Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Friends and Fiction with The Fab 5

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Friends & Fiction authors gather to discuss the magic of books and how reading has shaped our lives. Plus a cover reveal of Kristy Woodson Harvey's forthcoming book, Under the Southern Sky. http://friendsandfiction.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Fivebest selling authors Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast withfive bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independentbookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinatinginsider talk about publishing and writing. Thes friends discuss the booksthey'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 theright place. Best selling novelist Mary Kay Andrews, Christine Harmel, ChristieWoodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Munro are five longtimefriends with more than 80 published books. To their credit, A Start of thePandemic. They got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about theirbooks, their favorite bookstores writing, reading and publishing in thisnew, uncharted territory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinatingdiscussions with other bestselling novelists, so join them live on theirfriends and fiction. Facebook Group page every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern,or listen and view later at your leisure. Hi everybody! And welcome to Friendsand Fiction, our weekly Facebook live show featuring author chat in supportof independent bookstores. We're so glad you're here. And we're so gladthat we're here to were truly honored among all of you. This is such a greatcommunity, more than 19,000 strong now, and it means so much to all of us. Be apart of it. So let's get started. I'm Christine Harmel, and my latest is theBook of Lost Names. I'm Christi Woodson Harvey, and my latest book is FeelsLike Falling. I'm Patty Callahan, Henry, and my latest is becoming Mrs Lewis.I'm Mary Alice Munro, and my latest is on Ocean Boulevard and I'm Mary KayAndrews. My latest is Hello, Summer, and this is friends in fiction. Welcome.We've had a bunch of great guests lately. Signee Pipe, Emily Giffin datafrom. But this is special, too. It's just the five of us, your five residentfriends and fiction authors, And when we're alone together like this, we getto dig a little deeper. Tonight we thought it would be nice to talk aboutmagic, but not just any magic, the magic we all find within books themagic of the written word that has led us here to this community. The magicthat connects us with each other and somehow at the same time transports usall very far away. And it's a great night to be having this conversation,because guess what? It's actually are 25. 0, can you believe it? We startedout thinking we would do seven episodes, but here we are at what I think isbeginning of a very long path. We're all gonna be walked. You've all been sowonderful and so supportive of us. And that, in and of itself is magic Were 25episodes today, but we hope that we have hundreds more Helps you inspire us.So thank you so much for being here. Thanks for being part of this verymagical journey. So I wanted to start tonight with something else verymagical to a cover reveal from our very own Christie Woodson, who's under thesouthern sky, is out in April. C. Can you tell us all about it and share yourbeautiful magical cover with us? Yes. I'm so excited. Oh, there it isn youguys. It's number seven, which I mean is lucky, right? E feel like it shouldbe, but I can't believe that I'm gonna have seven books out in the world. Imean, it really talk about magic. Like I actually wrote about that in my, uh,my first Acknowledgments, how magical it is to get a book out in the worldhave seven feels kind of unbelievable. But I've actually been thinking aboutunder the Southern sky for about five years, so I'm so excited that it'sfinally out. It's definitely, ah, Book of my Heart. And it is about aninvestigative journalist named Amelia who inadvertently discovers that acluster of frozen embryos belonging to her childhood from Parker and his latewife, Greer, have been deemed abandoned. So she has put in the unenviableposition to have to tell Parker. And then, in turn, he has to make adecision about what to do with these embryos that are, um, really and trulythe Onley being left of his late wife. Eso the stories told from the point ofview of Amelia, who's the journalist and her mother, Elizabeth, because weall need a good Southern meddling mama to kinda cute story rolling on. ThenParker, who is the father of these embryos. And then we get to see alittle snippets of his late wife Greer through her journal injuries. And soevery character in this book has a secret. Mostly that don't really haveanything to do with the embryos. But as the secrets revealed, they end updictating what happens to them in the...

