Kristy Woodson Harvey, A HAPPIER LIFE

Kristy Woodson Harvey, A HAPPIER LIFE

In this special episode (a live recording at Zibby’s Asheville Retreat!), Zibby interviews New York Times bestselling author and southern sensation Kristy Woodson Harvey about A HAPPIER LIFE, a beautiful, big-hearted novel about a young woman who returns to her grandparent’s long-abandoned home in Beaufort, North Carolina, to clean it out... and uncovers her family's secrets. Kristy talks about the amazing way homes preserve stories, the value of connecting people (via dinner parties!), and the autobiographical elements in the novel—like Salt, the dog! She also reveals the novel’s alternative titles and reads from her unique prologue.


Zibby: Welcome, Christy. Thank you so much for coming back on Moms Who Don't Have Time to Read Books. What is this, like your fifth time or something? It's ridiculous. 

Kristy: I'm so glad to be here and I love us being face to face for this one.

It's amazing. 

Zibby: I know I need to, I want to do all in person again. This is what I used to do before COVID, but I didn't know you as well then. So there we go. Okay. So congratulations today. We have a happier life. Christie Woodson, Harvey. Oh my gosh. So exciting. You can cheer everybody. We are here at the Asheville retreat doing an in person podcast.

It's our last event of the weekend and Christie was nice enough to do a keynote last night. And here we are. So a happier life is what your 11th novel 11th novel. Tell us what it's about. 

Kristy: So I'm so excited about this one because it is sort of inspired by a real family story, but it is about a woman named Keaton who knows that her grandparents passed away in a sort of tragic accident before she was born, but what she doesn't know is that her mother has never sold her childhood home in Beaufort, North Carolina, where I just so happen to live.

So, um, at the request of her mother, he goes back to Beaufort to clean out this house and finally put it on the market, um, after decades of it being sort of empty and alone. And she, as she's going through this house and as she's starting to meet all the people in this little tiny town who knew her grandparents, she starts to realize that maybe the stories that she's been told about them her whole life are not true.

And in the other point of view, we get to see Rebecca St. James, who is one of my favorite characters I've ever written, but she is known for her wonderful Southern hostessing skills, and we see her story unravel from 1935 until that fateful night in 1976, when we find out what actually happened to Rebecca in Townsend St. James. 

Zibby: I actually thought you were going to call at one point and maybe where I'm wondering, call this book, Rebecca St. James's Guide to Entertaining. Did you think about that? 

Kristy: Yes, I did. So there are these little, they're little entertaining tips from, they call her Bex, from Bex in front of everyone in her chapters.

And she keeps these notebooks that her husband has had made for her kind of as a joke called Rebecca St. James's Guide to Entertaining. And I did, that was one of the titles that I've flitted around, but, Rebecca St. James is actually a real Australian singer, which I do not know. And so we were like, there's probably like a not, not a lot of overlap, but it's possible that there could be some.

But my original title for this book the whole time I was writing it was where the sky meets the sea, which I absolutely love that title. But my whole, my publishing team wasn't as wild about it as that was. 

Zibby: So that would have been good too, but where the sky meets the sea plays such an important role and unlocks so much.

So anyway, I was telling Christy last night, it's hard because some of the things I really want to talk about would give things away. So we're not going to talk about those things, but there's so much else to discuss. First of all, Beck's has these summer suppers, which she is known for. She is a curator of people.

She gets people. People get married, people make friendships, and she is sort of the ultimate hostess, but really a true connector. So, tell me about the value of that, and if you were connecting people, how would you go about it? Have you connected anyone? Have you made any marriages? Like, where do you fall in the line of that level of hostessing connection power. 

Kristy: So I do love to host things. I'm not as good of a host as Rebecca St. James, but I definitely grew up with like a grandmother and a mom and aunts and family and all of that who loves to entertain and, and in the very like Southern traditional way with China and the crystal and the silver and all the things.

And I mean some of my earliest memories are like being at my grandmother's house and, you know, Serving the water to her like whatever but I went I actually went to a dinner party a few years ago with it Um, Uh, uh, someone inspired the Rebecca St. James summer suppers. So I think there were twelve of us at the table, and everyone had his or her own server for the evening.

