Hello from sunny Hawaii...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Aloha friends and fireflies--

I'm back in my favorite place in all the world...Hawaii...and more specifically, as the picture at the side shows, I'm back at my favorite tiki-themed restaurant/bar with good friends Jill Marie Landis and Stella Cameron. It was particularly special this time because we also brought my sister in law to see the wild and crazy floor show. Hawaiian music, impromptu hula, people popping up from their seats and running for the microphone. Really. You can't make up this kind of stuff. Even cooler is the fact that my husband's parents visited this exact same place in the sixties. I don't think a single thing has changed...not even the tablecloths. :) Every time I'm here, I can't help thinking how much my own mom would have loved this place...

Why am I running around to tiki bars, you ask? Well, I'll tell you: Because I am DONE with the book for 2010. Done, done, done. I am positively giddy with happiness. After at least twelve drafts (just ask Kim, who started complaining at about number six and grumbled that I needed to sleep more and quit writing so much), I have finally written the end. And I'm pretty sure I mean it. :) I have to tell you all, just because you're such great friends and readers, that I really, really love this book. I don't care what the reviewers say about it, or really what anyone says about it. I believe this is the first time that my own work has ever made me almost cry. It's different for me--two parallel stories, one in the present time and one in the past--and even though that structure made me tear my hair out for a long time, I ended up loving it.

And since I'm done, I've been reading a ton of books and watching even more television. Now that I'm in Hawaii, I have my beloved abc back, so I'm caught up on Lost and Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. And I see that Prison Break has five more episodes this month. YIPEEE!!!! Is this my lucky month or what?

So, in no particular order: Was Adam TOTALLY amazing this week on Idol, or what??? I think they should have had him sing it again for all those people who watch on tivo and lost his performance. Also, I am amazingly captivated by Lost, although I admit that I no longer have any idea what's going on unless the Others turn out to be pod people from another planet. I can't turn away from Biggest Loser and hope Tara wins.

Books. Read Harlan's newest, LONG LOST and loved it, like all of his stuff. I just love Win and Myron. Also read a new author (for me) John Connelly. The book of Lost Things. I really enjoyed it. It's a recommendation for people who like kid fantasy books, although the themes are very adult. I also enjoyed Lynne Griffin's debut novel,
LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER. Check out the cover. It's really pretty, don't you think? Anyway, it was a lovely story about a really difficult subject--every mother's worst fear. Honestly, I had difficulty starting the novel. I was worried about the topic, but the author handled it with grace and restraint. I'd love to hear what other people think. If you belong to a book club, it's a good choice to spark discussion.

And finally, I want to thank Lisa for pointing out that Firefly Lane is indeed number 2 on the New York Times list for the second week in a row. I am constantly amazed by this book's success. All across the country, I guess, women are picking it up and loving it and recommending it to their friends. But it all started with you guys, here on the website. You were the early readers and I can't tell you what that means to me.

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print for right now. I think I'll head out to the beach for an hour or two. But what shall I read? Any suggestions? I'm thinking about finally diving into Katherine Neville's The Eight. I mailed over about one hundred books for this vacation, though, so I have a few choices. :)

For our book club discussion on Firefly, I want to thank you all for the talk about Tully. From my perspective, she was always likeable. I guess that's because I saw her as so damaged. And I know people like her, who really are broken enough that they have trouble seeing the world through dispassionate eyes. I honestly hope someday to write Tully's book. Several of you have noticed the bits I put in about Cloud's "secret" past, and I want to explore that. I just don't quite have the idea for it yet. Here's this weeks question: Did Johnny ever really love Tully? And why did Kate have so much jealousy about that relationship?

So, Kristin Hannah, signing off from sunny Hawaii, saying mahalo (thanks) to all of you again for always being there. I can't tell you how often your blog posts make me smile or laugh or think about something important. And here's the view from my bedroom window, so you can picture me on my lanai, reading something you all have recommended and looking---somewhat desperately--for a new idea...
Aloha for now,


Anonymous Annelies Beeckaert said...

