Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 6 · 1 year ago

Friends and Fiction Bonus Episode with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jayne Anne Krentz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Long-time friends and romance author Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jayne Anne Krentz join the Friends & Fiction authors for a hilarious bonus episode and deliver what might be our best writing tips yet. https://susanelizabethphillips.com https://jayneannkrentz.com

Welcome to friends and fiction by bestselling authors, endless stories. Friends in fiction is a podcast withfive best selling novels, whose common love of reading writing and independentbookstores bound them. Together with chess author interviews and fascinatinginsider talk about publishing and writing these friends discussed thebooks, they've written the books they're reading now and the art ofstorytelling. If you love books and you're curiousabout the writing, world you're in the right place, bestselling Novelis, Mary K, AndrewsCristen, Harmel Christ, Woodson Harvey Patty Calahan Henry and Mary AliceMonroe, our five long time, friends with more than eighty published booksto their credit at the start of the pandemic, they gottogether for a virtual happy hour to talk about the books, your favoritebookstores, writing, reading and publishing in this new uncharteredterritory. They're still talking and they've added, fascinating discussionswith other bestselling novels, so joined Hem lie on their friends andfiction. faceful group page every Wednesday at seven PM, eastern orlisten an you later at your leisure by everybody. This is frends invictionand welcome. We are five, thus selling Nauvilus, whose common love of readingwriting and independent bookstores bound us together, along with somesecrets he will never share. This is not our weekly show, but it's ourspecial bonus Sunday show we haven't done this before so you'll have to bearwith us. The ladies please introduce yourselves, I'm Christaermel and I'mthe author in the book of last name. I'm Christie WITZ on Harvey and mylatest novel is feels like falling. I'm Hati calahand Henry and my latest novelis becoming Ms Lewis and I'm Mary, Alison Ro and my late is no is on oceanbolivard and, as you already know, I already told you this I' Mary K,Andrews and my lady sfellow summer, and this is friends in fiction. We had oursummer planned out. We thought we had three months of Wednesday nightepisodes, but then we just couldn't resist inviting two of our favoriteauthors, Susan, Elizabeth Phillips and Jane N Crunt- to join us for what we'recalling a Sunday bonus episode. Now I have done events with Susan and Jane,and I promise we are all in for some fun tonight, O not to s Ai, I'm not playing thestraigtman again. I've had enough of the HTO. You AE A good straight man.Don't give me that we're not changing all of the Sud. I always have to be thetree person An. I Ha fall about me. It's all ointo this thing and you arealready offscrapping. Her APOA is suted a microphone and an camera, and it'sjust et out o Wail Oky, I'm going to tell you that Jane isthe New York Times best selling author and classic over achiever She's writtenover a hundred novels of romantic suspense under three different names:Jane N crants for Contemporaries Amanda, quick for historicals and Jane Castlefor Futuristic Settings. Fifty of those Bo for New York Times vesseller, soshe's, just a slacker othere. I novel gentle pirate came outin nineteen. Eighty she's often asked why she uses three names and there isno good excuse. She says it wasn't the plan at the Star because there was noplan. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a New York Times best selling author oftwenty four novels, see she's just a slagger in a beginner when darting withher nineteeniy Tu debt, the coflic bride, which was a collaboration, andshe says it's now blessedly out of print. She I cry to count. I could find that sheis at least a poor time, winner of the Romance Writers of America's Rida Awardfor best contemporary novel, and I got to say for those of you who are new tooSusan. She rise SOMOK and hot stucksame. I think it's all that Yoga. She does Yo.Ladies E number acome welcome, Youo it you payn posted him chat and we'll bepulling life questions shortly. As in a sign. I want to tell you allthat we are all frequently asked by readers, how they can fine titles inour back list, which is especially important for those of you who lovereading a series, so you can find all that Infho and so much more on all ofour websites and we'll post that in the announcement. Oh, we want you to followus on Instragram and that's where you'll find pictures and posts and fungive aways and won'll keep you all up to date on our behind the scenes,antics and one more thing, and then I'll turn it over to the ladies? U AneI mention before we die, then tonight our futured bookseller is Anderson'sbooks and Teye. Good choice were Sesan...

