Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 4 · 1 year ago

Friends and Fiction with Lisa Wingate

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Lisa Wingate joins the Friends & Fiction crew to talk about the process of researching and writing her latest bestseller THE BOOK OF LOST FRIENDS--and the surprising way the story came to her. https://lisawingate.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors, endless stories. Friends and fiction is a podcast with fivebest selling novelists whose common love of reading, writing and independent bookstores bound them together. With chats, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing, these friends discussed the books they've written, the books they're reading now and theart of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writingworld, you're in the right place. Best Selling Novelists Mary K Andrews,Christen Harmel, Christie Woodson Harvey, Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Monroeare five longtime friends with more than eighty published books to their credit. Atthe start of the pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour totalk about their books, their favorite bookstores, writing, reading and publishing in thisnew, unchartered territory. They're still talking and they've added fascinating discussions withother best selling novelists. So joined them live on their friends and fiction facebookgroup page every Wednesday at seven P M Eastern, or listen in view laterat your leisure. Welcome. This is friends in fiction, five best sellingnovelists, endless stories. We are five writers and friends WHO's common love ofReading, writing and independent book stores binds us together, along with some secretswe won't tell. And this is our weekly friends and fiction show. Tonightis actually our ten show. I can't believe it. What started as justa zoom cocktail party for friends who missed each other has been transformed into this. So I am Patty Callahan Henry and I am hosting tonight. My latesthistorical novel is called becoming Mrs Lewis and my latest contemporary is called the favoritedaughter. And as you can see, we are missing one of our possetonight. Christy Woodson Harvey isn't here tonight, but she will be back next weekand we already miss her like crazy. But ladies, go around and introduceyourselves and tell us your latest book and then we'll get going. I'mMary Kay Andrews and my litten book is Hello Summer, which came out mayfifth. I'm Christen her bell my latest is the book of lost names,not to be confused with the Book of Lost Friends, which is coming inJuly, at about a month the hi. I'm Mary Ellis Monroe and my recentnovel is on Ocean Boulevard. And this is friends and fiction. Tonight, as you can see, we have a new face among us and weare so thrilled to be hosting our dear friendly so wingate. We've been offcamera for a little bit and saying don't tell us anything more. So youcan tell so. Lisa and I published our debut novels not only with thesame publishing house but with the same editor, Ellen Edwards, back at New Americanlibrary in the early two thousand years, and we have been talking, publishing, writing stories, family, kids, grandkids, moving for a really longwhile. And when I say talking, I also mean whining and cafetching andso friend storming. We've been roommates, we've shared hotels, we've shared houses, we've been through a lot. So what the friends were right?Yes, so let me tell you about our friend Lisa. Lisa writes mostof her novels at home in Texas, although tonight she is in Colorado,where she is part of what she calls, and I love this, the windgateclan of storytellers. I think that sounds like the title of a book, the Wind Gate clan of storytellers. He is the Number One New YorkTimes best selling author of before we were yours, which stayed on the bestseller list for fifty four weeks. Fifty four weeks and sold over two millioncopies. And her new book, the Book of Lost Friends, came outjust last month, which is not, as we said, to be confusedwith the love it it's in our mouths names. That comes out on Julytwenty one. Lisa has authored more than thirty novels and Co authored and nonfiction book based on before we were yours, called before and after with Judy Christie. I could list all of her awards, which are so many thatwe wouldn't have time to ask questions and we wouldn't have time to chat withher, and we want to hear her and we want to hear her writingtip. So just believe me, she has loads of awards. And letme tell you that if you have a question for Lisa, post it duringthis chat on our friends and fiction page, facebook page, if you see underthis video, you can post a...

...question and we'll be pulling a fewlive questions in a little bit. But before we get really started, Ialso want to remind all of us that the reason we got started on thisendeavor, and that's our love for indie bookstores. As you all know,each of us at friends and fiction are passionately supportive of independent booksellers. Eachweek we highlight one indie and tonight it is in my hometown. It isthank you books in Birmingham, Alabama. They opened right before covid hits andthey have been so supportive in our community and they are graciously giving you tenpercent off tonight on our books. So the link to the book store isposted on our friends in fiction page. So, Lisa, welcome, welcome, so excited you were coming. That's so good. Thank you. Imiss all of you, but this is the next best thing, right withouthugs. Yeah. So, first off I want to ask you what youwe've all talked for ten episodes now about what we've been doing during the pandemic. What have you been doing during this crazy pandemic time? Oh Wow,you know, a lot of it for me has been because we hit righton the cusp of the shutdown. This book release April Seventh, and soyou know, Midmarch I was supposed to be flying around for pre events andto sign copies that would be sent out to the bookstores and you know,and then they started kind of saying, you know, maybe maybe don't traveland you know, and then it was at the shutdown happened. So we'vemostly been scrambling just trying to figure out how do you navigate all the virtualtechnology? You know, how do you cancel an entire book tour, cancel? Airline tickets canceled, you know, everything that was supposed to happen andand also you know how to how to navigate that. My husband is teachus physics and chemistry, so he's been teaching online. So we sort ofhave zoom wars, but the house needs to teach and I need to zoomwith the group or whatever. And so, you know, it's just been abut the great thing about it there were so many people who came tothe virtual events who said, you know, I your booked or wasn't coming anywherenear me. I ever would have never gotten to, you know,go see you. So I mean for every curse there's a blessing, Ithink, and you know so. Certainly this has not been how we plannedon two thousand and twenty starting out at all. But you know, forall those canceled plans, I