Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 14 · 1 month ago

WB S1E14: Ron Block, Patti Callahan & Kristy Woodson Harvey with Andrea Katz and Kristy Barrett

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Ron Block, along with Patti Callahan & Kristy Woodson Harvey chat with Facebook Reading Groups founders Andrea Katz (Great Thoughts, Great Readers) and Kristy Barrett (A Novel Bee) about all things books, authors and reading groups! 

...writers are very smart And funny andbeing able to interact with that level of females who are so creative andwatch authors talked to authors and there are people who just sat down ayear ago and wrote it 300 page book. That's awesome. Mhm My high schooldrama teacher who I lost two weeks before the page launched. We werebatting around names in my room and I said a novel be and she went oh that'slike novelty and she's like in the whole novel thing, she's like it works,it's definitely, it definitely works. We love it and I mean and it worked outpretty perfectly because now you get to be the queen bee and what could bebetter than being the queen bee. Right Mhm Welcome to the friends and fictionwriter's Block podcast, five new york times, bestselling authors, One rockstar librarian and endless stories joined Mary Kay Andrews, Kristen Harmel,Christie Woodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry Mary Alice Munro and Ron Block asnovelists. We are five longtime friends with 80 five books between us. I am Ronblock. I am so glad you've joined us for fascinating author interviews alongwith Insider. Talk about publishing and writing if you love books and arecurious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Welcome to a new episode of friends andfiction writer's Block podcast. Today we're switching it up just a littleduring the pandemic. There was a silver lining that we can all agree on readingcommunities became a salvation for readers and writers around the globebooks became a common denominator in helping us feel a part of somethingeven when we could not leave our homes. Social media became a force for goodfor combatting loneliness and to help establish strong friendships throughthe magic of reading today we're joined by two exemplary examples of thoseleading the charge and growing their facebook reading groups to become richnot in money but in friends. We will be speaking with Andrea cats from greatthoughts, great readers and the queen bee herself Christie barrett from anovel be we can't wait to talk about all things books with them. First up isAndrea Katz, founder of great thoughts, great readers which has over 6300members and joining me is the wonderful Patty Callahan, author of theforthcoming Once Upon A Wardrobe which is available now for pre order and outin the world on october 19th. Welcome Andrea and Patty Hi Andrea, we're sohappy you're with us. Thank you so much for having me, I'm so happy about this.This is so good Andrea, you've got to tell us how your group got started andhow you came up with that name. And even when everything began. Well about12 years ago I retired from career number one where I was selling officebuildings for a New York-based real estate investment banking firm and Ialways like to read. So I had sent out in december an email to a big group offriends with my list of books that I liked for the year. And then a few dayslater I was at the pediatrician with one of my Children and this woman inthe waiting room said oh my God I bought every book and I said excuse me,she said your email, it's been forwarded all over. I said what are youeven talking about? A so I then started great thoughts dot com, a book reviewwebsite. And I called all the new york publishers and I said I'm in Dallas,I'm ready to review your books. I'm not very shy. So all of a sudden I startedgetting lots of books and I had great thoughts going and it's been great. Butseveral years ago I said I wonder if...

