Help me interview Fannie Flagg!

November 14, 2016


Fannie Flagg - Leslie Anne Tarabella-blogSit down for this big-big news!


Tomorrow, I get to interview . . . Fannie Flagg! AAGGGHHH!!!! I know! Only my all – time favorite author, well I guess to be fair, I should say “one of” because there are a few others I also love, Mary Kay Andrews and Jan Karon being right up there in the top three, but they all three have such different styles, and Fannie Flagg is the one who makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD!


Fannie Flagg - Leslie Anne Tarabella-blog

She’s calling me (for some reason, they wouldn’t give me HER phone number even though I promised to only use it for emergencies — “Hi Fannie, it’s me. Whatcha’ doin’ today? Whatcha’ eatin’? What? No fried green tomatoes? Hahahaha!). But I’ll be able to talk to her about, well . . . anything, I guess, and that’s where I need your help.


I don’t want to be predictable . . .

Why did you write this book?

Do you miss Alabama?

Do you have any pets?

Blah, blah, blah . . . boring.

But I also don’t want to be weird. 

What shoe size do you wear?

Who was your fourth grade teacher?

Do you prefer your peanuts roasted or boiled?

Fannie Flagg - Leslie Anne Tarabella-blog

Fannie’s new book, “The Whole Town’s Talking” will be released November 29th, and the celebrated Alabama author will be in Fairhope December 6th at the Civic Center beginning at 6pm for a huge Fannie-palooza. More details are at the bottom of this post.


Fannie Flagg - Leslie Anne Tarabella-blog

I was lucky-duck enough to score an advanced copy of, “The Whole Town’s Talking” and so far, it’s not what I expected as far as Southern stories go, but it’s exactly what I expected as far as weaving a good tale from the get-go and keeping me mesmerized with every page of the book. I’m already trying to figure out how to get out of a few very important meetings today (laundry, grocery shopping) so I can keep reading!


So, what do you think? What should I ask this celebrated author/actress/comedian? Can someone pretty-please remind me to charge my phone?



Fannie Flagg will be featured at a book talk and signing set for 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 6th at the Fairhope Civic Center. Tickets to the event are $38 and include admission for one to the special event and an autographed first edition of “The Whole Town’s Talking.”  Tickets are available for purchase at Page and Palette or online at Eventbrite.  Page and Palette is also accepting pre-orders for signed copies of the new book for those unable to attend the event.  Fairhope Civic Center is located at 161 N. Section Street in downtown Fairhope. For more information contact the bookstore at (251) 928-5295 or




  • Is there any connection between her Flaggs and Lilly Flagg. There is a street named Lilly Flagg in Huntsville, AL.

    Nothing implied here, but Lilly Flagg was a celebrity cow in Huntsville during the late 1800s or early 1900s.

    I was just wondering if there is a story there. Flagg is not a name you meet every day.

    Please tell Ms. Flagg I love her humor.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Very interesting. A celebrity cow, huh? I’m pretty sure Fannie Flagg is her stage name, but I’ll ask about the cow connection for sure!

  • Oh that’s awesome! I’m happy for you and wish I could be there with you. Fannie is my all time favorite too. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man is my very favorite book ever. I remember reading it in the car and then I’d have to read parts out loud to my husband. We were cackling but it has the serious side too.

    I’d say ask her to please write more. 🙂

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Good point. More! More! I’ll be sure to let her know.

  • Years ago when I was working, I answered the phone one day and heard this southern voice say, “Who is this?” I replied and the caller said, “Hey, Honey, this is Fannie calling from California.” Fortunately we had been doing some business with her so I didn’t have to ask, “Fannie who?” She is a hoot and I love her books. Let us know how the interview goes.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      She always seems like a best friend the minute you meet her! Stay posted. I’ll be sure to let you know every detail!

  • So excited about a new book. Do we know if she wrote little stories for her elementary class English lessons?

    • Leslie Anne says:

      As a matter of fact, she did. That’s one thing she and I have in common that I’m hoping to mention. She and I both won blue ribbons at the Baldwin County Fair. She in writing (elementary school) and me with cookies (grown up).

  • Forget the writing… ask her who is the most famous person she has on her phone. Also what is her sweetest memory of being on the Dick Van Dyke show. It’s all about the glitz with me, Leslie Anne. Good luck – you’ll do great!!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Katie, and great point. It’s the Hollywood scuttlebutt we really want to know!

  • I usually ask writers about their process, where they find inspiration for a story, their work habits, and how they first got published. Those may be predictable questions, but these things are what I want to know. I actually thought she lived in Fairhope part-time? Maybe not.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      In the 17 years I’ve been here, I believe Fannie has owned/sold several different houses as well as rented a few to stay in while she writes. She lived in Baldwin Co. for a while when she was in school, but these days, we’re mostly her “muse.” And as for your questions, since you are a writer like me, I’m also interested in how other writers put their rear-ends in the chair and the actual process. I’m even curious if they write at night, day, long-hand, computer . . . I guess if we were sculptors, we’d want to know what kind of chisels they use!

  • How fun Leslie Anne, I’m sure you and Fannie will be BFFs immediately and you will ask just the right questions!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Jenna. I’ve met her once before and she’s definitely the kind of person you immediately feel at home with. I doubt she even remembers me, but it will definitely be fun to talk to her again!

  • Leslie Anne, she definitely weaves a great story. I remember her witty comments from her stint on the popular game show in the 1970’s Match Game. But my first knowledge of Fannie was when she was the co-host with Tom York on The Morning Show on WBRC-TV the ABC affiliate in Birmingham. I guess you could say I kind of grew up with her!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      She’s a part of our Alabama family, that’s for sure!

  • Oh my word! I am so jealous. I have read every book of hers, and I have to say she is my favorite author ever. I love Standing in the Rainbow.
    She even uses my little town of Repton in it…of course, she says Repton, Missouri, but I know it is my little town of Repton, Alabama.
    Has she visited there or just seen the name on I65 while traveling north from Mobile to Birmingham?
    So excited for you.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks Sandy. I’m guessing she’s probably been there. That woman knows all there is to know about the South and the way Southerners think!

  • I don’t know about helping with an interview, but I will certainly help eat the fine fare available at the Irondale Cafe!

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