...list. We'd love for you to visit theirstore, be a the link on the friends in Piction, page wer. You can order any ofour new releases, and that includes Janes Latis Jane it is the latest, isthe vanishing? Is that right? No well t depends which name what here? This is where you just go down therabbit hole of ton, IAND that with three names Shou, don't even want to gothere, but let telert enality yeah the latest under my man, e quick mameis closer okay, all right and Susan's as dance away with me. So now I knowthat all of us have been deed there. It is that's a great cover too such a goodcover y. Now that I r dealing with cabin fever during the pandemic, Susan,you could ave had a different experience. You want to tell us whathappened to you. We went out W we because we've gottento be such sissies. We've avoided the Chicago winter. By going out tosouthern California. In the San Tiago area, we went out for eight weeks andended up staying for almost five months and buying a condo while we were there. So we we sequestered in the San Diegoarea, and let me tell you it was gorgeous. I mean I can walk out ourback gate and down this little. Each road and the ocean is there and I gotto do a lot of writing and it was lovely and I was really hating cominghome until we got dropped off from the airport here in our neighborhood andall the neighbors came out to greet us and the M, I hit the smell of thatmidwestern summer. It's it just smells like nothing else. It was so great. Sonow I'm in the position of no matter which home I'm in I'm missing the other,and that is a pretty cool thing. H, hey aunt, Jane! I know Seattle whereyou live, has been a pandemic hot spot. How has that affected your life and did?Did you have your most recent book? Towere cancelled as all the rest of USdid we're pretty much trapped at the top ofa thirty eight story. Building the elevator becomes a huge barrier. Youknow you have to have reservations, e go up and down, and only two peopleat a time and it's it's there's four hundred people in the building. So it'syou know it's very complicated just to get out and we've stayed hunkered downto tell you the truth, we're living on instacart and a yeahoso. I haven'treally been out of this condo since March early March. It's quite woud. Icould also tell you, since we had recently moved just before all this hipand put our other condom on the market. This is not the time to be seling aconvoencs ECLARK. The market is for single familyhousing, where you can get a yard. You know someplace to go outside and walkout your front door and and the UURBAN miscyl is fabulous, but man we foundthis was one big drama. You know that's interesting, because we've seen atremendous spike in sales, I'm sure you have anyr everyone Ali on each. It'sjust turned to you know: People Aren't even looking at more than two houses isjust than buy anything to get out of the city. So have you been moreproductive, Jane since you're in lockdown really truly lockd down? I think we finally adapted at somepoint about a month or two ago, but before that itwas actually very interupt d n't how to explain it but very distracting. It wasnot what it think would be. The perfect writing timd. It was jump up from thecomputer and go check the news. Go O A E computer and go check now Ho and it becomes obsession with whet. Arewe going to find out when we can move on and then, after a while, you realizethis isn't going anywhere fast, and this is the way life is going to be Umand that now you get up in the morning or we get up in the morning, and thefirst thing we look at is the overnight deaths from coldwitit was like? Oh Raa. Stop don't do that anymore,youngbut, it's so Comonese! I know, but it's so critical, because our governoris taking a very firm stand for which we're ungrateful an three Hous. He is.If we don't keep the numbers down, nothing gets open, so m, so thenumber's become. You know. Really the first thing you look at every morning. No, I understand, I know we're allterribly grateful, but it really is just stunning how the medical communityand the first responders just keep showing up ntous Don a hero, AaseAbsolutey, unbelievable amazing. I have to Riso therown safety, Yeah Susan, you said t at you that you didget inspired and you did a lot of...

...riding in California. I did Um for onething: The CONDO is much smaller than our house here, so there wasn't thatmuch housekeeping to do, and we didn't have a lot of friends that we had made.So I wasn't you know, meeting friends and because no one likes you, I know you're such a Sollifu cosy. I mean I just love Bosy and no it.It was a very prodective time for me and I already see the difference nowthat we're home yeah yeah. Okay, so I know a little bit about what Kristinand Christie and Maryallis and Patty have been doing, because we arechecking and daily doing our writing sprints. But I thought I would ask eachof the friends and fiction. Ladies, what feels your creativity at times andlike these ae', have you have any of Yoa developed any new creative outletsI have to sa the sprints Yoall fave me, girls, I I was like so many people atthe beginning of this. I was enveloped with this whole coded thing and, and II went to the mountains to live because the beach was crowded, but I I just Ihad ideas and I was kind of working, but the sprints made me accountable toyou all and I thank you. It slams at me, Susan. We have been Padyand, I startedthis is day twenty eight. We we start at seven o'clock eastern time, so it'ssix o'clock for Patty 'cause she's in Alabama and Adyi. Never thought aboutthat. Yeah sowe commit to writing a certain number of words or pages. Wehave a goal Everybo and I I type I text, everybody go and first thing in the morning we'reall we're all doing these writing sprints and it's been incrediblyproductive. I think for all of us really yea Saon, how long I think we'regoing to keep growing until we don't want to break the streak, but how long?How long is each sprint whan ar Yo ion? If anybody can do it like M whell, youguys explain this. I think it differs for each of us, for example. I I have afour year old and he wakes up and my husband has to start work, so I'm hardout at eight thirty every morning, so I go from seven to eight thirty as muchas I can write, and then I'm done, but some of you, I think, have have beensort of different types of time constraints. How about you, Ladies YeahMine, is whenever will is absolute. My SOM my eight year old son absolutelyhave to have breakfast it's like Hel Il we get awayfor you until I ov to havegi criday. Sometimes it's eight until IAS, Eigh, ten and so sagt fifteen. ButI think for all of us. We try to set that goal and then we try to meet theGoll, and so it might not necessarily be an hour and a half and might be. Isaid I was in a rand two thousand works today and I am not getting out until Iwrite twoe thousand wors and Christy writes. Like I don't even know. I don'tknow how you sit down at the computer and the words just ly out. So we're alla little bit jealous R, I'm editing now from slower smoke, but Jan you were just talkingabout how hard it was, and I saw this fantastic and weere talking aboutinspiration to keep going. I saw this fantastic New Yorker cartoon and whenand that's how this started as the five of us got together and said, we can'twrite W we're frozen. We don't know what like what do we do with ourbooktours and everybody kept saying to us. Oh what a perfect time to wrinteyour hold up. I ranew Yorker cartoon of a woman in a in a lifeboat and therewas lightning all around her and sharks and a ship sinking, and the captainsaid this is a perfect time to write your new nois andtaexactly Wat, the beginning of cobe.It felt like so happy to answer you. What keeps me inspired not only as ourspriends, but as soon I mean, I think it's the same for all of us once we hiton an idea that likts the sunfire and that keeps US fired up. So once I hitthat like kind of livewire a couple of weeks ago, I was all in you know what Iwill say that watching old movies, I saw a piece in the Sunday New YorkTimes E. DO these movie watch parties and one of the ones they suggested waswhat's up. Dock Ohbarbara strsand o an kneel in yeah,yea you'R, Riwi wit Rin on yea and Susan, is sort of the goddess ofwriting. ROMKOM and Romkon. The thing about Rom Kon is it's so much harderthan at looks and so watching. For me watching what's up dock was a greatreminder of keep those scenes moving. He thos lie an anyway yeah hes got ineywhat about Uis it some new inspiration that you found. The only inspiration Ifind is, but in chair Yei find my dowork en dont w get a kick out ofpeople who say to you. You have to be inspired to work...

