Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year 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. Five best selling authors and the stories Novelists Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey, Patty Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books. To their credit. In 2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlight independent bookstores. These friends discuss the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hi, everyone, Um, American Andrews here. Before we get started, I want to welcome all of our new viewers, joining us tonight for the first time from 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 introduced by Meghan Mellie and I'm a senior editor here at Parade magazine and at parade dot com. I'm the books editor. A swell eso. We are really, really excited to announce a new partnership between friends and fiction and pray dot com. So every Wednesday, one of these lovely women from friends and fiction will publish a new essay on parade dot com writing about lessons she's learned from life or just that week during the Pandemic on then later on, 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 much for being with us tonight. And Christian Harmel is responsible for that so way. We're just so happy to be joining you, Meghan. Thanks so much. Of course, Were looking forward to this. Thank you. Come back. Thank you, Parade. Of course. Okay. And now, of course, welcome everyone else to our Wednesday night folks to this special, it's almost Valentine's Day edition of Friends and Fiction, where we're gonna be joined tonight by the wildly popular and just playing wild bestselling romantic comedy author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who will be our special guest And where the six of us five of us plus step as we call her. Well, may we're gonna play my game that I made up. It's called literary Spin the bottle e Make up the rules and I just decided to win Sounds fair. E No, no, no E Mary! My game, My rules. Okay, let's meet the players. 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 Christine Harmel. So, Kristen, my question for you is for Valentine's Day. Which do you prefer? Champagne or perfume? Well, since I literally wrote the book on champagne, I'm gonna go with campaign Way. All would have wanted to place money 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 like to ask Christie Woodson, Harvey Dark or milk chocolate? Definitely milk, chocolate. And now that you said that you literally wrote the book on champagne and like, I should be writing a book about chocolate, right e get to do 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, so I'm Christi Woodson, Harvey, and I'm going to introduce you to Patty Callahan. Henry, Um, Patty, would you rather your sweetie gift you with daisies or diamonds? I mean, is that even really u k e My face already hurts from laughing, but definitely diamonds because diamonds last forever And daisies like group and have smell after, like, e diamond e forgot. I'm Paddy Callaghan, Henry. And okay, I'm going to ask Mary Alice Munro, wreck fist in bed 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 in a few of those diamonds while you're at Diamond E. Okay. Alright. You have my diamond. You can have my daisies. Oh, you know what? I do like basis, but I prefer diamonds. Thank you. Okay, Mary kisses back rooms. Well, I having my baptist Oh, traffic twist your with a man for a not long enough time. He knows all the right places. Oh, okay. Good love. See? Oh, my right. Oh, my goodness. 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 of the 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 the green, not kicking somebody. Give her somebody give that woman some of those Mama Geraldine's cheese straws. Uh, like in the green room. She won't go on a 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 is eating in the green room right now. Use the Fab Five coupon to get a 20% off discount, okay? And in a few minutes, we will have to bring Susan back in. And we're all the juicy details about her upcoming 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 a new cover look which I think is so fun on bond for all of you. Step fans out there. 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 one Office of Subscription Package, which is basically a personalized service that 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 a really live, independent bookstore, and this is no exception. So your books are not 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 12 month subscription. You fill out a short questionnaire and tell them all about you. What your literary loves our, which your likes and dislikes are kind of like a dating service. But for books, right on Ben, Page one does their magical literary matchmaking, and you receive a book hand chosen for you, beautifully wrapped with a special literary treat. Insides and first time subscribers get 10% off with the code Fab five, which doesn't include Susan Elizabeth Phillips. But we have been working operation on our friends and Fiction Facebook page where you can find everything. You know, we've got a lot to get to tonight. But first we wanna wet your appetite for our own Patty studying upcoming release Surviving Savannah. So we're gonna we'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 from tonight's Bookseller Book Town in Manasquan, New Jersey, where you will get a 10% discount on all of our books, including Susan's brand new paperback Dance Away with May and for forthcoming When Stars Collide. So excited, Sean. Roll the tape, baby. Discovering untold stories is like having a great secret whispered in your ear. And this story is one of those secrets. My new novel, Surviving Savannah, is inspired by the true and for gotten to time saga of a luxury steamship with the nickname The Titanic of 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 coast of North Carolina. About one third of the passengers and crews survived. When I learned about this little known story, I was immediately fascinated because I realized 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 do we choose to become after tragedy? After years of research, reading, writing and digging, I finally put together the events of that doomed journey with a dual timeline and a modern day museum curator designing an exhibit of the artifacts alongside the stories of the Long Street family in 18 38 I look much closer at our collective ideas that survival merit some kind of worthiness, that everything happens for a reason and that our lives are destined to end up in certain ways all with the backdrop of the beloved and mystical 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 like watching myself on the screen. You were beautiful, and I keep thinking about this book as this story that wouldn't...

