Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year 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. Five best selling authors and the stories novelist mary Kay andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson harvey patty Callahan, Henry and mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books to their credit In 2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlight independent bookstores. These friends discuss the books, they've written the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Mhm Hi guys hi everyone it is a Wednesday night and that means it's time for friends and fiction. We're so happy you're here with us and we hope you are having a great week so far. I'm Christine Harmel, I'm Christy Willson Harvey, I'm Patty Callahan, Henry, this I'm the new one tonight we have not only a special guest coming on but we also have a special guest host the one and only Christina McMorris who we all adore. Hi Christina hi hi Christine, it is so great to have you with us. So of course mary Alice is on sabbatical and mary Kay is on vacation someone we're down to mary's the only logical option is to add another christian or Christie to keep things confusing so we did our absolute best and we landed audie Christina. So patty, I'm afraid you are outnumbered. So tonight along with our dear friend Christina, Christie Patty and I are excited to welcome new york times best selling author Lauren Willig whose latest band of sisters just came out a few months ago. We'll be talking about the book and also about her fabulous frequent collaborations with Karen White and Beatrice Williams, her hugely popular pink carnation series and 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 have to say until Lauren gets here and I am the odd man out. I think we sound like a band Pekao and the Christie's well we have to be merry and the Christie, so don't tell mary I'm its peak Al and the Christie's house, that's why I always get, we always get relegated to being the back with the backup singers. What's that that you guys can I just, I don't know, crispies with patty, I mean it doesn't have 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 practice my tambourine since it's the only thing I plan. So as always it is so important for us to remind you about supporting independent bookstores and tonight we are highlighting Shakespeare and company on Lexington Avenue in new york city and I know there's one in paris but tonight we're talking about the one in 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 we all love our friends at Caroline's cakes who want you to take a bite out of 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 and of 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 bag brimming with swag from friends and fiction and Caroline's including 10 books and in order of Caroline's cake bites in the flavor of your choice to make sure you're following us individually on facebook and instagram for chances to enter all month long. The cake bites are incredible and I'm kind of wondering if I'm eligible to win. Yeah, good points. So I'm in um north Carolina right now and I went to the farmers market near me and they had a whole bunch of Caroline's cakes. No way. Yeah. And I was like those, those are our people, I get too carried away...

...talking about kate and especially the gluten free coconut one. Um, Christina. Since we have you on the hook. You thought you were just to to co host. But we have you on the hook. So we'd love to ask you about what you are working on now because rumor has it and we hear the rumors. Trust me you have a book coming out soon. And I know that all good Gillian people who fell in love with sold on a monday are eagerly waiting to hear what you're working on next. So can you tell us and dispel the rumors and set us straight? Right. I think that nobody is more eager than my editor. It's not what are you working on now kristen And we talked about this earlier today. It's what am I still working on? So sad. Um I will say though, before I jump into that that I am so happy to know. Hopefully Lawrence listening to this because I just discovered on a facebook post the other day 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's insane. And so when she posted the other day that commenting about somebody complimenting her, she said, oh people I am a year late with my next book. I went oh my God I have human your human. I'm a year late with my book. So yes, so I feel better now. I do feel better in our lame nous um actually takes time. Yeah, in this past year right? I mean goodness. We can all agree. This is insane. So yes, I can finally tell you a little bit more um I am 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 all night. Um so it is called The Ways We Hide and Historical fiction again. What a great title. Good. I'm so glad you like it because we went through about a bazillion 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 tell you guys I'll come back and visit if you guys have you back sometime and I will tell you way more when I have books to give away and all that. Um for now I can tell you that it without giving away too much. It it should come out to next august is what we're slated for. And so we got one more year which the normal people's world feels like forever. But we all know. Right, That's really 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 and um the reason I wrote about it is because I came across an article years ago, that was that was about World War Two, about a british military intelligence group that I had never heard of and if their skill sets and the people they recruited were so unique and unusual that it sounds stranger than fiction and it has inspired other movies that people have no idea that they are tied to. Which is so cool. And the things that they did and created Are things that you all have in your homes, you still use them today, 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 work until 1985 because they thought they might have to use it against the Russians during the Cold War. So that inspired a story that and a mix of a female illusionist that is somehow tied to this whole group. So wait I cannot wait. You ever think about using the word illusionist? I love that. We're the 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 you were in Beaufort and then you had sort of like decided and I was like oh this is so good. Thank you. Oh my gosh that was 500 pages ago. Yes. Oh yeah I remember that, vaguely, vaguely, vaguely hilarious but it was I mean it's I mean it's a big story, it's a big idea like that wasn't something you could just turn over weight. I know, I cannot wait to read it. Um, so you know early looks were available here for uh, every week. You guys, we partner with Parade magazine online, we streamed from their facebook page live during the show and we have an original essay and their online magazine every week this year. This year. Kristen Really? Yeah, it's a beautiful letter to her son. Noah about what she hopes he learns as he starts kindergarten next week. And I was like crying in the car reading it just, you know, and then we'll starting fourth grade, which is insane. But you can find a link on our facebook page and our instagram bio...

