Thursday, May 8, 2014

Congratulations to Hank Phillippi Ryan for her Agatha Award for The Wrong Girl- Throwback Thursday RePost

Congratulations to Hank Phillippi Ryan for her Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2013, The Wrong Girl.
Today to congratulate Hank I'm having a throwback Thursday and re-posting the original blog from her release of The Wrong Girl.
So enjoy our interview and my review and then stop by any of Hank's hangouts which I'll list below to say congrats to her.

Knowing that her idea for Jane and The Other Woman came while she was sitting in the dentist chair, here's what she says when I asked what precipitated the idea for The Wrong Girl.––"Well, hilariously, that came from a news tip I got at channel 7! A woman called and wanted me to do a story about her sister, who, she said, had been looking for her birth parents and the adoption agency had finally sent her to meet her birth mother. It was all very exciting and wonderful—but when they met, they both instantly knew they were not related..."

  • ISBN-13: 9780765369147
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 7/29/2014
  • Series: Jane Ryland Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 464

Here's Hank with her Agatha

Hank visits WISH-TV's Indy Style!


Please welcome back to The Reading Frenzy Award Winning, bestselling author, Edward R Murrow & Emmy award winning journalist and personal friend Hank Phillipi Ryan.

Debbie: Hank I can’t tell you how much I loved The Wrong Girl- Tell the folks here a little bit about it. 
Hank: Oh, how wonderful! Thank you. You don’t know how heart-clenching it is, to think about someone you respect reading your book. So this is such a happy relief. Thank you.
And I love this question. The story is “about” a Boston newspaper reporter, the resourceful and determined (and struggling a bit after an unfair firing) Jane Ryland, who begins to suspect a respected adoption agency is reuniting birth parents with the wrong children.

I mean—that’s chilling! Why would someone do that? And would the people in involved ever know? How? 

If a person says to you—here’s the woman you’ve been searching for your whole life. Here are the documents from your adoption agency, and here are the items your mother left when she dropped you off. Would you believe them? You would, of course—but what if, soon, or eventually, you began to fear that you were not with your real parents? If you were living with someone who was not your real birth daughter? What if you didn’t know the truth about your own family?
That’s what THE WRONG GIRL is about.

But there’s more. The book is also “about” how difficult and overloaded the foster care system is. How many helpless kids—who are left behind because of drugs or abuse of a catastrophe or because someone just made a mistake—are sent into a system full of people who may be trying to do their best—but just can’t handle it.

What would happen if someone decided: the system will never work. I’m going to step in and save children—and I don’t care whether it’s legal or not.

So it’s “about” –our love of family. Our bond with our parents. How far would you go to find yours? Would you know them if you met them? It’s also about greed, and manipulation, and cynicism, and the power of desire—and what would happen if someone preyed on our primal need to have a family.

And I’m eager to hear from readers who may have been searching for—or who may have found—their birth families. The stories are often wonderful—but not always. And I’m eager to hear all of them. Email me, via my website, okay? I’m putting together a series of posts sharing them.

D-Tess Gerritsen above calls The Wrong Girl “a one-night read”
Speaking as an author, does it bother you that a novel that took a big chunk of your life to create only takes a matter of days or in some cases hours to be read?

H - Ha! I’ve thought about this. But gee, when you get a book you just can’t put down, that’s a rare and wonderful experience—and we’ve all savored those moments. So, sure…if someone is a voracious and intrigued reader and they devour THE WORNG GIRL, I’m all for it! (Better than the—yawn—alternative, right?

Plus, the amazing Tess said it was a THRILING one-night read. So, hey. Thank you, dear Tess! 

D - Does release day still excite you like it did the very first time?
H -Yes indeed. When the padded white envelope arrived from Forge, and I knew it was my first copy of THE WRONG GIRL, I was almost afraid to open it. It’s anew beginning, right? That moment when you actually hold the book? And I’d loved the cover, but you never know how it will truly be in real life. Well. I about burst into tears. May I confess? I went around the house, holding it up to other books ,and saying—I love it, I love it. I showed it to my husband, about a million times, prouder and prouder. It’s such a culmination of hard work!.

D - I have to admit that your schedule makes me tired just looking at it.
Are you an adrenaline junky, or do you long for more quiet nights at home?
H -I am NOT an adrenaline junky! Really, I’m not. I’m very curious about things and very determined, and a hard worker and quite devoted. But whoa, being able to sit in a big chair next to my darling husband with a glass of wine and watch, oh, say, Sherlock or Project Runway? I sigh with joy and contentment.

I love what I do, and all the conventions and travel and meeting readers and writers, so I don’t LONG for more quiet nights. I wish there was more time in the world, you know? But I’m happy the way it is.