...sorted to say well. That would get me to my computer. Maybeonce every thirty days I do find my inspiration when I'm actually working bthere. That line that I think you myou quoted it and we quoted it. Inora regially Saidit, you can SAS a sentence. You can fix abad page. You can't fix a blank, a said. I tire no about that. Shidin't make itup either. We cannot find the Roof d o that I said you should take credit yoron. If Al you now orwont know, we won't tell her. We'veall got questions for you, Mary Ales. You think I think you've got the firstquestion right, I'm sure your introduction really pretty muchextablished. This is persusn and Susan. I've known you for a long time, but Ihaven't seen you for a long time either still have the bird clock. Your kidsgave you for Christmas that one year did you put it in the mountains or inyour alch it'. It's here in South Carolina yeah, it's alittl off, but I SI can't get rid of it because my kids gave it to me on hour a different birds,sings tit's, not the right bird anymore, but the bird ting. Never that, because I o k w you havehad your home in Chicago area was just a beautiful home and you had thatstupid birdclocth on the wall. I remember thinking. That's a mother'spresent right as issuch a kick out of that thato will not hapen. I have realburn canarns I used to have I used to have six now they've all gone. I don'thave one but they're being delivered in August, but I love the real birds nowso anyway, I forgot I'm supposed to beasking you a queston. I just DOT Tik Bot, the CAOUST GOE got to now thisalotg. So Susan Azser said Susan is a goddess and wewere both members. I think a lot of us in Thi Group Remembers of Romance Rudesof America, which is r those of Yo who don't know what that is. It's the it's,these association for this Billion Dollar Industry and wee all have rootsin it, and one of the things I wanted to point out is that for me, Susan, youwere more than just a star. I mean you burst on to the Seane Wind. Before Imean you had books before, but when glitter baby hot youwere and myhoneymoon, Oh my God, Hony, and that opening scene of honeymoon- I I justcan't laugh a night without thinking about it. But one of the things I wanted to know isthat, because he's been in this institution for a long time and inthegenre at the top for a long time, you've seen a lot of the changes. I'mcurious over this thirty year span. What has changed and what has tayed thesame. It's funny you ask me this question when Jane's here, because I'vegotten this question a number of times, because I do have a long career and Ialways quote Jane. I one of the things I believe is: There's more diversity inthe romance genre and those of us who stratdle romance and women's fictionthat any other, gemre and Jane always says it is because for so long theacademics, the critics paid no attention to us. We flew under theradar and we could do anything we want- and I just I thought, Jane really hitit on the nose with that one. There is nothing that I don't think romancewriters have tried in some form or another there's every kind of romanceyou could possibly caposibly look for, and we also don't care about barriers.We don't care if we're closer to women's fiction than romance or we youknow, we don't care if we've crossed over we or into suspense or intothrillers we just Kindof, do whatever the heck we want, and I really reallylove that a bunch of really courageous, smart women but hasn't changed. Or hasit not changed over thirty years? Well, is it just going up and down nom o thecontents have changed in the books, but the innovation hasn't changed. I meanlook at just the innovation in the beginning, with Kathleen witewas andthose early early, historical romances. It's always been an innovative genreand some of the books that we wrote early on they're not going to pass thepolitical political correctness. I mean they're a little hard to read now, butthat was all part of the experimentation and it was also womenof a different generation who were starting. The growth of the romanceindustry happened right, along with the feminists movement and they're, very,very wonderful companions, because we had all of those little virginal heroones and those really brutal heroes, and by the end of the book, those Lovirginal heroines had found their power. So I think the books were reflective inthe beginning of the feminist movement and now we're just allwe do everythingand that Tin cer into her question for Jane Ri Kristen, Yes, O Jane, I haveread a great quote from you saying that...

