Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

WB S1E5: Ron Block and Patti Callahan with Susan Cushman and Lisa Patton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Susan Cushman and Lisa Patton tell the story behind their books, John and Mary Margaret and RUSH, very different stories set in college life at Ole' Miss at very different times, yet exploring very relevant themes.

Welcome to the Friends and Fiction Writer's Block podcast. Five new york times, bestselling novelists, endless stories, joined mary Kay andrews, Kristen, Harmel, Christie Woodson, harvey paddy, Callaghan, Henry and mary Alice Munro along with librarian Ron Block As novelists were five longtime friends with more than 80 published books between us and I am Ron Block. Please join us for fascinating author interviews and insider talk about publishing and writing. If you love books and are curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Friends and fiction is sponsored by Mama Geraldine's bodacious food. Cathy Cunningham was a successful but unfulfilled radio executive in Atlanta one night while sipping wine and snacking on expensive cheese straws, she realized her mama Geraldine's own cheese straw recipe was far superior. The idea for Cathy's company was born Mama Geraldine's cheese straws now come in six varieties and they are the best selling cheese straw in the United States plus the cookies are melt in your mouth, delicious yummy snacks and a woman owned empire. Now that is something that we here at Friends and fiction can get behind try them, you'll be so glad that you did get 20% off on your online order at mama Geraldine's dot com with the code Fab five snack on y'all. Welcome to the Friends and Fiction writer's block. Today we continue our ongoing series called Origin Stories, in which we will talk with two authors who wrote about a college in Mississippi, the University of Mississippi, which is also called Ole Miss. We're digging deep to learn the kernels of their ideas for their latest work and learn how they blossomed into some of our favorite reads on today's episode. We are thrilled to welcome Susan Cushman who wrote john and mary Margaret and lisa patent, the author of Rush. Both writers right of college days in Mississippi, John and Mary Margaret is set in the 1960s and Rush in Modern Day. Ole Miss Both are a work of fiction inspired by historic times and events and both of them staying very true to the decade in which they unfold. I am patty Callahan and I am Ron block. First up, we welcome Susan Cushman, the author of john and mary Margaret. Her published books include not only john and mary Margaret which is a novel, but also Friends of the Library, which is short stories, Cherry Bomb, another novel, Tangles and plaques, a mother and daughter face Alzheimer's which was a memoir And three anthologies she edited, she was born in Jackson Mississippi and came of age in the 1960s. Jim Crow, South Cushman rights with deep insight into the South storied past, bringing elements of hope and healing to her short stories, memoir and novels honoring the heart soul and history of the south. John and mary Margaret is her seventh book, she lives in Memphis lisa. Wingate has said this novel is an authentic window not only into two lives but also into the south then and now welcome Susan, can you first tell us about the novel and get us started as we dive into its origins? Thanks Ron and patty, thanks for having me. Yes, john and mary Margaret is about a black boy and a white girl who fall in love on the Ole Miss campus in 1966 which didn't go well, they meet again 35 years later and in between, there are chapters about their lives separately. I'm not going to tell you how they meet again because that would be a spoiler alert, but the book is set against 50 years of civil rights history. It has real people like a cameo with Eudora Welty and Martin Luther King and true events...