...said Kristen, can you tell us about this? Beautiful. Yes, let's just have a quick chat about because I want to move on and bring Lauren on. But you guys, I'm gonna need major moral support next week 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 wrote him a letter about what I hope he learns beyond the actual lessons will find in books. So of course you can find that s am parade dot com as Christie said now Christie and Christina. You both have school aged kids and patty, your granddaughter Bridget is not too far away from the beginning of her school journey. What are some lessons that you hope they take away from this school year and bring with them always and maybe just keep it quick so we can bring Lauren on ladies. How about you? Christina? Yeah so 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 to kindergarten. Okay. What a thing to worry about now, but he learned very quickly, you know about conflict resolution. So that is something we can all agree that biting is bad and you have to come to compromise is okay with that. I just I think your your whole life, you know you're working with people who are different than you who don't communicate the way you do, who don't do things the way that you do, who don't look like you or act like you're think like you and I think that's one of the greatest things about school is that it sets you up forever for being able to you know work with people and understand people and like people and be involved with people who um you might not necessarily have thought were going to be like your person. And so I just love that because I think that's such a good life lesson and we use it forever. Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I love that. I didn't write 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 letter to all of them when they went to college. And I remember going halfway through my son's freshman year and he had oh my God I'm gonna cry. He had my letter on his bulletin board in his face and it was still in the envelope and it obviously had opened it and read and um something happened a couple months later and he texted me and quoted part of that letter. So Kristin that letter you need to save it forever because he doesn't know the impact right now. But he will he would love that and you know let me that just reminded me I'll insert one thing but on a serious note. But although biting a serious is and this will be really good. I just thought of it that you could start when he starts to going to school or the end of the year. What I started what I started doing. Can you hear me? Ok? Yes, ok. What I started doing, they can't hear 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 by numbers which usually you give as a high school present right? But I saw online that somebody had done this so cool starting at kindergarten, you have their teachers or their counselors. Everybody they loved at the end of the year. You ask them who were their favorite teachers of the year and they all write a note in that book and they don't know it. But I'm giving my my oldest is a senior so he gets it next year. Oh that's chill bomb. That's why it 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 also has two young kids. I bet she has some thoughts on this to maybe we'll touch on motherhood and parenthood a little bit with her tonight. So let's take a moment to introduce her and then we will bring her on patty. You want to get us started. Yes, Lauren is the new york Times and USa Today. Bestselling author of more than 2020 works of historical fiction including Band of Sisters, The Summer Country, The English Wife. I love that title. The English Wife, by the way, the rita Award winning Pink Carnation series and three novels co written with Beatrice Williams and Karen White. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages picked for a book of the month Club awarded the rita Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf Awards and chosen for the American Library Association's annual list of the best genre fiction. And she's also an alumna of Yale University, just that little school that you may have heard of, a little dinky place because she couldn't get in anywhere else. Um Lord at like four thing. Oh my gosh! And then overachiever has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a J. D. From Harvard 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 husband and two young Children that we'll talk about and a few fun facts. Lauren has also spent a year doing dissertation research. Total slacker lady in London. And she actually signed her first book contract during her first month of law school where I imagine she had loads and loads and loads of time on her hands for writing. I mean how hard Harvard Law school actually be. I mean Elwood's was like planning mixers while she was doing true looking, super cute bikini. She actually practiced law, is litigation associate for a year and a half at a big firm in new york before leaving to write full time. At which point 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 sub genre, something Laura knew a little bit about by then her latest novel Band of Sisters tells the true story of the women's relief unit of smith college which 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. Lovely introduction. We're so excited and a little bit intimidated that you're here with us because after that introduction, we're all like, okay, easily bored. So Lauren before we take a deep dive into your world as a writer, will you give everyone a quick description of Band of sisters? Sure. Band of Sisters is based on the true story of the smith College relief unit, A group of determined smith college alumni who went off to France at the height of World War One to bring humanitarian aid to villagers right behind the front line. So these women battled, you know, german shells, french bureaucracy, recalcitrant livestock and a group of british officers who are like women are war zone, 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 home by the real women who did this which are in the archives of smith College who were just they were the most amazing people. And luckily for me also amazing letter writers. Well, I am glad that you mentioned that because that is one of the things we wanted to ask you about today. So a quick note to everyone out there, Please put your questions in the comments on facebook or youtube wherever you're watching us and we will try to get to a couple of them tonight. So Lauren, you are so well known for the vast amount of research you do for your novels. I mean I feel like it's been that way since the 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 smith College relief unit and about the research you did and I really do specifically want to hear about the letters because I think that's just such an just such an interesting component of how you put this book together. Oh my gosh, thank you. And you sort of like all the best things this book happened to me totally by accident. So as um the girls here mentioned in addition trying my own books, I also co write with two really good friends, Beatrice Williamson, Karen White and so we wrote a little book set in three quiet calm time periods in french history, World War One, World War two in the 19 sixties and for the World War One bit, we needed to know about christmas in Picardy under the german occupation. Like specifically we need to know whether a certain type of Pickard christmas cake would have been available under the Germans. And so because this is the thing that will haunt you, there will be that one reader because the rest of your life will be like but in 1914 they didn't have 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 about throwing Christmas parties for villagers in 1917. And I'm like uh because it sounded read like fiction, it sounded crazy like this group of long skirted smithies out there dressing up, I kid you not as father christmas and hooking toys on fishing line for the kids to pull out of a decorative screen. I'm like someone made this up. So of course I drop everything because you know, procrastination is my middle name and I read 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 there were no secondary sources. It kind of blew my mind that no one had written the story. There were these memoirs, there was a pamphlet which told their story through bits of their letters and it had been put together in the 19 sixties and sort of vanity published and it was, you could tell the letters were really heavily edited and it was a smith College Alumni quarterly which had 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 you could just see the ellipses and you cut the juicy bits out. And so the college has this amazing library guide online...

