Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 20 · 1 month ago

WB S1E20: Ron Block w/ Patti Callahan and Kristy Woodson Harvey

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Ron Block, Patti Callahan & Kristy Woodson Harvey celebrate the release of their winter books, Once Upon A Wardrobe & Christmas in Peachtree Bluff

...we had a lot of friends. I mean it wasa mandatory evacuation, it was the storm of the Century quote unquote JimCantori came to town, which I write about in the book. For those who don'tknow when Jim Cantori from the Weather channel comes to your town, you betterrun because you're in bad shape when he comes for the worst things arehappening because I knew that I wanted to show that there were bread crumbs inC. S. Lewis's life that end up in the lion, the witch and the wardrobe. Butwhat I really wanted to show was that there are nuggets of every author'slife that show up in their stories but there are also large swaths of storythat are inexplicable and ineffable and can't be pegged down to logic. Welcome to the friends and fictionwriter's Block podcast for new york times, Bestselling authors, one rockstar librarian and endless stories joined mary Kay andrews, Kristen,Harmel, Christie Woodson, harvey and paddy Callaghan Henry Along with RonBlock as novelists, we are four longtime friends with 70 books betweenus and I am Ron block. Please join us for fascinating author interviews andinsider. Talk about publishing and writing. If you love books and arecurious about the writing world, you are in the right place. Welcome to the newest episode of Franceand fiction writer's Block podcast. My absolute favorite episodes are provingto be with guests that you are very likely to be familiar with alreadycelebrating the release of new books. So welcome to once upon Peachtree Bluff.Today we get double the fun. I'm so pleased to welcome new york times,Bestselling authors, paddy Callaghan Henry and Christie Woodson harvey, whoas you all know, are very dear to my heart patty. Your glorious book, Themagical Once Upon a wardrobe was just released on october the 19th andChristy you're highly anticipated. Return to the Murphy family christmasand Pete ST Bluff will be published on october 26th. Both in my humble opinion,are destined to be huge and the early accolades and reviews have beenstunning. So why don't we start out by each of you telling about the books?How do you go first. Thank you Ron I am so excited to behere with the two of you because we we this writing thing, We do it alone andthen this is the best part getting to be together and to talk about somethingyou create in the privacy of your own space. Once Upon a wardrobe is set inthe year 1950 in Worcester England and Oxford England. It is the story of aneight year old little boy named George who was ill and his math and physicsgenius. Sister Meg's who attends Oxford University George finds a book thatburst onto the scene in October of 1950, Exactly 71 years ago this week. Oh, Ididn't know that. And the book was called the Lion the Witch and thewardrobe. It was the first book in what would be a seven part series. But whenthis book came out it was the first and only and George is obsessed with it.His sister comes home from university for the weekend and he tells her aboutit and asks her to track down the...

