Monday, December 14, 2009

Can You Figure out What Happens?

Can You Figure out What Happens?


When true love goes wrong—a woman's best friend may be her dog. Or—not.

I'm so happy to announce my short story On The House is now available in the new anthology Quarry from Level Best Books.

Will you be able to predict what happens?

READ IT! here. And then let me know. (You'll see what I mean at the end ...)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Girlfriend Visiting! Melissa Senate

"The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate opened my heart, made me laugh, cry, and smile all at the same time. A don't-miss read!"

–New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips

Melissa Senate was one of the very very first "real" authors I ever met. (Remember that, Melissa?) I went to hear her speak at a meeting of the New Englnad chapter of RWA--and I was captivated. I probably didn't tell her that (too timid!), but she was fascinating. Honest. Genuine. And hilarious.
So it's no wonder Melissa's books have captured readers' hearts. And, hurray, now she has a new one!

(Melissa lives on the coast of Maine with her son and their menagerie of pets. She’s the author of eight novels (seven women’s fiction and one young adult) with two on the way.)

HANK: You and I get into an elevator on the first floor. We're both going to 22! Oh, I say, you're the famous author. What's your new book about?
You say:
MELISSA: 28-year-old New Yorker Rebecca Strand is shocked when her dying father confesses a devastating secret: he had affair when Rebecca was a toddler—and a baby he turned his back on at birth. Now, his wish is that the daughter he abandoned, Joy Joyhawk, read the unsent letters he wrote to her every year on her birthday. Determined to fulfill her father’s wish, Rebecca drives to a small town in Maine—against the advice of her lawyer boyfriend who’s sure Joy will be a “disappointing, trashy opportunist” and demand half her father’s fortune. But when hopeful Rebecca knocks on her half-sister’s door, Joy—a separated mother who conducts weekend singles tours out of her orange mini-bus—wants nothing to do with Rebecca or the letters her father wrote to her. Determined to forge some kind of relationship with Joy, Rebecca sticks around, finding unexpected support from Joy’s best clients—the Divorced Ladies Club of Wiscasset—and a sexy carpenter named Theo . . . .

HANK: Do you remember the moment you had the idea for the book? How and when did that happen?:

MELISSA: Several years ago, I received an email out of the blue that said: I think you might be my half-sister. I was. Am. It took me a long time to decide to take that little (huge) nugget and write a novel to help me figure out the answer to some burning questions, such as: if you haven’t seen or heard from your biological father, or any member of his family, since you were little (or, in Joy’s case, never at all), is his child from another relationship really your sibling? Or just a stranger? Does the word father or sister or brother mean anything without back up? I had a ton of questions and set out to uncover how I felt through a fictional character, but it’s interesting to me that I flipped everything on its head in the writing of the story. Nothing but the basic questions that are proposed in the novel are autobiographical. Just the questions! And I surprised myself quite a few times during the writing of this story with how I felt about certain things. Amazing how writing fiction can teach you so much about yourself.

HANK:. Your main character--is she you?

MELISSA: Not at all! Although I love to steal from my own life as the nuggets for my novels, I never base my characters on myself or anyone I know. On the burning questions and the theme, perhaps, are very, very real.

HANK: So--movie time. Tell us who you envision playing your main character? The love interest? A bad guy?

MELISSA: The main character, Rebccca, I see Anne Hathaway or Emily Blunt or Rachel McAdams with her sweet expression. For her half-sister, Joy: Kristin Bell or Michelle Williams. The love interest: Aarron Eckhart or Matthew Fox.

HANK: And you can be in the movie too--what part would you play? And why? MELISSA: I would want to play the kind, wise pizza maker, Arlene Radicchio, who becomes a source of safety and comfort for Rebecca. I would love to have someone like nearby in real life. Someone always ready with a cup of tea and a slice of warm pie and an open ear.

HANK: Do you read other people books while you're in the writing process? How does that affect you?

MELISSA: Oooh, yes. I read all the time. Reading while writing novel inspires me. If I’m feeling a little stuck, I’ll just read a little Jennifer Weiner or Elizabeth Berg or Lolly Winston and I’m ready to get to work. They are like fairy Godwriters.

HANK: What's the very best line of the very best review you've gotten? So far, of course.

MELISSA: It was a Booklist review that said: “Melissa Senate’s latest has her trademark quick pacing and sympathetic, loveable characters, proving once again she’s one of Red Dress Ink’s brightest lights.” Red Dress Ink is no more, and I’m now writing for Simon & Schuster, but I thought that was the loveliest review I’ve ever gotten.

HANK: What was your favorite book as a child? Do you still love it?:

MELISSA: Anne of Green Gables and yes! That book taught me that imagination can take you places.

HANK: What's your secret indulgence? A certain food? A particular movie? What would you buy on a day of shopping?

MELISSA: My secret indulgence is really and truly books. I love contemporary women’s fiction and there’s so much great stuff with gorgeous covers. My Amazon cart is always bursting.

HANK: What's one thing no one knows about you?

MELISSA: How introverted I truly am!

HANK: Do you remember when you typed "The End?" What happened next?

MELISSA: Pure happiness. Done. Send. And then the nervous anticipation of reaction sets in. Which is when I busy myself immediately with starting a new novel.

I know, now you're saying: MORE MELISSA! Can do.

FIrst, visit her website ( -- she’d love if you became her friend Facebook ( and followed her on Twitter (

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Girlfriend Visiting! Jessica Brody

With a complicated, sympathetic protagonist, worthy stakes and a clever twist on the standard chick lit narrative, Brody will pull readers in from the first page."
– Publisher’s Weekly

Okay, I know all of us who write books will tell you that we're delighted when someone else has a good idea. Oh, we think, how wonderful! But I will tell you here in the provacy of our blogdom that when I hear about Jessica Brody's book The Fidelity Files, I was the teeensiest bit..envious.

Here it is: Boyfriend behaving badly? Suspect your husband of straying? Jennifer Hunter can supply the ultimate test. She runs a company which specializes in conducting fidelity inspections for those who suspect their loved ones are capable of infidelity.

(What a terrific idea! Rats. I shoulda thought of it. But, hey. We love Jessica.)

And now, she's got a new book--and it's out today! And there's more delicious stuff where the Fidelity Files came from.