...and I saw that they had a letter collections from the members of the original smith College relief unit. I thought, okay, I have these questions. Like such questions like one woman had talked about this horrible thing that she had seen that changed her whole life 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 baby a week after they get their headquarters, she suddenly resigns and leaves. And there's no in any like the dot, dot, dot does not cover this. I'm like, why go? Because they're like, for health, but nothing had been said about her health before. I'm like, okay, there's a story, something happened. So I emailed the archivist at smith College. It's like spicy you have these letters and you say you can digitize things because I have a one year old and a five year old and I don't think I can make it to the archives. Could you send me these letter collections? And they're like, do you know how many pages that is? And I was thinking like 10 pages in the proposed card of paris because on archival research before, and sometimes you would get really excited and you're like, oh my God, there's a letter collection and you get there and if someone's laundry list for my favorite was when I was doing my dissertation, I trekked out to the University of Nottingham archives actually 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 who had helped controls escape from captivity and then got him captured again. I'm like finally I'll get the inside scoop. I got there and his journal was there. It was entirely about his struggle with his hemorrhoids, live letters, a postcard and something about someone hemorrhoids and the archive of the archivist was like, look, we're happy and digitize this stuff for you. But you realize that over 1000 pages is my gosh, oh my goodness. And wow, we're reading through and it was not a journal about someone's hemorrhoids. It was actually like the day to day stuff they've been doing the answers to all my questions were there. It was every novelist dream of the cache 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 of the book and it was just such a good story and beautiful and I love that what you and the www do all the time. It was just and all the women here that bring that bring female protagonists, especially, especially from like the historical of us bringing the history of kind of the unsung heroes that we just never heard about, that got lost in history and I just absolutely love that. 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 your name upside down here with Mark Morris. Right? Absolutely. All right, So speaking 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 and miners change time, whereas yes, yes. Speaking of well, it's like we'd like to tell you to our sponsors for tonight. No, I'm just like, ok, so we're all moms and so we know we all know first dance as we all know because we're all punchy at this point, how tough it can be to balance with writing, which is insane how you do what you do. So can you talk us a bit about how you have found some balance. Do we do we laugh through that balance between mom life and writing life and over the last year and a half, especially with all the craziness going on and especially because in new york where you live where essentially you guys were locked down. So tell us about that. I mean I do think balance is kind of a joke. So I was a public author for Jackie before I had my first child and I had these beautiful primrose ideas fueled fueled by 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 really hard. I sat at my desk in her nursery because I was like, she will be nothing like a little angel in the crib and I can hear her gentle breathing while I write deathless prose. And I also I called my agent who also didn't have kids. I'm like, you know, I'm worried I'm going to use the baby as an excuse to slack. So I think we should double my writing schedule because I work better when I'm overcommitted. And so that's why I signed up to write a pink carnation book a year because I was still wearing that series and just stand alone book a year and then a couple of novellas for anthologies and then a little bit later the team W books. So, and then my child was born and thought that napping with something that happened to other people and I was like, oh my God, I underestimated all the mothers in my life for so long because I just had this idea that moms just for really organized people and that like somehow once you've got your...

...mom badge, you became able to do the work of 10 and this was just something that happened and actually what really happens if you are so punchy with sleep deprivation that you do all sorts of things because you don't even realize you're doing them and you were so happy and decaf coffee because you're not allowed to have actual caffeine anyway. So as your balance, you know, my balance comes of having other people deal with my Children for me and I feel like it's important to be blunt about that. Like when my child was a baby and I had a book to, my older one was a baby and I had a book to, my mother would come over every day and hold her while she napped for three hours while I went off to Starbucks because I had a book to two months. I turned in a book right before she was born and I had a book to two months after and I wound up getting a three month extension, I turned in when she was five months old and that only happened because my mother was there every day holding her for three hours a day. And so I think this year, You know, especially we went into lockdown on March 11, a day that shall live in infamy. My first and best purchase was a Nespresso machine that kept me and my family alive through this when we were locked in our apartment. Um but I think it really exposed the fault lines in working motherhood in America and how hard it is to juggle I got band of sisters down on two hours a day because my husband has one of those finance jobs where you do not take time off for kids. So our solution was lunchtime from 11 to 1 when 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 double Nespresso 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 espresso espresso want something command and you as christian and I were talking about you know, I was like you know when that happened I was like oh my God, I am super woman, I can do anything on two hours a day but that only works so long as I thought lockdown was going to lift eventually and I had another book do and somehow they were always you know my husband had worked crises and my two I was like, okay, don't worry, I'll cover, I don't need my two hours a day today and things just kind of got lost and then by the time I started to get some work time back I was so burned out that I couldn't focus and so and also the archives at smith college I needed were closed but that's really excuse, I think it was really more the, I think it's very hard to get back from childcare mode into work. Once you've been thrown off your schedule, your hard to reclaim that time. Especially when you spend all your time scrolling through CNN reading like horrific things are the world was on fire. I mean it was on fire to literally to focus for two hours a day when the world is burning over here. Like working hard when the world was really burning. In some ways, it was easier because I could hear the sirens outside my window. We hadn't left our apartment and everything was hyper charged and the hunting is fans of sisters dovetailed with it because there I was while these horrific historic events were happening, writing about women who are going through these horrific historic events. But you were pulling together and coming out on top and finding the good in people and the creepiest spookiest thing was for a little bit. I was writing about the exact same day. So like a March from the 1st 2020. I was writing about March 21st, 1918 and it was yuri but I took so much comfort from it, wow. I think that kind of adrenaline only gets you so far and then eventually crashed. But what happens when the crisis keeps going? Yes, we burn you burn out because you still finished it. So bravo Lauren beautiful. It's amazing what a real casualty was the following book because after this, I was like, I'm the right that next book, I plunged right into the research for it and I hit the snag of the smith archives being closed and then my two hours disappeared and it just sort of dragged and dragged and dragged and my adrenaline, my adrenaline ran out. So yeah, I can relate to that because I chose this year to do my first part historical novel. And I had all this these grand ideas 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 shut down and it was like, thank the Lord for librarians because like what would we have done? I mean, it was crazy. Um but anyway, thank you for sharing all of that because it's not always easy. And um but you you pulled it out and it's amazing. But you are also so well known for your sweeping pink carnation series, which Library Journal called the best literary bouquet ever created. And reviewer bobby bobby Duma's called...

