Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 4 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Lauren Willing

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig joins the show to chat about her latest work of historical fiction, Band of Sisters, which just came out a few months ago. Hear about the book, about her fabulous, frequent collaborations with Karen White and Beatriz Williams, her hugely popular Pink Carnation series, and how she so adeptly balances work and life. https://laurenwillig.com/

Welcome to Friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors and the stories novelist mary Kay andrews, ChristineHarmel, Christie Woodson harvey patty Callahan, Henry and mary Alice Munroare five longtime friends with more than 80 published books to their creditIn 2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviewsand fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlightindependent bookstores. These friends discuss the books, they've written thebooks they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books andyou're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Mhm Hi guyshi everyone it is a Wednesday night and that means it's time for friends andfiction. We're so happy you're here with us and we hope you are having agreat week so far. I'm Christine Harmel, I'm Christy Willson Harvey, I'm PattyCallahan, Henry, this I'm the new one tonight we have not only a specialguest coming on but we also have a special guest host the one and onlyChristina McMorris who we all adore. Hi Christina hi hi Christine, it is sogreat to have you with us. So of course mary Alice is on sabbatical and maryKay is on vacation someone we're down to mary's the only logical option is toadd another christian or Christie to keep things confusing so we did ourabsolute best and we landed audie Christina. So patty, I'm afraid you areoutnumbered. So tonight along with our dear friend Christina, Christie Pattyand I are excited to welcome new york times best selling author Lauren Willigwhose latest band of sisters just came out a few months ago. We'll be talkingabout the book and also about her fabulous frequent collaborations withKaren White and Beatrice Williams, her hugely popular pink carnation seriesand how she's so adeptly balances work and life, which is a tightrope walk.Many of us are doing right now and falling off, I'm falling off and I haveto say until Lauren gets here and I am the odd man out. I think we sound likea band Pekao and the Christie's well we have to be merry and the Christie, sodon't tell mary I'm its peak Al and the Christie's house, that's why I always get, wealways get relegated to being the back with the backup singers. What's thatthat you guys can I just, I don't know, crispies with patty, I mean it doesn'thave as good a ring though, so I'm sorry, I don't agree. I mean, you know,I don't want to be a backup singer necessarily with stunning vocal same,you know, we're like the Supremes, we gotta work at our dance, I'll practicemy tambourine since it's the only thing I plan. So as always it is so importantfor us to remind you about supporting independent bookstores and tonight weare highlighting Shakespeare and company on Lexington Avenue in new yorkcity and I know there's one in paris but tonight we're talking about the onein new york city and we will be telling you more about them in a little while.We also are so excited because we have a brand new partner this week that weall love our friends at Caroline's cakes who want you to take a bite outof summer with them. And with us. Doesn't that look just uh, making wise?Uh, but all month long each of us will be telling you about our beach bag.Must have our favorite reads of this summer are ideal. Labor Day weekend andof course our favorite Caroline's cake bites labor and here's the best part.We are offering you a chance to win the ultimate Labor Day weekend beach bagbrimming with swag from friends and fiction and Caroline's including 10books and in order of Caroline's cake bites in the flavor of your choice tomake sure you're following us individually on facebook and instagramfor chances to enter all month long. The cake bites are incredible and I'mkind of wondering if I'm eligible to win. Yeah, good points. So I'm in umnorth Carolina right now and I went to the farmers market near me and they hada whole bunch of Caroline's cakes. No way. Yeah. And I was like those, thoseare our people, I get too carried away...

...talking about kate and especially thegluten free coconut one. Um, Christina. Since we have you on the hook. Youthought you were just to to co host. But we have you on the hook. So we'dlove to ask you about what you are working on now because rumor has it andwe hear the rumors. Trust me you have a book coming out soon. And I know thatall good Gillian people who fell in love with sold on a monday are eagerlywaiting to hear what you're working on next. So can you tell us and dispel therumors and set us straight? Right. I think that nobody is more eager than myeditor. It's not what are you working on now kristen And we talked about thisearlier today. It's what am I still working on? So sad. Um I will saythough, before I jump into that that I am so happy to know. Hopefully Lawrencelistening to this because I just discovered on a facebook post the otherday when Lauren I think of her as a machine like the three of you as well.And she just, I don't know how she juggles everything that she does. It'sinsane. And so when she posted the other day that commenting aboutsomebody complimenting her, she said, oh people I am a year late with my nextbook. I went oh my God I have human your human. I'm a year late with mybook. So yes, so I feel better now. I do feel better in our lame nous umactually takes time. Yeah, in this past year right? I mean goodness. We can allagree. This is insane. So yes, I can finally tell you a little bit more um Iam turning this book in hopefully not dogwood on monday. So just more days.So this is really fun because as soon as I jump off here I'll be writing allnight. Um so it is called The Ways We Hide and Historical fiction again. Whata great title. Good. I'm so glad you like it because we went through about abazillion I remember remember. Yes. Kristen nice to text her all the time.We brainstorm. Yes, that's the title. Yeah. And and it is gosh I will tellyou guys I'll come back and visit if you guys have you back sometime and Iwill tell you way more when I have books to give away and all that. Um fornow I can tell you that it without giving away too much. It it should comeout to next august is what we're slated for. And so we got one more year whichthe normal people's world feels like forever. But we all know. Right, That'sreally fast for so it's a blink of an eye so fast. So Historical fiction,World War Two, which I haven't been back to my books and a couple books andum the reason I wrote about it is because I came across an article yearsago, that was that was about World War Two, about a british militaryintelligence group that I had never heard of and if their skill sets andthe people they recruited were so unique and unusual that it soundsstranger than fiction and it has inspired other movies that people haveno idea that they are tied to. Which is so cool. And the things that they didand created Are things that you all have in your homes, you still use themtoday, your kids use them and you have no idea they use them the way they did.It was so successful actually that they kept it classified a lot of their workuntil 1985 because they thought they might have to use it against theRussians during the Cold War. So that inspired a story that and a mix of afemale illusionist that is somehow tied to this whole group. So wait I cannotwait. You ever think about using the word illusionist? I love that. We'rethe titles. Oh trust me, we went through all of those two crying knows.You told us about this when we were on san Diego right, remember this? Yeah.Yeah. Yeah because we were talking about a few different things when youwere in Beaufort and then you had sort of like decided and I was like oh thisis so good. Thank you. Oh my gosh that was 500 pages ago. Yes. Oh yeah Iremember that, vaguely, vaguely, vaguely hilarious but it was I meanit's I mean it's a big story, it's a big idea like that wasn't something youcould just turn over weight. I know, I cannot wait to read it. Um, so you knowearly looks were available here for uh, every week. You guys, we partner withParade magazine online, we streamed from their facebook page live duringthe show and we have an original essay and their online magazine every weekthis year. This year. Kristen Really? Yeah, it's a beautiful letter to herson. Noah about what she hopes he learns as he starts kindergarten nextweek. And I was like crying in the car reading it just, you know, and thenwe'll starting fourth grade, which is insane. But you can find a link on ourfacebook page and our instagram bio...

