tv Author Discussion on Women in World War II CSPAN August 30, 2021 7:23pm-8:33pm EDT
with your family. or seeing a soccer game or picking up milk from the store or something like that. it is unlike anything most traditional lawyers have ever experienced in the past. i think that is the biggest change in the psychology of how they are actually fighting for a. >> watch the rest of this program online and booktv.org. click the after words tap to find this and allll previous episodes. >> hello everyone and welcome to the 2021 virtual gaithersburg book festival. i am a proud member of the gaithersburg city council and your host for this presentation. before we get started i like you to ask you to support this presentations authors by purchasing their books from our bookseller partners politics and prose, one of america's premier independent
bookstores. you'll find purchase links in the presentation description. given always been there over past year it's so important to support local jobs in the local economy. i also want to extend a big thank you tour 2021 featured sponsor. the david and michael blair family foundation for their engenerous support. okay, let's get started. today's literary presentation features historical novels by two best-selling authors in which women put themselves on the line. the invisible woman by erika robuck as a gripping historical novel based on the remarkable true story of world war ii heroin virginia hall and how in the depths of war she would defy the odds to help liberate a nation. erika robuck as a national best-selling author of hemingway's girl, call me zelda, fallen beauty, the
house of hawthorne and receive me following. she is a contributor to the anthology grand central, postwar stories of love and reunion. and to the essay collection author in progress. in 2014 erica it was named author of the year. the women of château by stephanie dray is a a sweeping novel about duty andal hope, love and courage and the strength we take for those who come before us. an epic saga based on the extraordinary castle and they remarkable women bound by its legacy. stephanie is a "new york times", wall street journal, and usa today asked selling author of historical women's fiction. her work has been translated into eight languages and tops list for the most anticipated
reads of the year. before becoming an award winning novelist, stephanie was a lawyer and a teacher. moderating today's discussion between these two fantastic authors, is karen, karen is the author of six novels including a woman of intelligence, 100 sons, and that gilded years which is seem to be a major motion picturext. karen has also written for the "washington post", the miami herald, chicago tribune and newsday. she has appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on entertainment tonight, cnn and the cbs early show. welcome erica, stephanie, and karen. >> hi, thank you so much. i'm so excited to be here today talking to stephanie and erica about their books, their
masterpieces they are somewhat long, amazing masterpieces. i would love to start by just talking about the spark that created these books. i am always still interested in how people discover these characters in history. especially these women who history has forgotten and they decide to write books about them and have the bravery to go down that research hole and bring these women to life again. stephanie let's start with you. i would guess this has a hamilton situation connection? >> people who know my work may know i have written america's first daughter along with my very dear friend and co-author as well as -- this is about founding mothers. i was eager to tell the story
about our french founding mother. that was the genesis of the story. you will notice the book p is called the women. that is because along the way i discovered a memoir by this delightful author who was a child hidden in the castle during the holocaust and say from theil nazis. her memoir essay by the spirit of lafayette. i began wondering if there is a spirit of lafayette? and how is it carried forward? that is when id discovered women, generation after generation who carried on the lafayette and his amazing wife, adrienne. i wanted to bring that story in its fullness and tell the tale of this extraordinary
castle in the deepest part of france that served as a beacon of hope in history's darkest hours. >> while. that is incredible. i am already intimidated by having to go down the research a while that i'm sure you did. we will get to that next. erica, tell me how you discovered the story. you've written so much about women in literature. you have the whys of famous writers, how did you move away from the literary world and discover? >> the writing community help to steer me a little. i was going down another famous writer wormhole, which i think is a great place to go. women i like to elevate their stores and have been hidden. as write about grant stouffer's wife. she said, could you just write
about a woman who is phenomenal in her own right not because she's a missus or daughter of? i thought that was really awesome feedback. around that time, i'm not sure how she appeared on my radar i came upon a smithsonian article on virginia hall. the time i finished reading i cannot believe i had not work heard about this woman for my own state of maryland. what she did under theam circumstances she did. i became completely obsessed with her. >> yes, she was from baltimore right? >> yes knowing sheikh had grown up in her family have gone to places i have gone, the hunting, the fishing in the chesapeake bay has been such a part of my upbringing. of course after all of the things we have in common and because virginia hall was courageous and brave and i hate being hungry, cold, tired. [laughter] >> also did not shoot yourself in the leg and the hunting accident. >> no not yet done i hope to never. [laughter]
>> i'm sure you are all the things you said you are not. let's talk about research. when i was reading these books i was like these books are great i'm so glad i did not have to write them. [laughter] intimidating. i know when i write fiction i think i'm going to write about this but then you discover this on the side and this on the side and i have to put this in and i have to put this in. i would love to talk about your research methods and how you get yourself to stop researching. ofi feel that's a problem with historical fiction you can do it forever than you'll never have a book. how do you start and how do you stop? stephanie do you want to go first? >> yes, sure thing. >> i start because i get a bet with historical characters. i think most historical fiction authors have the same, i don't want to say it's a gene but it is a tendency. by the way we have a guest
visitor over there. : : intimidating. : discovered this on the side and this on the side i have to put this in i have to put this in. i would love to talk about your research and methods and also how you get yourself to stop researching? because i feel like that is a problem with historical fiction. you could just do it forever than you'll never have a book. how do you start and how do you stop? stephanie do you want to go first? super extra thing. so i start because i get obsessed with historical characters. i think most historical fiction authors have the same, i do not want to say it's a gene but it is a tendency. by the guest visitor over generation including her own and i wanted to show that so i needed to know which women were involved in this amazing story.
