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tv   Hillary Clinton Louise Penny State of Terror  CSPAN  November 29, 2021 2:00am-3:01am EST

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♪♪ >> buckeye broadband, along with these television companies supports c-span two as a public service .. >> book tv continues now. television for serious readers. >> as many of you know hillary rodham clinton served as the 67th secretary of state >> in addition to being the first woman in u.s. history to become a presidential nominee, this is all after for decades in public service. hillary is the first lady senator, a wife, a mother, grandmother, author of seven best-selling books and so much more. and because of the same time, she is also the most insightful,
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thoughtful, and resilient person that i have ever met personally. even though she and her family are regulars to scattered books in chappaqua, new york, making this introduction for hillary is really an honor for me. >> my name is lucy and i am please be sharing this event with laura. [inaudible]. is also an international best-selling author's books has been on the number one new york times and u another lists. [inaudible]. and honor novel, this book. [inaudible]. the conflict and in many
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languagesat and 2007, she receid the order of canada, to the canadian culture. we are so blessed to have louise penny, living in our village. >> and just when we thought that it could not get any better this blockbuster woman, we have stacy abrams moderating this discussion, activists, best-selling author, entrepreneur and political leader and is the woman inmate history as the first black woman in to become a nominee for major party than seven or eight years as minority leader and stacy that in multiple organizations devoted to social issues, and is authored several best-selling books are self she isng hard for awards and honors they can even
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list here in time given so everyone if they're ready to start, with a two handed over to stacy to moderate this "state of terror" discussion between hillary clinton and louise penny so stacy, take it away. >> thank you so much to laura and also to lucy hoblyn and welcome louise penny and also madam secretary, hillary clinton braided. >> thank you and i know that you would hillary close that we have never met in this is such a for doingnd thank you this in high calorie. [laughter] thank you predict i did not know it was that easy when we were applauding. >> i cannot tell you how excited i am to do this with scattered books in chappaqua, new york no
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want to thank laura and also for lucy hoblyn good for this amazing time together in the true icing on the cake is to have this terrific prolific writer herself. itce seems to be doing all of te time the latest blockbuster, which i devoured, so thank you thank you thank you stacy for doing this pretty. >> thank you and i'm honored to get to meet louise penny and one day when actually is guessing that i would be right) working on that. >> i'm planning to run for governor of georgia. >> i already have a life plan that follows the shadows of sec. hillary clinton so i have two very very much admirable people but i want to talk about your book and make all of this, i
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want to start a little further into the conversational that we will go back to the beginning but writing with someone, that is a task and writing fiction with somebody, is i think an extraordinary feat. talk about first to the secretary hillary clinton and into - louise penny, the most fun moment that you had. [laughter] >> we were very lucky stacy because we were friends, and we remained friends during the process and we are still friends after the process. and as the book was so much fun for us to write and if i had a big one moment, it would be when we were face timing because of course we wrote this during the pandemic that we were face timing is 7:00 o'clock at night, lo and behold, we were both already in bed.
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those pandemic days just seem to get away from us and it was when i discovered that louise being the true canadian that she is, where most covered flannel pajamas inre the winter so we hd a lot of laughs about that and pajamas found their way into the book for alerts readers keep your eyes open. >> that is true and you have not stopped mocking me for those pajamas for a month. some ten days ago hillary came over here for lunch and i gave her a set of those flannels damas, most covered of course pretty. that was definitely one of my favorite moments because i was so concerned that hillary would find me in bed at 7:00 o'clock and humiliating and i found her dead so i i thought thank god ad think one of my favorite moments
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early on was that we were working trying to workre out the synopsis because our publishers had very little things that they knew we l were doing they probay had less space than we did so we know of course that it would be a safe woman and they would feature strong women at a certain age. so we were talking things back in court on the fourth i didn't feel like it was something maybe ten days, or face time. we got ourselves so confused that we just would stare at each other we both thought that each other screen was frozen. we literally lost the plot and had nothing left to say. >> it was actually led to the
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plot because of the key question that you asked and that really kind of shows the give-and-take, the ebb and flow of our collaboration because at that point, we said well what kept you awake secretary of s what were the nightmares that you had and as i began talking whand talking to louise penny about my nightmares, the idea of using the stress of terrorist groups getting nuclear weapons. >> that is seriously what kept you up back then and still does and it is a serious and legitimate threat that gave us the plot line, that was the idea and that work for quite a while on this 19 days outline. i don't think the publishers could quite believe it.