...fiction incapsulates and reinforces ourcultural values and at romance in particular, addresses the values offamily and human emotional bonds. I loved that. I just love the whole ideabehind that and- and I love to ear an outspoken advocate for the romancegenre. Can you talk a little bit about how you think books can change andshape us for the better and why t important to encourage people to readbooks that move them? I just that really matters especially now mm. Okay. This is get ready for Jame'stheory of popular fiction, so I have always taken the darwinning approach tothese things, which is people have been trying to kill offromance and popular fiction in general for at least two hundred years. This is the criticis on popular fictionis nothing new and the criticism of romance is just a particularly sharpextension of that, but it he talked to a science fiction. aftoryou talk to a mystery author. They don't get no e Ou know in their mind Um, but here we are two or three hundredyears after the Novelis, we kind of know what has developed and it's goine strong as ever right. SoI think at that point you have to step back and say why, because it isn't justentertainment, we have a billion forms of entertainment, and this one is still poputar fiction isstill the dominant form of entertainment, and I think it's because popular fiction teaches us and transmits to the next generationand reinforces in affirms our core values. Don't think we go back again and againto an author who violates those values on some level, you might read it onceor twice her pure shock value, but an author that you're gonna becomes an autobine and aften thatyou're going to go back to Agenin Agam is somebody who's writing values thatresonate with your own and I think that's how we transmit our culture'score values, and the proof of that is that everybody knows what a hero issupposed to do when the thips are down matter. What the background is itdoesn't matter if he's been redeemed or not, we just know what a hero does andwe know what they're not supposed to do. You know people in the back right Imean wwe. We just have a sense of of whatreal honor is and we have a sense of what real perolism is for both men andwomen and invalves protecting the weag protecting the itocent, protectingyoung, taking care of the community, the family, those are real core valuesand they're all emvended in popular fiction. All the James and that'sStecatol said R Anser, yeah, hed IA, US, my friends. I can just let her talk andthen I take my ideas and then I present them and now I'm in nerts on Tes I canCot Lais Soy vererful transcript of that I shes PRI. She is absolutelyuntarget with that. She really is and it's interesting because we had aconversation a couple of weeks ago about voice, and I think that doestranslate into voice, because you know that author,who has that cultural values and she brings it out again and again and again,that's wh. She is as an individual and as an author. So I think that ties thimbeautifully Ye. I agree: Yeah Risse, don't like I tend and has to have somereason why it survived yeah, other kinds of entertainment, CCOME and goand this the idea of a real hero. True heroic actions like we, like everybody,understands how heroic it is for these first responders and medical workers tobe going into the zone day after day after day, and we know how do we knowthat what teaches us that that is real nd heroism in action, ooplan m, especially today, rightthat's what it brings a banktor opening conversation. Doesn't it t it's whatheroes do everything you've got a Questioni? Yes,I do SA Susan. I am reading dance away with me right now and I love it so much,I'm actually a little bit sad that it's a standalone, I'm sure, I'm not alone.In that a D, then you're going to have a lot of emails and letters telling youthe same thing Um. So my question is: I mean I know that you have writtenseries and you Rut in standalons and do you plan before you start writing? Doyou know it's going to be a series and what's going to be a stand alone, andwhat helps you make? What helps you make that decision? Any question I getabout planning. I always got N Thangiwas INA person to ask you thisthing. 'cause. I don't not plan...

...anything how I get, whether I'm going to write astand alone or if I'm going to ride a Chicago Stars Book. It's really clear.I don't write a stars book unless I have a great idea. If I don't get greatideas, I m a little more starvd books, because I love that series too much tojust say. Well, I got to write a stars book a and write anything I tend to like kind of going fromsomething that is just sort of a romp into a book like Dance Away with me,which you know it still has funny parts, but it's a very, very emotional book,Otere, a plan ihad o time. Sometimes I have a germ of an idea of premise.Sometimes I just have an idea of a character and I'm one of those people.I sit at the computer and I go chapter one hm and I start writing and I get topage three and I go back to chapter one and then I got through to the end Isearch after two and I'm back at chapter one again. It's such a messyprocess, but I'm a writer who has to internalize everything of mybackgrounds in the theater and I nean to enter the characters to find outwhat they're capable of doing what they're not capable of doing, and sothe plot is growing out of the characters, but it's messy. But youknow one of the things when I do writing seminars and talking to peoplewho are who are interested in writing fiction is some of that is going to bejust the way your brain is hard wired and won't you find your processwhatever? Is You K, ow? You can experiment with other things, but makepeace with it, because it's just you nobody can write the way. Somebody elsedoes I see lots of heads notting here. I think I don't know I've been tryingto change the way I write for twenty five years that I just can't I' lookingout right, yeah, it's working for me, but I can't change it t'ow. You got a question right. I dobut um I I have to say Susan. Can you can jointhe club with Mary Kay and I because we are the Noplaner Club, Maryalis andChristie and Christin are Super Um outliners and no, I abser, I do meannothing. GUESSI, do nothing! I'nothing, nothing! Ili Make a lunatic. I e Tom come toterms with it. An and I've tried a the other ways: I'v tried to com, footedcars and hitoing IM. I know we joked about it at first,but I got to talk to you about your names, so I read under Pattihallahan andHadioith right, Rud, right and hat happened, because I took a hard leftand wrote a historical fiction and it it's a long story, but I didn't plan itand now all my historical fictions are under Patti Calaheen and then mycontemporaries or pattycaling and Henry. But those aren't that different, yournames, except you use Jane and one of them, especially a man to quit ou eventhe covers, are so distinctly different. That man pulled up your man to quickcover. It's so gorgeous gleser. I love that cover is a sor and, and thenEurganer has more of a you know, mystery heal to it. So I have to know:Did you plan it? which name came first, and how did you get to two names? Ifpanic three names I quit ar more than that, there are more than three ataccordin to her io see. This is why I'd never love to go on with her, becauseshe's goon to Pli Pa er, we ALWAS kity far it's like. Let's book Susonand Ja Together, 'cause, we know they'll get into itlike put the A inand all that, but isn't this great? I love it. Okay, I just want to say that early onin my career, I lost my birthname because I signed a contract thinking, Ididn't need anacient. An birth name is thebets besbestpossible name. I could have had Jane Castle. No, the Romane Magons made upowow, actually my birthday wol. So for ten years I lost that, because IADsigned a contract tat gave a House Ix. You don't care about this so muchanymore, but back in the day. Let me tell you, ladies: It was tough writing.They tried to tie up an allter's name wow, and that was how they kept youfrom jumping ship. So I lost the name for a few years andduring that time got married and started using the Jana and crinsoning,which is my marry name. None of these are good reasons. Th.That's why I said Dont so interesting at one point I am it's not the firsttime, but it was the most delastating time I managed to kill off my princecareer, and I did that by writing. Science Fiction Roanceand, there's oneless than you want to take away. If...