Welcome, Jessica! And congratulations on your wild success...I hear there's a TV series in development from the executive producer of Crash. And that's fantastic. (But I still shoulda thought of it...)

HANK: So. You and I get into an elevator on the first floor. We're both going to 22! Oh, I say, you're the famous author. What's your new book about? You say:

JESSICA: LOVE UNDER COVER is the compelling story of a woman who runs a “fidelity inspection” agency, hired by suspicious spouses to test the faithfulness of their loved ones. Although at work she may be an expert on men, in her own relationship, she doesn’t have a clue…Ding!

HANK: Wait , wait, don;t get out of the elevator yet. What's the very best line of the very best review you've gotten? So far, of course.

JESSICA: LOVE UNDER COVER has gotten some wonderful reviews and I’m so grateful. But I think my favorite line was from Booklist who called the book an, “honest, witty portrayal of modern love.” That really melted me. If there are two things I try to be in my writing it’s funny and real. So this was a huge compliment. Thanks Booklist!

HANK: What's your secret indulgence? A certain food? A particular movie? What would you buy on a day of shopping?

JESSICA: I’m a total techno junkie. I love technology and gadgets. Ipods, digital cameras, computers, Tivos, Sling Boxes…those are my weaknesses. My toys. I would die without my blackberry and my Kindle. Unlike most women, I hate shopping for clothes and shoes. To me it feels like a huge waste of time. In a perfect world, I would just wear my sweat pants and Ugg knock-offs all day, every day (okay, maybe I already do that), but set me loose in a Fry’s Electronics or a Best Buy and you probably won’t see me for a week.

HANK: I like stationery stores. All that nice paper. And things to hold the paper together, and things to put the paper in. Very organized. Whew. Anwyay. What was your favorite book as a child? Do you still love it?

JESSICA: I first learned how to read with the book GO DOG GO. Although it was probably more “memorizing” than actual “reading” since I forced my parents to read it to me obsessively! Now I buy it as a baby shower gift for all my pregnant friends. The dogs must live on!

HANK: Oh, I loved that, too. And Hop on Pop. Now that you're a grown up (pretty much) Do you read other people’s books while you're in the writing process? How does that affect you?

JESSICA: I do read other people’s books while I’m reading. I find that it inspires me. Although it does tend to influence the mood of whatever scene I’m working on at the moment. For example, I read MY SISTER’S KEEPER a few months ago when I was working on one of my YA novels and when I did the revisions I noticed a more somber mood somewhere towards the middle. “Ah, yes,” I thought. “That was around the time I sunk my teeth into Jodi Picoult.”

Want more? Here's Jessica's website... You can view her trailer and read excerpts and find out lots of cool stuff.

And oh, don't forget: Jessica is the maven of FREE BOOK FRIDAY! And if you're not already a huge fan..whoa. You are missing a good thing.

Thanks for visiting, Jessica! Many many good wishes..and we hope you sell piles of books.

Monday, September 28, 2009

READ AIR TIME--right now!

Look what the fabulous people at MIRA have done...a free sneak peek at AIR TIME!

Just click on the link below!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"A warm, witty and charmingly original story."

--Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Please welcome debut author Marilyn Brant! She's terrific, she's smart, she's a great pal..and her book is a wonderful idea which I wish I'd thought of.


It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet "tsk" of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, Jane Austen's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there.

(Ah, got to love it.)

Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go--sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham.

Still, everyone has something to learn about love--perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending. . .

Marilyn and I had a quick chat:

HANK:. You and I get into an elevator on the first floor. We're both going to 22! Oh, I say, you're the famous author. What's your new book about?
You say:
MARILYN: I’d say, “Oh, Hank, I think you’re WAY more famous than I am!

HANK: Oh, puh-leeze...

MARILYN: But, since you’re asking, According to Jane is the story of a modern woman named Ellie who gets dating advice from the spirit of Jane Austen. And there are a lot of ‘80s references in it, too.”

HANK:. Do you remember the moment you had the idea for the book? How and when did that happen?

MARILYN: Yes, I do. I was sitting in an RWA National Conference workshop (Dallas 2004) presented by Eloisa James. She was discussing the borrowing of classic plots from famous authors, as she’d done with Shakespeare. She asked us to think about which classical lit books we’d read and the authors whose characters and storylines we’d gravitate toward. I immediately thought of Austen!

HANK:. Your main character--is she you?

MARILYN: Ellie is…kind of me. She and I share a certain introspection and we each had a tendency toward perfectionism in school, plus, we were both children of ‘80s pop culture. However, I have only one sibling—an incredibly supportive and wonderful brother—so a lot of Ellie’s family issues were not drawn from real-life at all. As for dating, while I’ll admit to having made a lamentable boyfriend choice or two, I met my husband right out of college and was happily married pretty young. So, Ellie’s painful relationship problems were (thankfully) extrapolated from things I observed or they were exaggerated from some real events and grafted to modernized versions of scenes I found fascinating in Austen’s novels.
HANK: So--movie time. Tell us who you envision playing your main character? The love interest? A bad guy?And you can be in the movie too--what part would you play? And why?

MARILYN: I don’t know who, specifically, to cast as either Ellie or Sam! Really. Someone like a young John Cusack for Sam--that tall, dark-haired, smart and snarky type. Ellie would be a bit Emma Watson-ish. Both would need to be played by 20-somethings, though, since they could then be made up to look younger (late teens) and older (early thirties).

HANK:. Do you read other people books while you're in the writing process? How does that affect you?

MARILYN: I love to read and need to, but when I’m deep into the writing of a story it’s hard for me both to have the time to delve into a novel and, also, to relax enough to enjoy it. So, I tend to read more during the revision stage, which, since I usually need to do a fair bit of revising, is rather long. During the drafting period, I’ll read nonfiction, which is usually a bit easier to read in snippets.

HANK: . What's the very best line of the very best review you've gotten? So far, of course.

MARILYN: I’ve gotten some very nice “official” reviews, but my favorite line was from an informal review by a reader. She’d won an advanced copy of the book in a contest, read the novel in one day and spontaneously emailed me, saying, “…once in a blue moon, a book grips me and makes me fall in love with fiction again. Thank you. A very grateful reader.” Who wouldn’t love that?