...that were happening. But john and mary Margaret are fictional characters. I will say that john is a model after two Actual students at ole miss who were arrested and expelled in 1970. And but Mary Margaret is a little bit me, a little bit, a lot of other girls From Jackson Mississippi in the 60s. This novel so fascinating. It interweaves so many different things, but its origins begin in another book of yours, Right, These are characters from your short story collection, Friends of the Library. So, can you tell us a little bit about why you wrote the short story and why you decided it was worth it to turn this into a novel? Sure, thank you. When my first novel, Cherry Bomb came out, my my publisher who is from Mississippi asked me to go on a little mini book tour through small towns in Mississippi speaking to the friends of the library groups. And as I went to each one, I thought about writing a blog post about each visit. And instead I thought, what if I write short stories? What if I create a fictional author named Adele Covington and have her be visiting each of those towns. And so I wrote the 10 short stories and Friends of the library. One of those 10, which is about john and mary Margaret. I don't know how they popped into my head. I had this mixed race couple show up at one of the readings Adele went to but several of my readers, I said, why don't you turn that short story until novel? We want to know more about that. And so I did. We certainly did want to know that so much more about them. And it's just such such a wonderful, wonderful book. And it's interspersed with lots of color from the from the Old South and really helps move it along to modern day. But you said that you wrote most of this book while you were isolated during the pandemic when there was growing unrest in our country as protests erupted over inequality and mistreatment of blacks. You were born in Mississippi. Can you tell us how that and other influences were the embers of this story? Sure, Well, like I said, growing up in Mississippi in the fifties and sixties, I really did live in that white privileged bubble and I didn't have any black friends. There were so few black students at my school. And so when I got told me this, I sort of continued in that bubble, sorority life, you know, activities on campus that were not having anything to do with what was going on with the race. Even to the point that there was a big protest in 1970 at a concert. This group up with people that was popular back then. Remember them. So my husband and I were dating and we went to the concert and later when I was researching for this book, I discovered that 60 black students protested at the concert and were arrested. So I said to my husband, how could we have missed that? We were there. And finally after talking to a half dozen others who were there, I discovered that the concert lasted two nights and we went the night that there was no protest. But the fact that that wasn't even on my radar, I'm ashamed to say, you know that I was just totally unaware back then what was going on. And then last summer, especially being at home during Covid. But with a racial protests going on and a lot of reading I was doing, I began to have an awakening, especially reading Isabel Wilkerson's book cast, y'all that is a master class. And so I wanted to go out and join the protests that were going on in Memphis and but I was 70 years old. It was Covid, my husband's like, no, you're not going out on the streets of Memphis. And I said, what can I do? And he said, well, you're an author, you can write it, you have a voice. So let's bring in summer. I wrote john and mary Margaret as my way of protesting as my way of having a voice. Yeah. That gives such a new layer to the reading of the book. So it really just adds to it. That's why I think origin stories are so interesting because they let us see the novel as something that grew out of this rich...

...soil. That isn't just the plot. And I love to know that that was part of what made you want to write the novel so real quick I want to talk about the supporting characters. There's Elizabeth and walker. There's a Dell as the reliable observer and narrator. And Eddie and Diana who were modeled after true historic people as you just mentioned, who were at the concert and then expelled from Old Miss. So I want you to talk about where the supporting characters grew from in this soil of your your story. Did you have them before you started writing or did they grow out of the other origins that already existed Elizabeth and walker definitely grew later. I will say that my my way of writing changed with the short story collection. I'd always been an outline er who planned everything. And starting with the short story collection I joined the crowd of people who let their characters take on the life of their own so much fun. I enjoyed writing so much more. And so the short story didn't have anything these extra characters that we're talking about because it was just a the bare bones of john and mary Margaret's story. It didn't have Elizabeth and walker who are both just people that came to me. I mean Elizabeth is still a little bit me even though she's black. We have a lot of things to come. And they say you always put some of yourself you know walker has a little bit of my husband in him. Uh So that's where they came from. But now Diana and um Eddie and some of the others came right out of the old Miss Eight stories. And these these people became famous because of their protests 50 years later, february of 2020 50 years after they were arrested. Old Miss held a reunion for them. The old Miss eight on campus in february of 2020. And Diana who had been denied her diploma In 1970, even though she had done all the work, received her diploma 50 years later, which you know, that's Gotta felt good in a lot of ways. But I was just amazed that she even showed back up after the way she had been treated. You know, one of the oldest eight, Don Cole had to finish his degree at another school, went back to Ole Miss and taught mathematics and just retired a couple of years ago and their resilience and they're wanting to make a point Really inspired me very, very much. And then Adele was she's just me. You know, she's the author who went to all the little towns. I had to keep her in there. They had to have somebody tells her story to, you know, like touched by an angel. She was the angel. Wonderful. Wonderful. So, one of the things I love about this book is your inclusion of the Eudora Welty quotes. Can you think of one that you can share with us? That's your favorite. Yeah, I like several of them. And and the authors note in the back of the book, I say that every writer like everybody else, thinks he's living through the crisis of the ages, right? Honestly, you're right to write honestly and with all our powers, it's the least we can do and the most. And I did think that I was living through the crisis of the ages last summer and maybe I was and maybe we still are. But so throughout the book, at the beginning of every chapter, I had quotes by William, Faulkner, martin, Luther King, James, baldwin, richard wright, Eudora welty rosa parks. But Maduro has always been a favorite of mine and she lived a few blocks from me in the 19 seventies, in a neighborhood in Jackson Mississippi. So I had mary Margaret grow up there and meet her when she was 14 years old and be inspired by her. So here's one more Eudora Welty, great fiction shows us not how to conduct our behavior, but how to feel eventually. It may show us how to face our feelings and face our...

