Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 16 · 2 months ago

WB S1E16 Ron Block with Hank Phillippi Ryan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Ron Block talks with Hank Phillippi Ryan about her incredible new thriller, Her Perfect Life

So I, you know, I raced down the block,slammed into a parking place, leapt out of the car, ran to the police officerand said you know I'm hank from channel to what's going on. This is my houseand the police officer said yes, I know who you are and so did the guy who justbroke into your house. Welcome to the Friends and fictionWriter's Block podcast for new york times, bestselling authors, one rockstar librarian and endless stories joined Mary Kay Andrews, Kristn,Harmel, Kristyhristie Woodson Harvey and Patti Callahan Henry along with RonBlock as novelists, We are four longtime friends with 70 books betweenus and I am Ron block. Please join us for fascinating author interviews andinsider talk about publishing and writing. If you love books and arecurious about the writing world, you are in the right place. Welcome to the newest episode ofFriends and fiction Writer's Block podcast. Today we are so excited to betalking to one of the preeminent writers of thrillers, hank PhillippiRyan thrillers are defined as a genre of literature, film and televisionwhose primary feature is that it induces strong feelings of excitement,anxiety, tension, suspense fear and other similar emotions in its readersor viewers. In other words, media that thrills the audience And our guesttoday gives a masterclass of this with every book that she publishes. Sowelcome to the podcast. Hank. It's so great to have you. It's so much fun tohear that introduction, thank you, I know you can't see me but I'm smiling,smiling, smiling, thank you so much. Yes, let me tell everybody a little bitabout you because even I am terrifically impressed by your bio. Sohank is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 novels of suspense. Shehas also won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction, includingfive Agatha's for Anthony's and the coveted mary Higgins Clark award, noslacker here. She's also at the on air investigative reporter for boston'sWhDH Tv and has won 37. Yeah, I said it's 37 Emmys 14 Edward R. MurrowAwards and dozens of other honors for her groundbreaking journalism. Nationalbook reviews have called Hank A Master at Crafting, suspenseful mysteries anda superb and gifted storyteller. Her novels have been named best thrillersof the year by Library Journal, new york post Book bub Pop Sugar RealSimple magazine and others. Her 2019 book was the acclaimed legal thriller,the murder list, which won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Year. Andthat is a wonderful award to win. So congrats on that. Her last book, the1st July was a chilling psychological stand alone. It garnered a start reviewfrom Publishers Weekly and was nominated for the Anthony Award forBest novel and the iconic mary Higgins Clark Award, her latest her PerfectLife, which just released on september the 14th received starred reviews fromKirkus N. P. W. Which called a superlative thriller. It's gathered somany pre pub accolades and recommendations from every corner ofthe literary community. Everyone's going to want to get their hands onthis so hank once again, thank you and congratulations on all of this. It isso lovely to hear that. Thank you. You know, the intensity of the time beforemy new book is published, any author knows this, it's just when you weretalking in the beginning about excitement and anxiety and suspense,you know, that's exactly how we feel when a book is about to be published.So, the approval from readers is just so paramount. Lee, wonderful if I cansay that, it's so reassuring. You know, I sit here for a year writing this bookand wonder is anyone going to like this...

