Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 4 months ago

WB_S2E11 Harlan Coben/The Match

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK Mary Kay Andrews and Ron Block host NYT Bestseling Author Harlan Coben about his newest release, The Match, along with his popular Netflix adaptations of his work, and some highlights of his long-time friendship with MKA

This show is brought to you by our presenting sponsor, Charleston Coffee Roasters. Charleston coffee roasters painstakingly searches the world over for the highest quality coffee beans. They bring them home to Charleston, South Carolina, where slow roasting coaxes out their unique flavor. Along with their promise of great coffee, Charleston Coffee Roasters also pledges to help our planet and local communities. Globally, they support sustainable farming practices. Locally, they partner with the South Carolina seed Turtle Rescue Program Visit Their website, Charleston Coffee Roasterscom, and use the code coffee with friends, all lowercase, all one word, to get twenty percent off on all bagged coffees. For me it's like there's like a road map, but since I have no sense of direction, my road map is pretty crudely drawn and I'm seeing somewhere that somebody said is like, you know, driving along through the Florest at eighty miles an hour with your headlights on dim you don't know what's coming up, which is interesting change on the El doctor quote that I often use when describing my own writing process, which is writing is like driving a night in the fog with just your headlights on. You can see a little bit of heady you, but you can make the whole journey that way. The only difference is I do know where that journey won. Welcome to the friends and fiction writers block podcast. For New York Times Best Selling Authors, one rock star Librarian and endless stories, join Mary K Andrews, Kristen Harmel, Christy Woodson Harvey and Patty Callahan Henry, along with Ron Block. As novelists. We are for longtime friends, with seventy 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 are in the right place. Welcome to a new episode of the friends and fiction writers blog podcast. We are very excited about this special guest today and to get things rolling, I'm handy the mic over to my cohost and author of the fourthcoming, the home wreckers, Mary Kay Andrews. I am Ron Block and I am Mary Kay Andrews, and Ron do not hand the mic to me, because I already lost one and had als right now. So, just so you know today we're talking to Harlan Koban, the Mega New York Times and international best selling author of suspense novels like when the boy from the woods run away and his latest the match, which is out March fifteen. With over seventy five million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben's books are published and forty five languages around the slow. I know, I didn't know there were forty five languages. He is a creator and executive producer of several Netflix television dramas, in secluding stay close, the stranger, the five which Harland, that one is my favorite. I think the innocent and the woods. That's nice. And I got to say just up front we just bing stay close like it was incredible. It's like, thank goodness we had a snowy weekend here in Cleveland. So we like about more and more mar great casting, everything about it. But we're going to talk about all that, hopefully soon. Before we get started, I just want to on behalf of our friends and fiction sister Patty Callahan, thank you, Harland, for promoting her book on your holiday picks for the today's show. It was a great honor for her and she asked that we extend her gratitude to you. Thanks. It was what it was great to do it. It's one of my favorite things to be able to go on TV and promote...