...actions and to have new inklings about what they mean. A good novel of any year can initiate us into our own new experience. So, she inspired mary Margaret and awakened her to race issues and inspired me to writing and a whole lot of other things that is so fascinating. It's such a great part of the book and I look forward to every one of them coming open, matching it to the to the content of the book. It was really wonderful. And it's fascinating to see how that grew out of your door welty out of your own life. So, and how that quote talks about what fiction does for us. So that leads me straight into how I believe that writing a book, the characters come to teach us things. Oh, absolutely. I believe that our characters show up to show us who we are or who we might need to become or where we have blank spots or where our heart is closed any of those things. So, did any of the characters in this book do that for you? Well, a lot of them did. It's really hard to pick a favorite one, john probably pick them up on john's as strong as you know, he grew up in a all black neighborhood Memphis. His father coached football and his older brother went to an all black college on a football scholarship. So john was expected to do all of that and instead he loved books. You know, he was kind of a nerd and so, and he wanted to go to Ole Miss and he wanted to become a lawyer, a civil rights lawyer and a judge in Memphis so that he could make a difference in that way and he perseveres in that way. So he's kind of a hero of the book to me and I have a black son in law who is a huge hero in my, to me and my family. So I was thinking of him somewhat as I was writing about john and my daughter is from south Korea and so I have mixed race granddaughters and I've dedicated the book to them to my granddaughter is hoping the world will be a better place for them, but I loved all the characters, but I have to say john is the hero in a lot of ways in the book. Yes, I agree with you. What do you think he taught you? What do you think john taught you while while he was growing on the page? But as he grew into who he was becoming, what do you think he had to teach you? I think I think he taught me about love because he didn't fight back in a violent way. I mean he does go to Memphis when martin Luther King is there at one point in the book and joins a nonviolent protest, but over and over, no matter how he's treated the way he was treated Ole miss his relationship with mary Margaret at every stage of his life. He responds with love and acceptance, but also with a strength. So that's part of my message with the book, because it's about love and perseverance and that love is going to win the day, not violence, That's wonderful. What are you hoping that your readers take away from the character of john? We talked about you as a writer, but let's see what the readers, what you hope the readers take away again. I think, I think it's still about love and also about hope, because he could have given up at any point along the way, he could have given up when when things didn't work with mary Margaret. Initially he could have given up when he was bullied, you know, starting as a child in Memphis, when he went to the White Library instead of the negro library because they had more books there. You know, he could have quit at any point. And so his perseverance for his coal is a great takeaway about anything. It doesn't have to be about race issues. It can be about whatever is going on in our lives is to persevere, not react with anger. That hope and love are gonna win the day. I love it. So perseverance. In love with john, what do you think as as we tap back to origin? What do you think mary Margaret is here to show us? To show you and to show us? Yeah, I think she's there to show us that you...