did get to meet virtually long distance, alot of people I wouldn't have gotten to otherwise. That those positive. That'svery it's nice to hear the positives and and we've noticed too, because weprobably wouldn't get to see each other once a week if we hadn't learned howto hang out like this in a new and different way. That doesn't meanwe don't want the old back, because we do. But yeah, thereis not a silver linen. But, ladies, I want to ask you, what have you been up to a week, and I actually kind ofwant to hit on because we've been writing together. I want to hit onyou know, we've been months now, you know, kind of lockdown.None of us on book tour, all of US losing book tour. Whatkept you on the page this week? Is it easier now than it waswhen we first started, you know, first started hanging out together. Tellme about your week and how you've been doing that. I want to hear. Well, you would marry Kas whip snapping the whip. That's you too. Thank you. I mean, I don't know what the two of youstarted it, and that means it's seven o'clock in the morning. Y'All ofthem getting on and starting to write when I found that, I said help, can I join to and so I enjoined that. I think we're allon it, aren't we? A sad yeah, yeah, it's made adifference. Thank you, guys. Really, it really has. I was gettingso stressed out because, I mean, I my book deadlines in November,but I wasn't really I was just inching every week a little, youknow, less far than I needed to be getting, and it was stressingme out every day, like it was making me less of a good momto my son and less of a good wife to my husband. And youknow, because it was always on my mind, I have been like thebest version of myself all three week days this week because I've joined you andpretty more and I've gotten those words out. So thank you, not just forhelping me get the words on the page, but for making me abetter human. That's all I've ever wanted. How did your come up with theidea? I, like Mary, Kate Tellis, Patty and I,had been doing we call it writing sprints, and basically you just text somebody,usually in the morning, and say hey, let's do a sprint,and so it's sort of like free writing. You just let go move your handsacross the keyboard and you know I...

...always have a goal. It's atleast five hundred words. But as we've been doing patty, we've been doingit what, seventeen days now in a road eighteen days? Yeah, eighteenor eighteen days, and so it's six am where patty is it's I meanit's seven, but it helps me. I finally have my head in thisbook, which is due to my editor in October, and I hadn't beenable to get my head in the book book. So it's been great forme. And when we first did it, the first couple times we actually didit in the afternoon. We were texting about something else and you saidlet's do a sprint. I said ready, go, and then it just kindof inched towards morning and then one day I had to get up earlyand somehow that stuff. I wanted to change that. I love that,I love that it's early, but yeah, I'm a morning writer, but latelyI've been like slipping the coffee. I think this whole cold it thingsjust really blew my schedule off. Oh, everybody, I yeah, the attention, but this just got us back on it. Yeah, so Iprobably how about you? Li said you write better in the morning or betterin the afternoon, or what Um, better in the afternoon. But it'sfun listening to you guys talk. Because when it was the book of lostfriends kind of was written in the chaos. It wasn't going to be my nextbook and then we changed plans and so anyway it was. I neededto get it written and it was written in the chaos of everything that happenedwith before we were yours and lots of travel and all that. But JudyChristie and I started doing writing s friends and I was never a person whothought that was something that, you know, that that would be useful to meat all. And she suggested it one day and and we started itand the whole book of lost friends was really written on those writings. RequireDay we'd have, we'd meet in the morning at a certain time when wetalked about where we were and we'll be like, okay, go right,I'll check back in with you at new and then we eat ledge and thenyou know. So, yeah, I get it completely. That's so,so sleeping. have it. Give us the dreaded elevator. Pitch your yeah, and yeah, I'm the book of Lost Friends. We cover back itis think on screen, but anyway you can read it backwards. So yeah, I love this cover. I think it this story is about a verykind of an odyssey journey through through from South Louisiana to Texas. The historicalpart in one thousand eight hundred and seventy five. So this reminded me ofthose old you know you go into some old house that the decorations have beenthe same and it since about the turn of the century and there are thoseutopia western scene paintings. That that's what this reminded me of. So Ithought it was kind of perfect. So the book of Lost Friends, Idon't exactly have an elevator pitch for it, but it's a story inspired by thereal life lost friends ads, which I had never heard of. I'lltell you later how I came to hear about them, but I love thoselittle pieces of history that I didn't know about and they just blow my mindwide open. The boss friends ads were written in the years after the civilwar at through the early nineteen hundreds, and what they were were the desperateletters to the editor of families who've been separated during slavery hoping that through theseadvertise Eisements, they might find news of their family members, many of whomthey hadn't seen in decades. And so that's the little historical nugget behind thisstory. And we've talked about your decision to right before we were yours,and then the decision to write the book of Lost Friends, and you toldme how both and so I'm going to let you talk about what you justsaid that you you told me how both of those ideas came to you.And I know that all of us get the question, where did you comeup with that? What made you want to write about that? And Ithink the story for both of those is really interesting. So tell us howboth before we yours and the book of lost friends came to you, becauseI think it's fascinating. So completely by accident. I don't know about allof you, but if I went looking for the nuggets, I think Iwould never find them. Yeah, I always come across them when I thinkI'm looking for something else. Yep, but before we were yours, Iwas actually just up laide on deadline with another book, and I had leftthe TV playing but turn the sound off because I knew I was going topull an all nighter and you know, it's just it's some company in theroom. And but in the middle of the night this episode of Discovery Channel'sdeadly women came on and I looked up and I saw this some mansion housewith all these baby bascinets in it and I thought what and what is this, you know, and of course I turned it on and watched and Iokay, it was the story of Georgia Tan and these corrupt orphanages in Memphisfrom about the twenty through the s and...

