Star of HGTV’s Home Town Erin Napier joins Zibby and her husband Kyle to discuss her picture book, The Lantern House. Erin explains why she’s not joined by her husband and co-star Ben and shares why she was set on working with her illustrator and friend, Adam Trest, on this children’s book. The three also talk about the house flipping projects that get Erin the most excited, what she’s currently reading, and how she and Ben found their way into house flipping in the first place. Shop Erin and Ben’s brand, Laurel Mercantile Co., here!


Zibby Owens: Welcome, Erin. Thank you so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” to discuss The Lantern House.

Erin Napier: Thank you for having me.

Zibby: We also have a special guest host helping me out here today, which is my husband, Kyle.

Kyle Owens: Owens.

Zibby: Kyle Owens, yes, the one and only. Why don’t you explain why you want to do this?

Kyle: I wanted to do this because I’m a huge fan of Erin and Ben. I’ve been watching the show for quite some time. Zibby and I have really busy, crazy lives in production and everything that she’s doing with the books and the podcast. A lot of times at night, I just want to veg out and watch a little HGTV. Your husband, Ben, looks exactly like my best friend, Don.

Erin: Now I got to see him.

Kyle: I know. I was flipping through the channels one night. I was like, oh, my god, is it Don? I went back, and I landed on your show. I was like, oh, my god, this couple, they’re incredible. They’re just so generous and pure.

Erin: Oh, you’re so nice.

Kyle: The show is amazing. I love the whole idea of it. I just started watching it. You know how HGTV is. They’ll show twenty-five episodes in a row.

Erin: Yep, marathon.

Kyle: Right, exactly. Before you know it, it’s three in the morning. I just wound up watching a ton of it. I always get super pumped at night if I turn it on and it’s on. Then when she mentioned that you were coming over, I was like, that’s wild.

Erin: Thanks for joining us. I wish that Ben was here. We now have two kids. Before, it was easy to let the grandparents take one. Now I want to have one of us home if possible, so he’s with the girls. This is the first time I’ve traveled and done things like this without him.

Zibby: How does it feel?

Erin: It’s weird, like I’m a little bit naked. I always have someone to — when I can’t think of what to say, there’s someone to step in and rescue me.

Zibby: I relate to that. I did my first event without Kyle. I kept looking around for him. I was like, who’s the guy who’s going to be like, you got this?

Kyle: Bringing the energy.

Erin: It’s a whole new experience for me today.

Zibby: Okay, so back to the book or to the book in general. The Lantern House, by the way, gorgeous. We were just talking about illustrators. Tell me how this book came to be and how Adam Trest, your illustrator, was intimately involved in the process. By the way, this is just so gorgeous. Is this not the most gorgeous book?

Kyle: It is. It is really nice.

Erin: Thank you. I hope he’s listening because he will just be tickled that you’ve mentioned him.

Zibby: I’ll say his name again. Adam Trest, Adam Trest, Adam Trest.

Erin: Adam Trest, he’s the man.

Kyle: He’s laughing too hard. He’s too tickled. Relax.

Erin: He’s the man. His wife, Lily, is going to have a baby at any second, so that’s why he didn’t come to New York for this. Adam, we’re neighbors. We’ve been friends for fifteen years. His art has become a little bit famous because of Home Town. He’s been featured a lot. Regionally, he has this huge following. Now it’s not so regional. He’s got really big, fancy clients in California who are commissioning artwork. He’s shipping it all over the world. I’m so proud of him. It’s so cool to be from a place like Laurel, Mississippi, and have a real art career because people told us growing up, you can’t do that.

Zibby: It’s neat being from anywhere and having a real art career. It’s hard these days.

Erin: It is. Apparently, when most people write a children’s book, they are partnered with an illustrator by their publisher, which is something I did not know. I assume you come to your publisher with a whole package, a whole plan, an idea. Adam and I have just always — we would text each other, “I had this idea for a children’s book.” Children’s literature is really his life’s ambition. His goal his whole life was to make a great children’s book. He would text me if he ever thought of an idea. I would text him if I ever thought of an idea. Once we had children, you read children’s books through a new perspective. I haven’t read children’s books since I was a child. Now when you’re an adult and you have your child in your lap and you’re reading these stories and you find yourself getting really emotional — the best children’s books, I think, are really written for the adult that’s reading it. It teaches some fundamental truth that you’ve forgotten about yourself or about the world that makes it seem so clear and so simple. That’s what I love about a great children’s book. Anyway, I think I’ve probably rambled here.