...leave me alone. The story that wanted to be told and it's amazing that it's out in three weeks and six days Who's counting counting? And tonight, if you preorder, we have these adorable friends and fiction luggage tags. I love him. Can you c e O S. So if you order from book Town and when you get the book, you will get this amazing luggage 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 gonna have to come see us wherever we are gonna have a special bonuses for anyone who has the luggage tag, that means you think this is luggage tag is for your own 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 is beautiful, too. We're so excited about it. All right? Well, Sean e think you'd better let Susan out. E A. She's bored. Rub a Lario, wash my hair, put on some makeup trailer. That was fabulous. Great. Yep, Yep. Yep. Well, speaking of new books, Susan, we are so excited about your newest one when stars collide on dure. The author of The New York Times best selling author of 24 ish books, Right. We weren't totally sure that bridge that gap between romance, romantic comedy, women's fiction, all the good stuff that we love. 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, like elevator pitch for the book. And I wrote mine this afternoon, but I haven't memorized it yet. You're ready, thistles. So, Lane, But my memory isn't what it used to be. So when stars collide is the diva and the quarterback right Right there. You kind of know what's gonna happen. He is, um, that the Chicago Stars backup quarterback. All his life, he's been number two. She is number one opera superstar Olivia Shore. And she is a soprano with issues of her own. They are trapped together on a one month junk, a press junket promoting a luxury watch, and it is not gonna go well. This'll this'll was one of my easier books to write because I felt like going in. I had a clear sense of what was once I said that even the quarterback, it just kind of all was clear to me. So this was really a fun book to write. And if any readers don't like, it is because they're bad readers and have no sense of humor. Sam, that's yeah, completely way. Talk about perfect timing because it's Valentine's Day and Super Bowl combine. Absolutely perfect, Yes, but the book does not come 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 mass market paperback is thistles showing up in, you know, walmart and CVS and Kroger's and all the places where I think we find new readers. You find that 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, we did a very entertaining event. together...

...in Chicago. You're not gonna bring this up again. I'm not this Not that. Not that whole story. No, that's for another. That's for another night. Okay, Distinctly. Remember you telling me you are 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 in my entire career. I am really, really a slow writer. And I think a lot of it is my approach because I don't know what I'm going to write and tell him in the story. And then I constantly have to rewrite, but I think this one took me about 21 months when stars collide. Um, and I think dance away with me. There was 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't happen. But they're Jen's, my darling. When they work for you, you wouldn't change anything. You're known for your romantic comedy, but were some serious stuff in dance away with Yeah, yeah, yeah Well, you know the heroin is is she is a young widow, a midwife, and she's in a state of grief. At the beginning of the book, she's decided to isolate herself in this little town in Tennessee, 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 the hero who is kind of a grouchy Bera. The beginning, uh, is a very famous street artist, kind of going through a crisis in his life. All he wants is to be left alone. But obviously that cannot happen. I like being able Thio go between writing riel, Rahm calms which when stars collide is and then more women's fiction, which we have in dance away with me. But one thing I always will have is a happy ending. That is important to me. Way. Yes. All right, I know. We just serious stuff way. Let's play spin the literary bottle. All right, everybody. I'm gonna go around the globe here. I want you to tell me who was your first or favorite literary crush. Kristen, My first literary crush was John Dealer from the clan of the Cave Man. Siri's pretty sexy book. I don'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. E was way too young to be reading this book's hilarious e. I'm quizzing you guys. Eso I chose Todd Wilkins. Does anyone know who Todd Wilkins is or remember? Uh huh. Okay. He waas, um, I think either I think he was Jessica Wakefield's boyfriend, not Elizabeth. And I have been Elizabeth Wakefield's boyfriend. This sweet valley high way. You know, he was, like, the handsome like football star, you know, he was just everything, you know, that he just wanted toe. So, yeah, that's