...author who teaches at her university atOxford and ask him where the land of Narnia came from. She tells him this isridiculous, that is just a story and it's just imagination and he begs andshe loves him. So she goes to find the author, C. S. Lewis and ask him, wheredid Narnia come from? And adventures and soup. That's very well done. It's agreat overview. Now Christie tell us about christmas. Okay, first I have tosay thank you for having us Ron. And also how much I absolutely loved onceupon a wardrobe and when you're talking about meg's and when she is sitting infront of the kilns on that rock and she's like waiting and trying to decidewhat to do. I was like that is like every girl in the whole world at onepoint in her life, you know, like trying to decide, like do I do it, canI get my nerve up, Can I go like approach this person. Anyway, I lovethat part. I love the whole book. Okay, christmas and Peachtree Bluff is thefourth book in my Peachtree Bluff series, the one I said I was nevergoing to right where we are And it is a story about all of the Murphy womenwere returning to Peachtree Bluff And Vivi, who is Caroline's 15 year olddaughter is one of the protagonists of this story and her bad teenage behaviorgets her stuck in Peachtree bluff along with her grandmother, Ansley and herstep grandfather Jack during the storm of the century. Now, if you've neverbeen through a hurricane on an island before, that might not mean much to you.But if there's a hurricane on an island, there's no getting on and there's nogetting off. So you better make sure your provisions. So if you get stuckaccidentally, you're in trouble. So it is on to Caroline Sloan and Emerson um,and his three daughters to rescue not only their family, but also to rebuildPeachtree left just in time for the holidays. So there's plenty of dramaand family drama, but it's also a really good, just they're really feelgood christmas story at its core. Absolutely. I'm fascinated that bothyou and our beloved mary Kay wrote books for the holiday season that yousaid, you are never going to run. Maybe maybe the ticket here is to say I'mnever doing that were doing that. I cannot count the number of times thatpeople would say I'll write more. People should laugh and I would think Iwould say maybe one day and I'd be thinking to myself, lying, never goingto do it. Remember saying I'm tapped out on Lewis's like after I wrote MrsLewis like gun ingested done what I did. Did you feel like you had like,material left over? I mean, did you feel like you had parts that I'm sorry?Look, I'm like taking hello, welcome to the right kidding past with ChristieWoodson harvey, Are you kidding? This is this is what we live for. But I justI'm interested in that. Like, did you just have did you have material leftover and things? Because there's obviously, I mean, this book is verydifferent than becoming Mrs Lewis. I mean, it's it's you know, has a verydifferent feel to it. It's a very different tenor. And you definitelyright about louis a lot more. So did you just have all these things you hadlearned that you were just bubbling inside of you? When I finished MrsLewis, That's a great question. Because when I finished that book, I did haveall this material that I was kind of devastated people would never know.Which is why I did that becoming Mrs Lewis podcast where I interviewed allthose, you know, specialists so that I could tell you all about the things Ihad to leave out of the book, but I never thought I would dive into hisstory, life, the inspiration behind his story. And although this is about thelion the witch and the wardrobe, it's...

...even more so about something muchbigger. It's just that the lion the witch and the wardrobe are aredesigning principle if you're going to get technical about stories, but it'sreally just a vehicle for us to learn and explore the relationship betweenGeorge and meg's and accepting things that seem you can't accept and thingslike that. So, no, I had no plans on taking the leftover pieces of thatnovel and using them for anything else, but just you had no problem sayingnever to they they they do. I know, and I thinkthat's what happens. And I think for me, you know, I had really wanted to writea story about a family that gets stuck on an island during a hurricane and Ijust knew I was like, well that's a peach tree love story. So how do I, youknow, I'm running a christmas book, I mean it's just good fun. Like it wasjust good fun, just might as well throw in a little holiday cheer to ahurricane. Why not? Why not? And I love that, we need to meet them again andagain and again. I also love that. It's you don't have to have read the otherthree. Yeah, thank you. It's like you don't read the Lion the Witch and yeah,these books are an extension of something, but they're not a mandatory.I love that. Yeah, I like that too. There was so much reading the book thatyou just give these little clues of the back story of what happened before. Sothat so that you don't have to have read the others and you can meet themall here and I think what it is, it will germinate in your head and youwant to go back and if you haven't read the earlier ones and find out whathappens and then start bugging Christie about the next one, I was, what did Icall this one back? Said be careful what you ask for. But for all yourreaders you're going to get it, get it and what Christine I've learned is notto give Cathy any ideas that she runs off and does by herself mary Kayandrews. So Christie. How did you research hurricanes? Unfortunately kindof firsthand. I think so. Um I've talked about this a lot so probably alot of people know this but hurricane Florence came through where I live onthe coast of north Carolina in a really, really big way in 2019 which in 19 in 2018 I don't anyway. Yeah,2000 and 18 Yeah, fact checker. Like it's been so like it's literally beenthat long. I can't even believe and maybe I guess it was 2019. But anyway,like we're still rebuilding our house. Like it's just been absolutely insane.But it really, really devastated our whole area and you know, I mean it wasjust one of those things were out of our house for like 18 months and therewas just a lot like that sort of happened surrounding the storm and itwas something that I was like, I'll never want to write about this, but Ithink you get to the other side of something where you start to think like,oh I have something that I could really say about this. And there were we had alot of friends. I mean it was a mandatory evacuation. It was the stormof the Century, quote unquote Jim Cantori came to town, which I writeabout in the book. You don't know when Jim Cantori from the Weather channelcomes to your town, you better run because you're in bad shape like hecomes for the worst things are happening. And so he makes a cameoappearance in the book, which is kind of fun. But I, you know, we evacuatedand we were gosh, we couldn't get back on the island for like 2.5 weeks. Sothe people who stayed here, even if they had provisions, no one hadprovisions for 2.5 weeks. I mean just the amount of water that you yourfamily of four or five would drink in 2.5 weeks, like that's a lot of water.So people started running out of things and they were you know, people werecoming in by boats to bring supplies because the bridges were closed and therescue crews couldn't get into the island And we literally, I meanfortunately we had a lot of stuff at our house and we weren't here. But Imean I was calling friends and saying,...