Zibby: No, not at all.

Kyle: That’s great.

Erin: Working with Adam was the only way I pictured making a children’s book. Without the illustration, I feel like The Lantern House doesn’t really have an identity. The only person who could make that house have the identity that I really wanted would be Adam.

Kyle: That’s perfect.

Zibby: I wrote Princess Charming not even knowing who she was, what she —

Erin: — That’s fascinating. Did you get to meet each other and collaborate?

Zibby: I’ve never met her.

Erin: Really?

Zibby: Yeah, never met her. We’ve been on Zoom a few times. After about six months having the book, she just sent some illustrations. I had to be like, okay, great. I was lucky. I really loved it, but I didn’t have much say in it. I was like, “Could you make the brown bear a polar bear?” She was like, “No.”

Erin: This was hilarious. When we were working out — your publisher wants you to have a contract in place. They had not done anything like this where it was an author and illustrator who were — we had a partnership. We have our own little LLC together. They’re like, “We needed in legal writing, what will happen if you guys disagree on something.” We were like, “But we just won’t. We just won’t disagree.” They’re like, “We’re really going to need some sort of legal –” It’s been funny to me. We just have handshake partnerships in a place like Laurel, Mississippi. Those sirens, those sound really intense.

Kyle: It’s the best way to do it.

Zibby: I don’t even hear the sirens myself.

Erin: You don’t even notice?

Zibby: No.

Kyle: I’m from a small town as well. I’m in business with all my best friends. It’s always like that when layers get involved. They’re like, “But what if?” We’re always like, “But we’re not going to.”

Erin: It’s just going to be fine, guys. Just trust.

Zibby: The content, though, and the story behind this, which is so beautiful about home and everything, where did that come from? What was it like? You decide to partner with Adam. Then what?

Erin: At this point, I’ve helped renovate about ninety houses all total. The thing that I found they all have in common is, the house existed before us, and it will exist after us. The house remains no matter what the family does. Families move. Families age. New families begin. The house is there for all of it. I was thinking, what stories — we literally uncover photographs inside walls. We find old newspaper clippings that were important for some reason to someone that were saved and then lost. We uncover these personal belongings all the time that tell a little of the story of the things these houses have seen. I thought, these houses that were standing in World War II — Mallory, my best friend, lived in a house that was standing when the Titanic sank. I think of things like, did they know anyone that died on the Titanic? Did they get bad news in that house? There’s so many historic events that have happened in the history of a house’s lifetime. The people are just passing through. I found that to be very interesting.

Kyle: Wow, that’s really so beautiful.

Zibby: Sort of depressing.

Kyle: I thought it was beautiful.

Zibby: I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. Just the idea that someone else will be sitting here, it’s sort of sad.

Kyle: If you think about it, someone else was sitting here before you.

Erin: I know. I really can’t stand it.

Kyle: And probably before that person.

Zibby: I actually just met that person — I forgot to even tell you — at a party recently.

Kyle: Really?

Zibby: Yeah.

Kyle: The person that used to sit here?

Zibby: Maybe not right here. She was like, “I grew up in that house.” I was like, “No way. What was that like?” How crazy.

Erin: You want to know the things that happened in their lifetime when they were here. What was it like for them living here? For me, that just felt like such a fertile place to begin with a children’s story. Helen, our four-year-old, she asks a lot of questions about, “What do you do at work, Mommy?” She’s seen Home Town. She knows that we help sad, old houses feel happy again. That’s the best way we can —

Zibby: — That’s so sweet. That’s really sweet.

Erin: We’ll be driving through town and see a dilapidated house. She says, “Mommy, is that going to be a Home Town house? That’s a sad, old house.” I think, how can I write a story that helps her understand the evolution of a sad, old house and how, one time, it was beautiful? Then it wasn’t. Then it can be beautiful again. That sounds like some really philosophical way of discussing a very simple children’s book.

Zibby: That’s what you were saying before. The stories, they mean a lot more than meets the eye. This already does mean a lot.

Erin: That’s always been kind of a struggle for me being an HGTV personality, going on interviews where they ask, “Talk to us about trends for kitchens this year.” I have never heard a question that I find more revolting than something like that. “Tell me the fads that we can expect to see in paint.” I’m just like, ugh, I don’t care. I don’t know.

Kyle: I think one of the things that you do so well is that I feel like you get to know the person, the couple that you’re helping really well. You really fit and decorate and design the home around that particular individual and not, like you said, the trending fads of the moment.