...and I won't know, you know, until it'sthe time. So the time is now so I'm very reassured and delighted you'vegotten so many star reviews for this, it's got to be fulfilling. It's got tobe at least relieving some of that anxiety. Well, you know, when I findout about the well, yes, well, when I find out about the reviews, my editorsends them to me in an email and so with the two with the stars from Kirkusand Publishers Weekly this time, her email subject line said, are yousitting down with some exclamation marks and so I thought this is going tobe a good thing and indeed it was. It certainly was. And before we startedrecording I did tell you how much I loved this book, I'm usually prettygood at figuring out what's going on at the end. But you got me on this one,You really got me on this one and people are really going to eat this oneup. So as we get started, why don't you tell everybody a little bit about theplot of the book? Well, you know, it's interesting because when you talk abouta thriller, when you talk about suspense, sometimes it is verydifficult to talk about the plot of the book because that gives it away and Idon't want to give anything away. So there was something on twitter, I thinkit was, it says, can you talk about your book in five words? So I thoughtsure In five words, her perfect life is sisters, betrayal, guilt, fame andrevenge. So that's sort of the essence of it. Um it's about a reporter namedlily Atwood, everyone knows lily Atwood and that maybe her biggest problem, sheis a reporter who is so perfect that her fans have given her a hashtagperfect lily, but lily has one big dark secret and to keep that perfect life,all she has to do is protect that secret. But how do you keep a secretwhen you are always in the spotlight and when your family is in thespotlight to so lily Atwood begins to understand that the spotlight, maybethe most dangerous place of all those five words are perfect. What anexcellent elevator pitch for the book. Exactly. Well, it's interesting becauseone of the things that is fascinating about writing about lily Atwood, thisfamous celebrated reporter is the idea of fame and how that seems like awonderful thing. So lily chose the life of being in the spotlight, but herfamily didn't choose that her seven year old daughter Rowan didn't choosethat. And one of the things I think will appeal to readers about this isthat no matter what your lifestyle is, or no matter what your job is or yourcareer or the way you live is, there's always this mother daughterrelationship, this bond between mothers and daughters and this bond betweensisters and that's one of the things I really wanted to explore in this book.How far would you go to protect your family? You do anything. How much riskwould you take to protect your child? You do anything. And that's one of thethings that I think uh connects us all in this book, the responsibility thatwe all have to our family. One of the things we love to talk about on here isthe origin of stories like where do they come from? Where do the ideas comefrom? And I'm sure that you have a great one for this one, Do you mindtalking about like where the original ideas came from? I agree, it's sofascinating to learn where stories came from and those little gems of ideas,those little core nuggets of ideas sort of percolate over the years. But Ithink I can trace her perfect life back to a moment when I was the anchorperson, the weekend anchor and at the...

CBS affiliate in Atlanta and I had justgotten off the 11 o'clock news and I drove home to my little house nearAnsley Park in Atlanta and I noticed that there were lots of police policecars on the block with blue lights flashing and they seem to be in frontof my house. So I thought, okay, this is not good and you have to imagineit's midnight May evening night in Atlanta. So I, you know, I raced downthe block, slammed into a parking place, leapt out of the car, ran to the policeofficer and said, you know, I'm hank from channel to what's going on, thisis my house and the police officer said, yes, I know who you are and so did theguy who just broke into your house and I said, someone broke into my house, Ithink I said something like why, which was probably the silliest question ever.And the police officer said he knew you were live on television, so he knew youweren't home and that was just so chilling to me because I had neverthought about the idea of my job being so public and in the spotlight so muchthat people knew where I was. That was one thing I was live on the air, I waslive doing a news story on location, but also they knew where I wasn't andthat was just haunting to me and that has never, that has never faded from mymemory. So when I started writing her perfect life, I started thinking aboutthe glare of the spotlight um and how when you're on television and my myreporter lily Atwood in her perfect life is much more famous soup earlyfamous and everyone knows who she is. And I realized that everyone knows wholily Atwood is, but that maybe her problem, how do you keep a secret whenthe spotlight is always on you? And quickly, moreover, she chose thespotlight lily Atwood chose to be in the spotlight But her daughter, herseven year old daughter did not. So how does the spotlight affect our familiesto? Um and that's what I wanted to delve into that personal experience ofhaving, you know, not being able to go anywhere without someone saying, oh,aren't you hank Phillippi Ryan and having to be that person and lily yetwhat has it, you know, amplified 1000 times? How does she deal with that? Andwhat if someone doesn't like her so many people like her? But what ifsomeone doesn't, what kind of vulnerability does that create and created? You did. It was so amazingand we'll come back right to the book. But the question right now is like howmuch of your work in journalism influences your writing because theyare so interrelated but they also you have to be protective of people. You'reso right Ron they are so interrelated. And it's a couple of ways. One thing myfiction is not my tv stories made into fiction but they are the emotionalresults of those tv stories. I mean I've I've wired myself with hiddencameras and gone undercover and in disguise and chase down criminals andconfronted corrupt politicians. You know all those kinds of experiences.I've had people confessed to murder and convicted murderers tell me that theyare not guilty. I've been behind the scenes at the airport in the basementof courthouses and visited prisons. And I you know I know how people look whenthey lie. So all those kinds of experiences where people generallydon't have them. I take all of that authenticity and all those real lifeexperiences that I've had as a reporter and put those into the books. Plus alsoI get to tell you what it's really like to be a reporter. The pressure and thehigh stakes and the responsibility. I can never make a mistake. A reportercan never make a mistake, never call...

