Tuesday, September 10, 2013


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? 

Well, amazingly, 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!—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.

This is your sixth novel... what's gotten easier and what's gotten harder as you continue to write? 

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 


  1. Congratulations! I am so excited for you . . . all the wonderful reviews, so well deserved. I loved “The Wrong Girl” . . . .

  2. Please come to Tucson, Hank. We have a fabulous—huge—book Festival. Deb's is coming in the spring. She can tell you all about it.

    I just finished downloading THE WRONG GIRL and can't wait to get started on it. Have a great launch day. I will be busy reading. xoxoxoxo1155dvato

  3. The old "what if?" comes through again! I can't wait to read it. You know I'm in Amesbury, and I see you'll be in Newburyport in two weeks, but I'll be at the party tonight. You're an awesome role model for all of us, Hank.

  4. Congratulations Hank-we're so proud! Like Edith, I love the story about where the idea came from. Shows how important it is to keep an open mind--even if the real story isn't that exciting...


  5. I just got the book delivered and can't wait to dive into it. It's so nice to read that we're all the same, in that we face the same fears and joys and highs and lows no matter where we are in our writing career. Thanks for a refreshingly honest interview, Hank. It made my day!

  6. I got tired LOOKING at your schedule -- three months? Yikes. I'm scared facing Bouchercon and then Seascape on back to back weekends.

    Of course I'm not beautiful and energetic. Go Hank, but please don't wear yourself out.

    See you and other JRs at Bouchercon -- you will look up from signing books and see my smiling face. Maybe I'll be in Rosemary's BITCHES OF BROOKLYN shirt.

  7. The reds are throwing confetti and rolling out the red carpet! Congratulations, Hank! And love those reviews.

  8. You will always be welcome in St. Louis . . . meanwhile, enjoy all those other cities. ;-)
    (BTW, the link took me to a request for login info and password . . . just thought you'd want to know -- technology loves to misbehave).

  9. Huge congratulations to you on the release of The Wrong Girl, Hank! It sounds fascinating and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

    Enjoy this marvelous day and let every bit of praise sink in.

  10. Where would we be without the innocent clerical error?

    Salut! Have a great launch day.

  11. Woohoo, Hank! The day is here. Can't wait to get my hands on The Wrong Girl at B&N today.

    I wish you massive success, our darling Hank. Your hard work is really paying off.

    Good luck on your tour! Your new slogan should be the same as Sherwin Williams's old one: "We cover the Earth".

  12. Congrats, Hank! Wishing you and THE WRONG GIRL huge success!

  13. "The audio you pre-ordered is now available...The Wrong Girl (UNABRIDGED)... Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan"

    What great words to wake up to!

    The entire concept of this book amazes me. As soon as I finish Julia's book I'm starting this one.

    I'm in the western mountains of Maine - about 5 hours from Boston - so I can't make the party tonight but I'll celebrate for you in spirit.

    Happy Release Day!

  14. Hank, I don't know how you keep up this pace. You are one of the busiest of authors (with writing, promoting, blogging, and reporting) and yet you also always have a moment to spare for your fans.

    It's truly a gift and we are all blessed to know you.

    As you requested, here is the link to our BOLOBooks interview:


    for those that are interested.

    Just doing my small part for the ALL HANK ALL DAY media blitz!

  15. Marianne, isn't Julia's book good? I could not put it down. The JRW are HOT.

  16. Karen, I'll second that about Julia's book . . . and Hank's is, too. Kept me on the proverbial edge of my seat!

  17. Hank, I'll be with you in spirit!
    Bank Square Books in Mystic CT is around an hour and a half away from me, but I'm planning on making the trip for your author luncheon there on October 2.(Taking a vacation day for this!)

    Have fun at the book launch!

  18. I love your blog header. It's so cute. I would love to read The Wrong Girl. Have never imagined such a thing happening. I've never heard of it. No wonder you wrote "madly" after hearing this woman's story.


  19. Congrats on publication day.

    Here's my review of the book. Read it, then go get your own copy and enjoy.


  20. Congratulations, Hank! Try to retain some sanity on tour. :-) I'm looking forward to the new book!

  21. Oh, you all are wonderful. Thank you thank you thank you..

    WHat am I doing now? Seriously? I'm sitting at my desk, thinking--what should I DO?

    Pack? Write? Organize? MAke a list?

    Cross fingers? I'm about at that point...

    Any ideas?

  22. I know you were on Cape Cod earlier in the summer. Here in Falmouth, we have only one bookstore, Eight Cousins, which was a children's bookstore but then expanded to accommodate adults after the other stores closed. We also have a beautiful library, as well as the historic Highfield.
    Come on down!

  23. I don't know about you, Hank, but on my launch days, I like to lurk in the corner, fake-reading magazines while waiting to see who picks up my book.

    No? Just me?

    Then I think you should revel, preen, and top the day off with the congratulatory cocktail of your choice! (I bet Debs has some good recipes.)

  24. What Julia said. I'm all for a little revel and preen. Have a great launch day! We'll raise a cupcake in your honour.

  25. Congrats on the new release, it sounds like a stay up all night and read book. I hope you have a wonderful Launch Day. I am looking forward to buying myself a copy tonight.

  26. Hank, pack, then preen:-)

    Huge congrats on The Wrong Girl!! It's fabulous--I know because I've already read it:-)

    I loved hearing where the idea came from. There are some writers who think "Where do you get your ideas?" is a dumb question, but I'm always fascinated. It's THE most interesting thing, how the brain and imagination work together. And I know exactly what you mean about wondering if you can put the two parts of the story together--terrifying. But so exhilarating when it works.

    Have a great time on your tour, and we will all be rooting madly for you!

  27. "Hurray! It’s publication day for the WRONG GIRL!"

    No. It's publication day for the RIGHT girl! xoxo

  28. Awww...you all are so wonderful. I can't even..well , you know. Thank you!

  29. Sorry to be so late to the party! I hope your launch day was fantastic! Congratulations, Hank! Can't wait to read it!