Allison here, telling you how totally excited I am today! We have a very special guest blogger, the amazingly talented, award-winning author, Hank Phillipi Ryan! She has an amazing publication story and has won numerous awards (2 Agathas, an Anthony, and a Macavity … oh, and 28 EMMYS. Yes, she’s also an award-winning on-the-air investigative reporter in Boston!!) And because she doesn’t know how to say NO (Hank, we’ve talked about this before!), she’s also on the board of Mystery Writers of America and president-elect of National Sisters in Crime.
Her newest book THE OTHER WOMAN, which launches a new series, released this month to starred reviews and as an INDIE NEXT Great Read. The 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.” I started reading it last night and WOW, if I didn’t have a book due tomorrow, I would have already finished it! I can’t wait until this weekend!
You can read more about Hank’s book and career over at her website. Now please give Hank a big MSW welcome!!!
Do You Fool Yourself?
Television is all about TIME. Getting breaking news on in time. How much time there is until the next deadline. How much time they’ve allotted for your story. How much time there is until someone is going to tell you you’re late. There is no late in TV.
I’ve been a TV reporter for more than 30 years. But if you want to know what time it is, don’t ask me. I only know what time it is for me.
I see you looking baffled. But here’s what I mean. I don’t know what time it really is—because I’m fooling myself about it. And somehow, it works. How can we fool ourselves? I mean, we should know, right?
For instance. The alarm clock-radio on my nightstand is set nine minutes fast. So when it rings at 7:30, the time I usually have to get up, I creak open my eyes, try to focus on the green numerals, and my brain yells: GET UP! It’s 7:30!
Then there’s a pause, while the other half of my brain happily reminds me that it’s really 7:21, and I delightedly hit the snooze.
Why? Why not just set the clock for the real time? Then set the alarm for, say 7:21, then hit the snooze for nine minutes and get up at the real 7:30?
Because then I don’t get the precious nine “extra” minutes of sleep.
There’s a clock in the bathroom where I do my hair and makeup—I set that one about 12 minutes fast. Here I’m fooling myself to get me to hurry up. I look at the clock, mid-mascara: it’s 8 o’clock already! I panic. Hurry! Then I realize it’s actually just twelve minutes until 8 o’clock, and I have plenty of time, and I can relax a bit. I’m no longer behind—I’m ahead.
Does that make any sense? Do you do that?
I do it with the clock on my wall at the TV station where I work as a reporter—I set that fast, too, but it makes sense in the world of unmissable deadlines. I suppose. I can’t be late, so if the clock is fast, it’s less likely that’ll happen.
My husband says: why don’t you just set the clocks to the REAL TIME? And I see his point. Kind of. But faking myself out works for me.
I also fool myself with money. On payday, I enter the income into my not-so-perfect checkbook register—but I put the deposit amount as less than it really is. So I have a little pad.
My husband says—why don’t you just write down the real amount? So you know how much money is actually there? Not some theoretical amount? Yeah, I see his point. But that doesn’t work for me.
I also hide money from myself in my wallet. The other day, I unzipped a little pouch on the side and there was the secret 20 dollars I had tucked there for emergencies. But I had forgotten it was there! So much for the emergency idea. But see—I’ve done that several times. And I always forget it’s there. Then I’m always delighted to find it.
My new book, THE OTHER WOMAN, was due last September 1. But I created my writing schedule to show it was due August 1, so I would write faster. When THE WRONG GIRL was due September 1 of this year—you know what I did. I pretended the deadline was August 1. It worked.
Is reality so complicated and unmanageable that we have to fool ourselves into making it all work? Who cares. My little self-trickery makes me happy, and it makes my life work very nicely.
Do you face reality? Or do you have your secret ways?
I’m giving a copy of THE OTHER WOMAN to a lucky commenter who admits to facing reality—or not. Just tell us how you do it!
Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news—until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on her assigned puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election.
Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hurting the young women of Boston.
As the body count rises and election day looms, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their investigations are connected…and that they may be facing a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to silence a sandal.
With its dirty politics, dirty tricks, and a barrage of final twists, THE OTHER WOMAN is the first in an explosive new series. Seduction, betrayal and murder—it’ll take a lot more than votes to win this election!
As one character warns: You can choose you sin, but you cannot choose your consequences