Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Launch Party for Mary Alice Monroe's The Summer of Lost and Found

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On the launch party episode for Mary Alice Monroe's THE SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND, the Fab Five take a journey through the seven-book Beach House series. Along ith a couple of special surprise guests, the ladies don turtle hats, occasionally burst into song, and often burst into fits of laughter, and even get a little misty eyed as they explore the legacy of MA's signature series. https://maryalicemonroe.com/

Welcome to Friends and Fiction. Five best selling authors and the stories. Novelists 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. Yeah. Hi everyone Welcome welcome to the super special edition of Friends and tonight we are celebrating the launch of our own mary Alice Monroe's novel the Summer of Lost and Found Callahan. And I loved as you'll probably guess the true ambience of the low country that mary Alice does so well. I'm mary Kay Andrews and I love the way mary Alice unwinds, the complicated threads of family dynamics. I'm Christine Harmel and I loved the way she used the pandemic. Not as an issue but as a setting a reason for being together, which I think is something we can really all identify with. I'm Christi Woodson harvey and I loved how we get to see a new generation of the religious family in this novel and there's a really great love triangle and who doesn't love a love triangle? I don't want I love these girls, I love having people one of them and I'm so grateful to them and to you on this special day. So we love our launches and there's always a surprise and there are tonight because you know, one launch night and love to mix it up a little bit. Who us, I don't I don't know about that. Of course, when you think of mary Alice and the details series, you think of turtles and Tonight for a twist, we're going to meet the seven books in the details series And there might even be a little totally surprised along with it. Really, really surprised. I'm a writer. It's a word, you know, I'm a license before you pick up your mint julep or tequila sunrise. We have both a celebration and a secret revelation, you know that we would not be here if mary Kay hadn't said, hey, let's all get together on zoom And now our mary Kay andrews, the newcomer has hit the new york times list and we want to list, lift our glass. So much work goes into this moment and we never want to let it pass without huge congratulations on the hardcover list and the combined print and it is a huge day. Oh, did we lose her mary Kay come back. Oh my gosh. I think, oh my gosh because not only with the new york times but tonight we have the revelation of a huge secret mary Kay. What have you been keeping under your hat? Yeah. Um I don't remember what I think know what I've been keeping undermined during the pandemic. I wrote a christmas novella. It's...

...called the santa suit. There it is. Thank you sean. Isn't that an adorable, clever? It's called the santa suit and it's about a young woman who buys a farmhouse in north Carolina mountains and finds a mystical santa suit That has the potential to change her life. And it will be out September 28 and I can't wait to take this hat off. Okay. Or we already celebrated my book. Getting the list. Yeah mary. I actually feel like that shot. If you should be the cover of the santa. You yeah. Everything happened. That photo. My daughter ordered that hat for me, not thinking that it was knitted of yarn and I would be Lord! Oh my God! Where? It's where It's swamp ass! Oh my gosh! Well, we are so happy that you shared that with us. We're so thrilled with you about the newcomer hitting the list and it's so much we're so happy. It's been so hard for us to keep the santa suit a secret because we knew what was happening. And I think we've almost let the cat out of the bag so many times. Well, I think I want to thank all of my readers out there for buying the book Dammit reordering. And of course my friends and Fiction sisters for helping it take off. But you know, tonight is about it's not about me, it's about Mariana. So let's get this, let's get this show you before we get it. So I want to remind you about our wonderful partner Mama Geraldine's who make the world's best cheese straws and of course your mouth cookies, they've been so supportive of us, which just means the world. And remember as always you can use the code Fab five for 20% off your purchase at Mama Geraldine's dot com. So get some of their treats and let us know what you think and as they say, I don't know why you always make the non Southern girls say this but snack on, y'all gon Yeah. Don't forget that while you're eating your mama Geraldine's you can sip out of your Friends and fiction non plastic straws um that mary Alice is offering with the summer of Lost and found there is a really nice silicon tip and acute carrying case with the Friends and fiction logo on it. Um we don't use plastic straws and Beaufort and we hope you don't either. So this will come in handy. Um, and so this week politics and prose are bookseller of the week is offering 10% off of the summer of Lost and Found and Oliver upcoming releases and anyone who buys the summer of Lost and Found from politics and prose between now and saturday, we'll get one of these adorable metal straw kits because you know you get thirsty at the beach. Oh, I'm so these really are cute and anyone who orders like she said, I will send it off. Okay, are y'all ready to get started? I'm turtle time total time. So we have had some great book launches that have included plays and obviously beards are now our new thing. Yeah. Bad accents and surprise. Yes and crazy sound effects. I heard somebody snorted on one of the launches. You've heard it bad. It was really bad. But tonight is mary Alice's night and you know that means there are turtles, turtles. Yeah. In the summer keep going. Don't take okay keep going Kathy mary. Kay. The summer boston found is the seventh book of the best selling beach house series. Linea A and the family returned this time dealing with love, friendship and family while they shelter in place. Kerala palms. If you've read the series, I know you're waiting to welcome your old friends and...