...can overcome your origins. Her parents were blinded to a lot of things about race and and she overcame that you know and it was hard she had some friends not understand her. She had a roommate whose great grandfather was a slave owner in the Mississippi Delta, you know her friends and her sorority didn't understand her, her mother didn't understand her, but eventually I'm just not giving away too much. She ends up teaching at the Hutchison school in Memphis which is a very prominent girls high school all the way K through 12 and she ends up leading a diversity club there that the girls participate in. So I love how she continued what she had been learning from Eudora Welty when she was 14, from john it'll miss brought it into her life as an adult and as a teacher at a prominent girls school in Memphis Susan. It has been so fascinating hearing about kind of this rich soil of your past growing up in the Jim Crow South, you know, adopting Children of other colors and races even though you grew up in this world that didn't allow you to even see that. This is an extraordinary book. Thank you for joining us and tell our listeners where they can find you and find the book. Thank you. Well, my website is pretty easy, www dot Susan fishman dot com. You can find the book anywhere. Books are sold, go to your independent booksellers please. Or if you can't get there you can go online and you can buy it anywhere. Thanks so much patty and Ron and to everyone that's listening, I hope you'll read the book and love it. It's been an honor Susan, thank you. It's been such an enriching conversation. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, now let's welcome lisa Patton, the best selling novelist of Whistling Dixie and and Northeaster Yankee doodle Dixie and the ceiba bestseller Southern as a second language which I love that book so much. Now. Her novel Rush is set in a fictional sorority house on the old Miss campus. It provides us not only a gaze inside one of the most exclusive sorority recruitment in the country but also the relationships between the sisters and the house staff lisa is the proud mother of two sons and she lives with her husband in Nashville. Tennessee. Adriana Triana said this novel is magnificent. One minute you'll laugh out loud the next you'll grab a tissue, sit back and fall in love with Rush. Well we already have oh we so have welcome lisa. Before we dive into the origins of the novel. Can you just tell us a little bit about the story? It's setting in modern day Oxford Mississippi and also on the Old Miss Campus. It's about women from both ends of the social ladder who are discovering their voices and their empowerment. Yes, it most definitely is Rush is a universal thing that happens every fall all over the country. However, in the south it is, I don't know, I patties was in a sorority in the south. So, as I would say that in the south sorority and fraternity life is takes on a life of its own. So, so the I decided to set my novel on the Ole Miss Campus, although I went to Alabama and I've had many people say, why did you do that? Well, I don't know, I just think Oxford is so charming and you know, writers have to think about that like the setting and what's going on. And I've been there many times. It's an sec school and that's, I knew that I wanted to set an sec school, but it's the story of three different...

...people. One is Pearl or Miss Pearl as the girls collar. She's been the housekeeper at the fictional Alpha Delta sorority house for a very long time and they love her very much. Also it's the story of willed a she's an alum to the Alpha Delta Omegas and her daughter Ellie is going through rush. It's also the story of Cali who is a small town girl who's always dreamed of being in a sorority, but she doesn't have the family pedigree or the money necessary. So this story starts rush week and amidst all the craziness, the hustle bustle and here we are. We were, we started moving day at the dorm and also the story house modern day Like you said, patty. So that's kind of the basic story. Yes, well, said, well, thank you. If anybody hadn't read it, you just hook them. Uh well, thanks. So, we were working on books together at this time, part of a great collective of Nashville writers and Palace who kept each other accountable. But I want to hear the rest of what was the ember that started this story at the time that you started this? My daughter was in college and I remember us talking about the extreme sport of decorating dorm rooms. I think extreme sports is a great, great adjective for it. It is. And I was preparing my daughter for rush. So what was it that made you say, I must write this novel? What was the kind of seed or ember that made you say, I'm going to sit down and write this novel? Well, I was intrigued by all of it. Having been in a sorority and then all these years later looking into it and see what's changed and what hasn't changed changed. But I was here's the ember. I was at the opening of the new our new sorority house at the University of Alabama when I mean all the girls were invited. I was there when I noticed the housekeeper pushing her long dust mop down the marbled hall. And all the girls that would come in would stop to hug her and tell her they loved her. And I thought, okay, that's not changed and what? So I immediately was drawn to her. We I bet we spent two hours talking the girls that I was with. They went on to the s a house to the to the band parties, They went on to the game Alabama, U. T. Games and I sat there and talked to her because I had this question in my mind all these years later, do you like working here? You know there's so much opulence around you. Do you like it? Because she had genuinely seemed like she loved these girls and I was so intrigued by that and that opened up a big conversation and I learned that she not only loved being there, But when I dug deep and found out what was really going on, I realized she was still barely above minimum wage after 20 something years and had no benefits and it broke my heart. It really did. I thought Oh wow, you know, um I might need to, how am I supposed to be involved in this? Because I didn't want this to come across as me opening up this curtain and look at all that's going on. But I felt like somebody had to do that. Somebody had to attempt change in hopes that because their fraternity and sorority houses everywhere is the same story. And I started interviewing all kinds of people that worked in the houses and house mothers and learned that was pretty much the story everywhere. So that was the real member that made me want to write the story was that is how...

