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tv   Author Discussion on Women in World War II  CSPAN  August 30, 2021 10:45pm-11:58pm EDT

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and then by my great aunt. called fear, photographs, parents and grandparents. so also spinning apart from this it is that difference something that we feel is very familiar that drives are focusing gets our attention to help us to see the wealth of the simple sack. life was on the mantle for the fireplace is pretty state i pray having to bestow the best of blessings upon this house and all who will hereafter inhabit >> hello and welcome to the 2021 virtual gaithersburg book festival i am a proud member
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of the gaithersburg city council and your host for this presentation. before we get started i would like to ask you to support this presentations authors by purchasing their booksol from our bookseller partner politics and prose one of america's premier independent bookstores pretty will find purchase links in the description. given all we have been through the past year it is so important to support local jobs and the local economy. also want to extend a big thank you to the 2021 featured sponsor the foundation for their generouss support. since women put themselves on the line. the invisible woman and how in
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the depths of war hemingway's girl falling beauty a contributor to the anthology grand central and author in progress. in 2014 erica was named annapolis author of the year. the women is a novel about duty and hope and love and courage and strength we take from those who came before us and an ethics saga based on the true story of the extraordinary castle of lafayette and the remarkable
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women bound by his legacy. stephanie is a new york times wall street journal and usa today best-selling author of historical women's fiction. her work has been translated into eight languages with the most anticipated reads of the year. before becoming an award-winning novelist stephanie was a lawyer and a teacher. and in moderating today's discussion between these two fantastic authors is karen who is the author of the novels including a woman of intelligence, 100 sons and a gilded years which is soon to be a major motion picture. a former political reporter has also written for the "washington post", the miami herald, chicago tribune and newsday and appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on entertainment tonight, cnn and the cbs early show.
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welcome erica and stephanie and karen. >> thank you so much i'm so excited to be here today we're excited to be talking to stephanie and erika about their books their masterpieces. they are somewhat long but i would like to n start by talking about the spark that created these books because i'm always so interested in how people discover these characters and history how they were forgotten and how they have the bravery to go down that research whole to bring these women to life again. stephanie, i feel this has a hamilton connection? >> people who know my work
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know that i have written america's first daughter with my dear friend and co-author and these are about founding mothers so i was eager to tell the story of adrienne lafayette the french founding mother and that is the genesis of that story. but you will notice of the women because along the way i discovered a memoir by this delightful author who was hidden in the castle during the holocaust and saved from the nazis and was called safe from the spirit of lafayette and i wondered is there and how does that carryforward then i discovered it was when and generation after
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generation who carried on the spirit of lafayette is amazing wife to bring that story to the page in its fullness and to tell the tale of this extraordinary castle in this part of france that served as a beacon of hope and in history's darkest hours. >> that is incredible. already going down to the research that you did. erica, tell me about how you discover the story you have written about women in literature. one of my favorite books that you wrote talking about the lives of famous writers. so how did you move away from the literary world and discover? >> the community help to steer
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me a little i was going after another famous writer wormhole which i think is a great place to go because we like to elevate the stories that has been hidden i was writing about bram stoker's wife and she said could you just write about a woman not because she's a mrs. or a daughter and i thought that was great feedback so around that time i came across an article about virginia hard by the time i was finished reading i could not believe i had never heard of this woman from the state of maryland in the things that she did. i became completely assessed with her. >> yes. she is from baltimore. >> just knowing she has grown up in her family has gone to the places i have gone and the
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hunting and fishing and chesapeake bay was a part of my a bringing of course after all the things we have in common with being courageous and brave and country and hold and tired. [laughter] >> also you did not lose your leg. >> not yet. [laughter] >> so let's talk about research n when i was reading the book idi thought these women are great but i'm so glad i did not have to write them. it is so intimidating so i think i will write about this and then you discover this. i would love to talk about your research methods and how you get yourself to stop researching so i feel that's a problem with historical fiction you can do it forever and then you will never have a
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book so how do you start and how do you stop? i start because i get upset with historical characters most historical s fiction authors have the same tendency by the way we have a guest sister that is my kitty butterscotch was my research assistant. so iut start with who i want to write about and i'm always interested in the rise and fall of the republics all of my workop gels around the subject . and in this case again i started with adrienne lafayette in the 18th century. was a french noblewoman who was involved in the french revolution with her husband and then would go on to leave the enlightenment legacy but of course and i discovered the
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story of the lafayette legacy is his daughter that comes up generation after generation and i wanted to show that so i needed to know which women were involved in this amazing story. the women that i approach were beatrice chandler is the woman who when world war i purchased lafayette and rented it and repurposed it as a refuge for children. she was a starlet and my research rabbit hole if you want to talk about not knowing when to stop researching, this is one of the few books apparently i stopped too early. i thought i knew the story of beatrice. i she was a whale one —- well-heeled society maven who got involved with philanthropy during world war i and with a
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troubled marriage somehow survived the war. that is the story i wrote. but then i made a little stop to the new york historical society to tie up if you loose ends to look at her public papers because i had already reviewed her private papers thanks to her amazing grandson who allowed me to see those private letters. at the new york historical society i stumbled over a packet of love letters and they were not from her husband but from a soldier in the trenches, a e french officer. and i realized i had uncovered a century old secret love affair. >> something to tell g the family. [laughter] so i thought now i know what the story is. it is about a difficult war torn love affair. so i wrote that story.