...end of the story. So I'm so excited Ican't wait to share it with you guys on, and yeah, it's great to Thanks forletting me share. Amazing. It's a big night. It's a big night. We're veryexcited for you. And, you know, that beautiful cover reminds me that yes,for the next few months is gonna be tough. We still have weird going on,but summer will be here, you know, I mean that I just want to dive rightinto that cover, and it's gonna be a beautiful writer time. It looks OK. Ewants to order it right now, because that way they know they have a littlebit of this summer. Yeah, e you really owe it to yourself, right? E? Well, I'mwondering it now. We also have a wonderful book seller this week.Bethany Beach Books in Delaware, one of the stores that has done an amazing jobwith virtual events during the pandemic. I know most of us stop there on ourvirtual tours this year and have done live events with them in the past, sowe look forward to joining them in person again. But in the meantime, wehope that you'll check them out tonight. The link is on our Facebook page andyou'll get 10% off our new releases with the code We love F and F 2020. Andthat's we love F ampersand F 2020. And, of course, that includes Christie'sBeautiful under the Southern sky. So you could be among the very first topreorder it and get, you know, get Summer ordered up its summer on its way.Thio on. If you do order from them this week, you're going to get one of oursuper fun friends and fiction cozies, then have these really cute quotepostcards that come with the book that I'll send you dio And I don't eventhink I've told you guys this yet, But I talked to Bethany Beach books, and ifyou place an order with them for anything, not just my book but foranything. This week you'll be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card. Soit's a good week. That zone full. Oh, perfect. When? Well oh, that's perfect.Okay, so, as I mentioned, will be talking tonight about the magic ofbooks, books like Christie's and how They've changed Lives. But I know thatthey've changed yours, too. So many of you shared your stories this week, andwe want to read a few of your comments allowed. Mary Alice, would you like tostart? Yes, this is from Bronwyn Lunceford, and she said, and I lovethis as a child. One of the first books I purchased on my own and enjoyed wasFrances Hodgson Burnett, the Little Princess Andi. I reread it severaltimes since I love how the neighborly secret neighbors secretly deliversitems of comfort to Sarah in the attic, and she thinks it's magic. I frequentlylook for the silver lining in things thanks to the book Awesome, and I'vegot, um, a comment left by Mag or Maggie Rodriguez, who said My mompassed away when I was 11. My life became very difficult with her passingreading transported me to different worlds and times reading ease my pain.I still read voraciously, and I'm still transported to magical places. Nancy Britt said having an eyedisfiguration from a birth defect was tough as a child. As we all know, otherkids can be cruel reading. Always put me with friends and in other places. Ihad really friends, but books taught me to be strong and that others haveissues as well. And that took the focus off of me. Mm and Morgan Bowen said. I became anavid reader in my adult life after switching jobs fast forward a bit, andI ended up joining a local book club. Those women are now my rock, so readingis not only my preferred method of entertainment, but has also blessed mewith a group of friends. I can't imagine what I would do without. Weknow how that feels, Way dio, and that's so awesome because, you know, Ithink we all feel similarly, and I know I do. These four women have become someof my closest friends, and it's the magic of books that has connected us.So, Ladies, I wanted to ask you for how you feel about the magic of books sothese last few months, we've needed a lot of magic in our lives. I feel like2020 has been a tough year in a lot of ways, and I know it's still tough.We're still in this kind of crazy time of uncertainty. For me, books have beena comfort because they take us again and again into a world that's normal or,in other cases, a world that reminds us that this, too, shall pass. So for oneof our friends and fiction members, Rivka Estrin, who has five kids,reading has been a big help during this time, she said, because of quarantine,I've already read 56 books, and it's on Lee. September books have been aliteral lifeline for me amidst the anxiety due to this pandemic and AnisaJoy Armstrong says, Books have been my...

...grace since mid March, as I couldescape into them and forget about the craziness that we now live in every day.So I would love to know ladies, how the magic of reading or writing has helpedsee you through the weirdness and isolation of this pandemic. Mary Kay,Did you on his part? Um, no. Okay. Who would like just right.That's hilarious. Thistle is what being on one of our zero called. Okay,Alright, Okay. Which somebody Oh, what Christie, would you like to tell us?Sure, I'll start. This is so funny to you because, I mean, I knew what wewere talking about tonight, but this did not hit me until right now. Youknow that that Roald Dahl quote that says watch with glittering eyes thewhole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden inthe most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never findit. And I just I love that, you know that you have to believe in the magicto be able to find it. Um, Reading, of course, has been huge during thepandemic. And I feel like like everyone was saying really took us to adifferent place. But for me, I think writing and I'm sure we probably a lotof us feel this way. It's kind of the lens through which I see the world andso going to the page every day. I wasn't writing about the pandemic. Iwasn't writing about all the things that have changed or things that werehard or home schooling or launching a book. That doesn't mean I wasn'twriting about any of that. But somehow it's like all these things come out onthe page and you can, um there's something really cathartic aboutwriting, even through a character or a totally different story. But justletting go of some sort of emotion that you have sort of pent up. Um, I thinkyou know, our morning writing sprints and just coming to the page everysingle day, especially, you know, during the time when everything wasreally closed and we were in the house, it was, I mean, amazing. It really wasa game changer. Yeah, I completely agree. Mary Alice, what about you? Ithink we were talking earlier that for me audio books has been really helpfulbecause I you know, when you're working hard on the computer all day, your eyesjust get sore. And I've tried those glasses and they do help a little. ButI can still get lost in a story in an audio book, and you still have all yoursenses involved. You visualized the characters. It's not like watchingtelevision or a movie it's your you're creating. I love it's been a realsurprise how much I fell in love with audio books. Well, that's good. Andwhat a perfect kind of kind of rediscover them. That's great, Patty.How about you? I mean, how has reading and writing helped me during theweirdness of the pandemic? I mean, I think it saved me. So reading is alwaysgrounded. Me, which seems kind of the opposite thing to say because we oftentalk about reading to escape. But reading is always let me kind ofconnect to that live wire inside of myself that is separate from all thedrama going around. Maybe that's not the best way to imagine it, but for me,it's like this live wire of the truth, and it's separate from everything else.And so reading helps me stay grounded instead of escaping in many ways andwriting to, um if I'm writing with intention, and I'm not just mindlesslytrying to get the words on the page, which I also dio we all dio. But if I'mwithin attention, it brings me back to myself like Christie was just talkingabout. It brings me back to center I think, and I've watched it witheverybody, including my family. It's and including myself. It's really easyto start to spin out of control with worry and doomsday predictions and lossof control and helplessness is a really bad feeling. I know I sent all of youall that article about surge capacity and how we only have so much in us, andwe can only take so much. So there are different things that bringus back to center and Philip our capacity again. And that's what storiesand reading and writing do for me. If I do them with intention and attention,it is such a good point. How about you, Mary Kay? Have you had time to collectyour E? Think reading certain books remind me of the joy lost you know somuch of spring when it should have been a glorious green times kind of gray andterrifying. Um, I can think of a couple books that I got myself immersed in,and when I stopped reading, I was like, Oh, that's joy. Yeah, that's the joy of,ah, of a great ending of characters...

