Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 11 months ago

Friends & Fiction with Susan Elizabeth Phillips

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

New York Times bestselling author and master of the rom-com, Susan Eizabeth Phillips, joins the Fab Five for a raucous Valentine's Day themed episode. Come along for a wild ride as these six ladies play "Literary Spin the Bottle," a game made up by Mary Kay Andrews. Each author answers rapid-fire questions about their first literary crush, favorite couple from each author's own books, first romance novel they remember reading...oh, and all six authors read their own real-life meet-cute stories. Love was in the air—along with lots of laughs. https://susanelizabethphillips.com/

Welcome to Friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors and the stories Novelists Mary Kay Andrews, ChristineHarmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey, Patty Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Munro arefive longtime friends with more than 80 published books. To their credit. In2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviews andfascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlightindependent bookstores. These friends discuss the books they'vewritten, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If youlove books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the rightplace. Hi, everyone, Um, American Andrews here. Before we get started, Iwant to welcome all of our new viewers, joining us tonight for the first timefrom parade dot com on I want to introduce you to a very special person.Meghan Nelly, senior editor and books editor at Parade Magazine. Hi Maga.How's it going? Good. Uh, of course. Yeah. So I'm I think I was introducedby Meghan Mellie and I'm a senior editor here at Parade magazine and atparade dot com. I'm the books editor. A swell eso. We are really, reallyexcited to announce a new partnership between friends and fiction and praydot com. So every Wednesday, one of these lovely women from friends andfiction will publish a new essay on parade dot com writing about lessonsshe's learned from life or just that week during the Pandemic on then lateron, that evening will help on on Facebook live and discuss those themes.So I think it's gonna be a really great partnership to bring parades readership,which overlaps a ton with all of your readership sa's. Well, Meghan, so muchfor being with us tonight. And Christian Harmel is responsible forthat so way. We're just so happy to be joining you, Meghan. Thanks so much. Ofcourse, Were looking forward to this. Thank you. Come back. Thank you, Parade.Of course. Okay. And now, of course, welcome everyone else to our Wednesdaynight folks to this special, it's almost Valentine's Day edition ofFriends and Fiction, where we're gonna be joined tonight by the wildly popularand just playing wild bestselling romantic comedy author Susan ElizabethPhillips, who will be our special guest And where the six of us five of us plusstep as we call her. Well, may we're gonna play my game that I made up. It'scalled literary Spin the bottle e Make up the rules and I just decided to winSounds fair. E No, no, no E Mary! My game, My rules. Okay, let's meet theplayers. Join them like Wink Martindale. Let's meet the players. A Fab Five.Okay, I am Mary Kay Andrews, and I'm going to introduce you to ChristineHarmel. So, Kristen, my question for you is for Valentine's Day. Which doyou prefer? Champagne or perfume? Well, since I literally wrote the book onchampagne, I'm gonna go with campaign Way. All would have wanted to placemoney on them. Yes, that that's true. Plus, we I enjoy drinking my happiness,so perfume doesn't taste is good. Eso...

I'm Christine Harmel and I would liketo ask Christie Woodson, Harvey Dark or milk chocolate? Definitely milk,chocolate. And now that you said that you literally wrote the book onchampagne and like, I should be writing a book about chocolate, right e get todo that. That no e french fries. I'll just do the research. Thank you. Okay.Well, then maybe I'll do peanut butter because that's my second e. Okay, soI'm Christi Woodson, Harvey, and I'm going to introduce you to PattyCallahan. Henry, Um, Patty, would you rather your sweetie gift you withdaisies or diamonds? I mean, is that even really u k e My face already hurtsfrom laughing, but definitely diamonds because diamonds last forever Anddaisies like group and have smell after, like, e diamond e forgot. I'm PaddyCallaghan, Henry. And okay, I'm going to ask Mary Alice Munro, wreck fist inbed or romantic candlelight dinner at home. Oh, okay. I'm Mary Alice Munro,and I definitely I'm gonna go for that candlelit dinner and you could toss ina few of those diamonds while you're at Diamond E. Okay. Alright. You have mydiamond. You can have my daisies. Oh, you know what? I do like basis, but Iprefer diamonds. Thank you. Okay, Mary kisses back rooms. Well, I having mybaptist Oh, traffic twist your with a man for a not long enough time. Heknows all the right places. Oh, okay. Good love. See? Oh, my right. Oh, mygoodness. We're getting a little girls girls rain in June. Okay, ladies,should we bring in Susan Elizabeth Phillips are not, um What do you think?Her answering, waiting for a long time would never let me. You're not one ofthe Fab Five. You need to run along now. Obviously not Take her out of here.Well, you're gonna kick me out now. Yes, that's alright. You get seats in thegreen, not kicking somebody. Give her somebody give that woman some of thoseMama Geraldine's cheese straws. Uh, like in the green room. She won't go ona great dodge. He went away. You get rid of her, keep on smack and y'all.And don't forget that when you order for Mama G's like we know Susan iseating in the green room right now. Use the Fab Five coupon to get a 20% offdiscount, okay? And in a few minutes, we willhave to bring Susan back in. And we're all the juicy details about herupcoming June release, which is when stars collide. And yes, for all there.So there it is. Isn't that a great cover way? Have to ask her. She's got anew cover look which I think is so fun on bond for all of you. Step fans outthere. It is a new installment and her wildly popular Chicago Stars episode,Siri's. But before we bring Susan on and they got fun and games convinced,we want to thank our newest friends and picture partner Page one books Page oneOffice of Subscription Package, which is basically a personalized servicethat hand select books for you based on...

