Bestselling Author


The Women by Kristin Hannah

It’s the 3rd anniversary of Historical Happy Hour. And my guest this month is the amazing, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah, to discuss her latest novel, THE WOMEN.

From master storyteller Kristin Hannah, bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds, comes the story of a turbulent, transformative era in America: the 1960s. The Women is that rarest of novels—at once an intimate portrait of a woman coming of age in a dangerous time and an epic tale of a nation divided by war and broken by politics, of a generation both fueled by dreams and lost on the battlefield.

Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice award for best fiction in the same year.  Additionally, it was a selection of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club in 2023. It was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.  In 2018, The Great Alone became an instant New York Times #1 bestseller and was named the Best Historical Novel of the Year by Goodreads. A former attorney, Kristin lives in the Pacific Northwest.

In this episode of Historical Happy Hour, Jane Healey talks with Kristin Hannah about her book “The Women,” which focuses on the Vietnam War’s female heroes. They discuss the book’s inspiration, research, character development, and its impact on veterans. The conversation also touches on potential film adaptations, the blend of fact and fiction, and advice for writers.

Here’s what we covered:

  • [00:00:43] Introduction to Kristin Hannah.
  • [00:01:57] “The Women” inspiration and Vietnam War connection.
  • [00:04:05] Research insights on nurses’ war experiences.
  • [00:06:14] Creating characters from real-life stories.
  • [00:10:12] Comparing Vietnam era to current times.
  • [00:12:09] Discussing the book’s film potential.
  • [00:17:46] Fact and fiction in historical novels.
  • [00:20:16] Hannah’s writing evolution.
  • [00:22:15] Writing and publishing tips.
  • [00:24:48] Book’s impact on Vietnam veterans.


[00:00:43] Jane: Oh, welcome, Kristin. Thank you so much. I’m so sorry for the technical delays. I’m so sorry to everyone who was sending me emails.

So thank you so much for coming on. I feel like you need no introduction, but I’m going to give you one anywaay, and then dive right into questions. So Kristin Hannah is the award winning and best selling author of more than 20 novels, including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical Fiction Novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice Award for Best Fiction.

so much, Kristin. It was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick in 2023 and named a best book of the year by Amazon, iTunes, BuzzFeed, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2018, The Great Alone became an instant New York Times number one bestseller and was named the best historical fiction novel of the year by Goodreads.

The Women came out on February 6th and is also a number one New York Times bestseller. Congratulations and welcome. Thank you so much for coming on.

[00:01:49] Kristin: Thank you. I, I can’t miss a historical happy hour. How can I walk away?

[00:01:54] Jane: I’m definitely going to be having a glass of wine after this. I am.

[00:01:57] Kristin: I’ve got my campaign right here, so I’m ready to go.

To dive right in In your author notes, you said that you first thought of writing a story about the Vietnam War in 97. So talk about why you felt you were finally ready to write this story now and the overall premise of this amazing novel.

This is a story about the nurses who served in Vietnam what they dealt with In service in the war and how it was like to come home to a very changed and and politically divisive America.

So that’s is the book in a nutshell and, yes I first pitched this idea to my editor in 1997 and the reason is, I think that I was a child, during the Vietnam War. And so it cast a big shadow over my life. There were three news. Stations back then, so we were all really watching the war and watching what was going on and listening to Walter Cronkite and my best girlfriend her father served and he was shot down and was missing.

And so back then we wore these prisoner of war bracelets, little silver bracelets that had the serviceman’s name and date that they were missing on it. And so for years, I, his name was like in front of me all the time. And so I really wanted to write about this time period. But I never quite nailed.

Exactly what the story was, and it was actually in March of 2020 during the pandemic, when we were locked down in Seattle that. I, I was watching the news and it felt so much like the Vietnam era. We were so politically divided and there was so much anger and political divisiveness.

And so that was the first piece of the puzzle. And then I was, watching our nurses and doctors and medical personnel who were on the front line of this you Of this pandemic and watching how much they were sacrificing for all of us. And I think that’s when the novel really came together. And I thought, okay, it’s time.


[00:04:05] Jane: Beautiful. I was wondering about the bracelet. I know you mentioned that in your notes as well. About the POW bracelet. So talk to us about your research. You’re known for your meticulous research and this book is no exception. What are some of the most surprising things you learned when researching both the war and the nurses’ experiences in particular?

I’d love to hear about that.