...there's a place to make a community forpeople like me who really like to read And who want to interact with authors.So on a whim on a Sunday in December three years ago I formed the group andI invited a bunch of people and now here we are, 6300 and something peoplelater. That's amazing. Yeah. Here we are. No, you obviously aren't shy, areyou? Yeah, I know I love it because you interact with your readers on the pageas if you're with them in real life, right? You can tell you're extrovertedpersonality even you can take the girl out of sales but you can't take salesout of the girl and uh you know, I think the best part of these facebookgroups is the interaction. Yeah, nobody wants to just hear me talking at them.And the fact that readers can chime in our only rule is they can't sayanything negative about a book because I just think there's plenty of spacesfor negativity be at the news or good reads and that's just not my thing. Ionly will talk about a book if I truly like the book. So I just thinknegativity especially in facebook groups because then this gang mentalitygets all means, so we just don't allow it and if somebody tries their historyit's just so easy to be mean for some people right? And then they get suchinstant feedback that they feel like oh look I've got my own gang now. But I'mreally curious how you got it off the ground because a lot of people startfacebook reading groups, but yours just so talk to me about how you got it offthe ground in the beginning. In the very beginning, I was friends with manyauthors as you know, And by inviting a bunch of the authors, we were the firstgroup that had really big name authors that women wanted to read and I saywomen because our group is probably 80% women and our first book club was withRandy Susan Myers who has a huge following and everybody loved the bookaccidents of marriage and that was really the first domestic thriller typemarriage book that was written, even though when she wrote it, she didn'tthink it was a thriller And we ended up with like 600 people read the book. AndYou know, so I would say a lot of it was luck because we were the first andthen slowly, you know, immediately within two months there were 10 othergroups, but we just kind of kept doing our thing and minding our own businessand we're a private group. We're not public, we don't let just anyone in.And I think that has helped to keep it cohesive state of our values. And Ithink that's the reason the authors stay because you're in there patty andyou know, you're not going to get attacked there, You're just going toget love there. It's the same place and it's a safe place for readers and ifpeople have found it's not a safe place, it's not the right group for them. Yeah.And so that's how you get it off from the beginning, but it's growndramatically and then the pandemic, It boom, the pandemic. It and we allmuddled through it. We're still muddling through it. So how was yourpresence and your interaction and your group affected by that? What did yousee that the pandemic did with all of that? Well we because we were alreadyonline and active every day About March 10,...

Once my family realized we weren'tgoing to the Cayman islands on spring break with our then college freshman,it became apparent that this was a pandemic and a really big problem. Sowe started The Great Thoughts Virtual Book Festival on I think March 13 ofthat year with Brenda Janowicz kicked us off and we shortly had, I think 90authors in three months and it took on a life of its own. In the middle ofthat, I fell and broke my kneecap. So when I was literally came home and onpain meds, I was scheduling authors because I felt so strongly thateveryone who had a book coming out that and deserved a voice. And especiallythere were authors like Alison Hammers debut was supposed to be Williammorrow's Book of the Spring And it was literally releasing like March 20 ofthat year. These people needed a place to talk. They did, they did. And youcertainly gave them an outlet. I kind of want to see those emails you werewriting while you were on pain meds, kind of a riot. Absolutely. So whatwere some of the other surprising highlights during this time, as we lookfor the light at the end of the tunnel? Hopefully someday I know that yourgroup had plenty, I'd say the best interesting thing with the virtual BookFestival was I would have readers say to me, you know, I don't read World WarTwo fiction and then during the festival they go, you know that authorwas so interesting. I read World War Two fiction, I really liked it and thenwe had several sex. I don't read romance, I would never read romance.And guess what? Now? We have a lot of Ramos readers, so I think it kind ofleveled the playing field so that if you said I'm only this genre of asudden there were a lot of genres. I had we had chris Bohjalian was one ofthe first authors which was like I was so excited about that because I lovehim and what was great is he's so darn approachable. These people justworshiped every word he said and everybody ran to buy his book becausehe's chris Bohjalian and that was another great thing is people were soexcited to read and they clearly had plenty of time to read. So that wasgreat. And we had people chiming in to every single event. I have to be honest,I couldn't watch every event. I mean there were a lot of events and so thatwas a really great thing to see people widen their reading. I think that's oneof the best things about these facebook groups is that just like a book clubyou pick up and you read something you wouldn't have read otherwise andrealized, oh yes, I am a World War Two reader. Yes, I actually do likethrillers. Yes. And we are big chris fans definitely here at Francis,definitely. He's incredible. So, your daughter Sophie has a bit of areputation for being the cover whisperer. I want you to talk usthrough that and tell us how that got started. I love that. This is funny. Soone of my twins, Sophie, every time the book would arrive throughout highschool, she would go, that's a terrible cover of that book is not going to dowell. And I wonder if she gets her straight shooting for me obviously. Andthen she goes, oh my God, that is the greatest cover. So I told Christyharvey about this. So Christie harvey started calling her the oracle ofSophie. So before Christie gets a cover approved, she sends it to me and askedme to send it to my daughter Christina. Alger does the same and it's hilarious.And now Sophie is in college and I will...