...the staff were treated after two decades of work, three decades of work. And I have to say, y'all probably heard about a couple of months ago, the new york times and the National News did a story set in L. S. U. About these fraternity guys who got together and paid off their cooks mortgage. Did you all hear about that? Well, I'm not saying they're sisters or mothers read rush. I'm not going to just be so presumptuous to say that I was so happy when I saw that story, genuinely, I thought, okay, now something's happening, you know? Yes, that was such a great story about a nice pairing with your book too. I think they probably all bought the book and read them Ron. I like to think so, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. I think we're pretty sure about this. Thank you. So anyway, this novel came out before the racial injustice explosion last year in our country. And then did you feel it brewing as you were writing the book? And from what you just told us, it really seems to dovetail right into it. This this question, did you see it in the archaic rules of the sorority house? I did. I've always had a sensitivity to this probably because quite honestly, my father was a racist and I say that in the book, in my author's note, I admit that I admit growing up in that world where that was the case, you know, so I knew that was brewin. I mean, that had always brewed in me injustice has always brooding me. In fact, I sent my son to a school, an elementary school that was for half white, half black kids. So he would be raised and always raised them to not feel like they don't know, you know, we're in such a different political political climate now, but I always thought I don't want them to be prejudiced or see color. I don't know if I'm saying that right, but that was always my heart and I even sent him to the school that would make that part of their world. However, yeah, right. I knew that was brewing, but what I wasn't prepared for and Patty knows all about this because she lived through it with me. I wasn't prepared for the political, what do you call it, the cultural appropriation climate that we have now. That criticized me for writing from the point of view of an african american woman because my heart was absolutely in the right place and I wanted to show, not white savior is. Um, I just wanted to show what it really was like and that there could be change. That change was possible with a few easy tweaks. But Patty knows I wasn't prepared for that for a backlash like that. I got in just in time. I don't think the book would be published today. I've been told that. So that's incredible. It's fascinating because we did, we talked about it a lot and I have it in surviving savannah. You know, we meet the nurse made on the 18 38 ship and, and there's there's this struggle to show it without appropriating it, which we would never ever do. But you were setting forth an example of change and how to make change and that's part of the origin and that's part of your soft and beautiful heart. So sweetie, thank you so much. That's, that's really sweet sweet patty. Thank you. I knew, I mean, you knew above anybody that my heart was in the right place for that book and it's always in the right place. Yes. Anyways, I don't know, I don't know.

