Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 4 · 2 years 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. Five best selling authors, endless stories. Friends and fiction is a podcast with five best 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 the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Best Selling Novelists Mary K Andrews, Christen Harmel, Christie Woodson Harvey, Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Monroe are five longtime friends with more than eighty 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, unchartered territory. They're still talking and they've added fascinating discussions with other best selling novelists. So joined them live on their friends and fiction facebook group page every Wednesday at seven P M Eastern, or listen in view later at your leisure. Welcome. This is friends in fiction, five best selling novelists, endless stories. We are five writers and friends WHO's common love of Reading, writing and independent book stores binds us together, along with some secrets we won't tell. And this is our weekly friends and fiction show. Tonight is actually our ten show. I can't believe it. What started as just a 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 latest historical novel is called becoming Mrs Lewis and my latest contemporary is called the favorite daughter. And as you can see, we are missing one of our posse tonight. Christy Woodson Harvey isn't here tonight, but she will be back next week and we already miss her like crazy. But ladies, go around and introduce yourselves and tell us your latest book and then we'll get going. I'm Mary Kay Andrews and my litten book is Hello Summer, which came out may fifth. 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 in July, at about a month the hi. I'm Mary Ellis Monroe and my recent novel is on Ocean Boulevard. And this is friends and fiction. Tonight, as you can see, we have a new face among us and we are so thrilled to be hosting our dear friendly so wingate. We've been off camera for a little bit and saying don't tell us anything more. So you can tell so. Lisa and I published our debut novels not only with the same publishing house but with the same editor, Ellen Edwards, back at New American library in the early two thousand years, and we have been talking, publishing, writing stories, family, kids, grandkids, moving for a really long while. And when I say talking, I also mean whining and cafetching and so 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 most of 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 windgate clan of storytellers. I think that sounds like the title of a book, the Wind Gate clan of storytellers. He is the Number One New York Times best selling author of before we were yours, which stayed on the best seller list for fifty four weeks. Fifty four weeks and sold over two million copies. And her new book, the Book of Lost Friends, came out just last month, which is not, as we said, to be confused with the love it it's in our mouths names. That comes out on July twenty one. Lisa has authored more than thirty novels and Co authored and non fiction 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 that we wouldn't have time to ask questions and we wouldn't have time to chat with her, and we want to hear her and we want to hear her writing tip. So just believe me, she has loads of awards. And let me tell you that if you have a question for Lisa, post it during this chat on our friends and fiction page, facebook page, if you see under this video, you can post a...

...question and we'll be pulling a few live questions in a little bit. But before we get really started, I also want to remind all of us that the reason we got started on this endeavor, 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. Each week we highlight one indie and tonight it is in my hometown. It is thank you books in Birmingham, Alabama. They opened right before covid hits and they have been so supportive in our community and they are graciously giving you ten percent off tonight on our books. So the link to the book store is posted on our friends in fiction page. So, Lisa, welcome, welcome, so excited you were coming. That's so good. Thank you. I miss all of you, but this is the next best thing, right without hugs. Yeah. So, first off I want to ask you what you we'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 right on the cusp of the shutdown. This book release April Seventh, and so you know, Midmarch I was supposed to be flying around for pre events and to 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 travel and you know, and then it was at the shutdown happened. So we've mostly been scrambling just trying to figure out how do you navigate all the virtual technology? You know, how do you cancel an entire book tour, cancel? Airline tickets canceled, you know, everything that was supposed to happen and and also you know how to how to navigate that. My husband is teach us physics and chemistry, so he's been teaching online. So we sort of have zoom wars, but the house needs to teach and I need to zoom with the group or whatever. And so, you know, it's just been a but the great thing about it there were so many people who came to the virtual events who said, you know, I your booked or wasn't coming anywhere near me. I ever would have never gotten to, you know, go see you. So I mean for every curse there's a blessing, I think, and you know so. Certainly this has not been how we planned on two thousand and twenty starting out at all. But you know, for all those canceled plans, I did get to meet virtually long distance, a lot of people I wouldn't have gotten to otherwise. That those positive. That's very it's nice to hear the positives and and we've noticed too, because we probably wouldn't get to see each other once a week if we hadn't learned how to hang out like this in a new and different way. That doesn't mean we don't want the old back, because we do. But yeah, there is not a silver linen. But, ladies, I want to ask you, what have you been up to a week, and I actually kind of want to hit on because we've been writing together. I want to hit on you know, we've been months now, you know, kind of lockdown. None of us on book tour, all of US losing book tour. What kept you on the page this week? Is it easier now than it was when we first started, you know, first started hanging out together. Tell me 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 you started it, and that means it's seven o'clock in the morning. Y'All of them 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 all on it, aren't we? A sad yeah, yeah, it's made a difference. Thank you, guys. Really, it really has. I was getting so stressed out because, I mean, I my book deadlines in November, but I wasn't really I was just inching every week a little, you know, less far than I needed to be getting, and it was stressing me out every day, like it was making me less of a good mom to my son and less of a good wife to my husband. And you know, because it was always on my mind, I have been like the best version of myself all three week days this week because I've joined you and pretty more and I've gotten those words out. So thank you, not just for helping me get the words on the page, but for making me a better human. That's all I've ever wanted. How did your come up with the idea? 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 hands across the keyboard and you know I...