...there are any apiring writers out thereis you don't really want to be too far ahead of the cur is not a good place to be so anyhow. The name was basically goingdown the toilet in terms of the sales and 'cause. Nobody wanted sciencefiction romance in those days. At that point, I was faced with reinventingmyself yet again, third time and be stoing over Walden booksysure course,so I walked into the local wolden books and I looked in the romance section atthe time there was nobody riding under ce thti picked a man to quick, and Ital so- and I just wanted something short and memorable and I' like to takecredit to this day for opening up the entire q section Mno Ju Sayn- that Ihope Jua Quinn has thank you for that. In his rat strategy, thatas quit cat go see. 'cause, you don't want tobe on the bottom of the WHO? U Remember, Yo, sed to look where the names were.The almbet fell on the SHELV y. So that's that's KINDOF how those threenames evolve and then over time it's sort of for awhile. I thought okay,this is I. This will be my new career, we historical and then anotherpublisher who still had the right, not the rights to the Crinte name, butstill had a backlist said. Oh well. Maybe we can make her work. So all of a sudden that was a ufferingcontract or the crinces name and O k. Now I got two careers and then at somepoint the M, castlline Fini came back to me and I said well, if I ever dowant to do science fiction romance again, 'cause, it's KINDOF, my firstload I'll, save it for that, and that's that's how I ended up with the threenames, but I do not recommend it Shei. He always says that she doesn'trecoomend that, but I think it's great, because some readers will follow heracross all three names, but some readers they they want the thriller.They want that grinse book and some of them want the more historic settingswith the quick. I think it was brilliant. I think we all should havedone it. Let's problem, I will tell you the problem is the promotion ye justcan't make people remember threemames yeah, but you've got loyal readers. Forthose I mean. You've got a great readership for each name: You're, justMayin, higgy and greedy. I can barely make one name work. stly timagineimagine, trying to to Basebook instegrandaow Buta, is not it's awful,so how many books a year. Do you write to keep up with three names? Two and ahalf is kind of how it comes out. I go MOE iron. I know swriting more than that until we allstarted yelling at her. Oh well, remember I grew up in category and incategory you can't survive unless you do those four books. A year, Mabwe may comer mentioned that Shoe B,t it's just when you're in that slot. You just you know that have to have to keep yeah.So you just can't dil an audience unless you do, the books are shorter,so so there's that going for it. But it's still a very you, just have to keep writing andwriting. So the pace became familiar. I guess you would say, and I do thinkevery writer develops a paste that works and I my pace is actually prettymuch always been three to four months. I mean that's just if ICD go away for it longer than that.I forget what I cam in the boter. Now it's Wron it's my turn, and this ise question for both of you Jane M Susan. I know that you're both longstandingmembers of tight communities of women, writers and that's a subject that teeror heart. So could you talk a little bit about how those friendships evolvedand what they met? What they still mean to your creative process and also, Iwould love it if you would tell we have a lot of beginning writers here and onething I've had people ask me over the year says: How do you find your tribe?How do you find your your people? So if you would talk a little bit about thatmm Ijane- and I actually were just talking about this in the early years-rr, Wa and old, romantic times- com, those were where we found our group Aand you know we'd we'd meet somebody and sometimes you'd hit it off withthem, but sometimes you'd hit it off with their writing. Buddy Jane- and I Idon't I don't know- We've been really close for probably twenty years or soand Um it's. I mean it's great in terms of theemotional support you get and also just...