Far as I know. So Russia explores also along with this, this kind of archaic rules of the sorority house that still exist and the fraternity houses. It explores the complex relationships between a mother and daughter as well as the relationship with the woman who work in the sorority houses. In a lot of ways, lisa there's an echo there. I want you to talk to us about that. Did you see that going in or did it show up as a theme that kind of arose from the magic of writing, You know, this idea that the theme ends up showing up in more than one place. So the girls in the sorority house with the woman who works there and the mothers and daughters and the struggle that's going on with the dorm rooms and the decorating and the money. Did you see that that combined theme? Or was that on purpose? Well, I saw part of it going in, especially the dichotomy between two worlds. It wasn't just the staff and the sisters, but also the the the whole idea that you had to come from money and pedigree to join. So uh that's why I had one of these little girls be a wonderful person. Just didn't you know had some family secrets. She was shamed over you know and so I knew about that that I wanted to bring the feet that theme out. But you're right. The mothers and daughters theme and relationships that the girls took on Miss Pearl in a motherhood role when they got there that developed like you said through the magic of writing and it just you know how it surprises you. Oh my gosh, thank you God you've got it all right there and it's just coming out so that that bloomed better the more I got into the story but you're right. Yes it did. There's a lot there when it comes to girlfriends and moms and daughters and oh my gosh and rush, gosh, that's the other thing I wanted to bring out was just the pettiness sometimes of it, you know? But I also wanted to bring out, let me just say this right now the great things and there are many that come out of sorority life but I wanted to talk about it all. In fact I said I'm not gonna do this unless I do it right and spend my time researching and paint both sides the good, the bad, the everything it was important to me that I could do all that. I hope I did. I don't know. I hope I did. I think you did it and part of it is what I love about book sometimes that they give me a glimpse into a world that I wouldn't have experienced myself. Obviously I've never, I've never been through a sorority rush imagine that. So I'd like to know a little bit more. You just brought it up a bit, Talk to us about Russian general and some of the benefits and the challenges and what you think is best preserved and what parts might be reconsidered as the greek system kind of moves towards the future. Well, great crisp question. Ron I believe that they should reconsider if they're going to continue to employ their own employees and not source that out that they would revamp the whole benefit system. Of course, we already talked about that to me is a, a definite that they need to do because rush invokes a family and when you're there for four years sisters, they call them sisters for a reason. You know, they become sisters and that's a family. So I think that treating each other as such is key and the cornerstone of what they need to do as far as Russia is concerned. You know there's resumes, I mean it'll miss Alabama all over the SCC that really go all out and they the mom spend a fortune on wardrobes and...

...the resumes and and the dorm room decorating. Oh my gosh I truly, I talked to a dorm room decorator, the leading one in Mississippi and Alabama. She told me that that note $10,000 apiece on a dorm room happened all the time. And I what what? What? Yes there is actually a job a dorm room decorator. That's one of wilderness on my lead character's lines in the book. Ron. She says I know I do dorm room decorators actually existed buddy. No sir. No sir I didn't have to make up much for this book to be honest. But but you know it's also I think that I've heard that sororities are really revamping especially in light of the lbgt Q community and they're having to certainly be more inclusive and they have to be and and not just that, but across racial barriers. I mean, sororities are flipping that that old adage of we're just gonna all look homogeneous is just not the case anymore. And I know through my own sorority, through the emails I get from national that they are changing, they are becoming more inclusive, which is great. I mean, we have to be so that's that's that's happening good, That's how they survive. Yes, that's how one of them. So we touched on this just for a second in the opening, but you didn't attend old Miss, You attended the University of Alabama and I attended Auburn and we're still rivals, A bigger rival. Yes, we are kidding. But we both went through Rush. I came from south florida when I went through Russia and it was completely naive and oblivious. So I love the way you portrayed that the naivety of what rush was for a student showing up. But I wanted to talk a little bit more beyond the charming of why you chose Ole miss instead of the campus. You knew so well. Okay, well that's a great question. And there were several reasons for that and I'm gonna get my mind back there, patty and try to remember. But so at the time, eli Manning had just been nominated for the walter Payton Man of the Year award and that fit really well in my story. You know, I could write about him since he's a public figure and since he was the quarterback I did. So that felt that just worked better in the story. And also the Alabama. I mean, tuscaloosa is one of the prettiest towns I've ever seen. But they didn't have the charming town square that Oxford has and all that's going on down on that square that I just love so much. That was another reason. Getting my head back there, hang on, there was a third and a big reason why, but it's scraping me right now. But I don't know. I felt, oh wilder is from Memphis. I always set my story somehow in Memphis and the reason I set them there over Nashville is because I'm always saying Memphis needs the pr over Nashville. So, Memphis is my hometown is where my heart still lives. So, Memphis is much closer to Oxford. That was another reason. And she could get down there since, well that became a rush advisor. She could get there really quickly where she couldn't get to Tuscaloosa take her four hours. So, those were a few reasons. And you know, maybe the fact that there's a little store called square Books that might be willing to sell that book that may have had a little something to do with it. I don't know. I don't know. That's awesome.