...your preference and their knowledge. So,like we say all the time here, nothing replaces the personal touch off areally live, independent bookstore, and this is no exception. So your books arenot chosen by an algorithm, but their chosen by a really live person. Yeah,and the way that it works is really cool, so you can choose a 36 or 12month subscription. You fill out a short questionnaire and tell them allabout you. What your literary loves our, which your likes and dislikes are kindof like a dating service. But for books, right on Ben, Page one does theirmagical literary matchmaking, and you receive a book hand chosen for you,beautifully wrapped with a special literary treat. Insides and first timesubscribers get 10% off with the code Fab five, which doesn't include SusanElizabeth Phillips. But we have been working operation on our friends andFiction Facebook page where you can find everything. You know, we've got alot to get to tonight. But first we wanna wet your appetite for our ownPatty studying upcoming release Surviving Savannah. So we're gonnawe're gonna show you this beautiful trailer on. We're also gonna remind you,remind you that we would love it if you would preorder surviving Savannah fromtonight's Bookseller Book Town in Manasquan, New Jersey, where you willget a 10% discount on all of our books, including Susan's brand new paperbackDance Away with May and for forthcoming When Stars Collide. So excited, Sean. Roll the tape, baby. Discovering untold stories is likehaving a great secret whispered in your ear. And this story is one of thosesecrets. My new novel, Surviving Savannah, is inspired by the true andfor gotten to time saga of a luxury steamship with the nickname The Titanicof the South. But her real name was the Steamship Pulaski in the middle of the night on June 14,with close to 200 passengers on board this steamship exploded off the coastof North Carolina. About one third of the passengers and crews survived. WhenI learned about this little known story, I was immediately fascinated because Irealized how close to home it was right here in my town of Savannah, Georgia,on bluffed in South Carolina and how its tail had never been fully told. How do we survive the surviving? Who dowe choose to become after tragedy? After years of research, reading,writing and digging, I finally put together the events of that doomedjourney with a dual timeline and a modern day museum curator designing anexhibit of the artifacts alongside the stories of the Long Street family in 1838 I look much closer at our collective ideas that survival merit some kind ofworthiness, that everything happens for a reason and that our lives aredestined to end up in certain ways all with the backdrop of the beloved andmystical city of Savannah. Then and now. Oh my goodness, Oh, chills everywhere.That's good seeing that gives me chills every single time, even if I don't likewatching myself on the screen. You were beautiful, and I keep thinking aboutthis book as this story that wouldn't...

...leave me alone. The story that wantedto be told and it's amazing that it's out in three weeks and six days Who'scounting counting? And tonight, if you preorder, we have these adorablefriends and fiction luggage tags. I love him. Can you c e O S. So if youorder from book Town and when you get the book, you will get this amazingluggage tag. So you're gonna a book, and you're gonna need that luggage tag,because soon, one day we're all gonna be on tour together and you're gonnahave to come see us wherever we are gonna have a special bonuses for anyonewho has the luggage tag, that means you think this is luggage tag is for yourown journey, which hopefully will be much safer than Thatcher e. I loved it.It was so great. It was a really nice, beautiful body that the book isbeautiful, too. We're so excited about it. All right? Well, Sean e think you'dbetter let Susan out. E A. She's bored. Rub a Lario, wash my hair, put on somemakeup trailer. That was fabulous. Great. Yep, Yep. Yep. Well, speaking ofnew books, Susan, we are so excited about your newest one when starscollide on dure. The author of The New York Times best selling author of 24ish books, Right. We weren't totally sure that bridge that gap betweenromance, romantic comedy, women's fiction, all the good stuff that welove. So can you tell us a little bit about when stars collide? Yes, I can.You know how When we talk about our books, we need to have our, likeelevator pitch for the book. And I wrote mine this afternoon, but Ihaven't memorized it yet. You're ready, thistles. So, Lane, But my memory isn'twhat it used to be. So when stars collide is the diva and the quarterbackright Right there. You kind of know what's gonna happen. He is, um, thatthe Chicago Stars backup quarterback. All his life, he's been number two. Sheis number one opera superstar Olivia Shore. And she is a soprano with issuesof her own. They are trapped together on a one month junk, a press junketpromoting a luxury watch, and it is not gonna go well. This'll this'll was oneof my easier books to write because I felt like going in. I had a clear senseof what was once I said that even the quarterback, it just kind of all wasclear to me. So this was really a fun book to write. And if any readers don'tlike, it is because they're bad readers and have no sense of humor. Sam, that'syeah, completely way. Talk about perfect timing because it's Valentine'sDay and Super Bowl combine. Absolutely perfect, Yes, but the book does notcome out until the end of June, so it's gonna be a while instead. Right now,the mass market is out on dance away with me, which has been out for a while.But what I think Red, that's a great book. Thank you. With with the massmarket paperback is thistles showing up in, you know, walmart and CVS andKroger's and all the places where I think we find new readers. You findthat with market and the price point is so great to Yeah. Yeah, it is. Yeah.Now I've got a question for you, Susan. Um, at some point some years ago, wedid a very entertaining event. together...