...that you want to hear more from, Um,and so that to me, has been the gift. You're absolutely right. That's such agood point. So to all of you out there who are watching us, if you have anyquestions for us about the magic of books for any comments, Patty's gonnabe reading a few in just a couple minutes. But, ladies, when I thinkabout the magic in books, I think a lot about the way BookScan sometimes changethat. Change us at our core, just kind of by showing us something that wasthere all along within us. Can you tell us about a time where you've learnedsomething profound about yourself or about the world around you from a book?It could be a book you've read. It could be a book you've written, but Ithink I think books teach us important lessons. Patty, do you want to start usoff this time? Sure, I think it's been both for me reading and writing, and ifI started to list all the books that have have kind of shifted somethinginside of me with you, Sean would have to disconnect me from the show.Disconnect Patty. But I think it's been both reading and writing. I think thatwe're, um sometimes we'll read a book and then 10 years later we'll pick itup and it's a completely different book, and then it impacts us, right, becausebooks are a living thing, they're not these stagnant things stories air aliveand so I could read something and then read it 10 years later and completelyaltered my life. But one fiction book, since I could only pick one fictionthat really changed me. It was at a really difficult time in my life when Ifirst moved to the South and I grew up up north and I moved to the South and Ipicked up and Rivers Siddons Peach Tree Road. And it was the first time that Iunderstood the South in a different way because I was new to it. And I was like,Oh, that's what all of this is about And I kind of opened up in a new wayafter that. And then the one of the million's will Not millions, but one ofthe hundreds of nonfiction books that definitely shifted the way I thoughtabout the world and about writing was Madeleine Lingle's walking on waterthat was a game changer for me that opened me up to the world in anentirely new way. It's awesome. And every book I write this every book youwrite changes you. Yeah, I feel the same way. And it's you almost don'texpect the change when you go in tow. The writing. I'm constantly surprisedwhen a book I've written or that I'm working on begins to change me, and ithappens every time. But somehow I never see it coming. Yeah, that's such a goodpoint. Patty. Mary Alice, How about you? You know, if this was really hard, Ithink I looked over the years of my life and I see them as eras. You know,this was my my youthful air of my young mother era. That and I think differentbooks have have touched me at different points. You know, I think the one thatwas the most surprising was when I was in graduate school and I was studyingJapanese language and culture, and I lived in me, you know, it was we talkedto Japanese all day long, but I remember I started writing my firstnovel then and it was a Japanese historical, and I was still publishingsomeday. But what was interesting was I was writing it when James Clavellshotgun came out about this big, and it was the first time that I ever read.And I was a scholar, Japanese scholar. And it was the first time that I hadread a novel where the history was so accurate and so perfectly told. I mean,you have all the different names of reading like story. You have to haveall the names up there to remember who the characters are, But he called theArmy's the Browns the oranges. He figured out how to bring a culturethrough another world. And I remember being in all as a This isn't so much apersonal as much as a writer that I realized this is truly a hole for allyour historical authors, especially, Ah, talent. How do you make hath truly comealive? How do you make all those facts relevant? And I think even forcontemporaries, that lesson was so important to facts. Are facts on Lee Ifin a non fiction it's blah in a novel, they have to have meaning. They have tocome from the point of view of the character and have to be relevant. AndI think shotgun was that for me? That's awesome. Mary Kay. How about you? Youknow, I had to think all the way back to 96 when I read Frank McCourt'sAngela's Ashes. My father's parents were both Irish immigrants. In fact, mygrandmother, I've just recently I...

