Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 3 weeks ago

WB: S1E31 The Beaufort Special: A Look Back with Meg Walker

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Ron talks with Meg Walker to hear about her background and how she became the glue that holds Friends and Fiction together. Includes interviews with F & F fans taped in Beaufort at our live event in June!

Okay, mm hmm. Welcome to our year end episodeof the Friends and Fiction Writer's Block podcast for this one. We thoughtwe'd give you a treat. First up I will be chatting with the managing directorof Friends of Fiction meg walker. It was wonderful to hear a bit about herbackground, her role in making the magic happen and a bit about how shegot involved. And following that we have a special surprise. Earlier thisyear, I was able to talk with some of our friends and fiction members duringour live event in beaufort north Carolina. They are so good. We wantedto save them for a very special episode. So welcome to our look back at 2021. Iam round block. Okay, welcome to the Friends and fiction Writer's Blockpodcast. five New York Times, Bestselling Authors, one rock starlibrarian and endless stories, Join Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel,Kristy Woodson, Harvey Patti Callahan, Henry Mary Alice Munro and Ron Block asnovelists. We are five longtime friends with 85 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. Yeah, welcome to a special edition of theFriends and fiction writer's Block podcast. I am Ron Block recently. Thefab five held their first live event in gorgeous beaufort north Carolina. Theweek's events were to help raise money for the Beaufort historical Society andwe're completely sold out. Anyone who was there knows what an amazing time.We had many stopped by to chat with me about the events, about how amazinglyfar they had traveled and how much the friends and fiction group has meant tothem. I can't wait for you to hear from them directly later on in this podcast.But first I want to talk to a really special guest, the amazing meg walker.There's so much about what meg does and how she does it that you don't know andI thought you'd all like to get to know her a little bit better. Hi, meg hi,why don't you tell everybody how you got to become a part of friends andfiction. Sure. Well, so my history is that I worked in house at Severalpublishing houses for many, many years, probably 17 plus years. I was in houseIn 2008. I went out on my own and I started my own company. And just bychance one of my first clients was Mary Kay Andrews. I was friends with MaryKay's agent and he contacted me to ask if I was interested in doing somefreelance marketing For Mary Kay. And so I've been working with her eversince. She was literally our first...

...client as we announced the formation ofour company tandem literary in the beginning of 09. So I don't know howmany years is that? I'm really bad at math because I was an English major but12.12. Yeah. So I've been working with mary Kay and with patty and on and offwith mary Alice for a long time. So that's how I came to the friends andfiction universe was through those women I had never met Kristy WoodsonHarvey. I had spoken to her on the phone a couple of times and madeexchanged emails and I had run promotions that she was a part of butwe didn't really know each other very well and I didn't know kristen at all.But I was with the ladies I was working for Mary Kay and for patty as they hadthese spring of 2020 books coming out and all the panic that ensued as far astheir tours being canceled and how were they going to reach their readers? Howare they going to sell books? How we're bookstores going to survive all theconcerns that they've talked about so often on the show. And I said to maryKay one day I said no I just saw on facebook today, this group of authorsthat resume together and they did screen captures of it and they put itup on facebook you should do that with your friends. You know, there's so manyauthors she's in regular touch with and I thought really I wasn't thinking muchbeyond that. I said just a picture of a zoom with with you ladies talking toeach other so that they know who you're friends with and that you're connectedand they feel connected to you and they literally got on that first zoom andreinvented the wheel and created a whole universe within the first twosessions. And you know, I think the rest is kind of history. I mean I wasat first not really working for them in any sort of paid capacity. I was doingmarketing for mary Kay and for patty, but I was watching this whole thingtake off and I was backstage, so to speak at all of the early shows but Ididn't have an official role really until july july. So I love that youwere there at the very, very beginning. That's excellent. But so now that youare more involved and more of a very important integral part, what is itthat you do for them on a weekly basis? Well, so at first I did a proposal forthem because as I, as I sat and watched the whole thing unfold and how muchwork it was becoming for each of them. Um I, we all thought there's gotta be away for for me or somebody to be able to take some of that work off theirplate and to run some of the nitty gritty day to day stuff of the showbecause between the five of them um writing their books and marketing theirbooks and um researching and everything else that they have to do. Um it wasbecoming too much. So um you know, initially I just said, here's thethings I think from a management...