...said Kristen, can you tell us aboutthis? Beautiful. Yes, let's just have a quick chat about because I want to moveon and bring Lauren on. But you guys, I'm gonna need major moral support nextweek because no one starts kindergarten on Tuesday. I'm seriously beside myself.So this week for parade. I know I can't believe it. Um, I sat down and wrotehim a letter about what I hope he learns beyond the actual lessons willfind in books. So of course you can find that s am parade dot com asChristie said now Christie and Christina. You both have school agedkids and patty, your granddaughter Bridget is not too far away from thebeginning of her school journey. What are some lessons that you hope theytake away from this school year and bring with them always and maybe justkeep it quick so we can bring Lauren on ladies. How about you? Christina? Yeahso um gosh you know don't bike other kids get fight. Let's start with that.That is my that is my nephew and he was not a fighter until he went tokindergarten. Okay. What a thing to worry about now, but he learned veryquickly, you know about conflict resolution. So that is something we canall agree that biting is bad and you have to come to compromise is okay withthat. I just I think your your whole life, you know you're working withpeople who are different than you who don't communicate the way you do, whodon't do things the way that you do, who don't look like you or act likeyou're think like you and I think that's one of the greatest things aboutschool is that it sets you up forever for being able to you know work withpeople and understand people and like people and be involved with people whoum you might not necessarily have thought were going to be like yourperson. And so I just love that because I think that's such a good life lessonand we use it forever. Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I love that. I didn'twrite a letter when my kids went to kindergarten. But you've inspired me.I'll probably write one to my granddaughter. But I did write a letterto all of them when they went to college. And I remember going halfwaythrough my son's freshman year and he had oh my God I'm gonna cry. He had myletter on his bulletin board in his face and it was still in the envelope and itobviously had opened it and read and um something happened a couple monthslater and he texted me and quoted part of that letter. So Kristin that letteryou need to save it forever because he doesn't know the impact right now. Buthe will he would love that and you know let me that just reminded me I'llinsert one thing but on a serious note. But although biting a serious is andthis will be really good. I just thought of it that you could start whenhe starts to going to school or the end of the year. What I started what Istarted doing. Can you hear me? Ok? Yes, ok. What I started doing, they can'thear me what I started doing when they were a couple into about 2nd 3rd grade.But I backed up to kindergarten and I bought oh the places you'll go bynumbers which usually you give as a high school present right? But I sawonline that somebody had done this so cool starting at kindergarten, you havetheir teachers or their counselors. Everybody they loved at the end of theyear. You ask them who were their favorite teachers of the year and theyall write a note in that book and they don't know it. But I'm giving my myoldest is a senior so he gets it next year. Oh that's chill bomb. That's whyit was such a good idea. I stole so much. It really is. Oh that's amazing.All right, everyone. So you know that our guest tonight, Lauren Willig alsohas two young kids. I bet she has some thoughts on this to maybe we'll touchon motherhood and parenthood a little bit with her tonight. So let's take amoment to introduce her and then we will bring her on patty. You want toget us started. Yes, Lauren is the new york Times and USa Today. Bestsellingauthor of more than 2020 works of historical fiction including Band ofSisters, The Summer Country, The English Wife. I love that title. TheEnglish Wife, by the way, the rita Award winning Pink Carnation series andthree novels co written with Beatrice Williams and Karen White. Her bookshave been translated into more than a dozen languages picked for a book ofthe month Club awarded the rita Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf Awardsand chosen for the American Library Association's annual list of the bestgenre fiction. And she's also an alumna of Yale University, just that littleschool that you may have heard of, a little dinky place because she couldn'tget in anywhere else. Um Lord at like four thing. Oh my gosh! And thenoverachiever has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a J. D. FromHarvard Law School. Okay. I'm already feeling stupid. I know. Yeah. Welcome.Yeah, we feel like that every week lately. I feel like right like this is,I'm kind of depressed now. Okay. She...

...lives in new york city with her husbandand two young Children that we'll talk about and a few fun facts. Lauren hasalso spent a year doing dissertation research. Total slacker lady in London.And she actually signed her first book contract during her first month of lawschool where I imagine she had loads and loads and loads of time on herhands for writing. I mean how hard Harvard Law school actually be. I meanElwood's was like planning mixers while she was doing true looking, super cutebikini. She actually practiced law, is litigation associate for a year and ahalf at a big firm in new york before leaving to write full time. At whichpoint she began teaching a class at Yale called Reading the regency Romance,which is an exploration of the rise and development of the regency romance subgenre, something Laura knew a little bit about by then her latest novel Bandof Sisters tells the true story of the women's relief unit of smith collegewhich traveled to France during world War to help rebuild war torn villages.But let's let her tell us all about it sean can we bring Lauren in. Hey, thank you so much. Lovelyintroduction. We're so excited and a little bit intimidated that you're herewith us because after that introduction, we're all like, okay, easily bored. SoLauren before we take a deep dive into your world as a writer, will you giveeveryone a quick description of Band of sisters? Sure. Band of Sisters is basedon the true story of the smith College relief unit, A group of determinedsmith college alumni who went off to France at the height of World War Oneto bring humanitarian aid to villagers right behind the front line. So thesewomen battled, you know, german shells, french bureaucracy, recalcitrantlivestock and a group of british officers who are like women are warzone, what are you doing here? And we're like, we're just saving people.So that's the story. It's based on thousands and thousands of letters homeby the real women who did this which are in the archives of smith Collegewho were just they were the most amazing people. And luckily for me alsoamazing letter writers. Well, I am glad that you mentioned that because that isone of the things we wanted to ask you about today. So a quick note toeveryone out there, Please put your questions in the comments on facebookor youtube wherever you're watching us and we will try to get to a couple ofthem tonight. So Lauren, you are so well known for the vast amount ofresearch you do for your novels. I mean I feel like it's been that way sincethe beginning of your career and of course Band of Sisters is no exception.Can you talk a little bit about how you came across the story of the smithCollege relief unit and about the research you did and I really dospecifically want to hear about the letters because I think that's justsuch an just such an interesting component of how you put this booktogether. Oh my gosh, thank you. And you sort of like all the best thingsthis book happened to me totally by accident. So as um the girls herementioned in addition trying my own books, I also co write with two reallygood friends, Beatrice Williamson, Karen White and so we wrote a littlebook set in three quiet calm time periods in french history, World WarOne, World War two in the 19 sixties and for the World War One bit, weneeded to know about christmas in Picardy under the german occupation.Like specifically we need to know whether a certain type of Pickardchristmas cake would have been available under the Germans. And sobecause this is the thing that will haunt you, there will be that onereader because the rest of your life will be like but in 1914 they didn'thave the cake. And so I am just googling like Pickard Picardy christmas,World War One and up popped This memoir by a Smith alumna, talking aboutthrowing Christmas parties for villagers in 1917. And I'm like uhbecause it sounded read like fiction, it sounded crazy like this group oflong skirted smithies out there dressing up, I kid you not as fatherchristmas and hooking toys on fishing line for the kids to pull out of adecorative screen. I'm like someone made this up. So of course I dropeverything because you know, procrastination is my middle name and Iread the whole Omar, I was like, oh my God, this happened, this is real,Someone must have written about these people and I went digging and therewere no secondary sources. It kind of blew my mind that no one had writtenthe story. There were these memoirs, there was a pamphlet which told theirstory through bits of their letters and it had been put together in the 19sixties and sort of vanity published and it was, you could tell the letterswere really heavily edited and it was a smith College Alumni quarterly whichhad printed bits of their letters home in real time and I was like, oh my God,this is amazing! But there are gaps in the story, there was stuff where youcould just see the ellipses and you cut the juicy bits out. And so the collegehas this amazing library guide online...