HANK:. What was your favorite book as a child? Do you still love it?

MARILYN: As a very young child, it was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. As a middle grade child, it was The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, and, yes, I still love them both.
HANK:. What's your secret indulgence? A certain food? A particular movie? What would you buy on a day of shopping?

MARILYN: Gourmet European chocolate: dark or milk, with all kinds of different fillings. I’ve tried to break myself of the habit but, really, that’s just not possible. The choc0late goes well with old movies, too, like “The Philadelphia Story” and “Roman Holiday,” which I can watch over and over again… Mmm. Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and chocolate!

HANK:. What's one thing no one knows about you?
MARILYN: That I am always watching them--LOL J. That I can’t turn off the writer thing and am, at all times, collecting the quirky habits and mannerisms of the people around me. Now they know this, of course, and will be more careful...

HANK: Do you remember when you typed "The End?" What happened next?

MARILYN: I remember typing my very first “The End.” What I didn’t realize then was how many revisions it would take before a book was actually finished, or how many of those revised manuscripts I’d have to write before I had a publishable one on my hands.

HANK: true! See you in the bookstores...!
Oh! Lots more to read about at Marilyn's website:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How I'm spending my Summer Vacation

Hey All:

Lots happening this's a quick photo album to show the scoop! This is Janet
Evanovich, of course, who gave a rousing, inspirational and truly funny keynote address. Then she patiently, patiently, patiently signed books for the hordes of devoted fans who stood in line. (Like me..)

Here's a hilarious moment at the RWA convention in Washington DC--we all had to evacuate. Which we did, reluctantly. Happily, some, like Barbara Vey here, figured it was a good way to keep the party going. That's iced tea, by the way--the alarm interrupted our lovely lunch. You know Barbara's blog right? Just click on her name...

Here's another great pal.
Becke Davis is the multi-talented doyenne of the B & N mystery and gardening well as a reviewer for Michelle Bunfiglio's Romance Buy the Book. This is just before the RITA awards ceremony at RWA.

This is the MBTA, the Boston Subway. Aren't these great posters? (Designed by Jeanne Devlin, the graphics genius.) I just think it;s so funny, Charlie on the MTA. (Gotta hum it, in tribute to the Kingston Trio.)

MIRA maven/editor (and RITA nominee) Margaret O'Neill Marbury, with the stellar (and RITA nominee) Carla Neggers. Carla's been storming the country on a multi-state book tour--I don't know how she does it all.

Thrillerfest in New York City. On the right is Keith Raffel, who writes cool thrillers about the dot com biz. In the middle is some guy named Lee Child, who they told me was kind of famous.

Nora Roberts. What a classy, charming person. (This is at the extravagant and glam Harlequin party at the Ritz. Champagne. Chocolate fountains. The most elaborate cake I've ever seen.) And that's Barbara Vey, of course. Usually she's the one taking the photos and drive-by videos.

This is the library in Scituate Massachusetts...SRO, I'm delighted to say. Hallie Ephron and I led a wonderful discussion about mysteries...look closely and you can see us by the bookcases. It's a fantastic library, and books were also on sale courtesy of the wonderful Buttonwood Books of Cohasset.

This is Front Street Books in you can see, it's a great town for mystery lovers. This was July 3, so we were delighted that the room was full!

Thrillerfest..this is one of the signings in the Barnes and Noble room. Dianna Love was such a force of nature! And her book with Sherrilyn Kenyon is on the NYT list. No wonder she's smiling.

Aw.. David Morrell and Heather Graham. I managed to sneak into the shot when their lines of fans finally subsided. Look at David Morrells' book The Shimmer...when you see it in stores, check out the acknowledgments. Just, do. (And then buy it, of course.)

R. L.Stine. He and I are alphabetically in proximity, luckily for me, so we sat together at the signing. We bonded over folk music and Broadway, and now my grandson thinks I'm pretty cool. Signed books will do that...

More to come!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Latest: Brand New Review Blog!

You know Michelle Buonfiglio, right Bellas?
(Here we are at RWA 2007)
And you know Becke Davis. Right?
Well, if you don't, you're about to be introduced to two amazing powerhouses. They've now joined forces for a fantastic new readers-writers-romance-suspense-world of publishing and books extravaganza.

Romance B(u)y The Book!

And the first review out of the block? A rave for PRIME TIME!

(thank you thank you thank you...)

Here's a taste:

"In this taut, Agatha Award-winning series opener, Phillippi Ryan, an investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate, writes with the voice of experience, baiting the hook with whispers of a whistle-blowing scandal..."

But hey, you should read the rest. And explore the site.

Oh,'s a little more.. from Becke Davis, RBTB Contributing Editor:

"Phillippi Ryan reels us in with snappy dialogue, a memorable cast and a mystery packed with satisfying twists."

Now, FOB's and soon-to-be FOB's--check out the site!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Girlfriend Visiting: Everyone She Loved

"Curran is a beautiful writer, both witty and evocative, and she knows how to keep a reader riveted. I was up way past my bedtime, unable to stop turning pages. I had to know what happened to this family. Read this book, then pass it on to your dearest friend. She'll thank you."
-- Joshilyn Jackson, bestselling author of Gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia

The amazing Sheila Curran. Her new book EVERYONE SHE LOVED is causing good friends to become better friends, better friends to become best friends, and best friends to be bonded for life. It's also the talk of books groups. Sheila herself is astonishing--her website has a surprise on every page. And I mean--a real surprise. A laugh. A tear. A connection. And she's probably lived in your hometown.
Go visit. You won't be sorry. But first--pull up a chair. She and I had a little chat.

HANK: You and I get into an elevator on the first floor. We're both going to 22! Oh, I say, you're the famous author. What's your new book about? You say:

SHEILA: Four women, friends since college, live in a charming southern beach town. One of them, Penelope, has more money than God. Which may be why she insists on playing the deity from time to time. Despite her beauty and inherited wealth, she becomes preoccupied with what might happen to her husband and children if she died. So she talks her husband into signing a codicil to her will.
If she should die, he won’t remarry unless the new wife (and more importantly) mother, has been approved by her sister and three best friends. Years go by, the codicil gathers dust, and more than its share of hilarity, until the unthinkable happens and everyone she loved must find their way without Penelope.
Simply told, it’s old money in the New South, romantic confusion, legal entanglements, and the unbreakable bonds between four women – and a man.