That's awesome. It is wonderful. And I do love them by the way. Square books. Oh my gosh, do I love square books? Yeah, yeah. We all do their amazing. Yes, we do. We do. So you set the stage in the novel by opening with a quote from martin Luther King. Life's most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others? I know our characters teach us things. But what did your characters teach you? My characters taught me. Which is why I knew that was the appropriate quote is not to be Rush can be something where you're just thinking about your own destiny. What's going to happen to me? Where am I going to go? And we forget about the girls who get cut the girls who who aren't having a good rush experience. And that's it's devastating some girls quit college over it. But it's not only those girls, but it's the ladies, the people that work in the house, the people that work anywhere, really. And to me life is about the true central question is not about what can I do for me, but how can I make somebody else's life better? And that's what that quote top said to me, you know, so powerful. Well, I mean, think about it and it through it's true and and it's it's on every page of this book and every time we forget that and every time we start to think it's only about us. That's when misery comes right. It's true. The more we start to look and focus only on what we can do for ourselves. So I feel like taking that quote, life's most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others? And putting it on my bulletin board, it's sweet. But I think we all need to because, you know, they say that the best way to get out of your own misery and your own pain is to do something for somebody else. And it's so true you can for you just somehow it has a way of making you forget your own problems. You know, and I know I need a daily reminder of that every day, so I'm so glad you brought that quote up, because we do need to have it right on our bulletin boards and say yes, that's the true key to depression, right? This past year really has shown us really the good of people. It's one of the wonderful silver linings that came out of the pandemic because all of these things that we're seeing people do for other people, and it's just so heartwarming and so true to that quote. It is, it is and I'm so glad we can all talk about it here today, because it's a good thing. It's a really good thing. Yes. Well, lisa thank you so much for sharing your origin stories of Rush and where it came from, out of your heart. Like this seed of generosity. It feels like sweetie. It's such a great book and it's now out in paperback, right? It's out in paperback and kindle and audio and the audio version has wonderful narrators. It really does. It's a great experience. So, next time you know, I'm finishing my book this week guys. So, I mean, I know I will be finished patty this week. So I want to come back on I want I want to tell everybody what it's about because it's I'm so jelly of it, it seems. But I'll be hush hush until it's fun. But before you go, can you tell our listeners where to find you and your novels? You're so kind to ask. Um they're gonna think, when is that woman gonna put out another book when Patty puts out to a year? Uh so slow. I am so slow. You can find me at W W. W dot lisa patent dot com. And then that takes you everywhere.

You can find me on amazon you find me on at most the indie bookstores, if they don't care anymore, they'll order it because we're big supporters of indie bookstores. Really. So yeah, that's how you can find me and hold on with me until I get this book finished this week, this week. Plus I'm playing in my son's wedding. So that's why I've got so much going on. But thank you guys and you moved last year and I haven't even seen my new house patty stayed here. Your guest room is getting kind of crusty back there. So thank you so much lisa for joining us today. It has been such a pleasure and gave me great insight into your book that I already treasured. So I really do appreciate that Ron I'm honored. Thank you. Well, thank you for tuning into Friends and fiction writer's block on behalf of Patty and the friends and fiction authors. We hope you've enjoyed these interviews. Please tell a friend and be sure to rate and review on your favorite podcast platform. Don't forget, tune in every friday for another special episode. Thank you for tuning in, Join us every week on Facebook or YouTube, where our live show airs every Wednesday night at seven p.m. eastern time. And please subscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here.

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