...her adoptions for profit business and howshe made millions of dollars doing it and how a lot of some of thekids were orphans, but a lot of them she just stole from poor families. So, you know, I was fascinated. I thought, how doessomeone get away with us? How does it go on for decades? Whydidn't somebody stop it? So you know when you're curious. You know whenyou're curious. Then you dig in and you learn more and you think,what was it like to live this? The book of Lost Friends, thehistorical lost friends ads, which I had also never heard of. Never trippedacross them while doing other Internet research or anything like that. But a readerwrote to me. I was in a committed relationship with another manuscript and Ihad finished the rough draft of it before I went on tour with before wewere your so it was like a Shoein I just needed to edit it andturn it in, you know, in time. But a reader wrote tome. I was procrastinating one afternoon on the porch checking email, and thiswoman in New Orleans, Di Am clochet, who was volunteering for the historic NewOrleans Collection Museum, wrote to me and she said I just finished beforewe were yours, and it reminds me of some work I'm doing for themuseum and I just thought you might like to know about it. and tothe bottom of the email she told me she was entering these old ads ina database for genealogists and historians, etc. And these ads have been gathered fromall over the place, various archives at universities, the back files oflibraries, just wherever something might survive that's that old. And she had attacheda few ads and they were these amazing stories of these families who had beenseparated all those years ago and their stories have been buried in these file cabinets. You most of these people were probably their graves, many of them,their grapes are probably unmarked. It's enough generations back that many of the families, those stories die out over time. These people's names are gone from theearth and then they bubble back up in these old news print blotchy, youknow, late eighteen, so a late s on ads that are just it'slike these people rise from the grave and tell their stories in their own voices. And I was fascinated. I went to the database and just fell downthe well of reading. Yeah, all these stories of all these families who'syou know, like I said, many of these families, their stories aregone from the earth and yet here they are on the Internet, something theynever could have imagined in those days. Wow, I a mean I rememberyou telling me that in it being you know, I was like, butyou have a finished manuscript. What are you doing deal just yeah, asideto make that and courageous to set that aside. It is. It's great. Christ. Yeah, what do you want to ask? I know youhave a great question. Yeah, so this is kind of slightly going offon a different track. Now I know all these other ladies know you.That this is really your first time, our first time meeting facetoface, butI will tell you I already knew you were like the nicest human on theplanet because when when the Book of lost friends came out, we were allsort of trying to get our footing under US and trying to figure out howwe were going to promote our books that had just come out or were justabout to come out. You not only launched a successful book, but youfound a way to use your platform for good by starting to read together,feed together, challenge to raise thousands of dollars for local food banks. Canyou talk a little bit about that? Why I decided to do that,kind of what you're able to do with it and, in general, whatyou think our opportunity is as authors to do some good in the world?Sure, just so, feeding and food banks has been a passion of minefor quite a few years for a few different reasons, one of them justbeing that when my kids were small we moved to small towns and you know, I grew up in the suburb. So everybody's about like you. They'reabout that your income level, they live about like you do. Their parentsdo jobs that are kind of like your parents jobs. But a small townis a microcosm of society and I'll all living there very close and, youknow, began to be aware. I would teach them Sunday school on Wednesdaynights when my kids were little, and we quickly it quickly. I quicklystarted seeing kids stuff snacks in their pockets, six and seven year old grab ayounger brother sister by the hand and bring them because there was going tobe food there and and you know, people who would be nice to themand let them make crafts and whatever, and so and you know, itkind of that's where I became aware of the fact that there were kids inour community. And the more I got involved with the schools, you know, you hear of school bus drivers who are keeping snacks on the bus becausekids are hungry, and teachers who are...