...the technical support you get.Sometimes we'll have conversations where one of us has written us into a courwritten herself into a corner or is confused about a character and it's allbusiness and then sometime, it is with me whatever book I'm working on is thebook. Thath's crashed my career, so w I'll go with that to Jane. I rememberearly on in my career when I got my first horrible review, it was inpublishers weekly when remember the early days when they were reewingromance and they were just horrible, havage soit its terrible. I I read thereview and I birst in te tears and I called Jane and Jane was like this isJake, get it out of the house right now get iup use just getit out of the house.It doesn't even exist, get it out of the house, and it was like thatphysical act of removing that from my space. I still remember that m. Sothose kinds of relationships. Yes, we have other female friends who aren'twriters, but you all know that the writing friendships are really reallyspecial 'cause. We get it, we get every aspect of it and I think that's alsointeresting is h. We tell each other secrets and I it's a safe harbor unlessJane opens her mouth about something that she didn't know. As the secredWasan accident. I told you you never told me. I wasn't supposed to talkabout it da o as no Tan. If you care tell itagain, O say tat. Noi Today, dogive kids, I, when I'm ready to make he announce eAli Makeithe, future thing, oanyin s my thoughts, Jane, no, now goahead and say it better than I said it. 'cause I on Butwe should just start with yoursecret and then that would kindof get Ayeah. I I guess you know. Doctors needto talk to other doctors, nurses, talk to nurses, gopstakdcops Peope peoplewithin a profession, communicate with each other and 'cause.They know that those are the only other people who really understand. I think that in a lot of ways the romance communitywas forced together, because none of the other writers groups wanted US Itwas, like ookay Um. We weren't reallywelcome in. I went to a few meetings of other writers groups atd. It was prettyobvious that unless you were writing, not so much literary fiction, but butwhat we call Book Club Fiction Yeah, you know when you see it Om. If youweren't writing that, then you were on the other side. You know you were inthe wrong market for them. So I think the romance writers started out becausewe had one thing in common, which was we loved our genre, but nobody else didand we were going to build it so mhm so yeah. I think, and it's just Hebond youknow a shared passion is a real bond, a a apassion of any kind. I mean, I'm sure chefs hang together. You know what Imean: People have a real passion for cooking or something it's just, and youneed somebody who really understands what you're going through when thetimes are rough. How would you? How would you advise people, I think, a lotof people when they start ruining they're, maybe not sure about whatGenhee they're writing and how would you? How would you tell a newwriteradvise them how to find how to find like minded people their tribe, as wecall it? Well, let's Sa the easiest way tofigure out whach, most people write what they read, Rig o look at whatyou're reading and that's your definition of the genre that you'regoing to begin unless you're reaty, going in some wildly differentdirection, in which case you' probably know that you'll probably also realizethat and then I would say, look for a writers group and you can find them atyour local public library, they've DELP. Every every riders group in the areawill have a connection to your local public library and speaking as a formerlibrarian. That's where I'd start and I would just start joining those ritersgroups. Until I found the one where I fit, hat's good advice, I always saythe young writers of meeting new writers find a group met going back towhat Cathy said at the beginning of try, but not just someone who'll praise yourwork but writers who will actually give fair and honest goatiques and not ornot, scathing either. I meansom. I think it's one of the things I I worryabout 'cause I I remember we cut our Gee, but not too far apart. In a timethere were chritie groups whono the word crigiquement tear apart Yi, didn'tunderstand that Crotin ment find something positive to say, and soanyone who follows your advice- and I hope they do remember- to be positiveand look for what you can do. That's...

...constructive and not every author young author wantsa critique group Ometimes. They just want somebody to plot with 'cause. I'venever been part of Gricique Group Hut, never H D, either fir either in my work,but I want somebody to help me work through a plot sneg or to remind methat you know you overcome this problem before just sit down and work it out.So there are a lot of aspects I think t to what people want in a group ofFriends of writer friends. Now the Internet, you know, is really ahelpful place for people who maybe Um geographically, are challenged. Youknow, maybe you live in a small town. I have a writer friend who lives in asmall town in southeast Georgia and he you know he fcertainy had to find hisown community and so but the Internet, I think, helps a lot with it right now. Zooming now, and I think that gives alot more, not I mean for us, it gives us a fabulous opportunity, t COLLEC, toconnect with even more readers, which is what I love. I mean that's been oneof the gifts of this whole intumation, but I think it also gives gives writersa chance to find groups. So L, okay, we going to talk a little bit again. Youknow part of the reason we started friends and fiction was because at thestart of the pandemic, we were worried about what would happen withindependent Fokseller. So we said whatever we do, we're going to have aweekly Indy Bookstore. So Andersonis, as I said earlier, is our bookstore ofthe week, and I didn't know this. I have signed at Anderson. It's isamazing, store. I think lots of US have at Gong to start in eighteen. Seventyfive as W wickles pharmacy, no way yeah it is it oi did not know that I no yeahit was. It was a pharmacy and they included books and sundries and theirmerchandise and they eventually expanded into a full service bookshop.Today, it's the fifth generation of that original family that still own andoperate Andersons, which has been a vital hub in that community and you all,wherever you are, can be also be a part of keeping Anderson's thriving throughthis tough time for indy booksellers by buying Anyr all of our books there, andwe we'll have it we'll. Have the wink to antersons up on the website, and Iknow that I saw Susan that m since it's your hometown and you're back home, youcan een order, autograph, copies of Dance Away with me. There Rightsoie,just as you put the order in Tell me how you want to personalize what yourname is and I'm more than happy I'm going to put my mask on and go over. II love an Andersense. The basement is where they keep all the books and- andthey have lots of desks down there, but when I'm going in I'm always talking tothem- and I kind of I they're lovely people, but I kindo want to say: Don'ttalk to me, Go away just let me o me: Shelv, don't ever grow a writer in aBookstore Younnot, not miss going to boot stores. Oh, it just makes me sadthinking about it. Yeah we're going to take some questions that have beenposted on the friends and fiction page and one M that wasn't posted, but all Ican think about Jane is you know you write this futuristic romance, so Imean. Would you ever, in your wildest imagination, plot a book a romance witha pendemic written into it? No an not Romin get caters and a Han totgusher and follow Hera Yeah. I I think that falls into the categoryof distobein fiction. An I don't do just go Bi'm sure, there's a nicemarket for it. But anyone you don't you don't really I meanseriously, you don't see yourself writing about that. No, I don't. I don't really Um, because I'm I'm writing architypes andI'm writing? U, for example, with the Amandiquik worldin then nineteen thirties there's a real dark side to that World Ri'm notgoing there. I am going with the Mythical California of the NineteenThirties, I'm going with the Golden Age of Hollywood, I'm going with the glitsand the Glamor and and the mythology, because it's real too right, it's asreal as the other side, the depression and all the darkness that was comingwith Roald war, two. So I'm picking n an area and I'm going forthe myth, I'm going for the Glamor and because that's where I can get theSparkley dialogue, which is my forte, is the dialogue. My books are very dialonoan. I think it's a conscious choice that you make so as a writer, I'mprobably not going to do pandemics because there's going to be, you knowwhat I think writing a pandemic story...

