Weekly News from Friends & Fiction—February 7, 2024
Tune in TONIGHT to watch this week’s episode!
Join us Wednesday, February 7th at 7pm Eastern on the F&F Facebook page and YouTube channel with hosts Patti Callahan Henry and Ron Block as they welcome this week’s guest, critically-acclaimed author Amy Jo Burns, to hear all about her new novel, MERCURY, in which a roofing family's bonds of loyalty are tested when they uncover a long-hidden secret at the heart of their blue-collar town.
Amy Jo Burns is the author of the memoir Cinderland and the novel Shiner, which was a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, an NPR Best Book of the Year, a Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club selection, and “told in language as incandescent as smoldering coal,” according to the New York Times. Her writing has appeared in Elle, Good Housekeeping, The Paris Review Daily, and the anthology Not That Bad. We are eager to hear from Amy Jo about MERCURY which People Magazine called “an exquisitely observed tale about blood bonds and the toll of secrets” when they named it their Book of the Week.
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Latest News from the Fab Four!
PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY just arrived home from an incredible week offline and with family. She was thrilled to come home and see that The Secret Book of Flora Lea is a Barnes and Noble must read for 2024. She is now diving back into her next novel (nearly done) and batting around titles with her Friends and Fiction co-horts! What would she do without them? Also, this week Patti is launching her new Substack and would love to have you over to visit! It’s called Stories Are My Thing and she’ll be sharing essays, newsletters, creative ideas, and as always the things that inspire her.
MARY KAY ANDREWS had a fabulous whirlwind visit with her publishing team in New York City, to discuss marketing and publicity plans for SUMMERS AT THE SAINT, which will be out in three short months! Meg Walker joined MKA in the city for the meeting and lunch with the folks at St. Martin’s Press–and their traditional night of theater–this time around the delightful revival of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, starring Sutton Foster. After she got back home to Atlanta, Mary Kay even managed to sneak in a couple estate sales before getting ready to host a surprise birthday dinner party for a dear friend.
KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY had a great weekend celebrating her hubby’s birthday and celebrating Valentine’s Day early with the Beaufort Historic Site—which plays a huge role in her forthcoming A HAPPIER LIFE! She is putting the finishing touches on her tour and can’t wait to share it with you!
KRISTIN HARMEL got to go see middle grade author James Ponti (CITY SPIES) speak at her son Noah’s school last week, and she absolutely loved seeing how inspired and excited the kids were to hear from a real, live author. It was such a great reminder of the impact of our words–and James is absolutely amazing at telling relatable stories to kids. They were hanging on his every word, and it was such a joy to witness that! This coming Tuesday, Feb. 13, she’ll be in Winter Park, Florida with longtime Friends & Fiction friend Sadeqa Johnson, in conversation about Sadeqa’s The House of Eve, new in paperback. More information here; Kristin and Sadeqa hope to see you there!
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Tues, Feb 13, 6pm: Join Kristin in conversation with author Sadeqa Johnson at the Winter Park Public Library in Winter Park, Florida. RSVP here.
In Case You Missed It
Last week on The Friends & Fiction Show, hosts Patti Callahan Henry & Kristy Woodson Harvey interviewed author Jennifer Moorman about her new novel, THE MAGIC ALL AROUND, which is a treasure hunt through the past that reveals one woman’s extraordinary gift for arranging the future. Tune in to hear about Jennifer’s take on magical realism, her inspiration for this setting and her characters, her use of symbolism, and her love of baking. Order Jennifer’s book (out now!) from the F&F Shop on Bookshop.org, where you’ll also find books by all our hosts and guests, all at a discount, all while supporting our show and our beloved indie bookstores nationwide!
Coming Up on The Friends & Fiction Show
All shows can be watched on Facebook & YouTube each Wednesday evening at 7pm ET, and listened to on our podcast each Friday, all year long.
The Fab Four are taking turns interviewing some additional authors in short 10-minute video segments we are calling “Behind the Book.” Check out a few recent bonus interviews that our host authors have run on the F&F YouTube channel!
NEW! Patti Callahan Henry had the privilege of talking to Frye Gaillard about A Hard Rain. As a child of the Sixties and one of the leading civil rights reporters of his generation, Frye Gaillard has given us a riveting tour along what he calls the fine line between history and journalism. This is a fascinating discussion where Frye tells us about the day he came face-to-face with Martin Luther King as he was arrested in Birmingham, about the fine line between fiction and non-fiction, and stories about this most fascinating decade. WATCH HERE.
F&F Merch Store & 2024 Subscription Box
We have a Friends & Fiction merch store with t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs and a book bag on Bonfire. We also have other items like wine tumblers, reading journals, and our original white v-neck logo tees available through Oxford Exchange. You can also order the F&F 2024 SUBSCRIPTION BOX through our friends at Oxford Exchange. All details HERE!
F&F Official Book Club & 2024 Reading Challenge
Join Brenda Gardner & Lisa Harrison on Monday, February 19th at 7pm ET on the Facebook page for the F&F Official Book Club with Brenda & Lisa as they welcome author Virginia Kantra to discuss their February pick, The Fairytale Life of Dorothy Gale. Also join them for a Happy Hour with special guest Ron Block on Thursday, February 29th at 7:30pm ET. You can also follow the Book Club on Instagram and subscribe to their YouTube channel where you can catch past discussions, including their most recent chat with writing duo Christine Platt & Catherine Wiggington Greene about their book, Rebecca, Not Becky. With the help of Annissa Armstrong, the Book Club is also hosting the 2024 F&F Reading Challenge. Join them for a different category prompt each month to read outside your comfort zone. The February prompt is to read a debut novel by an author of color.
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