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and then just shortly before this book was supposed to be turned and i got a phone call from beatrice's grandson telling me that through the research i hadis sent him from the new york historical society, he hade discovered his grandmother was not who she said she was in fact she was telling tall tales about her identity her entire life. i don't want to give the spoiler's i will not say what she was lying about that she was more an extraordinary heroine than anybody knew. i had to follow that thread. now even if it meant getting and extension for the novel to rewrite it, i had to do it to pay honor to the truth of this remarkable woman could not tell in her own lifetime. normally i would say you have to stop when the deadline
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comes up, that is the end. you are done. but in this case, for the sake of historical truth and feeling like i did honor to the story, i had to keep going. i don't recommend this to other authors. [laughter] but sometimes the story will give you its own answer to that question and the book is mine. >> i love that. and who asks for writing extensions during covid. >> it's unheard-of. [laughter] >> i cannot imagine how you would have felt if you discovered those love letters after you turn it in the stress i feel. [laughter] that is amazing because those french officers look at you every time. [laughter] >> world war ii fiction it is
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true often. so erica let's talk about how you started i read that you spoke to people in the cia currently. and i think sometimes it's more endearing to write about people who are more modern day because more exist so how do you find it all? >> so it is an act of faith and process so when you are open to it it will lead you to where you are supposed to go. so then you find your character if you like virginia hall i'm trying to listen and then allll of a sudden one day maybe wednesday or friday all
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of a sudden get the signal crystal-clear and then it just downloads but every other writing day is muddled and it's the same way with research. so to write about virginia hall the first book i came across when of the other people involved in the resistance said don't bother researching her she doesn't want to be found the whole time i felt she had her arms crossed like this from the beginning. . . . . doing all ofi
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finally felt that virginia started because then more and more would come and then the approval came through and i was able to go visit and then her niece who was involved would answer the phone and say please come see me for lunch. then she brings out this box of family photographs that aren't in any book. but they kind of put virginia into color which she's been a very intimidating sketch for a long time. talking to men and women in the cia now i feel like there are people that do this and they have a calling and respond to it. it is a fascinating world. over the course of the process, she let me in so i was able to
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write the book and of course speakingng five languages and scaling gestapo on her tail i need to find a way in so i paired her with a woman from present day who was a veteran of iraq and i started to write this dual protagonist story and after about 150 pages i realized it wasn't working. i couldn't do that so i put her aside and put virginia with another woman i had been having dreams about and started to haunt so i put the two together and it almost seemed, so i put that aside and started writing virginia's birth mission. i got to the end of it and realized there's no back story because she went back to
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occupied france. why did she go back, so that cameme the question and 400 pags later you find page one and off you go. a. >> that's just the way it goes and i guess i wouldn't have it sany other way. towouldn't it be nice to write a tiny little book. life is messy and writing is messy but when it comes together, the joy is so profound it is worth all the trouble. >> i think that it's hard to write that clean because you do these things then you have a family member that let you in. onthe generosity really hit me when i read the books. i want to talk about the complexity and bravery of these women. i read something that you wrote.