...send her and she'll give me a yes or ano. And you know my other one is too polite and jenny would say she likedeveryone's cover. But so the oracle of Sophie, I am going to send her my cover,will you ask her what she thinks of my new cover? Absolutely. And you can askChristie. Sophie's had to redesign covers. Oh, that's hilarious End. Butyou know what, some people just have an eye for those kind of things. I don't,I'm always asking everybody's opinion. So Exactly, No, she got Christie, Ithink three books ago to get them to change the cover of the beach hat thewoman was wearing because Sophie said it didn't match what you too man,that's awesome. That's her job. There's your career. The cover was only onecould make money doing that, right? Yeah, Well you know, there's probablysomething ancillary to that, that that could happen. You're also known as avery enthusiastic supporter of debut novelists and I think Christie Woodsonharvey's debut Carolina moon, dear Carolina, sorry was one of those. Buteven more than that you're a connector. You not only pair the right reader withthe right book, but you're known for connecting authors who become fastfriends. Kind of makes me wonder when you started this page, did you have anyidea how it would affect people's lives? Not at all. Not at all. And my authorrelationships really sourced from when remember Like 12 years ago, patty whenTwitter was fun and writers all talked on Twitter, it's kind of emanated there.I had read one of pam Jenna's novels and then I subsequently went back andread them all, I found her on twitter and I said, I became her twitterstalker and said, I've read all your books, oh my God and now she's one ofmy closest friends, but if that happened today, I would get blocked andthey say, oh my God, she is really a stalker, but that's when many of usbecame friends Christy harvey beth Hoffman sarah McCoy. And we had reallya core group of great book people on twitter. I missed the twitter bookparties. They were fabulous. We should do like a retro twitter book party foryour book patty. That would be fun, it would be fun. We could call it likeremember the nineties exactly, that would actually be a blast. How did thatget the retro Andrea Yeah, but as a result a lot of times alters will cometo me and say who should blurb this book and then they end up becomingreally good friends with any blur bors I introduce them to. So that's what agreat thing that is connection. It's about, we need that, gosh desperately.Especially this past year. Right and again now I know and that's what wewere talking about earlier is the this has been a safe space and where peoplecan really connect over over a shared love of books and reading. So whenfriends and fiction started, I think everybody was a little stunned that thecommunity grew so fast and so big and as that famous movie says build it andthey will come are you at all surprised by how that grew and how thoserelationships formed so quickly. No, and I'll tell you why I always use maryKay is the perfect example of an author, social media because she's so authenticand people love to see her dumpster dives on what she's going to buy atthrift stores and I'm mystified by people like that because I couldn't doit. So and then she creates these...

...beautiful things. So combining thatwith Christie Harvey's design blog away on the other end of the spectrum. Pattyhas her own loyal following. Mary Alice. I mean my God, whatever woman reader inthe world knows more about turtles because of mary Alice, right andchristian are melt. So based on that true story. We were at the turtlemuseum in the grand Cayman's years ago and one of my kids was like, why do youknow about turtles? I'm like, oh I read this series by mary Alice Munro. Sowhen you put that kind of firepower together, of course it was going to behuge, no questions asked and now I have authored, she say to me, how do I geton friends in fiction? Can you get me on like I have like this secretconnection. I'm like, did you ask? So that's so funny. Your page though Andyour status as a book influencer has led to some really amazingopportunities outside of great thoughts including writing gigs, speakingengagements doing in conversations. We all know what it feels like for ourcommunity. We we've all bounded together. But what has meant the mostto you in all those opportunities. I think I really appreciate the women'sconnection. My first career, I mostly only worked with men and there are somegreat advantages to that because women have many more emotions. But I thinkwriters are very smart and funny and being able to interact with that levelof females who are so creative and watch authors talked to authors andthere are people who just sat down a year ago and wrote it 300 page book.That's awesome. And hearing what goes on in your mind and how you came upwith it and you know, seeing that you're going to be the lead title for anew imprint. That makes me so happy because it's women of a certain age andother careers, you know, Patty and I would have aged out, but not when itcomes to books and reading. And I think people don't take it. Think about thatwomen of a certain age. That's awesome. A debut author could be 70 and itdoesn't matter. And I think for women that's really significant. Wow, So well,sad. So well said and I agree with every syllable that you just spoke. Umso what did you see breaking out during the last 19 months during the pandemic?Were there any trends or maybe some books that people didn't expect to dowell that did well in the group? I think I'd like to call it the Bridgeart in effect. I think we were all at home and bridge hurting came out andmost everyone in the world as a fan of the Duca Hastings. I think we cansafely say that. So I think we had already seen these great, quirkyromances come out Helen Hong. I mean some of them are so fabulous but Ithink it's brought romance to the forefront and I love that. I think wesaw a huge need for historical fiction and Good Lord this year. There was morethan plenty I think patio agree. And I think when times are goofy and weird,we all want to look forward and laugh at romance or it's more fun to lookback because what's going on in the present isn't so wonderful. So I thinkthe fun, sexy Rome comes has been huge historical fiction and the domesticthrillers had more missing women and...