...in Chicago. You're not gonna bring thisup again. I'm not this Not that. Not that whole story. No, that's foranother. That's for another night. Okay, Distinctly. Remember you telling me youare not going to do a book a year? So isn't this a book a year? Mhm. No,there were. You know, I don't think I I think I've only done one book a year inmy entire career. I am really, really a slow writer. And I think a lot of it ismy approach because I don't know what I'm going to write and tell him in thestory. And then I constantly have to rewrite, but I think this one took meabout 21 months when stars collide. Um, and I think dance away with me. Therewas a one year gap when I was wasn't writing. And then that one took ah,full two years. So I wish. I just wish I could write faster, but it doesn'thappen. But they're Jen's, my darling. When they work for you, you wouldn'tchange anything. You're known for your romantic comedy, but were some seriousstuff in dance away with Yeah, yeah, yeah Well, you know the heroin is isshe is a young widow, a midwife, and she's in a state of grief. At thebeginning of the book, she's decided to isolate herself in this little town inTennessee, on top of Runaway Mountain and all. She wants us to be left alone.She's not in a good state at the beginning of the book, and then thehero who is kind of a grouchy Bera. The beginning, uh, is a very famous streetartist, kind of going through a crisis in his life. All he wants is to be leftalone. But obviously that cannot happen. I like being able Thio go betweenwriting riel, Rahm calms which when stars collide is and then more women'sfiction, which we have in dance away with me. But one thing I always willhave is a happy ending. That is important to me. Way. Yes. All right, Iknow. We just serious stuff way. Let's play spin the literary bottle. Allright, everybody. I'm gonna go around the globe here. I want you to tell mewho was your first or favorite literary crush. Kristen, My first literary crushwas John Dealer from the clan of the Cave Man. Siri's pretty sexy book. Idon't think I understood what throbbing members were. E was to salad, Actually,yes. But I mean, really, they get sexy later on. I don't think I knew it. Ewas way too young to be reading this book's hilarious e. I'm quizzing youguys. Eso I chose Todd Wilkins. Does anyone know who Todd Wilkins is orremember? Uh huh. Okay. He waas, um, I think either I think he was JessicaWakefield's boyfriend, not Elizabeth. And I have been Elizabeth Wakefield'sboyfriend. This sweet valley high way. You know, he was, like, the handsomelike football star, you know, he was just everything, you know, that he justwanted toe. So, yeah, that's my first crush, Todd. Okay, Patty. Well, weshould have known that about you, Christie. We know. How about high eso?We're being honest, and I would like to...

...pick some hunky guy, but my firstliterary crushed the guy I wished was mine. I'll quiz you guys. Do you knowwho he is? Ned Nickerson. I told her forever e on him. See, Nancy Drew eforgot his name. Nickerson, along top of your working Nickerson? No. Hey,Mary, What's gonna predate y'all? Go ahead. Talk about Ned Nickerson inNancy Drew. He had absolutely no personality. E o. Actually, Susan, wedidn't need a personality. Vertebral e. Remember all this? Patty e With myfirst literary? You never forget your first love. That's e actually. What?Nancy had the coop. I love the word coupe Roadster. E best in George.Didn't Georgie said I don't know. Someone else had a Nancy. Nancy had a ae? No. All right, Mary. Alice, you're up. I'm gonna predate all you girls. Myfirst literary crush was Peter Pan. Oh, my gosh, I used to I'm reallyembarrassed to admit this, but I left my window open for him. Oh, until I wasmuch too old. Oh, crack it open. Just a little bit s so great. Now there's aboy with a lot of personality. Yeah, All right, Susan, what's yours? Yourned. But I actually had another one. You guys might not be quite old enoughto remember the Roseman do Jarden books. Oh, my God. I love those. What was theAnd Penny Mike was on early. A hero of mine again, I think, Mike, if I readthose books again, didn't have a lot of personality, but, oh, I loved him. AndI loved those books. Double date. I can't think of the second one. On thethird was double wedding. Where three. Entire their entire college career.Getting ready for their weddings to be moms and housewives. No mention of acareer. I loved those books. I read them all out, Checked him out of thelibrary in junior high. And I always thought I was going to go Thio Thio Ahah mixer Because they were always going to mixers. They want to mixers e alwaysthought I was going to go to Neverland. Yeah, you still have some time e oafter life E Mary Kay, If you want to go to a mixer, I could make that happen.E just want to go somewhere. I don't care where e I don't have to tell you,Mom. And mine is even goes beyond Susan's. Um, with Roseman Dujardin.That's a blast from the past. My first literary crush was Laurie the richneighbor from little women. Okay, I really appreciate it. When he took upwith Amy instead of Joe. I thought he was I thought Joe was a did. You know,she comes up with the grumpy German old Professor Bear. Oh, yes. That was a badmistake. Louisa May Alcott made. Yeah, that was not right. Okay, Now we'regonna ask what was the first or favorite romance you remember? Readingare easy. Oh, um, ma'am, what do you got? Easy. It's the flame in the flowerby Kathleen. Voodoo is And I remember I was in graduate school. My sisterreaders sent me this book. Yeah, and it...