...find out what they're up to. But if you haven't read the series, don't worry as CNN said when they included the book on their list of most anticipated reads for May. This beach read stands on its own and serves as a perfect kickoff to summer. As you hear from all seven of the novels you can put into the comments which book in the series is your favorite and why. And we're going to try to read some of the comments during the show and clearly I'm going to teach mary Alice how to properly pop bottles campaign because she's doing a poor job mary Alice. This is your 27th novel, you have written over a dozen stand alone and yet you keep coming back to the beach house 20 years ago. It started it is so hard to believe that it has been 20 years. I know, and the time has gone by so quickly and yet sometimes it just feels like yesterday, you know, and I when I begin a new book in the series, I have to go back and read them all over again just to remember. But it is a celebration and I'm trying to pop the public because it's lunch time and um we will pop that bubbly eventually, but I just really want to say a toast. A toast to all. Did you do it? Did it happen a husband next. Okay a hold the course but twist the bottle, not the cork. He says that's the secret, twist the bottom. That's what he says. I don't know 12 it so we'll get to it. But I will say what I really the main point I want to toast to each of you. Thank you so much. This is you know, your your support is so felt and when I drink I will drink a whole glass of feature. Thank you. You know, at the beginning he's not only knows um 20 years ago when I started this series, I didn't write a series. I only meant to read right one book, but it became a series, but it became a series and your first new york times hit. It's such a special moment. It was. But you know, congrats again to Kathy mary Kay Andrews tonight and Kristen happiest sound in the world, It's my town. And that's a toast to mary Kay andrews and Christie Woodson harvey also from making the new york times list. Um and to all the readers because back in the day there wasn't an internet. Oh, there's another one way, just happen to have a bottle way. We roll everybody our champagne, I forgot my sippy cup. Oh yeah, Okay, but I okay, let's get back on. Okay, 20 years ago. Um there wasn't an internet and I have to thank the readers because it was old school, it was all word of mouth and it was a little tiny mass market, it wasn't the fancy hardcover that we have now. So I've been really um I've been really excited by this and every year like wildfire, it just keeps growing Mary Alice that came out first in mass market. That's how it started 20 years ago. That's why I had no idea. That's so interesting. This Little Baby is the book that started it all. I had no idea. This is the book. And I knew I wrote something that like I had never written before and you know, it was really...

...great about the new york times. It wasn't even on my radar, but when it hit it green that my ability to continue writing books that were set against wildlife species, it was something I wanted to do. But you all know that you don't know if it's not a success, You can't continue. It was and each of the seven books have hit the times list and you've created legions of fans. So let's get this party started, Okay, that we haven't started. But mary Alice, mary, let's get started with. Our first guest, Mary Alice has invited a special guest to be her first book in the Beach House series. Her first child, Her daughter, Claire Claire lives outside Chicago with her husband and three Children. She's an advertising executive but also has a decorating business. She is fabulously talented and decorating. And when you see pictures of barry Alice's house in the summer issue of charleston Home and Design, you'll see Delancey walkers talents. We see the creative came through in Claire's daughter. So welcome Claire, Hey Claire, hi baby. Hey, my number one daughter, excited to be here on mom's special launch day. No less. Good to see you. Thanks for coming. Well, I'm so excited to be here. I've seen how much fun you guys have had. I wanted to be part of all of it. The straws, the cheese straws tonight. First look in the Beach House series, The Beach House. So I'll show you a cover. I think of the original cover. If I were a song, I'd be blake Shelton's, I want to go home. I'm a story about going home again. I might be the oldest of the books, 20 years and counting, but I'll have, you know, I'm alive and kicking. I've never gone out of print. Not once. I like to say I've been freshened up with a few months years all over the world. In fact, Mark Your Calendars is June 15. I'm coming back out in print with a new fancy cover. What do you all think? Okay, one more? Sean, come on. Beautiful. Nice. It's a nice reboot. So, I'll give you a little story about the story. My pages tell the story of a gracious third lady from historic charleston family Olivia, Lovey Rutledge. She lives in a grand house south abroad, but her sanctuary is a little beach cottage on the isle of palms where she escapes an abusive husband. It's also where she goes to tend her turtle nests. As the story opens, livia knows this will be your last summer. And so she invites her daughter to the beach house in hopes of a reconciliation. Her daughter, Cara spends one special, amazing sparkling summer with her mom and she meets the love of her life at 40 years old. She learned her mom is not the meek, subservient woman she thought she was, but so much more. It gave me chills. Hearing that again. I can see how that book launched a series. Uh that book will always have a really special place in my heart. It was the first just as my daughter Claire is my first So Love You. Claire thank you Claire bear. Well there are six more books to come and our next guest is one of those books. Oh we can't hear you, I hear you too bro. Um yeah but lessons, I'm in the second book in the series and Sean is going to show the graphic of the book. Swimming lessons maybe maybe while you're talking, how about that? About five years old Ole Miss Levies passed away but her legacy lives on...