And they were all dressed in these like, you know, red blazers and buttons. And um, as the night wore on, one of the main rules was that it was, it was table conversation. So if you and I are sitting beside each other, we are not chit chatting. We are chatting as a team. was really interesting, um, it was people from all different places, all different ages really interesting, and as the night were on, and I started to realize that we all had some connection, you, see Chapel Hill, like one of the woman there was the first woman to ever graduate from the law school and, you know, there are all these different connections and I thought that is so fascinating because it was like, it gave us a kind of invisible thread.

So it CHAPLINE That's an interesting thing to play on in this story. How when you have that kind of invisible connection with people, you don't even necessarily know it, but maybe you feel drawn to them in some way. Um, so, yeah, I would love to be the kind of hostess that Rebecca St. James is. But there's a, there's a lot of, like, push tool in this book, and that's a little bit of one of the things I like to talk about is, Where is that line now between the types of entertaining that we want to still do and the modern lives that we actually live?

You know, we don't have eight hours to polish silver. 

Zibby: Well, we don't need the silver, but I love the idea of the 12 person summer suppers and I feel like you should launch that as part of this book. 

Kristy: Yeah. 

Zibby: You're going to. 

Kristy: I think so. 

Zibby: Great. Okay. All right. She's five steps ahead. Good. Glad to hear it. Another really cool part is when, Who's the modern day character again?

Keaton, right. When Keaton comes back and sees her grandparents home, it is frozen in time so much that there is a cigar at the end of the table. There's an open newspaper, open journal, like everything is frozen. And this came from something that you saw. 

Kristy: So, I told Zibby last night that I actually had to water down this part of the story, because the way that I wrote it originally was based on something real.

And my editor and my agent were like, this is completely unbelievable. And I was like, but it's, it's true. And they were like, well, you can't write because no one will believe that this actually happened. So when I was a little girl, there was a house in my neighborhood. The people that owned it, they kept up the outside of it.

So when you were driving down the street, it just looked like any other house. But, in actuality, the family had gotten in a big fight at Thanksgiving. Everyone left, and no one had been inside that house for more than 50 years. So, some of my parents best friends bought this house, obviously knowing that you're going to have to completely gut it, because no one's walked inside for 50 years.

And so I was one of the first people to go back in this house with them when they went to look at it. And you walked in, and, One of the things that I remember is a little growing, so shocked by is you would think that, like, the turkey on the table would have totally disintegrated. It was petrified. It was like wood on the table, because it had been there for so long.

And, like, the table was completely set. There were, like, newspapers open in the living room, like, people's shoes, like, dishes in the sink. I'm actually, it wasn't like squalor, it was just as though you had like the kids things were out like in their bedrooms where they had been playing. It was just as though you locked your house one day and you never came back.

It wasn't filthy or dirty, it was just frozen in time. And I never really thought about it that much because I was a kid, right, and I remember feeling kind of eerie, but the older that I got, it's, it's kind of a sad story to think about a house left in this sort of disrepair. And so that's part of the story too, is, you know, this house and how, Houses sort of hold our memories and our stories and our secrets and that becomes a part of the story as well.

Zibby: Yeah. Actually in something I haven't ever seen before you opened the book from the point of view of the house as narrator talk about that. 

Kristy: So this was like a contentious part of the story, so I'm glad you asked me about it. Not contentious, but it was just interesting the way it, it sort of. So, originally the story was just from Becks and Keaton's points of view, and I sent it to my agent first, and she was reading it, and I woke up in the middle of the night, and I was like, I should have a point of view of the house in this story.

And she called me that morning, and she was like, I read this book, I love it, but I think you should have a point of view of the house in this story. And I was like, oh my gosh, I woke up this morning and didn't do the same thing. So in one of the iterations of this book, there is actually a whole point of view from the house.

And it actually is, um, it was written as though, like, all the things that happen to us in our daily lives that put us in danger that we aren't even aware of. And so that was kind of the point of view of the house. But I ended up taking the whole thing out in the next draft, and I had a new editor at the very end of this process, and she said, you know, it'd be so cool if you had the point of view of the house in this book.

And I was like, well, I did, and you know, version three. And so we didn't have time to put the whole point of view of the house back in, but this book was literally, like, to print, and we stuck the, um, the prologue from the point of view of the house back in it. But I, I live, I live in a really old house. The house in this book is my house, for sure.

And I always feel like it's the keeper, the bearer of all these secrets and all of these lies that, you know, I'll never know about. 

Zibby: Can I read a little bit from that passage? 

Kristy: Sure. 

