I don't know how we can do a cover of deal without patty. I know, I know, we're just yes, like rolls, hit it, hit it very Kay. Are you ready? H Do you want to do it? You know, do you want to tell us about the book first? Oh, yeah, I guess I could just well okay, so here I'll say I'm just excited to share this cover. The designer who works yeah, so the designer who works on my covers at Simon and Schuster is she's just incredible. I've been so happy with her work on my last few books, but this one is just I don't know, this one just feels special to me. I were gonna show it to you in one second, but I love the Eiffel Tower in the background. I love the mother and the daughter. I love the vague sense of impending separation, the warplanes flying overhead. Okay, I think now, Mary Kay, we are ready for our drum roll read. Sean, can you show us the cover? So you guys? Oh, I know, me too, me too, and I'm excited to see it. I mean, I have the arc right now, like the advanced copies, but I'm excited to see the gold pop, like you know, in Junie it finally comes out. So the Paris daughter is the story of Elise and Juliette, who are two young mothers to be who meet and become dear friends in Paris just before World War Two begins. Juliette owns a little bookstore in the suburbs, while Elise is an artist whose famous artist husband is getting increasingly involved with an underground community movement. Things go terribly wrong and when elise must flee the Nazis, she also must make the wrenching decision to leave her daughter Matilde behind. She leaves her in the safest place she can imagine, with Juliette, whose own daughter, Lucy, is Matilde's best friend. But when a bomb falls on Juliette's bookstore, the store is reduced to rubble in an instant and not everyone lives. Meanwhile, Elise is in south central France helping on an escape line in the village of Oregnon, which you may remember from the Book of lost names. So the heroic priest from that book even makes a cameo appearance. So when the war is over at last, elise returns to Paris to reclaim her daughter, only to learn that Juliette survived, along with just one little girl. But which little girl? Juliette has vanished without a trace, and elise's desperate search for answers ultimately leads her to New York and Juliette one final fateful time.

So that's the story. It's coming in June and you can pick up the Paris daughter wherever books are sold. It just went live today, so I believe it might only be on Amazon, Barnes and noble and Indie bound right now. What other links should be up by Friday, and of course you can ask your local indie bookseller to order it for you. Were easiest of all, you can grab it as part of the friends and fiction three subscription box from our friends in booktown. We look at us, snazzy new graphic. Love it. Oh, Mary, you're you're muted, you're cuted, is what I said. Yeah, well, if you are, you're cuted too. Dramatic. Drum roll. It's set up my three dogs barking so so that we didn't have a symphony of center barking. Okay, now let's talk about our new friends and fiction first edition box. It is available now from the Indie Bookstore Book Town in Manasquand, New Jersey, and it features sign hardback first editions from all four of us in and a friends and fiction kitchen child that says dinner can wait. It's time for friends and fiction. You can order the friends and fiction first edition box right now at booktown dot com. That is booked town with an e at the end. And just to remind you, the first book, well, Christie's book, is first out of the shoot. Is that April? Christie? AP Okay, so you guys need to gear up and get your order in. That's right. All right, ladies. Shall we get to our friends Christina mcmorris Now? Let Yeah, all right, Mary Kay, you want to dive in with the I'm looking, I'm listening to typing. Christina mcmorris is a New York Times Wall Street Journal in USA Today Best Selling author of several novels, including bridge of scarlet leaves, the pieces we keep the edge of lost and sold on a Monday. Her novels have earned more than two dozen prestigious awards and nominations, including our ways Rita award, the impact Dublin Literary Award and a good reads choice award for best historical fiction. Her books have also been translated into multiple languages and appeared compilations by Reader's Digest Double Day, the literary guild and more. Christina graduated from Pepperdine University with a BS and international marketing, and she's also a frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter. She lives near Portland, Oregon. Is the problem of two teenage boys, one of whom just went off to college for the first time and, as I hear, is doing amazingly and already has a million friends and, of course, is studying nonstop. I am sure there's a long time and dear friends who all of us here at friends and fiction. Christina's new novel, the ways we hide, it was just released yesterday. We are so excited to celebrate with her today. Sean, can you bring Christina on? Hey, welcome, so good to be here with you. Ladies, we're so happy to see you. It's great to see you. Okay. So, Christina, we're so excited to have you to talk about this new book, which I know has been just years in the making. I mean, I remember talking about this book with you a couple of years ago, being so excited for it to come out, and it's finally here. So again, by telling us about what the ways behind is about. And, just in case you thought we would make it easy for you, because you're our friends, we all will also attack on this additional question that requires you to dig deep into your writer soul. What is the book really about. Okay, so let's see, let's do we'll do the the easier one first. Let's see. What is the book about? Um, in short, as you will know, because I'm we're sitting, I pooled down in San Diego before it had been right and telling you this whole book was going to be about and I just started and, Oh my goodness, who knew that the world was about to flip upside down? So, Um, in short, it is about a female illusionist who, in nineteen two, is the mastermind behind an escape show. And the reason she's so good at escape, as you also know, is because of a childhood trauma she survived in Michigan's copper country, and that is a story that I was stunned ever existed. I thought it's one of those nuggets of history, as you all know, that you come across and you think, how did I not know this before, like everybody should know this. So anyway, my story, in my story, my character Fenna, because of her skill set she has developed, because of being obsessed with escape, because of that trauma, she is recruited by a British military intelligence section called, in my nine, so you've all heard it, in my five and six right. We've all seen it. Impossible at this point, and in my not was the what I call the go, go gadget team of...