...genre bridging in a piece for NPR she goes on to say, I call them genre bridging because they satisfy romance fans 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 and gratifying historical swashbuckling Spy based plots and on romance fans love to whatever 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. And did you mean them to be genre bridging? You know, they were another great example of things that happen when you intend to do something else. So, I had really, I went off to grad school thinking I was going to write those big doorstop historical fiction novels, you know, Gone with the Wind, the thorn birds through a glass. Darkly. I know, it doesn't never even love the thorn birds. I was going to use my PhD to write because my my field was tutor Stuart England, I was gonna write the set this 1000 page long, 17th century epic, but there I was, I was a third year grad student grading student papers, 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 during the Napoleonic wars. Because I grew up on the scarlet pimpernel and Zorro, but I had questions like how does the heroin not realize who he is behind the mask, Why does the scarlet pimpernel love, It's so easy with marguerite. I mean she could give him so much more trouble. So this was really, this was my sanity saver was my Napoleonic romp, which is sort of a mix of the scarlet pimpernel and Georgia higher and black at her and sheep jokes and serve whatever came to my mind at the moment because it was just my mental health project and it was meant to be silly and a spoof. But the weird thing was a friend of mine, you know, I passed you around my friends to my friends because it was full of these in jokes and a friend gave it to her friend who was an agent and I got this random call from a guy who's like, I'm an agent and I really love your book, I will represent you. I'm like, who are you? And spilled coffee all over myself incarnation happened. It was a book that was never meant to be published. And you know, the frame story was really, I was this was the Haiti of chocolate, we're talking 2001, And I just come back from my dissertation year in London where I had lived in a basement flat and not medic, you'd englishman and not found like a cache of amazing secret sources. Instead, I was cracking after people's journals about their 17th century hemorrhoids and so I wrote this wish fulfillment cream about an American grad student in London who meets this incredibly handsome blond Englishman who happens to have a cache of family papers that tells her everything she wanted to know. And my grad school friends got really into it. They're like put in how like, advisors never answer your emails. And so it was like all my grad school stuff and all the dating stuff and now it reads like a time capsule, like kind of cracks me up, but that was my life back then. And so it was this frame. They were my what was the old coffee couple? Like Maxwell House, where they had those commercials where the romance would progress by like 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 circle back to them because I am I'm dying to know how you guys fight actually. I know, I don't think you ever do actually. Um but for those of you who don't know about the three Ws book. Oh my goodness! So of course the last names, I'll start with W and they've written all the ways we say said goodbye, The Glass Ocean and The Forgotten Room and those are all with new york Times. Bestselling authors Karen White and Beatrice Williams. So, can you tell us a little bit then besides the whole fighting part, which we really want to know about how you worked together and collaborating like that, the how the rhythm of collaboration works. Um with the three of you all working on your own projects at the same time, which is insane in itself. 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 funny because we like to tell people that we weren't put together, like The Spice Girls were all genuine Ws and that was part of how we got together because we were all authors were all on the circuit and you get seated by alphabet at 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 a conference and we're like, oh my God, if we were at a book together, our publisher 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 agents thought this was the worst idea they had ever really know. They were like so surprised when part of it may be that when we stumbled out drunk out of the bar, we ran into current editor and we were sort of, we slurred, oh my God, we have the best idea ever. We're gonna write this is a book together, it's gonna be 50 shades of plaid. So when we went back and we're like, we're going to write this book. She's like, not the Scottish veronica No, we swear welcome scott veronica. It's gonna be a book and where it's going to be triple timeline, because dual timelines is what we do, and we're gonna write it together. And our agents were all like, you are aware you're all under contract for other books. And my agent was like, you're aware you're under contract for a lot of books and you're behind on most of them, because it's with the baby effect, because I just had my daughter and okay, like, no, please, we really, really, really want to do it. And so we were like, a pity by and no one thought it was good work. And they kept being like, so it's an anthology and we're like, no, it's one book but three authors, and I will never forget when we sent the manuscript into her head her and she's like, this is actually good. You so much so surprised. But we have a lot of trouble with this because the Salesforce, our our editor will call us to be like, The Salesforce doesn't know how to sell it because there are three names on the cover, and we're like, it's still novel, there are Three of us but still novel, We swear when that first book, that for a living room came out and it hit the USA list and the USa today and new york Times in the first week they suddenly looked up and 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 we balance. So the funny thing is we found that despite what our agents thought the weird thing is it feels like there's more time in the day when we're working together and I think it's because we all always hit those dry spells, our own books, this bitch where you're stuck where you're like, oh my God, I'm writing the wrong book, I don't know what I'm doing all my previous books or a fluke, I have no idea how to do this thing and that's when your team W chapter lands on your, you know, in your inbox because we right round robin and it's like and writing the chapter for the group is so freeing because you know, your friends have your back, you know that if you write something really stupid and hopeless, they will gently tell you and that their stuff will be good. So your stuff is only one third. So even if one third is crappy, two thirds are good. So all the okay, and so the team is actually so I just wrote we were in the final round of chapters for our latest or fourth collaboration, I just want my chapter in one day because that's what happens when you're in on the team w role and it's like, wow, how do I write this fast? Can't I write this fast always? But you can't really. But you know, 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 and energy. That's awesome. Amazing. And I think I think for all of us, what someone's saying, you can't do that. We just we're doubling down really. You think we can't do that? Let me show you. So that's a great story. We had a couple of comments popping up. That's a great story. So, you have also written about, 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 you just talk a little bit about why you have been drawn to so many historical periods? You haven't kind of rooted down in one, which makes me think not only 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 and bubbles up. That's a really good question. And one no one has actually ever asked me before. You know, I think part of it is this is the reason I realized I would make a really crappy academic historian is on the historical magpie, you know, I'll see. So I love that these behind the front line to be like, oh shiny, I want to read about that. And so I sort of dark around from shiny thing too shiny thing where my dissertation, by the way, was on three years 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 World War One. Now I'm gonna go over to the Greco Turkish war in 18 97 and I can do that as a historical fiction author and...