the next woman i approached beatrice, thent woman who's in world warub i, purchase lafayette, renovated it and repurposed it as a refuge for children. she was my research rabbit hole. if you want to talk about not knowing when to stop, this is one of the few books where i apparently stopped too early. i thought i knew the story of beatrice, i thought she was a wellll healed society made who t involved with philanthropy during world war i and whose public marriage somehow survived the war and that is the story i wrote. then i made a stop to the new york historical society to tie up a few loose ends and looked at her public papers because i had already reviewed her private papers to her amazing grandson.
he allowed me to see the private letters. at the new york historical society i stumbled over a packet of love letters they were not from her husband, they were from a soldier in the trenches, a french officer and i realized i uncovered an old secret love affair, something to tell a family. i thought okay, now i know the story. we all know this, so i wrote that story shortly before this book was supposed to be charted, i got a phone call from her grandson telling me through the research i had sent him from the new york historical society, hee discovered his grandmother was
not who she said she was. she bent telling tall tales about her identity her entire life and i don't want to give a spoiler, i won't say what she was lying about but she was a more extraordinary heroine than anyone knew. i had to follow that. even if it meant getting an extension for the novel and rewriting it, i had to do it to pay honor to the truth that this remarkable woman couldn't tell in her own lifetime. normally i wouldl say you have o stop when the deadline comes up, that's the end, you are done but in this case for the psaki of historical truth and feeling like i did honor to the story, i had to keep going so i don't recommend this to other authors.t
[laughter] but sometimes the stories going to give your own answer to this. >> i love that. for extension during public? >> it's unheard of. [laughter]ru i can't imagine how you would have felt if you discovered the love letters after you had entered it, the stress is, i feel it through the spring. the french officers will get you every time. [laughter] >> world war ii fiction, it is actually sort of true. erica, let's talk how you started and stopped from you spoke to people in the cia currently and i think it's
sometimes more intimidating to write about people who are more modern day, for exists about them so how do you find that all? >> i think writing as you pointed out, it's an act of faith and process. you have to trust when you're open to it in earnest, is going to lead you where it's supposed to go pretty points were opened you find your character, if you like virginia hall trying to find a frequency, trying to listen and all of a sudden one day, not monday or tuesday but maybe wednesday or maybe friday, all of a sudden you get it crystal clear and then it downloads but every other writing i today, it statically. the same with research so okay, i'm going to write about virginia hall. one of the first books i came across from another person involved said don't bother
reaching out to virginia, she doesn't want to be found. the whole time i felt like jeanette was had her arms crossed from the beginning like no gradually as i started to dig deeper and deeper, visit the cia go to the national archives and read her records and refuse, find that obscure biography, a most recent biography which is fabulous, it wasn't written so i had to go dig for what biographies were available, i was able to use that by jp pearson and a lot of french language books. we talked about sitting on google translate, 300 pages of brunch, we know things get lost in that but it's helpful. doing all of that work, i finally felt virginia started to trust me, i know it sounds strange. then more and more calm. then the cia approval came through that i was able to visit and then they answered the phone
and said see me for lunch. then there was a box of family photographs out of nowhere. they just put virginia in color when she's been a very intimidating sketch for a long time. then talking to men and women in the cia now, i feel so -- to everybody but there are people who do this and they have this calling and they respond to it and operate in the shadows and it's a fascinating world so i felt like i had a real-life superhero time and over the course of a process, she let me in so i was able to write the book and then of course the writing, stephanie as you point out, i thought because virginia hall isn't particularly relatable to the average person, speaking five languages as if it's nothing from i need to find a way in so i paired her with a