...missing Children and screwed upmarriages. Uh then you can count and our readers cannot get enough. Likemany of them scare me. I only read the very benign thriller, but there arepeople who just cannot get enough of these. The word gone, gone missing. Howmany people are missing missing. But apparently a lot of people are missing.Maybe that's what the writers wish would happen. You're missing sucking upwith their family. Like you're missing. You're missing tomorrow. You're missing.Oh, that's great. Okay, before we go. I want to know if there's anything onyour bookish bucket list that you hope to achieve that hasn't happened yet.Yes, I would love to do a great thoughts convention get together. Weactually right before the world fell apart. I talked to mary Kay aboutmeeting in the south and I have this great vision that all of a sudden thereaders are in a room and you go to the paddy Callaghan station and she's gotone kind of wine, it talks about her books and mary Kay over here and pamJenoff over there and chris Bohjalian over there and I think it would beamazing and I think we would have such great attendance but we need the worldto get to a point where we can all travel again. That's a great big dreamand it's it's doable and wonderful. And looking from where you started to whereyou are now, I have no doubt that you Andrea can make that happen right? AndI have no doubt that you will be there and you go, oh I will be there a greatthing to look forward to and you can do live podcast from there Ron I'm in poorRon he is now, he didn't realize it, but now he is part of the group wherewe all go Andrea he goes to okay, we're a lot of fun right, exactly right aboutit Andrea thank you so much for joining us and thank you for everything you aredoing in the world for authors and booksellers and stories and readers andbefore we go, can you tell everyone where to find you? You can find me onfacebook, great thoughts, great readers just request membership and we'd loveto have you and thank you both so much for having me. This has been so fun. Iwish we could chat all the time. That's who we're enjoying to thank you foreverything. Andrea you're amazing. Thank you. See you on the facebook. Yeah. Next up the queen bee herself,Christie Barrett, creator of a novel, be a very active online group with over11.5 1000 members. Isn't that amazing joining in? The discussion is new yorktimes best selling author, Christie Woodson harvey, Who is the author ofthe forthcoming Christmas and Peachtree bluff or as I like to call it, youasked for it. You got it just also available for pre orders and comes outon October 26. Welcome Christie and Christie. Yeah. Hi Kristie. Hi darling,she's also known as bull Christie. That's right. And we're even spelledthe same for people who can't, you know, see right now. So we're really, we'rereally Christie squared here. Imagine me writing all these emails, chris,Christie Christie. So Christie, let's start out with you telling us how youcame up with the idea of a novel B and...

