Sunday, April 8, 2012

The More Things Change

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Happy Spring!  Happy Passover! Happy Easter!   All the first white tulips are out in our garden--and for maybe the tenth year in a row, the ducks have returned to visit our back yard pool. It's always so reassuring to see them. And all of it is such a nice reminder that some things stay the same as other things change.

So, things that are the same this spring: It's time for my winter coat to go to the dry cleaners. I can open the windows--and see they need to be washed. I think--is it time for bare legs? And I've already had my first iced latte!

Things that are different: My new book comes out in's the lead title in the publishers fall catalog!. (Last spring at this time? I had NO idea any of this would happen. Hmm.)  I'm wondering if there's something I should be doing.  I'm 64,311 words into the new book. And I'm hoping I'm on track. (That's not different, I guess. That's a constant.)

What's the same with you this spring? What's different?

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: One of the sweetest things about spring is how, even if everything in my life is the same as it was last year, it all feels fresh and new. Hanging the wash outside, listening to the songbirds in the morning, enjoying the daffodils and forsythia. What's different this year? Well, I have a junior in high school, so this spring means college trips, SAT prep, and the Prom! Will I post pictures? You bet.

HALLIE EPHRON: So I want to see the prom picture... and hear whether you go shopping with her for the dress. That was always my favorite thing about proms - finding The Dress.

Same here: Tulips in the dining room. Forsythia in the yard. Trying to figure out how to discourage a family of sparrows from nesting in the gutter over my back door. Considering changing my stance on gun control. Also already the grass already needs to be mowed. In my family that's "men's work" which all I can do is nag unless I want to do it myself. Which I do not.

What's new: Just turned in my book and I got a thumbs-up from my editor within a day; now I'm waiting for comments so I can start on the revision. I love revision but already the spectre of what to write about next is haunting me.

(HANK: And can you believe you're even THINKING about it?)
RHYS BOWEN: Of course I cheat a little with the spring thing. I've just come  back from Arizona where it has been spring for a while. But my California garden is in full flower (only what the deer won't eat) and the Pride of Madeira candles are just about to come into bloom But my son Dominic is growing veggies in big plastic tubs this year and it's fun to open the lids every morning and see how much they have grown during the night.

What's new for me? I am only a few pages from the end of my next Molly book. I have to finish it before I go to Malice at the end of the month where I will be interviewing Lee Goldberg (a truly brave undertaking!)

JAN BROGAN - My kids are home for Easter, that's what's new and wonderful here. The daffodils bloomed earlier than usual and my house is insanely clean, even my desktop and bulletin boards. I am working a lot in journalism, with a regular gig at the The Boston Globe, and am fifty pages into my historical. Just late last week - with the help of my writing buddy Barbara - figured out how and where all three stories within the story will mesh and mirror.  What a relief!

LUCY BURDETTE: We've been in Key West as spring sprung, where I think the changes in season are much more subtle than up north. They do have the most amazing flowers--one we marvel at is bright pink and looks like an azalea blossom on steroids or a miniature pom-pom. On the down side, they endure the spring break crowd for the middle two weeks of March, when Duval Street and the beaches fill up with sun-deprived, beer-drinking kids. Not necessarily something to look forward to, though happily, the city made it through this year without any major calamities...

Hank, can't tell you excited I am to read THE OTHER WOMAN!!

HANK: Awww. Thank you. It’s a nerve-wracking time. But it shouldn’t be, I know. Very exciting! And oh, the winner of the ARC of THE OTHER WOMAN from Thursday (chosen at random by Jonathan) is: Storyteller Mary! (Mary, contact me, okay? And I’ll send it when I’m allowed to!)

DEBORAH CROMBIE: This time last year I wished I was in England, as I do this year.  But on the upside, I'm enjoying spring at home in Texas.  We've had lots of much-needed rain (although we could have done without the tornadoes), the garden is lush and emerald green and the roses are blooming like crazy.  Looking forward to friends and family coming over for Easter brunch tomorrow, although I wish I could say my house was as clean as Jan's!

I wish I could say I'd finished my book, but I've made great progress the last few weeks, so here's crossing fingers.

HANK: So how about you. dear Reds readers? What's the same--and what's different this spring?  


  1. Well, my kids are NOT home for Easter (sad about that). And I'm not throwing my usual lavish Easter brunch for them and close friends. I needed a down-time Easter this year. But the Easter braided bread (with eggs nestled in) is in the oven, we'll have a two-person brunch and a walk, and then I'll still have time for writing. What else is new? My first book comes out in September and my second next Spring. Whee!