World War Two. So they invented escape and evade devices that they snuck into almost anything you could possibly think of, which we'll we'll talk about for sure. and Um, the actually the real historical figures, one in particular, who was the head of the Gadget Department. He helped inspire the character of q from James Bond film series. So you see how it all kind of comes to go. So my character, because of her work with in my nine, is pulled much deeper into the war than she ever expects. So there you go. That's kind of the the nutshell that Steven Spielberg would love to hear from me in an elevator, and that's gonna Happen. We were running into him on tour, for sure. You know, it's we were just saying, it's eighteen flights in like fourteen days. I if I don't run into like everybody right, just pull into like someone at least. Really Somebody's gonna be a friend with Steven Spielberg. So I think I'll just rattle it off off to everyone. They you know, good, it's good. Um, what is the book really really about? Deep into my writer's soul? Let's see here. You know, I think it is like, like I think all my books in a nutshell, with writing historical fiction, when you write about tough time periods that people were ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, with World War Two, with Great Depression, it's really about then, hope, finding hope at the end of a very dark time which I think parallel all of our lives, especially the last couple of years for lots of reasons, and and also survival. So those are the things that that I really kind of latched onto. And relationships and how those bonds pull you through some of those really hard times too. Yeah, it's amazing how those themes just resonate always in forever. You know you're writing this historical novel, but yet all those themes still resonate so much today. Okay, so, Christina, let's dive right in. We can't make it this easy on you. The whole time, your previous novel, saw on a Monday was an absolutely enormous bust seller, spending twenty weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List and selling more than one million copies. So now it's four years later, the ways we had is your first novel since then. So can you talk about thee where the idea for this book came from? Um, and I do. I remember talking about this and being like this is amazing, Um, and whether you felt a lot of pressure to follow up this massive hit? Well, I didn't until now. Sorry, just like, aren't you afraid you're going to fail? I mean, what do we get? Never you write a beautiful book and that's you could never fail, exactly. I love you so much. Okay. So, Um, let's see. Well, where the idea came from? Is that I was going through my idea folder and can oh gosh, because you know, because I'm always terrified I'm going to run out of ideas completely. I have no idea right next. I obsessed over one idea. I am not one of those fancy authors like, I'm sure, all of you that I love and equally because you have twenty ideas. Thank you, Mary Kay, thank you, thank you making me feel better. Um, that you can't go right next. No, that is never me. So I think about of ideas forever. And then I went through my idea my desperation, I should call my desperation folder, and I flipped through and I see this photograph that is about the Italian hall disaster and ironically it was the same from the same web page I had found the photo of the children being offered for sale. That inspired sold on a Monday. So it really was one of those terrible, you know, clickbait web links. That that I was grateful for. I found two photos. The second one I'd put in the file folder. It had to do with children. It's a tragedy, it is, and it haunted me and so I put it in the file folder, thinking this is way too sad for a novel, but I couldn't let it go, and I'll just touch on very briefly. Briefly that the Italian Hall disaster involved the Christmas Eve tragedy that where seventy three three people perished in the stampede from a false cry of fire. This is before that was made illegal for very good reasons, and vast majority of them were children and I thought, how did we not hear about this before? So that photo was in there. Right next to it was an article that talked about how monopoly helped win World War Two for the allies, and it was one of those fun fact articles that where they used the monopoly boards, which I have, by the way, hi, show and tell. Look about you came an opera board, so you can see how has the British pounds on it and Um, and the different avenues that are different. That are so cool. Um, they took this board and they look how thin it is, and it was even thinner during World War too, because...

...of resources, you know, in rationing, and they cut into the board and put two files, a compass and a silk map inside and would sneak those, you know, into POW camp. We try to help the allies escape. It's such a cool fun fact. You're like, how we all grew up with monopoly. How did we not hear about this before? It was kept classified until the mid eighties because it was so successful they thought they might have to use it against the Russians during the Cold War, and so only then was it declassified. And so there's this cool article and I thought it's a fun fact. That's so neat. But how does that make a whole novel and suddenly, like the movie weren'ting girl, remember? I just I love it really was. You know, were in Lincoln working girl. If people all seen that, it was like Trask radio, trask radio, you know. And suddenly you have an idea together and I realized that if my character survived the stampede, because they were there were a small number of people that survived, she would become obsessed with escape, she would need two ways out out of every room at all times. She would become obsessed with Houdini and because of this, in my nine turns out, they recruited and helped, you know, worked with illusionists and magicians because that skill set was so perfectly fitty. So that's how I knew. I suddenly had my story and about within fifteen minutes I had about two thirds of the novel in my head. Thank God. That is amazing, amazing, amazing. How about the pressure to follow up such a big hit? I mean, I know, I know, I know, we, we, we, we, we've now just just wanted to bring that up again in the screwis. Christina just turned my screw. I so thought I'd slipped out of that one. You noticed how I dressed that and came to a nope. Nope, your your character maybe an escape artist, but you were not. Or so we're just gonna spend the whole hour on this, aren't we just kidding? I I you know, I'm just curious because I think you know that it was such a huge hit and I know, Um, I know, each time