D - When you start on a novel do you already know the ending?
-Nope. Not at all. Scary, huh? (Well, sometimes I think I do, but I’m always wrong.) People say whoa, that ending surprised me! And I say—yeah, me too! I always surprise myself. Sounds funny to say, but it’s wonderful when it happens.

D - You told us in our last interview about The Other Woman that Jane was created sitting in the dentist chair. What precipitated the idea for The Wrong Girl?
H - Well, hilariously, that came from a news tip I got at channel 7! A woman called and wanted me to do a story about her sister, who, she said, had been looking for her birth parents and the adoption agency had finally sent her to meet her birth mother. It was all very exciting and wonderful—but when they met, they both instantly knew they were not related. 

I was fascinated, of course—what an amazing story. As you can imagine, I tucked the phone between my check and my shoulder, and started typing notes like mad.

Turns out, it was a not a very good story. Not for TV at least. It was a clerical error, one that—because of a lot of circumstances and coincidences, including similar names and twins, if you can believe it!—it couldn’t have happened to anyone else. So it was interesting, you know but not an investigative story.

But crime fiction author me started to wonder—what if an adoption agency was reuniting birth parents with the wrong children—on purpose? Why would they do that?? What if someone didn’t know the truth about their own family? 

Well, wow. And at that very moment, I knew I had THE WRONG GIRL. 

- What’s Jane up to next? 
Can you spill a few (Boston) beans?
H - Oh, working on that this very minute! It’s a thriller about ..ah well, Lying. Deception, and doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Jane is on the trail of a series of murders that have taken place in empty homes—home that have been foreclosed on by the bank. She begins to suspect that a Boston bank employee is manipulating mortgage records—to keep homes out of foreclosure. (As the employee says: Bank have been baled out long enough—it’s time for families to get bailed out, too!)

And Jake is on the trail of a cold case--can he finally arrest the Lilac Sunday killer?

It’s tentatively titled “TRUTH Be TOLD.” 

D - Hank, Jane has a quasi-love interest in your novels, Detective Jake Brogan, they battle constantly between their attraction and the right thing to do. I have to admit that the romantic in me really pulls for them to get together but their resistance is also a big draw.
Is their “relationship” fun to write about, or does it make you as crazy as it makes your readers?
- It’s the MOST fun. I love when I get to those scenes. Will they ever got together? Since I work without an outline, I have no idea!

In TRUTH BE TOLD, something big happens. But not at all what you think,

- Hank in our last interview you name-dropped some folks that you’d like to see. You mentioned Michele Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Stephen King and JK Rowling. 
Have you managed to make this happen for any or all of these folks? Have you added to that “must see” list of yours?

H - Rats. Haven’t met any of them yet. Have I added to the list? Ah, Stephen Sondheim.

- Hank you’re an on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate Channel 7, I also know in the past you’ve covered the Boston Marathon and I was afraid for you this year.
Were you at the station?
Did you have any part in reporting about it?

- Yes. I was at the station during the bombing, and was the first person on the air with it . You have to imagine--there I am in the newsroom, microphone on, being given the fifteen second countdown. All we knew was there’d been an explosion at the Marathon. And it was going to be some level of not good.

I could see the writers watching the video feeds that had just begun to come in, but I couldn’t see the screens. Probably a good thing, thinking back on it. 

But what happened? I asked the producer.

“We don’t know yet,” she said. “Something happened at the marathon. An explosion At the finish line. We don’t know Just talk. And you’re on the air in five, four….”

Well, I’ve covered the Marathon many times. I know what the finish line looks like, and who would be there four hours into the race. So I just talked..and conveyed the information as it came in, live, for maybe two hours, as eventually more anchors and reporters came in, and we got live reports from the scene.

As the specifics began to come in, I do clearly remember my knees were weak, and I told myself—pull it together. This is what you DO. And in a break, when another reporter was talking, I called my Dad in Washington DC. “You’re gonna hear the news from Boston soon, I said into the voice mail. “I’m fine. Gotta go,.”

For the next several days ,we were all terrified all the time. Boston was an armed camp—deserted, downtown, except for every law enforcement type imaginable. I was assigned to the command post headquarters. It was—horrible. 

After they caught the bombers, and it was over, the next day my husband and I went to a coffee shop. I saw kids getting doughnuts, and their parents getting coffee, and I burst into tears.

“What is wrong?” my husband asked.

“It’s just so—normal,” I said. 

D - Hank your events page on your website is always full.
Tell us the craziest thing that ever happened to you while attending an author/signing event?