woman from present date, a little bit more relatable, a veteran of iraq and i started to write this dual protagonist story after about 150 pages i realized it wasn't working, virginia's story was too big, i couldn't do that so i put her aside and a put virginia with another woman in the as oe will have i've been having dreams about separate the two of them together and virginia, it almost seemed to be this is about me, focus so i put that woman aside and i started writing regina's first mission and i got to the end of it and she had the. knees and i realized there's a whole back story because shel went to occupy france, why did she go back? 400 pages later, you find page one and off you go. >> that's the way it goes. i guess i wouldn't have t it any other way. wouldn't it be nice to write a
tidy little book that's all outlined but life is messy and writing is messy but when it comes together, the joy is so profound, it's worth all the trouble. >> yes, i think it's reallynd hd to write a clean perfect book because have a family member who let's you and you discover inspirations and office. >> the generosity of both of you is something that really hit me when i read the books. i want to talk about the complexity and bravery of these women. stephanie, i read something you wrote, adrian to perfect, hard to find flaws about her and i riwas like is that just the way women were represented in history? they are never going to paint them as anything but these saintly figures?
i'd love to know how you made her a more complex person. erica, i know like virginia hall didn't want to become a public figure from what i read, she was not giving up her story. how do you turn these real women into full complex characters they deserve toit be on the pag? >> stephanie, do you want to go first? >> with adrian from a i had the advantage of a little bit of biographical information. her daughter had written a biography of her she had written a little bit of biographical information about herself while trying to document her mother's life. the fact that adrian wrote her mother's biography a toothpick and ink while she herself was in prison, i think that indicated an incredible level of guilt for
what happened during the french revolution so you read a little bit between the lines and what someone is not saying and bright they are saying and when they are saying it. withth adrian, i still think shs kind of perfect from a farmer forgiving woman i could be, she's infinitely courageous. this is a woman who was the damsel in distress who ended up saving her night. she saved lafayette life and risked her own life again and again and again during the french revolution in ways i can't even imagine being back courageous. all of her contemporaries described her as being without jealousyre of this perfect sainy temperament. he see a little bit less of the
saintly temperament peak out and some of her letters. she complains to lafayette one time when he's making her about getting back there property and she's essentially saying listen buddy, i am doing the best i can. i'm walking around france on foot and you can just sit down, shut up and wait for me. of course she said it infinitely nicer than i just did but when you see those teeny peaks of inpatients, you know that there is a real flesh and blood person behind that. keep those out if you can in the story and with adrian, i might have even exaggerated a little bit because she probably was a saint. [laughter] for the other characters in the novel, beatrice, i had her lettersnt and she is extremely funny, she was a comedic actress
in her day and that really comes through. i should mention that she was also an offer and at one time she wrote she submitted manuscript to her agent and she hadn't heard back from him yet so hefo feared it was so bad tht it might have killed him. [laughter] i thought she's our people, we know, we would love having lunch with her so i was able to bring her to the page. martha is the third character, she's the only fictional character. she's a composite character and i based her on will women who helped the french resistance may have been involved in hiding and protecting jewish children but i did not want martha to be the same as the other two women in the book who both idolized lafayette. they the sun rises and sets by
him so i needed a contrast and i thought she's not going too care one bit about this, she doesn't care about the castle, for legacy, she wants to get into the world andnd live your life sort of brought up in the great offense to afford her to find her inner courage i think that something modern day readers might find a little bit more relatable because most of us set out to do glorious deeds so that's a bit of humanity i wanted to bring to my character so that is sort of the approach that i bring. >> there are such different women i laughed -- (yeah, i lack lafayette was so chill about her husband's mistress in the rolled her onto put it there is robert
