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Tell Your Story: Hank Phillippi Ryan on Becoming An Author

Ever wondered whether you have it in you to write? A little encouragement from Entice author Hank Phillippi Ryan may be exactly what you need . . .

Do you have a story to tell? What’s stopping you?

You know the magic words—you’ve heard them since you were a child. “Once upon a time…” Just four words, and you instantly know something wonderful is on the way. A new world will unfold, one that makes you laugh and cry, keeps you fascinated and maybe even changes your life.

I’ve always loved telling stories, and I’ve always wanted to write suspense thrillers—from the moment I read my first Agatha Christie!   But as a reporter, of course, I have to stick to the facts. And my stories must be true.

Then one day–it happened. I had a wonderful idea for a thriller. (I knew it was wonderful –and I get the shivers even remembering it.)  From that moment on, I was obsessed with telling my story.  I’d sit in my little office at the computer, and feel the walls fall away and time stand still.  I’d feel my characters come to life from my imagination. Once upon a time…

Jane, the gorgeous TV reporter who’s been fired after protecting a source, on the trail of a secret mistress. Jake, the devoted (and attractive) police officer who’s tracking down a killer. And the elusive “other woman”—whose lust for revenge leads her to ruin the lives of the people she claims harmed her.  As one character in THE OTHER WOMAN says: “You can choose your sin, but you cannot choose your consequences.”

But about halfway through, as I was madly writing along, I realized—I was stymied. Flummoxed.  I didn’t know what came next. So I called my mother, as we all do if we’re lucky, and told her—I love my book. And I know readers will love it! But I’m not sure I can finish it.

There was a pause, then my mother said: “Well, dear, you will if you want to.”

You will if you want to. And I knew then that it was about my passion, my desire, my will to have my writing dream come true. I did want to. I wanted to tell the story.  And now, THE OTHER WOMAN, in a third printing and on several major Best of 2012 lists—has just been nominated for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark award, announced by the Edgar committees of Mystery Writers of America. That, my dear friends, is as good as it gets!
Do you have a story to tell? What’s stopping you?

My husband and I went to a concert a few weeks ago—Judy Collins, do you remember her? A fabulous  folksinger and award-winning songwriter, iconic in the 70’s and still going strong. Beautiful, brilliant and incredibly talented.

She told us that as a girl growing up in Colorado, she’d been trained to be a concert pianist. Her parents had pushed her, encouraged her, expected her to follow that road. But, she told us, she knew she wanted to be a folksinger.

So, she said, at age 19, she left home.  “I moved to New York,” she told us, “And took all my songs with me.”  She paused, then said, “Of course I hadn’t written any of them yet.”

And that touched my heart. Because we all have songs—we all have stories—that we may not have written yet. But there’s still time!  And my story is proof that it can work.

So. Do you have a story to tell? What’s stopping you?

THE OTHER WOMAN is available in ebook from Piatkus Entice now. Watch the video below then grab your copy now!