...with her daughter Keira and toy sooner. The young woman that lovey helped in the original beach house, toy as a single mother now and an Aquarius, that the aquarium, she's resilient like the sea turtles that she rescues and rehabilitates. If I were a song I'd be pink singing, Just give me a reason to learn to love again. So we all know mariella steals with loves turtles and sea turtles and we worked together for like 20 years. So we've got a few pictures that we've taken over the years that I love the ladies. Now he's gonna give me a lot. Okay, you're funny anytime anyone would pick them up. So running down her leg and into a salmon. That's why I'm laughing The darn turtles pooping all over me. That's it. To release. This is some Yeah, that's me. I'm still not sure. We'll tell you about this. Let me just start. I was officious. Retelling patty all about how turtles, all the things they do and we're sitting there very serious and what happened patty. So, well, the best part is before I met them, I actually had a sea turtle nest in one of my books. Like it was like two sentences and I described the eggs wrong and barb has never forgiven me whether that. And so when we it was in the mood, like, I'm not trust me. I know. And so we went that night, there was supposed to be a turtle boil, it's called when all the turtles come out and they were all talking and I was like, I want to see it, I want to see it. And I was like, they said, we'll tell you when it's happening. I'm like, but what are those? And they were like, oh, there's of the turtles were talking and panic, Was I the turtle nest? You robbed it and no one noticed, but nobody noticed. But the girl who didn't know what the turtles were it together, Barb, it's so good seeing you. Thanks. So now it is now time to meet the third book in the series. And mary Alice always says it's the best love story she ever wrote. I'm Beach House Memories. And if I were a song, I'd be Whitney Houston's, I will always love you one of my favorites. You'll need your tissues for this one because this is the heartbreakingly beautiful love story of Love, The Rutledge and Russell Bennett, where we learn a little that we learn a little bit about in the Beach House. I'm different than all the other books because I'm a prequel to the Beach House. My in my pages, we go back to 1974 and though America is changing, charleston is eternally the same. This fateful summer are. Lovey falls in love for the very first time with a married man. Now, you might say, what's the problem? Well, the problem is, it's 1974 for a woman in charleston's elite, especially south of broad divorce is an unforgivable scandal. If lovey dares to dream beyond the summer affair, tisk, tisk. She could lose everything, her reputation, her wealth, and even her precious Children. Wait, you're stopping to stop now. You have to tell us what happens. I wish I could. But it's time to meet the fourth book. Hello, everybody. I am beach house for rent. I don't mind telling you to buckle your seatbelts...

...darlings, because this book is a roller coaster ride for your emotions. Time has passed. Cara is turning 50, as sometimes happens. She wants to adopt. But Brett won't have any of it. Let's just say if I were a song, I'd be Al Green singing. Al Green singing, Let's stay together. A lot happens to Cara in this book that sends her reeling. And if you're wondering what will happen next? Well, my lips are sealed. It's a surprise and that's all I can tell you. You know, mary Alice, we have a couple comments from viewers about their favorite books in the series. But I actually have a quick question. It just occurred to me, I know I've seen a lot of people ask this on friends in fiction. Um if we're reading your series in order, where do we read Beach House Memories? I know it's a probable. Thank you. Bye boy. Am I so glad you asked that question. Each the first book, you know, is the is the anchor that you should read that. But every book after that really is a stand alone. And I say that because some my other series, you should read A B. C. D. Your designs design that way. But this book is designed so that if you just read for example the Summer of Lost and Found, which is the last, I created it as a standalone novel beginning middle and end all the histories are there that you need to know. But if you like it you go back now. A lot of my fans used to say, well how come this book? You know your book Kristen wasn't number two. It's because I wrote it hurt. It actually is a pretty cool because really so I love that story of Lovey and Russell and my actually was my daughter Greater, who you're gonna meet later. She finally, 10 years after the book came out and said Mama, well what I don't understand why she just didn't leave that husband. He was so awful. And that's when I knew a little girl. Ah ha no, you don't understand what it was like to be south abroad in 1974. So I really wrote that for the next generation. That's awesome. So if someone were to start your series though from scratch, hadn't read any of them or reads the summer of lost and found and loves it and wants to go back to the beginning. Would you start with beach house? I will start with hls memories. If you read Summer Lost and Found, which is the next generation and your luggage. I wanted to learn about this family. Go back to the beach. I'll start with number one and read them in the order you wrote them. I think so, because there is a continuity of age. Perfect. Okay, sounds good. All right. So as I said, viewers have a few comments. So mary Payton Court, right? Says my favorites are beach house and on ocean boulevard. But I love all the books about the wonderful Rutledge family. I cannot wait until the summer of Lost and found arrives here, Shel Marcus. Yeah, here we go. Michelle Marcus says that all of the books are her favorite. All right, thank you. Okay, It's my turn. Hello, everyone. I am piece. I know you think I am PCH, but I am actually be H. R. Beach House reunion. I mean, really mary Alice couldn't leave us dangling for a couple of years after Beach House for rent. Her fans were writing her letters and I'm proud to tell you care might have gone through the ringer in the last book. But in my pages, she returns home to the beach house and reconnects for their family and her close friends. It's the reunion she needed. And Karen, Karen can finally imagine a new life for herself and her daughter. Hope wait. What? The daughter! What a daughter. A daughter. A mystery. It's all perfectly clear if you read the book and I want to tell you about Alenia Lenny lenny. I'm saying it right, right. Yeah, saying it right okay. Remember the little girl in book one? Well she is all grown up now. She has graduated...