...and I saw that they had a lettercollections from the members of the original smith College relief unit. Ithought, okay, I have these questions. Like such questions like one woman hadtalked about this horrible thing that she had seen that changed her wholelife and made her decide to go home and accept her boyfriend's proposal. Like,oh my God, what a horrible thing. And even more importantly, their director,the woman who had the brainstorm for this whole unit, like this was her babya week after they get their headquarters, she suddenly resigns andleaves. And there's no in any like the dot, dot, dot does not cover this. I'mlike, why go? Because they're like, for health, but nothing had been said abouther health before. I'm like, okay, there's a story, something happened. SoI emailed the archivist at smith College. It's like spicy you have theseletters and you say you can digitize things because I have a one year oldand a five year old and I don't think I can make it to the archives. Could yousend me these letter collections? And they're like, do you know how manypages that is? And I was thinking like 10 pages in the proposed card of parisbecause on archival research before, and sometimes you would get reallyexcited and you're like, oh my God, there's a letter collection and you getthere and if someone's laundry list for my favorite was when I was doing mydissertation, I trekked out to the University of Nottingham archivesactually fell down a hill in the process. But that's all other stories.And there was supposed to be the memoir, the Journal of this prime Royalist whohad helped controls escape from captivity and then got him capturedagain. I'm like finally I'll get the inside scoop. I got there and hisjournal was there. It was entirely about his struggle with his hemorrhoids,live letters, a postcard and something about someone hemorrhoids and thearchive of the archivist was like, look, we're happy and digitize this stuff foryou. But you realize that over 1000 pages is my gosh, oh my goodness. Andwow, we're reading through and it was not a journal about someone'shemorrhoids. It was actually like the day to day stuff they've been doing theanswers to all my questions were there. It was every novelist dream of thecache of papers you hope you'll find, but never do. Yeah. And it was amazing.So I don't know if you guys know I was lucky enough to get an early copy ofthe book and it was just such a good story and beautiful and I love thatwhat you and the www do all the time. It was just and all the women here thatbring that bring female protagonists, especially, especially from like thehistorical of us bringing the history of kind of the unsung heroes that wejust never heard about, that got lost in history and I just absolutely lovethat. So, and as you may not as well. So, you know, I was awake Morris right?When we when we did even together, I was there for you. We just flip yourname upside down here with Mark Morris. Right? Absolutely. All right, Sospeaking of hemorrhoids, I do a follow up question for you. I'm just kidding.Okay, totally different question. Um so I know you have two young kids andminers change time, whereas yes, yes. Speaking of well, it's like we'd liketo tell you to our sponsors for tonight. No, I'm just like, ok, so we're allmoms and so we know we all know first dance as we all know because we're allpunchy at this point, how tough it can be to balance with writing, which isinsane how you do what you do. So can you talk us a bit about how you havefound some balance. Do we do we laugh through that balance between mom lifeand writing life and over the last year and a half, especially with all thecraziness going on and especially because in new york where you livewhere essentially you guys were locked down. So tell us about that. I mean Ido think balance is kind of a joke. So I was a public author for Jackie beforeI had my first child and I had these beautiful primrose ideas fueled fueledby horrible people who were like, don't worry, you can write all the baby naps.So before she was born I set up my desk. I mean you guys can laugh at me reallyhard. I sat at my desk in her nursery because I was like, she will be nothinglike a little angel in the crib and I can hear her gentle breathing while Iwrite deathless prose. And I also I called my agent who also didn't havekids. I'm like, you know, I'm worried I'm going to use the baby as an excuseto slack. So I think we should double my writing schedule because I workbetter when I'm overcommitted. And so that's why I signed up to write a pinkcarnation book a year because I was still wearing that series and juststand alone book a year and then a couple of novellas for anthologies andthen a little bit later the team W books. So, and then my child was bornand thought that napping with something that happened to other people and I waslike, oh my God, I underestimated all the mothers in my life for so longbecause I just had this idea that moms just for really organized people andthat like somehow once you've got your...

...mom badge, you became able to do thework of 10 and this was just something that happened and actually what reallyhappens if you are so punchy with sleep deprivation that you do all sorts ofthings because you don't even realize you're doing them and you were so happyand decaf coffee because you're not allowed to have actual caffeine anyway.So as your balance, you know, my balance comes of having other peopledeal with my Children for me and I feel like it's important to be blunt aboutthat. Like when my child was a baby and I had a book to, my older one was ababy and I had a book to, my mother would come over every day and hold herwhile she napped for three hours while I went off to Starbucks because I had abook to two months. I turned in a book right before she was born and I had abook to two months after and I wound up getting a three month extension, Iturned in when she was five months old and that only happened because mymother was there every day holding her for three hours a day. And so I thinkthis year, You know, especially we went into lockdown on March 11, a day thatshall live in infamy. My first and best purchase was a Nespresso machine thatkept me and my family alive through this when we were locked in ourapartment. Um but I think it really exposed the fault lines in workingmotherhood in America and how hard it is to juggle I got band of sisters downon two hours a day because my husband has one of those finance jobs where youdo not take time off for kids. So our solution was lunchtime from 11 to 1when people might sort of be assumed to be, you know, I don't know, lunching,he would take the kids and I would lock myself in the bedroom with my doubleNespresso pod and write a chapter a day that way. And that's ok. Oh my gosh,it's amazing. It's amazing what you could do with adrenaline and espressoespresso want something command and you as christian and I were talking aboutyou know, I was like you know when that happened I was like oh my God, I amsuper woman, I can do anything on two hours a day but that only works so longas I thought lockdown was going to lift eventually and I had another book doand somehow they were always you know my husband had worked crises and my twoI was like, okay, don't worry, I'll cover, I don't need my two hours a daytoday and things just kind of got lost and then by the time I started to getsome work time back I was so burned out that I couldn't focus and so and alsothe archives at smith college I needed were closed but that's really excuse, Ithink it was really more the, I think it's very hard to get back fromchildcare mode into work. Once you've been thrown off your schedule, yourhard to reclaim that time. Especially when you spend all your time scrollingthrough CNN reading like horrific things are the world was on fire. Imean it was on fire to literally to focus for two hours a day when theworld is burning over here. Like working hard when the world was reallyburning. In some ways, it was easier because I could hear the sirens outsidemy window. We hadn't left our apartment and everything was hyper charged andthe hunting is fans of sisters dovetailed with it because there I waswhile these horrific historic events were happening, writing about women whoare going through these horrific historic events. But you were pullingtogether and coming out on top and finding the good in people and thecreepiest spookiest thing was for a little bit. I was writing about theexact same day. So like a March from the 1st 2020. I was writing about March21st, 1918 and it was yuri but I took so much comfort from it, wow. I thinkthat kind of adrenaline only gets you so far and then eventually crashed. Butwhat happens when the crisis keeps going? Yes, we burn you burn outbecause you still finished it. So bravo Lauren beautiful. It's amazing what areal casualty was the following book because after this, I was like, I'm theright that next book, I plunged right into the research for it and I hit thesnag of the smith archives being closed and then my two hours disappeared andit just sort of dragged and dragged and dragged and my adrenaline, myadrenaline ran out. So yeah, I can relate to that because I chose thisyear to do my first part historical novel. And I had all this these grandideas of all these places I was going to go research and how it's going to be,you know, all those deep in all of these things and then the world shutdown and it was like, thank the Lord for librarians because like what wouldwe have done? I mean, it was crazy. Um but anyway, thank you for sharing allof that because it's not always easy. And um but you you pulled it out andit's amazing. But you are also so well known for your sweeping pink carnationseries, which Library Journal called the best literary bouquet ever created.And reviewer bobby bobby Duma's called...