my first crush, Todd. Okay, Patty. Well, we should 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 first literary crushed the guy I wished was mine. I'll quiz you guys. Do you know who he is? Ned Nickerson. I told her forever e on him. See, Nancy Drew e forgot his name. Nickerson, along top of your working Nickerson? No. Hey, Mary, What's gonna predate y'all? Go ahead. Talk about Ned Nickerson in Nancy Drew. He had absolutely no personality. E o. Actually, Susan, we didn't need a personality. Vertebral e. Remember all this? Patty e With my first 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 a e? No. All right, Mary. Alice, you're up. I'm gonna predate all you girls. My first literary crush was Peter Pan. Oh, my gosh, I used to I'm really embarrassed to admit this, but I left my window open for him. Oh, until I was much too old. Oh, crack it open. Just a little bit s so great. Now there's a boy with a lot of personality. Yeah, All right, Susan, what's yours? Your ned. But I actually had another one. You guys might not be quite old enough to remember the Roseman do Jarden books. Oh, my God. I love those. What was the And Penny Mike was on early. A hero of mine again, I think, Mike, if I read those books again, didn't have a lot of personality, but, oh, I loved him. And I loved those books. Double date. I can't think of the second one. On the third was double wedding. Where three. Entire their entire college career. Getting ready for their weddings to be moms and housewives. No mention of a career. I loved those books. I read them all out, Checked him out of the library in junior high. And I always thought I was going to go Thio Thio Ah ah mixer Because they were always going to mixers. They want to mixers e always thought I was going to go to Neverland. Yeah, you still have some time e o after 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 rich neighbor from little women. Okay, I really appreciate it. When he took up with 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 bad mistake. Louisa May Alcott made. Yeah, that was not right. Okay, Now we're gonna ask what was the first or favorite romance you remember? Reading are easy. Oh, um, ma'am, what do you got? Easy. It's the flame in the flower by Kathleen. Voodoo is And I remember I was in graduate school. My sister readers sent me this book. Yeah, and it...

...holds up. First of all, if you read that book today, it holds up my sisters. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. She's really a good writer. And she sent me this book, and it was dog eared. I mean, really, you could tell The pages were well warm, and I was a little noticed. Notepaper on 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 back in the day on. I started reading it in the writings. Really good. And then I Oh, 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 and Kathleen 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 and being like, Look at that romance And is Thornbirds. Did you read, uh, in the TV series? E didn't watch the TV. Siri's I was smart enough to know would probably don'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 Forbidden love. And, you know, my daughter's name is Meghan. And I'm wondering if the subconscious is the strange thing. I don't know. Yeah, I loved I think I read that book more than three or four times when I was in high school. So how about a good role model for a love story? But what is well speaking of that. So I was trying to decide if I think this technically qualifies as a romance, 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's really for Merkel. Because before she wrote Garden of Lies, guess what? She used to go straight. What? Sweet Valley Valley, huh? No, she did not e. I was like, Oh, my gosh, she's not Not the runaway bestseller of all these amazing novels. But she wrote, Sweet Valley. More importantly, everybody starts with something That's right. Okay, Christian, here we go with something weird. I know it's totally weird. I'm going back to Clan of the Cave Bear. Okay, So the first 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 a lot. I mean, it's been a really long time since I read it, So perhaps I'm remembering it wrong. But it was a love story about this woman who's kind of empowered in the time before That was a thing. I think so. I don't know. I really 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, I read a lot of Barbara Cartland when I was in high school. My gosh, I know my favorite one. I I don't have to look at what the title of it was, but in it there always. It's a governess, and she's shy and meek, and she goes to work for the Alfa Male and she's pudgy. Or, you know, I forget how they worded it in a Barbara Cartland. But every night she's so upset she goes skinny dipping in the pool in swims laps, and at the end of the book she gets out of the 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't