Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Best New Years Gift Ever!





HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Happy new year’s eve! And can you think of a more celebratory thing than to have your new novel be published on New Year’s Day? Talk about fireworks and champagne! 

 AND it is now Amazon’s NUMBER ONE NEW RELEASE in mystery/romance. Happy New Year!

 So raise a glass with us, Reds and readers, to the amazing Stacy Wise. Who got inspiration from—a trampoline? And no, it’s not about ups and downs, or bouncing back, or whatever tramoliney things you can come up with. 

(And wait til you see what Stacy did before she started writing. Ooh. We’ll have lots of questions for you, Stacy!)

 And wow—congratulations! 


 Thinking about Thinking
   by Stacy Wise 

 Today I dismantled a fifteen-foot beast of a trampoline. Several hot summers in my yard had shriveled the padding around the edges, leaving exposed foam and stringy fibers in their wake. 

And the final blow came a few weeks ago when the plastic caps holding the protective netting in place cracked, causing it to droop like saggy pants after the elastic has snapped. The thing was officially a goner.

 On that sad day, I printed out a bold, yellow and black “No Entry” sign, and strapped it to the entrance with Minion duct tape. Safety first and all. 

After searching for parts online, I discovered it would cost about the same to replace the whole thing as it would to buy pieces and parts, half of which weren’t in stock. 


But alas, the trampoline remained in the yard, a sorry reminder of former fun times with my now weather-worn sign looking all the worse next to those grinning Minions. The thing might’ve stayed there for months.

 I was getting pretty good at pretending not to see it when I walked outside. 

‘What does all of this have to do with writing?’ you might ask. I’ll share a secret with you: Most great ideas flit into my mind when I’m doing something mundane, like manual labor. 

 And even though I absolutely did not want to go outside and touch the trampoline that was now draped in sticky cobwebs created by even creepier, potentially hungry spiders, I marched outside, armed with a socket wrench, a Philips screwdriver, and a hammer. (I sound so handy, don’t I? I have my dad to thank for that.) 

 I soon discovered that in addition to the spiders, there was a fair amount of rust that flecked dusty red grit onto my hands and shirt, which added to my overall discomfort. Sparkling clean hands are a way of life for me. 

But all the while, as I was cranking the socket wrench and avoiding spider-attacks, I let my subconscious wander to that mysterious place that bubbles with ideas. Like random shower thoughts that I hang onto. 

 And those random thoughts are born from tidbits from my day that puzzle or intrigue me. 

 In the case of Lie, Lie Again, the story idea started to brew after an encounter with a woman I didn’t know. We were sitting around a table for a meeting, and as I was attempting to explain my point, the woman exploded, chopping the air with her hand as she reprimanded me. The uproar stunned me. 

I’m a non-confrontational kind of person—more of a quiet, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday junkie, and I probably trust dogs more than people. So as this irate woman was hammering away at me, I retreated inside myself and wondered why she was so angry. 

 I left the meeting convinced she must be a terrible, unhappy person. And then I started to wonder if something bad had happened right before the meeting. 

Maybe she had just left a sick pet at the vet, or perhaps she’d been in a fender-bender that had left her rattled? 

A friend said, “Maybe she’s just a jerk.”

 Ah . . . That was the idea that stuck. Maybe she’s just a jerk.

 So I started to think about people and actions and their motivations. Why do some people feel justified in doing something that others may consider wrong? Even ruthless. (Because by now, I’d set the meeting incident aside, and I was thinking big.) 

I began wondering about really bad behavior and how a person’s history could foster their future actions. 

 I didn’t have a trampoline to dismantle when I started Lie, Lie Again, but I ran on the treadmill to get my ideas percolating. I ran like a devil was chasing me. I let my mind wander, and Sylvia’s story came to life. 
 Her character began to crystalize in my mind—she was a manipulative woman with a dark past and a deep desire to become a mother. Her manipulation was justified in her mind, because she was simply protecting her own interests. In writing her, I knew she would strike an uncomfortable chord with some readers, and others, as my critique partner said, would find her “deliciously evil.” 