...you know, go to the house, we have food,we have water, we have wine, we have vodka, the important things. Um, so we,we have friends like coming to our house to like, you know get stuff tokind of try to like re provision because they were running out of things.And so I just thought how scary that is like that you could really, you know,in this day and age with all of our technology and all of our resources andall of the ways that we have to help people, you cannot control mothernature like that. We just can't do it. So I thought it would be really fun towrite. It's really a lot of it was just first hand experience of like what wedid not, not me personally, but just you know the way that people cametogether to rebuild and to help each other and just the logistics of youknow, coming home and realizing that you don't really have a place to go andwhat do you do next? And and all of those things. So you know, it was funto write about and I thought true to life. I mean the hurricane hit,remember evacuating september 11th because I thought it was so eerie thatwe were evacuating on september 11th but you know trying to rebuild thistown in time for christmas like that was the big thing is like okay like wegotta have the tree lighting like the doc's got to be ready for santa. Youknow you know it is very important so but but there actually was a lot ofresearch especially because Caroline Emerson and Sloan come to rescue theirfamily and Peachtree via boat. So my poor husband had to help me a lotbecause we actually had to like chart this path of how they would get hereand how many days it would take and how they could get here like where thestorm would have been going and how it would have been moving. And so therewas a lot of research in that way but it was really fun. He might have beenannoyed but he was a good sport on the outside. So if he was annoyed he actedlike he was having a good time Christie. I can think of way worse research thatyou could make will do. That's true. That's true. I mean like the boatmaster you made him go out on the boat as research goes. It was pretty gooddefinitely. Well it gave me PTSD so it was succeeded I survived and I had tobe evacuated south florida during the years when Florence and jean camethrough and they like knocking on your doors going you're out and you had torun away somewhere. So I when you don't know, I mean like this house has beensitting here for 100 and 20 years and I mean can you imagine how many humongousstorms it's been through and it was totally fine through all of them andour neighbor, you know, it's just a total random, it's mother nature, youjust don't know. It is so patty. We're gonna switch just alittle bit. And one of the beautiful things about once upon a wardrobe isthe conflict between the magic of story and logic. Do you mind talking aboutthat through your characters and how you kind of pulled that together? Oh, Ilove that you noticed that because it's uh it's I feel like it's the two partsof all of us. We are in conflict with ourselves somuch of the time and as creatives writing novels and for you run livingand breathing stories and in the library and interviews, there's there'sthis constant battle between intuition and imagination and logic and which dowe rely on. And I feel like we get in some of the most trouble with ourselvesand with other people when we say it has to be either or it can only belogical or it can only be imaginative and that we have to divide these livesinto two. So for me megs and George were too, there were two very realpeople in my mind and I hope they are mirrors. But there are also these twovery distinct archetypes of kind of the magician and the magic. And then thelogic, you know hardcore, you know, the world relies on math and equations andwe will find the theory of everything.