  2. Yay Edith! And of course you'll be guesting here to tell us all about it!

  3. New thing: I'm all atwitter at all the new Reds' books coming out.

    Oh, wait, that's the same thing as usual!

  4. What's new? The big thing here is, of course, EVERY LAST SECRET coming out in 16 days. And Ben is coming with me this year to Malice. (He keeps asking, "Will Hank be there?" Think I should worry?)

    All the Reds have been so great to me, but Red Julia goes on a special pedestal for offering help to someone completely unknown--at that time--to her and giving it in heaping amounts.

    Also new, my peonies and roses are blooming at the same time as tulips, daffodils, and dogwood. This year has bunched three months of spring blooms into one.

    What's the same? My house is nowhere near as clean as Jan's. but I am hopeful. (I always am in Spring.)

    All the birds and butterflies my gardens are designed for have come back. Spring is such a glorious season.

    Can't wait to read THE OTHER WOMAN, the coming Molly from Rhys, Deb's new book, Hallie's, and especially Julia's. xoxoxo

  5. Linda, tell Ben I'll be looking for Mick Jagger. :-)

    And your PEONIES are out? wow.

    Does everyone who won books this week know about it?

    Storyteller Mary won THE OTHER WOMAN--so send me your address! And I'll post whole whole list again, just in case..

    ANd ah. Rest in Peace, Mike Wallace. And thank you.

  6. It's snowing like crazy here. That's definitely different for Easter Sunday. However, my next door neighbor brought me hot cross buns as usual. They're delicious.

    Hank, do we have a winner for Copycat Killing?

  7. Irises are blooming! -- the ones my all-time favorite principal rescued in 1982 from the site of our all-time favorite Henderson Jr. High (which I returned to, as Francis Howell North High). I planted those at my mom's house, then took some to the condo, then moved some to my house (along with some miniature jonquils from a potted plant bought maybe a dozen years ago). Yes, spring is new . . . but traditions are old.
    I joined my neighbor and her children and grandchildren in coloring Easter eggs . . . and told them the Wide-Mouth Frog story . . . fun!
    . . . and looking forward to new books -- Thanks, Hank! I've sent an email with my address ;-)

  8. All these new Reds' books! Yay!

    Last spring I had to use a chopstick with chewing gum stuck on the end to write. This spring my bluetooth iMac's keyboard, internal microphone with speech-to-text, and large track pad have made it possible for me to write for more extended periods. I wrote over 1,000 words yesterday.

    Last spring I weighed almost 100 lbs more than I do today. I credit that to hope, a theme for all spring holidays.

  9. Oh yes, and I'm buying lipstick and considering getting my nails done.

  10. Yay, Reine! For the thousand words written, the hundred pounds lost, and the lipstick! I don't know, though. Nail polish might be carrying this thing too far. ;-)

    I am 16 pounds down over the past 2 months from the most I've ever weighed, thanks to extended steroid use (for medical reasons--not to play football). I have lots more to go, but you, Reine, will be a role model I can hold up to myself when I get weak-willed.

    Hank, you think I'm kidding, but wait until you see him. The funny thing is he's a sweet, quiet, shy, witty, FEMINIST intellectual--the total opposite of Mick.

  11. I love the images of all the flowers, can't wait for the books, and congratulations, Reine. Truly great accomplishments for all of you. Happy Spring.
    Oh, and I am old enough to have seen Mike Wallace in a play, before his appearance on the news stage. He must have impressed me. And he certainly did a lot of memorable work.

  12. The winner of Copycat Killing is: Debbie Haupt! Deb, email me your address and info!

    More to come...

  13. And the winner of Laura DiSilverio's ALL SALES FINAL is Kate Gallison!

  14. But, Linda... you are my role model. Must reconsider nail polish. No gel, then? xo

    Ohhh... bye, Mike Wallace.

  15. Since last spring - Still working on taking a presentable new pic. This is me, today. Lipstick might help?

  16. Reine, the new pic is gorgeous! Lipstick and nail polish both. You'll give Hank and our other glamorous Reds a run for their money!

    xoxoxo to all you beauteous Reds, bloggers and back bloggers alike!

  17. Linda, you are so good for my fragile ego. xoxox

  18. Smiling in Boston. With lipstick AND gel nails. :-)


  19. Well..what's new this spring is that for the first time in four years, I don't have a new release. And I can't say I mind! I'm not running all over the country yakking about myself (that will come later) - and I feel good that I've got more than 9 months to finetune the book I'm working on. I am doing a few gigs - RT Booklovers Convention, Murder 203, but next saturday hubby and I are jetting to London, where I'll just be the spouse at the London Book Fair. And boy of my dreams - after I tried and failed four times - scored tickets for us to visit Highclere Castle where they shoot Downton Abbey so I'll be there next Sunday! Deciding which hats to pack now.