...from college but like so many young people at this age, she doesn't know where her life will take her. I have one of those at home. She goes to live with her aunt Cara at the beach house and she takes up surfing learning from me's son john remember M. E. She's Cara's best friend, She bought the house next to the beach house from flow you know flo well anyway if I were a song I would be Elvis singing oh I wish I could sing so I could sing this. I can't help falling thing. Yeah, that's the beginning. Yeah. Okay. Thank you. That was actually my first dance at my wedding. Oh, how serendipitous. I know that. Okay, So quit your day job. Yeah. So the song is all well and good. But hold on, just a minute, you kind of glossed over this john is he may be like a love interest for lumia Christie. Do you seem kind of interested in the love stories? Of course. Who isn't there the best part? Wait, didn't you say there were turtles? Yes. No worries. There wearing a hat with turtles way? It's the turtle T. O. Okay. Alright, Alright. It's kind of itching. I wait a minute. All right. So now it's my turn and I love weddings and I'm so glad it all happens in me because I am ocean boulevard. I came out in hardcover last summer. You have the all of you out there actually might remember because it came out while we were doing Friends and Fictions first. Very fresh and watches. Yeah, but I'm excited to be coming out in paperback, june 15th, which is very cool. And if I were a song, I would be Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups in the chapel way go to I'm doing it. We should have just done this all as a musical. We've uh okay, so for us, the Vanishing Stars, the musical coming this summer. We'll know for next time. All right in my pages again, I'm Ocean boulevard. Getting back in book mode. In my pages, Cara is in her mid fifties and she's preparing for her wedding. She can't believe she's getting a second chance. But Cara's life is about to change again. I swear nothing is easy for our Cara, but she is strong and she has come a long way from book one where we first met her as she plans for the big formal wedding. She actually doesn't want Lenny a returns home from California with a broken heart, but she needs Gordon, a marine biologist, a brit, a surfer. And it just so happens. He looks a little bit like the british actor Sean Evans, which is a pretty good, pretty good thing to look like. Let me just tell you there's my love story. I knew you'd be happy about that Christie, but it's a rebound but still Gordon is dreamy, but I thought this was Cara's wedding. Well, Kristie, it's complicated. Like life is, will there be a wedding after all? Will the house plans fail? Will palmer face bankruptcy again. And what...

...happens when Gordon has to return to England? You know, there was a rumor that that was the final book in the Beach House series. You know, rumors aren't always true though. Can't always believe what, you can't always believe what you hear. And it's kind of shocking because I hear that once in a while, this is the last book, right? Like no, it isn't what you do. That's right. And luckily for us, there's another book and it just came out and I also have to say we have Nicole Fincher saying she wants a part in our musical. So just point you're cold, you're hired because we are bad. Yeah. Nicole and Nicole was at your Oxford exchange event the other night. That's right, That's right. So much fun. Yeah. So anyhow, so the book that just came out, getting back, sorry, it is the final book tonight, the one we've been waiting for, why we are here tonight and we are on tenterhooks to find out what happens to the Rutledge family next. But before we get to that and our final guest, let's read a few more comments from our viewers, which is your favorite beach house book. So mary Adams, Wylie says it is funny how often once first is the best and that's true with my reading of mary Alice Munro's books. My first was Time as a river and it is still with me after dozens of her other books. That's so nice, Tanya's mary Redmond, Tanya smith. Redmond says, Beach House Memories is my favorite of the series, but I haven't read the Summer of Lost and Found yet. And that might change my mind. Hmm. Thank you mary Kay get away. I'm sorry, I swear this champagne has gone to my my cheeks are all turning kinks that happens when I love Mercy. You know this week mary Alice chose politics and prose as her bookstore. She lived in Washington D. C. for 12 years and she loves this premier independent bookstore and cultural hub page and politics and prose. Politics and prose is devoted to. We love all our we love all the P. N. P. S. Yeah. Um Politics and prose is devoted to cultivating community and strengthening the common good through books programs and respectful. I exchange of ideas. You can get 10% off your purchase of the summer of Lost and Found and on other new and recent titles from the rest of the Fab five with the Code Friends Fiction. And don't forget mary Alice is offering that adorable. Wonderfully ecologically good. That's still a cone chip. It doesn't hurt your teeth. Yeah. Hand that metal on my teeth so that isn't that's really touch. She has Friends and fiction. I don't know if you can see it says Friends and fiction on the top. So one of you use it. Yeah, it comes in a nice little case so you can put it in your pocket book and not worry about per smudge getting on it Anyway. If you order, if you order her book tonight, the Summer of Lost and found mary Alice is gonna send you that strong. This is the first time I've ever had champagne with the straw. How is it? The bubbles kind of go up your nose. I had a launch party wishing I could do that. I had a launch party for the art of french kissing which was my 2000 and eight book. What a great title by the right. We were sponsored by a champagne brand that since instead they sponsored all the launch parties with...

