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. Five best selling authors Endless Stories, Friends and Fiction is a podcast with five bestselling novelist whose common love of reading, writing an independent bookstores found them together with jets, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing. Thes 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. Best selling novelist 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, A Start of the Pandemic. They got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, their favorite bookstores writing, reading and publishing in this new, uncharted territory. They're still talking, and they've added fascinating discussions with other bestselling novelists, so join them live on their friends 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 Friends and Fiction, our weekly Facebook live show featuring author chat in support of independent bookstores. We're so glad you're here. And we're so glad that we're here to were truly honored among all of you. This is such a great community, more than 19,000 strong now, and it means so much to all of us. Be a part of it. So let's get started. I'm Christine Harmel, and my latest is the Book of Lost Names. I'm Christi Woodson Harvey, and my latest book is Feels Like 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 Kay Andrews. 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 data from. But this is special, too. It's just the five of us, your five resident friends and fiction authors, And when we're alone together like this, we get to dig a little deeper. Tonight we thought it would be nice to talk about magic, but not just any magic, the magic we all find within books the magic of the written word that has led us here to this community. The magic that connects us with each other and somehow at the same time transports us all 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 started out thinking we would do seven episodes, but here we are at what I think is beginning of a very long path. We're all gonna be walked. You've all been so wonderful and so supportive of us. And that, in and of itself is magic Were 25 episodes 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 very magical journey. So I wanted to start tonight with something else very magical to a cover reveal from our very own Christie Woodson, who's under the southern sky, is out in April. C. Can you tell us all about it and share your beautiful magical cover with us? Yes. I'm so excited. Oh, there it isn you guys. It's number seven, which I mean is lucky, right? E feel like it should be, but I can't believe that I'm gonna have seven books out in the world. I mean, 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 world have seven feels kind of unbelievable. But I've actually been thinking about under the Southern sky for about five years, so I'm so excited that it's finally out. It's definitely, ah, Book of my Heart. And it is about an investigative journalist named Amelia who inadvertently discovers that a cluster of frozen embryos belonging to her childhood from Parker and his late wife, Greer, have been deemed abandoned. So she has put in the unenviable position to have to tell Parker. And then, in turn, he has to make a decision about what to do with these embryos that are, um, really and truly the Onley being left of his late wife. Eso the stories told from the point of view of Amelia, who's the journalist and her mother, Elizabeth, because we all need a good Southern meddling mama to kinda cute story rolling on. Then Parker, who is the father of these embryos. And then we get to see a little snippets of his late wife Greer through her journal injuries. And so every character in this book has a secret. Mostly that don't really have anything to do with the embryos. But as the secrets revealed, they end up dictating what happens to them in the...

...end of the story. So I'm so excited I can't wait to share it with you guys on, and yeah, it's great to Thanks for letting me share. Amazing. It's a big night. It's a big night. We're very excited 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 right into that cover, and it's gonna be a beautiful writer time. It looks OK. E wants to order it right now, because that way they know they have a little bit of this summer. Yeah, e you really owe it to yourself, right? E? Well, I'm wondering 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 job with virtual events during the pandemic. I know most of us stop there on our virtual tours this year and have done live events with them in the past, so we look forward to joining them in person again. But in the meantime, we hope that you'll check them out tonight. The link is on our Facebook page and you'll get 10% off our new releases with the code We love F and F 2020. And that's we love F ampersand F 2020. And, of course, that includes Christie's Beautiful under the Southern sky. So you could be among the very first to preorder 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 our super fun friends and fiction cozies, then have these really cute quote postcards that come with the book that I'll send you dio And I don't even think I've told you guys this yet, But I talked to Bethany Beach books, and if you place an order with them for anything, not just my book but for anything. This week you'll be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card. So it'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 of books, books like Christie's and how They've changed Lives. But I know that they've changed yours, too. So many of you shared your stories this week, and we want to read a few of your comments allowed. Mary Alice, would you like to start? Yes, this is from Bronwyn Lunceford, and she said, and I love this as a child. One of the first books I purchased on my own and enjoyed was Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Little Princess Andi. I reread it several times since I love how the neighborly secret neighbors secretly delivers items of comfort to Sarah in the attic, and she thinks it's magic. I frequently look for the silver lining in things thanks to the book Awesome, and I've got, um, a comment left by Mag or Maggie Rodriguez, who said My mom passed away when I was 11. My life became very difficult with her passing reading 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 eye disfiguration from a birth defect was tough as a child. As we all know, other kids can be cruel reading. Always put me with friends and in other places. I had really friends, but books taught me to be strong and that others have issues as well. And that took the focus off of me. Mm and Morgan Bowen said. I became an avid reader in my adult life after switching jobs fast forward a bit, and I ended up joining a local book club. Those women are now my rock, so reading is not only my preferred method of entertainment, but has also blessed me with a group of friends. I can't imagine what I would do without. We know how that feels, Way dio, and that's so awesome because, you know, I think we all feel similarly, and I know I do. These four women have become some of 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 so these last few months, we've needed a lot of magic in our lives. I feel like 2020 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 been a 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 one of 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 a literal lifeline for me amidst the anxiety due to this pandemic and Anisa Joy Armstrong says, Books have been my...

