TearsandTequila_PaperbackWelcome to TEARS AND TEQUILA TALKS, our ongoing discussion series with an amazing group of writers, experts, and influencers on the topic of loss, recovery and personal growth. Hosted by Tears and Tequila co-authors Linda Schreyer and Jo-Ann Lautman.

An Italian Wife, by Ann Hood. Available Sept. 2, 2014

An Italian Wife, by Ann Hood.
Available Sept. 2, 2014

Bestselling writer Ann Hood is the author of The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, and Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, among other works. Her most recent novel is The Obituary Writer, featuring two alternating storylines; one in 1919 in the wake of the San Francisco earthquake, and another in 1960 on the eve of John Kennedy’s inaugural.

In 2002, Ann Hood’s five-year-old daughter Grace died suddenly from a virulent form of strep throat. Stunned and devastated, the family searched for comfort in a time when none seemed possible. Hood—already an accomplished novelist—was unable to read or write. She could only reflect on her lost daughter. One day, a friend suggested she learn to knit. Knitting soothed her and gave her something to do. Eventually, she began to read and write again. A semblance of normalcy returned, but grief, in ever new and different forms, still held the family. What they could not know was that comfort would come, and in surprising ways. In Comfort, Hood traces her descent into grief and reveals the people and places where she found hope once again. She explored the concept again in her bestselling novel, The Knitting Circle. Her new novel, An Italian Wife, releases September 2, 2014.

In this interview with Tears and Tequila co-authors Linda Schreyer and Jo-Ann Lautman, Hood discusses her writing career and the process of finding her way forward, and also provides listeners with a brief introduction to her daughter Annabelle, who sat in on Ann’s interview.

Push play to listen to the full interview.

In the discussion, Ann spoke about the interesting way she devised the characters in her bestselling novel, The Knitting Circle:

“When I began writing the book, knowing that I wanted to write about the many facets of grief, although my main character has lost a child, I didn’t want it to be a book to be just about women or people who have lost children, so I sat down and thought, what have I learned about grief in these three or four years since I lost my daughter and what is grief? And I just sort of brainstormed and I wrote emotions. And some of them were predictable, like sadness, great sadness. But things I wrote down were bitterness or guilt, and I was surprised when I wrote down emotions like love or hope. And I ended up with about 25 emotions and initially chose 10 and created characters to personify those emotions and whittled it down to those that appear in the book.”

Of her own dealings with grief, Hood spoke of the universality of the emotions that accompany love and loss, regardless of when it was written. For Hood, that includes the wisdom of C.S. Lewis, who published A Grief Observed in 1961.

“That’s the wonder and sadness that is associated with writing about grief, I think, is that it is universal. No matter how long ago the wisdom was given, there are still people learning from it. One of the books that I return to is C.S. LewisA Grief Observed about his wife dying. There is a line in there that I will still write down to myself or share as a Facebook status, because it was the most true thing I read when Grace died. He said, ‘Her absence is like the sky. It covers everything.’ He wrote that a very long time ago but to me it is so real and present.”


Tears and Tequila is a story of love, loss, friendship, courage and, most of all, renewal; it tells of the healing that happens when you become part of a community in which everybody is missing someone. Co1author Linda Schreyer has a long career as a writer for TV and movies, including over 1,000 hours of serial television for programs such as General Hospital, Sunset Beach (for which she received a Writers Guild Award nomination), and The Bold and The Beautiful. Jo-Ann Lautman is the founder of OUR HOUSE, one of the leading providers of grief education, workshops, and seminars in the U.S.–and the first-ever free-standing grief support center.READ MORE



Get Tears and Tequila Talks in Your Inbox!

Don’t miss Tears and Tequila Talks features the summer! Sign up below to automatically receive the series in your inbox.

Tears and Tequila Talks Participants