We will find a way to prove that theworld relies on logic and equation. And they love each other, which was myfavorite part was that these two different archetypes, which are twodifferent people are standing and almost planting their flags on twoseparate hills. And yet they love each other so much and they are so bondedthat they are both willing or trying to see how the other person sees it. Andoften when you have when you're didactic and you have it only this oronly that what breaks it up is a third thing and that third thing is a friendnamed Pedrick who comes into the scene and brings this union of it all bybeing the third. And so for me, I'm constantly battling it. Is this alogical thing to do in my story? Well, that's not a good question, is it right?Or maybe it is right. So this and and the author of the Lion the Witch andthe wardrobe. He wrote much about imagination and logic and his wife, JoyDavid Hman, who I wrote about has this great quote that I love which is I'verealized that life is too intense to be endured by logic alone. And that quotewas was a little bit of an umbrella over over thematically over this story.So I gave those two things to separate people who love each other very muchand yet didn't solve it for you because I don't know how to solve it for myself.So when I can't solve something for myself, I write a story about it. Youknow, this was so interesting because while I was reading your book, I wasgoing through the first pass pages for the wedding veil which is like my 2022story and there's this line that like George Vanderbilt says to his daughterthat writing and art or what we used to make sense of our lives, but it isscience and math that truly govern them. The words might lead you astray but thenumbers are fixed, unchanging and I just was like wow. And it it does kindof become this like a little bit of an umbrella that like has shaped thisstory. And I was like what are the chances like that we would both bewriting a story about? I mean and that's not really your I think youryour deals with it a little bit more but cornelia Vanderbilt has this realobsession with numerology and numbers and like this is kind of where it comesfrom in my fictionalized account of it. And I just thought that was sointeresting because it is something that I think is like artists and humansand we're always trying to make sense of and reconcile like where's the artwhere the numbers, what's the logic and Christie After all of us Being togetherfor the past 20 months in France and fiction. We joke but we share a brainthis my milk and Ron and I talked to Ron Rash last week and we were talkinga little bit about this um you know young and subconscious that we alltapping hopefully tapping into and what I call the river beneath the riverunderneath the river we see and all of us working together all this time. Itwould be weirder if we weren't tapping into the same things because we'reworking on it and working through it and talking every day and you knowKristie Kristin and I super secret because we're not allowed to tell younext book. But we started talking about it and we were like no way. We had somany of the same yes. Set up year were like people are going to think we didthis on purpose. So it would make sense of course that we tap into the thingswe care about and what we care about. We talk to each other about. So it'sgoing to show up. I love it, Christie I...

...love it. I cannot wait to read thewedding. I know me too. I love the cover. I check on a device almosteveryday. Did they drop it yet. Did they drop it yet? I just turned thefirst pass And so no, not yet. But I love what you're saying about aboutsharing the space because we will sit around the house and we'll be talkingabout maybe a brand of furniture or something. And then all of a sudden itshows up on our phone because we're talking about, it's like air drop, airdrop of the brain. Isn't it? Is it is it is okay. So Christie talk about whyyou went back to Peachtree Bluff. What was the, what was the idea that came toyou that said I can do this now. Yeah, I think it was a combination of things.One just during the pandemic. For some reason there was sort of thisresurgence of people reading the Peachtree left series and so I got alittle bit, it was getting a lot of emails from people saying, oh you know,I just went back to Pete Street left, I wish you would write more in thatseries. And um so that's certainly sparked it in some ways because I hadbeen thinking about, you know what if I did get back to Peachtree and what if Idid write this book about this hurricane seven Peachtree class. But Ithink the real tipping point was I was a little bit ahead of schedule. Thewedding veil was already finished because you know, hadn't been on tourfor, feels like falling and not a really tiny tour, well guess under thesouthern sky wasn't out yet, but you know, normally we're all over the placeall year round. Like we're three days here, two days here, we're all over andjust not having done that. I was a little bit ahead on my writing and Ithought wouldn't it be fun to write a christmas book because I was just kindof bummed out. Like we weren't having huge family gatherings and we couldn'thave our parades and we couldn't have our tree lightings and all of thesethings. And I thought, well what if I wrote the christmas that I wished wewere having? And I think that's really what christmas and Peachtree Bluff is.It's like the christmas that I wished we were having in 2020 and I really,truly like I wrote it in real time. Like I wrote it in december. Like, oh,we would have been having the clause crawl tonight, like what, what are wegoing to do around that? And so like it's a christmas eve service or youknow, whatever. It was like I was really writing in real time. So I thinkit was just one of those sort of perfect storms where a bunch ofdifferent things came together at once and and I loved writing it, I mean itreally was, it was so fun to write. So I hope people enjoy reading it and itgives them all those good, you know, hot cocoa follow La feelings? I have tochime in and say of course Christie and I were talking every day when she waswriting this along with mary Kay and Kristen and it was during the holidaysand it was fun. It's more fun to read it. But it was fun to live vicariouslythrough you Christie as you were hiding in the car writing or like you, youmade this for writers who are like, I don't have time. Christie wrote thisbook during the holidays by sneaking the segments of time and it's such agreat lesson, not, not letting an idea come to you and squandering it right.You didn't squander the idea you knew you were in the moment, you had thisenergy because it was the holidays, you knew this family and you didn'tsquander, you didn't make excuses. And I just, and look what happened. Thisbook is so beautiful and so fun. And we all get to go to christmas andPeachtree Bluff. Let's go, Let's go. I mean, so yeah, it's so much about theimportance of family and tradition and home and I just think that we, I don'tknow, we really need that this year. I think we're kind of coming out of somereally rough things and, and it's kind of a question for both of you now,actually, it's like, what did writing during the pandemic do for you? How didyou do this? Because you came out with...