...grace since mid March, as I could escape 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 helped see 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 we were talking about tonight, but this did not hit me until right now. You know that that Roald Dahl quote that says watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. And I just I love that, you know that you have to believe in the magic to be able to find it. Um, Reading, of course, has been huge during the pandemic. And I feel like like everyone was saying really took us to a different place. But for me, I think writing and I'm sure we probably a lot of us feel this way. It's kind of the lens through which I see the world and so going to the page every day. I wasn't writing about the pandemic. I wasn't writing about all the things that have changed or things that were hard or home schooling or launching a book. That doesn't mean I wasn't writing about any of that. But somehow it's like all these things come out on the page and you can, um there's something really cathartic about writing, even through a character or a totally different story. But just letting go of some sort of emotion that you have sort of pent up. Um, I think you know, our morning writing sprints and just coming to the page every single day, especially, you know, during the time when everything was really closed and we were in the house, it was, I mean, amazing. It really was a game changer. Yeah, I completely agree. Mary Alice, what about you? I think we were talking earlier that for me audio books has been really helpful because I you know, when you're working hard on the computer all day, your eyes just get sore. And I've tried those glasses and they do help a little. But I can still get lost in a story in an audio book, and you still have all your senses involved. You visualized the characters. It's not like watching television or a movie it's your you're creating. I love it's been a real surprise how much I fell in love with audio books. Well, that's good. And what 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 the weirdness of the pandemic? I mean, I think it saved me. So reading is always grounded. Me, which seems kind of the opposite thing to say because we often talk about reading to escape. But reading is always let me kind of connect to that live wire inside of myself that is separate from all the drama 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 and writing to, um if I'm writing with intention, and I'm not just mindlessly trying to get the words on the page, which I also dio we all dio. But if I'm within attention, it brings me back to myself like Christie was just talking about. It brings me back to center I think, and I've watched it with everybody, including my family. It's and including myself. It's really easy to start to spin out of control with worry and doomsday predictions and loss of control and helplessness is a really bad feeling. I know I sent all of you all that article about surge capacity and how we only have so much in us, and we can only take so much. So there are different things that bring us back to center and Philip our capacity again. And that's what stories and 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 collect your E? Think reading certain books remind me of the joy lost you know so much of spring when it should have been a glorious green times kind of gray and terrifying. 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 a good point. So to all of you out there who are watching us, if you have any questions for us about the magic of books for any comments, Patty's gonna be reading a few in just a couple minutes. But, ladies, when I think about the magic in books, I think a lot about the way BookScan sometimes change that. Change us at our core, just kind of by showing us something that was there all along within us. Can you tell us about a time where you've learned something 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 I think I think books teach us important lessons. Patty, do you want to start us off this time? Sure, I think it's been both for me reading and writing, and if I started to list all the books that have have kind of shifted something inside 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 that we're, um sometimes we'll read a book and then 10 years later we'll pick it up and it's a completely different book, and then it impacts us, right, because books are a living thing, they're not these stagnant things stories air alive and so I could read something and then read it 10 years later and completely altered my life. But one fiction book, since I could only pick one fiction that really changed me. It was at a really difficult time in my life when I first moved to the South and I grew up up north and I moved to the South and I picked up and Rivers Siddons Peach Tree Road. And it was the first time that I understood 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 way after that. And then the one of the million's will Not millions, but one of the hundreds of nonfiction books that definitely shifted the way I thought about the world and about writing was Madeleine Lingle's walking on water that was a game changer for me that opened me up to the world in an entirely new way. It's awesome. And every book I write this every book you write changes you. Yeah, I feel the same way. And it's you almost don't expect the