...holds up. First of all, if you readthat book today, it holds up my sisters. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. She's really a goodwriter. And she sent me this book, and it was dog eared. I mean, really, youcould tell The pages were well warm, and I was a little noticed. Notepaperon the top said you must read this underlying So money times. I'm like,what is this? And I didn't know what a historical romance was. This was backin the day on. I started reading it in the writings. Really good. And then IOh, my God. I was hooked to the years later Carry Farron The editor is Susan.You know very well I was was one of the w A meetings andKathleen would Abbas was there and very came over and said, I know you love her.Come, I got her autograph. Eso I have it framed in my office. Kathleen. Right.Uh, Patty, what about yours? The first time I remember reading a book andbeing like, Look at that romance And is Thornbirds. Did you read, uh, in the TVseries? E didn't watch the TV. Siri's I was smart enough to know would probablydon't know it was good, but I'm still I still sometimes think about that book,Meggie. Cleary and Ralph. And her father's name was Patty. Yeah, Greece.And you have that? Yeah, it was Father e left off board, E father Forbiddenlove. And, you know, my daughter's name is Meghan. And I'm wondering if thesubconscious is the strange thing. I don't know. Yeah, I loved I think Iread that book more than three or four times when I was in high school. So howabout a good role model for a love story? But what is well speaking ofthat. So I was trying to decide if I think this technically qualifies as aromance, but we're just gonna go with it s, um I was Garden of Lies by Eileen,whose name I e know her really well, Don't have a booth coach. Huge. And I,like, know her really well. And I don't know how to pronounce her last name.That's so embarrassing. But oh, my gosh, I love that book so much. And that'sreally for Merkel. Because before she wrote Garden of Lies, guess what? Sheused to go straight. What? Sweet Valley Valley, huh? No, she did not e. I waslike, Oh, my gosh, she's not Not the runaway bestseller of all these amazingnovels. But she wrote, Sweet Valley. More importantly, everybody starts withsomething That's right. Okay, Christian, here we go with something weird. I knowit's totally weird. I'm going back to Clan of the Cave Bear. Okay, So thefirst book was, as Mary Alice said, like, Not romantic, right? Like violent,whatever. But starting with the second book, it was ah, love story. But like alot. I mean, it's been a really long time since I read it, So perhaps I'mremembering it wrong. But it was a love story about this woman who's kind ofempowered in the time before That was a thing. I think so. I don't know. Ireally liked Clan of the Cave Bear. And what is not to like about the 6 ft six,blond haired, blue eyed John Dlr. I ask you all I know you well. You know, Iread a lot of Barbara Cartland when I was in high school. My gosh, I know myfavorite one. I I don't have to look at what the title of it was, but in itthere always. It's a governess, and she's shy and meek, and she goes towork for the Alfa Male and she's pudgy. Or, you know, I forget how they wordedit in a Barbara Cartland. But every night she's so upset she goes skinnydipping in the pool in swims laps, and at the end of the book she gets out ofthe pool, and the the hero of the book is there. That love interest is there,and she gets out of the pool dripping...

...wet and she's skinny and she hasn'tnoticed off course. Nothing. Notice that she's no longer pudgy, which I butI e no cell that swimming e No, I tried it. The first really sexy romance novelI read was Forever Amber by Kathleen Windsor. And if you all read that, Ehad to read it in the library because mother wouldn't let me read it. So Ihid in the back of the library to read it. Oh, no, that thing there. Yeah. AndI have to tell you that I interviewed Kathleen would with when I was anewspaper reporter for the Atlanta Constitution. And I would, you know,very snobby. I'm like, I'm going to go. And literally, she was signing books inthe frozen foods at Kroger, and I was so about so snobby about this romancewriter signing books and a, you know, a card table at the Kroger, Let me tellyou, show diamonds that spanned wearing with Chanel suit. And I said to myself,there might be something to this. Didn't have daisies, Jimmy, diamonds,eyes. That woman could write a book. I'll tell you way. Yeah. Okay. Now Iwant to hear your favorite couple from one of your own your favorite romantic,What with Susie. Oh, you're one of us You don't know blocked me out. And Ihave many things to say here. Number one, A lot of questions about where Iam right now. Balcony outside our condo in Southern California. And it's cold.I mean, it's not Midwest cold, but it's cold for here. But if I go inside, Iage rapidly in the light in there. So I'm sacrificing because I'm shallow,basically, but Okay, um, Barbara Cartland did any of you remember? Youprobably don't. This would have been in the early days of romantic times at aconference. Barbara Cartland came to speak and she had huge hat on in one ofher gowns. And, um, she gave us a lecture not on her books, but onvitamins. The reasons we should be taking vitamins czar thing. I willnever forget that she lived to be 100 or something, didn't she? Oh, uh,Vivian's. But in terms of the first romance, actual romance I read wasviolent on a violent winds. First books that was packaged with Tide laundrydetergent. It was They did, and they shrink wrap this this, um Ah, Harlequinromance on the Tide box. And until then I had was much just snobbish to everread a Harlequin romance. And of course I devoured that, and from then on itwas just open season. But I I really remember that shrink wrap tied box. Ilove it that they packaged the dirty books with a box of tide. I think thiswas not a dirty book, e just love that women were at home doing laundry andreading their romance novel while they were waiting for their laundry. Ethought that women were reading romance, reading, Father doing laundry becausethere's nothing else, you know. I bet that was a really great promotion for E.Actually get it would be great. Now, all kinds of women who think I don'twant to read that kind of book and then they get one in there, you know,tearing through there. So okay, favorite romantic couple from one ofyour own novels and the reason that they're your favorite Patty. So it willforever be C. S. Lewis. Enjoy David Hman, but they're riel. So for fictional, itwould definitely be nickname E from...

