Friday, April 6, 2012

Do You Want to Know A Secret?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: All this week we've been talking about when we knew we loved writing, or knew we loved reading.  We've talked to Carolyn Hart who's on her fiftieth book, and Lori Roy, who's just written her first.  And Delia Ephron, who reminded us, no matter what, to roar.
Did I always want to be a writer? Yes. No. Yes. No. You know me--I wanted to be a lawyer, or a geneticist, or a stewardess (it was the fifties, and that's what they were called.) But really? Truth be told? I wanted to marry John Lennon and live happily ever after.

Turns out, I'm not the only one with a   

Secret Love
            by Sofie Kelly

“Did you always want to be a writer?” I’m asked that question a lot. It’s second only to, “Where do you get your ideas?” People are usually surprised when I say, no, I didn’t always want to be a writer. I wanted to become a director, move to Hollywood, and marry Michael Cole.

Do you remember Michael Cole? He played Pete on the Mod Squad. The Mod Squad were three young people who had been in trouble with the law, who were recruited to work undercover for the police. Clarence Williams III was Linc and Peggy Lipton was Julie. Tige Andrew played Captain Adam Greer, their supervisor.

I never missed an episode. I studied the sets, I tried to figure out camera angles. I started walking the temperamental Corgi across the road to make money for a plane ticket to L.A  I may have been a geeky ten year old, but I had a plan. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled before I’d saved enough to go to Los Angeles—or film school.

I still have a soft spot for Michael Cole after all these years, but now, I also have a not-so-secret thing for Matt Lauer.

Yes, Matt Lauer from the Today Show. What’s not to love? He’s a little obsessive, the way I am. And he’s the only person who uses more Purell hand sanitizer than I do.

In fact, I gave my crush on Matt to one of the characters in my Magical Cats mystery series. In the first book, Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, we learn that Kathleen Paulson and her best friend, Maggie Adams, are watching a celebrity dance show, Gotta Dance, and Maggie is cheering for Matt Lauer. Now I don’t know if Matt can really dance or not, but in my fictional world he can. In fact, Matt and his partner end up winning the coveted crystal trophy as Gotta Dance champions, much to Maggie’s delight.

Maggie’s affection for Matt Lauer continues in the second book in the series and on into book three, Copycat Killing, which will be out May 1st.

Alas, I think my chances of meeting the real Matt are about as good as my chances were for meeting Michael Cole when I was ten. So I pulled out my knitting needles and made my own Matt Lauer.

The resemblance is remarkable, don’t you think?

So Reds and friends, any secret or not-so-secret crushes you’d like to share? And does anyone know what happened to Michael Cole? Leave a comment and you could win an ARC of Copycat Killing.


Bio: Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of young adult writer Darlene Ryan. Sofie writes the New York Times best-selling Magical Cats mysteries. The next book in the series, Copycat Killing, will be out May 1st.
Darlene is the author of five award-winning teen novels including Cuts Like a Knife, a Junior Library Guild Selection for Spring 2012.
Visit Darlene at
Visit Sofie at



  1. I had a crush on the fellow that played Exador on
    Mork and Mindy..Dee

  2. affection for Russell Crowe knows no bounds - carb-face be damned - but when I was a mere lass I had a huge thang for Leon Russell. I even named my cat after him. What a wild child i was.

  3. Dee, that was the late Robert Donner, probably best known for Cool Hand Luke--one of my husband's favorite movies.

    Rosemary, I'm trying to picture a slightly younger you sitting rapt at Leon Russell's feet while he sings If I Were a Carpenter. I like his version of the song, by the way.

  4. Yes, perfect likeness of Matt Lauer. Now that's an obsession! ;-)

    I've only had two crushes on actors, both odd: Tony Curtis (this was the 60's, and I was around 14), and Gene Wilder. The heart wants what the heart wants, right?

  5. Karen, how interesting!

    I had a big crush on Fonzie. Though I'd have happily gone home in Richie's pocket.

  6. Oh, Leo Russell. What a cute ct name. And, continuing the saga of how Ro and I are long lost sisters (same way Darlene RYAN and I are)...I had a cat named Leon as well!

    Mine was named after Ponce de Leon, though. Who was not such a good singer (that we know of) but was adventurous.

    My crush? Besides John Lennon? Well, you know , Paul Simon. Ah..Well, in college, Henry V. I used to dream about him.

    And then--Gregory Peck.

    And then--Richard Rees as Nicholas Nickelby. (These are funny picks, I know. I also still have a huge crush on Inspector Morse. The guy who played Inspector Morse, I suppose, but only in his persona as Morse.)

    My guilty crush--Keanu Reaves in Speed. How cool was he?