- AH, the day the bookstore didn’t have books? Or when Katherine Hall Page and I showed up in a full-blown blizzard, a declared state of emergency! because the bookstore insisted their customers walked. (Not in a BLIZZARD, we said, correctly. ) Or how about the day I had a terrific signing setup at Borders, a fabulous day, a fabulous store, it was gonna be great. And then the Red Sox got into the World Series. You could have played baseball in that store, it was so empty.

D - Hank as always I’m so happy you took the time to let me pick your brilliant brain. Not that you need it but good luck with the newest Jane novel, The Wrong Girl. I’ll be looking for your next visit to the Show-Me State! And I’m predicting a #1NYT bestseller for The Wrong Girl!
- Whoo hoo. Oh, my goodness. Awww. Thank you. #2 would be fine. Crossing fingers.

Connect with Hank – Channel 7 Bio – Facebook – Twitter - Website - Goodreads

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate, and has won twenty-eight Emmys and ten Edward R. Murrow awards. A Boston Globe bestselling author, Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

My Review of The Wrong Girl

Jane Ryland’s still acclimating to life at The Boston Register, still transitioning from TV to newspaper reporter, after being fired by Boston’s channel 11 for refusing to reveal a source. Deciding maybe this life without “Air Time” and “Face Time” is okay, not having to always be primped has it’s perks, but now it’s all about selling papers and making headlines because there are rumors of more cuts coming.
When former work mate, Tuck comes to Jane with a personal false identity adoption story Jane agrees to help look into Tuck’s adoption. Hoping for a scoop, she begins by finding out just why Tuck thinks she’s The Wrong Girl. The deeper into the story Jane gets there seems to be more questions than answers and Jane’s certain she’s opened a Pandora’s box when she’s personally and anonymously threatened.
In the mean time Boston Homicide Detective, Jake Brogan’s called to investigate a possible domestic turned murder that leaves two children survivors behind, the more comprehensively he and his partner investigate this crime, the more puzzle pieces there are to put into place.
It also places Jane and Jake in the same places at the same time which brings uncertainty as to why and also brings their untimely, star-crossed attraction constantly to the surface where they’re forced to question the sanity of resisting it over giving into it.

Extra, Extra!!
Hank Phillipi Ryan’s newest novel is another brilliant example of why she’s a bestselling, Agatha and Edgar winning author.
Hank’s premise is one that could be headlined on any media source with its mistaken identity adoption draw. She intricately weaves her multiple threaded tale, dropping seemingly innocent thoughts until they start adding up to clues that will lead her readers down the garden path of wrong ways, while she easily slips from one voice to the next. Every character role is played to perfection but at the heart it’s all about Jane. Her scruples are what every J-school professor hopes his students excel at and on pg.142 she says it all when Jane tells readers that her job as a reporter is to “make happy endings” even at the expense of her own, which is yet another pull for fans. The incredible almost palatable attraction between her and Jake and the “right way” Hank always handles it. And then there’s the emotional cliff-hanger Hank so thoughtfully leaves us with that will make us yearn for the next in the series while wondering how on earth we’re going to wait until it’s here.
The Wrong Girl is an adrenaline filled page-turner, an edge of your seat thriller and a romance in hiding; it will attract a variety of readers from multiple genres and attract new fans as well. If you’re looking for a title that will help you heat up those cool autumn nights look no further.
Hank I’ve been there from the beginning and have enjoyed every heart-stopping mile and can’t wait for the next leg of the journey.

Hank's other novels
Jane Ryland

Charlotte (Charlie) McNally series



  1. How wonderful! Thank you! This is so fabulous..and I am delighted! But where on earth did you get that cover of Face Time? That was never actually was rejected early in the process, and was replaced! Whoa.

    This is so lovely--and still floating from the Agatha Award!

    1. You're welcome Hank and so well deserved was the honor. hmmm the cover of FT was found on a B&N link. very strange I'll change it.

  2. I loved this post, and enjoyed the news segment. What a clever idea to do these spotlight and guess what I added her crime novel to my tbr list!!

    1. Thank You Kim :) Just had to celebrate Hank's achievement, she's such a great author and a wonderful person too.

  3. Woot! Congrats to Hank. That's awesome! I'm all for one night reads. I LOVE when that happens and I finally look up and it's like 4 in the morning. lol

    Enjoyed the post Debbie. I love her voice just from the interview. She sounds like a really great person to visit with :)

    1. She is incredible and she has boundless energy! She makes a great guest too!

  4. Great post Debbie! I never read/listen to crime fiction, but I have to admit, you are really tempting me to read The Wrong Girl. The plot sounds very interesting.

    1. Thanks Loupe, not everyone likes crime fiction you may want to start out with her romantic suspense series first to give her a try.