...someone the wrong name nevermiscalculate, never get a fact wrong. You know they can't be one second lateever and so all that kind of pressure, what does that do to your life? And atevery moment that could be disturbed, invaded, harmed. It's all I've beenthreatened and stalked and followed home and screamed at and pushed downand all those kinds of things. All that's what goes into the book. That'sso fascinating. And just just keeping them separate yet so connected. It'sjust got to be like a balancing act. Well, it's interesting because inwriting this great parallel occurred to me. I didn't start writing uh fictionThrillers until I had been a television reporter for 30 years. So every day,essentially for 30 years I'd written a story with a beginning, middle and anend with a character who you cared about with a problem that needed to besolved With research and documents where the good guys win at the end andthe bad guys get what's coming to them and in the end you get some justice andyou get to change the world a little bit. And that is an investigativereporter and that is also a thriller writer. Exactly those same elements gointo an investigative report and into writing fiction. The difference is ofcourse that after 30 years of being a reporter when I started writing fiction,I wondered if I could make stuff up. I wondered if I could write, I wonderedif I could create a whole world that seemed real but wasn't real. And thatwas one of my biggest questions that's got to be quite tricky to have donethat. But do what you have and so beautifully. And you started talking alittle bit about plotting and putting the book together. So how do you lay itall out? Do you have the ending in mind? You have all of the charactersdeveloped or or does it kind of come to you as you go? I love this because Ronyou make it sound like there's some sort of plan that's involved in this.You know, they're the plan is to tell a good story just like as aninvestigative reporter. I don't want you to turn the channel when my storyis on as a fiction writer. I don't want you to be able to put this book down.But I start with often a little germ of an idea, you know, how dangerous mightthe spotlight be and how do you keep a secret when the spotlight is always onyou? I thought, okay, I need a reporter for that. How do I start? What is hersecret? Who was trying to find out the secret because no one tells a secretwithout a reason. Right? So I thought, oh, no one tells a secret without areason. What's the reason? And then I just typed chapter one and then I justsee what happens and it's a tight road. You know, it's it's sort of this leapof faith you type chapter one you think, okay, 400 pages to go wonder what'sgoing to be on those pages and that's what kind of gets me to the computerevery day is. I think I wonder what's going to happen next. And the only wayI can find out is to write the rest of the story and you're so wise because Ithink it does come from being a reporter um when I'm on the trail of astory, I don't know what the end will be right. I'm I'm in search of thestory and that's exactly what I'm doing when I'm writing fiction. I'm in searchof the story. So people say, wow, the twist in her perfect life, wow, thetwist and then the twist and then the twist and twist. Well, I hope so. And Isay, yeah, wasn't that a surprise? You know, who'd have thought that wouldhappen? Because I surprised myself every time. And that is what SueGrafton used to call the magic of writing, that we surprise ourselvesevery time. It's scary. It's risky. Um...