  7. Leon Russell, I mean, of course. And CAT name. I must learn to ssellcheck..

  8. Sean Connery. Need I say more! I fell in love when I was barely pubescent and it continues still. I thought it was the older man thing, but my husband of 25 years is younger than I am. i think it's just Sean Connery.

  9. Currently, I'm a Johnny Depp woman, but back in the day, it was Paul McCartney. Hank, you and I could have run around and had fun as long our hubs stayed together. Wouldn't that have been cool? I think you'd have been much better for John than Yoko. xoxo

    Darlene, last I heard (from my son who follows all things pop culture) Michael Cole was playing in one of the soap operas. Maybe General Hospital? Guiding Light?

    The funny thing is that I've had lots of friends who were madly in love with Mick Jagger, but he did nothing for me, though I liked his music. Then, I ended up marrying someone who looks so much like him (the old Mick before age and drugs took their toll) that folks always come up to us and ask if he is Mick or related to him. Anyone going to Malice will see--since Ben's going with me. Just look for the guy who looks like Mick Jagger next to the woman who looks like Wilma Mankiller. Odd couple.

  10. Karen I do see the appeal of Gene Wilder. Silver Streak is one of my favorite movies.

    Hallie is clearly torn between the Bad Boy and the Boy Next Door.

    I've never seen Speed but I love The Lake House. Yes, I know it's hokey. Hank, as sisters maybe we could share Keanu.

  11. Mary, Harrison Taylor Senior in the Magical Cats books is inspired by Sean Connery. You have great taste.

    Wilma Mankiller and Mick Jagger would have made an interesting couple. Linda, I'm assuming you and your husband do too. And I think Mick and Johnny Depp have a certain similarity.

  12. Allllright, this is a secret so shhh, no FBing, no tweeting no blackmail and yes I would still leave my husband of 32 years for him in a nanosecond.
    Leonard Nimoy, the only thing I can think of is, it has to be the ears. :)

  13. You haven't seen SPEED? Oh, how lovely. I wish I hadn't. It would be fun to see it again for the first time. I wonder if it's stlil good...

    Oh, ABSOLUTELY James Bond-Sean Connery. Whoa. Absolutely. Even Robin Hood-older-Sean Connery. (Was he Robin and Marion?) But
    didn't he turn out to be a creepy guy in real life?

    I could go either way about Johnny Depp. Yes, in Chocolat. (Wasnt that him?)

  14. Oh, my, Johnny Depp. Yes, that was him in, sigh, Chocolat. And in Pirates, and in Sweeney Todd.

    Has anyone seen Dark Shadows yet? (I'm not sure if it's out yet.) From the trailer it looks as though he's hilarious as Barnaby Collins.

    In honor of Sweeney Todd, my captcha is assesswo mincen!

  15. I used to have a crush on Robert Redford, when he looked young and gorgeous. That has sort of waned now he looks old. (How fickle I am)

    Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy still sets my heart a flutter.

  16. My first crush was James Garner on Maverick. In high school, before I had any idea what sex or sexy was (believe me, I was late to catch on), I thought Tom Jones was hot.

    Now? Of COURSE Johnny Depp. My orthopedic surgeon, who is exactly my age, a slim runner with longish gray hair, Italian-cut slacks, and the most gorgeous silk ties. And no, I'm not making up this knee pain.

    Well, and my Hugh, who is also tall and slim and has longish gray hair. I still have a crush on him after all these years.

  17. When I was around 8 or so, Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel was my very first hint to the whole Boy/Girl thing. Still don't understand women 47 years later, but when she was on the screen, the whole universe froze.

    I was 15 and went to see LIVE AND LET DIE. The moment, I mean the *moment* I laid eyes on Jane Seymour, I was toast.

    Both are still major crushes to this day...:)

  18. Oh, jeez, Debbie! How could I forget! Leonard Nimoy and Spock! Be still my heart. I think it was the smoldering passion underneath the cool exterior. Do you remember the episode where he went into pon farr? "My blood burns!" Sigh.

  19. Yeah, Hank, the guy with the ponytail and Irish accent in Chocolat was Johnny. I like that he allows himself to play so many different parts and not always the heartthrob. And of course, he's hot.

  20. Darlene, when I read Curiosity, I thought "Matt Lauer? He's on TV, right? Mornings, somewhere?" I had to do the research. :) So as far as I'm concerned, your knitted idol is right on!

  21. Colin Firth..absolutely. Johnny Depp, there's a picture of him sitting on a fridge - on my fridge. Sean Connery forever. Gene Wilder I'm going to have to think about. He lives 5 minutes from me in CT and his wife is on the Board at the Arboretum where I sometimes volunteer so I've seen him recently - sans blue blanket (from Producers). And Debbie...Leonard Nimoy? Was it his poetry??