Hello from Belgium...

I just wanted to congratulate you with your truly breathtaking books... did I cry when I read the Firefly Lane-book (or how is it called??? In Dutch it's: "Wie naar de sterren grijpt".) It was the 4th book I read and I just can't stop reading. I can't wait for your new book to be released in Europe.

Kind regards, Annelies Beeckaert

April 14, 2009 at 2:21 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Kristin- oh by the way I hope Easter was nice for you.

I'm so happy for you that you had a very positive reaction to your own book; yes,I am a writer, and I love that feeling that I get sometimes when I read my stories- it's a feeling of shock that I'm that good :) I cannot absolutely wait to read yours. Although I must admit that some of your fantasy/science fictiony stuff requires a certain frame of mind. But who doesn't love stuff like It's a Wonderful Life???

I loved Katie- I'm sure you've gotten that feeling. I think she may have had a lack of confidence in her own friendship skills, although she had the humility to apologize, unlike um, let's see, Tully.

Did you finish Jodi Picoult's Handle with Care yet? Not quite a feel-good book. I'm still reading it.

And yes, adam was fantastic on Idol. And I feel they could have saved Scott. I tell ya.

I'm searching for romance, fireflies-any ideas?

See you soon!

April 14, 2009 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Suz said...

Hi Kristin,

I just read Firefly Lane and I can't wait to read another one of your works. I sobbed so hard. I had a friend that was diagnosed with IBC with 4 kids under the age of 9. They misdiagnosed it as mastitious since she was breast feeding. It was stage 4 as well, but I am happy to report that it has been over 5 years and she is doing great. It is really a miracle. I also went to the UW and was in a sorority and I felt so close to your book having grown up in Western Washington. What Sorority were you in? I feel like you were describing mine. You were 4 years ahead of me though. Anyway, I love your personal story as well as your book and I can't wait to read more. Are you talking about Harlan Coben when you refer to Harlan. He is my favorite, but now that I have read yours I can't wait to read more.

Take care!

April 14, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Leen said...

Wow - more Belgians! If I were you, I'd get scared now, Kristin! lol. And I swear that I don't even know Annelies, so I didn't put her up to this.

As for the books being released in Europe: I always keep an eye on the online bookstores to see what kinda crazy titles they come up with for the Dutch version, but I'm not as nervous anymore about getting the book on the day it appears in the stores, cuz I've already read it in English first. Which doesn't mean I'm not getting one or two copies of the Dutch version too. You never know if the language barrier made me miss some interesting detail here or there, right? ;)

As for our Hawaiian princess (feels like you're living a royal life there anyway) and her questions... boy, I feel like I'm back in high school where we were asked to analyze about every sentence of the books we read. My brain is supposed to be in vacation mood, but I'll try my best anyway... ;)

Love is not exactly my best subject, though. I'm single at almost 36, so what do I know? I have a feeling that Tully and John's relationship wasn't gonna last, though. Tully doesn't seem like a person who can really bond with lots of people without feeling restricted in what she does, so I don't know if any marriage of hers would actually last. She takes after her mom in that, I suppose - needs her freedom and such. Although you gotta give her credit for keeping such a long term friendship with Kate going, although that's probably mostly Kate's merit too. So maybe if some man loved her as much and as unconditionally as Kate does...

I guess that also kinda explains why Kate's jealousy shows up when confronted with Tully and John's relationship. There's so much about that love she doesn't get. She's never known any other love than the one her parents had for one another, for her and her brother, ... So she probably can't understand why Johnny would even look twice at Tully if everybody can see that Tully's love for him is not even close to that.

It does make Kate kinda egotistical too, though: she wants romance (personified by Johnny) so badly that she doesn't even think of the possibility he might make Kate happy too and she shouldn't get mixed up into that.