...it's you know, it's a little bit ofnaive because I think, well, all right, I can do this and a little bit ofconfidence because I think, okay, I've done it before for this time, it willwork. So, you know, all of us who are writers are facing this blank page fromtime to time and we all have to deal with that and wrangle that and sort oftrust the process that yet again, a wonderful, thrilling story will emerge.That's so true, so true. You alluded to a routine of sitting down every day. Doyou have a set time where you sit down and say I'm going to do this. Manywords were right for this many hours. I do you know, that doesn't mean I alwaysdo that, but I have a plan because I do think that one of the things that beinga successful author, you to be a successful author, if that ever happens,you have to really write the book, there are lots of fun things that youcan do that are more fun than doing the difficult task, the work of writing thebook. But once I'm into the book I am riveted, I am obsessed with it. So I domake a time, usually in the afternoon say two o'clock where I say, I don'tcare what happens in the universe. I am sitting down at two o'clock and I amwriting my Words for the day. Writing a book is a very daunting task, it seemsoh my golly, how can I write a book? And what I try to do is allow myself tosucceed every day instead of fail every day. I don't fail to write a book everyday. No, I say I'm writing 1000 words and when I do I will succeed and at theend of those 1000 words, I think Yeah, I did my words for the day and I'mhappy and that fuel of doing what I'm supposed to do, writing my darling bookum pushes me to do with the same thing the next day. The joy that I get fromhaving written makes me compelled to go right back to my desk the next day.That's great, small increments win the battle. Yes, it's so important becauseit's a terrifying thought to write a whole book, but it's a fun thought towrite five pages. I can do that. It is. Um so I want to talk a little bit moregenerally about character because in a thriller, you know, you can write allof the different thrilling circumstances and the things that thecharacters go through, but without fully developed characters that reallydoesn't go far. So how do you develop your characters so well? And sobeautiful. And you can even talk about some of the characters in her perfectlife if you want to use as an example. It's fascinating question because oneof the things that I love about writing and one of the things I love about thebooks that I love um is that I think I'm in the character's head, I'msolving their problems. I'm facing their dilemmas. I'm wondering what Iwould do in those situations and how what I would do compares to what thecharacter would do now if the character makes a decision, what I need to do asan author is figure out why they did that. The burning question for all ofmy characters is what does my character want and how far will they go to getthat in her perfect life? Um, lily wants success, lily wants fame, but shealso is compelled to protect her daughter, her little daughter rowan,and she's compelled to protect this secret from her past and she'scompelled to look for her missing sister. And all of those things driveher. So, I think what would be relatable engaging too, The readers ofthis book, we all care about our families, were all juggling ourprofessional lives with our home lives or juggling the two sections of ourlives. We all understand the power of guilt. That's an essence of this story.We may have a sister or siblings. What's our relationship with oursisters or siblings? All those things...

...that make lily be, who we would be ifwe were literally the same with CAssie, the missing sister. What happened toher? Is she dead? Is she not dead? What happened to her? And this as a reporterand her sister lily cannot give up on this search. And you know, how you feelwhen you are obsessed with something. And you cannot give up. And I tried totranslate all of our emotions, the emotions that you and I and readershave every day. And and connect my characters with those lily and cassieand Greer, the producer is very, very career oriented and has her opinionsabout lily and would do anything for lily just ask her. She would. Um, butwhat is her real goal? So I take real emotions from real people and give mycharacters goals and motivations and then require them and here's the keyrequire them to make a decision. And every time they have to make a decisionthat reveals their personality and it reveals their goal and then the bookmoves ahead. Yes. And their decisions are not always the best. As a reader,you're going like, don't do that, don't do that well, it's interesting becauseand that's my complete key here. The reason lily makes a decision, or Greermakes a decision. It's because they think it's the right thing to do forwhat they want. So how many times have each of us said, oh, I'm not surethat's the right thing to do, but I have to because I want this thing. Um,and that's what connects all of us, is that we rationalize and we convinceourselves that we are doing what we need to do to get what we want. Eventhough our friends are saying, Honey, are you sure that's what you want to do?And you say yes, it is, yes, it is. This is what I want to do because thisis what I need to do to get what I want right? I have no other option. This iswhat I have to do. Um they're so deep to there, so relatable. Each of thecharacters are like we either ourselves or we know somebody like it. So you'vedone such a wonderful job of fully developed characters just wonderful.Well it's fun because I want you to, I want you to love lily and I want you tocare about her and Greer and cassie and Rohan, I want them to be your newfriends, just like you would care about someone that you love. My joy is tocreate characters who you will love and who you will root for and who you willcare about. And when I see them come to life on the page when I'm writing andwhat they say just comes out. It's as if I'm not writing for them, it's as ifI am them. It's sort of this um almost like method acting where I know that myposture when I write about lily is different than my posture when I writeabout career or even when I write about little Rohan, I become a, you know, aseven year old, a mischievous, smart seven year old and it's it's a joy.It's absolutely a dream come true. It is to read because little Roey as youcall in the book and I love seeing the situations from her point of view arereally pretty amazing and seeing the world from her eyes adds a depth thatwe might not have seen otherwise I think writing about a child being in achild's voice and head can remind us of some of the joys that we have asChildren. And also some of the fears that we have as Children, and also sortof the way we look at the world about trust and about excitement and aboutwhat makes us happy. And also testing the boundaries with our parents, youknow, pushes lily a little bit to see if she can get what she wants, right,just like every other character. And lily is a great mom. She really pridesherself on taking care of her and she's...