...perspective needs to be done and Isubmitted a proposal and I think the answer came within five minutes, yes,we need all of this helps. So, so yeah, it was funny. I didn't have a title fora while and then we had this in person summit, we called it in november, weall went to Tybee Island and stayed at one of mary Kay's beach houses. And itwas the first time some of us actually met in person, and that's where we cameup with the title for me, which we came up with Managing Director, which Ithought sounded important and it's very important, almost like a, like a joke.It was it sounded so we didn't know what else to call. I was like, weeither come up with something funny and stupid or we come up with somethingthat sounds official and have some gravitas. So I suggested managingDirector and I'm like, yeah, that's great, that sounds good. Um I don'tknow, I think if I when I listen to other podcasts and I hear them roll thecredits at the end, I think, Oh I do all, I do all of that and they justnamed 12 people, but so what I do is I help book the guests. So um I thinkthat the guests, when we decide on who would like to have on the show, it's,it happens in several ways. Um Either one of one of the fab five suggestssomebody um or I do or someone comes and pitches somebody to us. Um So allthe guest relations comes down to me basically, you know, emailing, wouldyou like to be on? This is the date we have open and sort of coordinating allthat. Um I managed the newsletter, so I write all that copy for the newsletterthat we put out every Wednesday. Um I managed the building that newsletterlist. Um I started up the instagram page and I was doing all that postingfor a little while until we got an intern to help with that. Um but I'mhighly involved with the day to day scheduling of, of the, of the regularposts that go up on on a regular basis on the instagram feed. Um what else onthe advertising executive of the group. So I'm the one who tries to go out andget sponsors for the show and I interface with the folks at MamaGeraldine's and when we had page one books and story point wines and sothere's contracts involved with that and, and um money payments and umschedules and what we've agreed to do for them and I have to make sure allthat's actually happening. Um I, I write the episode descriptions, I, youknow, there's all we host a meeting every thursday morning that uh, hasgone as long as two hours plus sometimes, but we try to get, get itdone in an hour and we, we sort of hash through every last thing about how didlast night's show go and what's on the horizon. And a few months back, westarted up what I call committee structure because we had a situationwhere all five authors and I were all...

...worrying about everything and I thoughtthis can't, this isn't functioning properly. So we decided to divvy thingsup in a way that would be more equitable and so that everyone had apiece they could worry about and then you just, you know, rely on yourcolleagues to handle their peace and so that's been, that's been super helpfulI think so. Um, I mean I still, and basically the sponsor, I kinda overseeall of them and I ride herd on everybody to make sure they're doingtheir stuff and um, but you know, like for example, patties in charge of thepodcast and um, the facebook group and mary Kay is incharge of instagram and sponsors and Kristen's in charge of the paradecolumn and the book club, right? And Christie is our money lady and ourmerch lady, right mary Alice's website and so and so on. So it's just been um,it's really a management role where it's a guest relations, advertising,social media, Oh, I do some graphics to a graphic design it a little bit ofeverything I guess. I'm a producer. I don't know, I can't really say I haveno tech wizardry knowledge at all. We we we rely 100% on automata and Seanand his team um for all of that and we're so grateful to have them. Um butI kind of have my hands in every bit of the rest of it, I'd say you do. So I'dlike to know how many clones of yourself do you have it At one time inyour home? That's funny. I wish I did and I wish I knew how to delegatebetter. And the only reason we have brought on, we have an assistant whohelps with the newsletter and with, well you sort of um administrativestuff and we do have the intern and the only reason we brought them on isbecause the fab five came to me and said, you're you're gonna burn yourselfout. You can't do all this here, get somebody to do this here, get somebodyto do that. It's very hard for me to delegate. Um and it's not because Idon't think other people wouldn't know how to do it. It's just, you know, how,how it is when you're working very hard and then you have to stop and thinklike take the time to explain it and hand it off. I might as well just do itmyself and then you find yourself working these ridiculous 12 hour days,you know basically seven days a week and it's not healthy. So um we arelearning to delegate more and um and I have you know I have gotten some helpwhich is great. Delegating is so important and it's sohard to do though. I totally agree with you but it has grown into such aphenomenon. Were you surprised by that? Um in a way, yes, but in a way, no, Imean I think it was just the right thing at just the right time. So and Iknow them all well. I knew a few of them so well before this and I knowthem all very well now but knowing them...