...genre bridging in a piece for NPR shegoes on to say, I call them genre bridging because they satisfy romancefans who love the pension the chest. So satisfying all as well in the world.Happy ever after dana moi. But they also have such densely detailed andgratifying historical swashbuckling Spy based plots and on romance fans love towhatever review I mean, I So first can you tell us a bit about that series,which takes place between 1803 and 1808, it also has a modern day storyline. Anddid you mean them to be genre bridging? You know, they were another greatexample of things that happen when you intend to do something else. So, I hadreally, I went off to grad school thinking I was going to write those bigdoorstop historical fiction novels, you know, Gone with the Wind, the thornbirds through a glass. Darkly. I know, it doesn't never even love the thornbirds. I was going to use my PhD to write because my my field was tutorStuart England, I was gonna write the set this 1000 page long, 17th centuryepic, but there I was, I was a third year grad student grading studentpapers, you know, getting these emails from students being like, oh my God,you gave me a B plus, my life is over. And I needed to do something for fun.So just for fun, I wrote this swashbuckling romp about spies duringthe Napoleonic wars. Because I grew up on the scarlet pimpernel and Zorro, butI had questions like how does the heroin not realize who he is behind themask, Why does the scarlet pimpernel love, It's so easy with marguerite. Imean she could give him so much more trouble. So this was really, this wasmy sanity saver was my Napoleonic romp, which is sort of a mix of the scarletpimpernel and Georgia higher and black at her and sheep jokes and servewhatever came to my mind at the moment because it was just my mental healthproject and it was meant to be silly and a spoof. But the weird thing was afriend of mine, you know, I passed you around my friends to my friends becauseit was full of these in jokes and a friend gave it to her friend who was anagent and I got this random call from a guy who's like, I'm an agent and Ireally love your book, I will represent you. I'm like, who are you? And spilledcoffee all over myself incarnation happened. It was a book that was nevermeant to be published. And you know, the frame story was really, I was thiswas the Haiti of chocolate, we're talking 2001, And I just come back frommy dissertation year in London where I had lived in a basement flat and notmedic, you'd englishman and not found like a cache of amazing secret sources.Instead, I was cracking after people's journals about their 17th centuryhemorrhoids and so I wrote this wish fulfillment cream about an Americangrad student in London who meets this incredibly handsome blond Englishmanwho happens to have a cache of family papers that tells her everything shewanted to know. And my grad school friends got really into it. They'relike put in how like, advisors never answer your emails. And so it was likeall my grad school stuff and all the dating stuff and now it reads like atime capsule, like kind of cracks me up, but that was my life back then. And soit was this frame. They were my what was the old coffee couple? Like MaxwellHouse, where they had those commercials where the romance would progress bylike two minute intervals over years and years. That was my modern frame.And so somehow this became like the vanguard of the dual timeline movement,even though it was really just this weird chick lit swashbuckler mash up.That wasn't intended to be anything in particular. So we need of course talk.We already mentioned about the three Ws. And so now we get to talk to circleback to them because I am I'm dying to know how you guys fight actually. Iknow, I don't think you ever do actually. Um but for those of you whodon't know about the three Ws book. Oh my goodness! So of course the lastnames, I'll start with W and they've written all the ways we say saidgoodbye, The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room and those are all withnew york Times. Bestselling authors Karen White and Beatrice Williams. So,can you tell us a little bit then besides the whole fighting part, whichwe really want to know about how you worked together and collaborating likethat, the how the rhythm of collaboration works. Um with the threeof you all working on your own projects at the same time, which is insane initself. Amazing. And how you balance that to to do both at the same time?Well, there's a lot of Prosecco involved actually, it's very funnybecause we like to tell people that we weren't put together, like The SpiceGirls were all genuine Ws and that was part of how we got together because wewere all authors were all on the circuit and you get seated by alphabetat book signings, always thrown together and we're like, oh my gosh,we're just each other's soul sisters. And one night we got really drunk at aconference and we're like, oh my God, if we were at a book together, ourpublisher repair a barbell and we could travel together, and when we sobered up,we're like, we can actually really do...

...this. And our publishers and our agentsthought this was the worst idea they had ever really know. They were like sosurprised when part of it may be that when we stumbled out drunk out of thebar, we ran into current editor and we were sort of, we slurred, oh my God, wehave the best idea ever. We're gonna write this is a book together, it'sgonna be 50 shades of plaid. So when we went back and we're like, we're goingto write this book. She's like, not the Scottish veronica No, we swear welcomescott veronica. It's gonna be a book and where it's going to be tripletimeline, because dual timelines is what we do, and we're gonna write ittogether. And our agents were all like, you are aware you're all under contractfor other books. And my agent was like, you're aware you're under contract fora lot of books and you're behind on most of them, because it's with thebaby effect, because I just had my daughter and okay, like, no, please, wereally, really, really want to do it. And so we were like, a pity by and noone thought it was good work. And they kept being like, so it's an anthologyand we're like, no, it's one book but three authors, and I will never forgetwhen we sent the manuscript into her head her and she's like, this isactually good. You so much so surprised. But we have a lot of trouble with thisbecause the Salesforce, our our editor will call us to be like, The Salesforcedoesn't know how to sell it because there are three names on the cover, andwe're like, it's still novel, there are Three of us but still novel, We swearwhen that first book, that for a living room came out and it hit the USA listand the USa today and new york Times in the first week they suddenly looked upand they're like, actually, you know what, maybe this actually works three,but they were like, yes, thank you all, so please pay your bar bill, how webalance. So the funny thing is we found that despite what our agents thoughtthe weird thing is it feels like there's more time in the day when we'reworking together and I think it's because we all always hit those dryspells, our own books, this bitch where you're stuck where you're like, oh myGod, I'm writing the wrong book, I don't know what I'm doing all myprevious books or a fluke, I have no idea how to do this thing and that'swhen your team W chapter lands on your, you know, in your inbox because weright round robin and it's like and writing the chapter for the group is sofreeing because you know, your friends have your back, you know that if youwrite something really stupid and hopeless, they will gently tell you andthat their stuff will be good. So your stuff is only one third. So even if onethird is crappy, two thirds are good. So all the okay, and so the team isactually so I just wrote we were in the final round of chapters for our latestor fourth collaboration, I just want my chapter in one day because that's whathappens when you're in on the team w role and it's like, wow, how do I writethis fast? Can't I write this fast always? But you can't really. But youknow, we sort of emerge energized for our own projects. And so it actually,instead of taking away time, it kind of feels like it gives us extra time andenergy. That's awesome. Amazing. And I think I think for all of us, whatsomeone's saying, you can't do that. We just we're doubling down really. Youthink we can't do that? Let me show you. So that's a great story. We had acouple of comments popping up. That's a great story. So, you have also writtenabout, okay, the Napoleonic era, The 1840s, World War I, World War Two,modern day regency tutor. I don't even think I've hit them all. So can youjust talk a little bit about why you have been drawn to so many historicalperiods? You haven't kind of rooted down in one, which makes me think notonly am I curious why, but do you think because they're set in different eras,there's maybe one overarching theme or message that ties them together andbubbles up. That's a really good question. And one no one has actuallyever asked me before. You know, I think part of it is this is the reason Irealized I would make a really crappy academic historian is on the historicalmagpie, you know, I'll see. So I love that these behind the front line to belike, oh shiny, I want to read about that. And so I sort of dark around fromshiny thing too shiny thing where my dissertation, by the way, was on threeyears of the english civil War. I spent seven years working on it. Oh my gosh,it's one of the antidote to that. This is like, okay, my last book was WorldWar One. Now I'm gonna go over to the Greco Turkish war in 18 97 and I can dothat as a historical fiction author and...

