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Interview with Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including “Hissy Fit”, “Savannah Blues”, “Savannah breeze”, “Deep dish” and “Blue Christmas”, the latter published in Italy as “La cena di Natale” by Polillo Editore. A former newspaper journalist, she lives in a restored bungalow in an Atlanta neighbourhood with her husband Tom, who was her high school sweetheart. She is the mother of two twenty-something children, and the grandmother of one.

In many of your books Weezie Foley is undisputed master of the pages. Weezie Foley is an antiques dealer who owns a shop in Savannah, GA. In the first book featuring her, “Savannah Blues”, Weezie has just gone through a difficult divorce and is re-starting her life. Weezie meets and falls in love with Daniel, who is a handsome chef in her friend’s restaurant. She has a dog, Jethro, and a funny family, including a mother who is a recovering alcoholic, and an uncle, James, who is a former priest, who has just revealed to his family that he is gay.

How much of yourself did you put in Weezie?
Weezie is like me in some respects; Irish Catholic, someone who loves antiques and has always lived in the Southern region of the United States. She’s outgoing and has strong friendships, as do I. But on the other hand, she’s younger, divorced, cuter, sexier, braver than me. I gave her lots of the qualities I wish I had!

It seems that you have the exigency to describe Savannah, which I understand is a very nice town.
Savannah is a very special city. It’s one of the oldest cities in the U.S., with the largest intact historical district of homes and businesses in the country. It’s physically beautiful too, with towering oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, gorgeous flowering gardens and lovely historic homes. The pace is slower in Savannah. People take time to stop and make friendships. Savannah is also an important place in Revolutionary and Civil War history.

What about Elvis Presley?
When I was a young newspaper reporter in Savannah I covered Elvis Presley on his last tour and attended one of his last concerts. I’ve always loved the song “Blue Christmas”, so I thought it would be fun to write about a Christmas in Savannah that starts out being “blue” or sad for Weezie Foley.

When did you discover the writer in yourself?
I started reading before starting school, so I’ve always loved books and reading and writing. I wrote poems and stories as a child, and later went to journalism school in college. I was a newspaper reporter for 14 years before starting my career as a novelist, so I guess I’ve been a writer all my life.

Do you like cooking? Which is your favourite dish?
I love to cook, and I love to eat! Southern foods like fried chicken and mashed potatoes are among my favourites, and I especially love to make desserts - with anything chocolate.

Which Italian dishes do you know?
I love pasta! When I go away to write, I always fix myself spaghetti because it’s cheap and easy to make. Italian food is my favourite cuisine.

Your next projects.
My next book is called “Summer Rental” and it concerns three women who met in Catholic school in Savannah and are lifelong friends. The summer they rent a house at the beach in North Carolina becomes a turning point in all their lives.

Thank you very much for the attention you paid to us, Mary. Let’s now sing with Elvis Presley this wonderful song.


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