...a little hungry and a little protectivebecause back to the spotlight, what kind of a mom in that position in thespotlight wouldn't be fearful of how the edges of that bright light mightaffect her little daughter. Right. Right, so let's go on a little bit tothe format of the book. Now you write an alternating characters, but they arenot linear. There's sometimes it's it's a couple of this character and maybeone of this one then Back to this one. And but it really compels the story tomove forward in a way that you don't know who to trust, which is part ofbeing reading a good thriller is getting there. So how does how do youapproach that and make that work? I'm applauding it. I'm applauding you here.Thank you so much. I know you can't see me, But um it's so nice that you saidmake that work. Thank you that structure of a novel, that way ofhaving you be in the now of the story. Whether it's a now that takes place nowor the now of before, if you understand what I mean. So, when when a reader,when the reader has to know something about the story that happened in thepast, instead of having a flashback or someone say, oh, I remember the time X,y and Z, and having a lot of internal thought and a lot of internal dialogue.I like to take the reader to the now of them, if that makes it makes completesense. Okay, so, here you are, at some point with CAssie, who when lily isseven years old, Cassie goes off to college now, lily doesn't know aboutthat CAssie disappears. We the reader, you and the reader, we need to knowsomething about CAssie because we need to care about her as much as lillycares about her. And so we will care about her if we are in her head and weknow about her, and we see gradually what happens to her. Just like watchingtv you'll have something that takes place in the now and then the nextepisode will be before. And I think my readers are smart and I think myreaders are wise and I think my readers are savvy and they can understand andembrace. Here's something I needed to know that happened before. Thank you,hank for telling me this and I understand how that structure works.And then in the end, of course, all those puzzle pieces start to fittogether and all those strings start to braid together. And we see how the pastinforms the future. We see how what happens in the end happens inevitably.Of course, that's what's going to happen now, that we understand thestory. It makes perfect sense, especially for this book because all ofthose little braids and threads, they do really come together and I keptgoing, wait, how did she do this? How does she do that? That's not going tohappen. But it was really fun because as we were talking about earlier, youknow, I don't know what's going to happen next. And as a writer, sometimesI have exactly the same feeling that you do, which is oh my golly, how am Igoing to handle this? And I and I let that kind of ruminate. And I imaginewhat I say to myself is what would really happen, What would someonereally do and what might have really been? And there are a couple of partsin her perfect life where I was sitting here right here, where I'm talking toyou alone in my study, where I stood up and applauded when I myself when Ifigured out how to twist and turn and make something be wonderful andsurprising and unique. I honestly stood up and applauded because I was so proudof myself when those moments happen. Don't tell anyone that I did that. Ohno, I won't, I won't and don't tell anyone that I'm reading the book andevery once in a while I'm going like, no, everybody around me is like, whatare you talking about? I love that, that's my favorite, awesome. Yeah, Okay,so let's kind of switch a little bit too about your writing in general. Youwrite both series and stand alone's...