I've taken a step forward in my career, Um, I feel instead of giving me confidence, it gives me fear. You know what I mean. I like, what if I can't repeat what I've done? Nine people are reading your book, like it doesn't really matter if it's good. God, when it's only family and friends, I feel obligated to by a copy. We're like, I can think friends, I'll just make more friends. Yeah, so, no, honestly, seriously, Um, I think that. I think it could be very, very daunting if I let it bother me, if I thought about it, but I just was not to. I think it. It felt like that was incredible and amazing and it's still so surreal. To sell a million copies is hard to wrap my mind around. Um, as you all know, a month before the book came out, I suddenly had like anxiety this one. I think this book is going to fail. So the fact that it sold more than a dozen copies. It's like really good. Um. But I think because of that I just you know what, there's so much, as we just definitely have been seen in all of our lives, especially the last few years. There's so much we can't control. Um, yeah, and bad and and I figure why worry about the things that I can't control? What I can do is do what I did with sole London Monday and every book before that, which is right the best book I possibly can. put it out into the world, do some fun promotion that I enjoy, like doing like doing this show that is just a treat, and go and meet people and talk about history, nuggets of history that everybody should know about, you know, and and I get to tell stories that otherwise might be forgotten by at least a number of people that I talked to and maybe never even learned about, and that's such an honor. And when I focus on that instead, the rest of it doesn't seem important. That is perfect answer, excellent. Okay, all right, now we were wanting you to say, you know, we had to hand it to you on US liver platter. Christina. Thanks, thanks for getting there. No, I'm just kidding that that is is it's a great answer. Um, so, Christina, we are usually the ones who pull off surprises for our guests, like our dress up games with Karen slaughter or surprising Sally Hepworth when it with an appearance by Emily Giffon. But tonight, much like your heroine Fenna might do, you have turned the tables. You've brought a surprise for us. So we momentarily, with a little bit of hesitation and the reins, over to you. Yeah, absolutely, yeah, yeah, you should. Um, yeah, so I send things all out. Meg knows about a little of it. She had tiny bit of input. That you'll find out too. Secret. It's always been secret on the off side of package you, because you know that doesn't advertise to anyone that it stops secret. Really not spy. I think you are really, really classified. You don't write classified on the outside and putting I'm surprised a porch pirate didn't take my I'm just saying. I'm just saying. And so, yeah,...

...maybe I should put like hazardous, dangerous. Do I have to tell you? Like this was really hard for me, like it came in a texted Christina, and I was like this is just awful, like why would you do this? Do to be open to on air? And but she said like two weeks ago, like it's no, I got it yesterday. I mean remember what I told you in my text. She told me if it whimpered, not to worry. You know, the pressure for me was, well, I find it the night of the show, or exactly. Well, get somewhere and forget where. I statched more spie than I am. If you forget with the top secret, give me a terrible spot, just so you know. Let us open it already come to. Okay, open your packages. Okay, so I'm heard. Well, I would know what a good bybe will be. Good Point. So it seems like you're don't need help spies. Oh God. Okay, first you have to show. Oh, you're all from different things. Okay, show the Little Bay. Let's let's coordinate. Okay. So first you get your you get that has your name and your code name on there. That's the best of I love it. Awesome. Okay, so put those on presents. Obviously, mystica, Essica. Obviously no one will ever guess. And so when? When? Patty pathy the first too. I'm lazy. N See, we have a little notebook now you your secret messages. So open up your little notepad onto the first page, and then you've got a little black light on the end of your invisible pin marker, and then turn on the lab show them what they said. Oh my gosh, she wrote a secret messages. I don't know if you did. Okay, says you can mine. Says Hi, mystica. Much love, Christina, really, really you love this. Oh my God, secret. Okay, what else you have? You've got something else in there, mine mind. So fine. Much love, Christina, a very top secret message. Okay, you got your glasses. You can wear her or at night, because that's suspicious at all. And the reason why you wear these because you can see behind you. Oh my Gosh, oh my God, you can. Okay, Christine, spies and the mom this you go. I can see what you're doing. I can see what you're doing behind me. I'm mack in my hat, only I've had these and my kids were teenagers. Okay, and then, of course, all spice me. Also need to eat the Dutch cookie that I love. Oh my goodness, they look like windmill, really hungry. They're yummy and in the back of my novel actually are Dutch recipes and the kind of things. So this made me think of that and there you go. Awesome, Christina. Thank you. How much fun. We're fun. And my favorite is the top secret pad that you have to put this special lights. Yes, Oh my God, that is so funny. I cannot wait. I'm going to put that in will's lunchbox tomorrow with a note that he asked. I love it. I love those. It doesn't matter how old you are, you get an invisible pin, and I realized it's like Disneyland, like how how sophisticated you think you are you walk into Disneyland, or for me, or you get the triple pin. You are five year old. I'm sitting here. D Yes, you get cookies and you have to eat them on air your year. You want to stand so good, right, I'm going to help myself, Christina. Thank you. I got to not eat these cookies. All right. So I know tomorrow I'm giving this to my um eleven year old grandson and maybe hope think I'm cool. Probably not. Okay. Now, the scenes of Fenna, your protagonists and action are so realistic. Would you talk us through the research you did to get both the magic and the tricky things she created for the allies. Just right. Yeah, absolutely, oh goodness. So with Fenna it was a lot of reading. Of course, stop watching documentaries and when it comes to illusion and magic, so there are two kind of different things. She is an illusionist, she's an escapologist. So there's that part of her life and then there's in my nine at the gadget tree and all of that. So there there...