Erin: Because I don’t know what else matters. Nothing else matters about a house. If it’s not personal, then it’s a failure to me. The best houses are very personal. I can look at your house right now and tell so much about who you are as people. That’s a great house.

Zibby: What do you think you know? Let’s see if you’re right.

Erin: You are collected and colorful and busy. It looks like a very joyful house to live in.

Kyle: It is. There’s four kids.

Erin: I bet it is noisy and wonderful. That’s what your house looks like. I love that.

Kyle: It is. There’s a lot of life in it.

Erin: I love houses that have a lot of life in them. The hardest clients we ever have are when I get their initial survey — my survey asks very weird questions that seems unrelated. Tell me about your favorite childhood memory. Tell me about your favorite movies and why you love them. When someone tells me their favorite TV show is I Love Lucy, that tells me something about who they are. Do you know what I mean?

Zibby: Totally.

Erin: In that survey, when they tell me things like — one time, I had a homeowner who actually wrote, “I don’t want the house to look lived in.” I just felt like — I won’t tell you what episode it was. It was a very difficult one for me. Favorite colors? White. Gray. Okay. That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When someone tells me, “I’m obsessed with The Hobbit. We have traveled to New Zealand to see where they filmed The Lord of the Rings. I’ve always wanted a house that had a round front door,” things like that, oh, my gosh, it’s so easy to go from there and to create a house that becomes this experience and a world that’s your inner personality in an outward, visual way. Those are the best houses that have tons of personality.

Zibby: What was your house like growing up?

Erin: So good, so comfortable. It’s like apple pie. If apple pie were a house, that’s my mom’s house. The kitchen walls were painted red. It always smelled like cobbler. Big, fluffy, white down comforters on the beds. Coming home from college, it just glowed like a lantern in the night. That was the best, pulling into the driveway when it’s almost Christmastime. It’s cold outside. All the lamps are on in the house. Best feeling. They still live there. If they ever move out of the house, it will kill me. It will kill me. I get very attached to houses, very.

Zibby: How did you get into this whole industry?

Erin: By accident. None of this was a plan. I wrote a journal about the best things that happened every day. I owned a wedding stationery company. Ben and I renovated a 1925 Craftsman, our first house together ourselves. I documented it on my little journal. Southern Living Weddings picked it up as a story about Southern newlyweds because I was in the wedding industry. An HGTV executive named Lindsey Whitehorn, who is my New York City angel, just messaged out of the blue and said she saw it. Would we be interested in doing TV? We had absolutely never considered that. Why would we? We live in Laurel, Mississippi. It would never occur to you that “I would like to have a TV show” here. The first Skype we had with a production company, they said, “Tell us about your idea for your show.” We were like, “Don’t have one. You guys called us.” They’re like, “Okay. Well, what are you passionate about?” We’re like, “Making our small town a place people want to live and being very proud of the good things you have right where you are and blooming where you’re planted, basically.” Anyway, it became a TV show by accident. I thought, surely, the pilot won’t get picked up. Then I thought, surely, season one won’t get picked up. Surely, it won’t get renewed. It just keeps getting renewed. Here we are.

Kyle: And there’s all these spinoff shows now. We just watched one the other night, Zibby and I, the Home Town Takeover.

Zibby: I had Jasmine Roth on the podcast.

Erin: Jasmine is such a sunshine.

Kyle: Jasmine Roth was on it with Ty Pennington. Incredible.

Erin: Oh, did Ty come?

Kyle: He did, yeah.

Erin: Ty and Jasmine were on the podcast?

Kyle: No, no, no. Not Ty. Just Jasmine.

Zibby: Just Jasmine was on my podcast.

Erin: Jasmine is so sweet. She’s wonderful. She is like a daisy in human form. It’s just an absolute honor and a dream to get to work for a company like HGTV making a show that has been a positive, bright spot for people in a kind of dark time. The messages that we got during COVID, the ones that were most meaningful, we got messages from people who were in the hospital for one reason or another. One in particular that stands out, a woman was waiting to have a mastectomy. She was alone because you couldn’t have visitors. She was terrified. She sent us a message to let us know that we kept her company when she was alone in the hospital and that we were something to take her mind off of it. Gosh, if there is anything more flattering than that, I don’t know what it is. That was a huge blessing to us that we got to be a comfort to people when they were isolated.

Kyle: Wow. That’s exactly how I feel about your show. I feel like it’s very comforting.

Erin: Thank you.

Zibby: Talk to me about the process of this. You sat down. You just whipped it all out? Tell me about it.