Zibby: Is that okay? 

Kristy: Yeah. 

Zibby: Okay. It says, The House on Sunset Lane Pioneers. Houses outlive the people they love. When my fellow clapboard houses on Sunset Lane in Beaufort, Beaufort, and I were being built by shipbuilders, just discovering this port, proud and young and new, I We had no idea what our futures would hold.

How could we? In 1769, we were the first houses on this street, as much pioneers as the fishermen, whalers, and shipping merchants, like the St. James family, my family, who made us their homes. But what we understood immediately was that it was our job to care for the families who lived within our wooden walls, often repurposed from the ships they came in on, who loved us, who filled us with furniture and bedding, who loved us.

Crotchety aging grandparents and howling beloved infants. It was our job to remember every word spoken, every breath breathed to store their secrets and successes, heartbreaks and joys and keep them safe. Here, on 7 Sunset Lane, the sun still glints on water that slowly, patiently laps the sandy shore, and boats come to port.

People marvel at us, these structures that have been here since before America was America. But I alone hold the distinction of still, 254 years after I was first built, being the St. James House. Other houses on the street have changed hands, been sold, filled with fresh wallpaper. Trendy paint colors and new people who don't care quite so much about the stories their houses hold.

That I have been owned by one family should be a point of pride, only it has been nearly 50 years since anyone has lived inside of me, since I have swayed with voices, singing Christmas carols, vibrated with dog paws, speeding down my halls, and cheered with friends blowing out birthday candles. But those aren't the moments I miss most.

What I long for is the sound of my door swinging open, the rush of sea breeze through cracked windows, my kitchen filled with the scents of cakes and cookies, roasts and chickens, the simple laughter of ordinary days. So nice. I want to be a house.

Okay, so you have this beautiful house and set the scene in a totally original way, and then all of a sudden we're plunged into a modern day. Coming of age, cheating person, like a whole, like, very, you know, of the moment situation mixed with this slow, lapping water history of this quiet southern town and the frenetic energy of New York City.

So talk about that dichotomy for a minute. 

Kristy: Well, first of all, I love the dichotomy of that, like, just as a human. I was saying this the other day, I was very tired and I flew into New York on Tuesday and I'd been gone and I'd come home for like 12 hours and repacked, got on a plane, I was like, I'm too tired to be doing this, and I got there and I was like, alive.

You know, you just come alive when you're in New York. And I think, you know, especially for a lot of Southern girls like me growing up, like, the big dream is to move to New York City and have the job and, you know, do the thing, So, it felt like a fun and kind of natural place for Keaton's story to start.

Um, but as you said, everything's kind of falling apart for her at the beginning of this book. And this company that she's kind of helped to build, she sort of learns the secret about, and it's, it's not good. And she doesn't want to go to Bedford. Like, she does not want to go to Bedford, put this house on the market.

But she finds herself in this position where she doesn't really have anywhere to go. And she thinks, okay. This will give me a couple of weeks to regroup, and, you know, she goes to this sleepy, little, quiet southern town that is the absolute antithesis of everything that she has been, you know, living in and working for, and finds herself surprisingly less adrift than she thinks she might, and actually, uh, her relationship with her brother is one of my favorite parts of this book.

If anyone's read Under the Southern Sky, her brother in this book is also in Under the Southern Sky, so there's a little, little, uh, little Easter egg for you there. But I just, I like the dichotomy of those two things and of that life and I think it would just be a really fun life to live honestly. 

Zibby: I was actually struck by how much time her brother was willing to spend on the phone with her.

I was like my conversations with my brother are so much shorter than this. 

Kristy: Well, I said his mom was a pretty good character in Under the Southern Sky, so it was good. Just like, keep it going. But he also, he's spending a lot of time on the phone with her, but partly because he thinks she's losing her mind.

He's like, who are you? Like, you are not a small town Susie. Get out of, like, the pimento cheese restaurant where everyone already knows your name, and, like, come back, and, you know, Get your life together, because she doesn't have a job, she doesn't have a plan, she doesn't have anything, and he is worried that she is, like, sinking into this, you know, abyss of this small town, and completely avoiding her regular life, but she kind of is, honestly, she kind of is.

Zibby: She is. And, maybe this is true, maybe not. Anderson, in the book, who's the boy next door, and we eventually meet the dad, and, with his real name, You know, sort of rumpled shirt and all that. He kind of reminded me, not that I've met your son, but he's on Instagram. And I'm like, that's kind of what her son looks like.