As the story bloomed in my mind, two more characters, Embry and Riki, came to life, both of whom had their own agendas and paths to self-discovery. In essence, Lie, Lie Again is a book about friendships, relationships, and all the hidden secrets that lie beneath the surface. As someone once said to me, “despite your delusions, you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.” 

I took the liberty of tugging those doors open in Lie, Lie Again, and I hope you enjoy what you see! 

HANK: OOh. I know some people like that. So, reds and readers, what's the most surprising place or activity that makes you think? (And ooh...as I said, look at Stacy's bio. Anyone have any questions?  I bet she has stories!)


 

Stacy Wise is the award-winning author of the novels Beyond the Stars and Maybe Someone Like You. Her next book, Lie, Lie Again will be released on 1/1/21. 
Prior to her writing career, Stacy worked in television casting on shows including The X Files, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and Party of Five. 
After a decade in the industry, she returned to school and received her teaching credential and masters from Chapman University. She has taught both kindergarten and third grade. 
A native of California and graduate of UCLA, she lives with her family and three fluffy dogs in Los Angeles. 
 Stop by her website, stacywise.com, or visit her on Instagram @stacywise_author 


 All three women who live at 1054 Mockingbird Lane have secrets…and with a body at the bottom of their apartment building’s staircase, those secrets need to stay buried. 

Sylvia Webb has a plan. And a potential Mr. Right. He’s sweet, simple, and dependably clueless about what she’s up to. The only thing unpredictable about him is his needy ex-girlfriend, who is this close to shattering Sylvia’s dreams. But Sylvia’s not going to let that happen. 
Riki McFarlan has a good career and an amazing boyfriend who wants to settle down. If only she didn’t have feelings for her neighbor—who happens to be her close friend’s husband. With everything going so right, why is Riki flirting with something so wrong, so…dangerous? 

Embry Taylor is as devoted to her children as she is to her husband, who’s a bartender by night, an aspiring actor by day. She is his biggest fan. But with his career not taking off and tensions high, even sweet Embry has something she’s desperate to keep hidden. 

Lies, secrets, and revenge. For three neighbors with stakes so high, someone is headed for a downfall.

57 comments:

  1. Oh, goodness, “Lie, Lie Again” sounds deliciously sneaky and secretive . . . I’m really looking forward to reading it.
    Congratulations on your newest book, Stacy . . . .

    Those necessary yet mundane chores . . . folding laundry, putting the groceries away, dusting . . . those are usually the very best thinking times . . . .

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    1. Folding laundry! I so agree. I love to do it, it is so rewarding… And yes, very easy to think about something else while doing it.

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    2. Thank you, Joan! And I agree about the laundry! I do an awful lot of that. :) Happy 2021.

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  2. Intriguing for sure. Thanks for sharing where this idea came from, and congrats on the successful launch.

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    1. Do you ever think about things while doing something else? What’s your favorite mindless task?

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    2. Thank you, Mark! I appreciate it. Happy 2021!

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  3. Isn't it fun to tug open the doors to secrets? I completely agree about how doing something mindless and different lets the ideas rise up. For me it happens on my daily walk after a morning of writing.

    Best of luck with the fascinating new book!

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  4. Congratulations on the release of your book, Stacy!

    I agree with Joan, doing mundane household chores sets the mind free to explore: folding laundry, vacuuming, as well as when I walk @30 minutes solo to get to a group walk's starting point.

    And yes, I am sure Stacy would have stories to tell when casting for such diverse TV shows.

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    1. HANK: I wish I could go snowshoeing at night (with headlamps) or skating on the frozen Rideau Canal, but Mother Nature is NOT cooperating this year, so regular walks are in my future for a while!