...author other authors. You know, get introduce people to so a book they may have missed. It's a real honor. Thank you right. It's a great book and the great honor. So thanks well, Harland. You're pretty well known for your in the industry, for your generosity. But I want to talk about the match, okay, and to do that I think we got to travel time, travel back to wild, which was about a young boy who's discovered living alone in the woods. I would love to know how you dreamt up wild and then fast forward to the match where we catch up with wild, who is now, as he tells us, somewhere between forty and forty two. He didn't exactly know how old he was. Yeah, the idea came to me, and you know, Mary Kay, that ideas sometimes they take forever, sometimes they hit with a thunderbolt. You can never quite predict how it's going to work. But I was hiking through the the Rampo mountains, which is the which are Appalachian Mountains in New Jersey. I know people don't think of New Jersey and mountains, but believe it not, the Appalachians are here in New Jersey. And I got to be honest, I hate hiking. I get bored very, very quickly. I like walking city streets where I can look at store fronts and go into bookstores and go to capgras see faces. After a while I'm walkings like as a tree. It's another tree and another three. I get it. I mean, I don't. Probably made me incorrect to be saying that, but nature bores me and I saw on a parallel path of boy around five or six years old, walking by himself and I thought to myself, Huh, what would happen if this kid just came out of the woods right now and he said, I've only I've been you my whole life. I don't remember ever having parents. I'm infending for myself. I broke it into the cabins to feed myself or found things off the land and he never knew how we ended up there. And now thirty years passed, he's grown up and he still doesn't know what happened to him that put him in the woods and in the match. I answer that question of how this boy ended up in the woods. That was the start of the book. That's pretty awesome. And I'm just to say the ending, and I'm not going to give anything away, but oh my God, thanks. Here was my favorite. I I pride myself on trying to get that ending to be something not only you won't see coming, but that will be emotionally resonant, that you'll that you'll be moved by, and I think the match delivered that. I hope. So, oh, it's in and that's the perfect description of it. To I was like what? To I was like what? So, anyway, Lee Child has said that Coban never ever lets you down and I have to totally agree with this. Could you talk about the decision to bring wild back? You said this is what you did, but I like where? Why did you decide to bring the character back? Well, I when I wrote the first first time I introduced while is a book called the boy from the woods, which is our last year, year before maybe, and I never told that. Answer are there. He solves a case, he's involved in a crime and I really love the book and I love the character, but one of the people in a lot of the readers were like, wait a minute, how did he ended up in that woods? You haven't you didn't tell us that. But that's how what the story was about. So I decided, thinking in the same way you would see maybe in a comic book, this is the match, is wild origin story. So if you never read the boy from the wood, you don't have to. This is the origin story. You could be this one first. And if you have read the boy from the woods, then now you get those answers to to whary's. So I always plan that writing at least a second and maybe more. I don't know yet. I haven't decided, but I really I always planned on writing a second book featritten while. So that's how that came about. Did you know when you wrote the boy from the woods his origin story, or did or did that come as you started to plan and plot the match? That's a really good question. I did know it, though as I actually wrote it, it didn't work out exactly as I thought it was going to. Never does, right, you know what I mean? Like I knew the basics, I knew how he ended up in the woods, I knew who his parents...

...were and all that, and I'm page one of the match, he meets his father. I mean I'm page once across the street from his biological father for the first time in his whole life that he knows, is that he remembers anyway, and so I didn't know that answer, but there was a few things in it that I didn't know. Right now, how to America. That's how always happens, isn't it? You kind of yeah, I mean you think you maybe. For me it's like there's like a road map, but since I have no sense of direction, my road map is pretty crudely drawn and I'm seeing somewhere that somebody said it is like, you know, driving along through the forest at eighty miles an hour with your headlights on dim you don't know what's coming up right, which is interesting change on the El doctor quote that I often use when describing my own writing process, which is writing is like driving in night, in the fog with just your headlights on. You can only see a little bit ahead of you, but you can make the whole journey that way. The only difference is I do know where that journey want. Very nice. Sorry Onn no, don't know better. That's what you like. What's my favorite thing? Is is when two amazing writers kind of have this back and forth. They think gives it gives everybody a new, rich experience. So I'm also really amazed by how you manage, book after book, to populate it with just these compelling characters at precarious situations. Do you have a process for putting this all together and, additionally, the tension building in a book like this what is just incredible and like, well, what's the secret? Well, thank you. Well, man, I'll use this book as an example. So I knew I wanted to write about his origin story and I knew the origin, and then there was different worlds that I really wanted to explore. I had been watching because I want to. I have four kids and you want to bond with them. So I had been watching a lot of really bad reality TV show like the bachelor. I shouldn't criticize I know everybody can enjoy what they want to enjoy. A lot of my stuff's not for you eat or maybe watching Netflix and hate my stuff. That's fair. So, but I was just like I started to explore what this world really was when I found out the world of reality TV, and then that got me to instagram and bloggers and influencers and that whole social media thing, and none of it is what it seems to be. It is all fake, folks. That's one thing you should know if you watch those shows. It's all manufacturing fake. So I well, how can I get that in the story? And I want to do a little more, which I've done before, but I've always fascinated by the new DNA genealogy websites and how they're just instantly changing lives and changing our perceptions of ourselves. So can I throw a little bit of that in there as well? And so then I make sure my lead characters, which isn't just wild, it's also a woman named Hester Krimstein who's is partner, making sure that each of them get their meals as you're writing it along. And so you throw all that into kind of a blender and you hit, you know, pure a, and then you know where you start, you know where you end and then you try letting the characters take you there. That's that's sort of my my method. I love it. Yeah, I'm talking about the reality show world. I was intrigued with that sort of rip from reality TV thread in the match wild's cousin maybe has been a wildly popular, then notorious then canceled star of a Bachelorette, bachelor type reality television show. So you said you just said that you know, you peeked over your kids shoulders and sort of found yourself drawn into that world. Now we've all watched media types and then writers canceled for what might seem to me like innocuous remarks or behaviors. Did you sort of draw draw from stuff you've seen in the real world to come up with that threat in the book, because I found it really compelling. Always, I mean, you know, I'm not one of...