change when you go in tow. The writing. I'm constantly surprised when a book I've written or that I'm working on begins to change me, and it happens every time. But somehow I never see it coming. Yeah, that's such a good point. Patty. Mary Alice, How about you? You know, if this was really hard, I think 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 different books have have touched me at different points. You know, I think the one that was the most surprising was when I was in graduate school and I was studying Japanese language and culture, and I lived in me, you know, it was we talked to Japanese all day long, but I remember I started writing my first novel then and it was a Japanese historical, and I was still publishing someday. But what was interesting was I was writing it when James Clavell shotgun 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 had read 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 have all the names up there to remember who the characters are, But he called the Army's the Browns the oranges. He figured out how to bring a culture through another world. And I remember being in all as a This isn't so much a personal as much as a writer that I realized this is truly a hole for all your historical authors, especially, Ah, talent. How do you make hath truly come alive? How do you make all those facts relevant? And I think even for contemporaries, that lesson was so important to facts. Are facts on Lee If in a non fiction it's blah in a novel, they have to have meaning. They have to come from the point of view of the character and have to be relevant. And I think shotgun was that for me? That's awesome. Mary Kay. How about you? You know, I had to think all the way back to 96 when I read Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. My father's parents were both Irish immigrants. In fact, my grandmother, I've just recently I...

...learned, um, was an indentured servant came over on a boat with $5 in her pocket, and she, her employer, paid her fare 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 two weeks. Every year. When she come to stay with us in May, we would always beg her to tell us stories about the old country, and she would always refuse, 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's ashes. And, you know, up until that time I thought my idea of Ireland was shamrocks and little people and tweet and 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 my grandmother's rock ribbed character and her deeply felt faith. And it was interesting 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 her how to understand her mother in law, who was long there at that time. So I think 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 outside yourself and it helps you to understand something inside yourself so much better. 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 I thought a lot about being a child, and I love to read so much. I mean, I still do, obviously, but what it was that I really like to read about and what it is now that I really like to write about. And I think in both of those instances it's those kind of shades of gray in our lives where you know, when we're Children and things were right or they're wrong. And I think it was reading that made me sort of start to realize that people can dio the wrong thing, but do it for the right reason or they can dio the right thing but do it for the wrong reason. And I think I've written both of those characters on 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 advanced copy, and I was like sitting by the pool reading it and texting her and being like, this book has a pulse. Like when you were talking about books being alive. Um, and it it was so interesting. Like, hit me today that one of the reasons that I love that book so much is that, you know, you talk about this improbable love story and how it was so unlikely. Um, but you have this woman that really, you know, had this man where everything in his life was completely black and white, and she sort of becomes that shade of gray that changes everything for him because he realizes that maybe everything isn't black 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 our lives, you know, the older we get, the more I think the less we judge other people too. Because the way we realize our lives can really be so Oh, he would cry a little bit. Thank you. Sorry. You know how much I love that book, though I really dio Yeah, I love it. It's one of my favorites. Things has been your weekly mascara test, E o Christie. Oh, Christie, As you were talking, I was thinking about just the fascinating irony. That's something that's black and white on the page. Teaches us all the shades of gray. That was such a interesting e a 50 shades of gray e grab that I meant Okay. Who got it? Who didn't? Who was it reading? It would not read it. No part of a you know, But believe it or not, I didn't expect 50 shades of gray to come up during our book. A quick commercial break on that note to remind you all that Bethany Beach 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 us early in the show. So just pick under announcements on our Facebook page for the 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'm gonna read a couple of comments because they're so beautiful. Y'all we're talking about magic and the magic of reading and how it's brought us together, Katherine Lee says. Because...