Erin: I literally wrote it in thirty minutes. It was just a story that had been unorganized but in my mind for years. I just typed it out, a quick outline of it. It took literally less than thirty minutes. Adam’s work took much, much longer. He had the hard job. He had to take the words I had written and then illustrate them. It’s a hard job. An illustrator has a very hard job.

Zibby: There’s something just so timeless, though, about these illustrations. This book could be one of those classic books.

Erin: I really hope that it will be. You know how when you make your own sandwich, it’s not as good? I feel so close to it. It’s so normal for me to see Adam’s art from beginning to end, to read my words and the things that I say that I’ve lost perspective. We want so badly for this to be a children’s classic.

Zibby: It looks like that, even the same font. I feel like this is the same font from The Little Engine That Could, maybe.

Erin: It’s a World War II-era font. It’s called Payson. It is my favorite font. I use it for lots of branding for our companies, too, because it’s just so — it has no accent. I like fonts that you read, and it’s just the clearest. There is no accent on it. I can’t explain it. That’s what great typefaces do. They tell you how to read it.

Zibby: Wow, that’s beautiful.

Erin: My background is in graphic design. This is what I thought that I was going to do. I thought I was going to design books for a living. That’s what I went to school to do. That’s what I’m going to do one day when I’m not on TV. That’s the plan.

Zibby: Children’s books or any kind of books?

Erin: All books. Books are my life.

Zibby: We’re looking for some designers at Zibby Books. I’m doing fiction and memoir. We could just get you in there typesetting or whatever.

Erin: When I’m done with TV, that’s my dream.

Zibby: I feel like you also need to write about a story about some of those houses. We were just saying that seems like a movie or a historical novel about all the families, multiple timelines.

Erin: I’m also writing a book for grown-ups. It’ll come out next year.

Zibby: Oh, well, there you go.

Erin: It’s like this, but a deep dive.

Zibby: That’s all you can say?

Erin: Yeah. I’ll save it.

Zibby: Very coy.

Erin: I’ll have to come back next year.

Zibby: Come back next year. Now I’m curious what it’s all going to be about. That’s a lot of stuff. You’re writing an adult book. You have a children’s book. You’re on the show. You’ve got two little kids. People are always asking me, how do you find time to do this? I’m like, I don’t know. I just do. I don’t know. Every day is crazy. Do you have a better answer to that question?

Erin: I say no to a lot. I just say no to a whole lot of things.

Zibby: You make that sound really easy.

Erin: I’m good at saying no. It’s a personality type, I guess. Even in high school, I never suffered from peer pressure because I would just be like, no. No one can pressure me into doing something that I don’t want to do. It’s probably not a great character trait. We just have to prioritize. What’s most important? Our family. That’s the number-one, Ben and I and our marriage and our girls. Everything else has to be prioritized after that. If it takes away from them, then it’s a no. The only reason I’m here right now is because Ben is there. That was the only compromise that felt right to me.

Zibby: But doesn’t everything take time away from the girls and Ben?

Erin: No, because we’ve made it such that we only do the show from eight to five. We will not film before that. We will not film after that. We are Monday through Friday, eight to five. We come home at lunch. We see them every day. If we travel, if it’s more than two nights, the whole gang comes. If it can be just one of us and it’s going to be two nights, then I’m home. That’s what works for us. We’re limited. We don’t get to take great, big, extravagant trips right now. It’s just the season of life that we’re in. The priority for me is just making them have this very normal and stable and happy childhood. I want to be there as much as possible. I never meant to be on TV. If it were left to me, I would probably be self-employed and spending all of my time with them. I know TV is not forever, no matter great it is. Even Seinfeld ended, right?

Kyle: It’s my favorite show.

Erin: Everything ends eventually. I think about, what kind of life am I setting us up for when that happens?

Zibby: Wow. Was there anything your parents did that made you so grounded? I would like to try to incorporate that with my own parenting. This is a very selfish question.

Erin: I don’t know. I spend a lot of time with them still. We’ve always been very close. I live five minutes away from them. I don’t know if most people do.

Zibby: I live five minutes from my parents.

Erin: Do you see them a lot?

Zibby: Surprisingly little given that my dad is across the street. He travels a lot for work too. Yes, when they’re in town, I see them a lot.

Erin: That’s all I think of, is spending of a lot of time with my parents.

Zibby: It sounds great because you have such clear parameters. We go away for this many days. This is what we do. I think a lot of people get lost in the decision-making because everything makes you question it again. I don’t know. Should I go to this? Should I do this? Should I do that? If you don’t have that framework, then —

Kyle: — That’s where you come in.