...be like bright shiny and get to read all these amazing things and research them and call it work and that's an incredible gift. But as just sort of the, the irony though is like, I always intended that like once I wrote my Pink series and you played in the Napoleonic wars for a while. If I ever wrote anything else, I would go back and write my giant 17th century epic, I kept promising I would write and then instead I wrote a book set in 1920s, Kenya. And then once in 18 forties London and like every time I'm like, I'm gonna write my english Civil War Epic, Something else pops up and I write that instead. So I've run like about everything except my actual time period. Um, but the theme that ties them all together is what I think of as the, but women did principle because one thing that drove me nuts and still drives me nuts is the idea that there is now and there was then and in then women didn't do anything that women had no rights. They had no agency and that's just plain wrong. I think it's less, although in some ways it's comfortable to think of it as a T lows where you start at one point and you moved to another, it's actually more of a helix which goes round and round and round that. For example, women had a hell of a lot more freedom in the Georgian period in the 18th century than they had in the mid 19 at sort of the heart height of the victorian angel of the hard theory. And one thing that fascinated me so much about researching Band of sisters in my World War One women is that this is a time when the world was opening up for women and these women were like we can do anything and we can prove to the world we can do anything that part of the reason for their mission to France was a to convince people that women deserve the vote and be to show the world that american women were equal to anything and could be in any profession and do anything and they had this idea that everything was opening in front of them whereas and I have not worked extensively in World War Two and how many of you have, especially you Christina. It. I get the sense that World War Two, the end of World War Two is the opposite. It's things are closing instead of opening And that even though like with band of Sisters, even though horrible things were happening, they're going out there with the feeling that they are opening up the world to them and their younger sisters and you know, and things do open up. I mean the 1920s or when the first barristers are admitted to the bar 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 if any of the other female relief groups, we've ran them out of history. We've written the things that get out of history and we bring the idea that women of that era had that kind of agency and power out of history. And I found this again and again and again in various time periods. And so that's you know, I think that's the theme that connects with my work. You see finding out the things women actually did, the power they actually had and putting it there. Well, footnoted on the page. I love when those themes bubble up and sometimes and I bet you would say this some of your books, you didn't realize that was the theme your your magpie self saw this shiny object and then about halfway through you're like, oh here it is, again, that amazing the way this stuff just keeps popping back out. I mean, and it's funny, I got my start back in college. I was a renaissance studies major and my specialty was the Queen regent of Scotland Marie doggies. But I spent my time writing about female monarchs, about women who exacted power over all the men in their week. And that was a great era of female monarchs. And so it amazed me when I look at other time periods that you know, there is this idea that women didn'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'm scratching that surface and bringing those stories back up so we can sort of readjust our idea of what women did and what women were capable of in earlier eras. That's incredible. And I cannot imagine like just ever, I feel like everything that you read and everything you pick up on is just like a new little idea that's so exciting for your historical fiction queens. I'm kind of like the odd man out tonight here. This is but Lauren you chose Shakespeare and company on Lexington avenue in new york is your local independent bookseller. Can you talk to us a little bit about why you love them so much. Well, partially they are my local dealer there on my path to my son's preschool. So they are that dangerous place where it's like, oh I'll just pop in for a quick cup of coffee before pick up and then like the stroller basket fills up with more books. But they are a wonderful study. Have you know, back in the before times and I hope someday again soon they do really marvelous events. Um some of my happiest times have been in that basement at Shakespeare and Company, both as an audience member and as a Panelist and they're just lovely and always have a book recommendation or...

