Thursday, October 15, 2015

What we're writing? Hank says: WHAT YOU SEE

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: So, Reds, this is what happens at least seven times a year on this wonderful blog…we all get to share the unimaginable incomparable craziness that is the week before  publication day.

And, now, we have arrived at that astonishing point for my dear WHAT YOU SEE. What I am actually writing at this point seems to be an endless series of lists of things to do.

Some are actually doable! Others utter fantasy, and others doomed.

The other thing that begins to happen this week is the reviews! You see an email subject that says review and you click open, knowing your life may change. I burst into tears when I saw Oline 

She calls the book superb, and highly entertaining! I sat in my study hollering superb!  Superb!  Superb! (Can you imagine?) Luckily I was by myself.

Library Journal awarded a star, and the other three trades were fabulously positive.  Next week you I will be able to tell you of some other big big big reviews—the ones that use words like “flawless,” and “perfection,” and  “one of the best and most resonant thrillers of the year.”

I will probably tell you about those that a couple more times.

You have been on this journey with me from the beginning, and I am grateful. But just a reminder, here are two looks into WHAT YOU SEE. 

This is Franklin Alley, just within a surveillance camera shot :-) of Boston City Hall.  The book begins with a high noon stabbing in Curley Park, and Jake and Deluca get a tip that the bad guy has gone down this twisty cobblestone path. But it is a dead-end! Would a murderer run away in this direction? And then they hear something.

Another scene:

This is Jane Ryland, who, due to a series of events – – very surprising – – is now at Boston City Hall. She's on the trail of this noon-time standing. And then she gets that  phone call.

Two more quick things:

Watch the space! Tuesday I'll tell you more about WHAT YOU SEE. But right now if you are intrigued, do preorder!

And then let me know via my website,  because I am sending prizes to all who pre-order. And for you darling Reds readers a special prize. Just put Jungle Red on the form (you can click to it from my website) in the inscription space, and I will send you a special treasure.

Crossing fingers and love you madly! 

And anyone have pals in Atlanta, Phoenix, Madison, Oakmont, Indianapolis or Orange county? Tell me in the comments if you anywhere near there! And check my events calendar--love to see you all. 

And oh--LAUNCH PARTY! Thursday, October 22, 7pm at Brookline Booksmith. Will I see you there?

Ah. SO NERVOUS! How can I relax?


  1. Despite all the last-minute things and the lists and the nerves, this must also be a wonderful time with everything coming together and "What You See" about to make its debut. [Of course, I did the preorder thing a while ago; now I'm looking forward to reading the whole book!]
    Congratulations to you!

  2. Hank, you know how much I loved this book! You take the simplest phrases for titles and then show us how complex they really are. I am fascinated with eye witness accounts and how most often they are unreliable, so What You See completely captivated me. Every book in this series is a deeply satisfying read for me. My review can be found at

  3. I meant to add that I'm glad to be back to the Reds' blog after a trip to Bouchercon and a follow-up visit to my son. I've gone back and left brief comments on the blog postings I missed. So exciting to see what you all are writing! It was wonderful seeing Debs,Hank, Rhys, and Susan in Raleigh. I also loved meeting Kaye and Edith this year. It was a great Bouchercon!

  4. Hank... I love that you set your stories in spaces that I know. It's almost as good as being back home. xoxoxxxx

  5. It's the crack of dawn--and of course, I am on the way to the airport! So more to come. But thank you so much… Using real locations is so fascinating, because now every time I am in one of those places, I think, here's where the stabbing was. Here's where Jake and Deluca ran into the alley. And then I had a moment of realization: oh no! I made that up! Do you ever mix up fiction and reality?
    See you in a little while…

  6. Ease your seat back on the plane, put your feet up, and, voila! A few minutes to relax! Congratulations on launching the newest book! And I adore the Boston settings, too--next best thing to being there!

  7. Congrats on the new book Hank! Just those little snippets made me yearn to read it. And I too love mixing fiction and reality. I feel like I should give tours in Key West about where all the bodies were found and the other key points:).

    take care of yourself with all this traveling--and may the book travel to great heights. Will see you at Crimebake! xoxo

  8. Best of luck, Hank. Not sure people get any nicer than you.

  9. Hank, I know that feeling right before a book comes out. Not daring to hope for too much and feeling powerless to change how the book is going to fare
    But this one is going to do brilliantly. I have a feeling this is your break-out book. Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you.

    And the winner of my ARC for yesterdays comments is F Church. Please email me at

  10. Those are great reviews, Hank! I know it's easy to say, but you have nothing to worry about. Enjoy the moment!

  11. Hank,
    So wonderful to read about all the excitement of release day. Your books just keep getting better and better. Best of luck and glad to hear I'm not the only one who bursts into tears from a review!