HANK: Do you remember the moment you had the idea for the book? How and when did that happen?
SHEILA: Books are born in strange places. This one was conceived in the front seat of a car.

No, not that kind of conception. My friend Julianna was driving. Our daughters were chatting in the back seat. I was talking about an article I’d written for McCall’s about two young girls in Arizona whose parents had died within months of each other. “Did you know that in some states, if there isn’t a will, the kids can be sent to foster care?”

The girls in my story weren’t so unfortunate. Their mother had named her best friends, another pair of sisters, as the children’s guardians. ”Just make sure you chose someone to take over if something happens to you.”

From there we talked about difficult it would be to chose which couple among one’s siblings and friends would best be suited for the job. Where did one couple’s permissiveness slide into overindulgence, another’s consistency into unbearable strictness? The idea of dying was hard enough, but figuring out which couple would most love your kids in your absence? Impossible.

We paused in our conversation just long enough for my brain to settle on yet another catastrophic possibility. “You know what would be worse?” I asked. “What if I died and John (my husband) married someone awful? I’d have no control at all!”

Another pause. “Unless,” I continued. “I could get him to agree that if he remarried, my sisters and friends would check out the bride. Make sure she wasn’t some kind of wicked stepmother.”

And thus was hatched the idea of EVERYONE SHE LOVED, a novel that explores the faith one woman placed in her dearest friends, the care she took to protect her family, and the many ways in which romantic entanglements will confound and confuse even the most determined of planners.

HANK: Your main character--is she you?
SHEILA: Well, there’s some question about who my main character is. Even though most of my book takes place after Penelope is gone, I certainly share her hyperbolic imagination and desire to control the uncontrollable. Lucy, her best friend, who takes over the care and tending of her children is a painter. The way she feels about her art is something of the way I feel about mine, protective, and willing to give up just about anything to be allowed to keep doing it. Martha, the smart-ass lawyer whose temper sometimes gets her into trouble, well..what can I say? And Clover, who thinks she can sing and gets the lyrics wrong, again, there’s something there of me.

HANK: So--movie time. Tell us who you envision playing your main character?
SHEILA: I picture Catherine Keener (who played Harper Lee on Capote, and the love interest in 40 year old virgin) as Lucy (who could also be played by Kate Winslet or Scarlett Johanssen.) Penelope should either be Penelope Cruz (who I’d love to see play a southerner) or Holly Hunter. Someone who can carry off imperious, charming, lovable and just a little bit over-the-top. I’m sure I’ve forgotten who else could play her. Martha should be Ellen Barkin or Cameron Diaz.
The love interest? McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy. Patrick Dempsey? Or Daniel Day Lewis, or Liam Neeson. A bad guy? Phillip Seymour Hoffman could play the meddling relatives, tweedledee and tweedledum, twins from England. And for the perfectionist dance instructor Siobhan? Ooh, I think Sarah Jessica Parker or Kyra Sedgewick could do her up just right.
HANK: And you can be in the movie too--what part would you play?
SHEILA: I’d play Penelope’s clueless stepsister, Clover. Why? Oh, because she’s so unintentionally funny and carries with her the insecurity of having her mother abandon her at the age of 6. She still thinks it’s because she failed to place in the beauty pageant finals and has spent the rest of her life trying hard to become the sort of person who’d please her enough to get her back.

HANK: Do you read other people books while you're in the writing process? How does that affect you?
SHEILA: Oh, yes. Reading is my major form of entertainment. I’m not sure how it affects me but I think that because I read so quickly, if their style creeps into my prose, it will be edited out during the fifty thousandth time I read the manuscript during the revisions phase. I am continually learning from, and inspired by, other writers.

HANK: What's the very best line of the very best review you've gotten? So far, of course.
SHEILA: “…This is a gem.” Booklist. A starred review. Or maybe it was Jodi Picoult’s “warm, funny, inventive and original novel.” Or maybe Julianna Baggott’s “the unbreakable bonds between women have found their greatest writer in Sheila Curran.”

HANK: . What was your favorite book as a child?
HANK: Do you still love it?

HANK:. What's your secret indulgence?
SHEILA: Home and Garden Television, Real Housewives of New York, New Jersey and Atlanta, the Food Channel. Pasta of any kind. Any chick-flick.
HANK: What would you buy on a day of shopping?
SHEILA: Sheets. Cannot get enough of linens. Oh, and if money were no object? Art and oriental carpets.

HANK: What's one thing no one knows about you?
SHEILA: Gosh, Hank, I’m not sure there’s even one thing no one knows me. Tactfully put, I have a high level of disclosure. Or as one friend put it, a psychologist, “Sheila, your id is right on top of your skin!” (I had to ask what id meant, of course, and I guess it’s the part that knows what to keep secret and what not.)

HANK: Do you remember when you typed "The End?" What happened next?
SHEILA: I set the book aside for a few weeks and then came back to read it with fresh eyes. I probably celebrated by giving myself a ‘get out of guilt free’ day.
A final thought from Sheila:
"I have been kept alive, literally and figuratively, by the affection and support of my family and friends, whose sum total is my proudest boast and matters much more to me than my bank balance or intelligence quotient."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Latest: An Event to Die For (at Turtle Lane)

Isn't this fantastic? Hope to see you there! And check my events page for many more appearances..I'd love to see you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BEA Photos!

BEA Day One! And it was a whirlwind start--we pulled into NYC from Boston. Jonathan dropped me at the Javits Center.and I headed for the MWA booth, where the Fabulous Flaxes, Margery (and her husband Steve) pulled together a jam-packed (I should say author-packed) booth, full of books and excitement and mystery-lovers. You can see by my delighted expression how much fun it was!

In the above photo--Chris Grabenstein (who is probably one reason I'm laughing so hard), and Ken Isaacson behind me, and Keith Raffel to my left.

Here's a photo Margery Flax took--she was everywhere! Keith Raffel, me, and Alexandra Sokoloff. My favorite part of this is the woman who's snagging Alex's new book THE UNSEEN. Well, who wouldn't?