...you know an online seminar on hand. And so I encourage everyone to check them out. Now I need, not that I didn't need a trip to new york before. Not that I wasn't already aching to get back to that fabulous city, but this bookstore sounds amazing and they are giving all of you, do they? Okay, well do they have an espresso machine like you do that how she can go to your house first. Um They are giving Shakespeare and company is giving all of you out there 10% off on band of sisters or any of the new releases from us here at Friends in fiction with the code Friends and fiction but spell out the word and all one word and you can find a 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 a little short on time. So maybe Lauren, if you would, maybe you could stop back in later if you have a chance sometime later this week to answer. There's just a lot of questions. Absolutely. I will go and type out answers you got. It's fantastic. You know, feel free to keep putting them in and I will keep fighting. 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're not 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 a writing tip from our guests. Do you have a writing tip you can share with us perhaps about how to write a chapter a day in a, in a panic and to turn out a book in a few weeks. Because I mean, asking for a friend that has nothing to do with anything I have coming up in the next couple of minutes. That's an easy one, espresso espresso is our news. Uh, can we send them this episode? Like yes 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 coffee flavor. I like that. I like it happening on Tuesday. Uh checking on a Wednesday. So the english wife english blend. Yeah, actually my my best writing advice is always ignore advice that I don't think there's any right or wrong way to do this crazy thing we do and that the only way to learn what your method is is by trial and error by just flinging yourself at it until you figure out what works for you. And I've always been very glad that I didn't go to any writers conferences until after my first book was right out. I agree in my second because I got my first one and learned I've been doing everything all wrong for years, but by then I was so sad in my bad habits, I just continued with it. So I think the important thing is to know that there really is no right or wrong, that your method, whatever it is, if it's right for you, it's right and just go on with it and don't try to twist yourself into anyone else's ideal writing style or scheduled your way is your way. I love that. Absolutely. I always joke with, you know, when I'm talking to high schools there about, you know, create a variety and that's not right. I always say that almost every story has been told right. If if Shakespeare didn't cover it. You know the greek mythology did. So it's all about specialist fiction, right. It's all about your voice and how you tell the story and not to worry if something else has been written already because goodness knows yes it has it's been written. So so putting your spin on it is the most important thing. Um Yeah so for my my advice on that I'll chime in is um you know the most important thing I ever learned. And I learned this after I wrote the whole first draft of my first book. Was unfortunate to the best advice 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? Is that you have they want something, why can't they have it and why do they want it? Did I repeat that all that? So um so for me I think that the biggest thing that turns the pages right is conflict and raising questions and then as soon as you answer a question, then raise another one And that's how isn't that just the most irritating thing at that movie at 2:00 AM? It's terrible and you cannot go to bed because they've raised a question that you need to know the answer to before you can sleep and then you turn it off go I should have gone to bed but it doesn't matter because you watch the whole thing 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 us about. Well sure right now I am reading Ellie Griffith Zigzag Girl which is like that title. Right, Right. And you say it's very catchy. But the fight things, I've avoided this book for years because I adore her ruth Galloway mystery series about a forensic...

...archaeologist on the Norfolk coast. He's always getting mixed up in crime because my not so secret addiction is british murder mysteries. I've really strangely soothing, particularly during the pandemic. It's like someone like some british person will be murdered. A detective will be called in the crime will be solved. Yeah, it's very relaxing. Um but I have for some reason I avoided this particular series by her for 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 so I finally, because mysteries murder mysteries have really been getting me through the pandemic, I've run through so many. I'm like fine, I'll try the bright 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 for another 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 another one and then there is, but eventually he's gonna catch up to Inspector Morris and they're not going to have any more. I know and I find the horses so deeply unsatisfying. I actually made the mistake of trying to read what the original more mysteries and I was fascinated by how cheaply male chauvinistic it was. And then I went back to watch, I like I love endeavor and lewis but the morse is you know, even though they spawned the others, I find really hard to either read or watch. That's crazy. So Christina, do you have a book you'd like to recommend? You know, there's one that I got to say that I am cannot wait to read now that I was about to finish my book. Um and it is and of course historical because I get so excited about those um by two friends, so heather web and hazel gain or what you guys are all friends with and they just had a brand new book come out. So speaking of collaborations those 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. So good. I got I got a chance to read it early and blur, but it was absolutely fantastic. So yes, you were in for a treat. You're absolutely right Christie did you have a book you wanted to mention also, yes, I just wanted to mention um Ali Larkin's, the people we keep came out this week and um, Ron and I got to interview her for the most fabulous podcast episodes. You guys need to definitely check that out when it comes out. But the book opens with a girl hot wiring a car to get to an open mic night. So basically I've talked from page one and I was like, what is this? And um just her story about this story absolutely was breathtaking. So um, everybody needs to check it out. It's a great book and the podcast episode was fantastic. Talk about hitting 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 what great recommendations this week. This sounds wonderful. All right, Christina Lauren, 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 Christy just mentioned it about our podcast. We have the friends and fiction writer's block podcast and we will always post links under announcement each time a new one comes out it is so much fun because it's totally different from the show and we interview people on Fridays and we have Ron hones in a memoir writing this week with authors, Why two More and Lisa Donovan that drops on Friday and wherever you get your podcasts, you can find these last week they interviewed jean hamp Corlett who wrote the plot and the book was a jimmy Fallon 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 way to listen online if you don't already listen regularly is to just go to the friends and fiction website and click on the podcast link and you can listen straight off your computer, you don't even have to get fancy and pull out your phone. Well, I just want to remind everybody about all of our fabulous friends and fiction merchandise that is available either through our website or it takes you over to Oxford exchange. They have a whole friends of fiction section on their website, the t shirts and wine cups and tumblers and all kinds of good stuff and we are getting ready to roll out a really amazing new friends of exciting, cannot wait to tell you about and we're pretty sure that you're going to want to get it for everyone on your holiday list. But speaking of your holiday list, do you know that patty mary. Kay and I all have winter books coming out mary case the santa suit patties, Once upon a wardrobe and my christmas and Pete...