...with the name and the theme. Well,first my nickname through high school from grade school almost alwaysChristie be with a couple of people because my last name Barrett and thenwe moved almost 17 years ago and some friends when I moved, I was trying tochange an email and I just put B. E. On the end of it. And my friend said oh mygosh, that's the perfect next name for you. I was like that's horrible.Feasting people. I never tried to hurt people. And he's like, no, no, no,these leave sweetness wherever they get. He's like, that's what I'm like oh mygosh! And so it mushroomed into its own thing and I have friends that literallycall me little B and B, more than they call Christie now. And my room isdecorated in every manner of anything you can think of just around. And Imean I never expected and so years ago I had a blog and right after I startedthe blog, I got really, really sick, I have cerebral palsy and severalunderlying conditions. I wanted to restart the blog. And Kimberly Bell,she says that she's like, don't start a blog, start a facebook group. And I'mlike, okay, so I did. And my high school drama teacher who I lost twoweeks before the page launched, we were buying around names in my room and Isaid a novel be and she went, oh that's like novelty and she's like in thewhole novel thing, she's like it works, I love it, it does work, it'sdefinitely, it definitely works. So we love it. And I mean and it worked outpretty perfectly because now you get to be the Queen bee and what could bebetter than being the queen bee right well, and who knew that? I mean,everything that this buzziest book I want, well it didn't come up with it onpurpose, really, I didn't really think about that, but I mean it works on somany levels. It really does. So you and I talk a lot about books a lot as wellas other things and you're always sharing your favorites on your page.And one of the things that I'm so interested in is that so many of yourfavorite books this year have been debut novels, which I love, especiallyduring this time where I think it's been a really tough time to be a debutnovelist. So, can you tell us um put some of your favorite debut novels ofthe year have been and why have you always been such an enthusiasticsupporter of debuts? I think because just because I'm now, I can't imaginehow hard it is to be a debut author and you put your book out there and youjust want somebody to read your story and know your story and I think we allfeel that way, we just want people to know our stories. And so that's whyI've always been as Enthusiastic because I can about it about the debut,especially if I find one that I truly love and there are three this year thathave already made my buzziest list for 20, and that's yeah, Waiting for the natssong by julie Carrick Dalton. I love that book. I do too. It's amazing. Fromopening paragraph to the last point. It's gorgeous. And also a Light atWinter Park by Addison Armstrong and a Hand to Hold in Deep Water by SeanO'shay. That's a new one for me. Oh my gosh, it is absolutely beautiful. It'sone of those books, if it's not on your radar, I don't know, I mean it shouldbe on everybody's radar, but if it's not, if you don't have, it's one ofthose books you would almost have to stay absolutely go. Have you really anincredible book? Yeah, it's one of those, I love that. I love when a bookdoes that to you. I do too. That's the...

...best feeling favorite. So Christie. Oneof the things that I love about a novel be is is you letting authors basicallytake over the hive and promote their books and they've all done it in suchinteresting and cool ways. How did that begin? And how do you turn the reinsover to them? What kind of parameters do you give them? There aren't reallyparade? I'm like, it's totally up to you whatever you want to do. Andnobody's really ever ask me anything that they wanted to do that. I've saidno, I mean we do ask you usually if you're going to take over the page forthe whole day, we do ask you, is that you give away a book or a bookish itemof some kind and most everybody has been Okay with doing that because youknow, if I give you 8-12 hours on my page, I think that's a pretty, it's apretty easy request for most people. And so, and I always try to do uniqueand different things like last year we did dash around christmas, we diddashing through debuts and so like eight different debut novel novelist inlike eight days and that was a lot of fun. I always try to do somethingdifferent because I'm very outside of the box anyway, so I always try to dothings outside of the box without the box completely. Nobody just startedabout gee, I would never have known that, you know it and people don'trealize Christie's one of Christie's favorite things about the page is theway when I do a buzziest list every week or every couple of weeks. I alwaystry to, well I do always leave the titles of the books into my intros, butI've been doing that since I was about nine because I had to, I had to do thatwith spelling words. I love that. Yes, that is definitely one of my favoritethings. I was going to mention it and you beat me to the punch. So that'sgood, little mind meld happening here on the podcast. But yes, I, I do lovethat. I think it's like so clever and so creative and so cute and it isalways, I think it's an author too, you're like, gosh, someone really tookthe time to, you know, come up with that, which I think is really, reallycool. Um but I also want to talk about, I mean obviously a novel B is huge andit's like sort of taken over, taken on a life of its own, but you're startingto expand your reach a little bit outside of a novel be he's written forBook Trip and appearing on a very famous podcast, very famous, veryfamous, You probably holed up, I couldn't walk with that article withwith somebody, I kind of like, just, I don't know that you did a lot of thatwork. Um we didn't do that together, that was really fun, That was reallyfun and we were like fighting over who got to talk about which books I but arethere any items on your bookish bucket list that you hope to achieve? Well Igot to blurb your book and when Simon and Schuster used it in their emailleft, it blew, I was like driving down the road and it popped up in that hugeSimon and Schuster email blasts and the header was Christie's blurb and I waslike, oh my gosh! And I like called her right away and I was freaking out.You're not gonna believe that they used your blur, I mean I've had so manymoments elin Hilderbrand used will be to reveal the cover of Golden Girl forthe first time and I didn't even think it was gonna, I didn't even know shewas gonna do that. She, she said I have one more trick up my sleeve if it'sokay and I'm like um okay and I didn't even ask her what it was and then whenI realized what it was, I was like oh my gosh and Cristina Garcia aboutcalling me going, do you know how big...

