In Episode 97, Christine Pride and Jo Piazza share how their co-authored novel, We Are Not Like Them, explores how hard it is to have conversations about difficult topics even between dear friends. We discuss why they decided to write a book with a lifelong, interracial friendship at its core, and how they handled collaborating on a book with a plot revolving around a fraught topic.
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- How Christine and Jo met and began their professional relationship.
- Who had the initial idea for We Are Not Like Them.
- How they decided to go from an editor/writer relationship to co-writing and what that looked like for them.
- Why it was important to work collaboratively on both main characters.
- Christine’s and Jo’s own challenges while working on this novel.
- How they handled “creative friction” when it arose.
- How the discussions around character development opened up how they had to consider race on the page.
- How their own personal experiences and perspectives informed both characters.
- They share some key thoughts to having these important conversations.
- The reactions from both Black and white readers.
Christine’s and Jo’s Book Recommendations [32:55]
Two OLD Books They Love
- Christine: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [33:23]
- Jo: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [36:21]
Two NEW Books They Love
- Christine: No Cure for Being Human by Kate Bowler | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [38:05]
- Jo: Matrix by Lauren Groff | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [40:42]
Two Books They DIDN’T LOVE
- Christine: The Push by Ashley Audrain | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [44:26]
- Jo: Her thoughts on sharing books she doesn’t like. [48:47]
Two NEW RELEASES They’re Excited About
- Christine: I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer (November 9, 2021) | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [50:14]
- Jo: Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult (November 30, 2021) | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [53:16]
Last 5 Star Books They Read
- Christine: Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [54:43]
- Jo: Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [54:54]
Other Book Mentioned
About the Authors
Christine Pride is a writer, editor, and longtime publishing veteran. She’s held editorial posts at many different trade imprints, including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, Hyperion, and Simon & Schuster. As an editor, Christine has published a range of books, with a special emphasis on inspirational stories and memoirs, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. As a freelance editorial consultant, she does select editing and proposal/content development, as well as teaching and coaching, and pens a regular column—“Race Matters”—for Cup of Jo. She lives in New York City.
Jo Piazza is an award-winning journalist, editor, and podcast host. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Marie Claire, Glamour, and other notable publications. She is also the author of Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, How to Be Married, The Knockoff, Fitness Junkie, and If Nuns Ruled the World. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two small children.
In two weeks (November 10), I will be back with the co-founders of The Book & Cover (@TheBookAndCover), a brand-new bookstore in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to talk about what it’s like to open a new indie bookstore.
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