...keeping little debbies in the file cabinetor whatever, you know, fig newtons or whatever's cheap, so they'll havesomething for kids who are showing up hungry. And so then when covid hit itit became very clear very early on that a lot of people were goinghungry. And on a little Jaket with my husband we passed this just outin the wilds of Oklahoma, would passed this church out in the country andcars were just lined up like a line at Disney world, snaking, snaking, snaking, snaking, and I looked at my hous me said that mustbe the biggest funeral ever in the police are actually out on the highway sothat nobody would wreck into each other. As you know, and I meanthere are hundreds of cars. It's about ninety five degrees, so you canthese people are sitting out in the heat and and you know, I saidout what the world do you think they're doing, because this is during covidand so I couldn't stand I looked it up. There had been an advertisementthat trucklet of food was coming to be distributed and that. But all thosepeople from everywhere out in the rural southern Oklahoma, middle of nowhere, moretherefore, and so all of that kind of birth the idea to do thisread together, feed together, to just celebrate books but also do a littlegood with it. And and it was. It was lots of fun and youknow, we shared a lot of stories. The every day the readerswould come and share their own stories on the facebook page and somebody would wina thousand dollars for their food bank and a little gifts are took it atall have some fun with and it was. It was tons of fun. That'sreally great. It just put what is the dutible thing to do withyour platform. I mean, that's incredible. You. You were in a positionto do that and you decided to use it for good. I justthink that that speaks volumes about you. It made releasing the book a lotmore fun. I mean it wasn't it? You know, I did a lotof sense. It transcends. Yeah, yeah, but it yeah, Ijust made it. It just made it something we were all doing together. You know, we were all sharing but a topic each day and allthe readers were sharing their stories about a family airloom or whatever the topic was. And you know, that was the worst time of the covid thing.We're just really felt like anything terrible could happen, you know, and justbeing able to get together and share stories and and do something good made itall feel a little better, I think. Well, you know, it remindsme that the character who's the teacher in the book of Lost Friends,she's got hungry students. That she's line, she doesn't have that much herself,but she digs deep and and feeds these hungry kids. Reminds me ofabout so many teachers find themselves in that position and so many teachers take partsof their you know, in most states, not great salaries in the first place, and spend them on school supplies, on food, on things that kidsneed and, you know, and they shouldn't have to, but theydo. Their heroes, they really are. They are. Yeah, Mary Alice, that you want to ask. All Right, I'm going to reada quote. It's you know what this is from, Lisa. Is fromthe book of Lost Friends. In your note, when you're talking about dialectand you say, and I really loved it, in the fractured world wheresensitivities related to race, economic, class and geographical dialects round the gamut,the retelling of history has quite honestly become a challenge and I thought that wassuch an interesting point, especially right now, because we're seeing, you know,a lot of discussion of history and the sensitivities, and I'm curious becauseyou're writing historicals, but I think it might even be more true for contemporarydo you have any trepidation when you're when you look at okay, I'm writingthe book using a dialect or a different economic class or a cultural class oreven regarding color. I mean, how is this for all of us?Actually, I think it's a really interesting question as an author today, thebit of fear or trepidation or caution we have as we begin writing about agroup not our own. You know, I think that's not just in writing. I think everybody fit just in talking, just in having the conversations. Ithink people feel like they don't know what to say. You know,they don't want to say the wrong thing. They're not sure what's okay to sayand what's not. It is a little easier with historicals, I willsay because any story, I don't do a lot of reading history books.I don't really want to learn history filter through the modern lens of a historianor a university professor or someone who studies...

...that subject. I really tend towant to go back to the original voice of his als. So in historicals, you know, I want to hear the voices of lived experience. Iwant to read things that were written in the time period by the people wholived it. I want to get an idea of just the kidence of theirlanguage and the words they used and the things they thought about and referred to. And so, you know, in Hanny's case that was tons of thethe WPA slave narratives where the WPA writers went out and interview the last peoplewho had experienced slavery. And during the Great Depression, you know who thelast survivors of slavery were interviewed, and so there were hundreds of those,the lost friends adds themselves, which, of course, are the real storiesof these people. That narratives written in a time so historical, I thinkit's a little easier because you can go back to the authentic voices and youcan kind of keep at that until you feel like you have kind of agrasp of what the lives of people were like. Then contemporary is harder,you know, and I mean I think it's just a needle ware all tryingto thread. How how do we write stories that are diverse but you knowit in a world that that doesn't know what to do with that sometimes,and I think ultimately all you can do is right the best story you canand to speak out of love and you really can't control how people receive it. But you know, my feeling is, I think, because I grew up, you know, before the fall of the Soviet Union, so Igrew up knowing that right on the other side of the world there was thisplace where people were being told what they could imagine, where they could taketheir imaginations, what they could read, what they could write, and so, you know, that makes me person it's like, let the writers write, let the readers read, let's not try to control with someone else,you know, not going in, you know, as long as we're notin the realm of hate speech or things that do damage. I just feellike, you know, I don't feel like we should control where other peoplecan take their imaginations. That was a great answer. Thank you, MissMiss Mary Kay. You know, you touched on this a little bit earlier, Lisa, when you said that you had been in a committed relationship scriptand I wondered about that before you talked about that. How does that howdoes that work with with your process? Do you I know, everybody's worldis different. I mean I come up with the story idea and I goback and forth with my editor and my agent and then I start the processand I write, well, how far along do you get before you decidethis book isn't good in it? You know, I still love the otherbook and I will go back and, you know, and do it.But when this piece of history came along, I just could see two parallels.You know, it's about separated families. It's about a parents wondering if I'llever see their children again, children wondering if they'll ever see their parentsagain. And you know, I think it's so easy to look back athistory and let you walk through an old graveyard and you see these families wholost child after child after child after child young and you just think, howdid anybody survive that? People must have been made of different stuff back then. But you know that the human things, they don't change. The human thingsare what ties us all together, that love a family, that needto know your history, that need to know your people, you know thatthat's the tie, that's the bond we had, that makes us all thesame, I think. And so I just fell in love with this pieceof history, I think, because of the common threads, yeah, betweenthe two stories. Have you ever done that before? Have you ever reallyliterally shifted gears and said wait, no, this, this story, has grabbedme and I'm kind I got to see where it takes me. Um, sort of I had started doing when I wrote before were yours, Ihad started doing the research and kind of trying to put together in my heada different story. That the you's always have this idea drawer, you guysprobably do too, full of things you might write about. And so Ithere was another one I was working on and I just I you know,sometimes thinks it just an idea, just isn't jelling for you. You can'tquite get it to form into story. The characters aren't coming to life foryou, and so I pivoted and thought, I think I'm going to write this, this story about the orphanages, and you know Memphis and this womanin Memphis who stole it, stole all the children and adopted them out.And so before we were yours, was going to be something else and thenit wasn't. That's amazing. You had that under deadline, or did you? We you on spect so that you can say, Hey, I'm notgoing to do this, I'm going to stretch and do something else. Thatwas my first book in so that's book...