Is that supposed to be him in some way? 

Kristy: Yeah, this is probably not the main characters, but in some ways this is probably like the most autobiographical book I've ever written. Because it's in my town. And Anderson is totally my son at 10 years old. Uh, he's 12 now, but when I started this book, just like the things that he would say, you know, in the first scene, he comes in and he thinks he's a ghost.

Because she's like, he's like very scared. Still and standing there looking at, and he's like, the thing that you're scared of is in ghosts, it's, it's squirrels. He's like, do you want me to hit my pellet guy and then you to shoot them for you? And she's like, no, no, I don't. But that's completely, my son would've been like, oh, I can handle, I can take care of this problem for you.

But he's just, yeah, he's a real little outdoorsy little boy, loves to fish and you know, do all the things. And he really strikes up this friendship with Keaton that she's not expecting. And in the first page, she's listening, she's like, I'm not good with children. Like, I don't really know what to say to you.

And he's like, it's fine..

Zibby: And you also have a dog, which is your dog in real life too, named Salt. What is the trick to writing dogs well in books? As, not, where did she go? My dog disappeared, but she was, oh, she's in the corner. But um, what is the secret to writing dogs? And I have a dog, by the way, in Blank, named Dianium. Which, you know, doesn't play too huge a role.

But tell me, tell me about Salt. 

Kristy: Well, Salt actually served a really good purpose in this story because for the first few chapters of this book, Keaton is alone. And it's hard to pull that off, it's hard to have a character who is starting a book by herself, because there's not a lot of dialogue in the book.

But it also didn't make a lot of sense for her to be with someone else, because I needed her to have these moments of walking into this house for the first time. She needed to be a little afraid of it and very shocked by what she was seeing. And so I think Saul really tempered that because she can kind of talk to Saul.

Saul is, you know, grabbing things he shouldn't and running around the house with them as my dog absolutely would. Really, there was no secret. It was always like, what would Saul do in this situation? Wreak havoc. Okay, perfect. And that's what this Saul would do too. But yeah, I have told Divya this, but I've never had a dog before.

And I did not want a dog. And my husband was like, You know, we really need a dog. Like, we have a, our son needs a dog. Our little boy needs a dog. He finally wore me down and I was like, I am not taking care of this dog. I am not dealing with this dog. This is your dog. Like, I texted my friends a picture of me with like the puppy when we got him and they were like, it's the apocalypse.

Like, that's how much I was like, I'm never getting a dog. And, of course. I am obsessed with this dog. The dog is like the love of my life. We are together all the time, at every moment. I cried like four times listening to Tommy, like, Oh my god, Salt's gonna leave me one day. I'm gonna be all wet. I mean, you know, it's crazy.

You do not know how much they're gonna love you and how much you're gonna love them. And they just work their way into your heart. And so, there's a lot of that in this book. 

Zibby: One thing that the book does well too is sort of institutional memory and community memory and how as Keaton is walking around, Michael Keaton, okay, uh, It's a weird name.

No, it's cute. So as Keaton is walking around the town, she starts running into people who knew her grandparents and who look at her like she's the one who's the ghost. And what does it mean to have so many people know of you but not know you, and it's like, Hold all those memories and, of course, gradually they start coming out.

Tell me a little bit about that and some of those characters and even the role of doctors in this book, which also plays a role. 

Kristy: Um, yeah, the institutional memory is actually something that, I read a lot of drafts of this book before I even turned it in. And the first one that I wrote, It has a lot to do with that, kind of that ancestral memory too, of these things that we always sort of feel, but we can't really explain why, and then learning something about our past, or maybe our ancestry, makes us think, oh my goodness, that's why I'm afraid of that, or that's why I feel that way, or that's why I'm scared of that.

I have this weird connection to this or something. And I do think, like not to get too woo woo, but I do think that exists in some sort of like very, you know, basic DNA kind of level. But in terms of the town, I think living, growing up in a small town and moving to several small towns in my life, is It has really struck me how everybody knows what you're doing, even when you don't, right?

And I'm very used to that, and I like it, but I can see how as an outsider it can be very unsettling for you. But I think one of my very favorite parts of this book is that, Keegan gets kind of taken in by these four older women, they call themselves the Dockhouse Dames because they have coffee together every morning at the Dockhouse on the water at Bighorn.