...was so much research in this book it was crazy. Um. So I will show you a few of the cool gadgets as well and then I'll talk about the magic too. So here are some real things from like but they used within my nine and World War Two. So here is a silk map from World War Two. That's Um, the reason why, of course, it's printed on silk. Was Ingenious. It's super thin. So that's why they could fit into a lot of things. You could sew it into tunics of the airman's uniforms if, in case they were downed and occupied territory. Um, really importantly, you know when you Um crinkled it, it doesn't rustle. So if you are fighting in the forest, who like forest of vanishing stars? If you have then Um does. It helps not give you away. And it was stands the weather, whether it's rain or dropped in a puddle, etcetera. So super, super cool. And that was put in the monopoly boards. Um, there were things that a magician named Jasper mescal lane actually created this for in my nine and in my five and six. Um, this is just regular playing cards. So this is a replica. I Want Bragg to have the real thing. The only depth that supposedly still exists, that's known, is in the national spy museum in washing in D c. So you take this, you magic video, we soak it for two minutes and like what happens? Here's the card and it splits apart and now you have a map. That's that. You lay out with fifty two cards. That's now doubled and you have a map of the whole area, which is super cool. Okay, here's an I'll tell you one more. Okay, so I'm such a Oh my God, in such a World War Two geek with all this stuff so great, so much so. Here is typical pocket watch to use for an airman, and you take out the crown and so I'll pull that out and you turn it over and and I'll use my nail to open it now. Here's what's so cool. Okay, so the watch is now opened. It's not a working watch. In stead, this is from World War Two. It's just so cool. This is a compass that floats and now you can help try to find your way to a safe zone. So stuff is so fun. As far as her in my nine studies, that a lot of it came from that, and I also worked with an in my nine historian that wrote a whole book called in my nine, so that was really helpful. And then, as far as the magic goes, I read a lot of Houdini books and his magic tricks that he put on, that he revealed, and also had two or three professional magicians that read through all those sections in the book to make sure that that I got them correct, because I even created a couple of my own tricks. So and I went I think, I think this escape could work, you know, and they read it said yeah, that could work. I'm like, so if writing GIG doesn't work out, you know, I'm so going on. That would be great. Can I be your assistant? Only if you bring that Martini. Yeah, totally, you can totally come. All right, skills, magician's assistant, our teena makers, a good, good girl to have the road before the show. Yeah, if I had juice slide of hand would be really tragic. uncoordinated. I can't even open a packet of splendor. Okay, it's not it's not personal, but you cannot be my assistant. Can Not be your assistant. But here is one thing, Um, that I'm interested in. Uh, and it's totally kind of off the subject, but that idea file. Yeah, what else is in there? Oh, do you want to pay me for it? What's it worth? What's it we're too Mary Kay, that's a great thing about writers because we all I think we all have different strokes for different folks. The idea that you have, I'm like, go, Oh my God, that's amazing. But how would I write that? And the idea that I might have, have I if I had an idea file? You might say that's that's absurd. I don't know. Actually, most of the things that I see that I think that would be a really good book, but I have no idea how I would write that. I like send to one of you. I send you a lot of those, Harry Kay, like it'll be some like great like twisty or like unsolved mystery, and I'm like or like just some random report and I'm like that is clearly not what actually happened. When I said it to her, I'm like, this should be a book. Can you this did not happen. So what did happen? I like that. I like that. You know, Christina, one of the things I thought when I was reading this book is about the idea.

At least for me, I always find myself sort of inadvertently, Um, Oh my God, I just have to read this comment from Kathy Baker. Christie can make the Martini disappear. That's her. That's her magic power. That's what it says. You totally understand my level of magic plowess. Thank you. I feel really seen right now. What do you see here with a bottle of that? That's a track. She can to Martine's disappear and then she de Materializes. She becomes invisible in her own mind. It would only take to that's awesome. And Robin Shelley is saying, M K A, you'd be a great sky spy if you're so uncoordinated. No one would suspect a solid point. Robably, like there is no way anybody would trust her with any secrets. They would never know. She's just an idiot wandering around. All right. So, so, Christina, when I was when I was wondering, you know, I was thinking, when I um, when I'm working on a book, I often find myself exploring something that that I that I need to explore, or that kind of becomes a piece of me, if that makes sense. Like you know, I think we sometimes inadvertently find ourselves writing things, Um, we need to dig into in our personal lives. Did Writing About Fenna finding her strength change you or influence your life at all? I mean, you've spent so much time with her over the last couple of years. Right, Um, it's a good question. I you know, I don't know how to separate that out really. Um, of how much, I guess I influenced her or she influenced me. That sounds that sounds like I need therapy. For sure. Christie can provide that too, after she drinks the MARTINIS. She's for all of your needs. It's it's good right. Imaginary friend insisted I do that, but I will say that I think that there is a parallel, for sure. I don't know how we separate it completely right. I mean that our character. I'll have a little piece of us in them. And and I think for the last the two years I was writing the book, there were, as as you ladies know, there were a lot of things I was going through behind the scenes. So Um, that I'm really happy to be on the other side of at the moment, knock on wood. Um. So there was, you know, major family transitions. There was a health scare that lasted five months, that ended with a surgery that that everything went great, thankfully, and there were, you know, helping my helping my oldest get into college, teaching two kids how to drive simultane enviously, I don't wish that on anyone. If that doesn't make me stronger, I don't know what. I won't have been tough. But you teach two boys how to drive? Um, yeah, you know, I think that going through again hardships and and and learning from them and realizing that you know that you have to just keep getting up in the morning and and and doing what you need to do. I think that that that I'm sure that came through with my character, even even subconsciously. That makes sense. Thinks so too. Um. Well, we know that you'll be back in October. We can't. We're already so excited, Um, to talk about the World War Two novel you collaborated on with Ariel Latton and, Um, Susan Meisner, who we love, and we love both of them. That sounded like. Man, we love Susan, who we love, is and both of them collective. Um, we won't go too deep into that book now, since you'll be telling us about it next month, but can you give us like a quick elevator pitch for when we had wings, and then we'll tell us that first and then I have something else. Okay, sounds good. Um, yeah, and and a little reminder. I think I told Christen the other day, I brought cards with me, by the way, ladies, Um, just in case you wanted me to pull out a magic trick that I haven't obvious. Okay, we'll do that. Okay, high school either. So it should be super I could possibly go wrong? I don't know nothing. What systetain things. It's gonna be Great. Okay, here is about let's see a little bit about the other book. Yes, so when we had wings. Oh, I'm super proud of this book for very different reasons. This one also wrote during that same time period and wrote with two good friends. So the fact that harpercollins asked the three of us to work together, you know, just like you guys doing the show, you want us to work...