...champagne but they sent little mini bottles that came with straws. That was like the thing for Champagne 1008. Little mini, They're cool. Yeah. So you started the trend. I'm so trendy. Yes, I ordered the book from politics and prose and you can drink champagne with your you can drink champagne at his trial. Like Kristen and mary Alice. That's right. All right, now, we have come to the seventh book in this series, we've been waiting for the Summer of Lost and Founds. The theme of the novel is the passing down of legacy. And speaking of which mary Alice invited her second daughter, Greta, as her guest. Greta graduated in Environmental science and worked for the Coastal Conservation League in charleston. Then she decided to pursue her passion, a familiar theme in this family and travel the world, competing an international kite surfing. She is a bad ass now, she's now she's back on Sullivan's island with her husband and son and busy as a muralist. It's easy to see how your mother passed on her legacy to you. Welcome Greta, Hi patty, you again, um in the summer of Lost and Found. And this story that unfolds in my pages isn't about the pandemic, it's about how the Rutledge family and friends, the young and the old come together during this incredible time in history when the nation shelter in place. This book is personal because we can all relate to the action. The story. The story opens up with an idea really bummed because she's laid off from the aquarium, which had shut its doors at the time. She's running the beach house from her aunt Karen, who is also her mentor. But this is when Cara tells her about the legacy of the beach house mary Alice. Do you want to read a little bit from that section? I do. I don't know if Sean is there? There was a audio clip Sean. Do you have that? The aquarium is closed until further notice I'm furloughed. Yeah. Oh, well that was very short. The aquarium is closed until further notice I'm furloughed. Cara's face reflected her shock. My God. But of course they had to. The coronavirus is shutting down everything. They can't allow people to gather. Still. It's sobering. Always practical. She asked. How are you fixed financially. Lenny a shook her head. You know what my salary is? I'm in trouble. Savings. None to speak of. Even with you helping with rent. I'm not sure how long I can keep afloat. Cara waved her hand, forget the rent. For now linear was awash with relief. Seriously, Are you sure? Don't be silly. These are hard times. She put her hands on the knees, shoulders back. When I was in financial, she lifted her shoulders and her lips and an ironic smile and emotional trouble. My mother welcomed me into this little house knowing I'd find my way and I did. And now it's my turn to offer the same to you. This is what we rutledge women. Do. We take care of each other and other women as well? It's a tough world out there for women as you've just experienced. She let her hands drop. So, darling girl, no thanks necessary. This is your legacy and the purpose of the stair house. With so many blessings, we pay it forward. Linear felt the responsibility of her aunt's mandate profoundly. This was a...

...passing of the torch. There were no words, so she remained silent. Yeah. You know, I I don't usually do that. I think I'm so accustomed to reading the book myself that when I hear someone else read it, it's like I was, I wanted to read that, but it was beautiful. It was what I'm trying to show. It was the legacy. That's the, that's the main point. That was the legacy of the beach house. Yeah. Um I think Melania really takes that message to heart and it's her motivation in the novel. And I know there's a love triangle. True, john is visiting from California when the stay at home order comes down, sweet goes to quarantine next door. Then linda's boyfriend arrives. My mom, mary Alice wasn't going to let Gordon stay at the beach house when she showed me the scenes, I told her mom, of course Gordon once stayed at the beach house with Tanya. There were a couple and he came all the way from England to be with and stay with her and mary Alice my mother was said, well I don't know if that's appropriate for the beach and not my we we had a long talk about it because this is a departure with the next generation of this family and she wanted the book to be accurate and realistic and these were young people. So she did listen to my advice right or wrong. And she wrote a very very funny scene where linda's mother comes to visit the house. So um so that mama could put all of her shocked feelings into Julia's words. The triangle made for some really funny scenes. I'm a sucker for a romcom and anyone who else is will appreciate this too. What was really beautiful in my story is how everyone comes together young and old. There's this gift of time to sit in the garden at night, talk and laugh, cook delicious Southern meals, surf in the middle of day, see what's growing in your own backyard, taking care of each other. I am an inspiring story if I do say so myself. Wait, who did lenny a choose? You don't think I'm just gonna tell you, do you can tell you this though. In truth mama didn't know who was going to choose to the very end. When you read the last line though, you're going to close the book and think of course, supposed to go thank you Greta. It was such a treat to see you and claire and see what a personal legacy mary Alice is passing on to both of you. Thank you. I'm so proud. I am proud to be the new book. We all had to be the old books. You got to be the job mary. Kay Oh okay. Your daughter's, it's kind of, I gotta tell you, I'm a little bit cliched. Yeah. You know, they both look so much like you mary Alice, do they? I got a blonde and a brunette so that was a pretty good deal. You can see that. That pretty, that beautiful bone structure is there? You all have it and that smile. Okay. We did. And I don't know if they get flushed like I do with a little champagne and I'm matching the pink show if there's a night for you to get flush. It's tonight. Thanks. We have met all seven books to the beach house and officially launched the summer of Lost and Found. But I think we want to ask you a couple questions before we dig into our now and then take off our hats. Okay, so christian. You had a great one. What? Why don't you ask one first? Yeah, mary Alice, I was curious what was it like writing a book about the pandemic during the pandemic? I mean, I know we were with you during a little bit of that journey, but you know. Yeah, well actually, during that whole journey, right, But I...