...number thirty and before we were yoursis and at that time I've been writing publishing about eighteen years. I thinksomething like that, because I had little bity kids when I babies, babies, I would put babies in the crib and run and right for an hourto Netline, you know. And and now I have big Harry legged manchildren with with children at their own. So so it. I had notwritten a book off contract since my very first one back when I had babiesand I changed agents and my agents. Yeah, we discussed ideas and shewas like, Great, write the manuscript and you know, I it wasscary, but it was the most wonderful thing to write it not knowing whereit was going, kind of with no other voice. I always tell peopleyour first book, that's how you write it. You write it you don'tknow where it's going to go. You don't know who's going to publish it, you don't know if it will be published, you don't know who theeditor will be. It's just you. You're not thinking rolling or that editorreally doesn't like cats and so or whatever. You know, and it was itwas sort of that kind of freedom because I didn't know where it wasgoing to go. I didn't know who was going to publish it, Ididn't know who was going to edit it, but it was just me and thebook and that was was Nice. And look what born beautiful baby.Yeah, okay, everyone. Now it is time for Patty commercial break.So her mind. All of you about our bookstore of the week sort ofvide get their glass of wine. Why? I take a second. This isa time for all locally owned businesses and, as people who love books, all of us can do some good in the world by lending a bitof support to the booksellers who are really working hard to stay in business,and some of them just aren't. So each book you buy it in Indieis a good deed and at the same time you get some great books toread, plus you get to keep the literary community Ie us thriving. Itis when? When? When? So, if you're interested in picking up anyof our releases, Mary Alice is on Ocean Boulevard. Christie, whowill be back next week, feels like falling my becoming Mrs Lewis Christen's upcomingbook, the Book of Lost Names, Mary K Hello Summer, or Lisa'sthe book of lost friends. Take advantage of the great ten percent discount atthank you books in Birmingham and the link is on the profile. So nowthat the four of us have had a chance to ask Leasa some questions,and I know we could keep doing this for yeah words. I mean Ican feel questions bubbling up. Holding it. I know it's like who but butwe promise our amazing members will pull questions from them. So the firstone that I pulled from people who wrote questions last week is from a womannamed Stephanie Brown and she said I love how authors, as inform as wellas entertained before we were yours, also had a side story of calling cancer. I think it's wonderful that authors do that in a story. Are thereany causes or conditions near and dear to your heart they'd like to share withreaders? And I know you mentioned the feed and read, but is thereanything else that you've purposely stuck in a book because it's a cause near toyour heart? Oh golly, I could probably almost name one from every book. Wow, okay, yeah, they're there. You know a lot.Sometimes they come out of the research. As you're trying to get ahold ofyour stories, you come across something. Sometimes they come out of life.You know, a lot of them for me are kids and youth and mentoringand kids who don't have all the advantages and what we can do for them. And you know, kids who are in foster care and what they needfrom us and that a lot of that just comes from working with different organizationsand the community and organizations that feed, organizations that mentor and working with alot of kids. You know, you can't aspire to what you've never seen. And if a kid never ever has the chance to see that there eitherthat there is a different way to do things, that they're is some otherway to live and they can't they don't even have a chance to aspire tosomething different. And so, you know, kids are probably my biggest fashion justbecause being a mom was my favorite job and being a mom in smalltowns brought a lot of temporary kids into our homes and we were involved ina lot with a lot of young kids, little kids and then bigger kids,because that all grows as your kids grow. Amazing. Mary Ass,I think you pulled one from you and it's sort of a surprise. It'sfrom someone by the name of a Moser, which I believe you know, she'sknowing you since two thousand and one and she says she's been so excitedto watch the last two books are so much more than entertaining stories. Theyhave revealed in justice as of the past.