...street block, you can order them and partnership with Nantucket Book partners and um they'll come to you on their pub day or right as soon as they come out and you get an exclusive friends and fiction coffee mug and Brandon hot chocolate and it's the only place you can get those. So um, it's good winter reading for you know, keep you cozy and there is this video, we made this exclusive video and you get the QR code with this subscription and you can watch this little video we made together where we tell behind the scenes secrets in Christie's living room. So, and of course if you're not hanging out with us yet in the France and fiction official book club, you are completely, totally utterly missing out the group which is separate from us and is run by our friends lisa Harrison and Brenda Gartner is now 8000 members strong and this friday they will be hosting 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 the friends and Fiction book club to discuss her astounding book The Forest of Vanishing Stars which of course came out last month, they have plenty more fun events in store. So if you haven't joined hop over to the friends and fiction official book club. Okay next week join us right here at seven p.m. Again on Wednesday at seven Already said at seven p.m. I think I'm having water and I can't get the time. Taylor Jenkins reid who were so excited to host the author of daisy jones in the six and this summer's huge hit Mallaby Rising. I will also be giving you, I forgot about this a sneak peek at the brand new cover way. I got, I got to get that together on my 20 a wedding veil and she has to get a freak out if you preorder so you won't want to miss it. And if you're ever wondering about our schedule, it's always on the Friends and fiction website as well as the sidebar of events on our facebook page and to learn more about our individual online and in person happenings. Make sure that you subscribe to the Friends and fiction newsletter which you can do from the landing page of Friends and fiction dot com. And now that we're almost wrapped up, Lauren, you have one more question left before you go and it is not hemorrhoid related. So you're really 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 know and that is that we are really, really interested in. Um what were the values around reading and writing in your childhood. So what books did you grow up with and how important were this? Oh my gosh! Well I grew up surrounded by books, you know, sort of as you can see behind me, the interior decoration scheme is where can we stick more books. Um I grew up on a lot of, well, I grew up reading things that were inappropriately way too old for me. I got my hands on my first romance novel Mary Lies and of Camp Ray sat during the civil war between Stephen Matilda in England when I was seven years old because I had read um oh gosh, I'm black and I'm L Konigsberg a proud taste for Scarlett and may have her about Eleanor of Aquitaine And fell in love with her and pestered everyone for anything that might have anything about Eleanor 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 that was just, I moved on from there to do Devereaux and Joanna Lindsay. So I was the first grader on the school bus going back and forth between Nancy drew and 20 vice queen of fire. So like, like, you know, although the pure, all things are pure, there was so much that totally went over my head. But my parents reaction to this when other parents would be like, oh my God, why are you letting her read like sweet savage love was we don't care what she's reading. As long as she's reading. So they didn't talk a little at Sweet Valley High, like my favorite. I love it. And mom wouldn't let me read the last two like some it was something in the morning after. I wasn't allowed to read this. I will tell you why I I feel like, I think I feel like Sweet Valley High was way above my head in so many levels. Unlike you, Kathleen A widow is like 18th century romantic drama was one thing, but I remember there was this line in one of the Sweet Valley Highs where it was like, she had found some 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. Oh my God, isn't that funny when you read stuff a little too early and you think you get it in your mind just fills in. Oh, I love that. My other favorite was like in one of those romance novels...

...where there was this extended metaphor is only like Kathleen E. Woodiwiss in the seventies and eighties writers could do about waves crashing on a beach and I of course was all about it was sex, but I was like, when do you think go to the beach? How did I miss this transition? I'm swimming back trying to figure out how they got from the castle to the beach. That is amazing. And on that note, I just think that is the perfect way to perfect Close out are supposed to all of you out there. We encourage you to grab Lauren's latest novel Band of sisters. Hopefully from our bookseller of the week Shakespeare and company on Lexington Avenue in new york Lauren thank you so much for dropping by to talk about your new book, you're writing life, all the amazing things you have going on and just sharing so much. This was just fun. I think I've smiled the entire hour thank goodness Well thank you so much. It is always such joy and thank you so much to Christina wick Waris fur coat. W Alright, thanks Laurie, thanks for coming. All right, everyone was so deeply appreciate you joining us. This community means so much to each and every one of us and you all out there are at the heart of it Christina McMorris a huge thank you to you for filling in for mary. Kay tonight we adore you in every way and cannot wait to have you back again with us. Thank you this was so fun you know that I would have loved to have done this for the last year but my book would have been coming out two years late yet. So this is a tree. Thank you. We are so glad to have you here but do not leave yet because we have a few questions for you on our sip and stay with story point after show. So to all of you out there, stick around to hear a bit more from Christina, just after the credits roll and make sure to come back next week. Same time. Same place as we welcome Taylor Jenkins reid. Meanwhile, don't forget to check out our podcast, our winter Wonderland subscription and all the fun going on on our facebook page. See you in 30 seconds. Goodnight. Hello again. Welcome to our Friends in Fiction. Sit and stay with story point after show. As we mentioned earlier, we are so happy to be partnering with story point winds as the official sponsor of our after show. All summer long. It will be the summer of story point here on Friends and fiction as they say at story point, many great stories and ideas unfold over a shared bottle of wine including Friends and fiction. 