And they sort of take her in, and they all knew her grandmother. They were much younger than her grandmother at the time, but They were there when this story was unfolding and when this disappearance happened and they all sort of had a theory about what actually happened to Rebecca in Townsend and they're not going to tell Keaton because, you know, they don't want to like put that on her but they've become her best friends and kind of this, they're like the guides for her through this journey of finding out, you know, not only who her grandparents were but also who she is and what her next steps are going to look like.

But that institutional memory is so funny because I remember, like, I've lived places before where, you know, we would have lived in a house for 15 years and there were some other families that lived there, you know, for 30 years before that. But the house was always, you know, like our house in Kinston will always be the Ettinger house because they're the ones that built it.

And they'd be like, Oh, you live in the Ettinger house. And like our house in Beaufort is the Thomas house and like it will always be the Thomas house because they're the ones that built it. So it is neat to kind of think about that in the history. I love that and I really wanted to include that in this book.

So thanks for noticing! 

Zibby: Anytime! You know, I'm struck when you were talking about this, like, here it is, your 11th book, and you're like, I've already done these drafts, and this was this point of view, and then I took this out, and I think there's a perception that once you sort of get going at writing novels, maybe that's not going to keep happening, but it sounds like it was.

Is it book specific, and does this happen all the time? Each book you write, you do the multiple drafts, or was this more revision, and does it ever get easier? 

Kristy: So it's, weirdly, I think this was the easiest book I've ever revised with my editor. Like, it was very quick and easy once it got to her. Um, and I think part of that is because I rewrote this book so many times, and because it was inspired by some stories that were personal to me, I think I felt more of the to get it right.

I also think part of the, the multiple drafts was, sometimes when you're writing a story that you're close to, there's this inclination that it has to be a certain way and like originally I was going to set this book in Key West because that's where my great aunt and uncle lived and one of my cousins sent me this picture of my great aunt and uncle fishing with Ernest Hemingway.

Oh my God. Like that has to be in the book. So there are all these things that were really important to me that were in this book and as I got into it, I thought. Well, this isn't really gonna work. This isn't serving the story. And so I think part of it is having, when you're telling a story you know, when you're telling a story that you want to kind of maintain the history of, but you're writing it in fiction, it just doesn't work.

I mean, a real story is not, is not always made for the best narrative. And so I think that was part of it. I also originally wrote it, You know what happens the entire time, but you just don't exactly know how. Um, and when I got to the end, I thought, that's not right. I don't think that's gonna serve the reader as much as not totally knowing what happened.

But I was nervous to delve into that too, because I'm not, like, a mystery writer. And I mean, you might figure out on page two what happens, and it's completely fine. Like, it's not, it's not a mystery. It's not, that's not the point of the story. The point of the story is these two women, their lives, and how they intersect.

Bye. I had never tackled that before and was very hesitant to do so. And so I think that was part of it. It just, it was different for me a little bit and I wanted to get it right so I just kept rewriting and rewriting and rewriting until I felt like it was where it was supposed to be. And so yeah, it never gets easier necessarily, but I also think finding the best version of the story that you want to tell and writing your next best book, I think that for me is always something that I'm trying to do and it's always.

The joy in it for me is thinking, okay, I did something that I didn't think I could do and I think it worked out. Okay. 

Zibby: I mean, we have to take risks sometimes to improve, right? Otherwise you're just doing the same thing. Like it's probably fun and challenging for you, even though it's scary. Is it? 

Kristy: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Yeah, no, definitely. It's, it's, it's definitely fun and challenging. And I think, you know, like writing about the wedding veil, that was historical fiction and it was about these two real women and in Asheville, here we are, but it was about Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt and the Biltmore estate. And that was.

because it was something I had never done, but I felt like I was supposed to tell that story, and I didn't know why, and it just would not let me go. Like, I couldn't sleep at night, and I was thinking about it all the time, and it kept being in my path. And I was like, okay, I'm just going to do it. And it was terrifying, because I'd never done it before.

And I thought, everyone's going to know that I don't know what I'm doing, and it's going to be terrible. But I think stretching that muscle helps you to just, you know for the next thing and the next thing. 

Zibby: You wrote that book so you could say at the Asheville retreat that you wrote that book set in Asheville.

It was all for us. 

Kristy: It was said that Zippy would invite me. 

Zibby: Yeah. Yeah. That's your ticket here. It was only that. Tell us about your Ian book coming next? 