...together and played. That sounds good. That sounds like a good day at work. Um and we got to choose what we wanted to write about and we chose, uh to write a story about the women that were called the angels of baton. I had never heard about that before until Susan came across the documentary. They were the nurses who served in Manila and the Philippines during World War Two. So the three of them, a U S Army, U s navy and a Philippino nurse all become very close friends right before the Japanese imperial forces attacked and invaded the Philippines and completely, of course, up in their lives, among other people's. What these women went through is remarkable. The fact we hadn't really heard of them is crazy. So they not only of course survived themselves, all of them, they are about eighty of them. Somehow they all survived the Japanese occupation, which they were some of the first female powts of World War Two and they went through every jungle tropical disease you can think of, you know, some malaria, Berry, Berry, all of that, were and kept everybody else alive around the rest of their abilities with no resources at the time. Three years they went through this. So because of that, it's called when we had wings and we are very excited to share it with you. Just incredible, Um, and so I'm so just daunting to me, I just I can't wrap my mind around how you do that. So what is it like to work so closely? I mean, I know you're really good friends with, you know, both of these other authorsppos it like to work so closely with two other authors when you're accustomed to writing alone? Yeah, well, this is one of the things where we go. Well, we used to be friends, right like those. I mean, you know, I'm so kidding. I love them even more now, which tells you how we weren't together. Um, and you know it's we joke about writing together. It is probably like you know, it's like friends you travel with. You know, you may love someone, but you can't always travel with everybody. Like more before the trip in in this case, you kind of find out, you know, how you worn't with other people writing, not just an anthology. I've done before where we kind of interwoke some characters in Grand Central, but it wasn't a novel. That is has so much more to it, as you guys know. So to have our characters come together and split apart and throughout the story and be outlining and writing in different at different times. So each one of us wrote our section at a different time whenever our scale. So it really was kind of here's our outline, and then not all of that got followed because as you're writing you realize it changes. So imagine when you when you I'm the third person. When I got it I thought, okay, how do I write my story around those and hopefully make it all coputive, and how do I have a cliffhanger that is not answered by my character for an eight month gap? And so you know, it was a challenge and when I figured out the solutions I was so excited and I'm like, oh my gosh, this could work. So it was a new new skill set. That was really good and we had fun and we still love each other and we're going to tour together to which is fun. That's awesome. The best reason to do it. Yes, exactly, keeps asking us to write a novel with her pressure, pressure, pressure from Mary Kay. I know. All right, Christina, we would love to see that magic trick if you were up for showing it to us. So, Oh, I would love to, because you know, if you guys are suspensiful, it doesn't beat my suspense. Is gonna work. What other show would I do? is on only with you guys, with you guys. It's only the four of us and nobody else is watching. Just no one. Don't worry about it. Cards, a real card deck. And actually I pulled this out because do you see these? It's a commemorative Matt Map deck from then that celebrates that they used to put maps inside the car, because I was like, someone pull off about this car. We go see. Isn't that cool? There's like a mask behind them, so it's pretty neat. Okay, all right, magical, okay, let you go. Okay, okay, you're gonna, okay, you're gonna pick a car. Tell me when to stop. Stop. Okay, okay, I'm glad you guys are all timed. Well, okay, really seriously, not looking. Okay, there you go. You see it. Yeah, well, you can. Okay, I can't tell where the camera is, so strew enough to help me? Yes, yes, okay, here we go. So let me get the deck back together. Okay, here we go. I'm putting you here. I did not see it. Do you see that? I did not. Okay, all right, here we go. Now, I'm not I'm gonna, I'M gonna Shuffle. Look at this, do you see? See this shuffling? It's really expert looking, shockling. You know, I'll do that. I'll...

