Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 2 years ago

Friends and Fiction with Lian Dolan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Author, humor columnist, and podcaster, Lian Dolan joins the Friends & Fiction authors to discuss her work as producer and host of the award-winning talk show Satellite Sisters and her latest novel, The Sweeney Sisters. https://www.liandolan.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Five best selling authors Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast with five bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independent bookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing. Thes 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. Bestselling 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 at the Start of the Pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, their favorite bookstores writing, reading and publishing in this new, uncharted territory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinating discussions with other bestselling novelists, so join them live on their friends and fiction Facebook Group page every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern, or listen and view later at your leisure. Hi, everyone. If it is Wednesday night at 7 p.m. It is friends and pick fiction. Five Bestselling novelist Endless stories were five writers and friends whose common love of reading, writing and independent bookstores finds us together. And this is our weakling Friends and fiction show. I'm Paddy Callaghan. Henry on my latest historical novel, is becoming Mrs Lewis and I'm Mary Alice Munro, and my latest novel is on Ocean Boulevard. Hi, Mary Kay Andrews. My latest book is Hello Summer, I'm Christine Harmel on my latest novel is The Book of Last Night. I am Christie Woodson Harvey and my latest book, It's Feels Like Falling and We Are Friends and Fiction. Thank you so much for joining us. We love that you show up every Wednesday night like this. We feel like the luckiest ladies in town tonight. We have an incredible guest who will be joining us. We're so thrilled we have Lee in Poland to talk with us about her new book, the Sweeney Sisters, which I'm vaguely obsessed with. We're going to talk to her about her hugely popular website, her Facebook group and her podcast satellite sisters. Ah, pep talk for modern women. Mary Kay Andrews is the one who told all of us about this book and Lord Day. You must read cleaning sisters. What Mary Kay tells us to do, we dio, and we're glad we did. I love this book so much, and we'll talk about it more in a minute. When Lian pops in, she is in the Green Room with champagne and Eminem's Eso First, let me tell you a little bit about her. Leean is a writer, a podcaster and a speaker, and, of course, she's a sister. She's the author of Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth The First Way. She's a regular humor columnist for Pasadena magazine and has written monthly columns for O, the Oprah magazine and Working Mother magazine. She has written for TV, radio and websites. In other words, she writes, she is also the producer and host of Satellite Sisters, the award winning talk show created with her riel Light sisters. She has interviewed everyone and I Love This, from Nora Ephron to Big Bird. The recent book by the satellite sister is You Were the best, a celebration of friendship. She graduated from Pomona with a degree in classics. I hope she'll talk about that a little bit,...

...and she lives in Pasadena with her two sons, husband and a big German shepherd. But for me is the kind of writer and speaker that when you read her work, you want to be her friend, her best friend, her humor and her insight into sisters and women's relationships are unmatched. So before we welcome her on and try to make her be our best friend, I think Mary Alice has a little bit of a special announcement. Well, I'm really excited. We on friends and fiction have had such a good time revealing our covers to you before anybody else it's been We've seen just about all the covers, so I'm bringing up the rear. I'm so excited. Next week, the 14th of October, we'll see the cover reveal from my summer book, The Summer of Lost and Found. And I'm really excited. So thank you can not wait. So let me tell you a little bit about you've seen it way Kristen come up with a group of teamwork. Teamwork? Yeah, So looking of books, and I'm sure this bookstore will be carrying that new cover. Our Bookstore of the week is Romans. And always hope I'm pronouncing that correctly. I want to remind all of us that the reason We even got started on this endeavor with friends and fiction was partly of our love for independent bookstores. As you know, all of us at friends and fiction are passionate about Indies. And each week we highlight one. And tonight Lian chose it for us. Romans is her neighborhood bookstore in Pasadena, California. It's a charming and beautiful store founded in 18 94. Yes, that is 126 years. And yes, I used a calculator because words are my jam, not members. They they host. In times other than the pandemic over 400 free community events here They've had everyone from presidents to local authors and even a few of us. So tonight they're giving you all a 10% off with the code F f h h which his friends and fiction Happy hour F f h h, or whatever you wanted to stand for. Link was on our friends in fiction page under the announcement tab. So cute land. Come join us, please. Yeah, the oh, thank you for having me. My gosh, The Fab Five. I mean, e, we're gonna have to rename it now that friends and fiction just fab five. You're cool. Hashtag You know a good idea. E Somebody write that down, please. E Lee, welcome. We're so happy you're here. These have been crazy days with endemic insane. And the five of us started the show when the five of us had book tours canceled and had to do it virtual. And I know the same thing happened to you. So tell us how the pandemic spend for you. Where have you been? Spending your time. How is it then? Well, I've been spending my time in this room, and I love it. I'm happy my oldest son moved out so I could take his bedroom. Uh, that was big timing. Um, you know. So my book came out at the end of April, and like you all, I think I had a really exciting tour set up about 10 cities. It had been a while since I've been out and about. That's kind of a whole other story. But I did go through cancer treatments last year. A year ago I was undergoing I was getting ready and undergoing surgery for colon cancer. Last really surprised. Shocked diagnosis had no idea. No symptoms.