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>> let's think about this you have a crime writer and you have the secretary of state, who meet and decide to write a blockbuster together which itself is a novel so let's look through the story, did you to meet another this collaboration come into d being. >> is wonderful story because we were brought together by my best friend literally since sixth grade, a woman named betsy johnson and during the 2016 campaign, betsy was doing interviews and you know what those are like, dislike will tell us about your friend who hundred hillary would you do together on and on and at one point, that's a simple one thing that we've done since we were little girls we would love to read w we would trade books back and forth and we would talk about a reporter and they would say what are you reading now and total serendipity the greatest weapon i could have, betsy said
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well part reading the latest ten her series. will that article, was picked up by the publisher and the publisher saw that we had read louise millet you take it from there. >> well then my publicist said that we can link it to me louise hillary clinton's best friend betsy and by the way hillary does as well. and i said i would love to so i was watching the book in chicago and where betsy still lives and also louise penny's hometown and many people who i think have also turned in today from so i met betsy backstage before an event is one of those moments where, you mean a lot of people, everybody does that when you meet somebody special, you know it.
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it's like they've kept a seat at the table for you and there was betsy and i just fell in love with her and she fell in love with me well maybe but there was a mutual bond. and then i went into work and we kept inn touch and two weeks later when i got back from tour, my husband michael died. he was suffering from dementia. there's obviously, chattering and i was going through the letters of condolence week or so later.r and there was a note from hillary clinton. and during this almost brutal election campaign thing, canadian and a woman in the man
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who she has never met in this was truly an a act of altruism, and it meant so much to me. and i could see why so many people have such admiration for her. politically but at the moment i could see this and as i also fell in love with her and then i guess it was clearly after the election, is february think when we finally got a chance to meet and i have to tell you stacey, you get a chance to spend only meet hillary for five minutes to try not to say anything stupid but i was there with betsy for a whole weekend hunted that one of the chances of not saying anything from sing with her verbal weekend. so after the first time that you and i met, we were at a restaurant and bill in a couple of other people in the were flying in from boston.
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i was one of the first and vince after the election so you are little bit late and receded in the restaurant was full and hillary arrives and stands at the door and the place goes silent. and then they rose and then there was this under standing ovation for you and i'll never forget looking across the room and just then, if you try to eat, is parade of younger woman came over, many of them weeping and saying to you, thank you for what you've done and i had never expected to witness anything like that my likelihood beautiful. >> was stacey know something about this because many of us could not help but to weep after her election i feel strongly that she f actually wanted but e will go there tonight will stay in the book. we then became friends stacey and we spent time, my friend,
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and our mutual friend betsy we've even vacation together and then inn july 2019, betsy passed away, strong fight with breast cancer. there is a sweet and poignant and incredible profoundly sad that we had a memorial service and content was asked to speak and i spoke and then louise penny met so many of our friends at betsy and i had for 70 years and it just became kind of a rolling caravan of friendship. and he often said that betsy was so genius of bringing people together and connecting them so fast forward a endorsing of 2019 in early 2020, our respective agents approached us individually about perhaps collaborating in a political
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thriller. by then we had become very good friends and loved her as a friend but also admired her writing and i was pretty apprehensive. even writing fiction for a long time stacey and amphetamine that nonfiction world i have to fact checked an inch of his life in orting the summaries going to find it. out of place and then so i was concerned until my agent lawyer in and we talked about it maybe we could see whether it's possible and then began to face him because of course we were moving into the pandemic around othe time. so are best ideas about going to a squad like this book never came to pass because were secular houses fully found the collaborations incredibly exciting and i have to say, i