I gave out lots of coupons for free copies of the MIRA edition of PRIME TIME--and they went fast. Thank you so much--and to all who got them, the books will be in the mail this weekend, I'm told!

Saturday morning: the MIRA signing, and the first look for readers at the all new AIR TIME, coming August 25.

Wow! It was astonishing. Look at the line! (That's me in the red jacket and leopard skirt, though you can't really see it) signing as fast as I can. And loving every second. In the right of the photo, you can just see my dear editor Ann Leslie Tuttle, who stalwartly helped through the whole lovely day.

More MIRA signing...

And more--look at the bags and loot hidden under the table!

This is what you can't see from the line..

And here's a wide shot of the whole signing booth...the
other woman in red (at the signing table) is the fabulous Joan Johnston. And next to her, the amazing Carly Phillips. (Got to love MIRA. What stars those authors are!)

Another shot of the line--and just to show how much fun we all had. I guess--free books make everyone happy.

That's Elizabeth Flock right next to me in the pale blue--signing Sleepwalking in Daylight. She has so many fans! And was unfailingly charming to every one of them.

And here's a line-up for you...the marvelous Bobby McCue of the iconic Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles, Cara Black, who signed masses of her new book, a happy me, and Ally Carter, whose YA books are New York Times bestsellers--the latest of the Gallagher Girls series is Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover. (It's spies..get it?)

I didn't take a photo of all the ARC's Jonathan and I accumulated...a copy of Beautiful Creatures--which looks fantastic. And the new Alan Furst. And the new Lorrie Moore. And--the new M.T. Anderson. And lots more. Very exciting! (Or--did I already say that?)

All in all..a wonderful experience. And now, less than a month until the new PRIME TIME!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Girlfriend Visiting: Under the Sea

In Over Her Head"A playful debut... sincere wit."
-Publisher's Weekly

Who here hasn't really wondered about...merpeople. I mean, it could happen, right?

When Erica Peck, one terrified-of-the-ocean marina owner, finds herself at the bottom of the sea conversing with a Mer man named Reel, she thinks she's died and gone to her own version of Hell. When the Oceanic Council demands she and Reel retrieve a lost cache of diamonds from the resident sea monster in return for their lives, she knows she's died and gone to Hell.
When they escape the monster and end up on a deserted island, she amends her opinion - she's died and gone to Heaven.
But when Reel sacrifices himself to allow her to return to her world, she realizes that, Heaven or Hell, with Reel, she's In Over Her Head.

Okay, fine. It didn't happen. Except behind that hot-cool book cover--and from the delightfully original mind of Judi Fennell. And she's agreed to the girfriends cyber-chat with me!

HANK: You and I get into an elevator on the first floor. We're both going to 22! Oh, I say, you're the famous author. What's your new book about? You say:

JUDI:He's a merman and she's terrified of the ocean.

HANK: Do you remember the moment you had the idea for the book?

JUDI: Oh definitely!
HANK:How and when did that happen?
JUDI: I had just finished revisions of my American Title story, Beauty and The Best, and was trying to come up with another fairy tale I could twist and I thought of The Little Mermaid. Then I had to figure out how to "twist" it. That took all of about two seconds, because the best way to flip it around was to make HIM the mer. Then I saw the movie, Failure to Launch, with Matthew McConaughey and that character is Reel. The devil-may-care, playboy, Mr. Hotshot - who's really hiding a fear - is Reel. The story started flowing (pun fully intended).

HANK: Your main character--is she you?
JUDI: I'd say that any of my heroines that have a backbone are me. Now Erica, she doesn't have a backbone when it comes to the sea. And, yes, that is me, too. I saw JAWS at an early, impressionable age, and it totally ruined the sea for me. I have a running commentary with myself whenever I go boogie-boarding or snorkeling about how I'm being ridiculous and no sharks are going to attack me, and I know it's a totally irrational fear. But I still make sure there's someone out farther than I am and on either side. I'm not comfortable when my kids are out there, but I try not to impart my fear on them.

HANK: Ah yes, Jaws. It's ruined many a summer. I freak out over tornadoes. Absolutely as a result of Wizard of Oz. So--movie time. Tell us who you envision playing your main character?
JUDI: I think Sandra Bullock could play Erica perfectly. Kate Hudson would be a good second, but I could see Sandra as she was in Two Weeks' Notice, with her chattiness, playing Erica perfectly. The love interest?Matthew McConaughey. Reel was fashioned after him, even physically because, let's face it, it's Matthew McConaughey. A bad guy? After seeing the movie Enchanted, I could totally see Susan Sarandon as my sea monster, Ceto. She did the DragonLady Stepmother so incredibly evilly, that she could pull Ceto off.

HANK: And you can be in the movie too--what part would you play?
JUDI: Oh, I'd love to play Kai, Reel's mother. And, no, I'm not that much older than Matthew McConaughey (he could be my younger brother, thankyouverymuch), but Kai is Immortal and magical, so she doesn't age. But Kai has some great lines in the book and puts him in his place so beautifully when he's on his high seahorse.

HANK: Do you read other people books while you're in the writing process?
JUDI: I do read while I'm writing, but I try to stay away from others who write stories similar to mine. I stayed away from Shana Abe's The Last Mermaid and MaryJanice Davidson's Fred the Mermaid series until after I'd finished In Over Her Head.

HANK: How does that affect you?
JUDI: I don't want to be influenced by anything anyone else comes up with.

HANK: What's the very best line of the very best review you've gotten?
JUDI: "A great way to spend a snowy afternoon or a sunny day at the beach," by Lynda K. Scott, Star-Crossed Romance. I hope to see people reading this at the beach when I go this summer.
So far, of course.

HANK: What was your favorite book as a child?
JUDI: I have three. One is The True Story of Okee The Otter by Dorothy Wisbeski. And, yes, I do still have it. I bought it at a book fair in 6th grade and absolutely love this story of a woman who raised a Columbian river otter (back when you could) in suburban NJ. The others are by Dodie Smith: 101 Dalmatians and Twilight Barking. To this day, I still love reading them and wish they would have taken more of the original story into the Glenn Close remake.

HANK: Do you still love them?
JUDI: I bought the Dodie Smith books for my kids to read, so, yes, I still love the stories.

HANK:. What's your secret indulgence?
JUDI: I love finger food at parties. We have Friday night "family hours" in the summer in my neighborhood and I have to walk away from the table because I love all of that food.