Losing the Moon. College sweetheartswho lose each other. And the way they find each other is that her son startsdating his daughter. Love it, and I still I still so does Christie stillwonder what happened to Nick and Amy? But what number was that was my firstbook. That was my very first published novel Came out in 2000 and four andthey gave it a new cover last year. So more people can be nicking. Yeah, okay.Mary Alice Europe. Yeah, it would have to be Karen Brett from the beach houseand I They just started a dynasty, so to speak. But they are special to mebecause I was about the same age, just Keira in her early for she was justhitting 40. And so it's a second chance, you know, she was ah, woman who workedso hard in her career was so important to her that along the way she forgot toget married and have kids. It was sort of all of a sudden she was 40 and herlife had changed. And Brett was a young a good old, low country boy. Into mymind, there's nothing sexier than a low country boy on and he wooed her withhis charm. And when she chose him, it was a sense of riel knowing not justthat he was the one, but that it was time. So I think it was maybe the bestlove story I wrote. And it will always be my favorite. Uh, Christian? Yeah.I'm not gonna mention Clan of the cave bear again. Don't worry. Oh, bears eso.For me, it was Rose and Jacob in the sweetness of forgetting, which was my2012 novels. So they meet as teenagers in World War Two Paris. And he tellsher, As long as there are stars in the sky, I will love you and he means it.So life separates them. But every time she looks up at the night sky, sheknows he's there. She knows he loves her and also on a personal note. Theyear after the book came out, my husband actually proposed to me My nowhusband proposed to me on the street outside roses apartment in Paris usingthat line. So it's when you will always have e always have Paris e Thank you.Kick this coverage there. Um Christie e think for me. This was a hard one, butI think it has to be Ansley and Jack from the peach Tree, blocked Siri's um,which I think is kind of a funny choice because it's definitely like a later inlife romance for them, So it may be, was not the one that would come to mindfirst. But I love first love stories and first love coming back to the light,and Jack and Ansley have a really big secret between them. That sort of bondsthem, even through all these years that they're separated. So when they comeback together, there's, um there are a lot of really grown up things involvedin them being together, but they know that they can't be apart. And I lovestories like that. Yeah, I think my favorite from mine is Anna Jane andMason from Spring Fever, because I love a story where exes are reunited on, andthis one has the bonus appeal of being the protagonist. Anna Jane's firstserious crushes Mason when she's a little girl and she's best friends withMason's little sister. So that's mine. What about you, Susan? I'm really,really surprised at your answers because genuinely, right now, myfavorite couple is, um a sad and Olivia from when stars collide. But that'sbecause the couple that I just finished...

I mean, I truly don't. I'm shocked. Ithink you're all bad book mothers to be able to pick out like the most. I can'thelp it. Thunder struck. I'm just wait. Disappointed you. I'm just I'm soattached to every one of those couples pulling out one. You're probably badmothers to your Children to it is probably true. I mean, I think this isa very revealing knife. E just I love the dynamic between sad and Oliviabecause she is so powerful and, you know, messing around with an opera star,a woman who who is used to having this commanding presence on the stage andthis great jock. But he's one of his big conflicts is he's absolutely themost beautiful man in the world. He hates his looks. He's tried everythingto mess them up. But nothing works there just a really, really fun coupleto me. But then I have loved all those couples and frankly, giving you allwriting advice. I think if you don't love your influence. You need to workon your craft a little bit. E Sean, would you take her out to say whoinvited her? E Did we just give you enough cookies? E think maybe cookies.So let's get that girl some champagne told have given her the cinnamon. He'snot the cheese straws. Oh, being back there. Okay, Now, you know, everybodyloves a good meet. Cute story. I meet cute story was until my agent told May.So the meat is when the protagonists of your novel meet Love your Crist. Isthat Susan? Do you have a train going right through your house? Oh, she's on you because yeah, I'mmuted myself. But no, the trains. Not here yet. It will be along soon, though.Okay? I can't wait. Alright. Everybody loves a good meet. Cute story. That'sthe scene where boy meets girl. So I've asked everybody to write their own meatcute story. And, um, Kristen is up first with her. Make you story? No, e o.Paranoid because Susan is going to judge this too, and find me to be onedepartment as well. Okay. Favorite child is and so do I. So we know shecan't really credit. That is true. Yes, yes. Okay, so ready. She was astruggling writer, he the communications manager of a nonprofit,both for another relationships when they met. But there to mutual friendschat. And Wendy secretly believed that the little blonde Kristin and the tall,dark and handsome Jason were meant to be together. And so they continue toinvite them places together. We're Kristen and Jason would talk and laugh,but there was always something standing in the way until one day there wasn'ton a bombing night out with Wendy Chat and some other friends that the classicromantic establishment world of beer Jason reached for Kristen's hand underthe table. Surprised, she looked up their eyes met an hour later. They weremaking out in the parking lot like teenagers, despite the fact that theywere in their mid thirties. On a year and a half later, he was proposing inParis, and now they're living happily ever after. And also today's hisbirthday. So I am a horrible life because we owe Jason E. Oh, that wasgreat. That was a really good birthday. Get Thio Ellis, would you like to tellus about your Valentine's Day. You're me. Cute. I served good. Okay. Oh, mygoodness. That's my darling boy. She...