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 story points. Absolutely. Now Christina, we are so grateful that you joined us tonight and of course we'll be having you back soon. But we thought it would be fun to play a quick game of what's your story with story points? We have six a rapid fire questions for you so that our viewers can get to know you a little bit better. So here goes all right, which one of your main characters is the most similar to you and why most similar to me. And y let's see here, I think, gosh, I don't know about you guys, but it's probably a combination of characters and I think there's a little piece of me and like each 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 by yourself. And I usually go, no, it was the guy like, I think that I tend to be more of the male characters, a lot of my stories. Um, and I think it's because growing up in, especially high school, all of my, almost all my close friends were guys and I loved that they were like my brothers and, and so because of that, I love that quick humor and the sarcasm and, and um, and so 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 me think about that. Yeah. The current one, the only book that has taken me more than a year to. Right. So yeah, this book was my gosh patty. You make me feel 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 I was 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 a day, you know, I would get halfway through a chapter, freeze frame, take another rabbit hole freeze frame. So yeah, rabbit holes are insane. I don't know what you've done. Yeah. And then find out that once you come across right, one nugget that that's wrong and you'll get that they could have used that 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 get a letter, you're going to get you can't see it, you know, and you work so hard at 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 I know your research was crazy. Most research. Like, the amount of research I put into this one for each section, there's four sections of the book, and each one was enough for an entire novel. So, it was it forward, it's a couple different 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 had no idea about. So, super exciting to look back at how much I learned. But as we all agree, if we had known what we're getting ourselves into, we never would have agreed. So it's good that I didn't know what is so great is that I get to pick it up, read it over the course of a week and learn everything that you did in two years, which fabulous. Exactly. Right, Right. But that 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 day and 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 of his 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, I could say to, um, that were equal in different ways. One was letters from home, my very first debut novel. And I will say the, the easiest part of it was because I didn't know what I was doing. So I wrote the entire book in four months, World War Two, the research interviewing people. Everything because when you're blissfully ignorant and you realize what a bad draft it is. You can cruise retailers, you can really fast when your fingers are brian man like that, that sentence is awesome and you're like, no, not so much, no, no, looking back. It's not often, lots of, not awesome and that. Um, but then you know, another year of cleaning and learning and 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 best you should all stop writing historical youtube Christine and we all just, this is 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 because you 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 think they're changing the title or share it with you, but I'll share with you when it's when it's ready and she's just turning it in today, like art work is done, it is so beautiful, her work is gorgeous and its weight. That's a cute little story. And I'll just tell you the quickest version of it. Is that a little girl who as we all know that question at school, what do you want to be when you grow up? This is that story with a twist. So she cannot make decisions to save her life, which my oldest son would spend like an hour and a half, two hours in front of the chuck e cheese prize counter because which of these really cheap toys do you want to take home? You can only do one. Um and it breaks on the way home. So always, always, always so she can't make decisions. So she ends up melding and gnashing careers. So she's heard the moon is made of cheese and she also wants to be an astronaut, so she is going to make the best galactic grilled cheese sandwiches ever and seldom in a fly 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 challenge you 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? I mean, I'm like, we need to, if that's not your thing patty, we need a pair up because we need to co write a pair up with me because I loved Cruise on that black. I just cruise on the blank page, man, that's editing! Oh my gosh, I'm so envious, I love editing part. And the bummer, Is that usually that's when the time is crunched, right? And you have to edit, I'm editing this 560 page monster. It was that I plan to be 330 pages. That was my plan. Um but the stories, as you Christie says, it's just it's a big story. I mean it was crazy 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 may have 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, Maybe it's a book go, like all edit all day long deal because you know, where is your 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 think took all the time because I lost it for a year, you know, So I because we all had different rooms in the house and both my boys did online charter school this past year, which it turns out, you know, their their high school Did all online last year as well. So we could kind of see it coming. So we decided to go 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 meant that everybody was in a different room and my husband started working out of the house a month before the pandemic. So before the shutdown, so everybody's got like a section, so I gave up the office um for my youngest, so he could have space, which is great, but I didn't think it affected me until he got done with school. And I moved back in here in june and I'm writing so much faster 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 have been okay but not writing from scratch that I was way too distracted. That makes fascinating. So I want to know one thing that you want to accomplish with the book or in your writing career or something you haven't written about yet that you may be terrified to write about and any of those you haven't accomplished 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 all become 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 of course by this guy. That would be so fun. Right. So fun. Um, aside for the Apple. See here I would probably, I am very tempted and I almost did that instead of the current book was to write a story that had to do it like a ghost story and it's one of the ones that I just love them. Um, I grew up in a house that seemed to be at one point haunted. Uh, we actually, you know, I don't ever told you this did I about a mask that we were given a family as a gift and it turns out later was from Haiti which we didn't know. And so who knows what they've done with uh weird things started happening in our house and um it was like where you get it would sound like tons of people were walking around upstairs like a party where the house is suddenly like footsteps all over and nobody was home or the lights would go on and off. The T. V. Would turn itself on which there were no remote back then. You know so it was weird things like that you could feel hot and cold uh spots in a room and like like we were in the water like a pool and you go hot and cold that's how it felt in the room. So finally my we didn't know what to make of it. And so my uh we didn't know about the mask at the time. So my mom had a family pastor come to the house and he saw it, he was like that's kind of weird. Where did you get? I think you might want to get rid of that and kind of get a bad feeling. We prayed in all the rooms at the time and it went away and we found out a couple years later our neighbors had had the same thing happening at the same time as us and it stopped at the same time. So good, so fascinating. Oh my gosh, what Christina? We are so happy that you joined us tonight. This was so much fun and I love that we use the after show tonight to ask you questions. This was so much fun. Yeah. Yeah, that was a couple of things I know about you. So that was, that was really cool. So thank you so much Christina. 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 you Christina like just to have you. This is our fourth. Uh easy and so fun. I'd love 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 to hear 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 night everyone. Mm 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.

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