...of this time, she has read more books in 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 reading Fiona 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 that friends and fiction has created Why am I so weepy tonight, Lord Almighty says that 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 a really great question, because, um, it's four readers and it's about reading in this time. Elizabeth Howard asks. What advice would you give normally avid readers who are struggling to focus and finish books during the pandemic, which has never happened before? Mm audiobooks. I seriously audio books. I had a hard not reading and audio books was just such an amazing experience. And it surprised me how much I loved him and and it didn'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 of the heart of the story. You get to it quicker because middle grade and younger audiences, um, don't have the patience to wade through really dense prose. So and there's so many amazing Y A authors working today, um, you can go toe you could go toe online bookstore and ask them about Y and recommendations. I'd say. Try y A. Try something completely great. Answer what you've been reading or return to a favorite book that carries some memories for you. You know, I think sometimes at a time when the world feels like spinning out of control or going haywire, returning to something familiar, um can bring you some comfort. And, you know, it was a go ahead. I'm sorry. No, I'm just saying that to that point. Someone on our face on the group page 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 just mean. 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 makes you 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, like last year, which I have said that a million times on the show. But I was also going to say This is kind of to marry case point to My suggestion was to read a different genre, and I've had that same struggle like I've had a I mean, there were so many books like yours, books I flew through. I'm not just saying that because you're here, but, like, you know, just flew through them 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 was just flying through, and then I was kind of picking things up in sort of hitting a wall a little bit. And I knew as I was picking them up like, This is a beautiful, wonderful book and I want to read it. But I just couldn't like it just wasn't the right thing on dso I finally just settled on actually just started, the vanishing happened. It's so good and I was like, Yes, like, this is exactly what I needed to read. But you just sometimes you don't know. It's something 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 fiction is a book club. Well, because we have different office and all their different books, we are reading books that it may not be our usual lane on That's what your That's what your point is. So you it is opening our eyes to new 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 Kathy Reichs now, and it's a mystery, and I'm not a big mystery reader, but it's the whole 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 with yourself, right? Like, don't be like Oh my gosh, I've got I've got to be You know, other people are flying through books and, like I was talking about earlier that surge capacity, everybody's life. Circumstances are different, and our focus has been a lot more difficult during this time, and I think it's okay to just give yourself a little bit of a break. But all these suggestions to and I was going to say what you said, Christie changing genre sometimes 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 typically written 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 to 12. So No, no, not anymore. And actually, who reads them? The young adult 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're right. Yes, eso Why a basically means written for for teenagers and there's yeah, way that skews a little younger and way that skews a little bit older are very a lot of them tackle very, um, sophisticated topics. And, um, and the writing is terrific. Yeah, absolutely. And there are so many way books that are very popular with adults, too. So it's not like you just be picking up something that you know only teenagers or reading. I think a lot of y a or a lot of adults exclusively read Y A, which is kind of my friends in my book club. Read exclusively one. Yep, absolutely, absolutely. Eso Speaking of readers and all these great reader questions that you had in comment, I would love to share a fume or reader comments left for us earlier about the magic of books were just so many compelling ones. Patty, do you want to start us off? Sure. So Gina Davis Williams said books with their incredible stories have helped me refocus my thoughts, which is what we're talking about. I have been through some major life traumas and transitions over the last seven years. Theo. Ending of a 32 year marriage, my spouse's descent into drug addiction, the financial fallout. Kids leaving the nest. Career changes you name it without these stories that you incredible ladies and others have written, my mental health would have gone into a black hole of despair. The stories take me out of my own head and into 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 my friends and my social life. Now that I'm grown, they're still my happy place in my escape books are my therapy when life is hard and my joy when life feels easy and happy. I'm a teacher now, and my very favorite thing is when I can find 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 memories of that past always show up when you're trying to go to sleep. When I'm reading a book that draws me in and just submerges my brain in the action, the characters, even the weather, well, then them. I can close my eyes and dream on in the book. My passes far, far away. What a great! That's a great thing to say, Nicole Fincher said. Books from my Magic portal to other worlds. They were my escape from fighting abuse, loneliness and despair, and Karen Krinsky said something that I think we all feel books are like friends 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 we had our episode tonight. We could read many, many more of your quote. So many of 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 vacuum and you don't know sometimes because they're having an impact or if they're just entertaining people. Um, but, you know, do you ever just to the four of you do you ever think about what an incredible gift it is? Is a writer to be able to work a little magic in other people's lives once in a while? It's something I kind of forget when I get caught up in the day to day slogging through trying to meet those deadlines. Um, but for me, I always feel so very moved when a reader tells me that one of my novels about World War two, which often involve family relationships across the generations, has helped them to better understand their own past or the past of their loved ones, um, or even the present and how it's impacted by the past. That means something to me when it opens up a family discussion. Um, I even had someone write to me once a reader in Russia to tell me that one of the storylines that a book that had really nothing to do with this reminded her she was worth something. And she left an abusive relationship because of it. So that rocked me to my core. Just not only that the book had the power to do that, but that a book that I didn't set out to write to that end moved somebody that way. So you kind of never know what affect your words they're gonna have on people, which I think is amazing. So how about the four of you? What have you heard from readers? And what is that meant to you? Um I know, uh, Mary Kay, you were talking ahead of time 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 me that she and her mother had always...