...was a young editor, EncyclopediaBritannica, just out of college. He was a young filmmaker from New York. It wasan icy, cold winter night in Chicago, and fondue parties were all the rain.She I just dated myself. She enters the room lots of corporate types and suits.But across the room she sees a staggeringly handsome man staring ather velvet pants, longish black hair. Think Johnny Depp only better looking.Their eyes meet. And it's a thunderbolt, she thinks, Oh, no, I'm not ready forthis. She avoids him all night than waiting in line for the Onley bathroom.She hears his voice behind her. Hello, think voice of Alan Rickman. I sigh. Iknow I'm doomed. I look up and smile. One year later, we were married. Hegoes to medical school. She goes to graduate school. Now he's apsychiatrist and she's a novelist. She's no longer young, and he doesn'tlook like Johnny Depp, But they still love each other and fund U. S E. Itsounds doesn't sound like telegraph. Old timey telegram you. It sounds likesomebody's trying to message us from space e me because I don't have myphone close. And then you did myself. So I e yourself again. You are in oursink once again. E Okay, Christy, what about your meat? Cute. Okay, Aziz, thecollege coed and the older, wiser dental student pregame for the KappaDelta Dukes of Hazzard cocktail. You taught her that that wasn't just aJessica Simpson movie. It was a really TV show way back in the eighties beforeshe was born. And she taught him how she cut an old pair of jeans to makedaisy dukes and pulled the threads to make the fringe on the bottom. Neitherof them were looking for anything serious. But between the cowboy bootsand jean shorts, smoky dance floor and cheap vodka, they fell in love, as theDuke boys would say faster than a bee stung stallion, I think was a very funexercise. We might have to all like, do a short story and doing anthology,right? Have something. Yeah. Patty, please. Um enlighten us about your home,right? So in the late 19 eighties as r E O Speedwagon and Madonna sing fromthat radio. There's a bus full of frat boys and their dates headed to NorthCarolina for a ski trip. The brown eyed, curly haired girl was on a date withanother boy, but the blond hair blue eyed boy at the back of the bus keptsnapping pictures of her on camera. Yes, a real camera ring. Years later,both of them were in Atlanta in graduate school, and they ran into eachother in a very classy bar with friends. The boy sent his Auburn footballquarterback Pal over to say, Pat wants to ask you out, E said. Oh, that is sonice. But I have a boyfriend. But I'd really love to be friends with PatHenry. Four years later, they were married, and now they have threegrandkids, three kids, one grandchild and their 30th anniversary is in acouple of days. No. All right, Susan...

Europe tell us about Mr Bill, hisfriends with him. His friends gave him two choices. Hecould go out on a blind date with either the blond English teacher or thebrunette drama teacher. Of course, he chose the blonde. Fortunately, theblonde suggested they go ice skating, not knowing he'd never been on a pair,and it didn't go well. Alas, this left him with the consolation prize off theblond English teachers roommate, the brunette drama teacher who happened tome. I still remember him standing at my parents front door, a lock of brownhair falling over his forehead, a cigarette dangling from the corner ofhis mouth. 50 years later, the cigarettes are long gone, butfortunately not the hair and the blond English teacher and her husbandremained are lifelong friends. The end e love your picture of the best. Hey,maid costume. He decided he was going to go with Batman. He told me I had tobe Robin. I said I wasn't gonna be Robin. And so he just made out, wentout and made the custom. And then I was Robin. Funny thing about that is he'dlike to wear it to a lake. Neighborhood parties. The little kids would cryevery time they saw him. Because he's 63 in that. That mask it was huge. Oh,my goodness. Okay. He was the smart, serious jock shy with the ladies. Shewas a madcap class cut up who like to torment him in high school, typingclass by yeah, taking her toe and pulling his sock down with her toe.They were just friends until graduation weekend, when they took her mom'sstation wagon and a paper bag full of popcorn to see if John Wayne Western atthe Skyview drive them. And while the bullets were flying on screen, thingsstarted to heat up in that station wagon. Ivan, edit for you on that story.Way do you put about? While the bullets were flying on screen, the sparks wereflying in that station on. They still they still are like E u four yearslater. Awesome. Okay. You know, guys were running out of time Way. We havesome questions. People are having questions. Um, who wants to ask Susan aquestion about her age? Well, how about instead of that, we jump right to Susan?What are you reading lately? Can you tell us what you draw? You know, thebook I really liked recently was have any of you read unmarried Dubel? Um oh,my God. Look, Mary Alice, that I think that your phone being too close to yourmike I'm just saying Yes. Uh, so Nyah Kemal's book on marriageable. It'spride and Prejudice, uh, set in Pakistan of all places, and it is justa delightful reading. I love books that give you a glimpse into other cultures.This is one of them, and this really sticks close to pride and prejudice toI heard about that. Great great recommendation, Christie, you've gottaYou've got a huge Yes. Um, it's perfect for Valentine's Day. It's called TheLove Proof by Madeline Henry. And it just came out yesterday on Bond. Oh, mygosh. Talking about a different world.