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you said it was too perfect, like wouldn't find flaws about her. i thought is that just the way women were represented at the time like they are never going to paint them as anything other than these saintly figures. i would love to know how you made her a more complex person. i know that for virginia home didn't want to become a public figure from what i read, like she wasn't giving of her story. how do you turn these women into full complex characters that they deserve to be on the page? >> i had the advantage of a little bit of biographical information. her daughter had written a biography and she had written a little bit of biographical information about herself while
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trying to document her mother's life. the fact that adrian wrote her mother's biography with a toothpick and ink while she herself wasri in prison i think indicated in an incredible level of guilt for what happened in the frenchiv revolution. you read a little bit between the lines into what someone is not c saying it and when they ae saying it. with adrienne, i still think she's kind of perfect. she's far more forgiving than i could be. she's infinitely courageous. this is a woman who really was a damsel in distress who ended up saving her night. she saved lafayette's life and risked her own life again and again and again during the french revolution in ways i
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can't even imagine being that courageous. all of her contemporaries describedre her as being without jealousy and this perfect temperament. you see a little bit peaked out in some of her letters. she complains to lafayette at one point when he's sort of nagging her about getting back their property at some point and she's essentially saying listen, i'm doing the best i can. i'm walking around france on foot and you can just sit down, shut up and wait for me to finish. she said it infinitely nicer than i just did a bit when you see those teeny peaks of inpatients, you know that there is a real flesh and blood person behind that so you tease those
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out if you can in the story. and with adrian i might have even exaggerated a little because she probably was a saint. but for the other characters in the novel, beatrice i also had her letters. she's extremely funny. shet was a comedic actress in hr day and that comes through. i should mention she was also an author and at one point she wrote she had submitted a manuscript to her agent and hadn't heard back from him yet so she feared it was so bad that it might have killed him. i thought she is our people. we know this lady and would love having lunch with her so i was able to sort of bring her to the page. martha is the third character and the only fictional character, she's a composite character. i based her on real women who helped the french resistance and
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may have been involved in hiding and protecting jewish children but i didn't want marta to be the same as the other two women in the book who both idolized lafayette. they think w the sun rises and sets by him. i needed a contrast and i thought she's not going to care one bit about this. she doesn't care about the castle, the legacy. she just wants out. she wants to get into the world and live her life and she's sort of caught up in the events that forced her to find her and her courage and i think that's something modern day readers might find a little bit more relatable because most of us don't set out to do glorious deeds so that is a bit of humanity that i wanted to bring to that character so that's the sort of approach that i bring.
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>> they are such different women. i laughedth so hard, i laughed when i read lafayetterk was so chill about her husband's mistress. like where is bravo televisions coming into cast her on a reality show, she's a fairly modern lady. >> she was like twisting him a little bit because if you become friends with your husband's mistress, anytime you have tea with him he is off somewhere wondering what you are talking about. so that's how i thought about that. >> i like that. and talking about a bravery, one thing that stood out to me in your book is how they told virginia hall, several people told her she had like a six week
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life expectancy on her assignment. i would be at the café around the corner. i would love to talk about how you made her the complex character she is in your book and how you think she got this way. like how did she get so brave? i y was born in maryland and i'm not about to get on the front line let me tell you. >> when you look back over the course of her life she was an outdoors woman her whole life and there's a page in the book i posted last week which is just incredible. i wish i had it in my hands right now. it summarizes her so perfectly. first she's the president of llevery club, the captain of evy team so she is a natural leader and someone that forges ahead. what was important she is crotchety but we can't do
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without her. something like that which is just the theme through her life. obviously there's a bad moment and she's in a hospital in turkey where she was in service at the time and the doctor asked her your leg or your life and she decides to have the amputation. when she wakes up she goes through a suicidal period she wishes she hadn't done that because she thinks her life is over. she's always been the top dog and now here she is reduced. she had a vision of her late father or ghost or something that he came to her and said this is not who you are and you have a lot more ahead of you. from that moment on she was resolved okay that isn't who i am so she slowly comes out of it and starts working at the time it was nothing like the things our veterans and people have today but a very clunky object
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that has a name so then within months after rehabilitating on her family farm she is in venice learning to paddle a gondola. it's just who she was. after that she became so determined and i think all of that gave her the fortitude for what she needed for the war. she knew she had the talent and the drive. she put herself at their service. i think all these things make us who we are and that's what made her who she is. again formidable is a word that comes up but there's a few things in the document through the end of the 20 pages of enemies, friends, the places she visited, bridges blew up, communications lines that at the person the interviewer has a typewriting interview that says where you deprecatedme in the
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field and she says no not any ngreason to be. you can get a little bit of her cheek eunice and when you get a picture of her getting her cross from donovan, she's giving him such a look you have to google it. it's in the public domain. it's such a cute look so you get to see there is some playfulness behind this woman and those helped to make a human person out of the character. a. >> many things surprised me reading about her. 1 is she thought about going into the foreign service but at the time the state department wouldn't let anyone with a disability be a foreign service >> truly ironic when roosevelt was president. >> it seemed to me he tried to go a more traditional path and doors were closed to her because she was a woman.