...be like bright shiny and get to readall these amazing things and research them and call it work and that's anincredible gift. But as just sort of the, the irony though is like, I alwaysintended that like once I wrote my Pink series and you played in the Napoleonicwars for a while. If I ever wrote anything else, I would go back andwrite my giant 17th century epic, I kept promising I would write and theninstead I wrote a book set in 1920s, Kenya. And then once in 18 fortiesLondon and like every time I'm like, I'm gonna write my english Civil WarEpic, Something else pops up and I write that instead. So I've run likeabout everything except my actual time period. Um, but the theme that tiesthem all together is what I think of as the, but women did principle becauseone thing that drove me nuts and still drives me nuts is the idea that thereis now and there was then and in then women didn't do anything that women hadno rights. They had no agency and that's just plain wrong. I think it'sless, although in some ways it's comfortable to think of it as a T lowswhere you start at one point and you moved to another, it's actually more ofa helix which goes round and round and round that. For example, women had ahell of a lot more freedom in the Georgian period in the 18th centurythan they had in the mid 19 at sort of the heart height of the victorian angelof the hard theory. And one thing that fascinated me so much about researchingBand of sisters in my World War One women is that this is a time when theworld was opening up for women and these women were like we can doanything and we can prove to the world we can do anything that part of thereason for their mission to France was a to convince people that women deservethe vote and be to show the world that american women were equal to anythingand could be in any profession and do anything and they had this idea thateverything was opening in front of them whereas and I have not workedextensively in World War Two and how many of you have, especially youChristina. It. I get the sense that World War Two, the end of World War Twois the opposite. It's things are closing instead of opening And thateven though like with band of Sisters, even though horrible things werehappening, they're going out there with the feeling that they are opening upthe world to them and their younger sisters and you know, and things doopen up. I mean the 1920s or when the first barristers are admitted to thebar in England and women get into all sorts of professions. They can't before.But you know what fascinates me is that no one knows about these women or ifany of the other female relief groups, we've ran them out of history. We'vewritten the things that get out of history and we bring the idea thatwomen of that era had that kind of agency and power out of history. And Ifound this again and again and again in various time periods. And so that's youknow, I think that's the theme that connects with my work. You see findingout the things women actually did, the power they actually had and putting itthere. Well, footnoted on the page. I love when those themes bubble up andsometimes and I bet you would say this some of your books, you didn't realizethat was the theme your your magpie self saw this shiny object and thenabout halfway through you're like, oh here it is, again, that amazing the waythis stuff just keeps popping back out. I mean, and it's funny, I got my startback in college. I was a renaissance studies major and my specialty was theQueen regent of Scotland Marie doggies. But I spent my time writing aboutfemale monarchs, about women who exacted power over all the men in theirweek. And that was a great era of female monarchs. And so it amazed mewhen I look at other time periods that you know, there is this idea that womendidn't have that kind of power. But if you look, if you scratch the surface,you'll find in so many ways they did. And so that's what I'm doing. I'mscratching that surface and bringing those stories back up so we can sort ofreadjust our idea of what women did and what women were capable of in earliereras. That's incredible. And I cannot imagine like just ever, I feel like everything that youread and everything you pick up on is just like a new little idea that's soexciting for your historical fiction queens. I'm kind of like the odd manout tonight here. This is but Lauren you chose Shakespeare and company onLexington avenue in new york is your local independent bookseller. Can youtalk to us a little bit about why you love them so much. Well, partially theyare my local dealer there on my path to my son's preschool. So they are thatdangerous place where it's like, oh I'll just pop in for a quick cup ofcoffee before pick up and then like the stroller basket fills up with morebooks. But they are a wonderful study. Have you know, back in the before timesand I hope someday again soon they do really marvelous events. Um some of myhappiest times have been in that basement at Shakespeare and Company,both as an audience member and as a Panelist and they're just lovely andalways have a book recommendation or...

