We are so excited to welcome the incomparable Hank Phillippi Ryan to her first post as a Chicks guest. If you’re wondering what took so long – so are we! And not only is Hank visiting with us today, she’s giving away a copy of her incredible new mystery, The First to Lie to one lucky commenter…
BOOK LAUNCH CRAZIES
I was trying to look at the bright side. I really was. I knew we were all in the same boat here, all of us who are launching books during the pandemic, so it was silly for me to complain. We live in this insane ridiculous world, and all I could think was: it’s always safe inside a book.
Every author knows that the night before launch day is absolutely crazy. Even though THE FIRST TO LIE got a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and terrific buzz, I was still in a panic. Did I do enough? Will real people love my book? Will it actually be in stores? (Remember stores?) Will some person post a heartbreaking review, or will the book come out in all its five-star crossed-finger glorious glory?
Yes, I kept telling myself. You are lucky, this is good, one step at a time. And then I’d start worrying again. (Anyone recognize these emotions?)
And then there’s the launch party. Oh my goodness, the nerves. Will people come? In the old days, Before, I would invite everybody I could possibly think of to come to my local independent bookstore, and we would all crowd into the bookstore’s basement where they could cram in 100 people, not counting the ones draping themselves over the stairway, and standing in the back. The pictures of it all were amazing and memorable. In the past.
This year, of course, besides the fear that no one would virtually show up, there was always the weather. Last year, when my book THE MURDER LIST came out, it was so hot that the governor declared a heat emergency! He was actually on TV saying: “Don’t go outside, it’s too hot! Stay home!”
Can you imagine? I’m at home, yelling at the television. “Don’t tell people to stay home,” I cried! “It’s my book launch!”
There was also the time that I dropped a case of wine I was carrying on the front sidewalk of the event. Great way to start a party.
But this year, as I said, I was trying to look at the bright side. People could come to my book party, virtually, from the comfort and safety of their homes, and we could still celebrate, and the bookstore drop-shipped me books to sign personally. We were going to make the best of it.
Then I heard the weather report. A huge tropical storm was coming up the coast and was about to batter New England. I know the world is not about me, but in one crazy self-centered moment of launch night, I thought, oh good! People will not have to drive to my book event in a in a tropical storm! Everyone can be home, watching the rain, and being cozy and safe, and not have to decide whether to slog through downpours and puddles lugging clammy umbrellas into my event. Everyone will be safe and cozy
As I said, I was madly trying to look at the bright side.
Then I started getting emails from my pals, saying that they had no power, and no Internet, and they would not be able to come.
I have to say–it was an event to remember.
Can you launch a book in a pandemic, and a tropical storm, and a power outage?
I did a whole Tedx talk about the uncertainty of the world, how we as human beings have no idea what will happen next, and have to call on our own courage and energy and perseverance and trust to take, always always always, the next step and then the next step and then the next step.
To all of you who are launching books, and writing books, and thinking about your next work in progress, I send you hope and courage and endless comradeship. We chose this profession, out of love and joy, out of knowing that it is always safe inside a story, and always safe inside our writing, and that we actively chose to make this part of our lives. Because we knew it was important, and valuable, and necessary
It still is. Now even more. The joy of reading, and the joy of writing, and the joy of creativity, and the joy of connecting.
Through pandemics, and tropical storms, and power outages, we persevere. And I am so pleased to be on this journey with you.
Readers, tell us your virtual adventures! Comment to be entered to win a copy of THE FIRST TO LIE!
BIO: Hank Phillippi Ryan is USA Today bestselling author of 12 thrillers, winning five Agathas and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. The Boston TV investigative reporter has also won 37 EMMYs. She is past president of National Sisters in Crime. Her previous novel, The Murder List, is a Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee. Her new thriller is the psychological standalone The First to Lie–the Publishers Weekly starred review says “Stellar. Ryan could win her sixth Agatha for this one.”
SYNOPSIS: THE FIRST TO LIE
We all have our reasons for being who we are―but what if being someone else could get you what you want?
After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know―she isn’t the only one plotting revenge.
An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who has to choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?
Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat and mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, and second-guessing, and then gasping with surprise.
Insta and Twitter @HankPRyan
PURCHASE THE FIRST TO LIE: https://hankphillippiryan.com/books/the-first-to-lie/