...those who I don't I don't really do rip from the headline or true crime, but it's always what's kind of going on and it's not really a comment either pro or anti this idea of what we call cancelation. I mean everybody does it, both sides do it, both sides called different things and sometimes it is quote unquote deserve and sometimes it's not. So I don't really have a blanket statement about that, but I thought it'd be interesting to have this guy, this this character, who had been such a star, I'm so popular, on one of these bachelor type shows to watch him fall and I've seen it actually happened. Of course, in reality it's happened to bost there as well, and so I thought that would just add a different dimension. And so when this guy goes missing after he's being canceled, now wild has a crime to solve. Right we we writing these books that have in Mary K and I met. We figured out probably close to twenty five years ago. We were just starting to figure out. But he's that suspense. You need those hooks, you need the crime. So when he goes when wild seeks him out to get some of the answers on his background, this guy is gone con missing. Perhaps he's committed suicide for from from being canceled, perhaps he's just gone recluse. No one knows, and so wild has to find it. That becomes part of the mystery that opens up this world to me. Yeah, that's a big part. You refer to when we started, when I we first met at a mystery conference back when dinosaurs around the Earth Tea. I was writing under my real name. You were writing your wildly popular myrine ballut our mysteries, and I really wish, as an asside, you would talk about the infamous bleeding balls cover. So I gotta know this. I gotta know. So back in those days, while we were I was paperback original, but I think you were too weren't. It wasn't there. Now you were started out. I started out with Harper, with hard back and then to a mass market paperback. So we didn't we started the books. To say that they had a small expectation is to is to give it too much credit, though. I had a fifteen thousand print run, paperback original, only five dollar paperback, and the cover of the first book had a bleeding football on it was a football mired in blood and I despised it. So the second book in the series they put a bleeding tennis ball and I became known as the author of the bleeding balls. So it was a it was. I begged them on the third one not to and they came with the cup, even worse, which is a skeleton and a basketball uniform, and I think they really doomed my iron. And then there's the Golfer with his head on backwards, because man was a sports agent. Of course you're looking to market it. They marketed only that aspect and anybody who didn't like sports thought it was going to be one of those biff scores, the winning touchdown type books, and they weren't all so well. I really had a hard time breaking out with that series and it was until I left that series that I really had much greater success than I mean, the series did nicely and inside the mystery community it did very well and I was pleased of all that, but it wasn't until I left the series that I was able to really break out. And by the way, when you when you are talking about your fifteenzero print run, my first hard bag had a forty five hundred copy print run. So absolutely, that's like Fiftyzero paperbacks. I mean, yeah, I had a time. I was so thrilled right well through. This is intryk won, if you think about this too, like a lot of people who are listening to us, maybe our new writers right, and so they they get all this information that we didn't have back in those days and are checking their Amazon rankings in her but how was that small? But I didn't realize what a pimple on the ass of publishing I was because I just didn't know. I did that I was nothing. It's...