...you know an online seminar on hand. Andso I encourage everyone to check them out. Now I need, not that I didn't need atrip to new york before. Not that I wasn't already aching to get back tothat fabulous city, but this bookstore sounds amazing and they are giving allof you, do they? Okay, well do they have an espresso machine like you dothat how she can go to your house first. Um They are giving Shakespeare andcompany is giving all of you out there 10% off on band of sisters or any ofthe new releases from us here at Friends in fiction with the codeFriends and fiction but spell out the word and all one word and you can finda link and the info under announcement or on our facebook page and please,y'all let's support our Indies as we start heading out into the world.Absolutely. Okay, so I know there are a lot of live questions. We're running alittle short on time. So maybe Lauren, if you would, maybe you could stop backin later if you have a chance sometime later this week to answer. There's justa lot of questions. Absolutely. I will go and type out answers you got. It'sfantastic. You know, feel free to keep putting them in and I will keepfighting. Oh, Lauren. That's amazing. Thank you so much for having me. Well,we still have a couple questions for you. We're not getting we're not, we'renot letting you go yet. You're still stuck with us for a few more minutes.So every week, one of our favorite parts of the show is receiving awriting tip from our guests. Do you have a writing tip you can share withus perhaps about how to write a chapter a day in a, in a panic and to turn outa book in a few weeks. Because I mean, asking for a friend that has nothing todo with anything I have coming up in the next couple of minutes. That's aneasy one, espresso espresso is our news. Uh, can we send them this episode? Likeyes please. Yeah, they're like little ads for our books on the pottery. Okay,after our books. Yeah, that's funny. Like the shoulder on monday coffeeflavor. I like that. I like it happening on Tuesday. Uh checking on aWednesday. So the english wife english blend. Yeah, actually my my bestwriting advice is always ignore advice that I don't think there's any right orwrong way to do this crazy thing we do and that the only way to learn whatyour method is is by trial and error by just flinging yourself at it until youfigure out what works for you. And I've always been very glad that I didn't goto any writers conferences until after my first book was right out. I agree inmy second because I got my first one and learned I've been doing everythingall wrong for years, but by then I was so sad in my bad habits, I justcontinued with it. So I think the important thing is to know that therereally is no right or wrong, that your method, whatever it is, if it's rightfor you, it's right and just go on with it and don't try to twist yourself intoanyone else's ideal writing style or scheduled your way is your way. I lovethat. Absolutely. I always joke with, you know, when I'm talking to highschools there about, you know, create a variety and that's not right. I alwayssay that almost every story has been told right. If if Shakespeare didn'tcover it. You know the greek mythology did. So it's all about specialistfiction, right. It's all about your voice and how you tell the story andnot to worry if something else has been written already because goodness knowsyes it has it's been written. So so putting your spin on it is the mostimportant thing. Um Yeah so for my my advice on that I'll chime in is um youknow the most important thing I ever learned. And I learned this after Iwrote the whole first draft of my first book. Was unfortunate to the bestadvice on the last page. And that is um goals, motivation, conflict. So G. M. C.Is what we call that of course and and that is what turns the pages right? Isthat you have they want something, why can't they have it and why do they wantit? Did I repeat that all that? So um so for me I think that the biggestthing that turns the pages right is conflict and raising questions and thenas soon as you answer a question, then raise another one And that's how isn'tthat just the most irritating thing at that movie at 2:00 AM? It's terribleand you cannot go to bed because they've raised a question that you needto know the answer to before you can sleep and then you turn it off go Ishould have gone to bed but it doesn't matter because you watch the wholething through. So anyway, so hopefully you don't feel that way about my books,but there you go, Lauren do you have a book you might want to recommend for us?Something you are just loving and reading something you want to tell usabout. Well sure right now I am reading Ellie Griffith Zigzag Girl which islike that title. Right, Right. And you say it's very catchy. But the fightthings, I've avoided this book for years because I adore her ruth Gallowaymystery series about a forensic...

...archaeologist on the Norfolk coast.He's always getting mixed up in crime because my not so secret addiction isbritish murder mysteries. I've really strangely soothing, particularly duringthe pandemic. It's like someone like some british person will be murdered. Adetective will be called in the crime will be solved. Yeah, it's veryrelaxing. Um but I have for some reason I avoided this particular series by herfor years because I'm like it's set right after World War Two and bright in,there's like magic shows involved. It just didn't sound like my thing. And soI finally, because mysteries murder mysteries have really been getting methrough the pandemic, I've run through so many. I'm like fine, I'll try thebright industry series. That's really good. So I highly recommend for other,you know junkies of british television. This is like endeavor meets Foyle's war.My favorite show endeavors, My favorite show of all and I can't wait foranother series, I keep checking to be like when is the next series? You know?And every time they have one. I know they're gonna say there's not anotherone and then there is, but eventually he's gonna catch up to Inspector Morrisand they're not going to have any more. I know and I find the horses so deeplyunsatisfying. I actually made the mistake of trying to read what theoriginal more mysteries and I was fascinated by how cheaply malechauvinistic it was. And then I went back to watch, I like I love endeavorand lewis but the morse is you know, even though they spawned the others, Ifind really hard to either read or watch. That's crazy. So Christina, do you havea book you'd like to recommend? You know, there's one that I got to saythat I am cannot wait to read now that I was about to finish my book. Um andit is and of course historical because I get so excited about those um by twofriends, so heather web and hazel gain or what you guys are all friends withand they just had a brand new book come out. So speaking of collaborationsthose to write amazing books together and it's an historical sister story,europe, you know it's gonna be fabulous and it's called three words for goodbye.So everybody go check that out because I cannot wait to read it myself. Sogood. I got I got a chance to read it early and blur, but it was absolutelyfantastic. So yes, you were in for a treat. You're absolutely right Christiedid you have a book you wanted to mention also, yes, I just wanted tomention um Ali Larkin's, the people we keep came out this week and um, Ron andI got to interview her for the most fabulous podcast episodes. You guysneed to definitely check that out when it comes out. But the book opens with agirl hot wiring a car to get to an open mic night. So basically I've talkedfrom page one and I was like, what is this? And um just her story about thisstory absolutely was breathtaking. So um, everybody needs to check it out.It's a great book and the podcast episode was fantastic. Talk abouthitting on the goal, motivation conflict on page one Christina Morris.Yeah, I mean, oh my gosh, okay, I can't wait to read that. I know what's whatgreat recommendations this week. This sounds wonderful. All right, ChristinaLauren, everybody please stick around. We have one final thing to ask Lauren,but first a few messages from us, we always want to remind you and Christyjust mentioned it about our podcast. We have the friends and fiction writer'sblock podcast and we will always post links under announcement each time anew one comes out it is so much fun because it's totally different from theshow and we interview people on Fridays and we have Ron hones in a memoirwriting this week with authors, Why two More and Lisa Donovan that drops onFriday and wherever you get your podcasts, you can find these last weekthey interviewed jean hamp Corlett who wrote the plot and the book was a jimmyFallon summer read pick. We are going to have people like Z. B Owens,Christina, Lawrence, Stephen Rally amy, jo Burns and so many more. One easy wayto listen online if you don't already listen regularly is to just go to thefriends and fiction website and click on the podcast link and you can listenstraight off your computer, you don't even have to get fancy and pull outyour phone. Well, I just want to remind everybody about all of our fabulousfriends and fiction merchandise that is available either through our website orit takes you over to Oxford exchange. They have a whole friends of fictionsection on their website, the t shirts and wine cups and tumblers and allkinds of good stuff and we are getting ready to roll out a really amazing newfriends of exciting, cannot wait to tell you about and we're pretty surethat you're going to want to get it for everyone on your holiday list. Butspeaking of your holiday list, do you know that patty mary. Kay and I allhave winter books coming out mary case the santa suit patties, Once upon awardrobe and my christmas and Pete...