...what are the challenges for you foreach of those approaches? Yeah. Isn't that a fascinating question becausethey are so different. The challenges for writing a series and writing astand alone are so different. I've written nine books in two series, thecharlotte McNally mysteries, the first of which is prime time. Which one, theagatha for best first novel, then my second series, beginning with the otherwoman, the jane ryland thrillers, which one, the mary Higgins Clark Award in aseries. The Good News for the writer is that, you know, your characters, youknow, your main characters, you know, the setting, you know, their goals, youknow, their job, you know what kind of a book it is, you have your world andyour tone and the sensibility of how that book is going to be. But what thereader knows is that jane Ryland and the jane Ryland books jane Ryland isnot going to die in book one because she's going to come back to book twoand book three. So, the challenge for a writer of series is how do you keep itexciting? How do you keep the reader engaged when the stakes cannot be thedeath, life and death of the main character, because the main characteris not going to die. So, the challenge for a writer of a series is to makesomething else in that story equally suspenseful to make the reader keepreading the pages and be on the journey with the main character. It's adifferent kind of point of view and a different kind of plot challenge, whatadventure will jane Ryland have in the next book, and that's what thechallenge of a series is, and that's and that's difficult because no matterwhat happens to jane, she's not going to die. And my smart readers know that,but in a stand alone, in a stand alone now, the writer has some power. Ofcourse the difficulty is we need a new brand new character and a brand newsetting in a brand new milieu in a brand new problem and brand new goalsand brand new obstacles and brand new terrors, but but anything can happenand you say to the reader, watch this because you are going to be surprised,anybody can be good, anybody can start out good and turn into being bad,anybody can start out bad and turn into being good. Anyone can lie, anyone canbe unreliable and anyone can die. Anyone can die and anyone can be guilty.So the glory of a stand alone is that as an author, I can just pull the rugout from under you and say you think, you know what's going to happen nextLike in her perfect life, you think, you know what's going to happen next?But you don't know and that sort of power, that sort of bandwidth is reallyexciting for me. So two different challenges to different types ofchallenges. Equally fun to write. I love your clarity on each because I,I've spoken with other writers who were like, oh, I don't know. But I just lovethe clarity of the two and the challenges are spot on for the readerto because we know we can trust that the characters in a series are going tocontinue and you have to keep the pace up for a long time. But in the standardloans, Yeah, nothing. You don't know what's coming in a stand alone. You hithigh gear really fast and then it gets higher and higher and higher in aseries. You think, oh, here I am with charlie McNally. Again, here I am withjake and jane Again, I wonder what will happen to us. So it's a differentreading experience as well. Absolutely, Absolutely. So can you tell us a few ofthe either authors or books or both that influenced your writing earlybooks that were in your life that influenced you. Yeah. You know it'sinteresting to think about that. I grew up in really rural indiana so ruralthat you couldn't see another house from our house and my sister and I usedto ride our ponies to the library and take books out of the library. We'dfill our saddlebags with books and then...

...read up in the hay loft of the barnbehind our house. Um and I was such a geeky, nerdy little girl. Oh my God,you can't believe it. I had no friends except for the characters in books andI started with nancy drew as we all did. But then you know I read SherlockHolmes and I thought now this is a story, this is a story. And I began tolearn about character and I began to learn about a lot and I began to learnabout storytelling and then I read agatha Christie, I remember reading, Iremember reading so clearly Murder on the orient express Up in the Hayloft Ithink I was 12. And I remember thinking wait a minute, how did she do that? AndI went back to the beginning and I read the book again and I started to sort ofdeconstruct all the clues that she had left and that ending is gorgeous. It isnot only gorgeous because it's surprising but it's gorgeous becauseeric you'll borrow doesn't do what you'd expect him to do. It's alsoemotional and moral, I wouldn't I'm not going to give away the ending if youdon't know it. But that was a life changing book from a Murder on theorient express. And then I read all the wonderful golden age authors, Nyo Marshand Josephine Tey and Marjorie Allen Hammond Dorothy Sayers, I loved thatkind of storytelling, but I moved through mystery then when I was in highschool I read all the thrillers fail Safe and seven days in May and on thebeach and all those cold war thrillers that I loved and then later Day of theJackal, you know, I love that. And then moving into my real life as a writer,Silence of the lambs, you know, that's a perfect book, it is a perfect book.And then for writing for a writerly books, Edith Wharton, I majored inShakespeare in college. So that idea of storytelling and suspense andcharacterization and motivation. So many of Shakespeare's plays or murdermysteries, aren't they? And then Edith Wharton I loved Edith Wharton for hersocial commentary and that wonderful dialogue is incredible. And Hunter? SThompson when I worked at Rolling Stone magazine in the seventies, I workedwith Hunter? S Thompson a lot and he taught me how to just go for it, youknow, just write it just do it, just put that on the page, you can alwaysfix it later. So Hunter Thompson taught me To be brave. So those are kind ofthe influences that Stephen King then of course. And my final thing isStephen King, you know in the 80s, I was a reporter in Atlanta and don'ttell this either. You're making me say all these kinds of things that Ihaven't told. I called in sick when I wasn't sick because I was reading thestand and I thought I am not going, I cannot wait to see what happens in thisbook. Um, and he is such a master storyteller uh that he had me rivetedand every single thing I read of his now is again is just perfectstorytelling. Give up your weekend because of the Stand might have been aweek, but it's such great books, such great history of reading in your life.So I want to also talk about how much you give other people because I knowthat you are such a supporter of other writers and whether they're long termor whether the debut, but you are showing it recently on your firstchapter fund. I think it's instagram and facebook with Hannah Mckinnon Andyou're also doing now 90 mysteries on a mighty blaze with that wonderful groupof people. So what does all that mean to you? And I'll fulfilling is that foryou, it's the most fun. It is absolutely so rewarding in every way.You know, I was past President of National Sisters in Crime and we cameup with a motto for National Sisters in Crime, which is you write alone, butyou're not alone and that is sort of the essence of what we all do as acommunity of authors. There's always...