...learned, um, was an indentured servantcame over on a boat with $5 in her pocket, and she, her employer, paid herfare and I met. I never knew my grandparent's very well. My grandfather,Poppy, died when I was eight. Nanny, my grandmother. I only saw her for twoweeks. Every year. When she come to stay with us in May, we would alwaysbeg her to tell us stories about the old country, and she would alwaysrefuse, she said there was nothing there that she wanted to remember.Those were bad hard times, and I never understood that until I read Angela'sashes. And, you know, up until that time Ithought my idea of Ireland was shamrocks and little people and tweetand happy people and pubs and all the things Uh, it wasn't the hard times,and reading that book really kind of gave me an insight into mygrandmother's rock ribbed character and her deeply felt faith. And it wasinteresting because my mother, who was very different from her mother in law,she read that book and just she said, If she finally it finally taught herhow to understand her mother in law, who was long there at that time. So Ithink Angela's ashes is one of those books that has stayed with me. You know,I think it's just extraordinary when you read something completely outsideyourself and it helps you to understand something inside yourself so muchbetter. I mean, that's just truly it's magical. It's extraordinary to me.Christie, how about you? You know, this is such a good question to me, and Ithought a lot about being a child, and I love to read so much. I mean, I stilldo, obviously, but what it was that I really like to read about and what itis now that I really like to write about. And I think in both of thoseinstances it's those kind of shades of gray in our lives where you know, whenwe're Children and things were right or they're wrong. And I think it wasreading that made me sort of start to realize that people can dio the wrongthing, but do it for the right reason or they can dio the right thing but doit for the wrong reason. And I think I've written both of those characterson git. Actually really made me think about becoming Mrs Lewis. And, you know,I love that book so much. E remember texting Patty. I was had an advancedcopy, and I was like sitting by the pool reading it and texting her andbeing like, this book has a pulse. Like when you were talking about books beingalive. Um, and it it was so interesting. Like, hit me today that one of thereasons that I love that book so much is that, you know, you talk about thisimprobable love story and how it was so unlikely. Um, but you have this womanthat really, you know, had this man where everything in his life wascompletely black and white, and she sort of becomes that shade of gray thatchanges everything for him because he realizes that maybe everything isn'tblack and white. Maybe you could do things that might be the wrong thing,But maybe you didn't have a choice. Or maybe they were for the right reason.Andi, I just love that I love stories like that because I think all of ourlives, you know, the older we get, the more I think the less we judge otherpeople too. Because the way we realize our lives can really be so Oh, he wouldcry a little bit. Thank you. Sorry. You know how much I love that book, thoughI really dio Yeah, I love it. It's one of my favorites. Things has been yourweekly mascara test, E o Christie. Oh, Christie, As you were talking, I wasthinking about just the fascinating irony. That's something that's blackand white on the page. Teaches us all the shades of gray. That was such ainteresting e a 50 shades of gray e grab that I meant Okay. Who got it? Whodidn't? Who was it reading? It would not read it. No part of a you know, Butbelieve it or not, I didn't expect 50 shades of gray to come up during ourbook. A quick commercial break on that note to remind you all that BethanyBeach Books in Delaware is offering 10% off of all of our new releases,including Christie's upcoming Under the Southern Sky, which she shared with usearly in the show. So just pick under announcements on our Facebook page forthe Link and the 10% off code Patty, I know you have some reader questions,reader comments in there. Did you want to read us something? I do First. I'mgonna read a couple of comments because they're so beautiful. Y'all we'retalking about magic and the magic of reading and how it's brought ustogether, Katherine Lee says. Because...

...of this time, she has read more booksin the past six months than in the past three years. Excellent. Yep. Andan.Another comment is from Rochelle Rosen, who says that she has started readingFiona Davis, thanks to friends and fiction on and um, one more comment.And then I do have a question from a couple people. Nancy Len Jin says thatfriends and fiction has created Why am I so weepy tonight, Lord Almighty saysthat Holly has created a calmness and togetherness in the chaos of time.Thank you for your friendship and humor. Amazing. What a great you can't cry.She's looking for some humor. E o. To the question, and I think this is areally great question, because, um, it's four readers and it's aboutreading in this time. Elizabeth Howard asks. What advice would you givenormally avid readers who are struggling to focus and finish booksduring the pandemic, which has never happened before? Mm audiobooks. Iseriously audio books. I had a hard not reading and audio books was just suchan amazing experience. And it surprised me how much I loved him and and itdidn't it didn't take away from the love of the reading of a book on paper.Maybe try, um, y a novels. Oh, you know, great idea with why I think a lot ofthe heart of the story. You get to it quicker because middle grade andyounger audiences, um, don't have the patience to wade through really denseprose. So and there's so many amazing Y A authors working today, um, you can gotoe you could go toe online bookstore and ask them about Y andrecommendations. I'd say. Try y A. Try something completely great. Answer whatyou've been reading or return to a favorite book that carries somememories for you. You know, I think sometimes at a time when the worldfeels like spinning out of control or going haywire, returning to somethingfamiliar, um can bring you some comfort. And, you know, it was a go ahead. I'msorry. No, I'm just saying that to that point. Someone on our face on the grouppage today asked is Does anyone have a book that they read over and over again?And I'm curious what transfers were like. You have a book that you justmean. I said pride and prejudice. I must have read that book 100 times.Eyes that What about child? Do you have a to Christians point a book that makesyou feel good that you go back and you re read several times I've read it.Three guys in Brooklyn, like, a million times. Um, I just read it again, likelast year, which I have said that a million times on the show. But I wasalso going to say This is kind of to marry case point to My suggestion wasto read a different genre, and I've had that same struggle like I've had a Imean, there were so many books like yours, books I flew through. I'm notjust saying that because you're here, but, like, you know, just flew throughthem and they were just exactly what I needed. And then, like Fiona's new book,I just flew through Emily's book, Ellen's book, Like these books I wasjust flying through, and then I was kind of picking things up in sort ofhitting a wall a little bit. And I knew as I was picking them up like, This isa beautiful, wonderful book and I want to read it. But I just couldn't like itjust wasn't the right thing on dso I finally just settled on actually juststarted, the vanishing happened. It's so good and I was like, Yes, like, thisis exactly what I needed to read. But you just sometimes you don't know. It'ssomething that normally like doesn't work. This might not be the right thing,and that's the beauty of a book club and In a sense, our friends and fictionis a book club. Well, because we have different office and all theirdifferent books, we are reading books that it may not be our usual lane onThat's what your That's what your point is. So you it is opening our eyes tonew authors and new styles of writing. And I've been really enjoyed reading.Everyone's all the author's books, and it's different. I'm reading KathyReichs now, and it's a mystery, and I'm not a big mystery reader, but it's thewhole fun genre. It's a whole another experience. Like you, said E also think,um, for this reader who asked this Elizabeth Howard to be gentle withyourself, right? Like, don't be like Oh my gosh, I've got I've got to be Youknow, other people are flying through books and, like I was talking aboutearlier that surge capacity, everybody's life. Circumstances aredifferent, and our focus has been a lot more difficult during this time, and Ithink it's okay to just give yourself a little bit of a break. But all thesesuggestions to and I was going to say what you said, Christie changing genresometimes helps. Yeah, that's such a good one. Another one. You know what?Let's So we have. What is the y? A book? A y A book? That's a great question.It's a young adult novel, Um, and so...