Just went in for a routine colonoscopy. So this is my plug for colonoscopies. Please get one. Um, and the good news was in stage one, they got it early. I was able and healthy four months later and getting ready for the book tour and just so excited for it, because because I cancer. And I was like, I can't wait to see people and talk to them and get out and about. And that was like, early March. We said everything. And then, you know, a week later, we revamped. So, um, so I would say that that gave me tremendous perspective on what's happening. Now I know that. How do you believe you're a cancer survivor as well? Yeah. So you know the pandemics A lot like cancer. Have you noticed that, um, I'm gonna live and die? There's no timeline. I'm just gonna order food in and do the meditation naps like the same sort of uncertainty that groundless nous, right? You can't. You can't get your feet on the ground. Right, and you can't really plan. And there's just untold amounts of terrible unsolicited medical advice. So that's great. Eso eso I just kind of went back into that mood. But I was also really happy that I believe in digital communication have been connecting with women, you know, through my podcast and all kinds of things. So I'm like, Well, I'm gonna master this zoom thing and I'm going to take some ground class crowd cast classes. And so a lot of you all for doing the same thing like you did it. There's just a real need for connection. And I feel like these events have been real life savers for me. Help that just emotionally. So I'm happy to be here, and I I 100% glad your efforts. Wow, that's a revelation. E didn't mean to leave with the cancer. I e. Lynn. Just It's that same feeling of trying to catch your breath and then not knowing, like, do I plan like, do I make a plan for a month? Maybe I can Maybe I can't. It was good training ground, but it's a long time that I wish I had never gotten a membership card for Yeah, it's better to not have cancer. Yeah, I'm just going to say I wish the pandemic it really hit me like a ton of bread. Yeah, yeah, all of the ladies and you to land because you have been busting it even though you're just a home. And I saw your newsletter today, and I love that you called it La October. Still e s it genius. And I think we're going to steal it along with the hashtag five e. It's it's been thinking Ah, lot this week about hustle like hustle. We gotta go. We gotta go. We gotta go. We gotta get another soon we got to get And then the flip side of that, which, you know, you had to go through when you were going through the cancer, which is rest this weird balance we have to find now that the covert restrictions air a little bit lifting and are about to slam down again. So all of my Fab Five ladies And you, Lian, I want to know what you guys have been doing this week to make sure your battery doesn't die, that you don't run out of gas. That you're not doing the flim flam hustles so hard that you can't even get your feet back under you. Um Kristen, tell me. You know I wish I had a good answer for that. I am. I think I'm I'm still trying to figure it out. And I I am stuck in that feeling of feeling like I'm doing all the things and none of them quite well enough. Um, but I would say the one thing I'm trying to do to give Thio attain some peace is trying...

...to make sure that there's something constructive in each day which, which works with all of us. You know where we are, making a lot of steps forward, taking a lot of steps forward. So to me, that's a big part of it. That's awesome. How about you, Mary Alice? Well, I'm embarrassed to say Food, food. I e think I've gained £5. We owe it, and it's like you want ice cream. Ugo, How food. How about you, Christie? I mean, Mary Alice is Andrew E. You know, this is kind of it's been a crazy a few weeks. I actually turned in my actually my 2022 bucks on Thursday on, but it was my son's birthday on Thursday, and I told all you guys, I can't tell everybody else because it gives the book away. But it was kind of like really weird that it was that date because there's like, something really significant in the book that happened on that date, um, in history. So it's kind of a cool time to turn it in. But my son's birthday book, of course it's Covitz. So we had, like, 11 birthday parties because we only wanted to have, like, two kids and it had already been around each other. I mean, it was hilarious. So the whole weekend it was like my husband is a saint, like he deserves a Nobel Prize. He took a good thing, Onda said. We had all these houseguests and I was just exhausted. And so this week I was like, I'm behind on everything. I'm not gonna jump into my next book this week. I'm just going to try to, like, get everything. Like, I'm gonna clean out my closets and try to get everything out behind with on design Cheek and like just trying to get a tie point market next week. I told you guys have a lot going on with that. So I was like, I'm just gonna, like, get myself a minute. Oh, thanks to Michelle. I'm just gonna give myself a minute. And it's ironic because the writing is the thing I love so much. But it's been kind of nice to just feel like Okay, I can take a week off in the world is not gonna end and it's all gonna be okay. How about you, Mary Kay? Well, I turned in revisions for this summer's book, which is the newcomer and my editor. Let me know that it didn't suck e more than that. I love that she did. She said she loved it. So I was down on Tybee at Ebb Tide, our vacation rental house, and I gave myself, um, a day to just go into town bop around. I went to my favorite antique stores. Um, I did the things I wanted to dio I met a friend for lunch and that kind of, you know, that kind of re fuels May And then, uh, Monday I m my husband to come back to Atlanta. And so Monday again, I took another day with a friend Patty. We went toe Bluffton, Uh, my favorite place eso that refuels me. But then, you know it's like you're right back. I never realized before how important it was to me to have work. Andi, I think for lots of people, um that the knowledge that you have work that you can dio when you it's again I mean that it's a privilege. It's a privilege, right? When I decide Thio I have worked to go back Thio You're right, Julian. How about apologize? My my engineer, my 22 year old son just had to come in text him like my laptop is dying. Please come plugging eso I'm sorry, e really thinking about what we've done this week to make sure that it's not all the time. I, you know, I had put away my...