...loved sharing books. My books, especially on her mother, was in hospice, and she said every night she would go the nursing home and she would sit by her mother's bed and she would read 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 every night that time they spent together. The last time they chair, I've got a little weeping e No, What's wrong? Last time, say chair until finally her mother's death. And so whenever I think of that, I think about the two of them sitting together in a little bubble of light with the warmth right there. The night is closing in, and that light is going out and I got to be with them. That is amazing. And you're making me tear up to and you know what's so incredible is when when you sat down to write that book, you weren't thinking that was going to be the way that it was affect someone. But I feel like books speak to you the way they need Thio at the time you need them to, and that that's just part of the incredible magic that a book that means one thing toe one person could mean something so entirely different and meaningful and life changing to someone else. It's incredible. Um, Chris, how about you? Um, yeah, I just always shocks and amazes me What? People take away. I'm gonna tell you like a really abbreviated version of this story, but I'll tell it here one day because there are so many layers of serendipity to it that it's kind of shocking. Um, but it's actually only happened about maybe a year ago, but someone emailed my husband and said, Are you married to Christie? What's in Harvey? And he said yes. 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 you please tell her this story for me? Andi, He told my husband that he and his wife had 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, really complicated and that they just decided they thought they were gonna have to walk away like they were just really frustrated. It was really challenging. Is those situations? Could be, um, and his mother had read an article about Dear Carolina, which was my first book in a newspaper, and she bought it just kind of randomly and gave it to his wife. And she read the book and decided that she wanted to keep fighting that she wanted. This was her baby, and she was 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 which is the day that your Carolina released. Yeah, like like they're just things like that that happened. Like, there's a thing that you would write in a book and 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 that you know, something like that. Um, yeah, that's crazy. You just never know. You never know. I mean, a book is I think there for a reason that we have never in our lives planned. You are. You're absolutely right. What an incredible story. Patty, how about you? Wow, I'm still in Christie's story. I think e think you're right. There's this, um, alchemy, this magic that happens after we're done the book and it becomes something else for whatever it needs to be to the next person, right? I quoted it here before, but that quote by Madeline Wangle that a book becomes a bridge between the reader and the writer and in, in, In the reader crossing that bridge, the book becomes something else entirely for them. So that's an amazing story. I think hearing from readers, as we all can attest, is one of our favorite things about writing. It's one of the most oh, enchanting things about writing a book is when it reaches the world and then it reaches, we put it in the world, and then it comes back to us like a boomerang well, except for the mean people. But on the whole, it's amazing. I think hearing from readers is quite literally like that theater idea of breaking the fourth wall, right? You know when, when the when the actor turns to the to the audience and starts talking, that's what getting a reader letter feels like. Um, usually when I get one, I just kind of offer up a moment of gratitude because it feels so astounding. But one of the most profound letters I received is from a woman I actually ended up meeting and spending a lot of time with, but she was so influenced by Joy David Mons Journey because she this woman had been through breast cancer. And she was so influenced by Joyce Journey that she flew to meet me and she wrote a thesis about it. It is one beautiful. It's a 40 page thesis about becoming Mrs Lewis...