...these beautiful stories that aren'tabout the pandemic. So it's kind of a yin and yang thing. And also did thiswhole thing in the pandemic writing, Change your style, your approach towriting. I I wrote this 90% of this during the pandemic. I had written thefirst couple of chapters, the way I often write first couple of chapters,many in my drawer, just to see if there is a story I had played with it to seeif is there a story here is there somewhere to go with this? Who arethese people do I have enough? And I was set to go on tour for the paperbackof becoming mrs Lewis when we were locked down and my husband can'tstarted working from home, you can't see my face. But I made a bigface. I came home from college and graduate school another case and wewere all in the house together and all working. My husband running a company,my son's doing homework and taking finals and I had started this book, butwasn't planning on this being the next thing. But it was my still point in aworld gone mad because every day I could show up for George and meg's andfigure out what their next adventure might be. It was sad, just like thepandemic was it was teaching us lessons just like the pandemic was it wasasking the bigger questions about life and death And something more and whatthat is. And we were all thinking those things during that time, in a big way.So, for me writing this book during the pandemic, 100% most likely changed thestory. It would have been if I'd written it, otherwise we'll never knowbecause I didn't write it otherwise. But I do believe that writing it duringthat time while the world was going mad, it was my still Point and Touchstone ina world gone mad. And I hope it's the same for people Now, I agree with youwholeheartedly as the reader, it just was full of magic. And I just rememberwhen I got the book and I sat down, I was just like, oh my God, here we go,here we go. And I just want to dive in. What about for you, Christine? Well, Imean, for one thing, this book wouldn't exist if there hadn't been a pandemicfor a number of reasons. I mean, one, because, you know, had this plan that Iwas going to be researching the wedding veil and I was going to be in Nashvilleall the time. I was going to build more all the time. And I was like, you know,getting my annual pass and like meeting with all these people and I had allthese ideas and then I didn't do any of that. So, you know, all of thatresearch was happening, you know online and in books and talking to experts onthe phone and that kind of thing. So and also I mean just are writingsprints when we got up every single morning and we were all riding togetherand so I think I was a little bit, you know, faster than normal because if wedidn't write mary Kay um was to us called us out on the show, I mean itwas just really terrible. So we couldn't lie to each other. Yeah, Imean you couldn't lie and say you wrote your words. I mean I would never anyway,but also, you know, I think I think christmas and Peachtree and the weddingveil and they're obviously very different books but I think they'reboth stories about what we do in the face of an unforeseen future andelements that we cannot predict or change or be in control of and in someway, I mean in a lot of ways, Once Upon a wardrobe is that also mean we'rewriting about the things that we cannot control and how do we make sense ofthem and how do we move forward? And you know, and once upon a wardrobethat's in a very deeply emotional level...