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she had this problem with her leg and then it's like let me just start throwing grenades. sometimes the paths are more open to women than even something like the state department which is crazy to me. i would like to know more about how she stayed so brave after her network was decimated. >> i think that there are two reasons. i talked to a number of combat veterans and a close friend of mine is a police officer that suffered a prettyan traumatic event on the field and it taught me a lot about posttraumatic stress and what happens because of it. using sort of what they talk about when i saw what they did and the psychology behind it i realized there were two things. shee was motivated and she knew who he was. headquarters kept saying he's
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fine and she accepted it and felt the survivor's guilt and all of her people getting carted away from concentration camps and murders. she had to avenge that and bring the justice to it however she could. shef wasn't married, she didn't have children and she had this calling so she was determined to do it, but the british intelligence service didn't want to send her back because she had a price on her head her face on unwantedwh posters. so she worked for the united states and her boss, bill donovan said you want to stick your neck out, go for it. i joke the british called the service the ministry of warfare and the oss called it the office of dirty tricks. but yeah, survivor guilt and a healthy dose of revenge.
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she wanted to get them and she really was able to find enough information on the field that she helped to the lead and capture. >> that's awesome. i'm also guessing there was no wild bill in the british service. >> not that i came across, no. >> i would love to talk about, we are talking about all of these real women and the third character in your book is a composite fictional character. helet's talk about the balance n historical fiction like the books you write of truth and fiction and how do you sort of just try to fill in the holes with fiction or do you think that adding a bigger fictional element made these historical characters sort of more accessible to the modern readers? >> i haven't often written
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purely fictional characters. so in some respects, i'm almost the wrong person to ask. but in this case, i needed this composite character and i will explain why. i believed i was going to be writing in world war ii about a woman who was a countess, the doctor of -- the daughter of the barren who was the president of the preevent taurean and so for people who are listening, a preevent taurean was how you would treat tuberculosis and children before the advent of penicillin so that is what had been transformed into. it was based on a lot of techniques that are sadly familiar to us right now, like keep the kids socially distanced, get them outside,
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plenty of fresh air and sunshine, don't let them breathe on each other. so, lafayette castle is well-suited for that being in the mountains. now, we know she took over at the age of 24 when her father, the baron was arrested by the gestapo and was in charge of protecting all these children at a time when the french ulresistance was hiding weapons under the floorboards of the children's bed in the present thorium. i want to mention that ann's sister was married to henry hyde, who erica probably knows about because he was one of wild bill's associates and america's version of the cia.
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i deeply believe that she not only knew the french resistance was hiding guns under the floorboards, but she knew jewish children were hidden. i can prove none of this and on top of not being able to prove it,, her father had a lot of tis to the regime in occupied france, so i face a choice do i lionize someone who might have been a collaborator or had collaboration with instincts or do i villain eyes someone who was actually secretly quite heroic in my heart of hearts believe she was a heroin, i really do but i felt it would be absolutely irresponsible for me to do either of those things, so i needed to fictionalize the heroin. i knew that the french resistance said there was a
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french schoolteacher at the château that helped them but they don't name her. the little girl i mentioned who was saved by the spirit of lafayette, no one talks about administrators in the castles. she doesn't name them so i found a photograph of a little girl who was in a classroom of little boys at the castle, the only little girl looking straight at the camera in challenge and as soon eyes i saw that photo i thought there you are, that is my character. there is a holee in the story ad i'm going to fill it with this character so that's what i did. so yes, she's fictional but really, she isne feeling that whole because that'sis really wt i did there. i felt though that it really elevated the story. and by the way, i want to say you say her name so lovely. you make a sound that i cannot.