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found it liberating getting into fiction, loved the freedom that he gave us to try to tell a story that we wanted people really enjoy and create characters la wanted them to enjoy being with tell us a story about was going on in the world today. >> i'm going to pull in some questions from the audience and some have been answered in this part of the conversation that i didn't want to and very jane from ontario and she asked the newly formed printed and infringe of what was the best thing did to add to that friendship. what little jim did you have .and were not going to talk abot this pajamas. >> is a wonderful question i think one of the reasons that lori and i wanted so tightly and so quickly and i suspect we
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probably would have anyway. is that we both were in profound grief and we understood that and we recognized that in each other we came together not as the presidential nominee or not is a best-selling author but just as two women who have been badly badly hurt. i think we brought that into the friendship and then it grew into something joyous which is quite something to come into the sunshine from out of the shadow. it is such an intimate experience to open yourself up creatively tone of the person especially when you don't really have a great rest on with the stories going to be in the scenes are going to be so freely you're taking a chance and it was more than just the plot and we it to be about emotions and
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about human beings and about friendship and about love and said that and diving deep ourselves and really exposing ourselves to the tether and i learned it just wasn't in what an incredible printed hillary gazan how she could be trusted completely over my thoughts and all of my mightiness and all of the creativity but also frankly, how creative she is this does not happen without hillary clinton not just providing the facts about what itt is like to fly around theha world. what you provided were deep insights into human nature and what it is like to be in a room with a whole bunch of very frightened people were trying to make a decision about how to move forward in a world under threat. a i learned a lot about you.
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>> you know stacey, i can say exactly the same thing and in addition to the grave friendship that we had a which really deepened during this process, just watching her work. i think part of that creation that she is capable of pulling out of herself, her heart and her head and giving it to the world, that was a totally extraordinary experience for me personally. i used to read how authors of fiction would be asked, did you know where the story would end in the couple would say oh yeah, i had plotted out but often people would say, but until i start writing and not until i meet the characters hundred think of myself as a reader, what you mean, you're creating
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the characters and then all of a sudden this process and watching her at work in talking with her about okay, what with the secretary of state due to motor veteran cows were doable with this young service officer do and sometimes we wouldld be talking and this burst of creativity would come from her. maybe we could have him or her say that and i found that so interesting and it was such a great gift for me to have one of my friends create this incredible scenario and then come up with the people who were in the center of it it was an amazing like nothing that i've ever e had before. >> and i never collaborated like this is impossible not really to
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decide who did what because as you said, he would say something about what we have this happen and then finally really works out and then you would say this or that and we just trusted each other. we trusted that we can throw out ideas without it being dismissed or that we could be as creative and nutty and crazy as we wanted to be and out of that we can find the gems and so interesting that one of the themes through the book and not turf that you started that it developed as we went on it was the trust living in this collaboration, we learn we could trust t each other in a much more profound level than we would've otherwise. >> early in the book, no
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spoilers but early in the book your young character who has to decide if sheas can trust yoursf and in this very contained moment has to grapple with multiple dimensions of what it means to be young and what it means to be a woman in a person of color and what it means to be different. in both of you have had to grapple with different dimensions of otherness and can you talk about this question of trust and how do you learn to trust yourself to be in these moments and to become the women that you have become. >> what a great question stacey and really was something that ran through our discussions about her women characters because we wanted to demonstrate that these were not perfect women it.