...young adult novels, Air typicallywritten for what? I can't blanking on the age range like 12 toe seven. Oh,that's middle grade. It's more commitment, I think. Middle grades 8 to12. So No, no, not anymore. And actually, who reads them? The youngadult is actually now becoming more. 8 16. 2 twenties? Yeah, yeah. Young,adult, new adult. I think there's a little bit of overlap there, but you'reright. Yes, eso Why a basically means written for for teenagers and there'syeah, way that skews a little younger and way that skews a little bit olderare very a lot of them tackle very, um, sophisticated topics. And, um, and thewriting is terrific. Yeah, absolutely. And there are so many way books thatare very popular with adults, too. So it's not like you just be picking upsomething that you know only teenagers or reading. I think a lot of y a or alot of adults exclusively read Y A, which is kind of my friends in my bookclub. Read exclusively one. Yep, absolutely, absolutely. Eso Speaking ofreaders and all these great reader questions that you had in comment, Iwould love to share a fume or reader comments left for us earlier about themagic of books were just so many compelling ones. Patty, do you want tostart us off? Sure. So Gina Davis Williams said books with theirincredible stories have helped me refocus my thoughts, which is whatwe're talking about. I have been through some major life traumas andtransitions over the last seven years. Theo. Ending of a 32 year marriage, myspouse's descent into drug addiction, the financial fallout. Kids leaving thenest. Career changes you name it without these stories that youincredible ladies and others have written, my mental health would havegone into a black hole of despair. The stories take me out of my own head andinto other worlds. No. Powerful. Yeah, absolutely. Mary Alice, do you have one?Glad Yes, Carrie Miranda said. I was a painfully shy child. Books were myfriends and my social life. Now that I'm grown, they're still my happy placein my escape books are my therapy when life is hard and my joy when life feelseasy and happy. I'm a teacher now, and my very favorite thing is when I canfind the right book to turn a kid into a reader for life. I love that Mary Kay um, Iris Garrett said.Everybody has a past they hate. What a great quote, that ISS. Yeah, a memoriesof that past always show up when you're trying to go to sleep. When I'm readinga book that draws me in and just submerges my brain in the action, thecharacters, even the weather, well, then them. I can close my eyes anddream on in the book. My passes far, far away. What a great! That's a greatthing to say, Nicole Fincher said. Books from my Magic portal to otherworlds. They were my escape from fighting abuse, loneliness and despair,and Karen Krinsky said something that I think we all feel books are likefriends that were there for me, e like every quote. You got everyone out there.You you all have such wonderful things to say I mean, I wish we had wished wehad our episode tonight. We could read many, many more of your quote. So manyof them were so beautiful and so meaningful. And it means so much to us.Think his authors to hear that because, you know, we kind of right in a vacuumand you don't know sometimes because they're having an impact or if they'rejust entertaining people. Um, but, you know, do you ever just to the four ofyou do you ever think about what an incredible gift it is? Is a writer tobe able to work a little magic in other people's lives once in a while? It'ssomething I kind of forget when I get caught up in the day to day sloggingthrough trying to meet those deadlines. Um, but for me, I always feel so verymoved when a reader tells me that one of my novels about World War two, whichoften involve family relationships across the generations, has helped themto better understand their own past or the past of their loved ones, um, oreven the present and how it's impacted by the past. That means something to mewhen it opens up a family discussion. Um, I even had someone write to me oncea reader in Russia to tell me that one of the storylines that a book that hadreally nothing to do with this reminded her she was worth something. And sheleft an abusive relationship because of it. So that rocked me to my core. Justnot only that the book had the power to do that, but that a book that I didn'tset out to write to that end moved somebody that way. So you kind of neverknow what affect your words they're gonna have on people, which I think isamazing. So how about the four of you? What have you heard from readers? Andwhat is that meant to you? Um I know, uh, Mary Kay, you were talking ahead oftime about something that sounded really powerful. Can can you tell me?You know? You know, I had an email a few years ago from a woman that told methat she and her mother had always...