HANK: A certain food?
JUDI: Hershey chocolate kisses. There is no more perfect piece of chocolate.

HANK: A particular movie?
JUDI: Ever After and Enchanted. Yes, they're Cinderella stories. Is it odd that I write twists on fairy tales?

HANK: What would you buy on a day of shopping?
JUDI: I hate shopping, so I'll head for a bookstore instead. Or Home Depot. Yes, Hubs had to threaten to take the Home Depot card away. LOL

HANK: What's one thing no one knows about you?
JUDI: Now if I told you, everyone would know, wouldn't they? :)
HANK: Grrr.
JUDI: :-)

HANK: . Do you remember when you typed "The End?"
JUDI: I was sitting on the beach, which is so fitting. I wrote 25 pages that day and it felt soooo good. What happened next? I went in the ocean. Yep, I did. Talked to myself the whole time, calling myself all kinds of idiot.

What they're saying:

"Nora Roberts? Danielle Steel? Much acclaimed romance writers should step aside. There is a new romance writer in town and she is certainly causing a great splash with her debut novel, In Over Her Head."

"I truly found a pearl in my oyster when I read this delightful tale. I was surprised how good of a book In Over Her Head is. It is extremely well-written, the storyline flows and I was hooked from the first page."

"IN OVER HER HEAD is a delightful, quirky blend of humor, adventure and passion. All in all, this is a fast, fun read and a great way to spend a snowy afternoon or a sunny day at the beach."
-Lynda K. Scott, Star-Crossed Romance

"In Over Her Head is a heartwarming, but action-packed story of two people-one human and the other of the seaworthy body-joined together in an adventure. I enjoyed this story immensely."
-Dawn M. Ekinia, Armchair Interviews

"A delightful underwater adventure... full of good-natured humor and fun. A strong first effort by a promising new talent."
-Romantic Times

About The Author:
Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to "get outside!" instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did--right into Dad's hammock with her Nancy Drew books.

These days she's more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she's still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends' books.

A three-time finalist in online contests, Judi has enjoyed the reader feedback she's received and would love to hear what you think about her Mer series. Check out her website at for excerpts, reviews and fun pictures from reader and writer conferences, and the chance to "dive in" to her stories.

To celebrate the release of each of her books, Judi Fennell and the Atlantis Inn
and the Hibiscus House bed and breakfasts are raffling off three romantic beach getaway weekends. All information is on Judi's website,
Check it out! And have fun...

Judi Fennell
In Over Her Head, coming from Sourcebooks, 6/09

Sourcebooks, June 2009
ISBN # 9781402220012
Wild Blue Under & Catch of a Lifetime, books 2 & 3 in the Mer trilogy

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Latest: On the Road

You never know where the universe will send you--and I just had to share some of the hilariously fun times and wonderful people I've been meeting.

Yes, yes, PRIME TIME comes out in just about a month..and then FACE TIME in late July and AIR TIME in late August: Thank you, endlessly, to SUE GRAFTON for the kind words: "Sassy, fast-paced and appealing..." And there's more! But more about that later.

Anyway--the photo above was at the most unpredictable event I think I've ever attended--I was a judge for a Guitar Hero contest! You're shaking your head in wonderment. Yes, you're so right. But it was for a wonderful literacy organization Everybody Wins! Metro Boston and as past president of the National Beatles Fan Club, I channeled my inner Paula Adbul and and told the contestants the truth. With me? Whoa. Alicia Sacramone, the Olympic gymnast, and Ben Mezrich, author of Bringing Down the House. His new book THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES is the inside scoop on the chaos, conflict an big bucks in the creation of Face Book. I can't wait to read it. (And Kevin Spacey's optioned the movie. Go Ben!)

Another great cause! Pari Noskin Taichert and I were auctioneers at the Malice Domestic auction...raising a truly surprising amount of money for RICA, a regional facility in Maryland which provides treatment for emotionally disturbed adolescents . Malice attendees were so generous..and the items up for bid were stellar: A rare first edition from Katherine Hall Page, one from Nancy Pickard, a manuscript from Carolyn Hart..and the list goes on. I auctioned the name of a pet or character in the next Charlie McNally novel--so, thanks to the winner, there's going to be a cat named Squeaker. Got to love it!

Okay, this wasn't for a good cause--except wait. Sure it was. Fun. Barb Goffman of Malice came up with the world's most hilarious panel: which required me to play Nancy Drew. Hence the scarf, cardigan, headband and pearls. And perky smile. Next to me, Jeff Cohen played a brilliant Sherlock Holmes, and Judy Clemens was a smashing Amelia Peabody. Oh, I'll have to find the other photos.Vinny O'Neil was a fantastic Poirot. And our truly amazing leader Chris Grabenstein wrote a wonderful script (sorry, Chris, yes, I improvised...) Barb, it was a once in a life time experience!

Laughing with Harlan Coben. We were on the humor panel at CrimeBake 2008..and it's such fun to see this photo. What a classy, hilarious, and generous guy--and truly talented. His new book is out--which I will read as soon as I can wrest it from the hands of my dear husband.

And here's another great cause..Michael Palmer threw a wonderful party to benefit the Asperger's

Association of New England. There was a huge line to get a signed book, but the party was full of so many new friends, it was worth the wait.

So what else is on the agenda? More photos to come! Check my schedule page...

and come say hi at BEA in New York!

On Friday, May 29 at 3:45, I'll be giving away the new new version of Prime Time at the Mystery Writers of America booth...
And on Saturday May 30, I'll be signing the all new AIR TIME at 10:00 at the MIRA booth.
Hope to see you there.
More photos to come! And Email me at hank at hankphillippiryan. com (take out spaces, natch)
Love to hear from you.
xoxo Hank

Sunday, February 1, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Girlfriend Visiting

WOW. Simply, wow. That is the only word I can use to describe this masterpiece. It has been such a long time since I have read such a rich, emotional and tension filled romance.
-- Kate Garrabrant, Romance Novel TV

If you get a chance to chat with Carolyn Jewel in person--do it!