...with cross referencing toe, a grief observed and surprised by joy. And it's such a beautiful piece that I keep it in my bookshelves. And then she ended up taking a sojourn to England and mapping out her whole trip, according Thio, the places in the book. Wow, I know that's when I know the book, and you all know this, too. It's not I'm not telling you. Think you don't know? That's when the book becomes something much bigger than you much bigger than your worry. That happens absolutely, absolutely well, you know, when speaking of a book being something bigger, much bigger than you, Mary Alice, I know you had a beautiful story you wanted to share that you had mentioned. I'm really looking forward to here. And you tell this story. This was a surprise. This one. It was for the butterflies, daughter. And I think like you said, everybody, I share all your comments that each book reaches the right person at the right time and you're always grateful. But with this one, it was, um it was a long book tour for the butterflies daughter, really 40 plus stops. And what was amazing to man the 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 cultures are believed to have been messengers from loved ones and every stop. And I'm not exaggerating in every stop, someone came to me and told me about an incident in their life with a butter flight. Ah, young bride with a butterfly 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 when I when I was in Winnetka, Illinois, um, it was meeting the group before and It was a mother and a daughter. We met and then I started talking and I was talking about the messenger aspect of the monarch Butterfly on. I saw that the mother got up and left the room. She was crying. And, you know, you're you're aware of it when you're speaking, but you can't stop eso. Afterwards, the daughter came up to me and said, I just want to apologize and tell you my mother, um what got emotional? Because my brother, her son was killed in the World Trade Center on 9 11. And the next morning, when they opened the doors, the whole front yard was filled with monarch butterfly ing. Can you imagine that? And the mother just remembered and had to cry. And what I thought was you, in all my years with animals has taught me we do not fully understand 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 hear that from your fans, you're just as moved as they are. Well, especially when it's something that you've written in one of your novels. That kind of brings that brings that back to them because, you know, that was a moment that she'd had but, you know, might not have a lot of for a while. And it was listening to you speak and listening to, you know, you talk about that novel that did that for her. That that is such a beautiful story. So I also wanted to share one more quote from a reader. So this one's from Stevie Augustine beget. Who says, When I was a child, I read every day for pleasure and still dio so many hours of adventure, romance, mysteries, biographies. What a big world along the way I started to live, quote unquote live in a more diverse world. In my book choices theon, Pertuan, it ease for growth and personal awareness were numerous. Through books. I have learned to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. It seems like that definitely is needed in our country today. So what a great reminders to be the books could make us better people just by reminding us to open our eyes to the beautiful, diverse fabric of this world around us magic. And it s Oh, I wish we could talk. I wish. Gosh, I can we just stay another 23 hours? E bathroom break? Maybe it was 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. I mean, it's it's just made up of so many beautiful, wise, good people, and what we have in common is books and and that just it has never been more evident to me than it was this week. And I'm so happy we get to share a little bit of that with all of you out there. So, as you all know, we love to share a writing to you every week and this week are magical. Christie has offered to give us a tip, and since she writes well, she is magical because, as you all know, she writes like 10,000 words in a sitting, brushing her hair and riding her peloton and doing her nails. So she also runs a very successful design block on the side, and she's...

...basically the source, all good friends and fiction ideas that is so categorically untrue. Eso she's our resident genius and I'm just gonna grab my little notebook. Could be taking notes 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 is particularly with my cover revealed today. I actually had a few people email 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 is that I learned just really early on I started writing books when Will was a really small baby And so there was never you didn't you never know what your 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 of trained myself to be ableto just start and stop wherever I waas. And if I stopped like if you started crying, I made myself a super quick note of what was 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 written and be right back where I waas and know exactly where I was going to go. And I still do that because, you know, not much has changed. I mean, I think we all we all have a lot going on, and it does help to be able to sometimes pick up for 20 or 30 minutes and get some words in or be able to sort of advance your 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 helpful that is, but it works really well. And I think it has helped me be ableto right 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 we love to shout out a debut or something new we're loving. Who has a book they would 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 is gonna be a guest. Uh, later on. And it arrived yesterday and I couldn't not start reading it. And it's so good. It takes place in Korea town with a with a protagonist, Um, who's been at odds with her very Korean mother. Um, and there's a mystery in it, so I'm already loving it, and she will be. Nancy will be our guest later on this year. E no, Me too. Me too. Gosh, I know I have a list a mile long. Yeah, exactly. Who else? Christie or Mariana? I sort of mentioned I was reading the vanishing half, but I know we've all heard so much about it, but then it is going to be our guest, um, on our somehow in our fall schedule. So the book is it's this good is everything I've heard. I'm so excited. Thio kind of get dive into it more deeply, but it's I'm hooked already. I'm very excited about that one. Yeah, it's gonna be so good. I'm excited about that to the episode? Yeah, it's gonna be a great chat. Mary Alistair. Patty, Did you have a book you wanted to mention? Or I just that we're introducing just a blur of the Kathy Reichs is coming Next week we'll talk about that, but I'm reading her book now. That's the mystery I'm reading and I'm enjoying it. E. I am just finished and it is so good. Thanks to Kathy, I'm Mary Kay Andrews, who told us all about it because she fell in love with it. I just finished the Sweeney Sisters Way. Oh my God, I'm the oldest of three sisters and it's about three sisters and I can't wait. I'm going to send it to my sisters, but we're talking to Lian in two weeks, but it'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 a reading machine. A lot more than what? Uh huh, Patty, can you remind us about our brand new podcast and tell people how they can listen? We're so excited about the podcast and I am a podcast junkie. I probably listen to two or three a week and without traveling as much, I don't listen to them as much. So we're excited about ours. It was a total outgrowth of the magic and alchemy of all of us being together. The conversations were so impactful that we wanted all of you to have another way to listen to them in case you couldn't pass them on computer or you missed our Wednesday night. So are amazing. Team at Audit Vida, which is the name of our company that's helping behind the scenes and the man behind the screen. Sean Head. We're gonna make him come out here one day. We're gonna make them...