...loved sharing books. My books,especially on her mother, was in hospice, and she said every night shewould go the nursing home and she would sit by her mother's bed and she wouldread her chapter of my latest book, and then they would laugh and talk about it.And she said he gave her mother something to look forward to everynight that time they spent together. The last time they chair, I've got alittle weeping e No, What's wrong? Last time, say chair until finally hermother's death. And so whenever I think of that, I think about the two of themsitting together in a little bubble of light with the warmth right there. Thenight is closing in, and that light is going out and I got to be with them. That is amazing. And you're making metear up to and you know what's so incredible is when when you sat down towrite that book, you weren't thinking that was going to be the way that itwas affect someone. But I feel like books speak to you the way they needThio at the time you need them to, and that that's just part of the incrediblemagic that a book that means one thing toe one person could mean something soentirely different and meaningful and life changing to someone else. It'sincredible. Um, Chris, how about you? Um, yeah, I just always shocks andamazes me What? People take away. I'm gonna tell you like a reallyabbreviated version of this story, but I'll tell it here one day because thereare so many layers of serendipity to it that it's kind of shocking. Um, butit's actually only happened about maybe a year ago, but someone emailed myhusband and said, Are you married to Christie? What's in Harvey? And he saidyes. Like weird. Andi he I mean, they had, like, run across each other on,like, a voting for, um, like something really random. And he said, Can youplease tell her this story for me? Andi, He told my husband that he and his wifehad been through a lot of struggles trying to have Children and that, um,they were in the midst of an adoption, and it just got really, reallycomplicated and that they just decided they thought they were gonna have towalk away like they were just really frustrated. It was really challenging.Is those situations? Could be, um, and his mother had read an article aboutDear Carolina, which was my first book in a newspaper, and she bought it justkind of randomly and gave it to his wife. And she read the book and decidedthat she wanted to keep fighting that she wanted. This was her baby, and shewas going to fight, and this was what she wanted. Now here's the crazy part.The little girl's name was Carolina, and she was born on May 5th, 2015 whichis the day that your Carolina released. Yeah, like like they're just thingslike that that happened. Like, there's a thing that you would write in a bookand people would be like, Right? Like that couldn't happen. But really I mean,I remember like when he read me that email and I was, like, astonished thatyou know, something like that. Um, yeah, that's crazy. You just never know. Younever know. I mean, a book is I think there for a reason that we have neverin our lives planned. You are. You're absolutely right. What an incrediblestory. Patty, how about you? Wow, I'm still in Christie's story. I think ethink you're right. There's this, um, alchemy, this magic that happens afterwe're done the book and it becomes something else for whatever it needs tobe to the next person, right? I quoted it here before, but that quote byMadeline Wangle that a book becomes a bridge between the reader and thewriter and in, in, In the reader crossing that bridge, the book becomessomething else entirely for them. So that's an amazing story. I thinkhearing from readers, as we all can attest, is one of our favorite thingsabout writing. It's one of the most oh, enchanting things about writing a bookis when it reaches the world and then it reaches, we put it in the world, andthen it comes back to us like a boomerang well, except for the meanpeople. But on the whole, it's amazing. I think hearing from readers is quiteliterally like that theater idea of breaking the fourth wall, right? Youknow when, when the when the actor turns to the to the audience and startstalking, that's what getting a reader letter feels like. Um, usually when Iget one, I just kind of offer up a moment of gratitude because it feels soastounding. But one of the most profound letters I received is from awoman I actually ended up meeting and spending a lot of time with, but shewas so influenced by Joy David Mons Journey because she this woman had beenthrough breast cancer. And she was so influenced by Joyce Journey that sheflew to meet me and she wrote a thesis about it. It is one beautiful. It's a40 page thesis about becoming Mrs Lewis...

...with cross referencing toe, a griefobserved and surprised by joy. And it's such a beautiful piece that I keep itin my bookshelves. And then she ended up taking a sojourn to England andmapping out her whole trip, according Thio, the places in the book. Wow, Iknow that's when I know the book, and you all know this, too. It's not I'mnot telling you. Think you don't know? That's when the book becomes somethingmuch bigger than you much bigger than your worry. That happens absolutely,absolutely well, you know, when speaking of a book being somethingbigger, much bigger than you, Mary Alice, I know you had a beautiful storyyou wanted to share that you had mentioned. I'm really looking forwardto here. And you tell this story. This was a surprise. This one. It was forthe butterflies, daughter. And I think like you said, everybody, I share allyour comments that each book reaches the right person at the right time andyou're always grateful. But with this one, it was, um it was a long book tourfor the butterflies daughter, really 40 plus stops. And what was amazing to manthe whole tour was when I talked to the audience about how in many cultures,the butterfly particular the monarch butterfly is held by a lot of culturesare believed to have been messengers from loved ones and every stop. And I'mnot exaggerating in every stop, someone came to me and told me about anincident in their life with a butter flight. Ah, young bride with abutterfly on her shoulder as she walked down the aisle or a death or a birth.And so I was actually becoming aware that this was ah, phenomenon. But whenI when I was in Winnetka, Illinois, um, it was meeting the group before and Itwas a mother and a daughter. We met and then I started talking and I wastalking about the messenger aspect of the monarch Butterfly on. I saw thatthe mother got up and left the room. She was crying. And, you know, you'reyou're aware of it when you're speaking, but you can't stop eso. Afterwards, thedaughter came up to me and said, I just want to apologize and tell you mymother, um what got emotional? Because my brother, her son was killed in theWorld Trade Center on 9 11. And the next morning, when they opened thedoors, the whole front yard was filled with monarch butterfly