...street block, you can order them andpartnership with Nantucket Book partners and um they'll come to you ontheir pub day or right as soon as they come out and you get an exclusivefriends and fiction coffee mug and Brandon hot chocolate and it's the onlyplace you can get those. So um, it's good winter reading for you know, keepyou cozy and there is this video, we made this exclusive video and you getthe QR code with this subscription and you can watch this little video we madetogether where we tell behind the scenes secrets in Christie's livingroom. So, and of course if you're not hanging out with us yet in the Franceand fiction official book club, you are completely, totally utterly missing outthe group which is separate from us and is run by our friends lisa Harrison andBrenda Gartner is now 8000 members strong and this friday they will behosting a happy hour with our Writer's block podcast host and rock star,librarian Ron block. And then on august 16th kristen will be joining thefriends and Fiction book club to discuss her astounding book The Forestof Vanishing Stars which of course came out last month, they have plenty morefun events in store. So if you haven't joined hop over to the friends andfiction official book club. Okay next week join us right here atseven p.m. Again on Wednesday at seven Already said at seven p.m. I think I'mhaving water and I can't get the time. Taylor Jenkins reid who were so excitedto host the author of daisy jones in the six and this summer's huge hitMallaby Rising. I will also be giving you, I forgot about this a sneak peekat the brand new cover way. I got, I got to get that together on my 20 awedding veil and she has to get a freak out if you preorder so you won't wantto miss it. And if you're ever wondering about our schedule, it'salways on the Friends and fiction website as well as the sidebar ofevents on our facebook page and to learn more about our individual onlineand in person happenings. Make sure that you subscribe to the Friends andfiction newsletter which you can do from the landing page of Friends andfiction dot com. And now that we're almost wrapped up, Lauren, you have onemore question left before you go and it is not hemorrhoid related. So you'rereally okay everybody's been hanging out though staying on the show for that.Okay, so I have a question for you that I know all the ladies here want to knowand that is that we are really, really interested in. Um what were the valuesaround reading and writing in your childhood. So what books did you growup with and how important were this? Oh my gosh! Well I grew up surrounded bybooks, you know, sort of as you can see behind me, the interior decorationscheme is where can we stick more books. Um I grew up on a lot of, well, I grewup reading things that were inappropriately way too old for me. Igot my hands on my first romance novel Mary Lies and of Camp Ray sat duringthe civil war between Stephen Matilda in England when I was seven years oldbecause I had read um oh gosh, I'm black and I'm L Konigsberg a proudtaste for Scarlett and may have her about Eleanor of Aquitaine And fell inlove with her and pestered everyone for anything that might have anything aboutEleanor of aquitaine in it. And once I maxed out on my schools, libraries,biographies of Eleanor. My father went and handed me and of Cambre and thatwas just, I moved on from there to do Devereaux and Joanna Lindsay. So I wasthe first grader on the school bus going back and forth between Nancy drewand 20 vice queen of fire. So like, like, you know, although the pure, allthings are pure, there was so much that totally went over my head. But myparents reaction to this when other parents would be like, oh my God, whyare you letting her read like sweet savage love was we don't care whatshe's reading. As long as she's reading. So they didn't talk a little at SweetValley High, like my favorite. I love it. And mom wouldn't let me read thelast two like some it was something in the morning after. I wasn't allowed toread this. I will tell you why I I feel like, I think I feel like Sweet ValleyHigh was way above my head in so many levels. Unlike you, Kathleen A widow islike 18th century romantic drama was one thing, but I remember there wasthis line in one of the Sweet Valley Highs where it was like, she had foundsome pot hidden in the drawer. I'm like, they must have broken a china pot.Remember years later, I was like, oh that's what they were talking about. Ohmy God, isn't that funny when you read stuff a little too early and you thinkyou get it in your mind just fills in. Oh, I love that. My other favorite waslike in one of those romance novels...

...where there was this extended metaphoris only like Kathleen E. Woodiwiss in the seventies and eighties writerscould do about waves crashing on a beach and I of course was all about itwas sex, but I was like, when do you think go to the beach? How did I missthis transition? I'm swimming back trying to figure out how they got fromthe castle to the beach. That is amazing. And on that note, I just thinkthat is the perfect way to perfect Close out are supposed to all of youout there. We encourage you to grab Lauren's latest novel Band of sisters.Hopefully from our bookseller of the week Shakespeare and company onLexington Avenue in new york Lauren thank you so much for dropping by totalk about your new book, you're writing life, all the amazing thingsyou have going on and just sharing so much. This was just fun. I think I'vesmiled the entire hour thank goodness Well thank you so much. It is alwayssuch joy and thank you so much to Christina wick Waris fur coat. WAlright, thanks Laurie, thanks for coming. All right, everyone was sodeeply appreciate you joining us. This community means so much to each andevery one of us and you all out there are at the heart of it ChristinaMcMorris a huge thank you to you for filling in for mary. Kay tonight weadore you in every way and cannot wait to have you back again with us. Thankyou this was so fun you know that I would have loved to have done this forthe last year but my book would have been coming out two years late yet. Sothis is a tree. Thank you. We are so glad to have you here but do not leaveyet because we have a few questions for you on our sip and stay with storypoint after show. So to all of you out there, stick around to hear a bit morefrom Christina, just after the credits roll and make sure to come back nextweek. Same time. Same place as we welcome Taylor Jenkins reid. Meanwhile,don't forget to check out our podcast, our winter Wonderland subscription andall the fun going on on our facebook page. See you in 30 seconds. Goodnight. Hello again. Welcome to our Friends inFiction. Sit and stay with story point after show. As we mentioned earlier, weare so happy to be partnering with story point winds as the officialsponsor of our after show. All summer long. It will be the summer of storypoint here on Friends and fiction as they say at story point, many greatstories and ideas unfold over a shared bottle of wine including Friends andfiction. Exactly. So every Wednesday night right through the end of august,we hope you'll stick around for these after shows to sip and stay with storypoints. Absolutely. Now Christina, we are so grateful that you joined ustonight and of course we'll be having you back soon. But we thought it wouldbe fun to play a quick game of what's your story with story points? We havesix a rapid fire questions for you so that our viewers can get to know you alittle bit better. So here goes all right, which one of your maincharacters is the most similar to you and why most similar to me. And y let'ssee here, I think, gosh, I don't know about you guys, but it's probably acombination of characters and I think there's a little piece of me and likeeach character and I know probably book clubs ask you that a lot, isn't it?That especially the female characters? And I think it was that one inspired byyourself. And I usually go, no, it was the guy like, I think that I tend to bemore of the male characters, a lot of my stories. Um, and I think it'sbecause growing up in, especially high school, all of my, almost all my closefriends were guys and I loved that they were like my brothers and, and sobecause of that, I love that quick humor and the sarcasm and, and um, andso yeah, so I think I relate more to them probably more than anything. Okay,so Christina. Which one of your books was the hardest. Right. Maybe let methink about that. Yeah. The current one, the only book that has taken me morethan a year to. Right. So yeah, this book was my gosh patty. You make mefeel so much better when I knew that savings savannah I think took two years.Right? Oh surviving savannah was this deep dive that every time I thought Iwas done I'd find something else. It took a little over two years. For sure,Christina. That was no, like we were talking about her writing a chapter aday, you know, I would get halfway through a chapter, freeze frame, takeanother rabbit hole freeze frame. So yeah, rabbit holes are insane. I don'tknow what you've done. Yeah. And then find out that once you come acrossright, one nugget that that's wrong and you'll get that they could have usedthat location on that estate. You know, they stopped using it two years earlier.You like, you can I can I budget Oh,...