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these were women with their own doubts and the varied experiences and new say, there otherness are being underestimated or misunderstood in the kind of experiences that reallly happen in the world two women at like us, but also our characters. our hope was that we can almost in real time, bring bring the reader and so that the reader is inhabiting the young character. and she has dealing trying to make decisions about information that she has been given. and how do you decide to do that. and you say okay i'll listen to my superior and you have second thoughts and you listen to yourself and then you have to get other people to listen to you and the whole process and
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making hard decisions in life or in writing or in politics government whatever it might be, is truly learning how to trust your self having the trust on your instincts because i can kind of lead you astray for not careful listening to your instincts and your inner voice and are bouncing it off against the facts and the evidence you have and against what you've done before and what you have learned before we do try to open that windownd because as louise penny said, not only with young character but the character of ellen adams in the secretary of state or betsy jamison, best friend and counselor, they are constantly second guessing themselves in trying to figure out o that we get the informatin and do we trust. how we make sense of any of this. his diplomacy but it's also life
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and we wanted that to come across. >> it was fascinating to get deeper and deeper into the characters in order to do that we had to own our own experiences in the otherur thing that was really fun and fascinating to follow is in this chaos is happening because there are these crises and secretaries running around and what is happening and what information is real. and she has this relationship with the friendship, with her counselor betsy and that is the one person to thank god, if you trust. so is nice to have that pillar within all of this chaos, this home she could go to betsy good beas well. they absolutely trusted each other and that also served well in terms of the plot and it acted as a kind of a deep breath for the audience and for the
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readers. >> were going to take another audience question andth this one is from a woman, we know this book is fiction, but given secretary, the inner workings of the state department, was the book subject to the official screening before it hit print. >> know it was not because the fact tenant, with a secretaries' office is in stuff, it's classified, i was very careful to make sure that anything in theur book, is in the public domain so let me just give you a quick example or two. absolutely true that when i was in the senator and then as secretary of state, that i became aware of how dangerous miniaturized nuclear weapons can be in a remember being
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everything where the reaper basically said, if they put a nuclear weapon the dirty bomb or something more slightly sophisticated into a suitcase i have to confess, i was terrifying to me. then as i went for my time into the senate and in the state department, i became aware and again it's in the public record now of how terrorist groups didn't try to buyer seal or sworn experts provide nuclear material to them a thing could be used to construct a dirty bomb or again something more sophisticated. so that is in the public record but is not necessarily well known by the public and so when i told louise penny that one of mye nightmares was the prospect terrorist groups succeeding through connections with the russian mob or some other really
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bunch of bad actors in getting information on the deep deep web that they then would follow up and we decided that would be the core of the story. and several people have mentioned it to me that they said they had no idea is that we wanted to take something that is truly terrifying and put it at the center of the plot. and then of course little things like the secretary of state playing around the military planes and she does not command the military, that is the president and the president to the secretary of defense so there are scenes wither the secretary of state has to call the president and so she has a rocky relationship that does thankfully involve and to say that i think that i need - and i would say what you're talking about. she has to get his permission in
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order to be able to do that and so there is a lot of little things. [inaudible]. >> and there is certainly some of that. >> yes talk about the women who are underestimated and diminished and that is any woman news lived in front living right now has probably experience and certainly the two of you but we wanted to have that experience of following in getting side of the head of a woman, you know well what's happening around the table with these other mostly men, or dismissing her and how the secretary, whether it is the current president or whether it is other leaders or just people around the table and how she manages to navigate and use it to her own advantage.
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>> someone who was a journalist for the cdc and covered so much with your journalism, i scared you the most beyond the issue of obama being in a suitcase and moving through our countryside. what did you uncover in the research and writing of this book that is caught you unaware to make you think it that dear god i wish i would've known that sort of not know this. ...
