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RB: Do you have a muse?

DW: Yes, the red hats. My mom. I've seen the change in my mom from being associated with the Red Hat Society. My mother raised 10 children, and then they all left. Half of them moved out to the west coast, so she's lonely. You know, you don't have friends and you sacrifice all that by raising children, and to now have friends...we've told my mom: "You can go anywhere you want in the world—we'll pay for it. You don't have to do anything except show up," but when you don't have someone to share those experiences with...my dad is not really an adventurer, so it's like: "All right, you got the red hats. This is beautiful."

RB: Did you talk to your mom about her life and the society before you started the book?

DW: My mom hasn't even read the book yet. I read her the dedication, but I didn't let her read the book because I wanted it to hit the stands first so she can't guilt me into not releasing it. She'll think, "Oh, you're talking about me and I don't want them to think that I'm talking with you about my girlfriends." I'm like: "Ma, it's not like that. It's a different story; they just happen to have red hats." It's not about really the whole Red Hat Society; it's about friendships. It's about taking a character and stripping her of her belief system and then rebuilding her step by step. The theme of this book is if you want to be loved, be lovable.

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