television coming in capture this reality show? is a very modern lady. >> wrench -- >> i wonder, too. she was torturing her husband a little bit because ifat you bece friends with your husband's mistress, every time have tea with him, he's off somewhere wondering what you two are d talking about so that's how i thought of that. >> i like that take. [laughter] talking about bravery, one thing that stuck out to me in your book is how they told virginia hall, several people said she had a six week life expectancy on her assignment. the top i would be i will be at the cap weight around the corner, best of luck with the war happening so i'd like to talk about how you made for the complex characters he is in your book and how did she get this
way? she born this way? how did she get so brave? i was born in maryland and are not about to do that anytime. >> when you look back over the course of her life, she was an outdoors woman her whole life and there is a page in her yearbook i posted last week which is incredible. i wish i had it in my hands right now but it summarizes her so perfectly. first of all, she's the president of every club from thh editor of every magazine, she is a natural leader. she someone who forges ahead and was the words they used for her? like, she's crotchety but we can't do without her, something like that. it was the t theme throughout hr life in which he accidentally took off her foot, obviously it is a bad moment and she's in the hospital in turkey and the doctor asked, like all your
life? she said amputated. when she wakeshe up, she goes through suicidal. , she wishes she hadn't done that because she thinks her life is over. she's always been a top dog and now over here. she had a vision of her late father or a ghost or something, but he came to her and that this is not who you are, you have a lot more ahead of you. from that moment onin she lets result. that's right i am so he slowly comes out of it and starts working to get a prosthetic leg is nothing like the lightweight things veterans and people have today clunky object that she names corporate so she can yell at it with a name and within months after rehabilitating at a family farm, she's in venice learning to paddle a gondola,
it's who she was. after that, she became determined and i think all about gave her the fortitude for what she needed for the work. she knew she had the talent and the drive and love of friends and people and put herself at their service so i think all of these o things make us who we ae and that's what made her who she is. formable is a work that always comes up because of few things in the document. end of her report on the pages of enemies,we friends, faces she visited burgess she blew up, every little detail. the person interviewing her, a typewritten interview said we could separated in the field? her intersect no, nor any reason to be. --ould feel her like no affect you could get a little bit of her cheeking us and when you see her picture of getting service donovan, she's giving him such a look, you have to
google it. it's in the public domain but it's a cute cheeky look so you get to see there is some playfulness behind this formidable woman and little ... help make a human person from the character. >> many things surprised me aboutge her reading the book. one thing she thought about going into rest at the same was state department to let anyone with a disability feet officer. truly ironic with the president but of course.rs [laughter] it seemed to me like she tried to go a more traditional path and the doors were closed to her because she's a woman, she had this problem with her leg and it was like all right, let me just start throwing grenades, sometimes paths are more open to women and even something like the state department which is crazy to me.
>> i thought tomorrowd how she stayed so brave starting over after her network was decimated. >> i think thereer were two reasons. i've talked to a number ofoo combat veterans and a close friend of mine who suffered a pretty dramatic effect in the field has taught me a lot about posttraumatic stress and what happens because of it but using what they talk about and what i saw that she did and understanding the psychology behind it, i realized there were two things. one, she was motivated the betrayer. she knew who he was, she didn't listen to her even though there were all the alarms going off, head quarters better and she accepted it. she felt guilt so the survivor guilt and all t of her people getting carted away from going to concentration camps, murder, she had to avenge that. she had to bring justice to it however she d could.