...coal meditation up. I went back to it this week. I had for a long time, and then it sort of drifted away. And now I'm just back at it like there's 10 minute meditations. That's all I could Dio. I feel like this was the week I needed Thio refocus on just breathing and doing that. So it's a basic answer, but it's working for me. So no, that's way. Love these scents. And like you, Christie, I have been I handed in everything that was due at the moment. And I have been I can't turn my computer left or right because I have been cleaning out my office. E love that yes, it really feel it. I don't know. It's really It's been good a lien. We want you to tell us about the Sweeney sisters. Whatever your elevator pitch is, it could be a tall is the Eiffel Tower or just two floors? Whatever you want, but a little bit about this amazing book. Okay, well, you know it's It's a book about three riel sisters in Connecticut who find out after the death of their famous father that there's a force system. But I think this group would appreciate this, and I know there are a lot of writers who watched this. That book came together rather quickly because I had written a whole other book. It was an art history mystery set in Paris, which, apparently I now have to remain because it's called lost and found in Paris. And I hear that your book is called so I will be Thanks for the heads up. E Oh my gosh, I was like, Are you kidding? me. I have that book out. And an editor, William Morrow, was interested in that book and said, Does she have another book? Does she have another book about sisters with Secret? And my agent called. I'm like, Yeah, yeah, I'm sure I can cook something up. You know, I've been working with my sisters for 20 years. How hard could this be? I have plenty of sisters material. I just got to figure out a secret of the great. She's like, Do you have it in an hour? Because that's when you're talking to the editor. And I was like, Yeah, of course I dio So I know, you know, we've all written so many books, but that's when you're glad you have, like, those files and those notes you've taken and those articles you've clipped and those things you've stored in the back of your head. Um, and that's what I drew on. I had pitched a T V E. I had pitched a TV show like seven years ago, called Sweeney. Family Rules about a group of adults siblings living in and around the New York area. It didn't sell, but I went to that folder and When I opened it up, I had these goofy table tents that I had used at the pitch and actual networks. You know, those PT A things where Ugo And if you're like you got raffle tickets and tomorrow, you know next month's meeting and I had those, but it had all these red headed actresses on it, like Emma Stone E Come on. So those all fell out? I'm like, Okay, check three. Have red headed sisters. Great. Got that. And then I needed the secret. And over a satellite sisters. We've had a face group book group for a long time, and someone had posted a photo of three adult siblings and like in their fifties or three adults in their fifties. And the comment was just We met our brother this weekend. You know, I'm not going to go into details, but thanks to and over the counter DNA test like we have a bigger family on, You know, our people like your people. They're so nice. Everyone was like, Oh, some self. That's so great. Oh, my gosh on I'm thinking, e I don't really want somebody else showing up in midlife like I'm your sister. grew up when the wheels being read. Yeah, exactly. Right.

There's all kinds of issues. So I thought Okay. Well, okay. Got these sisters. Andi, I have this DNA storyline And then the last piece of that puzzle that I pitched, I decided to set it my actual hometown. And, um, I had most of my previous books had not been set there that said my current hometown of Pasadena. But I grew up in Southport, Connecticut, And I remember, you know, 10 years ago when I sold my first novel, Helen in Pasadena and Editor had said to me, Um, well, I would buy it if it was Helen in Greenwich, but no one's ever heard of Pasadena. So on, I'm like, except the billion people that watched that parade lady a beach boys have heard about the little old lady from E. Thank you. So s so. That's so I there's I mean, you have your tribe there in the South, you're doing it. But I feel like there's such an East Coast bias and publishing. I'm like, You know what? I could write a book set in Connecticut. I grew up there, so e just pitched that like an hour later, I had some sisters. Another one shows up in Connecticut and here we go. And then the last piece, the father in the book, Bill Sweeney, is Ah, you know, literary icon, a famous writer When we were growing up in Southport, um, all the cool people lived in Westport next door, That's where, like Eric John and Paul Newman Lifts and Arthur Miller lived there and Kurt Vonnegut. But in Southport, we just had Robert Ludlum. So But, you know, he had all the best sellers in the eighties, and he would just wander around town. He wasn't really engaged with the town, but he would walk his dog and he would wear black socks and sandals and walk around. And then he famously worked, like, 100 hours a day, seven days a week. So, um, but then I added that piece of the father writer. And so that's what I pitched initially, you know, after an hour and they were they were like, Oh, that sounds good. And I was like, Oh, really? Now I have to write it, Write it on. They like to bring that one out first, and I was like, but the other one is written it Z but now it's still written. It still written e think I'm out? Okay, a little. Thanks, Mariel. So, uh, e you know that happened more times E Just ask Christine Harmel. She's okay. S o e o like that. Get her ex string and you'll have a new title in about 15 minutes. E could do it for every everybody but myself. I can't for my own titles, right? I needed all of you. Okay. Kristen, I know you have a question and maybe I don't go ahead. Yeah, Happy Thio title consult later. But so of course, many of us out there. No, you. Your role is one of the hosts and creators of the satellite sisters podcast. I understand that in 2007 it was one of the first podcast for women and that you originally began as a radio show. Can you tell us a little bit about it? And how the idea for it came about and how you get started doing this with two of your sister's? Sure. Yeah, that's fun to talk about satellite sisters. So satellite sisters has been on the air 20 years, which is punishing. Yeah, we started on public radio in 2000, and then we moved to ABC Radio, where we were there for six very happy years. We were on at 1.6 days a week, three hours a day of lie Brady E O. But the idea started really humbly like, Well, my sister lives is short. She is a marketing genius in a big way again. She just didn't understand why there wasn't anything on radio, which was a number one medium at the time. Anything on radio that sounded like the...