...just like, you know, if I had known the odds. And at the time Dell, I was at Dell paperback original. They were doing twenty four books a year. I did one every nine months. So they're having, say, twenty to twenty four authors a year and I think only one other is still published over the five or six years they did it. So if I understood those odds earlier on, I probably would have there's a better chance I would have given up or focused on that, but I never did. I just focused on the very next book and left all that. You know, almost like I stuck my fingers in my ear, going L L Lula. I can hear. Yeah, the friends and fiction writers block podcast is brought to you by our presenting sponsor, page one books. The page one book subscription provides the personal touch of an Indie bookstore with the delight and surprise of an online subscription service created chest for you. The literary match makers at page one books hand select books just for you based on your preferences and their knowledge. At page one books, you are more than algorithm. Shop now at page one BOOKSCOM. That's page the number one BOOKSCOM. Choose their three, six or twelve month subscription plan. The gift of page one is always a custom fifth and now you can get fifteen percent off all book subscriptions with the Code Friends Fifteen. And then you transitioned to a genre. I kind of think maybe you pioneer domestic thrillers. Let's talk about how that happened. And you'd said that, you know, Myron, they, your publishers, targeted Myer into us, to a specific demographic it seemed like. Now do you call it? Do you call your books domestic frillers? What do you call when you as best sellers? I have well, if I have no problem with any title people use, is just not, unfortunately, accurate. So, for example, my first big breakout book was tell no one, the lead character, and tell no one is single. is a single doctor living in you know, his wife is murdered eight years before the book starts. He has no children, so he's living alone when our story starts. So I don't know how that could possibly be domestic thriller. I thought I actually think of tell no one and some of the other ones. That's almost more of a love story. I mean the ID but that idea came to me. You know the idea. If I could, I'll give it. I'll give you a thirty second or one minute how he came up with this weird idea? It came from it from two places. When I was watching really crummy romance movies on TV, and what I stuck me about it was how often we have the story where, you know, the man loses his wife, fight, his wife dies and he can't get on with his life and then a hot baby walks by and he's fine right now. Many times we've seen that in these movies, just like you know be mini driver or Robin Wright and whatever it is. And so what about the guy can't go on? What about the guy who's lost his saw me and then I lost my parents at a fairly young age and I missed them greatly and when my daughters and kids were born I was thinking the same way we all do, wouldn't it be great if I could see them again? And I was looking at Webcam one day, a street cam, and I said what would I do if I saw my parents? Won't find wow. So to you for ideas. I put them together. A man, a woman, happily married. The wife is murdered. Eight years past, he can't move on with his life. He gets an email, he clicks of hyper link, he sees a Web camp stead, wife Walks. That was the start. So that one I don't it's not really domestic because it's not a family. So gone for good. Also, the guys saying so half the time the guys the person is single. So I don't really get how that really fits the domestic. At the same time I get it. The stranger stay closed. These are worlds that take place in sort of a domestic, gatored community and beautiful world. So those characters were not your typical, say, lonely,...

...lonely, hard drinking, hard boiled man with a Pi license and a gun. He was never mind me right, he was an every man. Your character seemed to me to be so relatable because they're every man. I I could picture my husband or my friends being the characters and those books I reread. That, I mean I think there's something catch cocky in the every man, in the the ordinary man and the extraordinary circumstances. You do that too. I mean that's that's right. That's what you do with a lot more you were, but that's that's that's sort of what I want to do. But even when I did Myron Bolletar, I really wanted to stand a lot of what had been then been the conventions on their head. So, you know, Chandler said that he walked, that his character would walk down these mean streets alone. Myron went nowhere alone. He had win with him or he had es Bronza. He lived in his parents basement for several books. He was a mama's boy, he was, he was insecure, he was so he was very different and that was my intent when I created my I did not want that tough old fashion detective because it have been done, and done really well already. So I wanted something more modern, more a guy like myself, and that was part of what writing the Myron series was was all about. That's awesome. I want to take it back just a little bit because in the match you actually incorporate a whole bunch of information about DNA and DNA testing things and some even some technologies to it. So it keeps everything kind of current. But what kind of research do you do for that, and especially the DNA thing? Have you done that yourself? I did do the DNA testing myself. You know, I was disappointing results because it was nothing at all surprising and it was, you know, I've no strange things in my background. I was already Oh yeah, you know, I'm this big and know these eye color and I can't possibly be all right. I'm exactly that. So that didn't really work out for me. I'm this is something that I've said before, but I'm not a big researcher and I don't recommend a lot of research for people who are trying to write the kind of stuff that that I write or Mary k writes, because you get