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    2. Thanks, Grace! And yep, I have some interesting stories... :)

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  5. "Most great ideas flit into my mind when I’m doing something mundane, like manual labor." Me, too!! In fact, it needs to be something where I literally canNOT write it down. Like when I'm frying chicken or taking a shower or driving. It's as if my body needs to go on autopilot for my brain to fire up. Congratulatons on the new book, Stacy! #1 new release on amazon! Bronze that an hang it on the wall!!

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    1. Exactly! And I am always afraid I won’t remember… My trick is to say the idea out loud a couple of times, that seems to set it in my brain.

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    2. I embed it in an object... something connected to it. Visualize the object. Place the object (in my mind) on the bottom step of the staircase in my house. Somehow it's easier for me to then visualize that place, then the object, and then (hopefully) remember what the idea was.

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    3. Thanks, Hallie! I like that idea. :) And I love your method of connecting ideas to a place. I'm going to try that too. Happy 2021!

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  6. Congratulations on your new release! I hope 2021 is a good writing year for you.

    Weeding, walking the dogs, mopping the kitchen floor, following a really tedious recipe (do this, now wait 10 minutes, and then chill 20 minutes). I now have a rowing machine and crank out the miles thinking of "what if" and "then what" scenarios.

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    1. A rowing machine! Wow… That is impressive!

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    2. The rowing machine is very impressive!! And thank you! :)

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  7. I think Agatha Christie said the best place for ideas was doing chores. Mine always come to me in the shower. Something about hot water.

    Congrats on the book!

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    1. There’s got to be some science about that shower thing, doesn’t there? Is it just so relaxing?

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    2. Thanks, Liz! And yep, yay to those shower thoughts! :)

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  8. Congratulations Stacy on Lie, Lie Again ! It seems a very good read.
    When I was working in accounting, facing what seemed an insolvable problem, I often found a solution whille I was at the WC.
    Nowadays, it is more while walking ( and less problems since I'm retired ).

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    1. I wonder if it is just allowing your brain to take a break…

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    2. Thank you, Danielle! Happy 2021 to you. :)

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  9. Congratulations on the new release! For me the shower has always been fertile territory for thinking. I also find CLEANING the bathroom to be especially good thinking time. Any housecleaning, really, but especially cleaning the bathroom because it is more all-consuming.

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    1. And isn’t it funny how you can be intend on clearing – – I am going to get all those little crumbs out of the windowsill – – but your brain is working on something else as well?

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    2. Huh. My bathroom is overdue for a cleaning. And I'm a teensy bit stuck in the WIP. Maybe that's what I need!

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  10. I echo everyone's congratulations on your new release, Stacy. What a super way to start the new year.

    And I also echo everyone's 'chores' as the time that ideas arise or solutions show themselves. And I have a few chores on my last-day-of-the-year list to finish up, so I can start the 2021 with a blank sheet. Fingers crossed...

    Happy New Year, Reds and Readers!

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  11. Sounds delicious! All the best with your New Year's release.

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  12. Dog walking is fertile think-time for me, at least until Janie lunges for a squirrel and I have to give her my full attention. Also drive time. I've spent SO many years driving kids around that time alone in the car still feels like a bit of a get-away, and it's an excellent place to noodle ideas.

    Also, I understand why the trampoline stays...and stays...and stays, Stacy. I have a crumbling swing set in the back garden that's overgrown with bramble and vines. The last time it was used by children was around 2003, but I still haven't dismantled the thing! There always seems to be something more pressing to take care of.

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    1. It's not a swingset. It's a trellis!

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    2. Hi Julia! I feel you with the dog walking! I can get such great ideas while out with my dogs, and then one of them will lurch and all my thoughts are on reeling them in. And Hank, ha ha! I like calling the swingset a trellis!! :) Happy New Year!!