...way she and her friends sounded or she and her sister sounded when we got together and talked. You know, when you're sitting around drinking coffee, what's happened this week? What are the news headlines? What's going on with the guy? You know, what movies did you love? What books are you reading? All right, talk to you next week like that was our big concept for the show was that the conversations that women had with each other were valid and important, and just because they weren't necessarily about politics, right and left or sports, which was most of talk radio like they were still valid on DSO My sister Liz lord us to our first sisters only weekend and on and we went to the mud baths in Calistoga, California. Yeah, they're great. I've heard of it. They're not. I've always wanted Thio feeling to you. I don't know, like we're all pretty claustrophobic. So we're like Lucy and Ethel. Hot steam. Listen, you know, old motels, right? Lean? Yeah, in that old motels. That's crazy. It's mostly crazy old hotels. And so Lizabeth, just this idea. We're like, we just want out of this mud. We will do it. And, um, that is that's how the idea started. And way did pitch it to the one person we knew in public radio. And they're like, great. And the crazy thing was, you know, maybe you've heard public radio has no money. So, uh, you have the tote bags, I'm sure prove it and way had to, like, start a company and a business and raise all our own funds. But then that we hit the air. The idea that you could be satellite sisters, we didn't have to explain it to people think on it like you're either sisters in real life. Or, like the five of you are satellites. Sisters like people got it right away and women in particular and got it. And so we just have kept talking for 20 years. I mean, the secret to our success is that we don't work together in the same place, you know? I mean, we'd all say that, like, none of us go with. The five of us have never been to an office together. My sisters. You know, once when we started the show To where? New York. I was in L. A once in Portland. One was in Bangkok. Then we moved to a B C. And it was L. A. My sister in Bangkok moved to Moscow. You know, we have always moved around and done essentially this, like, connected and and just talked. And, um, the topics we talk about our exactly what you just talked about, you know? I mean, it's the things that matter to women every day. Maybe is because the five of us air in five different states. Yeah, way Mary and I know you wanted to ask a question. Uh, well, Leon, I'm way both have big families. I'm, um third eldest of 10 on and you're the baby of eight And the baby is a whole. Another thing. But I have to say that I know that I use or two things Let me go back. I really love your seven lessons I learned growing up. Let me just start there. If you have all of you people out there haven't seen a Google it, it's hysterically. But it's true. I mean, I was like, Oh, yeah, she gets it. I know Number three. What was it? Um, someday the pork chop will be yours. Totally got the hat and the other one. Number five. You could go anywhere if you can get there under your own steam. But, you know, that's where we all remember walking two miles to school. So anyway, in my work, my brothers and sisters, this big group I have five sisters. I'm one of five sisters. We I use that for fodder for books. We have...

...so much history. And I thought when I read this book that you must have a lot of fodder from your sisters and your whole big family. How much of that do you bring to the table? in your books and especially this one. Are there any real stories that made it over into your novel? Um, for this one, I said to my sisters when I sold it because it's old rather quickly. I was like, everything we ever did is going in. I'm gonna change eso eso, you know, everything on bond. But that being said, you know, as the youngest of eight in a million years, I would not honor my sisters by writing a book and making them actual fictional characters Forget if they want to be in a book, they can write their own book. Eso the actual sisters. The Sweeneys in the book are not my sisters, but but what I tried to capture. You know, Mary Alice, you know, is that idea of sisterhood. And I think in a big family there are big age gaps, you know? And you can grow up in essentially two different families. You know, there's the upper half in the lower half in the middle half, right? Right. Right. Um, so there is this kind of growing apart and then I think coming together later in life. And so I tried to capture that in this book that the sisters may have had really different twenties and early thirties, like they went off and did their thing. But when push came to shove, they're gonna come together. And, um, you can have the same parents, but very different lives on that Z we've always talked about on satellite sisters, and I tried now, but I also noticed this particular group when they came home for the funeral. They back in the nursery? Yeah. Isn't it true, though? It's like you're 10. You walk in the door. It's like, 10 again, you know? Are you really going to bring up that that, like you mean age 12? Yes, sure. Okay, great. E. I love I love Lian. I posted a question on Facebook, and I said, um, I said how much I loved Maggie. Mad Maggie. Yeah. Every time I was time for Maggie to make a decision, I just had her do the exact opposite of what I would dio. Yes, I I wish I could live life like Maggie. Just carefree and no thought of any, you know, repercussions or anything. I'm the opposite. I like to have overthought though I've ever done you know, but but yeah, it was fun. It's fun to write a character. That's the complete opposite of you. I'm gonna try that. Okay. Mary Kay. I know you have a question. Eso Leah, the father, Bill Sweeney. And the story is dead when we meet him. And yet he is a powerful force from beyond a writer and an enigma. And I started thinking about John Cheever, but was Bill Sweeney modeled after anybody? Yeah, for sure. To to I wanted him to be kind of sexy and handsome and masculine and engaging. So that's work. And that's John Irving, you know, like, remember, you know, and he's still great looking. And he was like, a rock star. And he was, you know, in the gossip pages and everything. So I wanted t o. Yeah, yeah, I got right. He was read by men. Women? Yeah. So I wanted him thio sort of physically and sort of, you know, his public persona. Be that, but absolutely. John. Sure. Done. Cheaper. He mailed it. I read Susan Cheever's memoir. You know, he is also from Connecticut, and I just wanted him to have the demons of John Cheever. So eso I worked hard. Well, now you can tell you worked hard, but I worked hard on that. May I always work hard on my male characters? Because, you know, you don't want that from you. I'm sure we're all in the same boat. Uh, and you wanted to ring true, but this I...