...just think it would be interesting for everyone to hear what that experience was like for you. You will. I think for most of the people who have heard me talk, they know that I have a pretty structured way to write a novel, especially if it's set against a species. I'm a structuralist and there's you we talked on the show about Chancers and there's I'm a plotter, but for this book, I mean, I couldn't do the research like I planned. I was a chancer for this one. But not only was I a pan sir, I was writing in real time, I had no story, I was just observing. So, I mean, it was tough and of course I'm going through it at the same time. So my emotional czar, my emotions are up and down. And we went through the five stages of denial. We really did as a nation. We went through, oh my God, I just drank champagne. I hope I can remember them all denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance. And as we went through all of that going, I was watching and paying attention, not just what was happening to me, but was happening to all of everybody, my family that, you know, well, you all christian and Christie, you had your little child, you have to put in front of the computer screen, right to be a substitute teacher. And that was hard and not being able to see your friends in the isolation. So I changed my mind about what this book was about so many times. I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. It was the hardest book I ever wrote. And I think it was just took a toll. I'll never do it, I'll never do that. But I think in the end I'm one of the first books to roll out about the pandemic and it's really not the disease I'm talking about, but the interpersonal relationships lovers, the mother daughter. And it did take an interesting turn for me. I had some really great experiences, I had some great losses and by the way, everybody kristen came up with the title, she did We all brainstorm titles and she came up with the Summer of Lost and Found. So I I I owe it to you christian because it was brilliant because that's exactly what the story is about, what we've lost. It was tough, wow, we found some really great moments and I spent a lot of time with my sisters up in the mountain House. I mean they all came to live with me to get out of a condo in the city. What a great moment that was. Was our little Camelot to be honest with you. And then we had, oh gosh, sitting outdoors trying to slow down. It was really hard. But what I went through, I was able to crystallize and home and put into the story. Mm Well, and I do want to add having, having read it and loved it. Um it really isn't, you know, I should have framed the question to also emphasize that it's not you're not going to pick it up and feel like you're thrust back into the pandemic. Like you know, like I said at the beginning it pandemic was more a setting that framed the story as opposed to like the center of the story. So it won't be a feeling of going through any of that. Again, it's more like a feeling of healing because you have this memory of like you said, sort of all the all the beautiful things that came out of it. But ultimately the pandemic is what thrusts your characters together and then the story unfolds in a very uh a way that will feel very comforting and familiar to the people who love the details and and to new readers to I think and I think I think for all of us was a little transformational. I think Kathy mary Kay was saying earlier that it was a...