  12. What Susan says... and buy stock in Kleenex.

  13. I love the visuals! And your to-do list is a hoot.

    So excited for you and these wonderful reviews. Enjoy the happy!

  14. I've loved all the visuals you've shared and I cannot wait to get my hands on this. You know I'll see you when you visit Oakmont/Pittsburgh. Until then - enjoy the release!

  15. Dear Hank - Congratulations! The accolades are so well deserved. Wishing you another successful book! Much love, Kim

  16. Hank, we are flying with you!! Relax and enjoy this. Your book will do fabulously, and you will be fabulous, so NOT a thing to worry about. Cuddle up in your pashmina and take naps on the plane.

    Can't wait to read What You See, and loved the visuals in the post!! Have fun!!!!

    Kathy Reel, it was so great to see you at B'con!!!!!! And Edith, I saw you flying through the lobby a few times but could never catch you. We'll do better next time.

    PS Hank, I do that in London all the time, confusing fiction with reality. "Oh, this is where Gemma met Melody for a G&T. There's Hazel's cafe. That's where the grenade went off in St. Pancras...."

  17. Lucy! I love the idea of your Key West murder tour. It's brilliant.

    JAck, back at you...xoo

    Rhys, you are so right. This is the moment when anything is possible. And you never know what's good or bad, or what matters.

    I shared a signing last night in Florida with National Book award short-listed Lauren Groff. She was TERRIFIC< really wonderful, and we had a perfect time (photos on facebook) being interviewed by Oline. She worked on her book for FIVE YEARS.

    We ran into each other at the airport this AM at 6:15!

  18. Kristi, thank you. I cannot believe we didn't get one minute at BOuchercon! (You always looked so fabulous!)

    Kim, aw, thank you. Missing you! ANd eager to hear the latest.

    Kathy Reel ! And Mary! What fun to see you both in Raleigh. Wasn't the sky so BLUE? (Yes, once I actually went outside...)

  19. Enjoy the moment and moments on your book tour, Hank. The book is fabulous. Deep breaths and you're good to go.


  20. I agree with Hallie, that you need to keep those tissues handy, as What You See is headed for more and more great reviews.

    I somehow missed Jack and Mary in Raleigh. So disappointed about that, but time did so fly. I hope you're both in NOLA next year, and I'll catch you there.

    Lucy, the Key West tour is a brilliant idea! I've been loudly hinting at Debs for a London tour of her books, which I'm thinking could be combined with a tour by Susan of the WWII spots. Then, Hank could do a Boston tour, and Julia could do an Adirondacks tour, and Rhys could do a New York to London to Wales tour, and Hallie could take us coast to coast with Hollywood and New York. Yes, I see a whole new literary tour business in the works. Now, if you all had clones for the time factor.

  21. Thank you, Tricia!

    And Kathy, I am all for the JR mega-tour!

    Relaxing remedies--what do you all suggest? I am SO looking forward to watching Project Runway tonight with my dear husband--isn't that ridiculous??

  22. I am So excited for and with you - of course I did the pre-order already! Loving Hank - thanks for entertaining us! XO

  23. You're a star, Hank! Love that you're excited and nervous at the same time -- it's cute to see. :-) "cute" may not be the right word, but you know what I mean. You're excitement is contagious, that's for sure! Safe travels and mwah!

  24. During one of the previous "What we're writing" weeks, I was lucky to receive an ARC of this novel and I must say that I agree with the superlatives in the reviews and blurbs.

    I made some notes when I first read the book and "remarkable" was the first adjective I wrote down - not because I was surprised by how good it was - I'm a fan, after all - but because so many of the things I've admired in Hank's earlier books came together to make What You See a book I expect to see on a lot of "best of" and nomination lists for 2015.

    It seems strange to say given all of the awards Hank has already won, but I'm going to agree with Rhys that this could be the break-out book.

  25. Lisa, thank you! U'm fine with cute…and I know just what you mean.

    Sharon! I am in tears even more now---thank you so much! Aw. Thank you.

  26. AHh……sorry to be so tardy! I got back from FLorida, and had to go out and do a story for Ch 7! All good--its a great story, and it'll be on soon. We got 2 Million dollars in refunds for consumers! xoxoxo and whoo hoo!!!

  27. TrshBene--thank you thank you --I always think that everyone thinks that everyone else is buying it so they don;t have to. YOu know ? So THANK YOU!

    And all of you darling dear ones. This means so much to me.

  28. Oh, Hank, they are crazy good butterflies! Enjoy prelaunch and have a wonderful launch day/week/month!

  29. Good luck on the tour. Can't wait to see you in Orange