virginia wasn't mary, she didn't have children and she had this calling some she was determined to do it but the as oe, british she worked for did not want to send her back because her face was on wanted posters so she lived with the oss for the united states, you want to stick your neck out, go for it. i always joked the british called their service the initiative warfare in the ofs product the department of dirty tricks, essentially u.s. british. she went with dirty tricks but survivor guilt and a healthy dose of revenge, she wanted to get them and she was able to find enough information that she led to the capture. >> that's awesome. i'm guessing therere was no wild guilt in the british service. >> not that i came across #you
have to love america. i'd love to talk about, you are talking about all these real women. stephanie, your book is a bcomposite character, let's tak about the balance inn historical fishing like the books you write, truth and fiction. do you just fill in holes with fiction or do you think adding this bigger fictional element exceeds historical characters more accessible to modern readers? >> i have not often written purely fictional characters. in some respects, i'mil always almost the wrong person to ask but in this case, i needed this composite character. i'll explain why. when i started writing the story, i believed i was going to be writing in world war ii about
a woman named del gone from a she was the daughter of the barren who was the president at the château. for people listening, a preevent thorium was how you would treat tuberculosis in children before the advent of penicillin. that's what the château had been transformed into. it was based on techniques that are sadly familiar to us right now like keep the kids socially distanced from a get them outside, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, don't let them breathe on eachan other so lafayette was wrong well suited for that being in the mountains. and took over at the age of
24-point her father was arrested by the gestapo she was in charge of texting all of these children at a time when the french resistance was hiding weapons under the floorboard of the children's beds in the preevent thorium. i want to mention and sister was married to henri who erica probably knows about because he was one of bill's associates in america's version of the cia so i deeply believe in not only new french resistance was hiding runs under the floorboard which her knew jewish children were hidden in the preevent thorium. i can prove none ofes this and n top of not being able to prove it, her father had a lot of ties
to the d.c. puppet regime and occupy france so i have a choice from july lionize someone who had collaboration instincts or do i the villa nice someone who actually was secretly white heroic in my heart of hearts, i believed she was a heroin, i really do but i felt like it would be irresponsible for me to do either of those things so i needed to fictionalize a heroin. i knew the french f resistance said there was a french school teacher who helped him but they don't name her. the little girl i mentioned who was saved by the spirit of lafayette, they talk about administrators in the castle, she does not name them so i
found a photograph of a little girl in a classroom of little boys at the castle, the only cerebral and she's looking straight at the camera and as soon as i saw that photo, i thought there you are, that is my character, there is a hole in this story and i'm going to fill it with this character so that's what i didme so yes, it's fictional butt really she's feeling thoughtful, that's what i did there. i felt that elevated the story and i want to say that you say her name so lovely, you make a sound that i cannot. [laughter] >> i just decided to make fun of a little in the book, she says americans what you her name say marta.
[laughter] so i'm going to continue to butcher her p name. i think in historical women's action when your drink biographical fiction, which this mostly is, you want to stay as close to the factual truth you can while still telling an entertaining story and bringing out scenes that make readers feel something. there are great biographies outt there, i know it's a great biography of europe -- i didn't mean to say vera, erica's heroin and i know this will make you feel something intensely for virginia hall and that's what we want to bring to readers so that's always in the back of my mind when i make those choices. >> i love that. when i was going down to
virginia hall, i saw a historical book and then a movie at the end of 2020 and i was like i should watch that. no, i'd rather read the book. [laughter] >> you kind of get attached to the version you know. let's talk about how you fill in the gaps for someone like virginia hall. >> i've had both. fictiong characters and that i'e done just characters from history which i've done with the help of bop bop offering. there are some people i just find but there are a lot of people i could. i started, i took a cross-reference from about 20 different sources and whenever a person emerged fully, they got
top. when there were too many, and one of the villages there are five or six men last name who have a different function. one kept the books, one friend the weapons, it was too much. there was a group of peasants from the first under mission who met a terrible fate and she specifically mentioned them in a letter to her mother but she ngwouldn't say they work. those people, i couldn't find so i went into the town record into the church record and i found last names and created that for the people there then in the authors note i explained everything. the first thing i right, i am not a biographer. [laughter] i'm here to make you feel -- ye- >> is so hard, we were expecting every aspect of world war ii. my research begins here.