...time for her to have this time to write another book. Yeah. You know Yeah, so mary Alice, all of your fans are asking is there going to be another? Yes, I mean you know hanging there hanging like this tell me I used to say came out yesterday so they've all read it. Exactly cracking mary Alice I have to say you know when I never anticipated this, when I started like I said I met wrote one book and I just kept coming back as I needed to tell a story. But I really feel blessed when you have a series where So many people are invested in the characters and they really love the location. They've watched these people grow for 20 years that it's impossible for me to say No, I mean I will there are other books. I'm writing another book now, maybe two. I'm going to kind of move into other areas. I've got a couple of ideas. Girls, we have to start our sprints again. I really do you know, but I will write another. I start I ended this on a lot of open possibilities. So I will return for sure. Thanks. I like how you do that though. Like how it's not just Beach house, Beach house, Beach house, but how you do other things first as well. And I think it kind of like mixes it up and I'm sure it mixes it up for you as the writer too. So you're kind of exploring other parts of your other story ideas, you know, as a writer. I think we all feel we have to be challenged consistently. And there's always another, I'm looking at whales and I have no idea what that story is, but I know there's a story there that ancient beings. I got it right. So, I want to ping back just for a minute to the first book, the beach house, which is 20 years ago and then three years ago was it? It was made into a movie. So how did that feel for you to see a book that started a series, but also a book that you loved and had been out for a long while become a movie. How did that change things for you and this series? Well, Patty, you were there that night. It was it was a night like no other, I think it was the apex of my career. It was the night I was invested into the south Carolina hall of Fame. And then we cut out early. Excuse me talking. That's incredible. What a night I know. And we went, here's the thing, we went to Pat Conroy's house and we with cassandra and we're sitting there I'm in Pat Conroy's chair now it's a big old ugly lounge chair. Right remember patty and I'm sitting in it and we're watching the movie and I was on the floor you are on the floor when I was there of what I was that I was sitting there watching my Hall of Fame movie underneath the big tv screen is the crystal little thing that I have up there of his Hallmark Hall of Fame film. I mean you don't you can't make those moments up and it was really special. Andy Mcdonald was hoping to do a video tonight but she's filming so she didn't make it. But yeah it was it was just a moment you know when you see your words come alive it was it was special. Yeah. I can't imagine we all imagine our books on the screen and you actually got to see it. Okay. I got to see all my Hall of Fame to remember Sarah plain and tall, one of my all time favorite. Yeah, I mean I used to grow, I grew up watching Hall of Famers so I was really, really fatty. Okay, so we have a couple of announcements and then one more really important thing for you mary Alice, so do not leave or move and drink all the...

...shoes. So very slow down. Slow down. Okay, so I've got some great news to share the Friends and Fiction official book club past the 6000 member mark this week. I mean they're growing so fast. It's amazing. An amazing, we're just so grateful for everything that friends of Gardner and lisa Harrison are doing to run this amazing group. They're doing such a great job and you guys, if you haven't met them yet, they're just such great people. I mean they just come to our events, they're excellent humans, they're excellent humans. I love good eggs, things, good eggs and I love that. One of the things that's come out of friends and fiction is the friendship between the two of them. They did not know each other before this and they have become dear friends. I love that, that means so much to me. So this coming monday, don't miss it. The group will be, will be hosting Christie who will be there to talk about her new york times bestseller under the southern Sky and to answer your questions. Then on june 21st the Book Club will welcome mary Kay Andrews to discuss her new york times bestseller, the newcomer. And on july 19th mary Alice Munro is up with, I'm sure her new york times bestseller, the Summer of Lost. Let me just quote mary Kay andrews by the damn book by the book. Dammit! Exactly. So this is your chance. This is your chance to ask the authors all your questions and really dig into the storylines in a really intimate personal way. I think this is our group, you guys that this is us, this is your this is your chance to really go deep with these authors. Um Well also hanging out with a group of friends and fiction friends. So if you have not joined the group already, please do it separate from friends and fiction. The Friends and fiction official book Club. And please do show up for all three of those events. They're gonna be great. Mhm. And do you get our newsletter? Because if you do not, you are missing out all of the latest news, the schedules of where we're speaking and the exclusive Q. And A's with our guests are in that newsletter. So sign up on our website and don't miss a thing. Also. I mean, you know about our podcast, right? Not only can you listen to our shows, but we have extra and fascinating interviews this week. Patty and me talk to jennifer Hart of Book Club girl if you've ever wanted to know a little bit more about behind the scenes of a great book club. This is your podcast and jen heart, by the way, is a major book influencer. So we loved we loved picking her brain and finding out all the great books coming up. And we asked her things like what's coming up, that's great books that influenced her life. Books that changed her. And it's it's the kind of question you're going to listen to us talk to her and want to answer it for yourself. Absolutely, yeah, I love that. Now, Mary Alice, before we let you go. I remember when you said you were gonna set this novel in 2020 and you took that challenging year and you created a novel that looks back in a way that makes us smile and inspires us and we need that now. It's no wonder the book is on so many of the most anticipated book lists for May in the summer. So huge. Congratulations. But my question is for you, How do you feel about releasing your 27th novel? Thank you. It's a that's like two questions. The first is um it was daring for me and scary to write about the pandemic at a time when I was living through it, and I think I introduced the next generation through it. So I like to think that people will read it and think what's going to happen to Karen Emmy next you know, I will invest in another. Yeah, it's it's wonderful this, you know, as long but...