So her question is, is thisnew trend in your writing, this investigated reporting of the past, hereto stay? Yeah, I think so. I I really do love working aroundpieces of history and I'm sort of always done it, but when themix of time frames became kind of more of a thing, I think itreally lit a fire for me because I love that idea of learning something fromhistory. You know, history teaches us so many things and you know,not just the lessons, but it teaches us that people, because we werein a tough time right now, one of the lessons to be learned fromhistory. People before US went through tough times and they came past it.I never will forget after night, quick story, after eleven I went topick my kids up from school that afternoon and I passed by the Little BalletStudio and there were a little the parents were in a not talking. Ifelt like the end of the world, you all remember, and parents werein a not on the sidewalk talking and there were the three little girls twirlingin their twotoo's down the sidewalk and my first thought was they shouldn't be doingthat, not today, you know, when all this terrible stuff was happing. These girls shouldn't be dancing on the sidewalk. And then I remembered mygrandmother telling me about Pearl Harbor Day and when they heard it come over theradio and she heard her children out in the yard and she thought they shouldn'tbe, you know, yelling, running and playing when this terrible thing hashappened. And she told me. I got as far as the door andI just stood there and looked at my kids and thought that's the only thingright about today. Yeah, and you know, that story was just whatI met. Little piece of my grandmother's history was just what I needed inthat moment because I know, you know, my grandmother went through something like thisand, you know, continued on with life for many years afterward.And you know, this is a bad day, but it's not the endof everything. Experience and it is inspiring. I have those chills you get onthe back your neck. Yeah, someone says, greatly true. Yeah, Cathy, you were getting Mary Kay, you were going to pull a coupleoff the yeah, my feet for us. Yeah, I don't knowwho answered ask this question, but she wants to know what has the quarantinestrengthened in you. That's a great question. What the quarantine has strengthened in me? I think, well, one thing is when you can't have it, you miss it. So you know just the need to get together withfriends, to make time for that coffee, to make time for that trip tothe beach together. You know all those things we can't do. Yourealize the value of those, I think. And and then I think for me, just making time to there's a long there's a long Dutch word forit that I can't has a million vowels. I couldn't pronounce it think of itright now, but it means walking in the wind or walking with thewind or out blowing, and it's a distressor. You know, just toget out when it's windy and walk and let the wind come your hair andbe out in nature and the and that's one of the things that it hasstrengthened for me is the realization that you need to step away and do thethings that just heal your spirit of the busyness of the screen time, ofthe crazy amount of communication we have these days. So I think that's whatthat's the thing it has strengthened in me is have the importance of those things. It's awesome. There another one, Mary Kay. Yeah, Um,this is a business question. Somebody asked what causes a change of agents oreditors. Oh, wow, while change of editors is as you usually ismeant the change of Publishing House. You know, you are going to adifferent publishing house, so that means a different editor WHO's at that new publishinghouse. Change of agents, Um, you know, it happens. Iwant one of mine fell in love and move to England. You know,never know. Is there? No, it's going to cause a change ofagents. Sometimes it's because you're going in a little different business direction, youknow. So it varies and sometimes it's just, you know, people likenit to like a marriage. I mean you just need someone that you reallyare able to work well with at that point in your career and that pointin your life and with the stories that you're writing at that time. Andso, you know, I think just trying to get to that sympatico placewhere you both are working toward the same thing. Do sometimes you're just notthere and so you you you change agents. Yeah, sometimes you don't. Youknow, early in your career,...

...lots of times you don't have thatchoice. You're not get true, you know you're lucky. You feel likeyou're lucky to have found an agent who will take you on. And whenthat agent places, you were book with an editor. Lots of times,when you're early in your career, you just say, Oh, okay,well, that's yes, I'm so thankful. But then later on, as yougo to is your career progresses, hopefully you do have some choice inthose kinds of things, I think. And it's sometimes I agree with youand sometimes you you say yes and you make a mistake. It's sort of, you know, it is sort of like a divorce, but sometimes it'sor you're at a different place, like you said, and it's it's Ialways say, if you haven't, take your time, if you can,to choose an agent, because choosing the agent that's not right for you couldcould set you back. True, yeah, sure, that is true. Okay, so on. This is always my favorite part and every friends andfiction episode we try to give you a writing tip and I love hearing fromall our five Fab Posse, but from the guests it's just spend incredible.So tonight we thought you might want to hear words of wisdom from our friendLisa. So, Lisa, it's somebody asks you what is your favorite writingtip? What do you tell them? Okay, so for me I stumbledthrough my first couple books and the second one, good hope world, waskind of the closest to a scrap and rewrite that I ever had, becauseeverybody knows second book, but the second book is hard to write. Yeah, but anyway, as I was doing the rewrite on that, I stumbledinto a screenwriting class by accident and the only at a conference and by thetime I realized I was in the wrong conference room, the door was onthe other end of the room and it would have been embarrassing to get upand leak. No, I stad there. I listened to this screenwriting class onthree act structure, which is there are lots of versions of three actstructure and you know it in your head because you know how everything from fairytales to novels two movies are formulated. But for me, until someone laidit out for me when this guy laid out three act structure and how itlooks. I mean it just turned the light on in my head because I'mnot a plotter and a planner, but it gives me the bones of thestory so I can hang the flesh on it as I guess. And sothat three out, knowing three act structure and taking and if you want toknow more about how I do it, it's on my websites, so youcan go there and look at the writing tips. But sit down with that, watch some movies analyze out how they've done the three act structure. Forme that was the most helpful of everything I've ever learned about writing. Thatfor me, was the most helpful thing. Great tip. Christ and when shedid her writing fit this so sympatico. She talked about how she took booksand took them apart like that. And yes, so that's really sympatico. Also, y'all, look what the people who really excel at doing theis Disney anyway, Disney animation. Wow, they've got it down. They've gota clean the motivations of the characters studied Disney cartoon or by in candivations. Yeah, like they've got it down. Yeah, absolutely. I. Oh, I taught I taught it that, you know, a little class init for years afterward, and I always tell people get the Disney moviesout. But yes, you will find it exactly and it's a clean,simple yep. Yes, and you cry every, yes, single time.Yeah, okay, we have a few announcements tonight. So Mary Kay,WANT TO START US off? Yes, you know, we started out doingfriends and fiction. Ten weeks ago. We did not know what we weredoing all. Yeah, whatever you're doing, fighting our friends and having a goodtime. We went to facebook live and it started growing so fast.We are rushing, you know, running as fast as we can keep upwith it. So you might have noticed we breathe right past eight thousand membersthis week. We are so thrilled about so to celebrate that moment, we'dlike to give away to forty gift card to too lucky friends and fiction members. And because we are all very much right now in support of the movementand publishing, to support Black Authors and Black owned book stores, we wantto offer both of those gift cards from a wonderful black owned store in Virginiacalled books and crannies. Will Post a link to them on our page too, and two winners we have, I think we have drawn two winners atrandom to get be given those gift cards to books and crannies in Virginia.WHO's got the names of the winners?...