lost in it. There's a couple of out defended for two four couples. One is research is a lot more fun than writing. So if I have the choice of researching or writing, I'm going to choose research. And we both know Mary K and I have a lot of good friends who've gotten lost in those weeds. They just keep doing research. The second reason is is that have you ever read that book where the writer has fallen in love with the research? So they keep slowing it down by active, by adding fact toys that we really don't care about. That's not an issue with my books because I don't know anything need to know. Paces the third thing is most of my research is not cutting edge because it's readily available to everybody, which makes it scarier. Nothing. Nothing, you know, anybody could find this stuff out in seconds online, and that to me is a lot scarier. When I wrote the stranger, for example, people thought I did a lot of research on no, the fake of pregnancy website was just it's just out there. Type in fake a pregnancy, you'll get a website that will only help you fake your pregnancy. Yeah, cheat, you know, trick somebody. So the fact that's so readily available and easy is how I do my research. Are you that way to marry CA? Are you big researcher? I I wait until I need to know something and then I sort of look it up online. I mean this morning I was looking up then to travel trailers and I do some research because I want to get it right, just because those those annoying emails you get about there is no possible way that Blah Blah happened in Blah Blah. That was not invented in Blah Blah year, and it just you just want to go. Could you just read the book? I told you it was fiction. I told you I make this shit up, the old George Carl and line. What do you do for living? I Make Shit Up. Yeah, okay, one more question about your books and then the demograph ethics, because one of the things I love about...

...your book specifically is that your appeal is to both male and female readers. So you have a big, big gap there. Of them's do what you said intentional, and why do you think that's so? Nothing is intentional. I'm not that smart. I really don't like look at things and say, Oh, I need to build up, and I also think it's it. In my case it causes damage. I just had to tell the best story that I can, understanding also that my natural instinct and impulses is commer. Are Commercial. They you know, I'm a commercial. I have commercial instincts, so I use those. But I don't think they're going, Oh, you know what, my demographic of women forty five to sixty five is down, so I better add this in. I think it destroys a book and it works even more so. You know doing a lot of TV right now. I get the question a lot. Do you change what you write for TV? And that's just the kiss of death. If you start writing thinking of this will make a great movie your TV series, you're dead. The caveat to that is is I'm willing to make tremendous changes when I do an adaptation. I'm not at all slavishly devoted to the text. If I think it works better, to change a character from male to female, which I've done many times, or move a story, my next one. The book took place in New Jersey. Now it's taking place some more soap Poland. So I love making those kind of changes and things like that. But you can't. Everything has to be slave to your story. When you're writing a book. You can't let anything else like that interfere. Now that's a perfect seguente into my question about those Netflix series. Now you're heavily involved in those, right, Harle I'm including doing some of the scripting or all of the scripting. Some of them am heavily involved in some less. So I don't rate too often the actual scripts, but I am on the British ones. I'm like with the call here in America, the show runner. I'm the head executive producer along with my partner, and so I mean I outline at all, I work with all of the writers, I rewrite them all. I watch the daily. He's pretty much every day the one, the innocent in Spain the gone for good and France and the was Poland did less of the so depends on each circumstance. I had a great, fantastic director right head writer in Spain with the innocent, which is my personal favorite of the foreign language ones, and so I could really rely on him. I didn't like the last episode. I completely work with him on rewriting it, but for the most part I wasn't needing a daily basis. So each one is different. where I needed what I needed for and how it's all working. Now you know the question everybody wants to know, and is you know, how does this guy who sets his books in New Jersey, how do these series then end up in England and France and Poland and Spain? Yeah, well too, think one when you mentioned, when you mentioned that I'm in forty five languages, I actually sell more books overseas in the United States and one of the few authors that we know that you know that that that can that do that. So water, it's Lorder does it also, I think there's a few others, that we sell more books overseas than we do here. And so the number of years ago I had sold the movie rights to tell no one in America to a huge company and they wrote a script that I absolutely despised and they could just it was just whatever. And that happens a lot. And then this when I had one opportunity to three year more to get the rights back in this crazy young French guy named Gion Ken a was constantly calling me with these great ideas and I'm like better to be a French show? I don't know, I know, but I fell in love with the idea and I took that risk and we made a movie called tell no one, which in Europe is a legendary film, and I don't say that because it's mine. One was not there for nine of their Oscars at one four of them. It was the biggest grossing film that year. It's when everything's on everybody's top ten all time photal list. So that also helped me break out in France. And that's all geome Ken I. I don't I'm not taking a claire for that. But then I started to love that...