Zibby: What you do mean?

Kyle: A lot of debating.

Zibby: Yeah, but now I’m thinking I just copy this framework situation.

Kyle: This is a great situation.

Erin: Is it? Does it sound like I know what I’m doing?

Kyle: Absolutely.

Zibby: It does. You’re fooling us.

Erin: I definitely don’t. I definitely don’t know what I’m doing, so I’m glad it sounds that way.

Zibby: You’re doing it with conviction.

Kyle: I feel like you have it all figured out.

Erin: You do it with confidence, and it feels right.

Zibby: And to have such a good perspective over, this is the part of my life in which I am forward-facing, but there will be a part, maybe — maybe you’re wrong. Maybe you’ll always be in front of the TV. Maybe your little ones will be raising their own sad houses and renovating and all that.

Erin: Maybe. Maybe so. Helen is definitely very into decorating suddenly. Every single day now, she likes to drag random objects from drawers all over the house. She makes these art installations on our nightstands. She says, “I decorated for you.”

Zibby: My seven-year-old has done his room once, twice. He wants to redo it again. We were looking at this other house. Not here, but just for fun somewhere else. I was like, “What do you think about this?” He’s like, “Well, it would be a good opportunity to get to redo a room.”

Kyle: He loves it.

Erin: That’s awesome. Lean into that.

Zibby: If you need a seven-year-old intern or something.

Erin: Lean into it.

Kyle: Actually, I was telling someone here, I said, “We’re having some folks over from HGTV.” The first she said to me is, “Did you tell Graham?”

Zibby: Oh, yeah, I should’ve said something too.

Erin: Does he watch?

Zibby: Yeah, he watches.

Kyle: He loves it. He just is so into home renovations.

Erin: That’s so cool. There are not a lot of kids who love HGTV.

Zibby: He loves it.

Erin: That’s awesome.

Zibby: It’s also great, then we get to watch.

Erin: It’s a good channel. If you’re going to let your kids watch a TV channel, it’s a safe one. It’s a good one. They learn a lot.

Zibby: Gets them off YouTube. Will there be another Lantern House? Will there be a series? Will there be more?

Erin: I hope so. I have a dream of there being a Christmas Lantern House. I think that would be such an easy and fun and cool place to go, and different special life occasions.

Kyle: Ben has a Christmas show, right, coming up?

Erin: It was last Christmas.

Kyle: It was last Christmas? Oh, okay.

Zibby: There could be a birthday one. That would be a great gift, easy gift to give.

Erin: A birthday one, yes.

Zibby: New sibling.

Erin: Just think of all the special occasions that happen in a house.

Zibby: I’ll just keep going.

Erin: You just write it all down. Send it to me. Those are all dreams for me.

Kyle: You’ll have twenty-five new book ideas by the time you leave here today.

Erin: I’m looking at your book collection and thinking, what have I not read that I need to read?

Zibby: What are you reading?

Erin: I’ve been reading One Italian Summer. I’m almost done with that.

Zibby: Rebecca Serle.

Erin: Next on deck is The White Album by Joan Didion. Somehow, I’ve read everything but that one, which I think is probably her most famous one. The Last Thing He Told Me is one a friend gave me that I haven’t read yet.

Zibby: Laura Dave.

Erin: It’s in my bag on this trip right now. That’s what’s coming up.

Zibby: Laura and Rebecca were on the podcast, if you want the backstory of those books. Well, maybe wait until you finish. I don’t know.

Erin: Now I do want to know.

Kyle: Is it going to spoil it?

Zibby: I can’t remember if they gave it away. I don’t know. When do you find time to read?

Erin: For twelve minutes before I fall asleep. It takes me a very long time to read a book, but it’s the only way I can fall asleep. I have to read for just a few minutes.

Zibby: Me too.

Erin: Do you listen to a lot of them, or do you read? You really read them?

Kyle: She really reads them.

Erin: You’re walking around with a book in your hands.

Zibby: I read a whole book yesterday. We were driving on a drive for two and a half hours.

Kyle: I can vouch for her. We had a two-and-a-half-hour drive. She read an entire book before we actually got to our destination.

Erin: You’re so fast. I can’t read in a car. I get carsick.

Zibby: I am really fast. I can read everywhere. I could read upside. I read everywhere. I can read walking down the street.