Darn... now I want to read "Life without summer" too! Like I don't have dozens of other books awaiting my chance at spending some time with paperwork that I don't have to correct! But it looks so "appetizing" and I kinda enjoyed getting the dust off the little grey cells and trying to word feelings in a different language (which I always find difficult, no matter how well I speak it), so well... gimme more! ;)

Back to the corrections now! At least we're getting a nice Spring day today, so that I can actually sit outside and NOT be jealous of someone with great views (in all possible meanings of the word) and second homes in Hawaii. I think I'm gonna become a writer if that pays so well. Can't be too hard to score a bestseller or two just by writing about life and love in general, right? ;)


April 15, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Yessenia said...

I do think that at one point Johnny really did love Tully and that was something that was always in the back of Katie's mind. I do believe that he loved Katie, but a part of him always belonged to Tully, no matter how small it was. Had the book continued, I believe that Tully would have stepped into Katie's shoes after her death.

I just have to say I have never cried so much with a book before! I found myself lost in the book for hours, completely consumed.


April 15, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Sheila said...

Congrats on finishing the book! Woohoo!!!! Have some shave ice for me please :)

I am almost on the verge of finishing my big accomplishment for the year - getting done with my first year of vet school. 3 weeks left...if my brain doesn't explode. Ugh.

I cannot recommend any books since the last thing I got to read for fun was TC. And the back of the cereal boxes at breakfast before I head out to school.

Did Johnny ever love Tully? I think so, but there are many different kinds of love. Of course Kate would have jealousy - I think any woman would. Seems to be a running theme that if you like a guy (who digs your best friend or sister) you best speak up!

If Win had spoken up about Luke, or Kate about Johnny, I wonder how the stories would have turned out then....

And I still have to put in my vote for a sequel for the things we do for love : ) Pleeeease!

April 16, 2009 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Kristin, I have just finished Firefly and I have to tell you I LOVED it! I have begged my two BFF's to start reading because I'm ready to talk it out. To my delight I came to the blog and found I can go ahead and start talking! Let me start by saying that I was SO GLAD that the estrangement between Kate and Tully was not because Tully was having an affair with Johnny. I am so glad the story didn't go there as I feared. I don't think that Johnny ever truly loved Tully. He saw himself in her and thought that he loved her but when he fell for Kate he realized what true love was. The problem is that he never really told Kate that until the end even though he knew she was jealous of his night with Tully and was obviously threatened by it. On the other hand I'm not sure Kate would have bought it. Her jealousy about that relationship was wrapped in her overall jealousy of Tully from the beginning of their friendship. You did a great job weaving all those threads together. That is what made it all work.

I'll stop going on now...sorry. BTW I lost my mother to colon cancer 5 years ago and I totally get the missed moments that come up (like at Tiki bars...) I was so glad (and a bit jealous of) Marah and Kate had some meaningful conversations with her mom and the journal to cherish forever. I spent a lot of time with my mom at the end but she would never talk about "after".

Can't wait for True Colors...going to Amazon.com now.

Lisa M. in North Carolina

April 16, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I think Johnny loved Kate. I don't feel the story is theirs so their love is just assumed. Obviously, it wasn't perfect just as no marriage is, but I believe the love is there. I think the story is about Kate and Tully. Without the book in front of me, my memory tells me we see the marriage through Kate's eyes so we see what she sees. If we saw the story through Johnny's eyes, I bet we'd see something different. So, I like to believe he loved her, but Kate was self-conscious and so quick to believe that people are and should be more attracted to Tully.

Let's see... I'm reading Beach Music for book club (for Pat Conroy). American Wife was a great book for discussion. I love how Pat Conroy writes though I'm not in love with big books so that's slowing me down.

As for TV, I'm enjoying Castle. I don't think it's perfect, but it's fun. Not too obsessed with anything right now though.