Will put them on that? willput them on the page. And Christian, you had a couple announcements to takeit away. Yeah, so we've all been talking about how important itis to support this movement happening right now. I think we're all being reminded ofthe importance of confronting our own prejudices, even the ones we don't realize wehold, and to be constantly opening our eyes beyond our own experience.So, to that end, we would really love to start some discussions onthe friends and fiction page about books by black authors. And to start thingsoff, we will be buying a book by a black author for three luckywinners, all from the lip bar, a black owned bookstore in the Bronx. So to enter, just look for our post under announcements and tell uswhich book by a black author you would be excited to win. So we'lldraw three random winners on Friday afternoon and the only thing we ask of you, if you win, is to come back to the page after you've readthe book and tell us what you liked about it or what it made youthink about. So it's just kind of we just want to encourage discussion you. You all have some wonderful contributions. Everyone is saying such great things andstarting wonderful conversations on the page and we'd love to see this be something that'stalked about a little bit too. So, speaking of books and discussions, myother announcement is that two of our members, Brendick Gardner and Michelle Marcus, have launched an official friends and fiction book club which will be reading booksby all the friends and fiction authors each month. So their first pick ishello summer by our lovely Mary Kay Andrews, who will be joining at the BookClub on July Twenty, I I believe, to discuss the book.So check under announcements on the friends and fiction group page to find the linkto the book club page. To all you have to do is click tojoin and it's a lot of fun. I'm so excited about the book clubbecause everybody on our page was talking about how do we talk about it,and then some of our own members started the Barry owns off US book clubpage, so you can just go join and then Mary Kay will show upon your zoom and you know it, it'll be a little different than whatwe're doing here because she'll be on there specifically to talk about Hello Summer andanswer all your questions about it. So it's also a place to just goand interact with other other readers and ask your questions to the authors. We'regoing to be dropping in pretty frequently to comment on our own books also.Yep, so Mary Alice has rewind things down. Will you remind us ofall the upcoming guests that we have coming up this summer, including when thereare times it's just the five of us? Yeah, we I'm just going togo with I think I'll just go through July because it's a lot,but the wholdest is on our page and it's like I want to keep camping. Mary Kay always just said it's been ten weeks and the first couple ofweeks, you know, we talked about our books, but then the it'sbeen so much fun to have Lisa and to have all the guests come becausewe get to talk about your books. So we have a pretty exciting throughJuly roster. On June twenty four, we will have just what we calledjust us. It's a chance for, you know, US to hang outand talk about what's going on a little bit more personal up closing personal.And then on July first we're back to having a guest and I'm really excited. We're having Delia Owens, who wrote where the crowd dancing, which wouldbe very cool. We love her. And then on July eight, justus again, I guess every a lot of talking, just us. Thenon July fifteen is Jasmine Gillery and I'm excited about that. And then onJuly twenty two, party time. Party time, first of all because we'regoing to talk about the book of Lost Names and which I'm so excited mymost favorite song in the whole world from sister Hazel, and they're come.Oh, look who just showed up. Hello, so, Lisa, Icouldn't help myself to see you. See You. Sorry, Mary Alice,I was wanting on my phone and it was like it a different place.I'm sorry, but Christian, Um, what's the name of the song thatsister Hazel, their biggest hit, is all for you. Hi, awesome. What it is? I see and you wenter. I follows beat.YEA, they don't pay me for my guy. I want there gonna beon the a show she knows about, though, so how cool is that? So, to celebrate the release of her book, the Book of blessednames, we're having a special musical guests, which is cool, and then onJuly twenty nine, Patti's the host for Fiona Davis, a another historicalare excited about. So that takes us fool July and we hope you'll joinus for each and everyone. Yeah, so that's it for tonight, although, Christie, real quick tell us how you're doing. I'm great. Howare Y'all? I'm so glad to see everybody. I'm so glad that Icaught you, Lisa. I just had another event and I just wanted topop on and say hey, because I'm so excited that you were here andI can't wait to go watch the episode. I know it was amazing. Butwait, we have like a couple minutes if you want to ask herquick question or something you might have done if you've been here all night.Oh Gosh, okay, I know, but then I'm like, am Igoing to ask something that you guys already...