...do that part. Oh, are you ready? Okay, focused on your card, because I can't do this unless you send it to me telepathically. Okay, here we go. I'm not feeling it. I'm not feeling it. Okay, hold time. Okay, I'm full of suspense. Wait, wait, wait, is that it? Yes, I love it, and that was a friends and fiction first. We've never had card, never, never had friends and fiction before. When I go on the road, I'm gonna have to Tame my excitement a little bit at the end, like I'm gonna Act Not surprised that it worked, to be like, obviously, this is what I do. To be like, yes, I knew, I knew what your card was. The whole time. Well, I'll help you. Will work on that in them. I mean I'll assume we'll have some kind of like cool trailer or something that we get to pull around with us. Yeah, teens about that? Very true. All right, Christina, we love to ask our guests for a writing tip. If you'd like to sub it a magic tip, we're open to that also, but we will accept a writing tip if that's where you are. Okay. Well, magic tip is, Um is. Don't act super surprised when it worked. Solid tip, trick, uh, writing tips, goodness, I would say my writing tip biggest thing is because it's such a job. At home, as you all know, there is there are million other distractions that could pull you away and, especially when the writing is hard, that everything else looks more fun. So having that schedule, that discipline of sitting down and treating it like a real job, even if you are not on deadline, um and write. You write a page a day and hypothetically, in a year you have a book. So that's that's one of the ones. and to write, you know, one of the big ones too. I would say that I was thinking about recently when somebody asked you know how so what was the first book like? How did you get an agent? And as if it seems so simple, and I said, Um, a stack of fifty rejections, and and so, and a lot of them being towards the end, anyway the less. The second half of those was World War Two. Fiction will never sell unless it is or thriller. No market. And I'm like, well, that would have been helpful three ago. So I'm glad I didn't know. I'm glad I was blissfully of the market, or I might have said, you know, why I put on all this time for a book that will never sell? And really I thought, if it, if it doesn't sell, I'll make copies at kink goes, I'll give it to the kids and grandkids, I'll spiral bind, it'll be so fancy Um and I'm really glad I didn't know. And the thing is, I think that advice still holds up, which is don't try to write toward a trend. If you're a writer, write what you love, write what you're passionate about, ignore the rest. And I think there's I think there's an element of just being aware, but I think that it's something that's just tugging at you. You should write it and you should write what you want to read. Yeah, absolutely, it's it's also a really good reminder of how quickly the market can change. You know what I mean? Just the fact that that you would get that kind of feedback about World War Two. I mean, who's who is reading World War Two books? She would be crazy enough to write now. I mean it's basically a failed genre, if you ask what I'm saying. Yeah, absolutely sure, and I will say that. You know, we were talking just the other day about like, what are my last favorite reads and all this and and that's my next question. Okay, why have you read lately that you're loving? What were you saying, Christie? Oh, good question, good question. Um, this is honest. You can still read my mind, even after the card trick. It's like, okay, I thought maybe I could make it stick. Okay, there you go. Um, I'm super, superhuman. So, okay, the last book I read that I this is, I'm not even lying about this, Um, that I read and loved that is still on my nightstand is the wedding veil. Oh, you rd me the most beautiful bleurb that I shared everywhere, ob noxiously, all over and we'll continue to do so. I love all your books and it's you know, it's as we you. I know you guys feel the same, as far as you hope. You know, you want to love all your friends books and and it's like your...

...children. You love them at different levels, right, right, you love them all. But, oh my gosh, isn't it the coolest thing ever when you read a friend's book, and as I feel about all of you, and you read it and you just go and you forget that they're your friends because as you're reading it, because you're enjoying it so much, you have to remind yourself that you actually know the author and you're you're just pulled into another world and I just love that. So I love all books. And Yeah, that was my last favorite read. Thank you. What a perfect a clip out please. By the way, Christie, thanks for the check. I really appreciate it. Well, I'll earn it back when we're on the road. Don't worry. All right, Christina, if you would not mind sticking around for a few more minutes, we have one more question for you, but first a few reminders of us. Now, just a quick reminder about our writer's block podcast. We always post links under announcements each time a new one drops. A new episode launches each Friday. On the most recent episode, Ron and Patty talked to chef TV host and founder of Callie's Hot Little Biscuit Carrie Morris, Carrie Morey, about her cookbook hot little suppers, and this week Ron and Christie will talk to Brenda Novak about her latest novel, summer on the island, which was released earlier this year. That was a great conversation. And don't forget to join us over on the fable APP, where we read one book book per month and it's always a book we featured on the show. So if you want to dig a little deeper and engage in a discussion with us and with the other friends of Fiction Club members, make sure to download the fable APP and search for friends and fiction behind the book club. Fable is offering a free fourteen day trial right now, so you can join us as we chat about Tamarin halls as the wicked watch, and you can learn more at Fable Dot Co. Backslash for ends and fiction, and make sure also, since we're giving you a list of things to do, we connect online with our very own friends and fiction official book club with Brendan Lisa, which is now more than fourteen thousands strong. This month they're reading the lost book of Eleanor dare by Kimberly Brock. They'll be discussing it live with Kimberly on September nineteen at seven PM Eastern. We also read Montor remand you that now that we're in September with a brand new reading challenge for you, our friend and Essa Armstrong is leading the way and this month we're encouraging you to read a book that's a retelling of a myth or a classic. There's a lot of chatter on our facebook page about the books are members are deciding to read and which ones we're designed to read, so you can hop over there to look for some great suggestions. We have a lot of announcements tonight. We have a lot going on. Ye speaking of great suggestions for books, Mary Camdge and earlier in the show that all four of us, Um Patty, who's not here. Well, Hey Christina, UM, have books coming out in three so we've decided that we will be doing at least four friends and fiction live events, one during each of our book tours. So stay tuned for news about these four events so you can mark your calendars and make your travel plans to join us as we take our show on the road in April, May, June and again in the fall. We had a great time touring this year and Um Meg and her husband even designed us an awesome tour poster, which we all autographed we were in New Jersey for an event. Um and if you missed picking up one of these posters live, you can grab one now from our friends an independent bookstore, Oxford Exchange, in Tampa. They also have all of our other friends and fiction swag like t shirts and insulated mugs, and are awesome reading journals. So GO CHECK IT OUT AT OXFORD EXCHANGE DOT COM. All right, Christina, we always like to ask our author guests what the values around reading and writing were when they were growing up, but I think you've answered that question before with us, so I would love to ask you this instead. What kind of values did you create around reading and writing for your own boys, who are teenagers now, and what advice do you have for parents and grandparents out there who want to instill a love of reading early? Oh I love that. So, Tristan my oldest who is the one who was just off the college now um and doing nothing but studying and talking to no one and making no friends. No, he's doing so great. That makes it easier. It makes it easier on the mom heart right when when you know they're doing well. So I will say that amazing journey from here now, tracing back to when he struggled with reading and writing, and it was because the writing he um was terrified of not being perfect. So it was kind of getting over that, that fear of of uh, of making mistakes, and also when it came to the reading, which went hand in hand with reading, the sight words. Do you guys remember those? The...