...you know, you can't you're going to geta letter, you're going to get you can't see it, you know, and you work so hardat everything else. You go, really, am I going to let that go? And but yeah,of course. So, of course, yeah. And the most common story for me most. And Iknow your research was crazy. Most research. Like, the amount of researchI put into this one for each section, there's four sections of the book, andeach one was enough for an entire novel. So, it was it forward, it's a coupledifferent countries and it's three different countries throughout the book,all during the time that I was familiar with, but not not in those areas. So,like, the Netherlands, it goes into Dutch Resistance and things that I hadno idea about. So, super exciting to look back at how much I learned. But aswe all agree, if we had known what we're getting ourselves into, we neverwould have agreed. So it's good that I didn't know what is so great is that Iget to pick it up, read it over the course of a week and learn everythingthat you did in two years, which fabulous. Exactly. Right, Right. Butthat railing breeders that are like, all I couldn't put it down. I mean,they were wonderful. We love them, but I couldn't put it down. I read in a dayand you're like, really like that consumed my life for at least two years.I spent a day researching that one fat. Yeah. And that's exactly the color ofhis jacket and then took it out and then took it out. Of course, Yeah. Okay.So which of your books was the easiest? Right, okay. Well, there's probably, Icould say to, um, that were equal in different ways. One was letters fromhome, my very first debut novel. And I will say the, the easiest part of itwas because I didn't know what I was doing. So I wrote the entire book infour months, World War Two, the research interviewing people.Everything because when you're blissfully ignorant and you realizewhat a bad draft it is. You can cruise retailers, you can really fast whenyour fingers are brian man like that, that sentence is awesome and you'relike, no, not so much, no, no, looking back. It's not often, lots of, notawesome and that. Um, but then you know, another year of cleaning and learningand you know, going, oh okay, I really didn't know what I was doing. Okay,good. Um and then other than that picture book, oh my gosh there the bestyou should all stop writing historical youtube Christine and we all just, thisis where it's at people picture books, you can write it in a day. So really,so I have a picture book that's coming out next year with my sister becauseyou know, she's amazing, amazing artist and it's always been her dream to do,to illustrate picture books and then we sold it into book contract. So I thinkthey're changing the title or share it with you, but I'll share with you whenit's when it's ready and she's just turning it in today, like art work isdone, it is so beautiful, her work is gorgeous and its weight. That's a cutelittle story. And I'll just tell you the quickest version of it. Is that alittle girl who as we all know that question at school, what do you want tobe when you grow up? This is that story with a twist. So she cannot makedecisions to save her life, which my oldest son would spend like an hour anda half, two hours in front of the chuck e cheese prize counter because which ofthese really cheap toys do you want to take home? You can only do one. Um andit breaks on the way home. So always, always, always so she can't makedecisions. So she ends up melding and gnashing careers. So she's heard themoon is made of cheese and she also wants to be an astronaut, so she isgoing to make the best galactic grilled cheese sandwiches ever and seldom in afly through to aliens. So these are the kind of things that she comes up with,Its very fun. I love it. Okay, so Christina, What's the biggest challengeyou face when you sit down to write everything? Everything? A blank page.Like that is my hardest thing. I love to edit so much. So crazy, right? Imean, I'm like, we need to, if that's not your thing patty, we need a pair upbecause we need to co write a pair up with me because I loved Cruise on thatblack. I just cruise on the blank page, man, that's editing! Oh my gosh, I'm soenvious, I love editing part. And the bummer, Is that usually that's when thetime is crunched, right? And you have to edit, I'm editing this 560 pagemonster. It was that I plan to be 330 pages. That was my plan. Um but thestories, as you Christie says, it's just it's a big story. I mean it wascrazy to think I could shove it all in there, 300 pages. So um yeah, so yeah,we can we can work this out, you know, patty C and the Christie's, we we mayhave a like, you know, a little rotation. I just see that on the cover,you do the research, you're really good at that. Maybe it's not a band, Maybeit's a book go, like all edit all day long deal because you know, where isyour favorite place to write? Uh...

...favorite place to write is, oh my gosh,it's back in my office, which, which is also part of why this book, I thinktook all the time because I lost it for a year, you know, So I because we allhad different rooms in the house and both my boys did online charter schoolthis past year, which it turns out, you know, their their high school Did allonline last year as well. So we could kind of see it coming. So we decided togo with the school that had, had had had it down for 15 years, 20 years,they knew how to do online school. Um so it worked out great, but it meantthat everybody was in a different room and my husband started working out ofthe house a month before the pandemic. So before the shutdown, so everybody'sgot like a section, so I gave up the office um for my youngest, so he couldhave space, which is great, but I didn't think it affected me until hegot done with school. And I moved back in here in june and I'm writing so muchfaster and I realized that was part of the problem. I was sitting on a couch.I was way too comfortable. I was kind of like, I think editing I would havebeen okay but not writing from scratch that I was way too distracted. Thatmakes fascinating. So I want to know one thing that you want to accomplishwith the book or in your writing career or something you haven't written aboutyet that you may be terrified to write about and any of those you haven'taccomplished yet that you really want to accomplish. That's like a question.I think besides all of us wanted to see our books and movies, which they allbecome very soon. Yes. With all their mouth with all these treatment services,they're going to have to run out of books pretty soon. Right. Right. To find us. Right. So thanks. That idea ofcourse by this guy. That would be so fun. Right. So fun. Um, aside for theApple. See here I would probably, I am very tempted and I almost did thatinstead of the current book was to write a story that had to do it like aghost story and it's one of the ones that I just love them. Um, I grew up ina house that seemed to be at one point haunted. Uh, we actually, you know, Idon't ever told you this did I about a mask that we were given a family as agift and it turns out later was from Haiti which we didn't know. And so whoknows what they've done with uh weird things started happening in our houseand um it was like where you get it would sound like tons of people werewalking around upstairs like a party where the house is suddenly likefootsteps all over and nobody was home or the lights would go on and off. TheT. V. Would turn itself on which there were no remote back then. You know soit was weird things like that you could feel hot and cold uh spots in a roomand like like we were in the water like a pool and you go hot and cold that'show it felt in the room. So finally my we didn't know what to make of it. Andso my uh we didn't know about the mask at the time. So my mom had a familypastor come to the house and he saw it, he was like that's kind of weird. Wheredid you get? I think you might want to get rid of that and kind of get a badfeeling. We prayed in all the rooms at the time and it went away and we foundout a couple years later our neighbors had had the same thing happening at thesame time as us and it stopped at the same time. So good, so fascinating. Ohmy gosh, what Christina? We are so happy that you joined us tonight. Thiswas so much fun and I love that we use the after show tonight to ask youquestions. This was so much fun. Yeah. Yeah, that was a couple of things Iknow about you. So that was, that was really cool. So thank you so muchChristina. And Lauren was great tonight. I just think we had a wonderful night.Yeah, it was really fun. My face is smiley. I'm trying to have youChristina like just to have you. This is our fourth. Uh easy and so fun. I'dlove to be back. I miss you guys were so good luck with the rest of the book.I know you're going to turn it in. It's all going to be good. I cannot wait tohear what? Your editor, Thanks. Oh my God, thank you. And everybody out there,we will see you all next week. Next week at seven p.m. Eastern. Good nighteveryone. Mm Thank you for tuning in, Join usevery week on Facebook or YouTube where our live show airs every Wednesdaynight at seven p.m. eastern time and please subscribe to our podcast andfollow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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