  22. Linda, I kept waiting for the human side to come out, but alas it never did and oh wow the pon farr, also I pictured myself as the recipient of his adoration on the episode in 67 when he fell in love :)
    Rosemary, everything out of his mouth was poetry :)

  23. Debbie, I think with Leonard Nimoy it might be a combination of the un-attainability of Spock coupled with Nimoy's voice. He's not James Earl Jones or Dennis Haysbert but he does have a great voice. Did you all hear him last week on the Big Bang Theory?

    Colin Firth, Rhys? Oh yeah, another great voice.

    Okay, William, fess up. It's all that black leather Diana Rigg wore as Mrs. Peel that entices you, isn't it?

    And did anyone notice Leslie didn't share her secret crush with us?

  24. I agree with Colin Firth. I've had a crush on him since he walked out of the water in "Pride & Prejudice."

    I'm not one to crush on the obvious hunks like Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Johnny Depp, though--yum--he's a quirky hunk. I like me some Clive Owen too. I've liked him since a little movie called "Croupier."

    For the longest time I had a thing for Vincent D'Onofrio. I still don't know what that was about. I liked his intensity, I guess. These days: Benedict Cumberbatch! Don't know who he is? Check out the new BBC "Sherlock" series coming in May! (Second season actually.)

  25. My very first crush in grade school was on Richard Chamberlain--remember Dr. Kildare? Then came puberty and the Beatles, and I've been a Paul McCartney girl ever since. I wanted to move to London and camp outside his house in St. John's Wood. I was sure he'd like me better than that Jane Asher, even if I was a little bit young...

    Too many to name since, mostly Brits. Hugh Grant before he got so cranky (or maybe he was always cranky and we just didn't know it.) Colin Firth. Rupert Penry-Jones. I do love Johnny Depp. I think Clooney is handsome, smart, and very funny, but not sexy. Don't know why. Same with Brad Pitt. But, oh, I adore Matt Damon.
    And Robert Downey, Jr.

    The latest crop? Benedict Cumberbatch, definitely. And an Irish actor named Aidan Turner who plays Mitchell in the UK version of Being Human. He's going to play Kili the dwarf in The Hobbit. Should be interesting.

    (Oh, and Darlene, you're Matt Lauer doll is the best!)

  26. Oh. Hugh Grant. In Love, Actually. I mean, honestly..who could possibly be cuter??

    LOVE Colin Firth.

    Yes,Debs, there was a big controversy at my school about whether Dr. Kildare was cuter--or Ben Casey.

  27. Oh, I totally forgot about Dr. Kildaire. And then Paul Newman, too!

  28. Well, I have to admit I wouldn't turn down Hugh Grant as he was in Love Actually. Love Colin Firth in just about anything he does. Gosh, it turns out I'm a lot more fickle than I thought. :-)

  29. And I have to admit being quite taken with Richard Chamberlain in Centennial and Shogun.

    And Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock is intriguing, though I'd never say I'm a Cumberbitch, as some do.

    I'm lucky, though. My Ben is good-looking and sweet and brilliant and he's a great professional editor and first reader. Why would I wander? when I die, all my women friends will be lined up outside my door to try to catch him for themselves.

  30. I'm a sucker for a British accent and a sweet movie, so Gerard Butler in Dear Frankie wins my heart every time. If you haven't seen it, it's a hidden gem.

    But my first crush? Bob on Sesame Street. The singing, the smile, the signing with Linda... I still look out for him every year at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

  31. Sean Connery, and Johnny Depp, and a slue of slightly bad boys. And the voices. And anything with Colin Firth, whom I actually saw as the youthful lead in an old Msterpiece Theater. Must be the accent...yeah, right. You all are a kick.

  32. Laura, hearing you had a thing for Bob from Sesame Street makes me feel better about my brief "thing" for Luis. The Munchkin was a baby. Her father was working out of town and we'd had days and days of very bad weather so we'd been stuck in the house. We had a Sesame Street video from the library that we had watched every day. On about day seven I realized Luis was starting to look pretty fine to me.

  33. Darlene, I just burst out laughing.

    I kind of liked Rod Serling. But I'm a sucker for the smart ones.

    LAura, never heard of Dear Frankie! Checking it out..

  34. I'm going to count on William to correct me if I get the name wrong (he helped me come up with the name when we had a similar discussion on the old TLC and I have forgotten it again) but I had my first HUGE crush on a young actor who had just joined the cast of 77 Sunset Strip in 1963. I think his name was Robert Walker? Earlier on, I had had a crush on child actor Eddie Hodges. But the crush on Robert Walker,if that's his name,was the one that made this good Catholic girl decide at the age of 14, "nope, never gonna be a nun!"