It's about a woman who is like, thenext big thing in physics on DSHEA. She sort of sets out to prove, um, thetruth of love and how to see time and and the connection between those twothings. Anyway, I could not put this book down. I read it in like a day on.I'm actually interviewing Madeleine on Monday night, virtually a blue willowbooks. So y'all come see us. It's gonna be great. I have so many questions forher about this book and like, it just fascinated me. It was one of thosebooks that I got finished with and I was like Googling all these things. Um,it was It was great. Well, speaking of books we've loved, this is the perfecttime to remind you all about our friends and mission partner. Page onebooks, where first time subscribers get a 10% discount when they sign up. AndSusan, as the author of 24 ish novels, which would you care to share? Awriting tips with our audience and honestly with the five of us really?Well, five of you have this one down, but I get this a lot from people whoare newer, and that is the old Do you have to wait for inspiration? Thioright? Every day, And I always say, You write by writing. You write by puttingyour butt in the chair. Inspiration isn't goingto happen necessarily whenyou're attending workshops or meetings or thinking, or you have to just sitdown and do the work. And, uh, just it doesn't make any difference how manybooks you've written. It can be really scary facing that blank page. You justput your butt in the chair and do the work. Yeah, so sad. I'm hoping you weregoing to give us a secret writers club Magic e. I know Isn't that true, though?It's such a basic kind of thing, but you have to work through fear to get tothat point, to be ableto that screen and and sit there in discomfort. E wascounting on you to tell us how to love our characters better since then. EOkay, we've got just a few more. Now wait a road that I need therapy on theshow. I'm sorry. I just had to say that last week with the planes. And so herewe go way should bring a therapist on. Maybe they can help us just council uslive. Yeah, we've got just a few announcements to get through now. SoBut all of you, Susan Elizabeth fans don't worry. Susan is gonna definitelyget in the last word because we don't really have a choice in that. Johncould just take her out way. RND bookstore this week is Book Town inManasquan, New Jersey, where you'll get a 10% discount on all of our books,including Susan's new paperback Dance Away With Me and You Can preorder WhenStars Collide And if you preorder surviving Savannah, you'll receive asigned book plate and a luggage tag. And of course, we love you almost asmuch as our mama Geraldine cheese straws. If you would pre order all ofour forthcoming books, including that Did You just Really dothat? Shameless. Do you want me to do it again? Yeah, I like that really good.Well, I'm so excited about next week's show. I get to host the incredibleSusan Meisner and Greer McAllister. I have not read. Greer spoke cabin, andI've heard incredible things. But I just finished the nature of fragilethings and oh my gosh, y'all it, like, blew my mind. You have to read. It wasso, so great. So read it before we talked to them next week. And then theweek after that, we're going tohave Kristin Hannah, who is systematicallytaking over the universe and is, I...

...think, number one on The New York Timesand hardback and paperback and number one on Netflix, and we're having her on.So maybe she can just, like, rub some of her magic off on the rest of us. Yes,Opposed to her great success, shares a now we're super proud. Okay, Kristen isin the spotlight next Monday night when friends and Fiction Book Club discussesher novel The Winemakers Wife at seven PM and Patty because we can't stop herfrom doing so. It's eyes gonna pop in on you surviving Savannah. So manychannel Susan Elizabeth Phillips on I'm just gonna keep showing up. I thoughtyou were gonna pop it and mock me e o Everybody makes sure you have bubbly onhand next week because Kristen apparently is quite. We know this. Weall know this from experience. Quite the expert on the champagne. Well,that's a nice thing to be an expert on. And don't forget, we've got lots moreoriginal. All things book related. Coming up in our podcast, you canlisten to Mary Kay Andrews and I interview another favorite of ours,Marie Benedict, the author of the bestselling novel The Mystery of MrsChristie. Wherever you find your favorite podcast, you'll find a link onthe Facebook page that will take you there. I'm reading the mystery of MrsChristie right now. Another really great one eso season. We have aquestion that we just really love to ask all of our guests on the show way.Do not a lady never tells. And we hope that Google has it wrong forever.That's what I'm hoping I'm still 29. So we're going with that. Um but what wereyour family's values around reading and writing when you were growing up? Andhow do you think that that shaped you as a writer? The my parents were hugereaders. My father always had thrillers. Mother always had a mystery going. So Igrew up with books around. May I remember getting my I'm gonna trainscoming. Um, I, uh, remember also getting book the first library cards Igot from my sons. I remember with our second son. He was like, I think aboutsix weeks old when I had him in the front pack taking him to the library.So we're just ah, huge reading family. It just seemed normal to me. I don'tknow about the rest of you, but do you have memories? Like I have memories ofgoing to the library, the public library? When I was a kid at marblesteps and there were little dense in the center of those steps I can stillsmell with that library. Smelled like just an absolutely magical place. It'sso true. E remember that for sure? E remember the bookmobile? Oh, you neverhad a mobile story real quickly. Oh, Mobile. And I couldn't I couldn't getto the library in time. Always. I was a little kid. My parents had to take meand I heard there were book mobiles and I wanted one in our neighborhood.Complained to my father and he said, If you want a bookmobile, I'm 11 years old.Get a petition together and go out and get yourself a bookmobile. And myfather was very good about being proactive. Raised us to be good boys, Ithink. And we did that. We got our bookmobile in the You owe a great story.It's a great story, you know, that is gonna bring us to the conclusion of ourcheesy Valentine's Day. E had so much fun, Mary, you did a great job withSpin the bottle. So day everybody from all of the Fab Five plus areirreplaceable. Managing director Meg, our very own video dude Camera Cabanaboy Sean heading jerk, who is expecting...