...asked. Maybe I know what Ican ask you because you guys have not asked us. Okay, so Iwas actually just doing an event with the Dare County Arts Council and downtown booksand Manny I was one of my favorite stories and Lisa, I know thatthey're one of your favorite stories to. So can you tell us? YouI know, of course everyone knows about your latest books, but can youtell us about some of your your older books that were set on when theysaid on the Outer Banks? Yeah, Oh, yeah, yeah, so, yeah, how that happened? Some years ago, I wanted to doI was wanted to do a story and I knew it would be in thisold house that have been ravaged by a hurricane and I was going to doit and Gal list him because we've had our share in Texas and I knewthat intimately. So I had was working on the book end my one ofmy longtime retired guy reader friends, ed Stevens head, said the first ofthe two bad hurricanes on the outer ranks had happened and he was telling meabout it. Said you need to set a book there so everyone will cometo the outer bank because everything's just devastated and all that, and I kindof staid well, you know, I might some day, and then Edwrote back to me in about a week and said, well, I've askedmy daughter Shannon if you want to set a book on the Outer Banks,you could come stay in her beach house. But then, well, you know. So that is how those books ended up. A Free Beach Houseis how those books sounded at being set up the out of ranks. ButI fell in love with the outer ranks, the history the people, and thatinspired two more books and the prayer box, the story keeper and theSea Keeper's daughters. The second two in that group of books really was justbecause I fell in love with the history of the outer ranks and the people. Well, I think the takeaway from you, Lisa, is that whenyour readers tell you they have a good story for you, you should listenprue. You're so right, and not only that, but if you're evenif you're all the way into something else, because that's the hardest part, sayingokay, I've spent and we've all done it, with one story another. I've spent all these months, all this ree search and I'm going toput it over here. Lisa, we have loved having you so much,but so so fast, so greats and I know we could talk for hours. And everyone, don't forget, you can pick up LEASA's latest, thebook I've Lost Friends, along with our releases at thank you books. Thankyou all for joining us. Please join us on the friends and fiction facebookgroup and meet us back here next week when Christie will be hosting the fiveof us and we'll be talking writing tips and we all have lots of news. Will be talking about that and on the following week we'll be here withDalia Owens. And good night everyone than having me. Thank you, Lisa. I want to hug you. I'm hug you a dog long distance time. Hi, everybody, right, we miss you. Oh, miss youtoo. Love from here. Okay, so that was Super Fund. Ican't wait to go watch oh she was talking and it really struck me andI loved it when she was talking about she doesn't like to read history fromother sources of other historians. She likes to go to the regional materials andsee the actual words from the people themselves, and I think that's why her workring so true, so it was interesting that she mentioned specifically the waypeople talk, because it is different from different time periods. It was interestingthat word choice and cadence were important things to her. That really does comeacross in her books. Then just the dry I loved the three act stretcher. We've all talked about that right in our tips, like how do youbecause you're Christen, you're super, super outliner. Harry Kay and I aresuper not. I'm an outliner and Mary Alice is an outliner and Christie isan outliner and I'm not an outliner. You're sure no idea. You're apantherer. I'm a hand. Mary Kay and Christy and I are going togo on a retreat and then or you better have Mary Alice and I onyour retreat, because we'll just I'll keep you in line with our outlines.You'll be able to say what comes next. And we're like this, dude isyeah, well, and really, I mean I'm Christen and I thinkit's Christian and Mary Alice and I we were in California and I was talkingabout under the southern sky, which is my next book, and there's thislittle piece of the story that I just couldnt figure out and Kristen said somethingto me and I was like right, and I didn't end up using likethe exact thing, but I like, but it was just that I waslike, Oh my God. So it really does help to have people,though I remember it does. We were doing a little what do we do? Like a weekend retreat patty at your...

...house and a little bluff. MaryAlice was there and you're and Cassandra King are, a very dear mutual friend, was in and out. But I was writing the high tide club,which was the most complicated multi and it was as crazy the first time.Work hard on that club. The first time I had done dual timelines.You all have all done it before, but I had never done, youknow, a bat back story and a contemporary story and I had this crazyconvoluted plot and I said I need this to happen and and they looked atme and said just make it the brother and I went what? How?I couldn't see that. I still don't know. But it's like someone elseyou know who's in tune with you can say can they can see the forestfor the sea when you get just can't. And Youtu makes brainstorm so great.Yeah, and you can be the whole forest because you outline the foresttree by tree. Yeah, but you know, the best idea is stillcome. I love it when your editor and you are Duking it out,I call it, and we just having ideas and just sharing and it's,Oh my God, that is a good idea. She'll say something and likeokay, I'll try to. It's that sort of open every word is nota pearl, and I thought that's the best part and it must be funfor historicals especially. You know, we're talking about how you get that ideawhen you hear it, but when you're doing your research. Yeah, andit just hits you like, oh my gosh, I've got to put thisin. That's what least it was saying. So it must be a particularly truefor his story. Yeah, what a great night it was. Itreally was. You were going to let you lead us, lead us throughnext week and we'll see. Everybody can't wait. I can't wait. Well, I'm boad. I got to catch all really quickly and I can't waitto see you and sweet well, I can't wait to see you all atsix hundred forty five in the morning. And I know first guy it's it'slate and I get to have dinner with my husband because it's our anniversary.Universe. So I could to say goodbye girls. I got a husband totalk to guy before leave it to bed. Everyone. Love you, lady.See You tomorrow morning on text. All Right, I'm waiting for MaryKate. As they go exactly, go away right by everybody. Bill Tomorrow. You've been listening to the friends and fiction podcast. Be Sure to subscribeto 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 wwwand fictioncom, as well 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.

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