...and um the way that they approach theirwork and then the way they approach their colleagues and how kind heartedand generous they are as human beings. Um No I think I'm not surprised thatpeople responded to it because um they really are. Um it wasn't a selfishendeavor and I think if it was a selfish endeavor, if it just was let'sget through the spring and figure out how to sell our own books and then wrapit up with a bone and consider it done. I don't think it would have resonatedwith everybody. And the mission was much more altruistic than that from theget go, they really were very concerned about independent bookstores. Theyreally were concerned about other authors. Um they were concerned aboutgetting the word out about not so much the name brand authors. We've had lotsof name brand authors on the show and they're friends with lots of name brandauthors and they are name brand authors. But there, you know, how does a debutnovel make it in a shutdown world and how does a midlist book that no one'sever really heard of become a breakout title? Um and so they felt like theyhad a role to play in that and and so that I think is why it resonated butbut to be perfectly honest I think everybody was surprised at how quicklyit took off and how fast it grew and I mean no no one of us ever really couldhave predicted that we would, you know 50,000 followers between Facebook andInstagram and that we'd have a spinoff group in this amazing book club with7000 of its own members. Um you know I so yeah, I mean in a way it issurprising um but it's been just a whirlwind and baptism by fire and um Ithink what has made it so great is that everybody works very hard and they'rein it for the right reasons. Yeah. The word that comes to mind for me is justauthentic. Um in my library life I've known mary Kay and mary Alice for many,many years and and they are exactly and gotten to know Patty and the othersChristy and kristen. They're all just so authentic that they just, theyreally are in it for the right reasons they really are. I think you know whatyou see is what you get and then none of that is put on. It's not like, youknow, they decided to get on this show and this one is the funny one and thatone is the sweet one and this one is the deep one. It's like, it's not, it'snot, they're not role playing and it's not fake. Um it they really are verygood friends with one another. They would do anything for each other. Um,and I think it's all of that authenticity like you said reallyshines through on the show. That's so true. Another thing that really stoodout for me is how early and how quickly...

...the fans showed up and how they bondedwith each other and with the authors. Um can you talk about that relationshipa little? Yeah, I mean, I think it just goes back to what a weird, isolatedtime we were living in and it was this kind of fellowship and community uh,that came out of this group and the show, it was something that people werereally thirsty for out there. Hold on. Should not use the word thirsty. I feellike that word is ruined now. Okay, I'm gonna stay hungry. That was funny. Okay. I just thinkpeople were dying for that kind of a way to bond and connect with otherpeople everyone was so shut up in their houses and there was there were noevents to go to everyone was reading, which is great and it's great for thepublishing industry as a whole and it's great for literacy and just humanitythat everyone is reading books so much. But you know the part of the joy ofreading a book is talking to other people about it and connecting withother people and I think this um community really gave people an outletin a way to connect with like minded people. Um and it's funny, it's all thethings your parents always told you not to do or that us as parents tell theirkids not to don't make friends with strangers on the internet, but that'sall we did over the past year and it's been really nice to see how authenticsome of these bonds are and to see uh I mean the rise of the book Club itselfis the perfect example of that and that there were fans of the show willing tocome forward and give up their own time to um make uh you know, it's like aspinoff community of their own and and to watch these folks who don't knoweach other in person, um get to know each other really well online and thenI've had the pleasure a couple of times already now at um in person. Bookevents with patty and um with mary Kay and and on the Beaufort trip of seeingsome of them meet each other for the first time. And it's remarkable becauseout here in the ether when you see their names, you think of them asfriends with each other or they know each other and then you see them inperson and it's like no we're all virtual strangers meeting for the firsttime and it's it's just been that part's been really um amazing andfulfilling and just completely lovely. It is true. I'm always struck by howkind everybody isn't supportive of each other even though they don't know eachother. One of my favorite stories is how Brenda and least are the leaders ofthe the book the Book Club, it had never met in person until an event withChristy and that was like such a great story, great story really. I mean thosetwo are so special and they bring so much to um to the whole friends andfiction world, we're so grateful to...

