October 28, 2020 | Issue #13
Meet Viola Shipman!

We have a special Sunday Bonus Episode this Sunday November 1st. We will welcome Viola Shipman to discuss writing under a pseudonym. Wade Rouse is the acclaimed memoirist and humorist who has also written nine internationally bestselling novels under the pen name, Viola Shipman. Wade chose his grandmother’s name as a pen name to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction. He'll join us to talk about his career and his latest novel, THE HEIRLOOM GARDEN. Join us Sun 11/1 at 5pm ET via Facebook Live on the F&F Group page. 
Five Facts From Our Friend,
Cassandra King Conroy
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without in quarantine:
Oh dear—only one? Then it’d have to be wine, preferably sparkling.
Your perfect day:
My perfect day is a crisp, cool autumn day in the mountains with bright-colored leaves falling, and something with apples and cinnamon cooking on the stove.

Your favorite independent bookstore:
This is going to get me in so much trouble. We have 2 wonderful independents in Beaufort so to keep from choosing between them, I’ll give a shout-out to Buxton Books in Charleston!

The last book you raved about:
My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamole. I’m normally not a big fan of historical fiction but really got engrossed in that one.

Your next book in ten words or less:
Three Lowcountry women face major life changes.
Bookseller of the Week
This week’s featured bookseller is South Main Book Company. An independent book store proudly located in the heart of historic downtown Salisbury, NC for over twenty years, they sell new books with a focus on North Carolina, literary fiction, children's books, and new releases. This week they are offering 10% off books by our guests Cassandra King Conroy (Wed 10/28) and Viola Shipman (Sun 11/1), as well as those by the five F&F host authors. Mention Friends & Fiction to get your discount!  
Five Facts From Our Friend, Viola Shipman
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without in quarantine:
Coffee and my laptop (that’s two; and I’d also prefer a hair stylist live with me, too … )
Your perfect day:
Writing and running, boating and beaching, reading and rose

Your favorite independent bookstore:
Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, Michigan (though I LOVE them all!)

The last book you raved about:
Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

Your next book in ten words or less:
1980s summer camp best friends reunite to reclaim their dreams
Up Close & Personal with Kristy Woodson Harvey

Legacy is a big word, a heavy one, a concept laced with meaning and gravitas. And, to be honest, I’ve never spent much time thinking about mine. Maybe because I feel like I’m just now reaching the point where I’m beginning to travel on the path that feels meant for me. Maybe I don’t feel old enough yet to imagine that a legacy is something I could attain. I’m not sure. But when an interviewer asked me recently about what I thought my legacy would be, I couldn’t really say.

And so, I thought this would be the perfect week to talk to the other four members of the Fab Five, these women who are such strong supporters, amazing examples and, in short, women I want to emulate in not only my career but also my life, what they thought about legacy. When I brought up the topic, I didn’t know yet that the incredible Cassandra King Conroy would be popping in to talk about her memoir, Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy. I didn’t know that she would be here to discuss the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the place that is inspiring future generations of writers to be their very best, that is committed to continuing the work of a great writer and a great man. Talk about a legacy.

I also didn’t know that we would be hosting another favorite author and very special friend, Wade Rouse, who writes fiction as Viola Shipman, on Sunday night. If you don’t know Wade, he is the very definition of a bright light, a true champion for other writers who has fully embraced the concept that a rising tide lifts all ships. I cannot wait to laugh with him, to share his work with all of you—but, most of all, I am excited for him to share his story of how his heirloom novels preserve the memory of his beloved grandmother. Legacy.

In my next novel, Under the Southern Sky, we see one of the now-deceased protagonists struggle with her mortality at a very young age, through the journal entries that she leaves behind. She grapples with what her legacy will be, how the success she has achieved, the lives she has changed, have impacted the world, if they have at all. At one point, she writes, I’m surprised to find that I don’t care about a legacy anymore. It’s a life that really matters. I think those words become truer than even she could have imagined by the end of the novel.

And maybe that’s the trick. Maybe it’s through living our lives the best way we know how that we end up creating a lasting impression, something that is, perhaps, far better than we could have even imagined.

So few of us ever have the chance to make a truly unique and heroic mark on the world. But I like to think that the little things, the small kindnesses, the smile at a stranger, the support of a friend, are the things that truly mean something, that really matter. In that way, with very little effort at all, we have the chance to leave the world a better place than we left it. And, if you ask me, that’s the best legacy of all.
Debut Spotlight
Kathleen West’s debut novel Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes came out earlier this year and received incredible reviews and word-of-mouth, with many comparing the book to Liane Moriarty’s work. A mother and longtime high school teacher in Minneapolis, Kathleen has a unique insight into parents, teachers, the way kids act away from home, and how social media impacts it all.

Perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions, a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High—the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle—and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

KRISTIN HARMEL is on the final stretch of her deadline for THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS, but she emerged from her writing cave to vote, and she's grateful—especially because she writes so frequently about WWII Europe (where so many people lost their voice)—to live in a time and place where every citizen has the right (and responsibility!) to help shape the nation's future.

PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY filmed a video at her local Indie, Alabama Booksmith, about Surviving Savannah! She was finally able to hold a silver coin from the shipwreck! She’ll have loads more to share about this soon, so keep your eye out.

MARY KAY ANDREWS is off and running on research for her next novel—which is set in Savannah and nearby Tybee Island. Last week, she stopped by her favorite local indie bookstore, E. Shaver’s, for books for the whole family, as well as research books for the novel.

MARY ALICE MONROE still has some sea turtle bracelets to give away to fans who pre-order her Summer 2021 book, The Summer of Lost and Found. Click HERE for details.

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY had her first UNC Library Board meeting. The only thing she loves more than Tarheel basketball is Tarheel libraries!
We're Now a Podcast!

We're so excited that Friends & Fiction is officially available as a podcast!

Never fear! Our weekly web show on Facebook Live is not going anywhere! But we have been working hard to produce our episodes in audio-only format. So, the episodes we've recorded will be up on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and all other major podcasting platforms.

Not in front of the computer? Pop in your ear buds and listen in. Have a road trip planned? Take Friends & Fiction along for the ride!
News from the F&F Official Book Club
Make sure to join the Friends & Fiction Official Book Club, who will be discussing Kristy Woodson Harvey's FEELS LIKE FALLING all month long, with a special, live appearance from Kristy on Monday, Nov. 16th at 7pm ET. 

The club had a great time talking on Monday, Oct. 19th with Patti Callahan Henry, who joined them for a Facebook Live to discuss her latest novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis. If you missed the live chat, you can catch the replay HERE.