April 17, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iloved Firefly Lane, my first of your books, can't wait to read many more! Recommended to all of my friends. I agree with Lisa's comments...Feel a kinship with you as I have been hearing quite a lot about Hawaii, my best friends parents live there six months of the year in Malokai. Can't wait to visit there...Try reading Very Valentine by Adrianna Trigiani, loved it...thanks

April 19, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Lisa - TX Firefly said...

WOW !!! Finished with 2010 book already? That is awesome! You take a much needed vacation, and then get to writing again. HA! No rest for the weary, eh? Seriously, congrats on finishing the book. I can't wait to read it!

OK, I've been busy. And stressed. And, just pretty blah. Sorry for delayed post from me. I'm trying to "pull up my big girl panties, and deal with it" as a dear person once told me.

For bookclub answer - I don't know why I'm having so much trouble expressing how I feel on this one. I love/hate Johnny all at the same time. One minute, I think he truly loved Tully. And, the next, I believe he must have felt the deepest love for Kate. Then, I tell myself that he loved them both, just differently. Then, I find myself getting mad at him, and feeling sorry for Kate. Then, mad at him, and sorry for Tully. Then, mad at him and Tully. Then, just him. And finally, feeling sorry for him. See ....... I obviously have issues with him. =) My best guess as to why Kate was so jealous, was because she probably felt EXACTLY like I just listed my own feelings.

Would love to see a "Clouded" version of a sequel to this book!

I just finished my 2nd Harlan Coben book. Kristin, thanks SO much for the mention. I'm really liking him. I also picked up Life Without Summer. Looking forward to that as well. I'm going to HPBooks this week to find more Coben books, and check for any of your older books that might have found their way to my local store. I found Summer Island on last visit, and just started it today over lunch.

I hope you're enjoying your vacation, and resting. When does Kim get to join you? You gals will have so much fun !!

Until next time, Firefly out!


April 20, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

I just wanted to let you know that you are the reason I started reading. I went into Wal-Mart late one night and decided I was going to just randomly pick a book and start reading. Well, that book just happened to be Firefly Lane. WHAT A WONDERFUL CHOICE! I seriously felt like I was apart of Tully and Kate's life. I laughed, cried, and everything in-between with this book. It was truly wonderful. And then, things just kept getting better when I bought True Colors. ANother winner in my book. I loved them both so much I can not tell which one is my favorite. I am now starting On Mystic Lake and I will eventually read all of your books. I am looking forward to the new book for 2010. I can't wait! I just wanted you to know you have changed my life. I know that sounds dumb, but I never read before. Not even for school. You get so much more knowledge when you read and I appreciate that now. THANK YOU! YOU ARE AMAZING

April 22, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

Hi Kristin,
Just went and got true colours at chapters and am looking forward to reading it.What a lovely looking book.I was looking forward to your book signing in Bellingham,but I got some kind of virus,and was out for six weeks.It was so nice to see the family photo from Mexico--what a great looking bunch.Sounds like your folfs are keeping busy and well,and thats great.So your one book ahead so you can take it a little easy,and have some down time.Still do not know how you do that,or write a book for that matter.I am reading The Book Of Negeoes by Lawrence Hill and it is excellent--next true colours.
Big Hugs

April 23, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin!! I just wanted to let you know that I just finished reading Firefly Lane last night! What else can I say besides OMG!!! My best friend of 12 years bought it and after reading it, recommended it to me. I instantly fell in love!! Not only was it a fantastic read, but it made me appreciate my friendship with my very best friend so much more. You are extremely talented Kristin and I adore you!! I can't wait to read all of you other books!! Keep up the great work and thank you so much for doing what you do!!
Your newest fan,

April 28, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Ginny said...