...them. They do. I agree. So let's talkabout Beaufort, how did that event all come together? Because as far as I knowit's the first live event with Friends and fiction. Yeah. So well there's beentalk of doing you know friends and fiction live and the five authorstogether on the road and you know there's a lot of venues that havereached out and said that they would love to host them. Could you come hereand could you come there and we could really draw a crowd. It just didn't,the time wasn't right yet to have all five of them in one place. Um Kristenhad it a tour coming, you know, she has a five year old at home and she had abook tour coming right after. But the opportunity for the Beaufort thing cameup because it's Kristy Woodson, Harvey's hometown and she's deeplyinvolved with the historical society there and the the tour of homes and shealways does book events every year at this time. It's like sort of it takesplace over a stretch of days into a weekend and I know she's had patty comeand she said mary Alice come. I don't know if mary Kay did thatidentity of the Beaufort events in the past. But um she's Christie brought itup and said what what if we try to get all of us there and what if we try toif we can't get all of us at least get some of us and try to pull off, youknow, a sort of a friends and fiction live type of thing and it justeverybody said yes who could and we made it happen. Um Christie made ithappen because she's amazing. She's a dynamo. I mean she lives thereand she knew hotel rooms would be hard to come by. Um so she talked to herfriends and neighbors and was able to find a couple of houses for several ofus to stay in and um it just all came together. It was just an incredibletrip. Um you know to it was I think a doubleheader one day right to I don'tknow I think there were five events over the course of two days. Yeah itwas a lot, it was a turn and I just, I wasawestruck by the response of people. I think the tickets sold out in recordtime and it was just like they were so excited to be there. Yeah it was it was super nice to sayand I had a little bit of a preview of that because um I had done a luncheonevent with mary Kay and patty um um pawleys island south Carolina withlitchfield books um in May and It was a packed house of you. No more than 200people I think and sold out. And there were a lot of friends and fiction fansthere and I went on the road with mary Kay for a couple of weeks in May and Igot the sense that every single event I was at with her, there were friends andfiction fans there and I think more...

