August 26, 2020 | Issue #4
Meet Rachel McMillan!
August 30th!
We have a bonus episode this week! Join us on Sunday August 30th at 5:00pm Eastern as we chat with Rachel McMillan. Rachel's latest work of historical fiction, THE LONDON RESTORATION, was just released on August 18th. A keen history enthusiast and lifelong bibliophile, Rachel McMillan is the author of the Herringford and Watts mysteries, the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary romances set in opulent Vienna, and the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries set in 1930's Boston. She also recently published her first work of non-fiction, a travel guide/memoir DREAM, PALN, GO.
Bookseller of the Week
This week's featured bookseller is PAGE AND PALETTE in Fairhope, Alabama. This third-generation family-owned bookstore has been a Fairhope landmark for more than 40 years. Proudly seated in the heart of the downtown community, they host a range of author events from local, up-and-coming names to blockbuster celebrities. In addition to books, they also carry greeting cards, journals, and a variety of merchandise. All of this over a cup of locally roasted coffee in Latte Da or a craft cocktail with a literary twist in The Book Cellar, it's no wonder some of their customers never leave the store.
Debut Spotlight
The book Patti mentioned on last week's episode with Kristina McMorris was a debut called The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan. Patti compared it to Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid...who, by the way, had this to say about this book: “The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes is a page-turning peek inside the glamour and brutality of life as a pop star. Sloan takes us on a wild ride through the world of music video shoots, expensive hotels, and arena tours—showing us the darkness that threatens just below the surface.” Patti just loved it. And she just knows you will, too! So grab yourself a copy now.
Up Close with Patti Callahan Henry
Why I Write.

I am often asked “Why do you write? Why do you do this?” Usually someone asks when I miss a fun event or I am exhausted on the road. Since our subject this week is perseverance, I thought I’d talk about the why of this crazy life. 

A belief in this power to change us and to open us to the world has been a touchstone of my life and my work. I take my questions, my hopelessness, my wonderings and even my fascination with the world, to the page. It is there that I have the power to make a choice, to change an outcome, to project forward to what might happen next.

There are other reasons, too, of course. I write because I don’t know many other ways to process the world around me. I write because, since childhood, story has been both my sustenance and also my support.

I write because it connects me to the human condition. I write because I don’t know what I believe or understand until I write it down. I write because there’s nothing else I do as well or as frequently or with as much desire. I write because the stories inside have to go somewhere, so why not on paper? I write because I’m addicted to the rare moment when it finally works and comes together like magic. I write to bypass despair.

I take my wondering to the page — many of my novels begin with the question, “Well, how did that happen?”. For example, that’s what I wanted to know about C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. How improbable they were — a married woman from upstate New York with two young children and a top Oxford University scholar in early 1950. When I began to write the novel Becoming Mrs Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis, I took that question and began to write from Joy’s point of view. I wanted to write it from the key of empathy, to tell the story from the seat of her heart. I deeply desired for us to meet C. S. Lewis’s wife on her own terms, no longer listening to what others say about her, but instead to hear from her.

Why we write might be as mysterious as the origins of the Universe, but we do it because we must! As I’ve often heard, “Writing might not be a great way to make a living, but it is a great way to make a life.” And what a life of wonder it is.
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY is looking forward to hosting tonight's episode of Friends & Fiction where she will be asking the Fab Five not only about success, but failure. She will also be the host of this weekend's Sunday Bonus Episode on August 30th with author Rachel McMillan.

For the second week in a row, KRISTIN HARMEL's The Book of Lost Names is #1 in Canada. Kristin also enjoyed talking with former Friends and Fiction guests Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Fiona Davis in two separate Facebook Live chats this week. 

Y'all know that KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY is not just an author, she's also a design blogger, right?! Check out her Instagram feed and her Design Chic website for the best house porn ever!

MARY KAY ANDREWS is proud of the fact that—thanks to the encouragement and accompaniment of her fellow F&F host authors—she has now written every single day for 86 days straight. She takes daily breaks from writing next summer's novel with flower arranging, cooking scrumptious meals, and family time, all of which you can see on her Insta.

MARY ALICE MONROE has been writing, writing, and writing some more! She recently had two 5,000 word days in a row. Any author will tell you this is an amazing, gold-medal-level achievement! Go, MA, go!
News from the F&F Official Book Club
The September pick for the FRIENDS AND FICTION Official Book Club is On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe! Mark your calendars for Monday, September 14th when the club will host Mary Alice for a lively discussion.