...always have a goal. It's at least five hundred words. But as we've been doing patty, we've been doing it what, seventeen days now in a road eighteen days? Yeah, eighteen or eighteen days, and so it's six am where patty is it's I mean it's seven, but it helps me. I finally have my head in this book, which is due to my editor in October, and I hadn't been able to get my head in the book book. So it's been great for me. And when we first did it, the first couple times we actually did it in the afternoon. We were texting about something else and you said let's do a sprint. I said ready, go, and then it just kind of inched towards morning and then one day I had to get up early and 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 lately I've been like slipping the coffee. I think this whole cold it things just really blew my schedule off. Oh, everybody, I yeah, the attention, but this just got us back on it. Yeah, so I probably how about you? Li said you write better in the morning or better in the afternoon, or what Um, better in the afternoon. But it's fun listening to you guys talk. Because when it was the book of lost friends kind of was written in the chaos. It wasn't going to be my next book and then we changed plans and so anyway it was. I needed to get it written and it was written in the chaos of everything that happened with before we were yours and lots of travel and all that. But Judy Christie and I started doing writing s friends and I was never a person who thought that was something that, you know, that that would be useful to me at all. And she suggested it one day and and we started it and the whole book of lost friends was really written on those writings. Require Day we'd have, we'd meet in the morning at a certain time when we talked 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 then you 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 it is think on screen, but anyway you can read it backwards. So yeah, I love this cover. I think it this story is about a very kind of an odyssey journey through through from South Louisiana to Texas. The historical part in one thousand eight hundred and seventy five. So this reminded me of those old you know you go into some old house that the decorations have been the same and it since about the turn of the century and there are those utopia western scene paintings. That that's what this reminded me of. So I thought it was kind of perfect. So the book of Lost Friends, I don't exactly have an elevator pitch for it, but it's a story inspired by the real life lost friends ads, which I had never heard of. I'll tell you later how I came to hear about them, but I love those little pieces of history that I didn't know about and they just blow my mind wide open. The boss friends ads were written in the years after the civil war at through the early nineteen hundreds, and what they were were the desperate letters to the editor of families who've been separated during slavery hoping that through these advertise Eisements, they might find news of their family members, many of whom they hadn't seen in decades. And so that's the little historical nugget behind this story. 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 told me how both and so I'm going to let you talk about what you just said 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 come up with that? What made you want to write about that? And I think the story for both of those is really interesting. So tell us how both before we yours and the book of lost friends came to you, because I think it's fascinating. So completely by accident. I don't know about all of you, but if I went looking for the nuggets, I think I would never find them. Yeah, I always come across them when I think I'm looking for something else. Yep, but before we were yours, I was actually just up laide on deadline with another book, and I had left the TV playing but turn the sound off because I knew I was going to pull an all nighter and you know, it's just it's some company in the room. And but in the middle of the night this episode of Discovery Channel's deadly women came on and I looked up and I saw this some mansion house with 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 I okay, it was the story of Georgia Tan and these corrupt orphanages in Memphis from about the twenty through the s and...