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i cannot make my throat to, do that -- [inaudible] i just sort of decided to make fun of that in the book a little bit very early on. she says americans always butcher p your name. so i'm going to continue to butcher her name. i think that in historical women's fiction, when you're doing biographical fiction, which this mostly is, you want to stay as close to the factual truth as you can, while still telling an entertaining story and bringing out the themes that make readers feel something. we are going to feel something about this because there are great biographies out there. i know that is a great biographer. yet i know the book is going to
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make you feel something intensely for virginia hall and that is what we want to bring to the readers. so that is the thing that is always in the back of my mind when i make those choices. when i was going down to virginia hall,ca i saw there waa historical book and then there was a movie. you kind of get attached to the version that you know. how do you fill in the gaps with someone like virginia hall? i've done just the characters from history which i did with the help from hawthorne. in this novel because of the nature of the work there were
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some people i couldn't find but there's also a lot of people i thcould. so i took the cross reference is about 20 different biographical sources and whenever a person emerged fully, they got top billing there's five or six different men. 1 of them got to the distinction. they mentioned in the letter to a mother but wouldn't say who they were and those people i couldn't find it so i went into thee town record, into the churh record and found last names and created those.
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i tell everybody. i confess everything for what's been bad. with the help it was so deeply from so many of the personal writings i knew how to tell the story and the cast was so rich, there was emerson, thoreau, margaret fuller. i didn't need to make anybody up. so i kind of let the work guide me each time. a. >> i love how comfortable you bothng are with being able to voice these legends. some people would be so
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intimidated. it's a very uncomfortable process was it intimidating at first or something that comes withid now i feel a lot of peope would be scared to even go? >> it's always intimidating. in writing america's first daughter, we had a deal with jefferson who people either love nor hate. you have to respect both of those feelings. hamilton is a founding father. you have to tread carefully. and lafayette is also in
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american founding father. so i did want to tread a little bit carefully although he was the most fun of the founding fathers. but then when you are dealing with someone who is more modern, i desperately want to please them into dealing with world war ii is even more harrowing because it is a recent history, and it's still w very emotional for so many people. i don't think i ever stop being scared. >> never. every book as a whole new world that you have to go into. with virginia hall it's described as intimidating and
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scary. i kept having editors say but let's make her more likable. she's not likable. i love how she dominates people, but i understand that not everyone does, so it was a challenge and you can usually figure out if i speak in the voice of whether i choose first person or third because i try to crawl into their skin, but virginia hall i will never be able to believe. i just have to keep a little bit of distance and watch her through the point of view. so that is kind of the trick that i play. >> there's so much truth to that, i totally agree. i want to do a lightning round. you know i love a lightning round but i want to talk about the writing process and hear
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about your trip to france. let's talk about the process. like what changed, did you just wake up in the morning and go rifor it, were you writing at midnight, like what did you do? paris is a wonderful place for researchers to go because they speak english. it's very easy to get around and i had a great experience of staying at the hotel in albany which is the last one of adrian, the childhood home. the amazing thing about it is
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they also stayed iny that same hotel for the same reason he wanted to walk in adrian's footsteps so i got to walk in the footsteps at the same time and that felt really great. then i made the trip up into the mountains and i didn't realize how this was until after we had rented the car and i thought we are driving up into the mountains in a place where i do not speak the language and the gps is super spotty and there isn't like a formal address to the castle. so good luck. i remember driving on roads and they were very slippery and there were a lot of terms and we passed an angry donkey at one point. >> tell me you put it in the
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book. i became very emotional because this is such a historical place that has seen so much and i thought if they could speak what would they say most people get excited on the treasury because there's a lot of americana. there's ben franklinl and there used to be george washington. they went missing around the time they were hidden from the nazis. i had ald theory about where thy went and that's in m the book bt it's anybody's guess. i got very emotional walking into the ballroom that they turned into a philosophers hall. the reason i got emotional there is because thege little girl who was saved is described sleeping there near the fireplace and feeling safe even though she was
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being hunted. there's a video on my website that describes how close she came to getting caught. that was an amazing experience. the writing of the book was largely finished before the pandemic but i was still finalizingow it. and i remember it being very struck by something because i was finishing it at the height of the pandemic when it was the scariest. we didn't know what we were dealing with yet and so we were under lock down. i remember thinking this wasn't a great. they face situations darker than we are facing now and they reached inside themselves and found the courage to meet at the moment that they were faced
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with. it was going to have a difficulty in their lives and everyen generation faces a challenge for democracy. so, i felt very inspired by knowing that these women carried the torch forward generation after generation and they are passing the torch onto hours i thought stephanie would go second because i feel like i need to go out and conquer the world. there is an app where you can watch anywhere so from the comfort of my basement.