ing. Can youimagine that? And the mother just remembered and had to cry. And what Ithought was you, in all my years with animals has taught me we do not fullyunderstand the impact of nature and how we're all connected. E s. So you know,I just write the story. But that phenomenon occurs. And when you hearthat from your fans, you're just as moved as they are. Well, especiallywhen it's something that you've written in one of your novels. That kind ofbrings that brings that back to them because, you know, that was a momentthat she'd had but, you know, might not have a lot of for a while. And it waslistening to you speak and listening to, you know, you talk about that novelthat did that for her. That that is such a beautiful story. So I alsowanted to share one more quote from a reader. So this one's from StevieAugustine beget. Who says, When I was a child, I read every day for pleasureand still dio so many hours of adventure, romance, mysteries,biographies. What a big world along the way I started to live, quote unquotelive in a more diverse world. In my book choices theon, Pertuan, it easefor growth and personal awareness were numerous. Through books. I have learnedto walk a mile in someone else's shoes. It seems like that definitely is neededin our country today. So what a great reminders to be the books could make usbetter people just by reminding us to open our eyes to the beautiful, diversefabric of this world around us magic. And it s Oh, I wish we could talk. Iwish. Gosh, I can we just stay another 23 hours? E bathroom break? Maybe itwas such a good idea of yours to read the comments. I it's still moving well,and it just reminds me of again and again of the magic of this community. Imean, it's it's just made up of so many beautiful, wise, good people, and whatwe have in common is books and and that just it has never been more evident tome than it was this week. And I'm so happy we get to share a little bit ofthat with all of you out there. So, as you all know, we love to share awriting to you every week and this week are magical. Christie has offered togive us a tip, and since she writes well, she is magical because, as youall know, she writes like 10,000 words in a sitting, brushing her hair andriding her peloton and doing her nails. So she also runs a very successfuldesign block on the side, and she's...

...basically the source, all good friendsand fiction ideas that is so categorically untrue. Eso she's ourresident genius and I'm just gonna grab my little notebook. Could be takingnotes on every every piece of advice that she gives us right now. But no,because do you have a rating tip for us? I actually dio And I think this one isparticularly with my cover revealed today. I actually had a few peopleemail me and say, How do you write these books so fast? Although we all do,we all write a book a year. You all act like I'm like, turning these things out.Everyone is doing it. But one of the things that has really helped me isthat I learned just really early on I started writing books when Will was areally small baby And so there was never you didn't you never know whatyour time is gonna be is Christian Wilma's is we all well know? I mean,we've all been on this road together, and so what I would do is I sort oftrained myself to be ableto just start and stop wherever I waas. And if Istopped like if you started crying, I made myself a super quick note of whatwas going to come next. E could pick up the manuscript, pick up my laptop,whatever it waas and not have to go back and read what I'd already writtenand be right back where I waas and know exactly where I was going to go. And Istill do that because, you know, not much has changed. I mean, I think weall we all have a lot going on, and it does help to be able to sometimes pickup for 20 or 30 minutes and get some words in or be able to sort of advanceyour story in some way, especially when you're on a roll. But, you know,sometimes we get in that where we just always want to do is write all the time.And it's usually not reality s. Oh, yeah. I mean, I don't know how helpfulthat is, but it works really well. And I think it has helped me be abletoright books. Um, even when I really didn't have time to write books. Yeah,I love that. Your great great tip. Thank you, Christie. So every week welove to shout out a debut or something new we're loving. Who has a book theywould like to share this week. I've got one E. It's, uh, the last story.Minelli, Hold it up again. Yeah, Nancy, Julian, Kim. And, uh, she's Nancy isgonna be a guest. Uh, later on. And it arrived yesterday and I couldn't notstart reading it. And it's so good. It takes place in Korea town with a with aprotagonist, Um, who's been at odds with her very Korean mother. Um, andthere's a mystery in it, so I'm already loving it, and she will be. Nancy willbe our guest later on this year. E no, Me too. Me too. Gosh, I know I have alist a mile long. Yeah, exactly. Who else? Christie or Mariana? I sort ofmentioned I was reading the vanishing half, but I know we've all heard somuch about it, but then it is going to be our guest, um, on our somehow in ourfall schedule. So the book is it's this good is everything I've heard. I'm soexcited. Thio kind of get dive into it more deeply, but it's I'm hookedalready. I'm very excited about that one. Yeah, it's gonna be so good. I'mexcited about that to the episode? Yeah, it's gonna be a great chat. MaryAlistair. Patty, Did you have a book you wanted to mention? Or I just thatwe're introducing just a blur of the Kathy Reichs is coming Next week we'lltalk about that, but I'm reading her book now. That's the mystery I'mreading and I'm enjoying it. E. I am just finished and it is so good. Thanksto Kathy, I'm Mary Kay Andrews, who told us all about it because she fellin love with it. I just finished the Sweeney Sisters Way. Oh my God, I'm theoldest of three sisters and it's about three sisters and I can't wait. I'mgoing to send it to my sisters, but we're talking to Lian in two weeks, butit's an extraordinary book, and I know Kathy mentioned it a couple months ago,but she's she's always got her pulse on the good stuff, but she does. She's areading machine. A lot more than what? Uh huh, Patty, can you remind us aboutour brand new podcast and tell people how they can listen? We're so excited about the podcast andI am a podcast junkie. I probably listen to two or three a week andwithout traveling as much, I don't listen to them as much. So we'reexcited about ours. It was a total outgrowth of the magic and alchemy ofall of us being together. The conversations were so impactful that wewanted all of you to have another way to listen to them in case you couldn'tpass them on computer or you missed our Wednesday night. So are amazing. Teamat Audit Vida, which is the name of our company that's helping behind thescenes and the man behind the screen. Sean Head. We're gonna make him comeout here one day. We're gonna make them...