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one thing that was disconcerting, you talk about the external threat, to open the door and see as readers both of us unfamiliar with what secretary clinton went through you can see the external threat that we failed to do some time to turn around and realize that the real threat is already in the room with us stop and what happens in silence? talking about the vast assignments, the vast silence we are seeing it now, people who know perfectly well what is right and what is the truth and don't speak out. that is what's terrifying. >> one of the most fun parts of writing fiction is that you get to interview character is what things you wish you had yourself or things you never admitted he wanted to be. without giving away plot points, can you describe some
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characteristics or characters that get to be toiled for who you wish you could be? >> that's a great question.we talked about my friend who became also louise's friend betsy, another friend of mine ellen culture, member of congress from california and became one of the experts in the congress on nuclear arms. i persuaded her to leave the congress and come to work in the state department where she became the top official of the other secretary for nuclear arms control. allen was not only a dear friend of mine who also prematurely passed away in may 2019 a few months before betsy r but she was shrewd and she was smart and she was tough and during her time working with me in the obama administration she was such an effective
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negotiator with the russians beast that we were trying to negotiate this treaty called and start treaty that limit reduce nuclear weapons in both countries because we have more than we will ever even think about using. we are running into all kinds of problems and a lot of the men who were involved in the negotiations were getting really frustrated because russians are quite expert at being frustrating and they want to be. ellen called me late one night and she said, i'm going to moscow, this is ridiculous. we have got to get this done. she said i'm going to go stop by the white house and get the blessing of that then national security advisor retired general named jim jones and i'm just gonna go. i said, you go get him. off she went and literally her ability to be both tough and charming, to be as strong and
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determined to go toe to toe with anybody but to bring them coffee if that would help soften them up so they would be receptive was just unmatched. she was one of the most effective politicians and diplomats so i knew her very well, just admired and adored her and think about how allen is willing to just absorb the abuse, the contempt, the disdain as she tried to find what is the point of advantage and how do i maneuver through that. i certainly understand it i tried my own way to do it but somebody like my friend alan culture or in this case ellen adams who goes toe to toe with some very tough customers as leaders of some really hard countries in the book it
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reminded me of how she had done it too. >> i would say oddly enough i would say the same thing although i never had a chance to meet hellen. bringing our ellen alive to come she had the bravery she had, has. the ability to move forward and move back and know when to play stupid, she does sometimes she asked stupid questions on purpose to set people and relax them, think that they are in the presence of a real idiot. so they open up. it's just, i wish i was more like that, more manipulative. [laughter] >> i guess i'm saying the same thing. [laughter] >> bruce from ontario wanted to know, is it easy to take the
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criticism and suggestions your editors must provide in order to orachieve a final copy? and how did you all navigate when you get that first page is the list of editors notes. >> oh dear god. [laughter] >> ptsd. >> it's like the worst. the manuscript that hilary and i handed in was perfect. [laughter] and the other thing that they do have courses that they say, they have read the manuscript so they know how to manipulate it. this is genius. it's perfect. except 20 pages of notes. >> except for the plot and the character. but the font was very good.
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[laughter] i'm trying to remember what we did. the thing that is so interesting about writing is that for the most part then you have to become a team player and open and be willing to be open to be people who only have the best in mind were much more experienced than either of us. and who may or may not have a couple of good ideas. although there was a stage we are going to think ããand i was in london you were in chappaqua family we started saying what step like out. then your member the next day i'm thinking maybe some of those steps.
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>> as both of you know so well. the editing process can be both your best friend in your worst enemy, as louisa said, you've got a fresh pair of eyes miss case we have the wonderful editor from louise's publishing house who worked with louise before. we had somebody that therefore i trusted then we have the copy editor then we had another layer of editing. we went through a lot of edits but it was great because we would look at them we would discuss them we would say that's a point maybe we should imake it clearer or they raise a good problem that we need to resolve if there's ever been a point where we might've had
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some tension or difficulty. you turn in a manuscript obviously both of us thought it was in good shape. then we are plotted with all these suggestions and we did work through it. toward the end we got frustrated. >> one of the things that the editor really helped with, that something i think you and i we got a little fatigued but because the secretary was flying all over the place and different things are happening to different parts of the world at different times it's all coming to a head we know when bad things are going to happen. we have to have the timeline makes sense. not only in terms of the content we work very hard at it
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the notes weren't have to rewrite the whole thing. >> the notes were helpful they were not discouraging at all. >> secretary clinton, you've written several other works and you alluded to this a bit to talk a bit about the shift into fiction writing you want to stay here now that you joined us in the land of fiction do you plan to build a condo? >> i have so enjoyed this and i will tell you what i enjoyed the most. people have been asking us in all of our interviews, are we going to do more? we don't know we are so into this moment it's been an amazing experience. there is literally no talk between louise and i are any such thing. here's what i really loved.