...not next take a couple of years, as long as I know you're out there. I remember hearing an author very famous harry potter who said she won't continue the series and I was devastated and I thought why not? We all want to know what that next chapter is. And so I decided in my heart that I would never do that. So I will write another. But also I have to say Um this has been 20 years of this series, 20 years of a intention to write books set against endangered species or an issue that I felt was something my readers might be interested in. And I look back at that body of work now and I feel I'm tying a bow around it and I'm closing. I'm still going to be writing books, but I I I feel that my mission is accomplished that I've done it and I'm so thrilled in honor that it was a success and I will continue writing. But I don't know it's coming next. Oh, I have to say this week, if I was a song for this book, it would be satchmo singing. It's a wonderful world. Nice. Should we sing it or no, no, we should not. No, no, no, no, I'm in charge and the answer's no. Maybe in the after show. Oh, I hear it back there. Oh mary Alice, you really have created quite the thing and I do know that you will continue to you know, bring your passion for conservation, for nature, for the species that you care about. I know that just because you feel there's a bow around it that it's not an actual rap. So, but it is a rap on the show. Um So next week we hope you'll join us when we welcome pam Jenoff to the show. My summer lost and found is like right there. I can actually see it but I can't. All right right right there. So mary Kay andrews even hasn't she's not at home. Thank you Mark. Yeah. Yeah. So the tree keeps coming and next week we get to see Christie Woodson harvey's cover reveal for her october novel. You've seen mine, you've seen mary case and Christie's is next and hang out with us in the after show and we will see you all there. Goodnight everyone. Good night everyone. Congratulations mary Alice Alice. Thanks a really a you know what though? But I actually think that looks kind of comfortable like when you had like I sure like your place a very special place for you. Like rob a bank or something you do amy by. Just gave me an idea. Uh Oh Lord Lord. Uh your daughter around florida Kathy Kathy Kathy. Now you have a santa hair. Was santa hair.

Well what a way to kick off your night. I feel great that champagne bottle was a hell of a bottle to open up. But hey, hey you got to it, that's all that matters. Athey mary Kay andrews, congratulations you're next marathon. That's right. Yeah. Really? So everyone go buy her book right now. Bye bye bye. Mr Out. Really? I mean what a bargain. What a bargain. Right. Hours of enjoyment you're going to get from that book And all of the hours of Friends and fiction. Right. Yeah. You know, and as we always stay here, those first week sales count so much. So if you're going to read it eventually and you want to support Mary Alice who supported all of us through this pandemic. You know, we but we've all formed this group of friendship, We've all supported each other. Kind of want to give that support back to her. This is a great week to buy the book. Hey, speaking of mary Alice, um, I was wondering where can we call? Like last week there were places that we could call and get signed copies of mary facebook on the road. Where can we call? Where are you going to be? That we could call and get signed copies. Okay. I, well, first of all, there are signed copies of Buxton books in charleston bicycle books and Barnes and Noble Town centre. They've got tons and I am going on the road. I will be at, I was just, where was I today? I'm john johnson's today. We have spent copies patty. You're going there next week, Next month. Next month. You're going to be there shavers in savannah favorite of both mary. Kay andrews. Yeah. So post um, if you would, Marianne's host the phone numbers and links to those bookstores so folks can go ahead. Yeah, go ahead and call. And I'm just gonna remind everybody because I didn't think of this until last week and that's when I called and got you to, to sign books. But they make such good teacher gifts like teachers are, they don't need another candles. Like they just, they don't want anymore. Our teacher literally said at the beginning of the year, she was like, y'all, no more candles candle, please no more. It would be a great teacher gift. You're absolutely right. Yeah. You know, I got, I got a text message from my um nephew saying they all call me kiki kiki, will you send me a book because his teacher appreciation week and my daughter's teacher loves you. So yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Where do we get the straws under the thing? Somebody just asked, where do we get the straws? And if you order from politics and prose tonight, you will get straws, saturday, saturday. But you should do it tonight tomorrow. They're really good guys. I'm the connoisseur of plastic straw. Non plastic straws and then you used it. Have some champagne. Yeah, clean it up. I'm laughing so much about this. Strong. We'll talk more about this strong. I keep, you know, don't use plastic straws. If you go to a restaurant with a plastic straw, just say, come on, get rid of it. They go off the nodal up the narrow rays of turtles and that ain't nice. You're not playing anymore, mary Alice, we've been in so many beach towns on my book tour and I can't tell you how many restaurants now have straws made out of recycled materials, paper or you know, organic materials. Yeah, and they don't, and they don't...

...melt. You know how some, some of the old time paper straws just kind of collapsed. Um so they're out there and I think it's great that you are really raising awareness about the issue. Thank you. And I'm so happy because I know you've been book touring all over florida, so you firsthand and I'm so happy to hear that because honestly plastic is a real issue and I'm not gonna get heavy here. But when you see the straws in the nose of a turtle is changes. When you see that picture, you just can't take it well since you got heavy, we're going to get light. Okay, super fun. But that was super fun and here's to the summer of lost and found and goodbye time. Congratulations. Happy trails. Susanna. Thank you. Thank you. I love y'all. Congratulations. See you next week. Yeah, thank you for tuning in, Join us every week on Facebook or YouTube where our live show airs every Wednesday night at seven 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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