...her adoptions for profit business and how she made millions of dollars doing it and how a lot of some of the kids were orphans, but a lot of them she just stole from poor families. So, you know, I was fascinated. I thought, how does someone get away with us? How does it go on for decades? Why didn't somebody stop it? So you know when you're curious. You know when you'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, the historical lost friends ads, which I had also never heard of. Never tripped across them while doing other Internet research or anything like that. But a reader wrote to me. I was in a committed relationship with another manuscript and I had finished the rough draft of it before I went on tour with before we were your so it was like a Shoein I just needed to edit it and turn it in, you know, in time. But a reader wrote to me. I was procrastinating one afternoon on the porch checking email, and this woman in New Orleans, Di Am clochet, who was volunteering for the historic New Orleans Collection Museum, wrote to me and she said I just finished before we were yours, and it reminds me of some work I'm doing for the museum and I just thought you might like to know about it. and to the bottom of the email she told me she was entering these old ads in a database for genealogists and historians, etc. And these ads have been gathered from all over the place, various archives at universities, the back files of libraries, just wherever something might survive that's that old. And she had attached a few ads and they were these amazing stories of these families who had been separated 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 the earth and then they bubble back up in these old news print blotchy, you know, late eighteen, so a late s on ads that are just it's like 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 down the well of reading. Yeah, all these stories of all these families who's you know, like I said, many of these families, their stories are gone from the earth and yet here they are on the Internet, something they never could have imagined in those days. Wow, I a mean I remember you telling me that in it being you know, I was like, but you have a finished manuscript. What are you doing deal just yeah, aside to make that and courageous to set that aside. It is. It's great. Christ. Yeah, what do you want to ask? I know you have a great question. Yeah, so this is kind of slightly going off on a different track. Now I know all these other ladies know you. That this is really your first time, our first time meeting facetoface, but I will tell you I already knew you were like the nicest human on the planet because when when the Book of lost friends came out, we were all sort of trying to get our footing under US and trying to figure out how we were going to promote our books that had just come out or were just about to come out. You not only launched a successful book, but you found 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. Can you 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, what you 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 mine for quite a few years for a few different reasons, one of them just being 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're about that your income level, they live about like you do. Their parents do jobs that are kind of like your parents jobs. But a small town is a microcosm of society and I'll all living there very close and, you know, began to be aware. I would teach them Sunday school on Wednesday nights when my kids were little, and we quickly it quickly. I quickly started seeing kids stuff snacks in their pockets, six and seven year old grab a younger brother sister by the hand and bring them because there was going to be food there and and you know, people who would be nice to them and let them make crafts and whatever, and so and you know, it kind of that's where I became aware of the fact that there were kids in our 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 because kids are hungry, and teachers who are...

...keeping little debbies in the file cabinet or whatever, you know, fig newtons or whatever's cheap, so they'll have something for kids who are showing up hungry. And so then when covid hit it it became very clear very early on that a lot of people were going hungry. And on a little Jaket with my husband we passed this just out in the wilds of Oklahoma, would passed this church out in the country and cars were just lined up like a line at Disney world, snaking, snaking, snaking, snaking, and I looked at my hous me said that must be the biggest funeral ever in the police are actually out on the highway so that nobody would wreck into each other. As you know, and I mean there are hundreds of cars. It's about ninety five degrees, so you can these people are sitting out in the heat and and you know, I said out what the world do you think they're doing, because this is during covid and so I couldn't stand I looked it up. There had been an advertisement that trucklet of food was coming to be distributed and that. But all those people from everywhere out in the rural southern Oklahoma, middle of nowhere, more therefore, and so all of that kind of birth the idea to do this read together, feed together, to just celebrate books but also do a little good with it. And and it was. It was lots of fun and you know, we shared a lot of stories. The every day the readers would come and share their own stories on the facebook page and somebody would win a thousand dollars for their food bank and a little gifts are took it at all have some fun with and it was. It was tons of fun. That's really great. It just put what is the dutible thing to do with your platform. I mean, that's incredible. You. You were in a position to do that and you decided to use it for good. I just think that that speaks volumes about you. It made releasing the book a lot more fun. I mean it wasn't it? You know, I did a lot of sense. It transcends. Yeah, yeah, but it yeah, I just made it. It just made it something we were all doing together. You know, we were all sharing but a topic each day and all the 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 just being able to get together and share stories and and do something good made it all feel a little better, I think. Well, you know, it reminds me 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 of about so many teachers find themselves in that position and so many teachers take parts of their you know, in most states, not great salaries in the first place, and spend them on school supplies, on food, on things that kids need and, you know, and they shouldn't have to, but they do. Their heroes, they really are. They are. Yeah, Mary Alice, that you want to ask. All Right, I'm going to read a quote. It's you know what this is from, Lisa. Is from the book of Lost Friends. In your note, when you're talking about dialect and you say, and I really loved it, in the fractured world where sensitivities 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 was such 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 because you're writing historicals, but I think it might even be more true for contemporary do you have any trepidation when you're when you look at okay, I'm writing the book using a dialect or a different economic class or a cultural class or even regarding color. I mean, how is this for all of us? Actually, I think it's a really interesting question as an author today, the bit of fear or trepidation or caution we have as we begin writing about a group 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. I think 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 say and what's not. It is a little easier with historicals, I will say 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 historian or a university professor or someone who studies...