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particularly my autobiography living history or my book about the time in the state department choices and then my book after the 2016 election, which is really as much an effort on my part to figure out what happened, which is why i called it that. the nonfiction part you have to be careful you have to make sure you are not missing a fact. i want to tell you about how diplomacy works. want to give you some examples. here are the 112 countries and went to as secretary of state. for these reasons to try to further american foreign policy national security or here's what i really think happened in the 2016 election we had russians, cambridge analytica, we had all kinds of other stuff happening head we need to pay attention because it's not just that i happen once and we know that's the case.
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i think we could make a number of the same points and of course we do particularly about the internal threat in the united states, which we are currently facing stop in the form of this book in a way that fdoesn't feel like eating spinach it feels like really fun time reading along and all llof a sudden you go, like the people attacked our capital. esome thought they were patriot how on earth can they rationalize that people connected to the former president who in the book is someone who shares
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characteristics with our real former president, being heedless and reckless and easily manipulated by outside and domestic forces trying to control and sweet talk and flatter him doing things that are terrible for america and the world. it may be a little cleaner, easier for people to say, okay, we wrote this book before we knew who would be elected november 2020 are you thinking
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about other ways you want to use this creative writing talent? >> the fact is, i love writing this book and it was exciting and different and i think hilary and i both knew that if we were going to write it we wanted to break the mold, we wanted to have strong olfemale characters who are vulnerable who were relatable. in a plot that was sadly believable.
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enter right with a great friend as well. that was really really exciting. my home is ganache. that's where i live, that's where my heart is. i will always go back to those books everyday i wake up and thanked the heavens that this life exists. and i can explore everything i need to explore through the ganache books which are crime novels but the crying is the author not the omega. that's the trojan horse. sthat's really what we did with this book as you have explosions, terrible things happening but they are the beginning of the exploration. >> i just wanted to add one point to what louise just said about this book. if we had been asked to write
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and we have written this book, i don't think anybody would have published it. they would've said are you kidding me? can't make an american president that complicit with evildoers. you can't have a coup attempt within the white house that is going to cause the death of americans in order to erovertur our government. what are you guys drinking or smoking or whatever? >> or inhaling that's in there to. part of it is this is a book as somebody read from the headlines a clichc is ripped from the headlines but it's about deeper more universal more internal issues and questions, we mentioned stress prevention friendship we mentioned love, courage, these
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are all themes that louise had explored in the nosh book. even though it looks like she's gone from three pines and the marsh on the bistro in the bookstore and the whole life of her characters, the themes that she has plumbed and really excavated over the course of 17 books runs through this book. because when you get right down to it, what are the eternal values if we are talking about standing against evil or recklessness or mean-spirited numbness or hate and prejudice, eventually it is like doctor martin luther king jr. said, you don't get rid of hate looking thor hate, you get rid it with love. it's a little hard to remember that sometimes it's hard to exercise it but this book is truly about those values so
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even though it's in a different "genre" as a lot of direct lines going from the land of the marsh to adventures of alan adams. >> both of you pay a very kind tribute at the beginning of the book to women who shaped your life and we talked a little bit about this. talk about why it was so important to both of you, i'm gonna start with you louise in the new secretary ããwomen are fully formed fully flawed, fully exceptional characters in this book. they are plenty. talk about how you brought the personal and the creative to the woman in the story and why it was so important for you to do that? >> i have to admit there was a time in my life for a number of years where i viewed other women with suspicion as people
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who i was competing against for the attention of a man or a promotion or something. i didn't have a lot of female friends and then you reach a breaking point and i broke. when i got back up and looked around it was women who had lifted me up. i bonded immediately with those women and understood a really deep level how important it is to have women in my life and not on the periphery not standing on the front porch but in the living room of my life. why would we write this book together unless two women of certain age writing about women of a certain age unless we are writing about how important
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those relationships mpare neith hilary nor i were interested in spending a year of our life in isolation writing some formulaic something superficial. we wanted to really dig deep and have as hilary explained or talked about we wanted to bring down the fourth wall so that the reader will be walking beside ellen, walking beside betsy and feeling that love and friendship and the fear that goes with perhaps losing it. >> as you are talking about how you told me among the very first conversation that we had about the gerber women writers, artists, epidemics that you became part of as you are beginning your writing career that you bonded with, but you began to trust that you learned