...attendees than you would maybe haveseen at some of these events prior to the lunch of friends and fiction. Sohad a little taste of what the fandom was like and that these folks are,people were actually going to start showing up in the flesh in real life.And so when we got to Beaufort it was that realized on a grand scale, it wasgreat. And also a lot of people I talked to actually came from very faraway. They just weren't going to miss this. And they were meeting up withother friends and fiction fans that they hadn't met before other thanonline. So it was just a highlight. What were some of the highlights foryou of the events? I have to say? I love flat kristen. So Kristin KristinHarmel couldn't make it as we discussed, but patty had a cardboard cut out likea fat head thing made of kristen and we brought her everywhere with us and shewas in all the pictures and so that became a running gag the whole time.And um, I loved when mary Alice very sort of unexpectedly hit the bestsellerlist with her middle grade book Islanders at number two while we wereall together. And that became a big celebration with all the people whowere in attendance and champagne. And so that was super fun. And um, I likedthe spontaneity of the, there was a friends and fiction live event at theCoral Bay Club The one evening, um, they played a little storytelling gamewith dove chocolate and dove promises and I thought that was super fun andoff the cuff and kind of indicative of the show because you sort of never knowwhat's going to happen and it was we were watching it and unspool and inreal time we were my goodness. That when mary Alice got the number two Ithink I was sitting right next to you and what we ran over it was so, soexciting. Yeah, so it's a Wednesday night. And for those of us in thepublishing industry, the new york times bestseller list comes on Wednesdays atfive PM. So there's always this the Wednesday, you know anticipation whenthe list comes in. So I opened it, I was looking at it on my phone and thefirst couple of pages are the adult list, hardcover fiction and nonfiction,paperback fiction and nonfiction combined print and e book fiction andnonfiction. And I usually stop scrolling there because I don't reallywork on any Children's books so I didn't even think to look and then Ithought oh wait a minute mary Alice came over and said my phone is blowingup, can you look at the list? And I thought oh being lightbulb I forgot tolook to scroll further down and Ron and I were sitting together and I was likenumber two, Number two. Oh my God, yeah it was fun. That was a kind ofunforgettable moment. For sure. It totally was. Yeah, I loved just thefour of them that were on stage though really just showed us who they reallyare, they, do you think that, you know, when they're one way on facebook andlive, they wouldn't be, they were exactly the same. They were funny, youcould tell that they cared so much about each other, what's next for thegroup. Well we're going to do some more...

...events, so I think they're doing anevent with the Nantucket Book festival, that's virtual this year. They hope toeventually someday to do festivals like that in person, all five of them. Sothat event is on Tuesday July 20 of virtual event with all five of themhosted by Nantucket Book Partners. So I think with two weeks ago they'vealready gotten 400 people signed up to attend that, which is amazing,incredible. Yeah, we were given a very lofty goal of 750 attendees, so let'suh hope more people sign up and come. It's gonna be super fun. The ladieshave very graciously agreed to write an original story that they're sort ofrelay writing each taking a piece, handing it off, finishing the storylike that they're all contributing to and they're gonna read it live on theair and there's going to be sort of a game show element to it. And then Ithink eventually as far as what's coming on the horizon, I think theywould love to do a mini tour of sorts and do some live in person events, youknow around the country and as far as I mean, we're just going to keep growingthe facebook group and growing the instagram feed and growing ournewsletter following and hopefully providing people with content that theywant and that they love and that they react to and respond to that. I agree with all of that. Well, meg, Ipersonally can't thank you enough for everything you do to support me asbeing part of the team and I know that everybody on that team appreciate youmore than you probably know and even the fans out there just love all of thethings that you helped provide for them. So I just, you're just amazing. Just aminute. Thank you, Ron it's a big love fest. The feeling is mutual, it's true,it's true. It is a big love fest. It really is. Thanks so much. Andeverybody, I hope that you have enjoyed this special episode and that you willtune in every week to friends and fiction writer's block podcast andwe've got a lot of surprises coming for you. So stay tuned, share and favoriteand subscribe. Wasn't that terrific meg amazes meevery time I talked to her and I totally want to be her when I grow up.She's accomplished so much and she's become a good friend and trusted leader,but now it's time for us to hear from some of our friends and fictionbeaufort fans, I know you're gonna enjoy this once again, we have a gigantic superfan here, Tell us your name and where you're from? My name is Taylor lin's. Ilive in Cleveland Ohio with Ron and he's the only reason. When did you first learn about Friendsand Fiction? Okay, well I've been a huge fan of these authors for years andI'm so spoiled by our library back home. Um and when the pandemic hit and thefull calendar of events that we had was canceled, I couldn't imagine a yearwithout them and little did I don't know how to get to go. I can't go aweek without him. That's awesome. Do you have anyfavorite moments that you can share...