noticed off course. Nothing. Notice that she's no longer pudgy, which I but I e no cell that swimming e No, I tried it. The first really sexy romance novel I read was Forever Amber by Kathleen Windsor. And if you all read that, E had to read it in the library because mother wouldn't let me read it. So I hid in the back of the library to read it. Oh, no, that thing there. Yeah. And I have to tell you that I interviewed Kathleen would with when I was a newspaper 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 in the frozen foods at Kroger, and I was so about so snobby about this romance writer signing books and a, you know, a card table at the Kroger, Let me tell you, 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 I want 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 I have many things to say here. Number one, A lot of questions about where I am 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, I age 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? You probably don't. This would have been in the early days of romantic times at a conference. Barbara Cartland came to speak and she had huge hat on in one of her gowns. And, um, she gave us a lecture not on her books, but on vitamins. The reasons we should be taking vitamins czar thing. I will never 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 was violent on a violent winds. First books that was packaged with Tide laundry detergent. It was They did, and they shrink wrap this this, um Ah, Harlequin romance on the Tide box. And until then I had was much just snobbish to ever read a Harlequin romance. And of course I devoured that, and from then on it was just open season. But I I really remember that shrink wrap tied box. I love it that they packaged the dirty books with a box of tide. I think this was not a dirty book, e just love that women were at home doing laundry and reading their romance novel while they were waiting for their laundry. E thought that women were reading romance, reading, Father doing laundry because there'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't want 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 of your own novels and the reason that they're your favorite Patty. So it will forever be C. S. Lewis. Enjoy David Hman, but they're riel. So for fictional, it would definitely be nickname E from...

Losing the Moon. College sweethearts who lose each other. And the way they find each other is that her son starts dating his daughter. Love it, and I still I still so does Christie still wonder what happened to Nick and Amy? But what number was that was my first book. That was my very first published novel Came out in 2000 and four and they 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 house and I They just started a dynasty, so to speak. But they are special to me because I was about the same age, just Keira in her early for she was just hitting 40. And so it's a second chance, you know, she was ah, woman who worked so hard in her career was so important to her that along the way she forgot to get married and have kids. It was sort of all of a sudden she was 40 and her life had changed. And Brett was a young a good old, low country boy. Into my mind, there's nothing sexier than a low country boy on and he wooed her with his charm. And when she chose him, it was a sense of riel knowing not just that he was the one, but that it was time. So I think it was maybe the best love 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 my 2012 novels. So they meet as teenagers in World War Two Paris. And he tells her, 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, she knows he's there. She knows he loves her and also on a personal note. The year after the book came out, my husband actually proposed to me My now husband proposed to me on the street outside roses apartment in Paris using that 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, but I 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 in life romance for them, So it may be, was not the one that would come to mind first. 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 bonds them, even through all these years that they're separated. So when they come back together, there's, um there are a lot of really grown up things involved in them being together, but they know that they can't be apart. And I love stories like that. Yeah, I think my favorite from mine is Anna Jane and Mason from Spring Fever, because I love a story where exes are reunited on, and this one has the bonus appeal of being the protagonist. Anna Jane's first serious crushes Mason when she's a little girl and she's best friends with Mason's little sister. So that's mine. What about you, Susan? I'm really, really surprised at your answers because genuinely, right now, my favorite couple is, um a sad and Olivia from when stars collide. But that's because the couple that I just finished...