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  13. Ooh, Stacy! This book sounds wonderfully, evilly, delicious! Living in the apartment building from hell. Women working at cross purposes, perhaps knowingly, perhaps not. I can't wait to read it.
    My stream-of-consciousness thinking not thinking time is always when I'm alone with no distractions. Driving. In the shower. On a solo walk. I just let it churn.

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    1. And so fascinating to see what emerges, right?

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    2. Thanks, Pat! I hope you enjoy it. Happy 2021 to you!!

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  14. Congratulations on the new release, Stacy! It sounds, as Pat so aptly says, evilly delicious!

    Any sort of mindless chore works for me, cooking that doesn't need a recipe, vacuuming (which take up half my life, considering the German shepherd hair...), walks, certainly, and bath. I think baths top showers for thinking, any day!

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    1. Thank you, Deborah. I feel you on the vacuuming dog hair. I have two Great Pyrenees dogs who shed like crazy. (but I love them so much I don't mind all the vacuuming!)

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  15. Stacy, congratulations on Lie, Lie Again. It sounds like a great read with all those secrets. The cover is fantastic, too.

    One of the reasons I need to get back to walking is that I do a lot of thinking when I walk, and it's a clearer time of thinking. I do get inspirational thoughts in the shower, when I'm not singing, but I too often let thoughts of what I need to get done cooking-wise and house-wise interfere with creative thoughts.

    Talking about things that stay in our yard, things that need removing, my item is one of nature. Our big tree out front needs to come down. I'm sitting here looking at it as I type. I love that tree. It's a comfort to me, and a friend that is always there. It's home to birds and squirrels. Its leaves are the last to drop in in our and our neighbors' yards. My granddaughter loves to climb in it. I have hung onto this tree far past when I should. Husband says it is going to fall on the house one of these days, and its roots have cracked the sidewalk running from our front door to the drive. I keep thinking that if I were to ever get a story from something, this tree should be it. I just think I will feel so bereft when it is gone. Maybe that will signal a move for us, something I wouldn't mind so much.

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    1. That is fascinating, and SO thought-provoking. If the tree really is dangerous, would it want to be there? We had the exact same experience with a huge old gorgeous willow in our front yard--the arborist said it was essentially hollow--you could not tell from the outside--and a massive danger. I contemplated leaving the stump, and making a table, but no one else thought that was good plan. Keep us posted... and yes, there's a tie for everything..

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    2. Thank you, Kathy! Your tree sounds so lovely. I can only imagine how hard it must be to have to remove it. Things of nature can become like a part of our family in the same way pets do. And Hank, I think making a table from the tree would've been lovely!

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  16. You had me at deliciously evil...bwa ha ha! Congratulations on your release, Stacy. I can't wait to read Lie, Lie, and Again. My best ideas seem to come when I'm driving, you know, when I can't write them down. Argh!

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    1. Thanks, Jenn!! And if you like deliciously evil, I think you will get a kick out of Sylvia Webb. And yep! I used to feel like I could write an entire book while driving. I started trying to dictate into my phone, but then the ideas faded. I suppose the really good ones stay. :)

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  17. Stacy has hit the Blogger nemesis--she is TRYING to comment! ANd we are working on it. Grr. xoxoo

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    1. Thanks to you and Ann-Marie, I switched to Chrome. :) So happy I can respond now. Thank you!!

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    2. YAY! So thrilled for your wild success!

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  18. Congrats on the new book. I completely agree that mundane tasks are the most fertile fields for story ideas. My best idea time has always been on short drives in the car, like to yoga class. With the pandemic, I've not been going to yoga or running as many errands, so it's really cramping my creativity!!

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    1. YEs, we've all had to change a bit, right. Er, more than a bit....xx

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  19. Thanks, Sherry. It's been a challenge, hasn't it? I keep thinking I've got my "new" schedule figured out, but I've come to realize my new schedule is going with the flow. With 4 kids doing school from home, I have less quiet time to be creative. But the upside is, more time with my kiddos! Happy, happy 2021 to you.

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