Kyle: To really put it in perspective, we were waiting to get off the airplane the other day. Everyone stands up. Everyone’s got their luggage and taking it down. We’re waiting to go. She just pulls a book out of her bag and is reading a book.

Zibby: I was like, I’ve got a good ten minutes here.

Kyle: We’re in line with 170 people. I’m like, oh, my god, what are you doing? Put the book away.

Zibby: That’s the whole thing. You have ten minutes here and there.

Kyle: You did. You read three pages. Then you put the book away, and we got off the plane. I was like, there’s three pages down.

Erin: What’s your favorite book? Do you have a favorite book?

Zibby: I don’t have a favorite. Memoir is my favorite genre. I love fiction too.

Kyle: I feel like you love Dani Shapiro’s book, is one of your favorites.

Zibby: I do. I love Dani Shapiro. She would be one of my favorite authors.

Kyle: If I was on some sort of trivia question, Zibby trivia question, that was one that you got to go with. Slow Motion, is that it?

Zibby: That used to be my favorite book. Then I reread it. The first time I read it, I was in my twenties and kind of finding my way. Do you ever reread books?

Erin: Yeah. My favorite book, I’ve read three times.

Zibby: Which book is your favorite?

Erin: Love in the Time of Cholera. I love a romantic story that spans decades. I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife for the same reason. Have you seen the movie About Time?

Zibby: No.

Erin: Oh, gosh. Do that.

Zibby: Have you? I’ve never even heard of it.

Kyle: Who’s in that?

Erin: Rachel McAdams and a British guy that I don’t know. It’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

Zibby: Really?

Kyle: Love British guys.

Erin: No one has seen this movie. It’s a little like The Time Traveler’s Wife but with a happier ending.

Kyle: Speaking of love and romance, I just quickly want to — how did you and Ben meet?

Erin: He was my celebrity crush in college.

Zibby: No.

Erin: Yeah. He was the most popular guy on campus and was always dating cheerleaders. You know the movie She’s All That?

Zibby: Yes.

Erin: That’s how I felt. I was the art girl. My hair was an inch long because I wanted to look like Drew Barrymore in the nineties. He was just this larger than life — he’s six foot six. He’s three hundred pounds. He’s literally larger than everyone else. He just radiated kindness in a way that — I went to high school with popular guys who were such jerks. They were such jerks. He was not that. He was so inclusive. He made everyone feel like they were in his circle. I just thought that was the greatest thing. I didn’t even know him. I did not know him. He was the president of every group on campus. I would see him leading these big fundraisers in the student union. I would say things like, gosh, I wish I just knew him.

Kyle: Oh, my god, that’s amazing.

Erin: I was the yearbook design editor because I designed books. We were doing ten feature stories on the most interesting people on campus. We were like, who are these people going to be? We had the whole group together. Everybody raised their hands. Three people were like, Ben Napier. That guy’s got to be one of the feature stories. I was like, I’ll head up that. I can be there for those photos. That was really the first time we met. Then six days later, he told me that he loved me and we were going to get married one day. We were inseparable from the day we met.

Zibby: Aw, that’s so nice.

Erin: I know. I really miss him right now. We’re together twenty-four hours a day. It is very strange for me to be here without him.

Zibby: You could put him on FaceTime if you want. Just have him sit here in the corner.

Erin: I know. I wish he was here.

Kyle: He could’ve Zoomed in.

Zibby: He could’ve Zoomed in. Yeah, he could’ve. Oh, well. Next time. What advice would you have for aspiring authors?

Erin: I don’t know. I wish I did. Write even when you don’t feel like it. That’s the hardest part, is to write when you’re uninspired, but do it anyway. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. Then the inspiration comes. With a children’s book, this was just different. This was just typing out something that had been in my mind for a very long time. It doesn’t take long to type out forty sentences. That’s really what a children’s book amounts to, about forty pages. I guess I don’t have very good advice.

Zibby: I think that’s good advice.

Erin: Write when you don’t feel like it.

Zibby: That’s actually very good advice because that’s what’s going to get the job done. There you go. Any last questions? That was my last one.

Kyle: No. That was incredible. Really fantastic. Just keep spreading all this love and joy around the world that you and Ben are doing. It’s really beautiful.

Erin: It’s a lot of fun. We’re very, very lucky. We love getting to work for HGTV and write books. How lucky are we? What a dream. Thank you so much for inviting me. This was really wonderful.

Zibby: Thanks for being here and bringing the peanut gallery here.

Kyle: There’s seventy-five people in the room right now.

Erin: My best friends are all here with me.

Kyle: I love that.



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