...flat words, please, the hundred flash cards every night for a summer and half of them it was like you never saw them before. I mean it was just over and over and we were both in tears sometimes over it. Andy, it's finally clicked. But I will say this as far as what led them to the love of reading was as he struggled through that and started starting to enjoy reading, or at least getting it, I should say, not enjoy. I had heard that the book holes that I hadn't read yet at the time was fantastic. So he started to read holes and I said tell you what, if you read this book, I know it's a movie, and if you finish it, we will make a family movie night. We'll have hot COCO and and we'll wear ugly socks, because that's our thing, I don't know why, and make popcorn and we will watch it and you will tell us what's different than the book and like a director Promis Ary. And he got very excited about this idea. So that is one of the ones I passed along to friends and he said, okay, he goes, that sounds fun. So he started to read it and I remember he came to me and said, I have no idea how this is happening, mom I'm reading the words and I can see it in my head. He was a word. He said, I didn't know that was possible. Oh my gosh, she's like, it's like magic. So from there we did the lightning thief and you know, we just kind of went from book to book. That turned into movies and that became our thing and it was such a nice goal at the end to set for them. And and now he reads more than all of us combined. So Oh I love that. That's such a great story, Christina. Thank you for sharing that with us. All, right, before we before we let you go for the evening, where can our viewers find you online and on the road for you for the next couple of weeks year book to our on the road. Wherever can't we find you? Actually, you know so right, my website kind of has everything. So in it even has the gadgets, like videos on there that demonstrate more of them. But I own of Super Fun and all of my events, so it has a lot of events in September and October and it's fifteen states and I can't wait to see everybody. So that'll be fun. So website and then also on social media, so facebook and Instagram I'm on the most and I've posted some things there that are fun and also toured it. So I hope you find me. That is awesome. Well, Christina, thank you so much for spending time with US tonight. It was such a pleasure hanging out with you, Um and this was such a one of a kind show. I mean just to see all the cool things you have to to get our to receive our eyes in the back of our heads, spye glasses are cookies, all of it. It was just but most of all, Christina, just a pleasure to hang out with you, to care about your book, and I'm so excited for our viewers out there too, to get to pick up your own copy too. We love you. Look like that soon. That's a bad spy. Oh my gosh, this is the loudest cookie accessing in the history of many. It doesn't even matter. The Silk Map totally wasted on Christie, because you give her cookies and everybody knows where she is. Don't give me cookies. I mean, this is not my fault. All right, Christina, thank you so much having a great time on touring. Congratulations on this great book. Thank you, Ma see you guys soon. All right, everyone out there, you can find all of our back episodes on Youtube. We're live there every week, just like we are on facebook, and if you subscribe you won't miss a thing. Be Sure to come back right here next week when we welcome Sarah Addison Allen and Laura Kay Denton, and stick around for our after show because Patty's coming back. Patty's gonna be with us for a couple of minutes, so we'll see you after the credits. H Hey, patty, US miss you so much. We miss you tonight to tell us about what you've been doing. You're often you're in New Orleans, on the streets of New Orleans. Yeah, I mean, you know how cool I am. I'm walking down the streets of New Orleans wearing a name tag that is it as cool? Is it as cool as this name tag that says secret agent, because there's you know, it just says Patty Callahan Henry the secret. Well, it is, because it says the secret book of Floral Lee on it. Yo. And know that we started this for indie booksellers and I know how important they are to us, but sometimes I can sort of forget until you meet with an entire room full of them and how they made it through covid how they survived, how they've banded together, what think has done one for them,...