I mean, I truly don't. I'm shocked. I think you're all bad book mothers to be able to pick out like the most. I can't help it. Thunder struck. I'm just wait. Disappointed you. I'm just I'm so attached to every one of those couples pulling out one. You're probably bad mothers to your Children to it is probably true. I mean, I think this is a very revealing knife. E just I love the dynamic between sad and Olivia because 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 and this great jock. But he's one of his big conflicts is he's absolutely the most beautiful man in the world. He hates his looks. He's tried everything to mess them up. But nothing works there just a really, really fun couple to me. But then I have loved all those couples and frankly, giving you all writing advice. I think if you don't love your influence. You need to work on your craft a little bit. E Sean, would you take her out to say who invited 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's not the cheese straws. Oh, being back there. Okay, Now, you know, everybody loves 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. Is that Susan? Do you have a train going right through your house? Oh, she's on you because yeah, I'm muted 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's the scene where boy meets girl. So I've asked everybody to write their own meat cute 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 one department as well. Okay. Favorite child is and so do I. So we know she can't really credit. That is true. Yes, yes. Okay, so ready. She was a struggling writer, he the communications manager of a nonprofit, both for another relationships when they met. But there to mutual friends chat. 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 to invite 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't on a bombing night out with Wendy Chat and some other friends that the classic romantic establishment world of beer Jason reached for Kristen's hand under the table. Surprised, she looked up their eyes met an hour later. They were making out in the parking lot like teenagers, despite the fact that they were in their mid thirties. On a year and a half later, he was proposing in Paris, and now they're living happily ever after. And also today's his birthday. So I am a horrible life because we owe Jason E. Oh, that was great. That was a really good birthday. Get Thio Ellis, would you like to tell us about your Valentine's Day. You're me. Cute. I served good. Okay. Oh, my goodness. That's my darling boy. She...

...was a young editor, Encyclopedia Britannica, just out of college. He was a young filmmaker from New York. It was an 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 at her 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 for this. 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. I know I'm doomed. I look up and smile. One year later, we were married. He goes to medical school. She goes to graduate school. Now he's a psychiatrist and she's a novelist. She's no longer young, and he doesn't look like Johnny Depp, But they still love each other and fund U. S E. It sounds doesn't sound like telegraph. Old timey telegram you. It sounds like somebody's trying to message us from space e me because I don't have my phone close. And then you did myself. So I e yourself again. You are in our sink once again. E Okay, Christy, what about your meat? Cute. Okay, Aziz, the college coed and the older, wiser dental student pregame for the Kappa Delta Dukes of Hazzard cocktail. You taught her that that wasn't just a Jessica Simpson movie. It was a really TV show way back in the eighties before she was born. And she taught him how she cut an old pair of jeans to make daisy dukes and pulled the threads to make the fringe on the bottom. Neither of them were looking for anything serious. But between the cowboy boots and jean shorts, smoky dance floor and cheap vodka, they fell in love, as the Duke boys would say faster than a bee stung stallion, I think was a very fun exercise. 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 from that radio. There's a bus full of frat boys and their dates headed to North Carolina for a ski trip. The brown eyed, curly haired girl was on a date with another boy, but the blond hair blue eyed boy at the back of the bus kept snapping 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 each other in a very classy bar with friends. The boy sent his Auburn football quarterback Pal over to say, Pat wants to ask you out, E said. Oh, that is so nice. But I have a boyfriend. But I'd really love to be friends with Pat Henry. Four years later, they were married, and now they have three grandkids, three kids, one grandchild and their 30th anniversary is in a couple of days. No. All right, Susan...

Europe tell us about Mr Bill, his friends with him. His friends gave him two choices. He could go out on a blind date with either the blond English teacher or the brunette drama teacher. Of course, he chose the blonde. Fortunately, the blonde 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 the blond English teachers roommate, the brunette drama teacher who happened to me. I still remember him standing at my parents front door, a lock of brown hair falling over his forehead, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. 50 years later, the cigarettes are long gone, but fortunately not the hair and the blond English teacher and her husband remained 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 to be Robin. I said I wasn't gonna be Robin. And so he just made out, went out and made the custom. And then I was Robin. Funny thing about that is he'd like to wear it to a lake. Neighborhood parties. The little kids would cry every 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. She was a madcap class cut up who like to torment him in high school, typing class 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's station wagon and a paper bag full of popcorn to see if John Wayne Western at the Skyview drive them. And while the bullets were flying on screen, things started 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 were flying in that station on. They still they still are like E u four years later. Awesome. Okay. You know, guys were running out of time Way. We have some questions. People are having questions. Um, who wants to ask Susan a question 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, the book 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 your mike I'm just saying Yes. Uh, so Nyah Kemal's book on marriageable. It's pride and Prejudice, uh, set in Pakistan of all places, and it is just a 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 to I heard about that. Great great recommendation, Christie, you've gotta You've got a huge Yes. Um, it's perfect for Valentine's Day. It's called The Love Proof by Madeline Henry. And it just came out yesterday on Bond. Oh, my gosh. Talking about a different world.