[00:04:28] Kristin: Obviously the research in this book was really daunting. It’s not the first time I’ve done daunting research. Certainly The Nightingale was a terrifying, research dilemma when I started that one. But this one I knew would be even more difficult in a way because my, so many of my readers were alive during this period.

And so I knew that, if I made critical or important mistakes not only would I be outed but it would diminish sort of the importance of the book. So it was frightening and I was lucky that there was so much, information available out there. And like with many of my books, the most important thing I find over the course of the research are memoirs.

And in this case, there were four or five memoirs from nurses who served in Vietnam and came home, and they are listed in the back of the book. I each and every one of them I recommend really strongly, but one of them in particular was a book called Healing Wounds by Diane Carlson Evans.

And she really became my, godmother. throughout this process. She was really my gateway into these remarkable women. And for people who are on my Instagram page and Facebook, they know that I guess last November, I went to DC for Veterans Day with Diane and the nurses.

And so to see You know, 100 female vets standing at their own memorial. It was one of the most powerful and really heart expanding experiences of my life.

[00:06:14] Jane: Oh, I can’t, I can’t imagine because I know there’s some, I’m not giving away any spoilers, but there are a couple moments like that in the book, and they just, ugh, so moving.

So you mentioned that the Vietnam War is more recent history and you, in your author’s notes, you also mentioned that you interviewed several men and women who served, and that they helped you shape, The narrative shaped the story. And I was just curious, the main character is Frankie. It’s basically from her perspective and her experiences and her best friends were Ethel and Barb over in Vietnam with her and showed her the way and lifted her up.

And so were any of the women that you interviewed were Frankie, Ethel and Barb based on any of those women?

[00:06:55] Kristin: They were not they’re all entirely fictional characters, but they’re very much based on the facts and and the memoirs that, that these women presented and several of the nurses, or I would say probably most of the nurses that went over there were like Frankie, they were young They were fairly inexperienced nurses, fresh out of college or nursing diploma programs.

Many of them came from really good families and who were very proud of their World War II service. And many of them went over out of a real sense of patriotism. This idea that they wanted to help their country. This is the generation that, and I think it’s in the book, that really took to heart, John F.

Kennedy’s ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country. And so I wanted to show that Frankie was very like, so many of the women who went over there and they, went over with a shiny idealism and a naivete. And then came home to a country that, didn’t give them a ticker tape parade, didn’t welcome them back as heroes, and, quite the opposite expected them to just disappear into the landscape because, Vietnam was a subject that people didn’t want to talk about.

Yeah, and that was,

[00:08:24] Jane: I remember as a kid like seeing the commercials of these Vietnam vets in wheelchairs and I’m talking about how they were received when they get home, got home and how depressed they were. I don’t remember ever seeing any women any Vietnam women.

And so when I was reading the book and I was reading your notes I was, it was really interesting to them. One of these quotes from your author’s notes is that when the Vietnam vets who are women, the nurses, as well as Red Cross civilian women who were served overseas, I think you said it was over 10, 000 women.

It’s hard to get an exact number, right? Which is not as, certainly not as many as the men by far, but still you said that many of them, many of these women keenly remember being told often that there were no women in Vietnam. And I was, I feel like maybe I shouldn’t be shocked by that, but I was completely stunned by that.

Were you surprised?

[00:09:13] Kristin: No, I was. I was absolutely stunned and I kept thinking to myself as I would come across this in research, I would think to myself, how is that even possible? We watched MASH. And basically, we all know, I think if you have any kind of historical awareness at all, that there have been women and nurses serving in, war situations forever.

How they kept thinking that there were no women in Vietnam I don’t know, except for, the fact that, they were in hospitals, a lot of them, and in pockets. And then again, in terms of the Vietnam vets in general, all of them were treated badly when they came home.

And so there wasn’t anything set in place to care for the men or the women, but the women were even a further level of invisibility, because nobody even, I knew that they were there even though they should have right right. Yeah.

[00:10:12] Jane: And I mean you know, again this is not giving me away spoilers but you talk about Frankie going to the VA to get support and help when she was having a tough time.

They turned her away like that was so heartbreaking to me that and that must have happened right like just

[00:10:29] Kristin: yeah, it’s absolutely like I said you can’t believe it’s true and I had to confirm this with several nurses, because I kept thinking how can that possibly be true. Yeah, unbelievable.