...and in some ways the wedding veil tochristmas and peach tree, you know, it is a little less so, but I think um youknow, all of these, all of these characters and all of these stories arecoming up against things that they cannot control and that is what we weredoing was coming up against this big thing that we could not explain. Wecould not control and we did not know what was going to happen and we didn'teven really have much of a barometer for it, although ironically I waswriting about the spanish flu. So we were like, so now I'm like, ok, twomonths and two days. It was two months and two, I mean two months, two yearsand two months, like we can make it two years and two months, right? Thatsomeone special, I think you kept into something so important there becausewhat we do a lot of times between aside from trying to write really wonderfulbooks and get better all the time and dive into the bigger things iseverybody including us during that time was trying to figure out how to getthrough it and we dealt with it, Christie the best way we knew how bywriting a story, right? And that's because story is meaning making and ifwe're going to try to make meaning out of something, that's how we're going todo with that's right. Making something out make it up except not about yoursprinting words. No, we didn't I make that up. Do not do not. I really, I yousaid something patty to that, like you get better and you do get better. Youboth are I feel like something happened that just makes you each go a littlebit deeper into your story. I've said that before, Christie, like the toolthat you used of the coffee delivery. Like where did that come from? Out ofnowhere? It was brilliant, brilliant because I was in the shower. I meanthat's where all the good ideas come from. Right, right shower and driving.Yeah I wasn't driving but I really did. I was in the shower and I remember likejust laughing to myself and being like yes this is happening, I won't say whatit is because I want to ruin it for everyone but it's kind of funny andsilly but also you're right, but also a really big tool, that kind of the storynow revolves around a fabulous tool. Let me tell you. It was really kind ofwant to make me really want, among other reasons why I wanted to livethere. Yes, absolutely. Want to live there, Give Me Too. You kind of do butwith patty. Um one of the things I loved about once kind of wardrobe isthat we get this almost like a side glimpse of C. S. Lewis, so he was frontand center and mrs Lewis but here we're seeing him through megs lens and we'reseeing him on a different level and a more personal things. So how did youget to that point? And how did you switch? That was the hardest decision.That was the that was the if you want to call it the print designingprinciple, whatever you want to call it, that was the hardest for me to figureout. And took a lot of alone time walks because I knew that I wanted to showthat there were bread crumbs in C. S Lewis's life that end up in the lion,the witch and the wardrobe. But what I really wanted to show was that thereare nuggets of every author's life that show up in their stories, but there arealso large swaths of story that are inexplicable and ineffable and can't bepegged down to logic and Lewis was nothing more than as brilliant andwonderful as he is. He was the vehicle to show that. So I didn't want his lifeto take over the story because this isn't a biography or even a semibiography. This is a showing of how our...

...lives end up in our stories. It justhappens to be that he wrote a story that has entered the universalconsciousness in such a way that even if nobody has ever read the lion thewitch and the wardrobe when you say Aslund or you say the White Witch whereyou say toughness, everybody knows what you're talking about. I was watchingthis like sitcom on netflix last night and it was something like it's justreally silly, you know, and somebody said something about Narnia and you'rejust like you're right. I mean it really is, it's just such a part of ourconsciousness and it's not like it was some, you know, intellectual show, likeit was this and it was like a silly moment in this silly show with thesesilly characters. That's meant to be silly, you know, they're talking aboutNarnia and and that that was the point is that these stories Christie enterour universal consciousness and then how did it even come into the world?Well, a little bit was his life, but a lot of it is inevitable. And so toanswer your question, Ron in a full circle, I wanted to figure out how toshow that, but I didn't want to lecture you and I didn't want to give a Lewisbiography. So it took me a long time to figure out. I wanted to separate us bythree. This is not a spoiler because it happens in the first couple of chapters,but he tells Meg's meg's leaves, right? Sit in a notebook, Meg's reads it toGeorge and we see it through George's eyes. So we're separated by three. Youdon't have to sit there and have louis lecturers, you can read hisautobiography surprised by Joy for that. But if you want to see the parts of hislife and how they affect an eight year old boy who was trying to understandwhere a magical land came from that had to use a completely different structurethan what would have been easy and logical, I needed to find a way to moveit to separate you by about three from it. George is just his imagination andhis dedication to this is just one of the most magical parts of the book. Yes.Speaking of young people in Christie in your book, there's a young teenager whowe get to know named Vivi, and my question for you is is that you, isthat based on, you know, I that's really funny. I'm like, no, I don'tknow, call my mom. Um no, I mean, I think that I was a pretty well behavedteenager, I tried to be, I mean, I have my moments, obviously it was a teenagerwasn't like, you know, but I tried to like, I don't think I was ever late, that mean to my parents, I'll say that,but she's definitely going through something and I do think that there isa tendency, gosh, I mean, even when we're older, I mean, I think sometimesthere's a tendency when things are going wrong in our lives that we blamethem on our mother because that's easy to do, she's gonna love us anyway, sowe can be mean to her and blame things on her and everything is her fault andand she's going to be there no matter what, so I definitely want to bringthat out a little bit and you know, I think Vivi is I mean she's a she's ateenager, she's a typical teenager and she's testing her limits and she'sdoing things that she shouldn't do and I mean even like, gosh, one of myfavorite parts of her story is the way that she like works Jack who's like hernew step grandfather and like she knows that he's kind of like itching to getin her good graces and she milks that for all its worth and I think that is avery typical 15 year old girls situation, but you know, she does learnsome really hard lessons in this book and she goes through some things thatshe needs to, but then on the flip side of that, you know, you also get to kindof experience that like really innocent kind of First blush of like a crushturning into something more with you know, this boy and um just all of thosethings, I loved writing her, I mean...