...just I knew he was gonna be a character even though he was not, you know, he's gone. Yeah, he was such a force, You know, when I started thinking about later was why would this book have been if it was the Sweeney Brothers, they would. They said, Well, that's Dad. Yeah, well, yeah. Okay. Yeah, e No. I mean, you know, we have three brothers, and we love our brothers, and they're great, but it's a different book. If it's the Sweeney brother, like, if the third is the fourth, You know, the new person had been a brother. That might have been, like, kind of fun. Kind of, but no, Mr. That's a different relationship, right? If it had been a brother, they would say, Who got the car? Yeah. You got the house or the golf club? Yeah, a golf membership. I'll take the TV. I'll take the TV. Yeah, All right, Christy, fire away. So we're always so interested in our guests pasts and how they led them to become writers And, you know, knowing now that you are the youngest of eight Children. I think this is a particularly interesting question for you, but it's something we ask our guests every week. What were the values around reading and writing in your house when you were growing up? Oh, you know, my parents were big believers in both reading and writing. My father thought, like the more esoteric your college major, the better like he so there was not a a single like practical major in our house. He was a strong believer in the liberal arts, so my brothers and sisters were philosophy majors and comparative literature majors. I was a classics major, uh, none of a lot of couple of English majors. My sister Monica is like she was a nurse. She was the only person that, like went Thio, went to college and thought, I'm gonna do something when I get out. And my father was just that he was just a huge We just used to have a lot of a lot of discussions about the dinner table around education and, you know, learning the classics and learning stuff. And he wasn't a very practical man at all. Even though he was a businessman, he had a very practical job and we had a million books. And I think the best thing about being the youngest was that, you know, I have all of the books that my brothers and sisters brought home from high school in college. So I was reading a lot of inappropriate material at a very early age. You know, Things I didn't really understand was both on the shelves and then hidden under their bed. So I found this s O S. O that. You know, that was absolutely, like, a huge part. But on the other hand, when I when I was looking at colleges, I thought I might go to this place in New York called the New School, which was new at the time. And because I had a screenwriting degree and I remember my father saying, Well, that is ridiculous. No one makes a living screenwriting, you know, because in Connecticut, Greek and lab, so much more so that I mean that that's true. They had, they appreciated it, but they didn't necessarily see it as a you know, a job. So but yeah, it was a pleasure to grow up in our house books. My dad used to take us to me to a wonderful bookstore in Westport, Connecticut. Klein's you know, and he bought a lot of books on Saturdays, and he would never look at my stack, you know, and that was great. That's, you know, that's when you could buy Judy Blume. He doesn't even know you're you know, it's not even looking. So that's one of my my storm is memories and why now? Oh, that is such...

...a beautiful story because a thought of a child being able to walk out with a handful of books from a bookstore about parent going What is that? What is that? Why you're not reading that way? Wow! Wow. Okay, you know bookstores, Kristen, Would you use it? Lee, And it's like you like segue for us on purpose. Thank you. Just a quick a quick reminder what the bookstore is before we have into some viewer questions. It's Romans in Pasadena. This little place this little town you may never have heard of Pasadena. Just kidding. Everyone knows Pasadena. So just a reminder. We feature Indies every week because they're the lifeblood of our literary communities, both real and virtual. And they need your support to keep their doors open, to continue putting on these great events. And Romans is just one of the legends 126 years in the making, like Patti said. So if you're interested in picking up one of our new releases tonight, including the Sweeney sisters from Lian, you can take advantage of the stores. Great. 10% discount, especially for us with the code F f h which dance for friends fiction. Happy hour. And of course, they will ship to you, so ff HF Romans. Thank you. I appreciate that. Thank you. Yeah, it's lovely what you're doing. So wait, What is that? Patty? Patty, What was it that What? Is that really your way? E Hey, heart bashers right here. You're in the show. Everyone can see and hear you. You have to let me intro you. I know you're used to a big family of sisters. I have two sisters. It's my job to intro. You thes are the other satellites. The other satellites sisters. Um, this is Lives and Julie Dolan. Liz Stolen. Raise your hand, please. List. There you go. Has been chief marketing officer from everyone from Nike and Oprah Toe, Fox Sports and National Geographic. And now her company is mixed zone media. And Julie Dolan is a satellite sisters foreign correspondent, having lived and worked in Bangkok and Moscow. Apparently, they're outstanding warrants. So now, Alice, together, these three sisters are the amazing powerhouse of satellite sisters Pep talk. We wanted you to have them ask Lian questions that she is totally unprepared for it. Hit it. Okay, I'll go first. The older first of all, a special shout out to Mary, Alice and Christy. I'm so happy to see you again. This is a years. And Mary Kay. Here's the thing. Like, as you've been discussing, Lien is eight of eight. And growing up, quite frankly, we didn't care about her. I don't care about her. I mean, I'm 10 years older than her. Who she has this cute little girl. I don't know, but she wasn't in my life. I'm very happy tonight to have an opportunity to interview my sister to find out. Like what She's really all about your rate of eight. Okay, Land. But you know the writing process, Lee And you've been writing all these books, and in the meantime, we work together every single day. Okay? On satellites, sisters. 20 years we just discussed. Why is it like we're not involved at all in your writing process way? Don't get to read your books. We don't even know what the title. We don't know what the subject is until until it's finished. Do you get royalties? Way...