...with people? I know there's a lot, butis there just a couple? You know, I love the bloopers and Ilove that they keep it so lighthearted and so fun and they laugh at themselvesand Patty was talking about the snort today. Um And which which one was that?That was Christie's launch event, Right, That was that's hysterical. So talkabout authors that you may have discovered watching that you now love. Mhm Well, I love all the old favoritesthat I get to hear, who I haven't gotten to meet before, but I think thenew one would be uh what wade Rouse, Viola Shipman, His fantastic books. Iwent through those super quickly after his events. Excellent. Um What can youtell a little bit more about what friends and fiction has meant to youduring the pandemic. Um well books are everything of course.And um, but reading them is, is only half the fun. I've found that you know,book people are the best people and when we were locked up in our homes andwe couldn't see them in any way. Uh Friends and fiction came along and weweren't without our book people anymore. We've got a whole new circle of friendsand they don't live in our neighborhoods, but we get to connectover books more than we ever did in the past. That's excellent. Thank you so much Andkeep tuning into friends and fiction. Welcome to the Friends and fictionevent, Can you tell us your name and where you're from? My name is RobinKlein and I'm from Ottawa, New Jersey, awesome. Can you tell us when you firstheard and got involved with the friends and fiction group? It would have to beover a year ago. Um, I was on facebook and when I saw who the authors were, Iwas familiar with mary Alice Munro and mary Kay andrews and I thought it wouldbe a wonderful way to kind of entertain myself during the pandemic. Wonderful.Now do you have any favorite moments from watching them for almost a year?My favorite, I love the humor and I love the way that they, when somethinggoes wrong, they just roll with it. But I especially love all the wonderfulauthors that we've heard. My favorite would have to be Jodie PICO when shewas on um because I had seen and I had seen something on the kiya Hoga libraryand it was just wonderful to see her. She had been with lisa johnson, nancyjohnson, excuse me, nancy johnson who would adore. Um okay,so what has the friends and fiction group meant to you through the pandemic?It's given me a focus um, and finding a joy in reading again because eventhough I knew a few of the authors in the beginning, there are so many newbooks and authors that I had no idea about as attested to by the three orfour books at home, bags of books at home that I want to read right now thatI've purchased. And it also taught me...

...the importance of independentbookstores because I really hadn't thought that much about it. And nowwhen I make purchases, I try to get it from Indies when I can. That'swonderful. Thank you so much for being at the event tonight. I hope you have agreat time. You're welcome. And it was a pleasure on. Thank you. I'm here with two super fans of friendsand fiction and I'm going to ask them to introduce themselves. I am linda Grigsby from Bethany BeachDelaware and I'm Sheila Bower also from Bethany Beach Delaware. Wonderful. Sowhen did you first learn about Friends and fiction. Mm hmm. Um, last spring Iwas quote unquote stuck in Bethany Beach Delaware. Because at the time Iwas also living in phoenix Arizona and I was alone and I stumbled upon thefriends and fiction notice saying that they were going to start this thing.And so I invited linda over and we watched it. It was the first one. Andmary Alice no mary Kay was in her pajamas and it was wonderful. Mm hmm. I have nothing more to add.That's okay. So what are some of your favorite moments from the friends andfiction facebook lives? I know I can say I love the interactionthat they have with each other. We were just talking about this in the car. Wewere saying that they they're they're such real people and they don't takethemselves so seriously. Like, you know, they're they're not that intense allthe time. They make fun of each other. They make fun of themselves. They laugh.But yet they're great writers and they do the research and they put out suchgood books. So there's not maybe not one specific thing. I like I just likeeverything about it. And I love um over the over the months, I've reallyenjoyed the new authors when they bring in the new authors and they interviewthem. Um they've made when I, when I get to meet them. I feel like, oh, Iknow them and I should read their book. Because they're my friend. So I lovethat part. Is there any of the new authors that have become a favorite? Absolutely for me it's Kristin Harmeland she's not here tonight and I'm sad. But she's an amazing, amazing writer.But honestly I love them all. So it's hard to say last one quick. What hasFriends and fiction meant to you through the pandemic. Well it was something that um we couldgo something that we could go to on Wednesday nights, they actually becameare kind of freaky friends. It's kind of weird to say that. But yeah, yeah,we brought them into our living room and we laughed with them. We cried with,we learned from them. So it was amazing, super amazing. It's so wonderful totalk to you. Thank you so much. Thank you for having us welcome once again to the Friends andFiction live Event, Please tell us your...