...come out and wave at everyone. Help that It wasn't just us doing this on the fly. We had a team helping us, and now it's all available in a way that you can listen to, including the brand new platform on Amazon. So however, you listen to podcasts, whether it's Spotify apple, now it's all someone Amazon, and so there's a lot of ways to listen to it. For those of you with smartphones, it's really easy. Once you know 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 podcast circle on the iPhone. It's purple, I think, on the android It's like burgundy color. You click on it, you enter friends in fiction in the search bar. Wala. Yeah, all the shows and be patient. I saw a couple notices on the page that how come all of them aren't up there? We're getting there. Have to be produced and loaded. They're getting loaded one by one by one until we catch up to this show. But I think our Christie has a show. And tell E. Did you know that you can listen to our friends and fiction podcast while you're working out? Simply select the podcast at from your phone type friends and fiction in the search bar. And all of our new episodes will be right there in your podcast out. And while you're there, don't forget to rate us or leave us a review that isn't such a But what you all didn't see was that while she was doing that, she wrote about 1000 words e o total peer pressure. We made her do that way where I'm sitting in my cushion tear going e always gotta work out in after because I was like, I'm already clipped into the way we'll keep going. But, Christina, now that we know we could bully you into things by the four of us applying pressure were plotting our next uh eh. So it's really you pretty much a Christie video every week. 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 coming up this way? Have Christina Lauren coming up next. And, um, you know, we started 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 which will feature Christina Lauren. Now you may know that it's one name, but actually behind it. It's, um and they're the authors of best selling novels, including the mega bestselling beautiful bastard Siri's. But did you know that Christina Lauren is actually two people? One name. This is the clever Park Christina named Lauren, Right? They'll both you with us this Sunday 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're writing partnership works. I can't wait to hear it. Thanks, Mom. I'm looking for a big Christmas holiday books and you know what? Gosh, I mean, if there's any time that we need a good holiday book right now, let's get Christmas started. Let's get the Oh yeah, yeah, exactly. So, Mary Alice, can you tell us about the fabulous episode that you're going to be hosting next time? I am so thrilled. All of us get to have another friend on Friends and fiction Kathy Reichs. And she is the number one best selling mystery writer off the very, very popular Bone Siri's. And this is her most recent book, A Conspiracy of Bones. And she's gonna be talking about this story and I'll tell you, I'm reading it now, and I'm on tenterhooks. You have a body of faceless body that she has to find the temperance Brenner has to find the identity of you have a new resolved child murder that somehow connected to it. She's getting weird texts. And, of course, her abo with Inspector Ryan is on. Isn't it too? So it's a really good story and edge of your seat reading. So she's coming with us next week. And you all have time to read the book and the all 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 at five. On our Facebook page for...

Christina Lauren. And, of course, next Wednesday 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 books and to use the code we love F and F 2020 for 10% off any of our new releases. There are wonderful part of their community and a great purveyor of the most magical books, and we really appreciate them. So thank you so much to 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 for joining us tonight. Thank you for being a part of our world. And thank you for reminding us the magic of books Israel and that at the end of the day, that magic is a pact between the reader and the writer. The five of us writers are so happy to be walking this road with all of you. And we're so grateful whenever you choose to read one of her books And we're just so happy you're here with us on friends and fiction. Anything else before we go Ladies, that was you all. Thank you away a Come on alot right? Everyone, thank you so much for 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 the friends and fiction podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the friends and fiction podcast wherever you listen. And if you're enjoying it, leave a review. You can find the friends and fiction authors at www dot friends and fiction dot com. A swell as on the Facebook group page. Friends and fiction come back soon. Okay? There are still lots of books writing tips, interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about goodbye.

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