>> i tell everybody, i confess everything for what's good and bad. i let the work lead. the help of hawthorne, i had to feel his voice in my ear so deeply, i knew i could use her to tell the story. margaret fuller, i didn't need to make anybody up, it was so well documented so i let the work guide me into time. >> i love how comfortable you both are being able to voice these legends. i feel like some people would be so intimidated, including me, intimidated by that but you do it so comfortably and so well, you need that bravery to write the books the h way you do. >> i'm glad it looks comfortable, it's a very uncomfortable process. >> you have to make it look smooth, every bone in your body
doesn't hurt. >> is this something that comes with rest that now you feel like -- i think a lot of people would be scared to even go there. >> i don't think it gets any less intimidating for me. writing america's first daughter, we had to deal with jefferson who people either love or hate and you have to respect those feelings in the same thing, hamilton is a founding father. tread carefully. with lafayette even though he's a a frenchman, he's also an american founding father so i did want to tread carefully although he didn't give me too much difficulty generally the most fun of the founding fathers but when you are dealing with someone who is more modern like
beatricece, i'm talking with her family, i desperately want to please them, i want to write a story that makes them happy while reflecting the truth also in dealing with word world to is even more harrowing because it's such recent history and still emotional for so many people. i don't think i ever stop being scared, what about you? >> never forget every book is a whole new world you have to go into and her niece described her as intimidating scary smart. never once likable i guess having an editor saying she's not, she's not likable. she is. i love them but i understand everyone does. it was a challenge and you can usually figure out if i feel
like i can speak in the voice of whether i choose first person or third and you will notice third person because i try to crawl under their skin but virginia hall, i will never be able to fully embody her sites have to keep a little distance and watch her through this view. hawthorne, i feel like i know her inside and out so that is a trick i play my first person or third. >> there's so much truth to that, i totally agree. i want to give a lightning round, you know i love a lightning round but i want to talk about the writing process in covid. stephanie, i want too hear about your trip to france, too. i'm reading arcs, they wrote these during covid, they had to have so let's talk about the process, you just wake up in the
morning and start drinking and go for it? were you writing at midnight couldn't feel sorry for yourself because you had to fight your words? what do you do? >> my typical day in 2017, paris is a wonderful place for researchers to go because more people speak english and it's easy to get around. i got a great experience of staying at the hotel in albany which is the last remnant of adrian lafayette's childhood home but the really amazing thing is beatrice date in the same hotel for the same reason so i got to walk in the footprints of both of my heroines at the same time and it felt great. then i made the trip up to the
mountains and i did not realize scary this was until after we rented a car and i thought oh my god, we are driving up into the mountains in a place i do not speak the language dps is super spotty and there's not likely formal address, it's the castle so good luck. i remember driving on roads, they were slippery and a lot of turns and we passed in angry donkey at one time. [laughter] >> tell you tell me you put this in the book. >> there is a donkey. [laughter] once we got to the top of the mountain, we became very emotional because it's a historical place we've seen so much and i thought if these stones could speak, or they say. that's what my book would be about.
most people are excited because there's lots of americana there, jen franklins used to be george washington, they went missing around the time they were hidden from the nazis. i have a theory where they went, and that's in the book but it's anybody's guess. i got emotional walking into the ballroom which lafayette determined, he didn't want it to be that. the reason i got emotional was because of the girl from a little jewish girl there describes the fireplace and feeling safe even though she was being hunted and there's a video on my website that describes how they came to be caught, they were not coming to the capitol to find jewish children so that was an amazing experience. writing of the book was largely
finished before the pandemic struck but i was still finalizing and i h remember beig very struck by something because i was finishing it at the height of the pandemic when it was the scariest because we didn't know what we were dealing with yet so we were under lockdown and i'm thinking this is not great but when i looked at these women who base situations are darker than what we are facing now, they reached insidec themselves and found the courage to b me the moment they were faced with every generation going to face a challenge, a challenge in terms of difficulty other lives and also every generation faces a challenge to democracy. so it felt very inspired knowing these women carried the torch
forward generation after generation and they are passing it on to ours so i hope readers take that from the book and the pandemic gave me that perspective on it. >> i love that. i felt a lot more sorry for myself and you did. [laughter] 's erica, what did you do? >> i wish stephanie had gone second because i feel like i need to go out and comfort the world. [laughter] on the nordic track, you can walk anywhere so i walk through, everywhere i walked. no, i have not been to france. i did go to where virginia hall grew up, she had a family farm
up north was her to pennsylvania which they raise a lot of the land developed, a lot has happened so i was able to go find where she learned to swim and fish and wrote under some hiking paths along the father so i spent time there. also her home in maryland, i wrote to the people who lived there and said exactly who i was and i would like to come to their house.e. they e-mailed me and said come on over. so i went to the house and i got to see where she and her husband rick raised five french portals, it looks like a little shot telford a big château, actually. pretty phenomenal. now there are baby goats, i got to play with baby goats. i was able to go to her grave. i went where i could, i couldn't get everywhere. i will get to france one day and i get emotional even talking
about it, some of the places she went, when i go, i won't say what the village is or did but i'm covid in chills at the thought. >> but it's amazing, i know what they did and will be close to the castle because the characters in my book -- she's not named in the book because she came a little bit after but i think you will love to go. >> 2022. >> a lot more, who's there and who's not? >> i think all of us maryland history is fascinating and amazing people, i feel like should all pay --
>> quite a few times. >> that's awesome. i'm going to take us to the lightning round which is casual way for you to screen out your answers start with questions for both of you and then i have targeted questions for each of you. i feel like i have to ask historical fiction spiders would be good live and anytime. today, when would it be? >> not now - though. >> not the pandemic. >> i would not live in any other time because i enjoy indoor plumbing. [laughter]ca >> i also want to say roaring 20s and then i'm like -- i loveve telehealth.