    Gardenwise - serious deer damage to rhodys and azaleas but the forsythia never fail to delight me, peonies are showing themselves and this year the vinca absolutely exploded so we have carpets of blue in the garden. And the Mets won their season opener. All is well.

  20. Oh, those Red Sox. Feh. Must be spring.

  21. Reine, you look fabulous, very glam, my dear.

    Lipstick always makes a difference. I don't leave the second floor of my house without it. As soon as my third daughter was born my husband looked at me and said, "And you didn't even lose your lipstick!"

    Well, of course not. A girl has to have standards, right? LOL

  22. Love the new pic, Reine! It's great!

    This spring, instead of going into chemo, I am coming out of it. I only have 2 herceptin treatments left...and then I'm off to hopefully the brighter side of breast boobies! it's been the silver lining in my cloud.

    Looking forward to all the new Red books coming out. I've been rereading all the Kincaid/James books and I'm finally ready to read the newest edition, that I won on here! Yay!

  23. Highclere Castle, Ro? Don't you need someone to carry your purse for you or something? I could dress as your lady's maid. :-)

    I'm glad you're getting a well-deserved rest from the craziness of book release, which I'm just discovering. I'd be selfishly disappointed that you don't have a new book coming out right away since I've discovered how much I love your books, but I still have a couple to catch up on. So enjoy yourself. *she says magnanimously*

    Lora, hurray for the end of chemo! And hurray for new boobs, too! You've got such a great attitude that you deserve the perky boobs of an 18-year-old. xoxo

  24. LOra you're amazing! Cheering applauding jumping up and won a book recently, too, right? Did you know that?


    Rosemary T. Harris! You must send photos the instant you can..

    Shaking head over the red sox. Sigh.

  25. Just got back from our traditional Chinese-Easter-Dinner-Out dinner to find I'd missed on some of the best comments ever!

    Loraaaaaa! Congratulations! And wow, new boobs! Yes to perky! Yes to chemo being over! Jumping up and down!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxxxx

    All these comments, wow. Lil saw Mike Wallace in a play?

    People like my new photo.

    Linda's book coming out. Hank's book. Edith's

    Rosemary has a well-earned break and is going to "Downtown Abbey" (without us)?

    Hallie and Hank are people to mourn the Sox with.... :( gosox

    Iris blooming in Storyteller Mary's yard!

    What could be better?

    Oh. Oh. Lipstick and gel nails are a go!

  26. Hank:
    I won?? I won?? Woohoo, that'll teach me not to get on everyday! Oh there is an Easter Bunny, hooray.

    Yes, I'd like to say that I'm a better person because of my "journey", but I've really only discovered that Xanax is a not a bad word...

    Did you all read that some major character dies in season 3 of "Downton Abbey"? Is it too much to hope its Lady Mary's creepy suitor Sir Richard??????

  27. Just got in from visiting relatives for the holiday. So nice to see such good news coming from so many of you.
    Congratulations to all Reds and non Reds with books coming out in the near future! And congratulations to Reine and Lora for the positive health changes in your lives. (Hmmm...manicures...I love the "look" but never manage more than a day or two before messing up one or more nails...starting to think about it again, though, after reading what various people here said today.)

    Linda, I am on Countdown with you! This is the first time I have ever followed an author to her first book launch and I feel like I am waiting for a relative's baby to be born (this is a theme in my life right now,as you will see in the next paragraph:-)

    The most wonderful new thing in my life this spring is a new little person who was born March 29, the daughter of my nephew and his wife, AND she is the most beautiful baby on the planet - and in the universe, for that matter. I will fight anyone who tries to diispute it! This is my first time as a great aunt,and I am terribly sad that we live on opposite sides of the country. I can't wait until I can finally hold her! So glad that her grandparents brought dozens of pictures with them to Easter dinner!

    Something else that is new and good in my life: The relatives I was with for Easter sat me down and made me watch the first season of Downton Abbey on DVD. Now I know what the fuss is all about! I'm afraid I became addicted the very first time and will now be spending grocery money on Downton Abbey DVDs! (I don't currently have TV.)

    While I loved visiting relatives for the weekend,I am so grateful to be sleeping in my own bed again -good night, all!

  28. Deb, congrats on the beautiful new baby grandniece! And on falling into the Downton Abbey pit with the rest of us. :-)

    And thank you for being so supportive as I count down to book launch. You're right. It's like having a baby (something I did think I was done with LOL).

    Hope you enjoyed that great first-night-back-in-your-own-bed sleep!