...name and where you're from ClaireClaxton and I'm from Wake Forest north Carolina, awesome. And when did youfirst learn about Friends and Fiction? I first learned about it from my goodfriend Barbara, whoa chick who had seen the first episode and she told me aboutit saying you have to watch, it's great. And so I joined in right after that,which is probably the second episode, awesome. Um do you have any favoritemoments that you've seen on the facebook live events? Ooh, that's atricky question because it um all of it has been a favorite moment. It has beenso nice. I feel as if they're my best friends because we were home not seeinganyone except for them on Wednesdays. Um I love that. I could meet authors,find out about authors while I was at home on the couch. Um Favorite episodes,I would say Half mom, I really enjoyed that episode, William Kent Krueger.Neither of those authors I've heard of before. Um It's been a great way tointroduce me to new authors, so um enjoy every episode. That's awesome andthat's a lot of people share the same sentiment, It's awesome. So what hasFriends and fiction meant to you personally through the pandemic? Wellum I touched on that a little bit already, but while we were the worldstopped and we were home it was nice to have that connection. It was nice tohave a group where we feel as if there are BFFs, we sit down, we listened tothem chat, we chat too, but kind of in a different way in the chat. Um but itwas nice to have a connection to some routine and um we were home readingmore for that escapism because we couldn't go anywhere, so it was great.That's great. Was there any favorite moments from tonight's live event? Allof it. Perfect answer. Perfect answer. Thank you so much. I really appreciateit. I'm here once again with a true superfan and O. G of friends and fiction fan club. Tell us who you are and whereyou're from. My name is Dallas tron, I'm from Myrtle beach south Carolina,awesome. When did you first learn about the Friends and fiction? Well, Friendsand fiction. I was there the very first night when we were still on mary Kayandrews facebook page because I'm a huge fan of mary Kay and mary Alice andand and Christie. I've loved them and patty of course I loved them for yearsand years. I was new to Kristen and I immediately fell in love with her booksas well. Any favorite moments from the facebook live events. Oh my God,there's way too many but I love the chris and Hannah episode because it'spriceless. I'm never going to forget it...

...as long as I live and it's just toofunny. But of course when I was there for Christie's launch event for Underthe Southern Sky. I love that. Okay, are there any new authors that youdiscovered listening to them that you now love? Oh my God, that's a greatquestion. But I loved reading it off rooms Book A woman is no man, I lovedthat, that I had not read before. Friends and fiction and Gov Haggertywho's going to be on Friends of fiction next month. I have read an advancedreaders copy of her new book in polite company that comes out at the end ofaugust, it is phenomenal and she is going to be a great new author. Herwriting is lovely. Her book is set in charleston and she's going to fill thatvoid for fans of Dottie frank, I believe. What does Friends and fiction meant toyou through the pandemic? Everything? That's a terrible question,Ron, That's a terrible question because it means everything. It has been thecenter point of my life on Wednesdays. It has that that it has been thattotally says it all. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love hearingsuch enthusiasm and joy from these people. It's certainly a two wayadmiration society. We want to end the year though by thanking all thelisteners, the guests, the supporters and most importantly the readers. Whata fantastic community everyone has built and friendships have been born.Of course we couldn't end this without a huge celebratory shout out to theones who started it all, mary Kay andrews, Patti Callahan, Henry Kristin,Harmel, Kristy Woodson harvey and our founder Emeritus mary Alice Monroe. Myown personal, huge thanks to them for giving this this opportunity to connectwith so many of you. We hope you've enjoyed our episodes this year and thatyou'll join us in looking forward to the bright and shiny 2022 yet to comethank you all and as always, please share the podcast with a friend. HappyNew Year. Thank you for tuning in to 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 alsojoin us every week on facebook or Youtube Where you can see our livefriends and fiction show that airs at seven p.m. eastern standard time, weare so glad you're here.

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