...idea of like wow, this is interesting, there's a whole world here besides the US. So I made another show. I made one in England with another producer, and then Netflix kind of saw this and said, you know what, can we make like an overall deal, because we want material for each of these countries. As you know, if you have Netflix, they have lots of languages. They are, they are, they are in one hundred and ninety countries, over two hundred million household subscribing. Two hundred million households. That's a thing. With three people per household. I will be six hundred million people. And so they said, you know, your books do well in these things. We know we can adapt them. Can we make an overall deal for all the ones that are not committed? They were not interested at the time in the in my own or Myrn Bulletar with the Mickey bullet our series. So we made this deal and understanding that I was going to be in various countries and my the seventh one will come out. I'm a lot to say, but within the next few months and the seventh one will come out. Whole tight and Poland. and. It's been it's been really fun and it's been great because they're also quite different. The British are bonkers crazy, the the the the Spanish one or very or much, are really hardcore and graphic. The Polish one, Very Moody and Atmospheric and I kind of love that. Yeah, I loved the stranger. I kept freaking out. Now the stranger was in the stranger in a book. To give an example, was a now this is to be politically correct, was a white male wait mail computer nerd. When I wrote the book ten years ago, that kind of worked and I was we were looking at that forecasting and there's the first scene when the stranger drops the bomb on the actor, Richard Armitage, and we were sort of like doing some testing, like it's just not working with a guy. Can we try? Let's try a woman, and then we found Hannah John Kaman who just had that attitude and I'm like that's that's the stranger. So I also do casting, and so that that was I mean by changing it up from the book would I had in the book. Just didn't work. Now I've seen that one of your waughter Charlotte, is at that wrote at least one episode. Yeah, she wrote to for this stay close and she wrote one on this, on the stranger, and she's really been quite an asset. My partner, woman in Nicola, shouldn't were had read one of Charlotte's pilot scripts that she had written Spec and said we need young blood on the show, and she's knows your stuff and has that attitude. So most of the books do not have, say, the teen stories that you'll see on the Netflix show. If you saw the strangers, a whole thing with an Alpaca and all that, that was not in the book. And in and in stay close, the two teenage girls with the fingernail in the drink and all of that not in the book. Almost all that is Charlotte. Almost all those things were Charlotte, as she gets that world a lot better. Almost every funny line on these shows are Charlotte. There's one of my favorite moments in the stay closed as Lorraine's voicemail where she says keep it short, this isn't a podcast, right, yes, it's not. Yes, it's a voice going to and I'm like, and I literally was like when we came out, I forgot my let me cool. Came up with that line Charlotte. So you know a lot of that sort of stuff. She just gets that world, the world better and I do. So she's become really very valuable member of the team. That's pretty awesome. Time and especially the fingernail in the drink man I love. Yeah, it doesn't really exist, but it wasn't. They were going to make it. So she read about it and see all. You know, those are worlds that you and I are not in. Ron Right and and now that actually have a strip you can take and carry with you and do it, but not the finger. Now they decided not to make but it does exist. That's crazy. So we were going to ask also about your children and their activity on twitter, the twitter to the tech twitter burns. Is that a trait in the family? Yeah, I'm pretty heavily goofed on as the as the Goofy Dad has kept me humble, not that anything, not that I needed not to be humble, but my kids are always kind of goofing on me. In fact, we're just looking. I was...