...that subject. I really tend to want to go back to the original voice of his als. So in historicals, you know, I want to hear the voices of lived experience. I want to read things that were written in the time period by the people who lived it. I want to get an idea of just the kidence of their language 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 the the WPA slave narratives where the WPA writers went out and interview the last people who had experienced slavery. And during the Great Depression, you know who the last survivors of slavery were interviewed, and so there were hundreds of those, the lost friends adds themselves, which, of course, are the real stories of these people. That narratives written in a time so historical, I think it's a little easier because you can go back to the authentic voices and you can kind of keep at that until you feel like you have kind of a grasp 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 trying to thread. How how do we write stories that are diverse but you know it 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 can and 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 I grew up knowing that right on the other side of the world there was this place where people were being told what they could imagine, where they could take their 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 not in the realm of hate speech or things that do damage. I just feel like, you know, I don't feel like we should control where other people can take their imaginations. That was a great answer. Thank you, Miss Miss Mary Kay. You know, you touched on this a little bit earlier, Lisa, when you said that you had been in a committed relationship script and I wondered about that before you talked about that. How does that how does that work with with your process? Do you I know, everybody's world is different. I mean I come up with the story idea and I go back and forth with my editor and my agent and then I start the process and I write, well, how far along do you get before you decide this book isn't good in it? You know, I still love the other book 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'll ever see their children again, children wondering if they'll ever see their parents again. And you know, I think it's so easy to look back at history and let you walk through an old graveyard and you see these families who lost child after child after child after child young and you just think, how did 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 things are what ties us all together, that love a family, that need to know your history, that need to know your people, you know that that's the tie, that's the bond we had, that makes us all the same, I think. And so I just fell in love with this piece of history, I think, because of the common threads, yeah, between the two stories. Have you ever done that before? Have you ever really literally shifted gears and said wait, no, this, this story, has grabbed me 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, I had started doing the research and kind of trying to put together in my head a different story. That the you's always have this idea drawer, you guys probably do too, full of things you might write about. And so I there 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't quite get it to form into story. The characters aren't coming to life for you, 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 woman in 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 then it 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 not going to do this, I'm going to stretch and do something else. That was my first book in so that's book...

...number thirty and before we were yours is and at that time I've been writing publishing about eighteen years. I think something 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 hour to Netline, you know. And and now I have big Harry legged man children with with children at their own. So so it. I had not written a book off contract since my very first one back when I had babies and I changed agents and my agents. Yeah, we discussed ideas and she was like, Great, write the manuscript and you know, I it was scary, but it was the most wonderful thing to write it not knowing where it was going, kind of with no other voice. I always tell people your first book, that's how you write it. You write it you don't know 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 the editor will be. It's just you. You're not thinking rolling or that editor really doesn't like cats and so or whatever. You know, and it was it was sort of that kind of freedom because I didn't know where it was going to go. I didn't know who was going to publish it, I didn't know who was going to edit it, but it was just me and the book 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 of vide get their glass of wine. Why? I take a second. This is a 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 bit of 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 Indie is a good deed and at the same time you get some great books to read, plus you get to keep the literary community Ie us thriving. It is when? When? When? So, if you're interested in picking up any of our releases, Mary Alice is on Ocean Boulevard. Christie, who will be back next week, feels like falling my becoming Mrs Lewis Christen's upcoming book, the Book of Lost Names, Mary K Hello Summer, or Lisa's the book of lost friends. Take advantage of the great ten percent discount at thank you books in Birmingham and the link is on the profile. So now that 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 I can feel questions bubbling up. Holding it. I know it's like who but but we promise our amazing members will pull questions from them. So the first one that I pulled from people who wrote questions last week is from a woman named Stephanie Brown and she said I love how authors, as inform as well as 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 there any causes or conditions near and dear to your heart they'd like to share with readers? And I know you mentioned the feed and read, but is there anything else that you've purposely stuck in a book because it's a cause near to your 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 of your stories, you come across something. Sometimes they come out of life. You know, a lot of them for me are kids and youth and mentoring and 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 need from us and that a lot of that just comes from working with different organizations and the community and organizations that feed, organizations that mentor and working with a lot 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 either that there is a different way to do things, that they're is some other way to live and they can't they don't even have a chance to aspire to something different. And so, you know, kids are probably my biggest fashion just because being a mom was my favorite job and being a mom in small towns brought a lot of temporary kids into our homes and we were involved in a 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's from someone by the name of a Moser, which I believe you know, she's knowing you since two thousand and one and she says she's been so excited to watch the last two books are so much more than entertaining stories. They have revealed in justice as of the past.