[00:10:41] Jane: And you mentioned in the beginning of, when we started talking how politically polarized the U. S. was during and right after the Vietnam War, and you can’t, when you’re reading the book, you can’t help, think about the parallels in today’s political climate. And so in addition to being moved by the story and entertained by the story what do you think people can learn from reading about the politics and the craziness of the Vietnam War era?


[00:11:07] Kristin: It’s one of those things where like the way I felt after the four wins, it is, I think, somewhat comforting to look back and see that we have gone through these really, difficult divisive polarizing times and have found our way back to. The America that we all want, which is, the idea of us being stronger together than us being, factions that are tearing each other apart.

And so I do take comfort from that, but I also wish that we learned more from history more often because we do tend to keep repeating it. The one thing about this book that I will say is I can’t imagine ever a world in which we would treat veterans coming home from war like this again. I think that is definitely a lesson that has been learned.

[00:12:09] Jane: I completely agree. I think I, I can’t imagine that either. And I think it’s because of the way the Vietnam vets were treated when they returned. It’s funny. I follow you on Facebook and your writing always feels very cinematic to me. And I know that Warner brothers. bought the rights for the women before it you know, even was published.

Huge congratulations on that. I had already planned on asking this question and then I saw that you asked it on Facebook. But so who do you, who would you love to see play Frankie and Ethel and Barb? There was some great great suggestions on your Facebook page. I am rooting for Carrie Mulligan.

I think she’s great and Julia Garner. I think she’s also excellent. So that’s my great,

great choices. I would say that, I don’t really think about that quite so much, but I can say that what my readers seem to be telling me Is that the front runners or the people that they think, most like them are I hear Florence Pugh and Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence.

I hear those three a lot for Frankie. Yeah. Interestingly enough, everyone seems to be saying, is his name Glenn Powell? Yeah.

His name. I saw


[00:13:25] Kristin: Everybody’s picking him for Jamie. Yeah. And I, what,

[00:13:31] Jane: sign him up. I love it.

[00:13:32] Kristin: Yeah. It’s just fun. And I’m really excited at the opportunity just to see, this strong a piece of women’s and American history, on the screen at the same time.

Yes, it’s so exciting.

Another mention on your page was for Barb was Zendaya, and I was like, oh, that would be awesome.

Yeah. Everybody’s saying that. Yeah.

[00:13:57] Jane: That’s a good one. I have to ask because I know we have a lot of Nightingale fans, a lot of huge fans. I’m going to send you these comments afterwards because they’re all so wonderful.

I’ll make sure to check them out. What is the latest? Developments with the production of the movie version of the nightingale.

[00:14:16] Kristin: Yes, of course. I hear this a lot. I think about this a lot too. So it’s not just my readers. It’s me too. The easy answer is that nightingale was about.

A week from starting to film with Ellen Dakota fanning in, in March of 2020 and so we were shut down like everybody else and then they waited 2 years and, started thinking that they could gear back up and they were just about to gear back up and the writers went on strike. And then the actors went on strike.

And so it’s only been really in the last probably four or five months that we can start getting, back into that. And so all I can say is I’m an eternal optimist, but we have a beautiful script, we have a great director, and I truly believe that 2024 is the Nightingale’s year.

[00:15:16] Jane: Oh, that’s excellent news.

Now, did you have did you participate in the screen and writing the screenplay or did you leave that to someone else completely?

[00:15:22] Kristin: I did not.

 I wouldn’t say I didn’t participate because I did read some versions, various versions of it. And I did give input, but I did not actually write it. I think that.

It’s really important to, for readers and for writers, to understand that these are two different art forms. And when they bring Nightingale to the screen, or if they bring the women to the screen, it’s never going to be the fullness of the book. I don’t care how many episodes you have.

And so it’s always going to be A version of the book. And so what you’re really hoping for, I think, is really smart people who understand what the point of the book is and are trying to make the best film version of that possible.

Definitely. It’s so exciting that I can’t wait for both of them.

I have a few writing related questions now that I ask all authors that come on and then I’ll remind everyone to put their questions for Kristin in the chat or in the Q& A and I will do my best to get through as many as I can without keeping her here all night. Thank you. How do you strike a balance between fact and fiction in your storytelling?

And is there any, are there any strict rules that you adhere to

overall? The hope is that I, never make an error and never bend The historical record to fit my narrative in a way that is problematic or offensive or disrespectful. That’s definitely the overarching thing when I was younger.