...at a right now, a filming this from a photographer studio, and last time I was here he had me take these weird picture that were used in the metro in Paris, where I was lying down, almost like burt reynolds foe is, clothed with my and in my head, and I sent it, of course, way to my kids and my daughter literally is like okay, now know what I can talk about in therapy. And the other one was you look like a sex poster in Amsterdam. Those are the continents. So sometimes I'll actually take those texts ull snap with photo and I'll put them on my instagram or whatever. Those are always the most popular. I know your kid and relentless and they're funny, and that's shut the things for all the rights, humor especially. So all of my kids are very cutting edge and fun and of course I set them up for it. I know, and I sent that out, that the reactions going to be something like that. You just serve it and then they slam it back to you. Easy, right, it's easy. What a great bonding experience and fun. Okay, so you know, I think I warn you before we started that I was going to ask you to share your best worst dad joke. Actually something up before. So it's what did Jay Z call his wife before they got married? Fiance? Thank you very much. You're all weak folks. You want you wanted bad. They don't get much worse. Yeah, it's worse than that. Yeah, that looks good. That's good. So of course everybody's always wants to know what you have coming out next both in your books in your TV projects. On my next TV show will be on Netflix, from Netflix Poland, called whole type and it's it's pretty interesting. It's again very, very different from the British ones, but I think it's turned up pretty well. I'm too much in the weeds to know how good it is, I'll be honest. I mean it was problems in beginning. We did some refilm and then I loved it. You know, it's like a book. I mean, Mary Kay can tell you to write. One day you'll be writing your book and you'll be like this is the worst piece of crap anyone's ever written, no one will ever write. Next Day you'll be like this is pure genius. Someone's going to read my old books. I never give this one a chance. My Right, Mary Kay. Yeah, yeah, I mean I my agent and my editor. I will say, well, what do you think, and I'll say, you know, I don't have I have no perspective. It's going to take me six months to get over the postpartum depression before brought before I say okay, this does not suck. So I'm the words. I'm the worst judge of my own work, is it? When you get the question of like which book should I start? I'm always like, don't ask me. I never realize can even. But but what I've done is I've sort of given up an unworrying about anyway. That's the next TV series I'll be making. That announcement, allowed to make quite yet enough about a TV series here in the USA. In the next couple of weeks is will be announcing as well. And every March my goal is always the to have a usually the third Tuesday in March is my release date. It's been that way for a lot of years and in the end of the day, the TV stuff is fun and all that and it's great and it's it's everything you think it's going to be. But the books are there. Are, you know, the priority and they have to be. That's my day job, birds as my my nightshob or my hobby. Well, I gotta say that the match, I'm sure, is going to do spectacular it's got a great cover. I mean, why am I showing it to you now? Can Great Cover? Look and there are there. And you know the big the bonus is there are no bleeding balls on us. Yes, now I get involved much more in the covers. You know, used to be that the things would turn out the way they do, and you know this too, Mary Kake, because our careers we're both lucky, I think, in hindsight. I neither one of us hit it big...