Hello from South Carolina! I was born in 1961, so I could relate to a lot of your writing in "Firefly Lane"! I love your writing! I have to tell you, though, I was really getting mad at Kate for not standing up to Tully, especially when Tully was "befriending" Marah. I think that Tully needed to be told that she was overstepping some boundaries on several occasions. It might have helped Tully become a little more empathetic instead of being so self-centered all the time. Of course, then the book would have had to take a whole different turn, wouldn't it? And I think Johnny lusted after Tully, but after the initial infatuation was over, I think he loved her in a non-romantic way. I think he saw a lot of her in himself, and maybe that helped him to realize how he didn't want to be. I hate that Kate was insecure and jealous for so long. That's an awful feeling!

April 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Annelies---

Welcome to the blog! It's so nice to have you join the discussion. Up until now, Leen has been our sole voice from your neck of the woods. And since she's a real ton of fun, I'll be you are, too. You two should meet for cocktails sometime. :)


April 29, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Michelle--I thought you were a writer. I guess we can recognize others in our clan. :) I have to say, that I, too, am often amazed when I go back and read my own work. Sometimes its a good amazement, and sometimes not so good. Quite often I think: REALLY? I wrote that? Was I watching tv at the time or lapsing into a coma? But there are those all too rare moments when I am caught by my own words and surprised that I found exactly the right phrasing or emotion. That's what makes this career so fun. I ignore the bad days and try to remember the good ones. And there's nothing like the magic and power of beginning a new book. At the start, when it's just a limitless idea, I imagine that it will be the best thing I'll ever do.

What do you write?
And as for romance recommendations, I'll offer Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas, the new Teresa Medeiros (the title eludes me now because I'm sitting on the beach--yes, the beach), and What I did for Love by Susan Phillips.


April 29, 2009 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Suz---

first of all, let me say a quick, silent prayer of thanks for your friend. I'm so happy to hear that she hit the all important five year mark. It means you all can let out a deep breath. That kind of misdiagnosis is exactly why I wrote the book. Too many women don't know about IBC and too many doctors aren't watching closely enough for it.

And now, let me say: What a small world. :) I was a Tri Delt at the UW. What sorority were you in? What high school did you go to?

I'm glas to hear that the book resonated with you. One of the most fun aspects was remembering all that stuff we used to do.

Was there anything in the book that struck you as really close to your own life?


April 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Leen---

Great insights on Kate and Tully! I agree with you that there's no future between Johnny and Tully. I fall in the camp of those who thought that they were never really in love. Just lust. And you do an absolutely fabulous job of writing/expressing y+our thoughts in a foreign language. We all wish we could do so well, don't we fireflies??

So, Leen, I'm giving you an A+ for this week's assignment. :) I hope you enjoy recess...


April 29, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Yessennia---

Great to hear from you! But you really thought that in a sequel Johnny and tully would get together??? I hear that from a lot of people and it really surprises me. Why do you think that? And if they did get together, would it last? What do you think would happen with them in the future?


April 29, 2009 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Sheila---

Wow!! Congratulations on your big accomplishment. Let's all do a big hip hip hooray for Sheila and finishing her third year of vet school. That's a remarkable feat. Too much science for me. :)

And you're right when you point out that there are several kinds of love...and more importantly, that if you're jealous of a friend, you should speak up. that's actually a theme in a lot of my book. I believe in telling those you love how feel about things. For that reason, I blame Kate as much as Tully. And Johnny. A little more honesty between those three would have gone a long way. And a little self esteem on Kate's part wouldn't have hurt...


April 29, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Lisa M---

Welcome to our conversation. It's great to hear from you. I'm so glad you liked Firefly. It was such a wonderful, difficult, emotional book for me to write. I'm thrilled that people are loving it. As you point out, one of the most difficult aspects of losing someone you love, is that some things can't be talked about. I'm a real believer in honest conversation, which is why Kate kept forcing Tully to face that which was so terrible to face: kate's death. It can help a lot to talk about "after," as you call it. But the most important thing is that you were there, that you were present, and that you both knew how much you loved each other. I think that kind of peace carries forward and makes the unbearable bearable. You know what I mean?