...another book. I want you to love mybooks, I want you to read my books, but after you read my books, look at allthese wonderful other books you need to know about. And it's been one of thejoys of my life to be able to introduce readers to other people's books. Thatdiscovery ability now, especially in the crazy, hideous covid times, how dowe know what books we might want to read? So Hannah mary Mckinnon and Ievery Tuesday and thursday at 12 30 et on instagram and facebook, read thefirst chapter of a new authors book out loud, it may be your favorite author,someone you've read a million times, it may be a brand new author. We lovedebuts, we love the veteran, wonderful favorite bestselling authors, you neverknow what you're going to get on first chapter fund. And that's a joy ofcourse a mighty blaze. Asked me to be the interviewer for a mighty mystery.So every Tuesday at four, I interview a wonderful authors sometimes debuts,sometimes incredibly famous best selling authors, Anthony Horowitz iscoming and lisa Unger is coming and really wonderful author. So that's alsogreat again, another way for you to discover a new book? And Karen Dion andI do the back room, which is twice a month, a panel of four authors who wehave. Uh I think the next one coming up is me as a matter of fact with tetGarretson, PJ vernon and Jeffery Deaver and the audience gets to go intobreakout rooms and talk to each of us individually because Karen and I wereconcerned that in the pandemic We missed that face to face and we weretrying to figure out how to have a face to face event where readers and authorscould really connect one on one, essentially, and that's the back room.So yeah, and in all that, I'm supposed to be writing my book, which is dueOctober the 6th. So we'll see how that goes. And your work in journalism, youknow, change the hats all the time. Well, it's a jungle, I have to admit toyou, but what a joy. And you know, I think one of the things I've learnedabout this is that we have to go for it. We have to be a little brave. You thinkabout little Rohan how brave she is and why do we give up as adults, Why do wegive up that joy? Why do we give up that bravery? This is something that Ireally try to embrace with my fabulous, fantastic, wonderful, beloved readersand my dear dear author friends, it's so marvelous to be able to connect them.It's wonderful. So finally, where can our listeners find you online way toooften. I'm on instagram at Hank P Ryan and twitter at hank P Ryan and facebookeasily. And the back room and first chapter fund and a mighty blaze easiest.Maybe just go to my website hank Phillippi Ryan dot com where you canfind out everything about everything. And if you click on contact on mywebsite, that email comes right to me. There's no middle person. So I will seeit instantly. Wonderful. That's really kind of you to be so accessible topeople. It's not always the case. Well we write alone, but we're not alone andpart of my life, a major part of my life is connecting with readers andhoping that they love her perfect life, which I'm very, very excited andthrilled about and that we continue our relationship. Yes. Yes, definitely.Well, a huge thank you for joining me today. Hank. It's it's been such anhonor to speak with. You have been a big fan for so long and your bookingcareer are off the charts and you just keep you keep delivering and keepingreaders tied to the page. So you've enriched their lives and my life witheverything. You do huge success for her perfect life. I hope it's the best bestseller that you've had so far crossing fingers. Thank you. I'm going to recordwhat you just said and play it over and over and over. Please do. And thank youRon. And Friends in fiction for having...

...me here today. It has been a joy totalk with you. Friends in fiction is unbelievably delightfully fantastic. Imean talk about people who are giving back to their community so I am honoredto be with you all today. Yes, it's such a pleasure to have you. And thankyou to our listeners. Please consider purchasing her Perfect life or any ofthe latest from the fab five at the newly created Friends and fictionbookshop page on bookshop dot org. It helps local booksellers nationwide.This podcast would not be possible without your support of it. Along withthe amazing Friends and fiction members you are all treasured. Please be sureto tell a friend to join in. Thank you for tuning in to the Friendsand Fiction Writer's Block podcast. Please be sure to subscribe rate andreview on your favorite podcast platform, tune in every friday foranother episode and you can also join us every week on facebook or Youtubewhere our live Friends and fiction show Airs at seven p.m. Eastern Standardtime. We are so glad you're here.

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