Author: Jo Piazza
1. How did you and Christine Pride find each other and decide to write this book?
Christine was my editor on my last novel Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win. She was an incredible editor and we became close. She actually accompanied me on part of my book tour (very rare for an editor) through the American South. While driving and chatting and stopping at places like Dollywood we talked a lot about race and friendship and the seeds for a novel started to grow.
2. This is the third book you’ve written alongside another author. How have you grown as a collaborative professional with these experiences?
I’ve learned to be a better partner over the years. Writing a book together is a lot like a marriage. It involves so much more than getting words on a page. You need to have great communication, patience, empathy and be willing to work your ass off to make it the best book possible. Writing this book together wasn’t always easy but Christine and I were so dedicated to it that we worked through everything it threw at us and the process genuinely made our friendship stronger.
3. Who or what inspired Jen and Reilly’s friendship?
Jen and Reilly’s friendship is obviously completely a work of fiction, but Christine and I are both incredibly loyal friends to a gang of women in our lives and we naturally borrowed from our own friendships to craft the bond on the page.
4. How do you use your daily routine to keep you on task and focused?
I’m a stickler for a good to-do list. I make a list the night before, rank the order of things I want to do and check them off. I also make myself write a set amount of words every single day to keep the muscle strong.
5. What is at least one takeaway you hope everyone understands after reading "We Are Not Like Them"?
That talking about race IS hard. It is. And it is uncomfortable and can be awkward but it is so necessary. We wanted to give readers some new ways to have the conversations that may have been difficult for them in the past by talking about our characters and what they are going through.
Photo credit: Christine Han