...come out and wave at everyone. Helpthat It wasn't just us doing this on the fly. We had a team helping us, andnow it's all available in a way that you can listen to, including the brandnew platform on Amazon. So however, you listen to podcasts, whether it'sSpotify apple, now it's all someone Amazon, and so there's a lot of ways tolisten to it. For those of you with smartphones, it's really easy. Once youknow where your podcasts are you? You too will be a podcast junkie like me.All you have to do is look at your phone and find the little podcastcircle on the iPhone. It's purple, I think, on the android It's likeburgundy color. You click on it, you enter friends in fiction in the searchbar. Wala. Yeah, all the shows and be patient. I saw a couple notices on thepage that how come all of them aren't up there? We're getting there. Have tobe produced and loaded. They're getting loaded one by one by one until we catchup to this show. But I think our Christie has a show. And tell E. Didyou know that you can listen to our friends and fiction podcast whileyou're working out? Simply select the podcast at from your phone type friendsand fiction in the search bar. And all of our new episodes will be right therein your podcast out. And while you're there, don't forget to rate us or leaveus a review that isn't such a But what you alldidn't see was that while she was doing that, she wrote about 1000 words e ototal peer pressure. We made her do that way where I'm sitting in mycushion tear going e always gotta work out in after because I was like, I'malready clipped into the way we'll keep going. But, Christina, now that we knowwe could bully you into things by the four of us applying pressure wereplotting our next uh eh. So it's really you pretty much a Christie video everyweek. E Love it. I love it. We're find new Christie videos every single week.Everybody videos. You want to see if Christie will let you? Leo, sleep calm.That's on the page. About what you want to see Christie doing next? E All right,Mary Kay, Do you want to tell us about the bonus episode that we have comingup this way? Have Christina Lauren coming up next. And, um, you know, westarted doing these behind the book bonus episodes a month ago. Focus.Focusing on craft. And we're all really looking forward to this Sunday's whichwill feature Christina Lauren. Now you may know that it's one name, butactually behind it. It's, um and they're the authors of best sellingnovels, including the mega bestselling beautiful bastard Siri's. But did youknow that Christina Lauren is actually two people? One name. This is theclever Park Christina named Lauren, Right? They'll both you with us thisSunday at 5 p.m. Eastern time talking about their brand new book in ah,holidays. Get it holidays de ese and telling us all about how they'rewriting partnership works. I can't wait to hear it. Thanks, Mom. I'm lookingfor a big Christmas holiday books and you know what? Gosh, I mean, if there'sany time that we need a good holiday book right now, let's get Christmasstarted. Let's get the Oh yeah, yeah, exactly. So, Mary Alice, can you tellus about the fabulous episode that you're going to be hosting next time? Iam so thrilled. All of us get to have another friend on Friends and fictionKathy Reichs. And she is the number one best selling mystery writer off thevery, very popular Bone Siri's. And this is her most recent book, AConspiracy of Bones. And she's gonna be talking about this story and I'll tellyou, I'm reading it now, and I'm on tenterhooks. You have a body offaceless body that she has to find the temperance Brenner has to find theidentity of you have a new resolved child murder that somehow connected toit. She's getting weird texts. And, of course, her abo with Inspector Ryan ison. Isn't it too? So it's a really good story and edge of your seat reading. Soshe's coming with us next week. And you all have time to read the book and theall No spoilers. Then when we have her on, um, next Wednesday night, Okay,Yeah, we're looking forward to it. So make sure to join us, um, Sunday atfive. On our Facebook page for...

Christina Lauren. And, of course, nextWednesday at seven. And, of course, that's Eastern Time with Kathy Reichs.So, one more time we want to encourage you to check out Bethany Beach booksand to use the code we love F and F 2020 for 10% off any of our newreleases. There are wonderful part of their community and a great purveyor ofthe most magical books, and we really appreciate them. So thank you so muchto all of you out there. What's that s e Oh, I'm looking Looking at my script,Not looking, Thio, all of you out there. Thank you. Thank you so much forjoining us tonight. Thank you for being a part of our world. And thank you forreminding us the magic of books Israel and that at the end of the day, thatmagic is a pact between the reader and the writer. The five of us writers areso happy to be walking this road with all of you. And we're so gratefulwhenever you choose to read one of her books And we're just so happy you'rehere with us on friends and fiction. Anything else before we go Ladies, thatwas you all. Thank you away a Come on alot right? Everyone, thank you so muchfor joining us. We'll see you on Sunday and we'll see you again next Wednesday.This is friends and fiction and that's a wrap e. You've been listening to thefriends and fiction podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the friends and fictionpodcast wherever you listen. And if you're enjoying it, leave a review. Youcan find the friends and fiction authors at www dot friends and fictiondot com. A swell as on the Facebook group page. Friends and fiction comeback soon. Okay? There are still lots of books writing tips, interviews,publishing news and bookstores to chat about goodbye.

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