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to listen to as they listened to you and he would share your work which is a hugely vulnerable thing to do. >> i learned to be brave. >> i learned that in sharing my work and getting out there that i wasn't going to die. it was the not risking that was going to kill me. >> i think that not risking is something we hope obviously all readers but particularly women will take from this because i've been blessed to have really good posts loving smart supportive friends my entire life and i needed them. i needed them through the ups and downs of my life and my career and obviously betsy was somebody who had been with me from literally the beginning of
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my teenage years all the way forward but i had others as well i think there is this kind of attitude that women scan't really be friends and it goes to what louise was just saying that the competition for the male gaze or the promotion or the opportunity, whatever it might be. is just too baked into the dna to be able to overcome that. that's just not been my experience. that's not true of every woman who crosses your path, we all know that but the ones you choose to share your life with, the ones that you learn to trust so we do want this story about these two friends to be something that other women can relate to and feel like it's
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possible. i will and on two notes, we wrote our acknowledgments at the very end there was something that louise said which really struck me she said, this is a book about care but it's also about love and courage. wind we need it to be about love and courage. and then i wrote whether or no this plot stays fiction is up to us and i believe that with eall my heart. stacy, you have been on the front lines fighting for our democracy and i want to publicly thank you as i have and other forms because i want people not just those y tuning tonight but as many as we can reach to understand we are in a fight for our democracy. we are in a fight for all these values that the men and women who really are the heroes in our book stand for.
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i hope people might read this and go, wow, i need to get into that fight too. on that note, to the acclaimed novelist louise penny the extraordinary incredibly kind secretary clinton, thank you on behalf of the audience putting us in such a sublime state of terror. [laughter] >> thank you to lucy and thank you to laura for pulling this off. >> here here. >> recently george washington university professor and emergency physician doctor leno when offered a firsthand account of working in public health. >> the initial title for the book was public health save your life today i had intended to write this book not about my own journey at all, i wanted to tell the story of baltimore and wanted to show the world what i know what you all know about
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the incredible innovations, the dedicated people working here in our city and the difference that we are making. i also wanted to demonstrate them about the projects i was so proud of overseeing in baltimore, the program see streets to instruct violence that overdose work that save more than 3000 lives in three years, the healthy babies program still going on that during the time was here reduced infant mortality by 38 percent for the seven year period. that's what i had initially intended to write the book on but in talking to my publisher over time i started to realize that my story is also a story of public health. that story was hard to write because like many people i have blocked out some of the difficult parts of my childhood even my adulthood, things that i didn't want to tell people i have hidden away somewhere. i have not talked to a lot of
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people about ããi think people may have known parts of it maybe not everything. my parents and grandparents suffered a lot during the cultural revolution in china. they were citizens who fought against the county government my grandfather my father were imprisoned academic in china called out and beaten in front of his students. father had a lot of political troubles including the time i was growing up and i went for long periods of time without seeing him. i say all of this because i knew from an early age the plan, the goal was to leave china. i didn't know when this was going to happen but this is our
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goal my mother one day was very happy she got into a graduate program here in the u.s. these are the days pre-google, she asked her professor what you recommend i go? the professor said, you talk. that's where it's at. in life there so many crossroads of funny to think through where would we be if we had gone to chicago instead of utah. that initial experience very much shaped me when we first came to the u.s. my family and i had $40 we didn't have money to buy blankets we didn't have
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heating we did go through a number of hardships. my parents worked multiple jobs my father delivered newspapers he washed dishes in a restaurant his degree wasn't recognized here. my mother who speak english ended up starting to be a teacher. while she was getting her teaching degree she was also working in a video store we still went through many periods where every single day we are worried about two things. money and immigration status. i remember the arguments my parents would have the angst we would go through are we going to make rent? we were evicted several times when i was a child and we ended experiencing homelessness.
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these are things that informed who i am and why i entered medicine in my understanding of public health. but stories i had not previously shared prior to my ã ¦ >> find the rest of doctor leno wends discussion on, use the box at the top of the page to search her name or the title of her book "lifelines"


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