So her question is, is this new trend in your writing, this investigated reporting of the past, here to stay? Yeah, I think so. I I really do love working around pieces of history and I'm sort of always done it, but when the mix of time frames became kind of more of a thing, I think it really lit a fire for me because I love that idea of learning something from history. You know, history teaches us so many things and you know, not just the lessons, but it teaches us that people, because we were in a tough time right now, one of the lessons to be learned from history. People before US went through tough times and they came past it. I never will forget after night, quick story, after eleven I went to pick my kids up from school that afternoon and I passed by the Little Ballet Studio and there were a little the parents were in a not talking. I felt like the end of the world, you all remember, and parents were in a not on the sidewalk talking and there were the three little girls twirling in their twotoo's down the sidewalk and my first thought was they shouldn't be doing that, not today, you know, when all this terrible stuff was happing. These girls shouldn't be dancing on the sidewalk. And then I remembered my grandmother telling me about Pearl Harbor Day and when they heard it come over the radio and she heard her children out in the yard and she thought they shouldn't be, you know, yelling, running and playing when this terrible thing has happened. And she told me. I got as far as the door and I just stood there and looked at my kids and thought that's the only thing right about today. Yeah, and you know, that story was just what I met. Little piece of my grandmother's history was just what I needed in that moment because I know, you know, my grandmother went through something like this and, you know, continued on with life for many years afterward. And you know, this is a bad day, but it's not the end of everything. Experience and it is inspiring. I have those chills you get on the back your neck. Yeah, someone says, greatly true. Yeah, Cathy, you were getting Mary Kay, you were going to pull a couple off the yeah, my feet for us. Yeah, I don't know who answered ask this question, but she wants to know what has the quarantine strengthened 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 with friends, to make time for that coffee, to make time for that trip to the beach together. You know all those things we can't do. You realize 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 for it that I can't has a million vowels. I couldn't pronounce it think of it right now, but it means walking in the wind or walking with the wind or out blowing, and it's a distressor. You know, just to get out when it's windy and walk and let the wind come your hair and be out in nature and the and that's one of the things that it has strengthened for me is the realization that you need to step away and do the things that just heal your spirit of the busyness of the screen time, of the crazy amount of communication we have these days. So I think that's what that'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 or editors. Oh, wow, while change of editors is as you usually is meant the change of Publishing House. You know, you are going to a different publishing house, so that means a different editor WHO's at that new publishing house. Change of agents, Um, you know, it happens. I want one of mine fell in love and move to England. You know, never know. Is there? No, it's going to cause a change of agents. Sometimes it's because you're going in a little different business direction, you know. So it varies and sometimes it's just, you know, people liken it to like a marriage. I mean you just need someone that you really are able to work well with at that point in your career and that point in your life and with the stories that you're writing at that time. And so, you know, I think just trying to get to that sympatico place where you both are working toward the same thing. Do sometimes you're just not there and so you you you change agents. Yeah, sometimes you don't. You know, early in your career,...