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i did go to all the places where virginia hall grew up and had a family farm up north closer to pennsylvania with the house raised a lot of the land has been developed. there's h some really pretty hiking paths along the fall so we spent time there and also her home in maryland i wrote to the people that live there and knew exactly who i was and they e-mailed me and said come onan over and i got to see where she and her husband and their french poodles are, it looks like a big château. pretty phenomenal.
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and now there are still baby goats and she's buried in baltimore. she's at the cemetery there. i went to where i could. i get emotional even thinking about it. the characters in my book were helped by virginia so she's not named in the book because she came a little bit after. but i think that you would love to go.
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i think all of this history is so fascinating. i feel like we should all pay a homage. okay i'm going to take usd to te lightning round which is a casual, feel free to scream out your answers. questions for both of you and then targeted questions for each of you. i feel like i have to ask if you could live in any time period -- other than today, when would it
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be? >> not to the pandemic. a. >> i wouldn't live in any other time because i enjoy indoor plumbing. i would say the 20s but i love telehealth. [laughter] if you could be any character fiction or nonfiction who would ite, be?
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see who is who [inaudible] even he isn't worth the trade-off that is a good lead into the next question what has been the quarantine binge watch. cute ande] he's super
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he's on netflix. it's a story i'm not normally a viking sort of girl but i make e an exception here. from the hunk of metal into the crown i can't even take it. >> have you watched friends shows, call my agent for instance i highly recommend. >> it is amazing. it's about an occupied french village during world war ii through every year it's very
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great andd it's going to make yu all want to run out and get the invisible woman which you should donc anyway. >> have you all watched the 100-foot journey? r,anything that good will make u want to go to france. >> i've been the laziest person. but yes i'm supporting small business. it's fine. if you were not an offer -- >> i'm also a teacher. i've taught everything from early childhood to middle school to high school. i am a teacher. >> that makes perfect sense teacher and historical fiction
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writer. >> i would be unemployed. iik have no marketable skills. >> you are a great researcher and interviewer. >> did you know this was your calling, did you start really writing books? >> i started when i was a child. i blame the career on my grandmother who was what we affectionately call thee'l junk lady. she liked to go to antique shops and garage sales. she would take her grandchildren and dump us in the back.
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in the summer m we would be locd in gasping for air and is the oldest if any of the kids got out of the car i would be in trouble, so i started leaving stories and that's where i learned to write a book and cliffhangers so that's how my writing sort of began my irish grandma got me in the story. she would pass me books i had no business reading. i would take my little bag and hide it. >> it was worth it though.
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>> i'm so interested to see what kids are reading these days because youu always remember the books you weren't supposed to read. do you go on to read some replies to what people are ecsaying or do you just ignore everything? i understand when i say things like they are just wrong about that or somebody's convinced you've gotten something wrong and i'm like i can't believe they are going to believe wikipedia over me.
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i did the research. i know. and i have to pretend. >> the first thing is do not reply. i definitely screenshot. he gets really upset about it. just for everyday stuff once you publish it, it's not yours anymore. andin then i think it's funny because it often reflects things more about the reviewer. my husband gets d really upset.