It's about a woman who is like, the next big thing in physics on DSHEA. She sort of sets out to prove, um, the truth of love and how to see time and and the connection between those two things. 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 willow books. So y'all come see us. It's gonna be great. I have so many questions for her about this book and like, it just fascinated me. It was one of those books 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 perfect time to remind you all about our friends and mission partner. Page one books, where first time subscribers get a 10% discount when they sign up. And Susan, as the author of 24 ish novels, which would you care to share? A writing 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 who are newer, and that is the old Do you have to wait for inspiration? Thio right? Every day, And I always say, You write by writing. You write by putting your butt in the chair. Inspiration isn't goingto happen necessarily when you're attending workshops or meetings or thinking, or you have to just sit down and do the work. And, uh, just it doesn't make any difference how many books you've written. It can be really scary facing that blank page. You just put your butt in the chair and do the work. Yeah, so sad. I'm hoping you were going 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 to that point, to be ableto that screen and and sit there in discomfort. E was counting on you to tell us how to love our characters better since then. E Okay, we've got just a few more. Now wait a road that I need therapy on the show. I'm sorry. I just had to say that last week with the planes. And so here we go way should bring a therapist on. Maybe they can help us just council us live. Yeah, we've got just a few announcements to get through now. So But all of you, Susan Elizabeth fans don't worry. Susan is gonna definitely get in the last word because we don't really have a choice in that. John could just take her out way. RND bookstore this week is Book Town in Manasquan, 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 When Stars Collide And if you preorder surviving Savannah, you'll receive a signed book plate and a luggage tag. And of course, we love you almost as much as our mama Geraldine cheese straws. If you would pre order all of our forthcoming books, including that Did You just Really do that? 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 incredible Susan Meisner and Greer McAllister. I have not read. Greer spoke cabin, and I've heard incredible things. But I just finished the nature of fragile things and oh my gosh, y'all it, like, blew my mind. You have to read. It was so, so great. So read it before we talked to them next week. And then the week after that, we're going tohave Kristin Hannah, who is systematically taking over the universe and is, I...

...think, number one on The New York Times and 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 is in the spotlight next Monday night when friends and Fiction Book Club discusses her novel The Winemakers Wife at seven PM and Patty because we can't stop her from doing so. It's eyes gonna pop in on you surviving Savannah. So many channel Susan Elizabeth Phillips on I'm just gonna keep showing up. I thought you were gonna pop it and mock me e o Everybody makes sure you have bubbly on hand next week because Kristen apparently is quite. We know this. We all 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 more original. All things book related. Coming up in our podcast, you can listen to Mary Kay Andrews and I interview another favorite of ours, Marie Benedict, the author of the bestselling novel The Mystery of Mrs Christie. Wherever you find your favorite podcast, you'll find a link on the Facebook page that will take you there. I'm reading the mystery of Mrs Christie right now. Another really great one eso season. We have a question 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 were your family's values around reading and writing when you were growing up? And how do you think that that shaped you as a writer? The my parents were huge readers. My father always had thrillers. Mother always had a mystery going. So I grew up with books around. May I remember getting my I'm gonna trains coming. Um, I, uh, remember also getting book the first library cards I got from my sons. I remember with our second son. He was like, I think about six 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't know about the rest of you, but do you have memories? Like I have memories of going to the library, the public library? When I was a kid at marble steps and there were little dense in the center of those steps I can still smell with that library. Smelled like just an absolutely magical place. It's so true. E remember that for sure? E remember the bookmobile? Oh, you never had a mobile story real quickly. Oh, Mobile. And I couldn't I couldn't get to the library in time. Always. I was a little kid. My parents had to take me and 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 my father was very good about being proactive. Raised us to be good boys, I think. 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 our cheesy Valentine's Day. E had so much fun, Mary, you did a great job with Spin the bottle. So day everybody from all of the Fab Five plus are irreplaceable. Managing director Meg, our very own video dude Camera Cabana boy Sean heading jerk, who is expecting...