...writing a 15 year old was super duperfun. Um but it was it was funny too because I have a niece who's 15 and soI would be texting or like okay, like so what do you call it now when you'renot like dating someone, you're not like, you know, you're not going outbut at like pre stage she's like, I don't know, like talking and I was likeokay that's what we called it too, I'm not that old. Yes, or maybe the termshave just been the same for eternity. I don't know. But it was really funnyjust to like get this like inside clubs and I probably got some of it wrong,but hopefully there won't be like Tons of 15 year olds telling me that Ididn't do it right. So hopefully I got it mostly right. I tried to and butit's funny how easily I remember being 15, you know? Oh, I think that's one ofthe fascinating things about writing, Christie is that we realize in writingthat all our ages are inside of us. If we can, if we take the time and thefocus to tap into it, all our ages are inside of us. Somebody asked me today,how do you write a 12 year old? So well I'm like, I am her 12 year old, 22 I am36 interesting, I am the grandma. I mean I am all those things right. Ithink it's interesting to like, I don't know if this happens to you, but I'llbe writing and something will just come out of my fingers and it's either likea memory of mine or a story that someone told me, but I never could haverecalled it. Like if you had said to me, let's plan for this or let's, I neverwould have been able to bring out that specific memory, but in the course ofthe story, it just flows out. It's amazing. It's amazing. I, that's partof what once upon a wardrobe is about is maybe he wasn't even aware that thattrip to done loose castle when he was eight years old turned into careparable. I'm quite sure he was. But our subconscious just throws up thesethings when we're open to story that they are crazy. I am, my daughter'sname is Meghan. And a couple years ago when I took a family trip and was doingsome research for my book, the book shop at waters and I visited our oldfamily tt tt cabin in Orleans Cape cod massachusetts and it was on Meg's Laneand I had forgotten but obviously I hadn't forgotten. So that's what storydoes it like brings up all these things from our compost pile because we areall of it. Like my, you know, my mom brought home my like fourth grade northCarolina project for a little while to look at because he was doing his northCarolina project right now and the things that I had chosen to write aboutin that project were absolutely insane. I mean like I read about built more, Iread about the Vanderbilts, I wrote about like some other things that likeI want to write about in the future, like this person that I want to, I meanit was so bizarre to me. Like all these little things, there's something thatwas like really obscure that I had written about that. Like I just readabout in the book and I can't remember what it is, but I mean just thesethings that you're like, it's all in there, it's all in there. Yeah, wellit's crazy. Sometimes whole Pope podcast, we could talk about the thingswe thought we forgot that showed up in books. Exactly, yes, okay, we'll putthat on the calendar. I love that one. But it's funny, you're right, I can bereminded of something by a smell or a taste or a scene or a word and all of asudden you can actually go back and relive it in a way in your brain andit's all there in vivid color, all in vivid, vivid color. So we would beremiss if we didn't talk a little bit about Friends and fiction, how that'sgoing, how, you know, what's coming up, blah blah. It's going okay, that's likesaying there's not very many stars in the sky a it's going on. It is prettyawesome. Yeah, I mean, I never patty, I...