...early in our careers. I mean we both toiled. So I used to say that, you know, I didn't have that much editing in my books because no one cared. Now, I don't know, huch eating my books a little bit afraid of me. So you know, you kind of have both. The same thing with the covers. It's so now I do get much more. I don't know. I'm also not a graphic artist. I know my strengths and weaknesses. Graphic art is not one of them. So I know it when I see it. What I've also learned with covers, and I'm going to agree with this Mary case, I decide within two seconds if I like a cover. Not because you, the reader, the reader, are only looking at it two seconds. If you're in a bookstore and you're going to pick it up, you're not going to look at it for ten secon you know, two minutes, and decide, Oh, I'm I think it's pretty good cover. It's what I think, right out of the box. I love that cover. Out of the box. I love the wind cover right before this. Yeah, when was really when really drew me in. Yeah, it's a very, very soon as I saw and if I have to think about it for a second, it's usually not a great cover. Second and then I'm talking myself into it. Well, you know, if Ron's walking past it in the bookstore, he's not talking himself into it. He's either drawn to it or is not. yeahtly right. As always say you can judge a book by its cover. I think the thing in commercial fiction is if you can walk past it on an Endcap at an airport bookstore and not one it, then it's not a selling cover. And I'm you know, I want to sell covers America. Your covers also give you a feel. I know I'm going on vacation with that book. I'm going to go someplace warm and I'm going to want to have a Margarita with me and a frozen drink of some sort and I'm going to sit on a lounge share and your covers wonderfully, I think, reflect quote unquote, your brand, don't you think? Thank you. Yeah, no, I'm in fact we just we just redid my cover look with last year as the newcomer and then with the Santa suit and coming up in May homewrecker. So yeah, I want to keep them fresh, I want to keep them interesting. Hey, I forgot to ask you one thing before we let you go to your cover boy photos photo shoot. You're having a cover boy photo shoot. Is that when I understand right here, I checked my daughters doing the photo shoot with someone done within and we're doing one or two dad and daughter shots, because the one that we have that they keep using when we have press material things we do together, was taking in can like three or four years ago, maybe more, and my daughter doesn't like the picture, but I don't blame he's not a good picture and she's gorgeous. So I said let's take some new pictures together today. So that's why we'll we're yeah, how was it shooting filming during the pandemic, because I saw some some of your social media posts about the difficulties of that. It was really hard. So each one was different. They close, so I'll use stay close to the example because I know most people have a bud be the one most people have seen. You know, we had a shutdown several times. Without last wedding scene in the middle of it. We actually had to shoot around because one of the kids end up being tested positive on that day. It is constant every day testing. The hardest one, I think, was we did. I did a show called gone for good Netflix France. We were filming in Nice and write the height and they decided to try to go ahead with it and we just took an entire hotel because it was empty, no one was traveling, and we took over entire hotel and all of our cast and crew had to live in that hotel and be in that hotel all the time for like two or three months when they weren't filming. And so Spain will close down right before we finished. We had us do it again in July. I haven't been on set. You know, usually go on these sets. I haven't been on any of these sets or these premiers. Champagne problems on a problem really for me, but it makes the everything a lot, a lot more difficult to film, obviously, and they were scenes that didn't turn out exactly how we wanted to because we couldn't travel to a certain destination. One quick example in the in the stay close there's murdered by that. We have ruins that we use quite frequently. Yeah, we have really fantastic I don't want to mention name of it's an old castle that we had were the ruins were in the woods instead and two days before we were filming, we...

...lost them and we found that spot, which ended up working out well. But it's really tiny. It's only that one ruins. We had to shoot it ways to make it look a little bit more exotic, and we find that I think two days before we were going to shoot, they closed it down for covid the one we were going to use, and that happens a lot of places we're going to film. Yeah, all right. Well, thank you, old friends. Less a lot of fun is always Mary Ka, I love you. Good to see you run great movie. Thank you so much. Always a pleasure to be with you and our listeners, all of them, as are we, big fans. And final they're going to be thrilled to get their hands on the match. May, March, fifteen, March tween. Thank you. Bye. So, on behalf of Mary K, Patti, Kristen and Christie, thank you for listening. We appreciate the support from you all. You can purchase Harland's book, along with pre ordering Mary Kays the home wreckers, at our friends and fiction bookshop dotorg page. We are so glad you're here and please tell a friend thank you to our presenting sponsors, Charleston Coffee Roasters and page one books, for their generous support. Show our sponsors some love by following them on facebook and instagram and subscribing to their email newsletters. Remember use code coffee with friends for twenty percent off bagged coffees at Charleston Coffee roasters and code friends, plural friends fifteen for fifteen percent off book subscriptions at Page One. Thank you for tuning in to the friends and fiction writers block podcast. Please be sure to subscribe, rate and review on your favorite podcast platform. Tune in every Friday for another episode, and you can also join us every week on facebook for Youtube, where are live? Friends and fiction show airs at seven PM Eastern Standard Time. We are so glad you're here.

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