...his second child any minute now. A best days, aren't they? Talk about romance, You know, when baby head and your arrives. But we wanted to close tonight by highlighting all of our own very special sweethearts who I think we would all agree, kept just a little bit too dio with the fact that way have the careers that we dio. Thank you guys all so much for supporting and loving us year round. And not just on Valentine's Day. We'll see you next Wednesday night. The O s so good, Thio I think she was hysterical, 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, Happy birthday. Thanks for letting your wife spent some time with us Birthday. You know 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 that John dealer was blonde, you married a big boy 6 ft three, your tiny next to him. So I am. Yeah, he's 661 and I'm I'm only 5 ft tall, so I live e s. So you had your dream came true. E around like a little Polly pocket doll. E wonder if we'll like Todd Wilkins, E Nickerson or anything like E. They probably describe they. Yeah, right. The blonde wide boy. Yeah. Who else? I used 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, but it's like way. It's called Riverside. And it's not TG. I'm so cool. I'm gonna watch. I did not know that it's not a good time. Mark Consuelos, I think. And yes, it's a good gasp. Okay, I have never seen it. I have to say, though the spin the bottle was a hoot. Mary Kay. That was great. Thank you for guiding us through all of that. E I had so much fun. Think of all the questions and there were so much more. I was gonna a be a two hour show that would have 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 the waters Oh, beautiful. In the book, the book is just so beautiful. I just hope everyone who watched tonight goes and border Get your night right away. Get those numbers, Get your book on the first day it comes out. We always preorders helps so much, You know,...

...that's definitely been, uh, definitely been not toe overuse the journey metaphor But it has definitely been a journey writing that book How many years working on that 3.5 years and soothe information was so much harder to find than than I would have thought Somebody just asked what museum 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 to be live from the ships of the Sea Museum and we're going to get to show artifacts 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 and silverware and plates and name it and they have found it. What's the data That Patty, I know you're coming to Charleston. Uh, March 9th and Charleston is March 11 on. Of course, I wouldn't friends and fiction on March 10th, but I don't And they're all virtual sadly, but they're all different. But at least with your museum, one will be able to follow you and see things it'll be like we're really there. It's not so sad because all of our friends out there who are watching us, they're gonna be able to join its gonna be great. Yeah, Yeah, people who wouldn't have made it to Savannah 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 that they discovered the ship while you were working on the book E your intended to write that absolutely e feel like it was the book that was wouldn't leave me alone. Like every time I thought I would give up, something would happen like they'd find the ship or they find the name tag of the character I was writing about or they It was the book that would not leave me alone. Did you have you Have you guys watched the dig? Yes. No, no. Oh, my gosh. I would love that. Carrie Mulligan. It's so great. Found? Well, yeah, it's amazing. And they had to tuck it all away until after the war. And but the sense of continuity but so beautiful. And that's I think what we're going to get from your book is that sense of life goes on and continuity. It's so good. It was such a beautiful book. I was so honored to get to read it. I'm probably blushing 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 having some 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 pool reading, becoming Mrs Lewis. Now it was very early because I had a very early advanced coffee. I'm just getting your e. You remember? You know, when you're reading that was like, You remember reading the book. It's awesome. That would have been That's another for our next Valentine's cap. Mary Kate, that's a really good one. Like, what is the first book that you were reading? And you fell so in love with it that you can remember where you were sitting where you were reading it? Yeah, that's a great question. E don't know that I could remember the first one. I could just remember, Um, so many and lots of that. I'll tell you, a lot of them are audiobooks. Yeah, You know, I I listened to a Louise Penny when I was...

...driving Thio to North Carolina to do a writers get away. And I was doing a lot of walking at that time. I would walk up and down the beach and listening to that Louise Penny and, um and then, you know, listening to Kate Quinn's, uh, her audio books are Yeah, I was listening. Thio, the Alice Network on a long car trip, and I was so involved and terrified when things got hairy, I had to pull up the side of the road. Are you serious? Wow, what a complements. The book. It's such a great book, but yeah, What a wonderful thing to hear. Patty, you and I were both talking when you said texted that you were reading three ocean at the end of the lane. And I had told you about that. And you told me about 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 you wanna 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 you were when you were listening to it or reading it? Like you know where you were so true. All right, ladies. I gotta go for Jason Birthday. E o. Thank you for tuning in. Join us every week on Facebook or YouTube, where our live show airs every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Eastern time. And please subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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