I was very keenly tied to what actually happened and when. And I find that as I’ve gotten older and as I’ve written more books, I’m a lot more interested in truth than fact. And what I mean by that is, sometimes something isn’t quite exactly accurate. But it feels like the truth of the time, and that’s really what I’m looking for.

If I actually change things, which I did a little bit in the Four Winds, I will usually tell people in the author’s notes so they know. Got it.

[00:17:46] Jane: Okay. That’s excellent. Excellent advice. That’s something I still struggle with. Yeah. So this is a sweeping historical story. And I’m really curious about your writing process.

I always ask authors, are you a plotter? Are you a pantser? Are you somewhere in between? Do you use Scrivener? That’s the other question I’m always curious about you.

[00:18:07] Kristin: I do not even know what Scrivener is. Oh no! I write longhand on yellow legal pads. Do you really? Yeah. At some point it gets entered into the computer, obviously, and I do usually from about, I don’t know, maybe draft six on or something might be on the computer, but the bulk of the writing and any new scene being written is always yellow legal pads.

And my process I, I’ve gone through in the 35 years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve gone through a lot of different. Processes as my books have changed, I started in historical romance and then I went to, I guess what they were calling at the time, contemporary women’s fiction. And then I went to what I consider to be just, general fiction and then historical fiction and each of those.

Sort of iterations of my life has had its own process. So in the first, when I was doing romances and I was a young stay at home, mom, I outlined everything and I wrote exactly what I intended to write. And then when I, when I started writing school hours, school days, and the early women’s fiction, I still did a lot of outlining.

And then I wrote what I. What I intended to write with a little bit of play, and it really started with about Firefly Lane, I think. When I started writing what I consider to be, general fiction, that’s when my outlining process stopped being as valuable as the finding my way and following what was working.

That’s what I started doing then. So what I would do is all the research, do the outline. A really detailed synopsis. And then I would sit down and accidentally write a different book. And that’s just simply the way I do it. And it’s a horrible, depressing process. And what I do is I follow, like I said, I follow what is working, not what I wanted to work or what I thought would work.

[00:20:16] Jane: That’s so interesting because I feel like a lot of times Authors start with not doing an outline at all, and then go to the outline as they progress in their career, and that’s just the opposite. But you, you’ve been doing this a really long time now. You just trust your instincts,

[00:20:30] Kristin: every time I complain to my girlfriend about it, she’s look, it’s working, just go with it. And so that’s what I tell myself. It’s not a great process, but it’s working. Exactly.

[00:20:43] Jane: This is a question just for my own personal. Does it ever get easier? Because it’s still so much fun.

[00:20:49] Kristin: It is. Here’s what’s interesting.

What gets easier. Is writing sentences, I stopped being, I just write, I just sit down and I write my stories. And so the writing part of it for the first draft is actually easier. The corollary to that is. The books are getting harder. I’m asking more of myself. And so the creation of the novels is harder.

And I’m like everyone else, by the way, when I finish one book and I go to start another, I have that moment where I think, Maybe I don’t have it anymore. Maybe that was the last one, and I’ve just been really lucky because, and the way you combat that, of course, as a novelist is the same thing that you do at book one.

You sit down, and you write, and then you write the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and you trust in the process and the journey. That

[00:21:53] Jane: is, that is encouraging because I feel like I’m on book five and I’m like, how do I even do this again? I have no idea.

Starting from scratch. So speaking of authors, aspiring authors, I know we have aspiring authors in the audience. What’s the best advice you can give them about writing and getting published?

[00:22:15] Kristin: !Those are two things. So my best advice for writing. It’s what I say to my son, who is an aspiring novelist.

It’s what I say to everyone. If you dream of something, writing or otherwise, the key decision, the key moment is beginning is making the decision to begin to sit down and start writing and then, of course, you have to remake that decision every single day. You have to continue to sit down.

You have to continue to write. To learn to study and understand that the only way you really fail in writing is if you stop is if you give up or quit. Because I’m a believer that if you are writing novels and you’re finishing them you’re doing it and you’re not selling or you haven’t yet sold.

The truth is that the writing itself is cathartic and it’s important and. It’s good for your life. It’s good for your soul. So I’m a big believer in start writing, keep writing, don’t quit. And of course read.

Are you ready to share what you’re working on now? I know it’s like, when it come out 3 weeks ago.

I’m not working on anything Jane. Nothing. Good. I wish I were, believe me.