...would be a lot like writing a war story,and what that mean, I t mor is the central character, not therelationships going on around in the war story in a World War, twostory, for example. Ultimately, everybody will make the sacrifice forthe war, it's most important thing Ingook andthat's what you'd have with a pandemic thing too right: okay, Susan, we have aquestion for you, Um Cathy Hamdy, swink Wonte. To now, didyou ever play football or want to? And if so, what mission would you haveplayed? How Much d? How did you learn so muchabout NFL players and the stars franchise and football wow, so you're,just like a football maniac right CA. You imagine me in a football field Howmanheha, I grew up with football Bo. On the backof my life, my father always watched it on television. My husband watched it,so it was like the soundtrack of my life growing up me, sons too right. No, Oh, no! Our boys are they'remusicians and artists, likelay football were't interested. They don't playfootball, they don't watch football. No, it's all is my husband and my father,and what I always was intrigued by. I was intrigued by the life of theplayers. I was intrigued by the idea of these young guys having all this moneydumped on them very much entreated by the whole management and the businessof it. So the techniques all the intricaciesof football. I don't really understand them all, but bill does, and you know,he'll go through the books at the end and make sure they're logical, but it'sthat that powerful industry in the first Chicago Stars Book it had to be.You was putting a woman who didn't know about football right in the middle ofthat industry. If just a classic fish out of water story, which is one of oneof my favorites, so I think it's just a fun world to put one of my heroines inwith these guys, and you know, with their big egos and their big paychecksD and how women maneuver in that very, very male world yeah. That's Um Yeah, I'm interested inbaseball cause my husband and some played baseball, but I'm terrified towrite a story and my grandson now plays baseball, but I I would be terrified totry to write about it. 'cause. I know I'd mess it up. Okay, where I'm tryingto keep us Movin 'cause, we got so much stuff. We want to tell you about andtalk about, but you haven't if you're here and you haven't, joined ourfriends in fiction group on facebook. I hope you will that's where you canwatch our live episodes and ask us questions during the week. If youdidn't get your question in onight: Go ahead and post it there. We go back andanswer as many questions as as we can, and we're also we'll be doing some moregibbaways. As the summer unfolds- and you know every week Gosh- this has kindof been a tutorial about writing already, but we always have our gueststo give a writing tip, and so tonight we thought since Jane's written twothousand books. We would av for her thing. Is the tip just type fast or doyou have another? She doesn't write the book she justtypes: Hem Trt. Now he waysn't wer. This is not your question. A I tol you, I told you she just takesover. I would say I would say, probably, ifyou're trying to write or are writing and even if you've been doing it for awhile, it would really pay to take some time to step back andfigure out what your cort story is, because it's not the La you know theone thing I've learned over the ears itis, not the fictional landscape. It'snot the futuristic of a historical setting, R or the contemporary is notthesetting. It's not the landscape. It's the themes and emotions and theconflicts that compel you to rigt in the first place and the good news isthey can go anywhere. So if you do find yourself like, I have had to do andreinvent yourself an varies points along the way in your career, you will be free to be cause. You willknow that your themes and your conflicxts to the things they're alluniversal. You can take them anywhere. It frees you up to think that way. Ithink it gives you sense of okay, I'm not just oldly ever going to be able towrite paranormal romance or something, and if that market goes on did me youknow it's not that kind of situation so that stepping back and figuring out yourCorse story, I think, is very useful. Is there one course? Is there one corsestory that always resonates for you, an your in your books, no matter what I always come back to the themes oftrust and how you built trust with ootherhuman bng. That's almost always at the heart of Myr.