...his second child any minute now. A bestdays, aren't they? Talk about romance, You know, when baby head and yourarrives. But we wanted to close tonight by highlighting all of our own veryspecial sweethearts who I think we would all agree, kept just a little bittoo dio with the fact that way have the careers that we dio. Thank you guys allso much for supporting and loving us year round. And not just on Valentine'sDay. We'll see you next Wednesday night. The O s so good, Thio I think she washysterical, but the whole script was so much fun to play your game, Mary Kay.Okay, here's to all of us. And Happy Valentine's Day thing. Jason, Happybirthday. Thanks for letting your wife spent some time with us Birthday. Youknow what? We all should be using our sippy cups. Good for you, Mary Kay.Yeah. Next week, I'll Planet E. I just gotta say, Christian, that for all thatJohn dealer was blonde, you married a big boy 6 ft three, your tiny next tohim. So I am. Yeah, he's 661 and I'm I'm only 5 ft tall, so I live e s. Soyou had your dream came true. E around like a little Polly pocket doll. Ewonder if we'll like Todd Wilkins, E Nickerson or anything like E. Theyprobably describe they. Yeah, right. The blonde wide boy. Yeah. Who else? Iused to like the Archie comic strips to remember those. Yes, I was. Yeah.Archie, with Veronica. I always wanted to be Veronica. Me too. Yeah, totally.Largely the lodge. Veronica. I was Team Betty all the way. Now they made, like,an updated show about them. Have you know, I didn't know that. Yeah, butit's like way. It's called Riverside. And it's not TG. I'm so cool. I'm gonnawatch. I did not know that it's not a good time. Mark Consuelos, I think. Andyes, it's a good gasp. Okay, I have never seen it. I have to say, thoughthe spin the bottle was a hoot. Mary Kay. That was great. Thank you forguiding us through all of that. E I had so much fun. Think of all the questionsand there were so much more. I was gonna a be a two hour show that wouldhave been a little pee a little. Our radio e I brought up throbbing members.So e get us. What is the thing you get when your show did something wrong?Damp on concert E Love, Love Loved your trailer. Oh, my God. The sound of thewaters Oh, beautiful. In the book, the book is just so beautiful. I just hopeeveryone who watched tonight goes and border Get your night right away. Getthose numbers, Get your book on the first day it comes out. We alwayspreorders helps so much, You know,...

...that's definitely been, uh, definitelybeen not toe overuse the journey metaphor But it has definitely been ajourney writing that book How many years working on that 3.5 years and soothe information was somuch harder to find than than I would have thought Somebody just asked whatmuseum that is the ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah, Georgia.In fact, one of the events that I'm doing on Pop Day actually is going tobe live from the ships of the Sea Museum and we're going to get to showartifacts for the first time. That's gonna be so cool because they you know,they found the ship. So there's gold and pocket watches and jewelry andsilverware and plates and name it and they have found it. What's the dataThat Patty, I know you're coming to Charleston. Uh, March 9th andCharleston is March 11 on. Of course, I wouldn't friends and fiction on March10th, but I don't And they're all virtual sadly, but they're alldifferent. But at least with your museum, one will be able to follow youand see things it'll be like we're really there. It's not so sad becauseall of our friends out there who are watching us, they're gonna be able tojoin its gonna be great. Yeah, Yeah, people who wouldn't have made it toSavannah or Charleston or anywhere otherwise, we'll get to get a chance.You know it thinking about surviving Savannah, and then it's so freaky thatthey discovered the ship while you were working on the book E your intended towrite that absolutely e feel like it was the book that was wouldn't leave mealone. Like every time I thought I would give up, something would happenlike they'd find the ship or they find the name tag of the character I waswriting about or they It was the book that would not leave me alone. Did youhave you Have you guys watched the dig? Yes. No, no. Oh, my gosh. I would lovethat. Carrie Mulligan. It's so great. Found? Well, yeah, it's amazing. Andthey had to tuck it all away until after the war. And but the sense ofcontinuity but so beautiful. And that's I think what we're going to get fromyour book is that sense of life goes on and continuity. It's so good. It wassuch a beautiful book. I was so honored to get to read it. I'm probablyblushing like my shirt. Thank you. And everyone gets to read it soon. Yeah,exactly. I'll never be reading it in a couple of days or we're gonna be havingsome words. It's somewhere between Birmingham, Alabama, E. Have it online,but I just I need to, like, hold it and like being my chair with my blanket.You need to do this to it. Yeah, you need to, like, smell it a little bit.And I also, you know, you just remember like I remember like laying by the poolreading, becoming Mrs Lewis. Now it was very early because I had a very earlyadvanced coffee. I'm just getting your e. You remember? You know, when you'rereading that was like, You remember reading the book. It's awesome. Thatwould have been That's another for our next Valentine's cap. Mary Kate, that'sa really good one. Like, what is the first book that you were reading? Andyou fell so in love with it that you can remember where you were sittingwhere you were reading it? Yeah, that's a great question. E don't know that Icould remember the first one. I could just remember, Um, so many and lots ofthat. I'll tell you, a lot of them are audiobooks. Yeah, You know, I Ilistened to a Louise Penny when I was...

...driving Thio to North Carolina to do awriters get away. And I was doing a lot of walking at that time. I would walkup and down the beach and listening to that Louise Penny and, um and then, youknow, listening to Kate Quinn's, uh, her audio books are Yeah, I waslistening. Thio, the Alice Network on a long car trip,and I was so involved and terrified when things got hairy, I had to pull upthe side of the road. Are you serious? Wow, what a complements. The book. It'ssuch a great book, but yeah, What a wonderful thing to hear. Patty, you andI were both talking when you said texted that you were reading threeocean at the end of the lane. And I had told you about that. And you told meabout the audio, which was Neil Gaiman's voice is like Alan Rickman,speaking of great voices. And then you had told me to read Daisy in the sixth.And I listen to the audio and both of those others Exactly the same makes youwanna be different kind of writer. It's just was so you couldn't put it down.You couldn't stop listening. Is can you get in the driveway? Remember where youwere when you were listening to it or reading it? Like you know where youwere so true. All right, ladies. I gotta go for Jason Birthday. E o. Thank you for tuning in. Join us everyweek on Facebook or YouTube, where our live show airs every Wednesday night at7 p.m. Eastern time. And please subscribe to our podcast and follow uson Instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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