...lots of times you don't have that choice. You're not get true, you know you're lucky. You feel like you're lucky to have found an agent who will take you on. And when that 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 you go to is your career progresses, hopefully you do have some choice in those kinds of things, I think. And it's sometimes I agree with you and 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's or you're at a different place, like you said, and it's it's I always 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 could could set you back. True, yeah, sure, that is true. Okay, so on. This is always my favorite part and every friends and fiction episode we try to give you a writing tip and I love hearing from all 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 friend Lisa. So, Lisa, it's somebody asks you what is your favorite writing tip? What do you tell them? Okay, so for me I stumbled through my first couple books and the second one, good hope world, was kind of the closest to a scrap and rewrite that I ever had, because everybody knows second book, but the second book is hard to write. Yeah, but anyway, as I was doing the rewrite on that, I stumbled into a screenwriting class by accident and the only at a conference and by the time I realized I was in the wrong conference room, the door was on the other end of the room and it would have been embarrassing to get up and leak. No, I stad there. I listened to this screenwriting class on three act structure, which is there are lots of versions of three act structure and you know it in your head because you know how everything from fairy tales to novels two movies are formulated. But for me, until someone laid it out for me when this guy laid out three act structure and how it looks. I mean it just turned the light on in my head because I'm not a plotter and a planner, but it gives me the bones of the story so I can hang the flesh on it as I guess. And so that three out, knowing three act structure and taking and if you want to know more about how I do it, it's on my websites, so you can 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. For me that was the most helpful of everything I've ever learned about writing. That for me, was the most helpful thing. Great tip. Christ and when she did her writing fit this so sympatico. She talked about how she took books and took them apart like that. And yes, so that's really sympatico. Also, y'all, look what the people who really excel at doing the is Disney anyway, Disney animation. Wow, they've got it down. They've got a 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 in it for years afterward, and I always tell people get the Disney movies out. 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 doing friends and fiction. Ten weeks ago. We did not know what we were doing all. Yeah, whatever you're doing, fighting our friends and having a good time. We went to facebook live and it started growing so fast. We are rushing, you know, running as fast as we can keep up with it. So you might have noticed we breathe right past eight thousand members this week. We are so thrilled about so to celebrate that moment, we'd like 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 movement and publishing, to support Black Authors and Black owned book stores, we want to offer both of those gift cards from a wonderful black owned store in Virginia called 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 at random 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? will put them on the page. And Christian, you had a couple announcements to take it away. Yeah, so we've all been talking about how important it is to support this movement happening right now. I think we're all being reminded of the importance of confronting our own prejudices, even the ones we don't realize we hold, and to be constantly opening our eyes beyond our own experience. So, to that end, we would really love to start some discussions on the friends and fiction page about books by black authors. And to start things off, we will be buying a book by a black author for three lucky winners, all from the lip bar, a black owned bookstore in the Bronx. So to enter, just look for our post under announcements and tell us which book by a black author you would be excited to win. So we'll draw 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 read the book and tell us what you liked about it or what it made you think 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 and starting wonderful conversations on the page and we'd love to see this be something that's talked about a little bit too. So, speaking of books and discussions, my other 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 books by all the friends and fiction authors each month. So their first pick is hello summer by our lovely Mary Kay Andrews, who will be joining at the Book Club on July Twenty, I I believe, to discuss the book. So check under announcements on the friends and fiction group page to find the link to the book club page. To all you have to do is click to join and it's a lot of fun. I'm so excited about the book club because 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 club page, so you can just go join and then Mary Kay will show up on your zoom and you know it, it'll be a little different than what we're doing here because she'll be on there specifically to talk about Hello Summer and answer all your questions about it. So it's also a place to just go and interact with other other readers and ask your questions to the authors. We're going 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 of all the upcoming guests that we have coming up this summer, including when there are times it's just the five of us? Yeah, we I'm just going to go 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 of weeks, you know, we talked about our books, but then the it's been so much fun to have Lisa and to have all the guests come because we get to talk about your books. So we have a pretty exciting through July roster. On June twenty four, we will have just what we called just us. It's a chance for, you know, US to hang out and 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 would be very cool. We love her. And then on July eight, just us again, I guess every a lot of talking, just us. Then on July fifteen is Jasmine Gillery and I'm excited about that. And then on July twenty two, party time. Party time, first of all because we're going to talk about the book of Lost Names and which I'm so excited my most favorite song in the whole world from sister Hazel, and they're come. Oh, look who just showed up. Hello, so, Lisa, I couldn'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 that sister 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 be on the a show she knows about, though, so how cool is that? So, to celebrate the release of her book, the Book of blessed names, we're having a special musical guests, which is cool, and then on July twenty nine, Patti's the host for Fiona Davis, a another historical are excited about. So that takes us fool July and we hope you'll join us for each and everyone. Yeah, so that's it for tonight, although, Christie, real quick tell us how you're doing. I'm great. How are Y'all? I'm so glad to see everybody. I'm so glad that I caught you, Lisa. I just had another event and I just wanted to pop on and say hey, because I'm so excited that you were here and I can't wait to go watch the episode. I know it was amazing. But wait, we have like a couple minutes if you want to ask her quick 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 I going to ask something that you guys already...