[laughter] >> midnight in paris. if it gets better earlier time but it's really not. >> especially for women. i think that's the thing, there's for women but the quotes are better. a person who has embraced pandemic pants, i could use some roaring 20s in my life. could be any fictional character, who would it be? or nonfiction since you write nonfiction, i mean real people. >> it might secretly be beatrice -- >> i love when she put on her passport application, see who's who, i was like this lady is hilarious. >> might instinct is clara from outlander but no, that was
horrible. m [laughter] your like wait a minute -- >> even he is not worth the trade-off. >> he's not. [laughter] >> what if he was a french officer? [laughter]ir >> it's a good lead into my next question. what has been your quarantine and watch? >> i've d been watching all the historical programs and i think i'm going to recommend the last kingdom, it's on netflix, it's a viking sort of story and i'm not usually a viking kind of girl but i make an exception here. >> okay. >> for me, it's the crown. the opening credits the best
show made me emotional. it's porch from like a hunk of metal into the crown, i can't even take it. [laughter] >> now i feel like was going on with the royal family -- >> i definitely don't. >> have you watched friends show, all my agent for instance? >> no. >> i have a serious to recommend to both of you, a french village subtitle -- it's amazing. it's about an occupied french village during world war ii, it goes to every year of the war in its so great. it's going to take you all want to run out and get the invincible women, what you should do anyway. >> have you watched the 100-foot journey? >> no. wait, is at the restaurant one? >> yes.in
>> yes, and i have. >> anything that makes you want to go to french. >> i have been a lazy food person during covid but i'm supporting small business, so it's fine. [laughter] if you were not an offer, you would be t ... >> i am also a teacher so i would full-time teach, i do the on the side. >> what you teach? >> i've taught everything from early childhood to middle school to high school, i am a teacher. >> well, that makes perfect sense, i think. teacher and historical fiction writer. i have two preschoolers so i scan all teachers, i think teachers have been the heroes out of the pandemic. >> i would be unemployed, i have no marketable skills.
>> you are a greate researcher and interviewer. >> you can hire me, i would research for your book. >> historian.an [laughter] did you know this was your calling parks did you start really young writing books? >> i did, i started when i was a child. i blame my writing career on my grandmother who was what we called the drunk lady. she'd like to go to antique shops and garage sales she would take her four grandchildren and step up in the back of her limegreen -- it would be arrested if she did this today. in the summer would be locked up in there but as the oldest, she told me if any of the kids got out of the car, i would be in trouble so i started stories to keep them in the backseat and
that's where i learned to write cliffhangers so that's how my writing career began. >> i love that. >> my irishsh grandma got me a story, she would pass me books i had no business reading, she was giving me flowers in the attic, my little catholic school bag, hide it and i can't trouble in language arts i class, this is r your reading? >> it was worth it, those are good books. >> a little incest and a little scary though. >> i'm always so interested to see what kids are reading these days because you always member the books you are notad supposed to read, those are the ones where thehe best.
do you read reviews? you reply in your mind to what people are saying what you just ignorese everything? >> i do in our scream. i read them, in our scream, i complained to my friends and she understands what i say things like they are just wrong about that. no, somebody is convinced you got something wrong, i can't believe they believe wikipedia over me. [laughter] i did the research, i did it. i know. then i just have to smile. >> theme author, do not reply. never ever reply.
>> i definitely screenshot the most hilarious and share them with my other friends. my husband gets really upset about it, i don't. i might get upset about a critical review but for just everything stuff, really want to publish, it's not yours anymore, and i think it's funny because very often it flex more about the reviewer than theen book itself but there are some really funny ones if you look at them that way but my husband gets really upset. i'm not going to get on there and fight with people. [laughter] i feel like there was an author who did go fight with people and it never ends well. just let them have the end whenever i feel really bad, i'll
look at incredible books, whatever book everybody loves and it has like three stars or something. >> once i saw stonehenge got a onee star reading because there weren't enough stones, i felt a lot better. even stonehenge is getting only one star, then i'm'm fine. >> it's going to be you try, you do it and then we'll talk but i think you have to approach it just being i am a sane lady and everyone is allowed to have an opinion. >> the funniest to look at the things they also reviewed which is the antidote if you start getting revved up. once are look at the things she gave a far five star to women's underwear that didn't write up.
