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  • Writer's picturePatti Callahan Henry

What to Keep

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

They say hindsight is 2020.

This is when a cliched adage drives home the deepest truth!

As we near the end of this year, we can’t just wash ourselves of 2020 because as we know, it has unalterably changed us.

The year seemed to start somewhere near the end of February, the rumblings of a virus, of something amiss. At first, it was annoying – events cancelled, confusion reigned with conflicting information. Then came the fear and then something we hadn’t imagined except in our novels and movies: a pandemic with a lockdown.

A Lockdown!

How could we have known such a thing when we wrote our naïve 2020 goals in our planners? Oh, the uncertainty of life. All those…plans that went awry, all those losses we bore, all those new ways of doing things we had to learn.

But here we are at the end of the year. We did it. It wasn’t always pretty – sometimes it was downright ugly. Oh, the things we said and did when things got rough (cringe). But then there were the beautiful things we did when we reached out to help and support others or when we found peace in the midst of chaos.

And here we are! We did it.

We can look back at it and be astounded that we got through it.

So, it leads us to ask— What do we keep from 2020? And what do we leave behind?

Whatever that is for you, let’s just keep going! Amidst the sorrow and loneliness and beauty and tragedy, let’s just keep going.

I’m here with you. We’ve got this.


Getting Us Through Year-end

READS: What books did you read through the holidays that set your imagination on fire? For me, it was Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds, which comes out in two months! And Michael Farris Smith’s imagining of Nick from The Great Gatsby out this week! LISTEN: How did I ever live without audiobooks and podcasts? They are my companion through so much of the day! Some of my favorites this season were an older book called The Shadow of the Wind and the podcasts by Kate Bowler called Everything Happens. WATCH: I know, everyone has already seen The Queens’ Gambit, but if you haven’t, I am here to tell you – watch it. The storytelling; the intense longing and beauty of a girl trying to find her way will give you all the right feels.


What’s Next?

Surviving Savannah

What would I do?

Up Close and Personal With Patti That is the question I asked myself over and over as I was writing this book. How would I handle the disaster – and then beyond that, how would I survive the surviving? It is out in only 9 weeks. NINE. WEEKS! Read More


VIDEO: The extraordinary true and untold story behind the novel

Surviving Savannah.

Patti Callahan at The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum Savannah, GA. We know, of course, that surviving hardship changes us. But how? Even with these past months and all the chaos and pain and goodness and awfulness, who will we become? It's the same thing I asked over the years I wrote this novel. It's not always easy to figure out how to explain a book you've been working on for years. But here, I do. Or try. Surviving Savannah grew from not only my great love for Savannah and the surrounding areas but also from my respect for the truth of all that came before us that brought us here.


More Surviving Savannah News!

For signed bookplates, please mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Patti Callahan Henry 1919 Oxmoor Road. PMB #303 Homewood, AL 35209


Did You Miss This?

Wild Swan The Story of Florence Nightingale by Patti Callahan and

performed by Cynthia Erivo Available only from Audible Originals As an ex-nurse, I have always been fascinated by Florence Nightingale and when I learned about her early life in England and what it took to break free of her societal and familial bonds to change the world, I knew I had to write about her. Here is a novella narrated by the most beautiful voice – Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo.

VIDEO: Here is a "behind the scenes" Video Cynthia Erivo made for us

about narrating this Audible Original.


Reunion Beach

Collection Tribute to Dorothea Benton Frank I am thrilled to share the news— I have contributed a story to REUNION BEACH, an anthology full of stories by amazing authors that were inspired by the late, great Dorothea Benton Frank. If you miss her as much as I do, this book will be a comfort and a pleasure. REUNION BEACH goes on sale April 27, 2021 and is available for pre-order now.


What I Want to Keep

Friends and Fiction One of the most powerful things that happened during this year was the creation of Friends and Fiction with Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Alice Monroe, Kristin Harmel, and Kristy Woodson Harvey. We asked the question—What can we do to help our Indies and our books when we can’t be “out” in the world? And the answer has changed all of our lives. Read More

More Friends & Fiction Exciting News!

We have so much to look forward to at F&F in the coming months! Just take a look at our winter/spring new schedule!

We Are Now on 📺 YouTube!

The F&F YouTube Channel is now up and running. Did you miss an episode? Want to re-watch one of your favorites? Not on Facebook but still want to tune in each week? Problem solved! Now all of our episode videos are published on our YouTube Channel. We will be simulcasting our live episodes to BOTH our Facebook Group page via Facebook Live AND to our YouTube Channel. SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

Podcast Live

Big News!📣 Our very first audio-only episode—produced exclusively for the F&F Podcast—is now live! You can find us on @apple Podcasts, @spotify, @google Podcasts, @stitcherpodcasts, @amazonmusic, or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Friends & Fiction recently made their INSTAGRAM debut.

Follow us today for exclusive content, writing tips, and to stay connected!



Friends and Fiction Firsts:

A Signed First Edition Club Join Today! You asked us about signed copies and we listened... we are SO excited to announce the exclusive FRIENDS & FICTION FIRSTS: A SIGNED FIRST EDITION CLUB, a subscription club in partnership with Oxford Exchange, where you get SIGNED FIRST EDITIONS of ALL FIVE of the Friends & Fiction authors’ 2021 books as soon as they are released... PLUS a tote bag with logo.


About the Author

Patti Callahan

New York Times Bestselling Author. Podcast Host. Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction), BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan).

In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner "Book of the Year”; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.

Photo Credit: Bud Johnson Photography Savannah, GA

On March 9, 2021, a new historical fiction novel — SURVIVING SAVANNAH based on the true story of the Steamship Pulaski wreck will be released. WILD SWAN, a novella following the fiery life of one of history’s greatest heroines and the mother of modern nursing: Florence Nightingale by Patti Callahan was released December 10, 2020, as an Audible Original performed by Cynthia Erivo. The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original "Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series" launched, October 2019. The podcast audiobook collection including bonus material was released in January 2020, and available now. The new expanded BECOMING MRS. LEWIS paperback edition was released on March 24, 2020, and available now. Patti Callahan is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly Friends and Fiction Facebook Live Show and podcast, featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Mary Alice Monroe with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers. THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER (writing as Patti Callahan Henry—Southern Contemporary Fiction) was launched in June 2019, and THE PERFECT LOVE SONG—A Christmas Holiday novella released in October 2019, and available now. A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband. Read More.

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Dec 22, 2022
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