...have to buy the book way right. Okay. Oh, sister. So maybe just talk a little bit about your process, OK? Okay. Thanks, Juliet. Yeah, No free copies. That's my motto. That Z that's another hashtag. Yeah, a mommy Get free copies. Are you kidding? E people about the booth e? All right. You know, don't take a clean I nice trash bag. I have people who are fiction writers. Read my fiction. I think you're all super talented. Was enjoy, but your opinion is not necessarily helpful to me. First of all, Julie, you What? Here. Here's why. Mary Kay, They love everything I write. Julie is always like I love this. This is she read this looks like this is so great. We're all in there. Everyone's in. There s Oh, that's not helpful. Like when you're writing and you're figuring out just the 1st 3rd work and it's all great A on Liz, you're You don't read a lot of fiction. E read a lot of non fiction. That's true. E you were a comparative literature major e a fiction e But so that's it. Like I like to keep the fiction writing really separate. I compartmentalized it. It's my own thing. Um, on and I have my own contracts and agents Mary Kay on, um, eso It's not that I don't value, you know, I come to for you to opinions on everything, but I have my own team conviction. Good answer. Okay. Okay. Now, I guess it's my turn to jump in. E Want to bring up a couple of things that came up earlier, though, because you were talking about like, what are you doing to stay sane during these crazy things? And I was thinking without satellite sisters, I'm not sure I would be staying saying no every week, The way you guys were doing this, it just keeps you connected enough right with people who are not in your living room. And so, like, we record ourselves every Tuesday and it just it's cool. It's giving structure to my life. So, like sisters and then, I think, who mentioned the Sweeney brothers as their like That would have been the way our original executive producer when we started the Sweeney sisters. Um Well, what way started Satellite sisters, Um, was a guy who had a twin sister. So he was very, like, sensitive to women, but obviously not a woman. And I remember him saying to us once in a meeting, he said He said, Yeah, even with satellite brothers would be on the radio. It would be like, Hey, how you doing? Okay. How you doing? What you do? You want to watch the game? Okay, he said, and then it would be 59 minutes of dead air. No, it would be farting and belching. That's what that would be go anyway. So, yeah, we've been at this a long time, So I did wanna ask Lee and something about this because I think it's It's just Leon's got a lot of talents, you know, And when, and satellite and Sweet Satellite Sisters has gone through so many changes. As she said, we started on public radio and then we were a daily show on commercial radio. And then that went away because ABC radio went away and we were all like, What do we do now? And it was It was Lian it was Bin, his sister number eight a day who kind of picked the whole thing up and said, Okay, here's what we're doing now. So the fact that we are podcast pioneers Thank goodness one of us was young...

...enough to figure out how to do that because that you should talk about, like, the transition from, like, nationally syndicated radio star to podcast girl. Yeah. Thank you. Is, um again, this is a surprise question, but s Oh, you know, I just felt like when we lost our show at a. D. C. Because they Disney sold off the radio division and we couldn't get another distribute. It was 2000 and eight. We were an award winning money making show with blue chip advertisers. And there was no one on commercial radio that wanted to take a shot at five women because they just didn't understand what was happening. And that was 2000 and eight when talk, right, it was a very divisive place. So we had heard about these things podcast, and I just really felt in my bones we were not done talking like just because the powers that being were done with our show as a commercial entity we still had conversations toe have and our listeners had, you know, things to say. I wanted to continue to talk. So I literally, like, picked up my entire I Mac and like, took it into the Apple store. And I remember talking to the 12 year old genius and I'm like, Okay, so I think I want to start a podcast with my sisters. And he was like, Okay, lady, you know, I mean, I was like a middle aged lady, and but he just showed me how to edit and rush bands and how to connect you all and like Skype was new. And we figured it out because I just felt really that we were not done and that women still needed these places to go and we had so a lot of our audience and I I know you've all connected on the writing for decades, you know? You know, your readers, you know, the connection that you have with them. And that's what we had with our audience. So eso for me. I just felt like we weren't done. And, like, we just blundered our way into the podcast business. Uh, there were more big keepers, and I I believe in that now, Like, I think it's amazing that anyone who wants to can plug in the mic and talk and post their show, and they confined their audience whatever it iss. So eso I'm happy I was happy to be young was happy to be Oh, always for me to be the youngest system e every single week, every single week. That za little detail Yeah, way er no resentment. Yeah, way air. So happy you guys joined us. I swear we could sit here and dio a round robin with the three of you. I think we're gonna have to dio satellite Sisters Episode e o We're gonna do a Satellite Sisters episode crossed over. Yeah, this will be so much fun. We're gonna We're gonna have you back to have the whole crew, all all eight of us together. This is astounding. I bet we could solve most of the world's problems on for all of you all out there. I know you're throwing questions in, and yet we're ending up on time. So we're going to stay a teeny bit longer after we're done. If the sisters will hang out for a couple minutes, so but every week on friends and fiction, we try to give a writing tip, and it's one of my favorite things, so I don't want to skip over it. So Lian, tell us your favorite writing tip. Well, I recently judged a contest for the Irma Bombeck Writing Institute on the faculty member this year, and it was a humorous. It was a contest humorous essay contest...