...this is so awesome. Yeah, so thingslike that, I never, I mean if you would have told me when I started to paidalmost five years ago, especially I have been dramatically um all thethings that have happened, I would have said you were cuckoo, I mean I've had,I've had my name and Probably upwards of 20 books now, I've had to bededicated to me and all these different things and it's just like what ishappening to my life. My teacher always said for somebody who said 98% of theirlife in the bed that I am the most social person she's ever met and thatis very true, I love that. Well you have touched a lot of people's lives asfor sure and um you have so many people who love you and want to, So that's whyI'm like put your bucket list out there baby because people will listen andthey will make it happen for you whatever it is. One of my bucket listthings being on the, on the podcast withdrawing. I really want to meet himand you said done and done and uh you are such an inspiration and you're soamazing. Yes you are, you really are. You just brought, I don't think yourealize what a, what a what a sweet spirit you have but just it emanatesfrom you. It emanates from your voice. Just, it means a lot to somebody whosits and listens to what you are going to make me cry. I know everything. Hedoes have a good, he he does have the sweetest. Just I told Christy Ron thatfor probably a lot of people listening to the podcast know this but we had afriends and fiction, our first live event in Beaufort and we had a few daystogether and Ron was scary Beaufort with mary Kay and mary Alice and pattyand me and a bunch of people and I was like poor Ron probably left being likewow that was a lot of women neck mike was there too because there but I'veworked in libraries all my life and it's always been, you know, very femaleheavy. So it's something I'm used to and I navigate okay through but then Iwas thinking, you know we got a lot of kind of good Ron stories in there. Soyou know, you know around yeah do that. I was gonna say I'm a library storythat my that might actually make her own cry, but I'm going to sell itanyway um from first to eighth grade, going to the library was no easy taskbecause it was upstairs, but you're not going to keep a bookworm like me out ofthe library. So I literally, and we probably went to the library at leasttwice a week. I would literally scoot up the steps step by step at a time andevery once in a while when we would have a book fair, I would have a friendoffered and go up and just look and tell me what books were there fromencyclopedia brown to Turkey building to all those and I was like no, it'snot the same thing, it's not it's not the same thing at all. So I would screwit up the steps and every once in a while somebody would carry me And Iwould usually have to start scooting up the steps about 20 minutes before wehad to go to the library but my teachers allowed for it and it was okaybut that's how much I've always loved libraries. That is amazing. I mean thatis some real commitment dedication dedication and it's letting yourpassion kind of lead you, which is amazing. So my momma always says that Iread things with words. You know, I love that everything's the words isn'teverything. Yeah, it's going so...

Christie. I'd like to know how peopleget to be on your page and take it over for the day. And are there any otherguests? So maybe a notable librarian that you haven't had on that you'd liketo? Well, if that notable librarian would like to be prince for a day, Iwould be so excited. In fact, I'm shaking even thinking about it becausewell, as Christie Woodson harvey says done and done, Oh fuck will have tocome up with some really neat stuff to do. Oh, so you reach out to people tohave them come on. Or do they, do they contact you? Really If somebody's on myradar and I fall in love with their book, I've done this long before thepage ever started, I reached out to Kimberly Bell when I read the lastbreath I reached out to Colleen Oakley. If I fall in love with a book, it's apretty safe bet that I'm going to reach out. But yes, I have had authorsreached out to me and I've had publicist reach out to me and there arepeople who assume that I'm a publicist, but I'm just a voracious reader. Youare. But you do a lot of the work of a publicist to you didn't get the wordout and that's how you gained such popularity is that you do so many greatthings for people. So Christie I am betting that a lot of people don't knowthat you have an educational background in theater. I didn't know that aboutyou for a long time. So can you tell us about that and how, how you can gethelp shape your love story A four minutes and drama teacher. Her name waspam and she was my drama teacher from high school. And so I knew from fromthe time she had me do the giving tree as a red piece in a speech contest,that one I knew that I was gonna do something with theater and if I'd beenable to finish I would have probably been a casting director. Mhm. That'swhat, you know, that's what, because I really think that I'm the kind ofperson that sees something in people that they don't really see inthemselves, that's kind of why I think I would have been a catholic director,but if you would have told me Even 10 years ago that I would have turned mylove into books what what it is now, I would have said no, that's a punk dream.There is no way, especially as sick as I've been for as long as I've been. Soum but I was in waiting for good Oh in college, I was a child and don't ask mewhat it's about. I've been in the play and I still can't tell you, waiting tofigure it out. Even the director is like, I've directed it. I still don't know what it's about.That's hilarious. So Christie you've created a really positive corner of theinternet during a time when not everything is so easy. Do you thinkthat your page has been an escape for people and even for you? I know it hasbeen for me. Well, I sure hope so because that's one thing that that Ihave said from the beginning, you won't, you won't even see if I don't even kindof like a book you won't see, I'm not so sure about this one because that'sjust not who I am. I'm not going to put that out there. I remember and did abook the other day and I was really excited about. But so I said, I wish itwasn't from that publisher and I'm like, you should know better than to say thaton my that's not kind. And that's, that's my big thing is that I've alwayswanted people to be as kind as could be and that's and I'm going to be as kindto you as I can Yeah, that comes...