[00:23:46] Jane: What is the best way readers can find out what’s happening with you and then I’ll take some questions from the audience. But I know people always love to know is it, do you prefer newsletter Facebook? What’s your favorite medium?

[00:23:56] Kristin: Honestly, the, I’m not a great, I’m not technological superstar or anything. I really like Instagram and that is the place. Instagram and my Instagram stories are where I’m the most, it relaxed and interactional. So that’s where you’re most likely to get anything.

I do have a website i’m not on twitter. I’m not on threads or any of that, but instagram facebook and my website Excellent.

[00:24:27] Jane: Okay, I’m ready to take some questions and everyone, I will do my best. There’s like hundreds and hundreds of questions and comments. I’ll start with Sharon person who I don’t think has ever missed a historical happy hour in three years.

Sharon, you’re the best. Now that you’re on book tour, have you met anyone with a story about being in Vietnam that surprised you or something that you didn’t find in your research? That’s a great question.

[00:24:48] Kristin: You know it this going on book tour with this book has been unlike Any tour i’ve ever done before and if you guys are on my instagram page, you’ve seen these pictures Of people showing up to hear about that But what you don’t see so much is almost at every tour stop.

They have you know a q a section and I believe every single event female Vietnam vets came up to the microphone and had something to say. At my first event in Seattle a woman came up to the podium, Seattle in Los Angeles, a woman came up who I had met when I was in DC. And, she said, hi, Kristin.

I just wanted to say, hello, I’m here with my nurse friends. And she pointed up into the balcony and The other four nurses she was with stood up, and the room I don’t know, 1, 700 people gave them a spontaneous standing ovation, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. It was so powerful, and I just saw, that sort of thing over and over, and it just tells me that.

Vietnam vets in general and their children and their families, they have. Lived in silence for a very long time. And I think it’s so great to open the dialogue and see them.

[00:26:20] Jane: I agree. So powerful. I meant to I did some events at the Red Cross a few years ago and there was a Red Cross Club mobile girl.

On one of them, it was during zoom and she had been in Vietnam and I wish I meant to look up her name before this because her stories were incredible and I’m sure you will probably, meet her along the way on these tours because she just had some incredible stories and was such an inspirational person.

[00:26:44] Kristin: Yeah, these women are amazing. Just stunningly, you think about, and if once you read the women, one of the things that was important to me and it’s a tough segment when she’s in Vietnam, I don’t shy back from what it was like. And the reason is because yeah, one of the things the nurses heard when they came home in terms of not getting help for their kind of, emotional trauma was you weren’t in combat.

And it was so important for me to say, look this is combat in my book and, we need to help all of our veterans when they come home. from any war. Oh, absolutely.

[00:27:22] Jane: Absolutely. Speaking of the title do you have a say in choosing the title? Did you ever consider another title?

Was it always called The Women?

[00:27:31] Kristin: It, we considered a million other titles. We really did. I’m not very good at titles in general. And and this one we just could not come up with it. I had pitched the women early on, but what everyone said, and it made sense to me in a vacuum, like what women, what does this even say?

And, how does it tell anybody what the book is about? And I kept saying that’s the cover’s job, I think this is really the right title because this book is about the women. And it was my brilliant editor who came up with The Missing, The Forgotten, The Brave. And then, The Women Made Sense, and we ran with it.

[00:28:15] Jane: And the cover is beautiful. And also feel cinematic. Did you do you have much say in that? And I do as well.

[00:28:21] Kristin: Yeah. Yeah. It’s 1 of those things and for the aspiring, authors and for new novelists. I put in my 15 years where I didn’t have any any input. And I do think it’s important for writers to really Push or lean in to their own publication and to fight for, the title that you want and the cover, the best cover that you can get, given the circumstances, because title and cover, is a huge part of what makes a book, fail or succeed.


[00:28:59] Jane: Yes, I completely agree. Another great question from Sarah Vogel. What has been your favorite book that you’ve written and why? Do you have a favorite?

[00:29:08] Kristin: It sounds so self serving, but it really is The Women. And I think it’s because this is the first time that it feels like every single thing I wanted to get on the page, I got on the page.

And I’m just so happy to be part of Shining a light on these women and their forgotten service. So that’s the truth. But to, to be a fairer answer, I will go with the Nightingale, Winter Garden and Firefly Lane. Another this

[00:29:39] Jane: is another great question from Cassandra Powers, do you know the ending of your novel?

I know you, just explain your process. Do you have a rough idea of the ending when you’re working the way that you work in terms of your process or you just feel your way along towards the ending?