    In high school I adored -and I don't remember why - Jack Lemmon. I even dreamed about him. I got over the whole Jack Lemmon thing for decades but it returned a few years before he died. (He DID die,didn't he?)

    My mom, who died fourteen years ago,once told me that she carried a torch for Christopher Plummer. She could have happily watched him portray a serial killer,apparently. I couldn't understand the attraction, until recently watching The Sound of Music for about the twentieth time.It suddenly hit me: he's Hot! (Mom, nowadays you'd have to fight me for him!)

    Although I agree that George Clooney is handsome and smart,I don't see him as sexy. That might be because with his coloring and the shape of his face,especially around the mouth,he has some facial expressions that resemble my dad's when he was George's age. (And nobody's dad is sexy. Ew.)

    But my biggest, all-time,never-ending crush has been and will always be -ta da! - Cary Grant! Don't ANYBODY say anything bad about my Cary! I guess he would be around two hundred years old now;I could still watch him do anything!

  35. Hands off, women. Colin Firth is mine.

  36. Hands off ladies. Firth is mine.

  37. Hands off, women. Firth is mine.

  38. The older brother on Leave it to Beaver, Tony Dow. (I saw him on People's Court a few years ago! Still looked pretty good.) and Ricky Nelson's older brother, David, after I saw him in The Big Circus in tights.

  39. My very first crush? Moe Howard. Seriously. When I was 5, I told my grandfather I was going to marry Moe. Grandpa laughed and commented about how Moe might be a little old for me. Little did I know that Moe was about Grandpa's age.

    Soon, my heroes were cowboys. I moved on to Michael Landon on "Bonanza," although I didn't get to watch the show much because it came on too late. Earl Holliman on "Wide Country,"a short-lived series about the two brothers who were rodeo cowboys, A time change also put that one on past my bedtime, too.

    John was my favorite Beatle. (Don't think I didn't think of Moe's haircut when the Beatles came to America.)

    And, IMO, NCIS is REALLY "The Ducky Show" - I loved David McCallum from "The Man from UNCLE."

  40. Mickey Dolenz first and always, then Paul McCartney. I'll share with Debs, and Robert Redford with Rhys.

    Remember Stephan Edberg on the tennis circuit, Ro? I was big on him for a long time...

    But honestly, can't think of anyone I'd leave my hub for at this point:). Got him all broken in just so, and vice versa I'm sure!

  41. Pierce Brosnan for sure, then David James Elliot. Then there's Mark Harman. I could go on for days but the first crush was a kid named Richard, that's all I can remember, I was in first grade. Wow, it was cute.

  42. Deb, I agree with you and your Mom about Christopher Plummer. Again, it's the voice. I have a thing for voices.

    Moe Howard? Ronda you were one very cool little kid.

    Kaye, why the heck was Tony Dow on People's Court?

    Ahh, Lucy, what a nice thing to say about your husband. Mine made supper!

  43. Tony DOW? Okay, we'll have to chat about that one. But David Nelson. Ooh.

    Could I have seen Henry Winkler play Hamlet? I think? Is that POSSIBLE? I have a memory of it being wonderful. Now, thinking about it, can that possibly be?? Am I hopelessly conflating my crushes?

  44. Hate to admit just how plebeian I am, but right now my not-so-secret crush is on Toby Keith....

  45. Aw, I love hearing these...

    Tomorrow--a quiz! Yes, a quiz...which I am laughing too hard to take. Ah, yes, I'm sure you will find it very instructive. IF you dare!

  46. I've come to the terrible conclusion that some of us (pointing no fingers, Hank) are kind of crush-sluts with lots of different crushes through the years--and sadly, I'm one of them, I guess. Though I really didn't think so when we started. I've had to face the ugly truth.

    Did anyone else have a thing going for James Marsters as Spike on Buffy? Gosh, we're really telling secrets now!

  47. Ooh, Linda, I'm probably too late posting, but I LOVED James Marsters. He played a bad boy on some episodes of Torchwood, and was still really hot.

    We have Buffy on streaming Netflix, and I swear I'm going to make Rick watch it, just as soon as we finish Being Human. He's never seen Buffy! How could anyone not have seen Buffy!!!

    Good night from your fellow crush slut:-)

  48. Deb, yes, I saw James Marsters in Torchwood. My youngest, Almost-Dr. Joseph, feels it's his duty to keep my current on pop culture since I don't watch TV. So on his visits, he brings box sets of Glee and other programs to make me watch. Buffy came about when I ran the women's center and he was my teenaged computer guru. He made me pay by watching Buffy with him. Who knew I'd fall for delightfully snarky Spike.

    But crushes make no sense. xoxoxo