...don't know about you, I think you agreewith us, but we did not imagine we did not imagine such a thing and run Ithink to not only is Christie right, we couldn't have imagined it and we havesome pretty dang good imagination big imagination. You have big imaginations,but we couldn't have reverse engineered it. We couldn't have started where weare now and say, ok, here's our goal. We want 53,000 facebook members, 10,000Book Club members, you know, headlining book festivals. That's our big goal. Wedidn't have that. We said, we said we're isolated, let's gather, let'sbuild a community and support independent bookstores and eachother and our books and other authors books. And I just, and I think if wehad reverse engineered it, none of us would have ever started. We would havesaid no, we can't. It's too big. It's too much, it's too hard. We can't, wecan't. And so to just be able to I mean, we certainly, I don't want to saystumbled into it. We worked very, very hard on it and we have since day one,it's a ton of work. But it's amazing work that we love and we get so muchback, you know, from all these incredible people in this greatcommunity and it's amazing. And also what's amazing is we couldn't haveplanned that we have four women from four different decades for differentwriting genres, from myst mystery to historical fiction to contemporary. Wecouldn't have known that our personalities would melt so well thatwhat I can't do, I eat money, Christie ken and what what kristen can't do, Ican and what mary Kay doesn't want to do or can't do the three of us can pickup. It's just been this collaborative wonder that you can't make happen. Youcan't force someone to be that way. None of us could figure out thestarting podcast, we called Ron who jumped in and when I don't knowwhat I'm doing, but let's see what we can do, made magic. It's incredible.It's been wonderful. I think almost like Friends and fiction itself is astory that you're all writing together because you don't know what the endingis yet, but you're writing a chapter by chapter and you're figuring it out asyou go along and it's just so, so impressed to watch it. You watch itunfold because we were never ending story Ron there is no, there you go. We?Re recorded our trailer interest never, it's true. It's true. But you give somuch to so many people and I hope you, you, you know how much people love youand I appreciate everything you do and just a connection you have with them isjust unbelievable. Well, I can't wait to see everyone on tour. So y'all comesee us, we're gonna be together, Patti. I hope that we love each other as muchas we think we were gonna be together for like 10 days. I'm fairly sure we dobecause we have gone we have been together for large swaths and like, andlike we've been like the four of us, like we've been through some stufftogether, you know, I mean, we really have, it's something. Yeah. And we, and,and the support, like I've never once thought, oh, I can't tell them aboutthis, that I dropped this ball or didn't do something because supportstructure is, is amazing. Including you Ron block, including meg walkerincluding our book club ladies, you know, Brenda and lisa like this team isone mighty supportive collaboration and we will all be together in january. CanI see, I will see you in a week. I'll...

...see you in a week. I can't believe it.Thank you, Ron this was awesome, thank you. And we didn't even get tohalf things I wanted to talk about, but we'll have a part to, we can have apart to what was amazing launch episodes coming up, Christie hasrichard paul Evans coming up, I have Alice Hoffman coming on, I've not heardof her, just kidding. Imagine. All right, All right guys, thank you all Thank you.Thank you both for hanging out with me to talk about, you know, his books, Iam so proud to witness your publishing journeys and I treasure watching yougrow and sharing your wonderful gifts with readers. I feel so proud andhonored to know you both. Please be sure to visit both patty and Christie'swebsites to find out where they're going to be and follow their socialmedia to learn all about their antics and thank you all for listening to thisspecial podcast episode, please visit their websites, as I mentioned beforeto learn more about their tour stops and as always we're so glad that you'vejoined us. And remember, please tell a friend about the podcast. Remember youcan always find all the books by every Friends and fiction writer's blockpodcast. Guest past and present in the friends and fiction bookshop dot org.Shop All sales place there helped to fund friends and fiction and a portionof each and every sale goes straight into the pockets of indie booksellersnationwide. Since its inception, bookshop dot org has raised more than16 million for indie bookstores, shops, small shop local from the convenienceof your screen with bookshop dot org and tell them Friends and fiction sentyou. Thank you for tuning in to the Friends and fiction Writer's blockpodcast. Please be sure to subscribe rate and review on your favoritepodcast platform, tune in every friday for another episode And you can also join us every week onFacebook or YouTube where our live friends and fiction show airs at sevenp.m. eastern standard time. We are so glad you're here.

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