Kristy: Yeah. Okay. Well, can we take a root vote? We're having title issues with this book. What do y'all think about the title? Forced Family Fund? It's not gonna hurt my feelings if you don't like it.

If you like it, raise your hand. 

Zibby: Okay. Okay. That was, that was about everybody. 

Kristy: It was, it was a, it's a pretty, pretty large 80%, so it might be called Forced Family Fund. It might be called something else, but it's coming out in 2025. And it is about a mom yoon, which if you've never heard of that, it is a, a mom commune.

But it's kind of a joke. They're not like growing vegetables and like, although that sounds really great, but you know, I think when you think of a commune, you have a very specific. But, um, it's about this group of women who find themselves all in, you know, difficult situations and end up. I'm moving to a house together, and with their children.

So, it was a really sad book to write. I'm not going to talk to you about it yet, because I'm still in the editing stage of something. What is this book really about? But, I think what it's really about is how public perception shapes our lives in so many ways. And, there are all these rumors swirling around about this house and the women who are in it, and all the sinister things that are going on.

But really, like, they were just all in a bad situation, and they found themselves in places where they needed each other. But these women are all very complicated, and, you know. So Charlotte is one of my protagonists and she, her husband, has been wrongfully accused of a crime, although at the beginning she doesn't know if he's been wrongfully accused or if he's actually guilty.

And uh, these women are actually really a critical key to uh, proving her husband's innocence in the end, which is kind of interesting and something that frankly I was not expecting to happen. And then there's Alice who has several husbands who have passed away and everyone in town thinks that she's killed them.

And. We find out a lot about her and her past and some surprising things that happened to her along the way. And then there is a 15 year old protagonist who, um, I absolutely love, I loved getting to write her voice and, and her father is the one who's been wrongfully accused of the crime. So, her life has obviously changed very drastically, but I thought it was important to hear from one of the children that's actually living in this very unusual situation that sort of works for joining us. 

Zibby: I love that. That I can't wait to read. By the way, there's a store in East Hampton and they've been selling napkins, like cocktail napkins that say forced family fun and also like those plastic cups that are kind of tinted or whatever that say forced family fun. And that's like the go to Thanksgiving gift in the area.

So, um, you already have your swag ready, ready to go. 

Kristy: I don't even have to do anything. It's fantastic. 

Zibby: Going back to the summer suppers, I am volunteering myself to host a summer supper in my town with like 12 people. And I feel like everybody in this room should host a summer supper with 12 people and they take copies of your book and they invite 12 interesting people who aren't going to know the connection of why they were invited until the very end.

And we should all post about it. And there you go. That's 12 times however many. I think that would be really fun. Thank you. I love that. Is anybody up for that? Yeah. Okay. 


Okay. Parting advice to aspiring authors. 

Kristy: No, I'm just kidding. No, I just, looking back, it is such a journey to being published and to doing the thing and getting your book in the hands of readers, but I think it's just always remembering the joy of it and writing a story for yourself.

And I think sometimes it's really easy to get caught up in writing what seems to be the hot new thing or what you think the industry is going to want. And the reality is, the industry is always changing, and the minute you get that book written, they're going to want something different. So I think the most important thing is, you know, telling an authentic story that only you can tell.

And whether that means, you know, Not everyone can write about their own dog. You know, like, that was a joke, everyone can write about their own dog. But I think whatever it is that just makes the story personal for you is what really makes it authentic and what gives you that voice that's different from anyone else's.

And, you know, as Tommy said earlier, honestly, it's, it's getting, it's getting in the chair and writing books. And Ella and I were talking about this last night. I think there's also, Sometimes there's this thought process that you have to have these big blocks of time, and you have to have this ritual, and you have to have all these things, and, you know, oh my goodness, she's writing books in medical school residency, which is unbelievable, and I wrote my debut, Dear Carolina, when I had like a two day old baby, it was when I started, and I wrote that whole thing when, like, I was with him, and I was crazy, and everything was nuts, in these little, like, 20 and 30 minute spurts, and I think you don't have to have that.

The perfect. set up in the perfect amount of time. You just have to be able to come to the page every day and tell the story that makes you happy. 

Zibby: I love that. Christy, thank you so much for coming back on Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books. Congratulations. 

Kristy: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me yet again.

Zibby: Amazing.

Kristy Woodson Harvey, A HAPPIER LIFE

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