We met in California at a convention, and we had a great time. (I'm now rummaging through My Pictures for our photo together, can't find it, rats, who's supposed to organize these things...oh, I am)

Anyway--she's hilarious. Intelligent. Clever. Unpredictable. Ingenious. And so much fun! Her newest book: SCANDAL is burning up the review pages!

Jewel plays readers' emotions like a virtuoso, ensuring they will eagerly follow her characters into dramatic, intensely passionate and gripping love stories that will steal your heart and make you beg for more. She grabs you at the first word and never lets go.

So you can't do better than that. Girlfriend Carolyn is now here for a brief chat! Might as well talk about romance first!

HANK: My most embarrassing-in-retrospect heartthrob is Number 6 on The Prisoner. Who's yours? (I also had a crush on Henry V, but that's not embarrassing. Is it?)

CAROLYN: I have only ever loved Adrian Paul and Jet Li. Ever in my whole life.But Ringo was my favorite Beatle.

HANK: Since becoming a writer, what's the most glamorous thing you've ever done?


HANK: But seriously. (I know serious is hard for you....)What's the main thing you hope people take away from your book?

CAROLYN: A burning and insatiable desire to buy my backlist and everything else I ever write for the rest of my life. And to tell everyone they know to do the same thing. OK, seriously, I just hope they enjoy the heck out of the story.

HANK: I print every page of my first draft. The edit it on paper. Then fix the changes. Then go on. What is your process of getting out a first whole draft?

CAROLYN: I print out drafts from time to time because the words look different on paper. I rarely have a complete draft. I just have more and more words that make up a mess that needs constant and massive fixing which I do constantly until somehow the story isn't a mess any more. And then it's done.

HANK: If you could only own and read 5 books for the rest of your life,(excluding your own) what five books would you choose?

CAROLYN: Villette by Charlotte Bronte, Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Some edition of O'Henry Best Short Stories, A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh.

HANK: Who are your favorite musical artists?. What music would your characters love?

CAROLYN: Paolo Nutini, James Blunt, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters. Scandal does not include any musical references, but if it had, it would not have been any of these four. Lord Banallt would probably prefer John Lee Hooker while Sophie would actually prefer Vampire Weekend for having written Oxford Comma.

HANK: What's your Writer Fantasy? To see your book made into a feature film? To be on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 (or so) consecutive weeks?

CAROLYN: Hmm. My fantasies typically involve Adrian Paul or Jet Li. But I could live with 40 weeks on the NYT bestseller list. If I had to.

HANK: What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication?

CAROLYN: Dorothea Brande's section of Tapping the Unconscious in "Becoming A Writer” which included this warning; "If you fail repeatedly at this exercise, give up writing. Your resistance is actually greater than your desire to write and you may as well find some other outlet for your energy early as late." (79).

Alas, I failed miserably and repeatedly at her freewriting exercise. It seems I am a no-talent amateur with delusions of grandeur. I can't explain my ten (counting through the end of 2009) published novels, given this failure. I think I must be a freak of some sort.

Brande's book taught me that writing advice can, and possibly should, be ignored. Writers follow different paths to success and one path is nevermore valid than another. What works for me may not work for you and there's nothing wrong with that. The point is to actually go out and find what works for you.

HANK: Any stories about your cover?

CAROLYN: My editor at Berkley, Kate Seaver, sent me some cover art by someone she was thinking of using to see what I thought of his style. She also asked me for my ideas and for samples of covers I liked. As it happens, I am completely clueless about what makes a good cover (aside from knowing a good one when I see it attached to somebody else's book). My samples were all fairly dreadful. They were great for books that were not mine,though. The people whose business it is to create covers that sell books ignored me, thank goodness, and came up with a very passionate cover that conveys the emotion between my hero and heroine. I love my cover and I am really, truly grateful for the talented people who worked to make it come together so wonderfully.

HANK: Tell me a little about what inspired your book.

CAROLYN: Terror. I'm only partly kidding. Just about all my books are inspired by the terror of believing it isn't working and that, working or not, I won't be able to finish on time.

More seriously, Scandal is set during the English Regency period (which was 1811-1820) and I very deliberately drew on my grad school research on a woman who wrote during this time period. Women of the English upper classes had few resources if the men in their lives did not, for whatever reason, fulfill their cultural obligation to take care of their female relatives.

Writing novels was one of the few things a woman could do, openly or secretly, to make money. I was astonished to discover that the money a novelist could expect to make in 1815 isn't much different than it is today. The chief difference between then and now lies in the copyright. In 1815, publishers bought the copyright outright. The author was paid once and that was it. Today, authors typically retain the copyright to their work.

HANK: Where do you write?

CAROLYN: Since my son plays on a traveling soccer team, I am often writing in the car during practice or before games. The backseat of my car is minimalist and I typically get a lot done since there isn't much else to do. During crunch times, I also write in the car during my lunch break. My room, where I do most of my writing (when not in the car) is a cluttered mess. My dog sleeps on the chair tucked behind my back while the cats take turns on my lap.

HANK: What's up next? Do you have another project in the works?

CAROLYN: In June, 2009, Grand Central Publishing will release My Forbidden Desire, the second of an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance set in a world that includes mages and demons. Indiscreet will be an October 2009 historical from Berkley Sensation.

Thanks Carolyn! Check her website for more info...and to WATCH THE TRAILER and see you back here soon for THE LATEST!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Left Coast Crime Awards Nominees

This is such an amazing list--I want to make sure you see it. It's full of terrific authors--and, I'm so pleased to say, some wonderful pals. We all win when there are book like this out there!

The awards will be presented at Left Coast Crime in Hawaii this March! Sigh. And my very own blog sister Rhys Bowen is one of the guests of honor. Sigh. What's Hawaiian for I wish I could be there to cheer everyone on but I'll be working in snowy snowy Boston?

But just so you know--here are the honored books and their very happy and deserving authors. The amazing Janet Rudolph of Mystery Readers Journal is behind all of this...check out her sites for more of the latest!

Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historicals)
Nox Dormienda, A Long Night for Sleeping by Kelli Stanley (Five Star)
Touchstone by Laurie King (Bantam)
Tell Me Pretty Maiden by Rhys Bowen (St. Martin Press)
A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen (Berkeley Prime Crime)
A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander (Harper Collins)

Hawaii Five-O (private eye and police)
Angel Falls by Baron Birtcher (Iota)
Fractured by Karin Slaughter (Delacorte Press)
The Black Path by Asa Larsson (Delta)
The Angel of Knowlton Park by Kate Flora (Five Star)
Mahu Fire by Neil S. Plakcy (Alyson Books)
Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet (Midnight Ink)

Lefty (humor)
Thugs and Kisses by Sue Ann Jaffarian ( Midnight Ink)
Six Geese a Slaying by Donna Andrews (St. Martins)
Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar and Grill by N.M.Kelby (Shaye Areheart Books/Random House Group)
Greasing the Pinata by Tim Maleeny (Poisoned Pen Press)
Getting Old is to Die For by Rita Lakin (Dell/Bantam)
It Happened One Knife by Jeffrey Cohen (Berkeley Prime Crime)

Janet Rudolph, Editor,
Mystery Readers Journal

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

BREAKING NEWS! Girlfriend Visiting

Here's a blog with a soundtrack! When we asked BRENDA JANOWITZ: Name three songs that would be perfect for the soundtrack of your book.

She said:
Well, that would have to be the playlist for Brooke’s bachlorette party (there are four, but they are awesome 80’s hits, so I hope you’ll forgive me!): “You’re The One That I Want,” “Come on Eileen,” “I Want Your Sex,” and Brooke’s all time favorite 80’s song, “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off.”

Oh, thanks Brenda. Now I can't get Come On Eileen out of my head. Ah. Maybe reading a bit about JACK WITH A TWIST will help...

Planning a wedding can be a trying experience…

A little prewedding anxiety is normal for every bride, and Manhattan attorney Brooke Miller isn’t worried. She’s got the loving support of the world’s greatest guy, so planning her nuptials should be a piece of cake.

But that was yesterday.

Today, Brooke’s landed her first big case and has just discovered that the opposing attorney is none other than her fiancé, Jack. But that’s okay. These two professionals aren’t going to let a little courtroom sparring get their legal briefs in a bunch.… Right? Wrong! Now Jack’s pulling every dirty trick in the law books, and Brooke’s starting to suspect that maybe he isn’t the man she thought he was. Warring with her fiancé at work and at home, Brooke realizes that she’ll have to choose between the case of her life, or actually having a life.

Hmm. Sounds great--very Tracy and Hepburn! But I'm still humming! Let's just chat...

HANK: You and I get into an elevator on the first floor. We're both going to 22! Oh, I say, you're the famous author. What's your new book about? You say:

BRENDA: OMG, you think I’m famous?! I love you!!! [start hugging and squeezing you in mad, crazy manner….]

But then once I get over that, I’d probably tell you that JACK WITH A TWIST (Engaging your adversary and other things they don’t teach you in law school) is the story of Manhattan attorney Brooke Miller, who plans the wedding of her dreams, all while litigating the biggest case of her career…. which just so happens to be against her perfect fiancé. Hilarity ensues. Really. Marian Keyes called it “a funny, sweet romance” and Carole Matthews said it was “[a]nother fun-filled page-turner from Brenda.” Ironically, I wrote JACK before even getting engaged myself!

HANK: Do you remember the moment you had the idea for the book? How and when did that happen?

BRENDA: I’ve always been a writer. In fact, that’s the reason why I became a lawyer in the first place—trying to find a career where I could write full time. But I’ve always had a real love for fiction, and I’d find myself practicing law and thinking about these fictional stories that I wanted to write. When I was invited to my ex-boyfriend’s wedding, my life slowly but surely began to resemble some of my favorite chick lit novels, and I said to myself, ‘I’ve just gotta start writing this stuff down…

When I finished SCOT ON THE ROCKS, I just knew that Brooke’s story had to continue! Since both she and Jack are lawyers, I thought it would be so much fun to pit them against each other in the courtroom… all while planning their fairy-tale wedding. Thus the idea for JACK WITH A TWIST was born!

HANK: Your main character--is she you?

BRENDA: Brooke has some of the aspects of my personality, but she isn’t me. She is version 2.0 of me, a more fun version.

Like I tell my students in my Mediabistro classes, real life is just real life. Fiction should have a structure to it. In fiction, you can mine from your real life for your novel, but you then fictionalize it to give it structure and make it more interesting.

HANK: So--movie time. Tell us who you envision playing your main character? The love interest? A bad guy? And you can be in the movie too--what part would you play? And why?

BRENDA: Well, clearly I’d want to be Brooke now that I’ve heard that I’m famous and everything. Man, fame really went to my head quickly, didn’t it?!

But, seriously, I’d love Drew Barrymore for Brooke, and Fran Drescher as her mom. For Jack, I could see a lot of my Hollywood crushes playing the part: Adam Sandler, Jack Black, or Paul Rudd would be perfect. (Yes, I like me a funny guy.)

HANK: What's the very best line of the very best review you've gotten? So far, of course.

BRENDA: Marian Keyes offered to give me a blurb for JACK WITH A TWIST. When Marian Keyes emailed me to tell me that she loved it, I pretty much fell over in my chair. As far as I’m concerned, Marian Keyes is a goddess—she inspired me to follow my dream to write a book—and to hear that she actually enjoyed something that I wrote was such a major thrill!


Brenda attended Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Service Studies, with a Concentration in Race and Discrimination. After graduating from Cornell, she attended Hofstra Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review and won the Law Review Writing Competition.
Upon graduation from Hofstra, she went to work for the law firm Kaye Scholer, LLP, where she was an associate in the Intellectual Property group, handling cases in the areas of trademark, anti-trust, internet, and false advertising.
Brenda later left Kaye Scholer to pursue a federal clerkship with the Honorable Marilyn Dolan Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Since her clerkship, Brenda has worked as a career counselor at two New York City law schools, where she published a number of articles on career related issues in publications such as the National Law Journal and the New York Law Journal. She currently lives in New York with her husband.

Brenda is the author of JACK WITH A TWIST (Engaging your adversary and other things they don’t teach you in law school) and SCOT ON THE ROCKS (How I survived my ex-boyfriend's wedding with my dignity ever so slightly intact), as well as the short story BASED ON A TRUE STORY. You can learn more about Brenda at and check out her blog at

HANK: Okay--now I'm not humming! I'm headed for the bookstore! Hope to see you there.