[laughter] >> hi think this is going to be something i get up to one of these days. [laughter] okay, advice for aspiring writers. do not do it, do literally any other career. be, do something else first and then become a novelist. see, do it now and repeat until you have a hit. >> do it now, let it be and then think about it. >> i think i would say be, sort of. i was a journalist first and it forced me to write a lot. like as a reporter, to really not care if your work sucks which i think is an important lesson. people are like i have writers block from no, you just don't
want to write things that are terrible but i'm okay with writing things that are terrible because you can fix them later on. >> i went to law school and was a lawyer for like ten minutes -- >> what is this why you tell of no other skills? >> no other hobbies or interests. literally just ten minutes and i don't use that degree out also i think of myself -- that was like a giant waste of time. i've written three novels in that time. [laughter] so that's what brings me to this, just start now, it's going to take you a long time before you are good so if i had that head start, i think i would have doneel better. >> would be shaking our pulitzers. [laughter] one day you might find an unsung
lady lawyer who turned into a book and you never know or i feel like a lot of these are great lawyers. >> and research for law, that wasn't lost time in the patient's but i think everything helps in a way and you never know what you pull into books. >> well, thoughts good. stephanieg, don't lie. he wrote about hamilton, how imany times did you want to stt drinking? >> i never lie about hamilton. i have seen the musical twice, i
listen to the musical more times than i can count. i do know it allows me to drive to annapolis and back again so i measure travel distance in terms of hamilton. [laughter] i'm a gigantic fan of the musical, was that your question? >> it was like -- >> i neverry get sick of hamilt. >> i love it. you've written both hemingway and fitzgerald, pick one as a husband and one as a lover document. >> with like a gun to my head? because the answer is neither.
>> neither? okay. >> i guess i have to say against my better judgment, i love hemingway. i love him. i read every single letter book, i understand him fully as a human and there's obviously a lot of work but i got him, i love him. fitzgerald, i get but yeah. [laughter] >> there's just something about being on a fishing boat. >> edit, this is when it gets real. there are a lot of codenames in your book and i want to know both of you would pick as your codename and i'm going to say i
put your name through generator already so i will let you know what is at the end. it was very basic, women's names. >> we did a play on so she had a little fun with it. i always tell them i need to tell them. >> i love how our codenames are. >> my name is karen>> so at starbucks i have to change it or i get all kinds of giggles. [laughter] >> she was our mascot and the goddess of wisdom from whom i would like to learn. >> i love that.
neither of you got those in the generator. [laughter] honest flamingo. [laughter] stephanie, you got hold hurricane. >> that is so fantastic. going to be my name from now on, hold hurricane. [laughter] >> has been an utter joy, i would love to leave this from a book of used talking about, if readers get one thing from your book, what you hope they walk away with? >> i think i hope they walk away with the idea that where walking on the shoulders of people who came before us. we have some responsibility to live up to that legacy and meet
the challenges of our time and not as much courage and fortitude, at least some courage and fortitude and selflessness. >> i think the courage selflessnesson is something we l badlyor mean. also, i hope readers get a sense of perspective because helpful during the pandemic to seek what could look like. i've been fortunate during thise time that always reminded me when i felt sorry for myself, i would just read a bit about virginia hall in our field him glaring at me at my would say i'm fine. >> it smells like carrots, it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter. >> those are great lessons are certainly during this time so i can't wait to meet you both in
person, we should definitely have a post covid drink. thank you for talking to us about your incredible books. >> you've got an incredible book coming out soon, what month is it? july? july i haveet a book called womn intelligence and there is some spy situation there. >> i love it. beautiful cover. >> thank you, i've already said hi m about the cover, i'm glad it turned out. [laughter] it's funny how we were talking about the cover, he mentioned how you were talking about the direction. i love that. you do for the women in your novel. >> i'm just saying virginia hall what really like it.
[laughter] >> thank you to everyone for watching us today and i hope the next one is in person and we can all be there. ♪♪ ♪♪ the world changed in an instant but any a calm was ready. we never slowed down. schools and businesses went virtual and repowered a new reality. we are built to keep your head.