...asked. Maybe I know what I can ask you because you guys have not asked us. Okay, so I was actually just doing an event with the Dare County Arts Council and downtown books and Manny I was one of my favorite stories and Lisa, I know that they're one of your favorite stories to. So can you tell us? You I know, of course everyone knows about your latest books, but can you tell us about some of your your older books that were set on when they said on the Outer Banks? Yeah, Oh, yeah, yeah, so, yeah, how that happened? Some years ago, I wanted to do I was wanted to do a story and I knew it would be in this old house that have been ravaged by a hurricane and I was going to do it and Gal list him because we've had our share in Texas and I knew that intimately. So I had was working on the book end my one of my longtime retired guy reader friends, ed Stevens head, said the first of the two bad hurricanes on the outer ranks had happened and he was telling me about it. Said you need to set a book there so everyone will come to the outer bank because everything's just devastated and all that, and I kind of staid well, you know, I might some day, and then Ed wrote back to me in about a week and said, well, I've asked my 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 House is how those books sounded at being set up the out of ranks. But I fell in love with the outer ranks, the history the people, and that inspired two more books and the prayer box, the story keeper and the Sea Keeper's daughters. The second two in that group of books really was just because I fell in love with the history of the outer ranks and the people. Well, I think the takeaway from you, Lisa, is that when your readers tell you they have a good story for you, you should listen prue. You're so right, and not only that, but if you're even if you're all the way into something else, because that's the hardest part, saying okay, 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 to put 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, the book I've Lost Friends, along with our releases at thank you books. Thank you all for joining us. Please join us on the friends and fiction facebook group and meet us back here next week when Christie will be hosting the five of 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 with Dalia 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 you too. Love from here. Okay, so that was Super Fund. I can't wait to go watch oh she was talking and it really struck me and I loved it when she was talking about she doesn't like to read history from other sources of other historians. She likes to go to the regional materials and see the actual words from the people themselves, and I think that's why her work ring so true, so it was interesting that she mentioned specifically the way people talk, because it is different from different time periods. It was interesting that word choice and cadence were important things to her. That really does come across 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 you because you're Christen, you're super, super outliner. Harry Kay and I are super not. I'm an outliner and Mary Alice is an outliner and Christie is an outliner and I'm not an outliner. You're sure no idea. You're a pantherer. I'm a hand. Mary Kay and Christy and I are going to go on a retreat and then or you better have Mary Alice and I on your 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 is yeah, well, and really, I mean I'm Christen and I think it's Christian and Mary Alice and I we were in California and I was talking about under the southern sky, which is my next book, and there's this little piece of the story that I just couldnt figure out and Kristen said something to me and I was like right, and I didn't end up using like the exact thing, but I like, but it was just that I was like, 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. Mary Alice 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, you know, a bat back story and a contemporary story and I had this crazy convoluted plot and I said I need this to happen and and they looked at me 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 else you know who's in tune with you can say can they can see the forest for 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 forest tree by tree. Yeah, but you know, the best idea is still come. 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 like okay, I'll try to. It's that sort of open every word is not a pearl, and I thought that's the best part and it must be fun for historicals especially. You know, we're talking about how you get that idea when you hear it, but when you're doing your research. Yeah, and it just hits you like, oh my gosh, I've got to put this in. That's what least it was saying. So it must be a particularly true for his story. Yeah, what a great night it was. It really was. You were going to let you lead us, lead us through next 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 wait to see you and sweet well, I can't wait to see you all at six hundred forty five in the morning. And I know first guy it's it's late 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 to talk to guy before leave it to bed. Everyone. Love you, lady. See You tomorrow morning on text. All Right, I'm waiting for Mary Kate. As they go exactly, go away right by everybody. Bill Tomorrow. 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 and 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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