...about your sister or your satellite system. I wish it was super fun to read dozens of dozens of entries, but as I love writing my column, something I've been for 20 years and magazine columns when they're 500 words there, 500 words They're not for 101. They're better if therefore, 99. And so I was reminded of the importance of word choice. And it seems pretty obvious when you're around your word choice is important. But so many of these essays I read I wanted to just be able to give editorial notes to the writer like, Go through it one more time. Is this the funniest birth? Is this the funniest adjective? You know? Is there an analogy that might be a little bit sharper? So, you know, my tiff is just especially when you're trying to elicit a smile. The comedy, like sharpness and specificity really matters, you know? Is it funny to say, Walk to the counter? Sure, but is it funny to say wobble? Funnier, Lobell, Funnier. That's just hand sound funny a word or people were like, you know, our She has a rat. Her hair was a rat's nest. Okay, that's a good descriptors, sort of level one, you know, Level one descriptor. But is her hair, you know, is her hair. Oh, I Now I can't remember anything funny, but I'm like, is there? Can you take that to the next level? So, uh, so that's what I want to leave with your trying to write a funny thing or something that is, you know, gets a smile. Specificity of word choice. Just take another path. That's the best one. That's great. Yeah, that is fantastic. Yeah, e any kind of writing? Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, Absolutely. I mean, in comedy, we're lucky we don't have to use conjunctions or semi Coghlan's Rand. We don't have to make sentences. Last paragraph. Eso Speaking of writing tips, we wanted to tell you about something two of our friends and fiction authors are doing right now because we've realized as your messages and notes come in, how much you all love this part. So we wanted to tell you about two of our friends and fiction guests who are doing things about writing tips. Christie, Paula McLain, who is a good friend of ours and the author of the Paris Wife is doing and every Monday ask me anything on her instagram and Facebook. So go check it out. She answers the questions posted on her instagram every Monday, and we'll post about it in our announcements. Yeah, and and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who was on in June along with Jane and France, who they were both hilarious and wonderful. She is doing regular, um Facebook live on her Facebook page. I will also put that under announcements that they're all just chalk full of writing tips. She interviews other writers, she interviews, agents, she interviews editors. It's fantastic, and it's just stamped with her trademark humor. So I want to take some questions from some of our listeners out there, and they're going crazy typing. So, Christie, I picked one of those reader questions that I e think it's from Diana Kander? Yes. Um, at what point do you decide? This is hilarious. At what point do you decide what the title of your book is going to be? Oh, sometimes a little too late. S Is that for me or anybody that you You know what? I usually come strong with the title first. Eso Yeah, I usually like you know, as soon as I conceive of what the book might be the title comes to me. I do that a lot on the podcast. Do I'm a title? Er I'm a title, so that helps me. But not anymore. Mary E. Was just to...

...say how often you have to change it. Never before You never have to change your title before. No. Oh, gosh. Oh, I have e You've all read more books than me. So yeah. I mean, uh, Mary Alice. There's a question from Anus employing a joy Armstrong as a writer in the podcast. Or how do you manage to get it all done? What is a typical work week, like for you? Um you know, for me, I really have to compartmentalize. So because the work I do for the podcast is really different than the work than fiction writing and on and then and the magazine writing fiction, writing with all e just I get exhausted. It's like an Onley focused on that. I can only do that. So for this book, for the Speedy Sisters, I had a tight deadline for me. Six months. That was the fastest I've ever written a book. So I really did just work on a podcast production Monday and Tuesday just because there are days to do satellite sisters and anything that needed to be done. And then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I worked on the fiction. Uh, I'm a morning person, so pretty much no good after two PM That's I'm already with for dinner. And like I'm done, I'm wrapped up eso But I get up early a very, very often pretty early around five. And then I usually, you know, start writing, uh, walk the dog. And then I started writing from about eight thio 8 to 1 or two. But it's very compartmentalized fiction writing takes over. As you know, it's really interesting. So one of the things we love to do every week is talk about a book that's really affected us that week or really powerful or new or so I want to ask the three sisters do any What do y'all reading right now? What books do you suggest? Who? Okay, Julie raises her hands. E just finished the vanishing half. I'm reading it right now. Way have her coming. Yeah, it's gonna be our guest going to listen, because I you know, I have more questions at the end of the book, so it waas um it was very impactful. It was that I really was so intrigued with the whole story and and I really want to hear it left me with more questions at the end. But that's what I just read. And that's what I was thinking. What I've been thinking about a lot. I have anyone saying that so bad. Yeah, Okay, I just I just go ahead list. No, you go. You're older. Go ahead. E, have a couple of I'm reading this right now. Again. This is Michael Ian Black. You know, the comedian and actor. This is E his new book, and we're having him on satellite sisters in a couple of weeks. So I have this and it's a It's a very serious because you can say mostly seriously letter to my son, but very thoughtful, very interesting. He'll be an unusual guest have on satellite sisters, So I'm doing that. But then in the meantime, during pandemic times, I'm also taking a I'm taking an African American literature class at Stanford that is very cross disciplinary. So it's a lot of things I've read before, like beloved and things like that. But but the but the lecturers are historians or sociologists or coming at it, not from the literary point of view, so way we're doing a reason in the side. Really looking forward to hearing the election? Yes. And we're also doing eso...

