Hurray! It’s publication day for the WRONG GIRL!
Library Journal says: "Stellar. Ryan has a gift for writing superb thrillers.
Booklist—starred review!--says: "Another winner from Ryan."
And so many more, It brings tears to my eyes! Including the blog-star Lesa Holstine, who said..well, go to her blog and find out.
And at the end of this blog--two irresistible contests!
Anyway, tonight is the party! (click for info! You're invited!) Will you be there? If not, we'll miss you—but here some of the things I might be asked:
What is "The Wrong Girl" about?
If a person says to you—here’s the birth mother 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?
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?
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.
Where’d you get the idea?
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!—probably could not have happened to anyone else.
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.
You're an investigative reporter and a novelist -- how do you balance both?
Really? Ask my friends. I work all the time. Now you’re laughing, but it’s the truth.
I go to work at Channel 7 around 9 am—and come home at 6:30. I write til ten, and then make dinner! My darling husband is very patient. I have learned to be very organized. Seriously, I have lists of lists. I have learned NOT to multi-task—to do one thing at a time, to really DO it, and then move on. I think if I try to juggle, say, talk on the phone and answer emails at the same time—neither one gets done very well.
I work on vacation days, and on weekends. Jonathan and I haven’t been to a real movie in a long time—nor have we been away on vacation. It’s a—well, not a sacrifice, since I’m very happy. Very happy. But it is a lifestyle choice.
Easier—lemme think. I guess “easier”—if any part of it is “easy” which it isn’t—is that when the pitfalls come, they’re not as frightening, because I’ve been there before. So on the days when I think—I’ll never figure this out. I stink. This is a terrible book. Whose idea was this, anyway? I can pause, and laugh, and realize I’ve said that six times before. And it sort of—diminishes the terror. Sort of.
Harder? Oh, harder is a much easier question. Now I know I have to be better each time, not make the easy choices, the book had s to be completely fresh and completely new and completely compelling. I love that readers are expecting a complex tale of suspense, a “Jane” story and a “Jake” (the detective) story—and that in the end the two plots will come together.
Making that happen is very very difficult. Though when it works, its fabulous. And, confession? At the end of THE WRONG GIRL, when I figured it out? I stood up and applauded myself. And then I burst out laughing. Luckily there was no one home to witness that!
What's next for you?
I am working like mad on the next Jane Ryland book, tentatively titled TRUTH BE TOLD. Jane discovers a bank employee who seems to be ‘adjusting’ people’s mortgages so they don’t lose their homes to foreclosure. The employee tells Jane—the banks have been bailed out, now it’s time to bail out the people. (Guess what happens to her?)
There’s also Jake, investigating a cold case murder that his Grandfather the commissioner, failed to solve. I’m in the scary part, where I’m not sure what’s going to happen.!
And I’m crazy on tour! It’s amazing, for a person who used to be terrified of flying. Now I look forward to it, because I love to write on the plane. I cannot wait to come see everyone. Visit my website for the whole schedule—you will not believe it!
And my darling darling Reds…all of you, each and every one of you out there. I wish I could hug each of you in person and thank you!
In the comments, tell me where you are! If I’m not in your neighborhood this time, I’ll plan for the next!
And here are two irresistible contests! Check them out… And see you on the road! http://www.hankphillippiryan.com/newsletter-9-13b1.html