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efi feel like there was an authr that did fight with people. whenever i feel really bad i will look at some incredible wbooks and then okay once i saw stonehenge got a one star rating, after seeing that, i felt a lot better like if it is getting one star, then i'm fine. i think you have to approach it just being like i'm the same lady andlt everybody is allowedo have an opinion.
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>> to look at the things they also reviewed which i find the antidote is getting wrappeded up so one star on one of my books she gave a five star to someone's. i love it. it's going to be something i get up to one of these days. advice for aspiring writers. do not do it, do literally any other career. to do something else first, then become a novelist. do it now and repeat until you have a hit.
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it forced me to write a lot as a reporter to not really care if your work sucks which i think is a really important lesson. people are like i have writers block. no you just don't want to write things that are terrible. i went to law school and i was there for like ten minutes. any other hobbies or interests i don't use that degree at all. i think that was wasted time. 3 novels in that time. i think that's what brings me to this advice of just start now. it's going to take a long time
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before you're good. if i had that little head start, i think i would have done better.. 1 day you might find in on the song lady lawyer i think everything helps in a way. that's good. especially during a pandemic. okay.
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how many times did you watch hamilton, and did you want to start drinking? >> i have seen the musical twice. i've listened to the musical more times than i can count. i do know it allows me to drive to in alice to my house and back again i am a gigantic fan of the musical. are you sick of it, yes. >> okay. i love that.
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you've written about both hemingway and fitzgerald. [inaudible] the answer is neither. i have to say against my better judgment i love hemingway. i read every single letter and book. i understand him as fully as a human ands there's obviously a lot of work, but i get him. fitzgerald, i get. there's just something about being on a fishing boat that i get. i love the end of these.
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this one i guess is for both of you. there are a lot of codenames in your book and i want to know what both of you would pick and i'm going to say i put both of your names through a generator so i will let you know what it is at the end. >> they were just women's names. >> she had a little bit of fun with it my name is karen so obviously at starbucks right now, i have to change it.
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>> i went to the high school and she was our mascot. in the codename generator, neither of you got those. you got honest flamingo and you got cold hurricane. >> that is so fantastic. so if you want to use that at starbucks, just feel free. this is such a joy. if you get one thing from your books what do you hope they walk
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away with? with the idea that we are all walking on the shoulders of people who came before us and we have some responsibility to live up to that legacy and meet the challenges of our time if not with as much courage and fortitude at least some courage and fortitude and selflessness. it's something that wewe all bay need and also i hope they get a good t perspective because it's hard to know what that could look like. i would read a little bit about virginia hall. i was finishing your book after
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my first. it doesn't matter. it doesn't i matter. those are great blessings and certainly during this time. we should definitely have a post covid m drink. thank you so much for talking to us about your incredible books. there is a situation there in new york so spy ladies all around. i told c stephanie and erica.
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talking about the direction of the draft. i'm saying virginia hall would really like the draft. thank you to everyone for watching today and i hope the next one is in person and we can all be there. broadband is a force for empowerment that's why charter has invested billions building
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infrastructure, upgrading technology, and powering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. a virtual event with author and journalist sebastian younger who spoke about his 400-mile walk along the train tracks from washington to philadelphia as he reflected on the concepts of freedom, independence and community. >> if you walked along the railroad lines to philadelphia to swing west and head to pittsburgh we picked the railroad lines because it's this weird kind of no man's land. there aren't that many people out there, we slept under
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bridges and abandoned buildings and had fires in the woods. and they are also interesting because they go right through the middle of everything. the ghettos, the cornfields. i found it was the sort of gateway into the east-west trending pennsylvania and in the ohio territory in the 1700s it was through a gap west of harrisburg against the unknown. so we did this trip over the course of the year we would walk 50 or 100 miles at a time and
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most nights we were the only people who knew where we were. there were many definitions of freedom but surely that is one of them and one that i particularly enjoy. >> it is now my pleasure to introduce sam. sam is on the faculty of the science writing and ma in writing program at johns hopkins. prior to his arrival, sam taught creative writing and journalism in pennsylvania for ten years. he holds an ma in english and creative writing and in creative nonfiction from columbia university. he's published


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