...through. That just comes throughAbsolutely. It's the queen bees decree. I like Queen agree. Well, Christi wewould be very poor interviewers if we did not ask you what is quite possiblythe most important question of the writer's block podcast. What books areyou reading? What did you read last? What are you reading now and what isnext for you? I listened to 85%. I read 15-20% I would say depending on becauseholding devices is difficult. So the thing is really easy and holding booksholding physical books is almost impossible. So I'm getting ready tofinish all manner of things by Susie Finkbeiner. She's a christian authorand it's set in Vietnam or so around Vietnam interesting and abrother goes off and how his family deals with the whole thing. And it'sshe was somebody that was on my that came on my radar because of a couple ofpeople on the page. And so I dove in head first and I'm like oh I'll belistening to everything you've written. And the narrator for her books is T. V.A. Gilbert who is my absolute favorite narrators. She's one of those peopleyou could listen to her read the phone book that can make or break it that'sfor sure can absolutely can. And then I'm trying to listen to I have a hardtime getting it to download but I was printed access to um over the FallsRebecca hodge and it comes up next week. Do you know her debut is Wild Land. Youheard of that 1? I've heard of it. I just didn't get to it. My T. B. R. Pileas you might imagine is fairly large. A few a few rooms full I can't imagine.And I'm also super duper duper excited to read. I'm actually reading this oneJacqueline matured. The Good Son. Oh yeah it comes it comes out in januaryand the first sentence of that book. Oh my goodness you're literally pulled infrom the first sentence because it was it's like I pulled up in the to theprison gates my son and I saw the mother of the woman who murdered wowI'm in already know that is that's really amazing. Well R. T. B. R. Hasgrown as usual and um that this sounds like a really great recommendations. Sothank you so much Christie for coming on and for being such an open book withus pun intended and sharing about and I will be and for people who want tocheck it out make sure that you go visit a novel be on facebook. I wouldhope you know the book that I'm most excited about for spring the weddingveil. It sounds fantastic. Wonder you wrote. Yeah familiar. I can't wait foryou to read it. I'm super excited about it. Wait have you read Kimberly Bells,my darling husband yet? No but it's on my list. It's good I can't wait. Ican't wait and echoing what Christie said thank you so much for joining us,Christy. You are such an inspiration to people and you just are such a gift Ithink to readers everywhere and just keep keep going and I'll see you on theauthor take over sounds perfect. Wasn't...

...that a blast? It really is a party whenauthors, readers and book lovers all come together. We could have talked allday to our guests but let's continue the conversation on the Friends andfiction facebook page on great thoughts, great readers and a novel be pages.There's room in the hive for everyone. Thank you for listening and pleaseshare the podcast with a friend. Thank you for tuning in to friends andfiction writer's block podcast. Please be sure to subscribe, rate and reviewon your favorite podcast platform, tune in every friday for another episode.And you can also join us every week on facebook or Youtube where you can seeour live Friends and fiction show that airs at seven p.m. Eastern Standardtime. We are so glad you're here.

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