And I have to say, your take on Kate/Tully/Johnny and the dynamics of their relationship is exactly how I understood it all. The interesting thing about writing books, is that sometimes readers seem completely different "truths" in a book than I do. I love getting all of the opinions. So, keep reading the blog and pipe up again.


April 29, 2009 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear April---

You bring up an interesting poing about Johnny's missing viewpoint in the book. In one draft, he did have a voice, and it opened the book up in all kinds of ways--some good, but mostly bad. I came to realize that, while Kate's marriage was important, it wasn't what the book was about. A big theme in this book is missed opportunites and misunderstood perceptions. It was important for Kate to misunderstand Johnny--if you'd known his thoughts, she would have looked stupid, I think. Johnny may have had trouble saying the right thing at the right time, but he loved Kate.

So tell me: what do you think of Beach music?


April 29, 2009 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Lisa---

I'm so sorry to hear that you're stressed out. I know how difficult times are for so many of us right now, and it makes us as feel more and more tense. I just hope you're finding a way to take a little time for yourself...as hard as that is, especially with life changing around you. But a nice hot bath, a long solitary walk, a cup of tea and a good book--anything that will help calm and center you. Take a bit of peace where you can. And keep smiling.

We're all thinking of you and wishing you the best. In fact, fireflies, maybe this is a good time to talk about stress management and how we all have found to manage it. I think I'll write a blog about it right now. Let's help each other...


April 30, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Lindsey--

I am seriously awed and humbled and amazed by your comments. Wow. To be the reason someone STARTS reading. I can't believe it. I guess all I can say is welcome to the blog and to my own little corner of my imaginary world. I'm so glad you like the landscape here...


ps: what made you decide to go to wal mart for a book in the first place?

April 30, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Sharon---

I missed you in Bellingham! Sorry to hear that you had a bug. I actually figured it was something like that. As I said, we had a great time at the reunion. We are a family that Loves to hang out together, especially if a white sand beach is nearby. :)


hope you're feeling better.

April 30, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Tonia---

Welcome to the firefly blog!!! We always love to meet new friends, don't we girls? I'm guessing by your reaction to Firefly that your my age, so tell us all where you grew up and if it was like the book?

It's great to hear from you. I hope you like my other books, too.


April 30, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Dear Ginny---

Hello girlfriend. Obviously we grew up in the same world, listening to same music and going to the same lame parties. Dancing beneath disco balls and wondering how those punk rockers made their blue hair stand up. :)

I agree with you completely about Kate, and actually that was an important part of the story for me. Many of the problems K and T had were caused as much by Kate as by Tully. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand and tell a friend to back off. I honestly believe that Tully would have backed off with marah if Kate has asked her to.

Others agree? disagree?


April 30, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

I really dont know why I did that. I had just started a new job and in our spare time we can read. All of my co-workers were reading all the time and going through books like candy. So, I just decided I would try it and I am so glad I did. I just started On Mystic Lake and I can't put it down. Keep up the GREAT work and I can't wait until your new book comes out! :D

P.S. My husband and I are wanting to go to Hawaii for our Anniversary next year.Maybe we will see ya! :D

May 1, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Dori said...

I know I am way behind on these questions but I'll answer anyway! Johnny did not really love Tully -- it was an infatuation. That can feel a lot like love at the time but it wasn't love the way he loved Kate, the way he was Kate's rock throughout their relationship.

As for Kate's jealousy, you wrote it so well that I felt it in th pit of my stomach myself! I was right there with Kate, not feeling secure about Johnny & Tully. She had the jealousy because of the mounting factors - his past infatuation with Tully, his look at her at the wedding, the talks and hugging she witnessed between them, and most of all Kate was never sure that this is something Tully wouldn't do to her. Kate knew that Tully wants what Tully wants, and Tully gets what Tully wants. Not to say Tully WOULD have had an affair with Johnny, just that Kate couldn't quite put it past her.

May 27, 2009 at 1:22 PM  

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