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The Sirens of Suspense




Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-the-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution. Along with her 28 EMMYs, Hank’s won dozens of other journalism honors. She’s been a radio reporter, a political campaign staffer, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine working with Hunter S. Thompson.

Her first mystery, the best-selling PRIME TIME, won the Agatha for Best First Novel. FACE TIME was a BookSense Notable Book, and AIR TIME and DRIVE TIME were nominated for the AGATHA and ANTHONY Awards. Hank’s short story “On the House” won the AGATHA, ANTHONY and MACAVITY.

Her newest thriller, THE OTHER WOMAN, is already a Boston Globe best-seller, (debuting at number 2) and an INDIE NEXT Great Read. A starred review from Library Journal says “a dizzying labyrinth of twists, turns, and surprises. Readers who crave mystery and political intrigue will be mesmerized by this first installment of her new series.” A starred review from Booklist calls it "a perfect thriller for an election season." See the trailer HERE and hear an excerpt from the audiobook HERE.

Hank is president-elect of National Sisters in Crime.

Find Hank on Twitter, Facebook and Jungle Red Writers.

It's Never Over item1

Hank will be appearing at The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ on Sunday, September 30th at 2:00-4:00PM and also at Authors @ The Teague in Glendale, AZ on Monday, October 1st at 2:00PM


Long ago, I had a manuscript rejected by my dream editor. The rejection letter was heartbreaking, and now I can quote it from memory word for word: "Hank really nails this. We could not put his down. We could not turn the pages fast enough. But we just bought a reporter book by a reporter, and sadly...." It was a no.

I was devastated. My career, I decided, was over before it began.

A few weeks alter, the imprint was shut down, and the editor was out of a job. If she had accepted my novel, I would have been an orphan auto, with no publisher and on the road to chaos. The worst possible thing had happened--and it turned out to be the best thing.

When PRIME TIME was published, it won the Agatha and began my mystery series. I was thrilled! And the world was wonderful again. FACE TIME came out. I happily finished book three, AIR TIME-and the day I sent the finished manuscript to the publisher, my agent called. They're closing your imprint, she said. And she had to admit, she didn’t know what was going to happen to my books.

I was devastated. My career, I decided, was over before it began.

A week later? I got a call form my agent. You’re going to be a MIRA author! All of your books are going to be reissued by MIRA--with fabulous new covers and fabulous new promotion.

The worst possible thing had happened--and it turned out to be the best thing.

Long ago (I mean long ago!, when I started my grown-up career as a political campaign staffer) the candidate I was working for lost the election. Instead of being the press secretary to the governor of Indiana, I was unemployed. I was devastated. My career was over before it began.

A couple of days later, I went to the biggest radio station in my home town and applied for the job as reporter. Defying all expectations, I was hired. And my career in broadcasting—which haas now spanned 37 years!--began. It never would have happened—I never would have found my calling!--if we had won that election.

Fast forward to about a year ago. The dentist told me I needed a root canal. What good could possibly come of that? I sat, glum and frustrated, in the dentist’s office. My face puffy, my tooth hurting, I was cranky and waiting for the dentist, who was late.

To take my mind off the whole mess, I picked up a People Magazine and happened on an article bout Mark Sanford, the ex-governor of South Carolina. You know the one--he told his wife and family and the public her was hiking the Appalachian Trail--when he was really off with his Argentinean mistress.

Wow. That whole drama fascinated me. Who would do that? Who would decide to be the other woman? And why? And at that moment, I got goosebumps. The other woman, I thought. I bet I could write a big juicy thriller about that...full of secrets and deception and murder. And I did.

It's now got starred reviews from Library Journal "Readers who crave mystery and political intrigue will be mesmerized" and Booklist "Perfect thriller for an election season", its a TOP PICK, a Barnes & Noble mystery pick, an INDIE NEXT great read, and hit number 2 on the Boston Globe bestseller list.

All because I needed a root canal.

Whatever we do, there are pitfalls along the way. Moments when we feel nothing good will ever happen again, we're doomed, its over, and the whole thing is an unrelenting disaster.

But how often--be honest now--has something terrible occurred, but days, weeks, months later—you’re thinking wow: if not for that “bad” thing, I wouldn’t be here now?

(Of course, I'm not advocating unhappiness and disappointment--certainly confetti and champagne and congratulations and success are much more fun and highly to be desired. Celebrating the great moments—each and every one—is key to my life! But that’s another blog.)

So sirens and friends of sirens…Happy You Never Know Day to you! And I promise you—something wonderful is on the way.



WHAT SETBACKS PROPELLED YOU FORWARD? Tell us, or ask Hank a question by commenting below or visit us and share your thoughts on our Facebook page and be entered to win a copy of THE OTHER WOMAN!

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