My stories, I love that hat. I know Ihave a little lightbub going on by me, itaery entire coacher, an that I write about in every single, butthat's so interesting aintepting. I think the thing to keep in mind is thatit's not that you're going to be writing the same book over and overyou're going to be exploring those themes for your whole career and I think of it as an endlessexploration. Not Repotitiou, yes well said. Thankyou, wilsoid, ok, Susan now you can have a tern Tbat that Susan I stay far away from that I had to gonuts and bolts, and that is Um. I'm going to talk about the whole timerthing. Some people in terms of setting goals set page goals. I found as a writer, specially gro, asmy children were growing up. I never felt like the day came to an end. Itwas like how do you when you have a Home Office?How do you end your day? How do you ever feel like your day is over and forme the final? The big gift was the timer. I figure out. You know how manyhours every day I'm going to write. I sit down and I set the timer and if Iget up to go to the bathroom or to make a cup of tea, I stop the timer and mywriting day is over when that timer goes off. If I'm going to write forthree hours M, that three hours may take three and a half hours, it maytake six hours depending on the day but timer. That's IT, and I've also carried that over intotasks like clinging out a closet. It's overwhelming right set the time forhalf an hour half an hour. Whatever is and done it's you just leave it. I usethat with clean your basement, I can handle half an hour in that basement. Ican't handle more than that. I just go down work half an hour, so the thetimer has been a huge gift to me in terms of finding that closure for theend of my writing day, at's Great. Oh, I never not of it that way. Ye that'streat I le running out of time. So it's so fine I wantto be Lik. Tell me whet a is SOS it every Sundaynight with you, Toshu, iilikes, to email or call Jane and Susan Ecausewe're raing out of time. You know my husband's cookinghamburgers and I'm getting hungry have some announcements tonight. Maryallice has a a really great announcement. Yes, I'm excited- and youknow we have been so blessed, but to have so many great visitors cauthersand this coming Wednesday im delighted. My friend Delia Owens, who wrote thephenomenal book. It's actually phenomenon, wear the crawdaning and soshe's coming on Wednesday that'll be Wednesday. Ninety seven o'clock andshe's a wonderful speakerse she's, a great lady- and I love her. We allthink of her as this great author but in fact, she's a truly greatenvironmenttist and she has itll talk a little bit more about that on Wednesday.That's going to be fabulous, Yeahi Ha hang out with it. INA Bat, Meanan,aight, Yo, insogram, go up, follow us and I will say, I'm at Christi W Harvey.There is a fake profile in Instagram, that's at Christy, Woodson Harvey ithas my photoms. It has. It is not me and they will not take it down, but Iam at Christy W Harvey said Eay. You know what we'll put the links on ourfonds and PIC ur Aya Group right after the show, and you can just sit apperand kind o Sunday m ar you wonder, Jane or Amanda Oninstbramer Bot, JaneSananrence. She saidinstagram, though honest Tupete, I'm taking over her feed. What a friends for Rigt, SIS, ETA,Editi e oner an this and the last pitcture I put up on instagram was apicture of her book. This is the kind of friend I have on te C shescomplaining Don Fer you lately Jane. I just want to say something ter. Thisis the last book. I've finished just a couple F days ago. I loved this book. You know what Ireally loved about it and I know you're running out of time, but what I got tosay is I love the fact that you have a journalist, CK background and I was sointerested in the whole idea of what is news. What is gossip, what do youpublish what don't you and I really really enjoyed this book so thanks forwriting. It thanks Tesesan Tad check us in the mail.

I was Merit Kat Andrew's, hello summer.If you couldn't see what I was holding up. Thank you, the checkof he checkesin the mail that is it for us tonight. Thank you guys. Thanks Susan and Jane O,it's such a Joi, no Yo Evernte, Kea man, Gitliv one dayn, an back, bring Amandawith you, okay, so great to see you again how wonderful e Se! Thank you. We are. We talking e W. I think Sr. Those chips are sogreat at so elegrige I mean honestly, she has a reputation for a long time ofbeing the voice for the romance honer because she put it into historicalperspective as well. She's. Just such a wise woman, I was er terrific.That was my first time reading either them the were great. I adored them. Imean personally, they were just wonderful, they're, graing, togetherHerwa wo're learning, something we think we're the hosts and we havesomething to say and they they all swoop. In and we like spribbling downsomething nihe and like o well and the funny thing is, you know how someonecan tell you something a million times until the right person soys it. Myhusband does the thing te timer and he's always telling me he's like yourbrain- is only sharp like for nineteen minutes at a time you need to set yourwriting clock for ninety minutes, and I s like yeah yeah, I'm creative. I don'tdon't tell me now that Susan said a'm like well. I am definitely going to dothat. I have never heard that in all these years about turning on the timeor turning off and- and I think it's a little step further than what we'redoing for sprints in a sens because for sprints were saying, go you make yourgoal and stop, but sometimes you know you have to get up and lieve. So, in asense, if we didn't have each other to be accountable for you just turn offthe timer to go, stir the Spaghetti r who pe up and turnot that we're makingspaghetti at six a m but yeah that about what Jane was talking about,which is that question? I asslet three wee four weeks ago to Cristan Hannah.Do we all only have one story, a what I really mean is like: Do we tap the livewire or something over and over and that's what she said is that she tapsthat life wire of trust with every book. She writes an IT's interesting for usto maybe take the time and think about what we cap overa. Actually, you know, as I know, a lot ofus do this, but you know writing slightly different genres, ere kind ofmoving our stories in different directions, or you know, writingsomething. That's not completely safe feeling to be able to kind of cling toknowing that. I could always come back to this. This is what I always writeabout yeah. I feel great comfort in that thought now of knowing that theremight be Expani or I was watching you like. I was watching our light bulbs gooff like completely yes like the next sixty years and my careerjust got and I'm like I'm like Okay Tier Tingcheck exactly what it is, but meanwhile I'm going toeat dinner and the Po hear e. Now you know sigirl a love of anyby you ko Inow in the morning seein the morning, you've been listening to the friendsand fiction, poncast, be sure to subscribe to the friends and fictionponcast wherever you listen and if you're enjoying it leave a review. Youcan find the friends and fiction authors, ant, wwwdt, friends andsiction dot come as well as on the facebook group. Page friends andfiction come back soon. Oka. There are still lots of books, writing tips,interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about goodbye.

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