You know, you did something else thio work on. So that's fine the way we had no idea she was taking this class. Mentioned to that to us again, waking up every day. No idea. Yeah, good. Good that we came on this. I'd actually like to read those. Those are fabulous classics. It's really great. Well, I think what we need to do is have you on every week So you guys can find out what each other. Okay, lady, in what way do just the opposite. Sometimes when we're talking on the phone will start to tell a story and then the other sister will say Wait, don't tell me Don't tell me Way wanted to sound on the show Like we have heard it all before. Way literally not Tell each other things waken Save it for yourself Can you see the thing that a stranger's z about a e I just love the sister banter so that Okay, Leanne, what are you reading? What do you Aziz Usual is is the family overachiever. So take the whole class eso But I just finished a theme here. I just finished Octavia Butler's Kendrick. So I've been using, um, I've been using Kobe the Pandemic to just read outside my genre. I don't read a lot of science fiction. I've been reading more historical fiction. I loved the winemakers life. That was really wonderful. Yeah, on eso Octavia Butler. This book entry is extraordinary time travel from like seventies in L. A thio this late South. But he is a Pasadena girl, a swell, and so I feel breath that I have not read her. And so my son said, Well, that's the book to read, read, start with Kindred and it's wonderful, So I really enjoyed it. So I'm just really using this to get outside my comfort zone and just read a lot of stuff I don't normally read. E Wow. And I know everybody out there is trying to write all those books down as fast as they can, and I promise we'll put it in the we'll put it on the page so that we can link them all because those air amazing suggestions. So we have a couple announcements to get through really quick. Mary Kay, tell them about our guests next week. Yeah, just in time for Spooky October Next week we're gonna have my old old old friend Charlene Harris and you know, she wrote a little thing called True Blood, based on Charlene Little Show. Yeah, based on Charlene Sookie Stackhouse novels and then Hallmark movies and Mysteries is still showing a Siris of movies created about her Aurora Teagarden character on them. For two seasons, Midnight Texas was on the air and then two of her other Siri's or in productions. So we're not gonna bring her on. We're just gonna pick her brains about how to get into the O. Well, we're gonna talk about she's got a She's got a book coming out in January called the Russian Cafe, and her most recent book is called A Longer Fall. So Charlene will be with us next week, and I know you guys are gonna love hearing from her and Christie wanna tell us about the rest of the fall schedule in the newsletter? Yes, absolutely. So after Charlene, October 21st will be having Elizabeth Berg. October 28th is technically a just US episode, but we're gonna have a really special guest. I think we're gonna tell you a little bit more about that later, so I'm not going to spoil it yet. Um, November 1st, we'll be having violas shipment November 4th Brit Bennett of Vanishing Half November 11th. Caroline Leavitt...

...and I could keep going, but that's probably as much as we can all process right now. But let's just say we're having the most amazing guests. I think we're booked out through, like, April. You guys, it s so excited about everyone we're having on the great schedule. So we're excited. Excited, Okay, we're talking for hours. Sisters. Do you promise you'll come back on the preview way? We're asking you live. So that would be super rude of you said, No way. Three. Okay, Tritch before we sign off, Sean has keeps. Shawn is our guy behind the scenes that we're gonna introduce one day. And he just sent a note that said, a lot of people on the thing are asking about the painting behind me, so I will, uh, I note in the and on the friends of Fiction page, it's actually a photograph. I took that a friend of mine painted for me off a photograph. Her name is offered, so e That was an amazing night. Y'all I feel like my cheeks hurt. Does everybody e haven't smelled this much since Covitz started? E O will be our best friends E Thank you, everyone. Thanks for coming tonight. And that Z e fine. E way doing a post show. But they're so cute and they were all like way. Just sit through that. You have faith in me. It's 59 minutes and 55 seconds E u Doorbell. Doorbell. Doorbell was awesome. Thanks. That was E. I don't know where I've been in the world. I mean, I've heard of their podcast, but I haven't been listening to it, so no, I'm definitely gonna listen. Thio, Everybody's gonna hang out for the after thing. E laughed at. It's It's harder to talk about them behind their backs when they're right here. Okay, come back and do a satellite sister show. Be awesome. Great. Yeah. We owe all our sisters and they have a huge sister extravaganza. Oh, who could possibly get a word in? That would be crazy pound, especially Christian. You especially my sister, you know, caused so much trouble. Actually, her pretend sister, her satellite sister, My highlight sister. That's right. You know, my satellite sister lives in England. She really Yeah, she's a She writes plays and is super different from May. But she's the city. Yeah, baby. So, you know, the baby is always, um that's a different dynamic. Which number are you? The middle. You're the middle. Yeah. I'm the oldest of three sisters. Where do you fall, Mary? Alice? I'm number three of 10. Good Lord. I know one of five sisters, so that's and five brothers. So we kind of my mom got it right down the middle. Wow. And how about you, Kristen, the oldest of three.

Yeah, me too. That's why we're so that was really That's very telling. E feel that that's a little bit of growth organized. It would be fun to have all the sisters not because what's so funny about hearing from their sisters? And I have a sister who writes Also she writes nonfiction. Um, but it Z yeah, you have a rating sister, too. It's funny hearing the their perspective on her as a writer. Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. But I also think it's hysterical that they don't know what's going on in each other's lives and they talk every day. But I get it too. But I also felt how we how we feel so connected to each other because we see the show. Yeah, you know it, Zbynek. Really great. Especially during hard times. It's really great to know, you know, Do you think when you have a lot of people that you're like sometimes I'll say something my mom would be like, I'm sorry. What? You never told me that. And I'm like, Oh, I must have told this person twice. E you're like, Wait, I didn't tell you that. What do you mean? I didn't tell you that, but yeah, I don't know how that works, but that was funny. But I'm going to tell you guys, I love you. And this was so fun. E o. I'll talk to you guys tomorrow. E o. You've been listening to the friends and Fiction podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the friends and fiction podcast wherever you listen. And if you're enjoying it, leave a review. You can find the friends and fiction authors at www dot friends and fiction dot com a swell as on the Facebook group page friends and fiction. Come back soon. Okay? There are still lots of books writing tips, interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about goodbye.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (236)