[00:29:55] Kristin: I always know the final scene when I sit down to write. And of all the things that change, which are many that ending scene tends more often than not to stay.

Because what that is, of course, that’s the culmination. That’s the moment where whatever my protagonist could not do or did not get at the start of the novel, this is the moment where, where she finds her voice and comes into her own. So I usually know what that is. More questions coming in.

[00:30:31] Jane: What are you reading right now?

That’s a question that’s come up a couple times. What are you reading yourself?

[00:30:36] Kristin: I just read Chris Whitaker’s All the Colors of the Dark. Which I love. I love him. Yeah, he’s great. Yeah, I first discovered him, I think, with my last book. They sent me his ARC. And I read Carmelante’s Cold Victory, which I really enjoyed.

I am sitting down next to read Tammy Hoag’s Bad Liar.

[00:30:59] Jane: Excellent. I am reading Finding Margaret Fuller by Alison Pataki because she’s coming on next month. I’ve just started that and I’m really excited. I want to give a plug for Alison. Other questions here. Oh, is there there was a question I missed about The Great Alone.

Is there any movie in the works for

[00:31:16] Kristin: that? No, the answer is a solid maybe. We’re interested in it, and I think it lends itself to a limited series, and we’re working on that. So I’m hopeful. I just actually watched what was the True Detective? Night Country, which had a similar vibe, and I really loved it.

[00:31:39] Jane: Yeah, I’m on the last episode. That was so good. Anything with Jodie Foster. Anyway, please. Yeah. How long does it take to research your books? This question is from Jennifer Bailey. That’s a great question.

[00:31:53] Kristin: The answer is the easy answer is a year is usually dedicated to researching and choosing an idea.

For me, the hardest part is choosing an idea, which is why I laugh when you say, what are you working on? Because. I need an idea desperately right now and I don’t have one. And so I’m eating up time looking for something that I care about as much as I, cared about when I started The Women.

[00:32:21] Jane: Someone asked, are you going to come to the Boston area? I’m outside of Boston, so I selfishly have to ask this question. Laura Cushing, will you come to Boston on your book tour? I know you’ve listed a ton, like you’re super busy, which I’m so appreciative of you coming tonight.

[00:32:35] Kristin: I’m not going to buy.

I was in Boston on my last book tour. I was with the Lisa Gardner. We had an absolute blast talking about stuff. So maybe, probably not Boston in the near future. I do love Nashville, by the way, someone just said that I do love Nashville.

[00:32:53] Jane: One final question, was there, because I love this too, because I think with research sometimes there’s so much of it that you want to include, but you don’t.

And Marilee asks, was there any research you wanted to include, but just couldn’t find a way to justify it and put it in the story?

[00:33:09] Kristin: I can’t think of something like that for the women, but there was something in The Four Winds, which was my last book, and that was set during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, and there was a story about a woman named Sonora Babb that I came across who had Who had worked in the migrant camps in California to help people come in and she took notes about everything about them.

And found out everything and help them, acclimate. While she was writing her great American novel about the Dust Bowl and the migration and. Unbeknownst to her, she’s giving all of these notes for her novel, she’s giving them to her boss so that he can keep records. And unbeknownst to her, he is giving those notes to John Steinbeck while he is writing The Grapes of Wrath.

And so she writes her novel, and she sells it to the great Bennett Cerf, the editor at Random House, and they think it’s going to be, revolutionary. And then The Grapes of Wrath comes out. And she is not able to publish her novel for 20 years.

[00:34:27] Jane: That’s brutal. Isn’t that brutal? That is brutal. I, oh, that, yeah, I can see why you’d want to get that in.

I don’t want to take up any more of your time. This was amazing. It’s such an honor to meet and talk with you. You’re such an inspiration. I will send you all these comments because some of them are amazing. I would love to.

[00:34:47] Kristin: Thank you so much. This was wonderful and I know I see several names coming past from my Instagram feed that I know.

So hello to all of you and thanks for visiting. It’s nice to almost see you.

[00:35:00] Jane: Yes, so awesome. Thank you, Kristin. Best of luck and huge congratulations. Thank you so much. Thank you.

[00:35:06] Kristin: Thank you, Jane. Have a nice night. You too. Take care. Bye bye.


Hosted by Jane Healey, Historical Happy Hour is a live interview and podcast featuring premiere historical fiction authors and their latest novels.

Jane Healey

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