...you know, for booksellers who you know had problems or got sick. It's such an incredible group UH bookstore owners and they're like a tribe and they love all of you and they asked about all of you and they all know about the show and they're all like who's on the show next, and when can all four of you come visit? And Yeah, so I missed you all A lot. Little have I missed it? Yeah, we are like, goddy. Where you going to dinner? I don't know. I'm kind of looking around to try and decide. I don't know. The first thing I've passed that looks good and not the candy shop, because that's what I just passed. Somewhere that has like some Gumbo. Maybe this for dinner? What is it? GELATO? Well, I'm eating cookies that Christina sent us. So I got it. Well, I can't wait to get home and find my secret agent. I bet it was so great tonight. Was it so great? So much? What kind of real secret agent actually wears a secret agent name badge? It says I'm a secret agent, and there's what name did you all get? What name did you get on your secret agent thing? Mine says MTICA. What is yours? Say, Christie Wheezy, Hey, when I get this jacket about stress, I have a drop cloth. It looks like that, like the dress. Yeah, you know, I think with these badges, Um, it's like the double misdirect, Cathy. I mean it says so nobody would really think you're a secret agent, because what secret agent would be dumb enough to wear a badge? That's exactly right. There are a lot of reasons that I can have be a secret agent. Um One of them was going on while we were on the show. I was frantically texted, like typing to them. I can't hear. Like you're gonna have to take my next question because the dog came in the room and we've had some trauma with the dog eating something he wasn't supposed to eat this week. He comes in the room, there's a magazine on the floor that is wrapped in plastic. He proceeds to get the plastic off and in his mouth. So I text will his downstairs when you've got to come and get the dog and get this thing out of his mouth. So will comes running up because his hair content and I can't figure out how to get them. So secret agent is not gonna go well. Oh my God, at least you got it out of his mouth before he ate it, because I'm very concerned about salt. I'M gonna get it by a car. I'm very concerned about salt. I know he's doing well now, but he's arrest Patty my my tidy neighbor has a trailing shop called southern candy makers in the French quarter and I can tell you from experience how good those are. So I'm just I'm gonna go find him. And in Patty, we have a facebook comment from a viewer named Julie Saying, Um, there's a place called the Gumbo shop in the quarter. It's it's a Julie Body. She says to eat at the Gumbo shop in the quarter. Okay, I'M gonna hang up on y all and put it in my maps and go find it. All right. Miss you so much, Bi. Hi. All right, ladies, that was such a fun night. We got magic, we got the little gifts, we got awesome World War Two props and, you know, we get to see Patty at the end of it all and we get to spend so much time with our wonderful friend Christina. So good night, I think. Yeah, and I just want, I mean, the thing that I want to ask you all is, could you do fourteen days out of a book tour and a carry on bag? No, no, I can't do two nights in a carry on like it's like a struggle, it's like a strug I'm like, Oh, I'm not gonna be able to take those shoes. I don't know, I'll just check a bag. I'll just check a bag. I mean, no way, no, wait. Now she came to Beaufort one time, I guess it was on tour, and she had this little carry on. I was like what is that? She was like, Oh, no, in this. I was like that is I don't have words for that. I don't have vocabulary for that. Christie has to travel by car with a clothes rack in the back of her well, I mean this is just all of her outfits, but her, I mean the Organization of your outfits is, you know, that's goal for me,...

Baby. That's goal. There's this, I love it for you. It's a clothing rack, because you guys have seen me, I think, roll up in a car that just had like bins of stuff in the back, like here's my band, that has tomorrow's pants, like but I think that okay. But I actually am really intrigued by that system too. You and Patty both do got like you have like a bin of like, you know, your toiletries, and then like underwear and then like your pants are like your dresses, and so it's like when you go into the one hotel, you're just you're grabbing and putting everything in a bag and going in, which is I'm very intrigued by that system. Also, one day we'll all meld together and we'll have like the perfect packing system, but really it needs to be coordinated by Christina Mc Morris. Yeah, I can't, I can't. Okay, we need to talk about pre orders. Yes, so, I don't know if you guys have heard it, but Um, Barnes enoble does this really cool pre order thing, um where for like two days a year you can pre or it's it's probably every quarter or something, but I think all of our books would be available right now. You can pre order any book and get twenty five percent off with the code secret. Don't read it. Oh No, well, you're not gonna able to see it pre order, but I did write it. Um. So Yeah, pre order, preorder. You have a burning desire to pre order something, which we imagine that you do. I have a a book bub deal on the home wrecker so you all can um download the book of home wreckers now through Sunday for six, nine, nine. So would encourage everybody, if you haven't and we're going to post it to all my socials tomorrow. And, Um, you know, here's the thing. Um, we haven't talked about much, but what really if you want to help us, and who wouldn't, all of us and our authors that we've had on the show, what's really helpful to all of us for our careers if you will post a review, an online review, Um, wherever you like to do that. So if you like to post them on good reads or be an n dot com or uh, Amazon, whatever. But Um, that helps them. What's that math word that I can't think of? Yeah, that Word Algorithm. You know, I don't do math. Algorithm, because she doesn't do math, but it really helps for any author whose work you love. Yeah, if you won't post, I mean hopefully a positive review. If you're a hater, stay home. Alright, on that note. Alright, ladies, that was a great evening. I've got to go put Noah to bed. I'm off to California tomorrow for the much fun. It's gonna be Weird, going to be a different time zone, but I know, I know, I'll be back quickly, though. It's just a couple of days. But yeah, but it's great to see you, guys, and a great night tonight, I think. Thanks, ladies. All right, everybody, have a great night. Thank you for tuning in. You can join us every week on facebook or Youtube, where our live show airs on Wednesday nights at seven PM eastern time. Also subscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here. H.

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