aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
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Hank Phillipi Ryan writes what she knows


About the book
In Air Time, Star reporter Charlotte (Charlie) McNally enters the glamorous and high-stakes world of high fashion . . . and soon discovers when the purses are fake, the danger is real. 
 
To break her latest big-money blockbuster, Charlotte must go undercover—but what if the bad guys recognize her? Carrying a hidden camera and dressing to deceive, Charlie finds she's not the only one disguising her identity. Nothing—and no one—is what they seem. And that means nothing—and no one—can be trusted. In her high-risk job and in her suddenly steamy love life, how can she tell the real thing?
 
Charlie is forced to make some life-changing—and life and death—decisions. With only a split-second to act and with her own life in the balance, Charlie knows if she chooses wrong it will be the last decision she ever makes.  

About the author
Award-winning investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is currently on the air at Boston's NBC affiliate, where she's broken big stories for the past 22 years.  Her stories have resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in refunds and restitution for consumers.
 
Along with her 26 Emmys, Hank’s also won dozens of other journalism honors, including 10 Edward R. Murrow Awards, and highest honors from Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and The National Association of Science Writers. Hank’s been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate, and in a two-year stint in Rolling Stone Magazine's Washington Bureau, worked on the political column "Capitol Chatter" and organized presidential campaign coverage for Hunter S. Thompson. She began her TV career in 1975, anchoring and reporting the news for TV stations in Indianapolis and then Atlanta.

Hank and her husband, a nationally renowned criminal defense and civil rights attorney, live just outside Boston.

Q & A with Hank
Q. Charlotte (Charlie) McNally is an investigative TV reporter, and so are you! What qualities do you share with Charlie, and how are you different?

A. When my husband talks about Charlie, he calls her “you.” As in—when “you” are held at gunpoint, when you track down the bad guys, when you solve the mystery . . . and I have to remind him, “Sweetheart, it’s fiction. It didn’t really happen.”

But a couple of things: I’ve been a TV reporter for more than 30 years. (Yes, really.) And so it would be silly, in writing a mystery about TV, not to use my own experiences. Think about it—as a TV reporter, you can never be wrong! Never be one minute late. Never choose the wrong word or miscalculate. You can never have a bad hair day, because it’ll be seen by millions of people! It’s high-stakes and high-stress—literally, people’s lives at stake—and I really wanted to convey that in the books.

And everything that TV people do and say in the books is authentic and genuine. (Of course, Charlie can say things I can’t say, and reveal things I can’t reveal.) We’re both devoted journalists, and over-focused on our jobs.

But Charlotte McNally is different, too. She’s single—I’m happily married. She’s ten years younger than I am, and so is facing different choices and dilemmas. She’s braver than I am, certainly. Funnier. And a much better driver.

Q. Charlie has some exciting adventures in your mystery series—going undercover, confronting some really bad guys. Tell us about some of your adventures as an investigative reporter.

There’s a huge been-there-done-that element to the books—I’ve wired myself with hidden cameras, confronted corrupt politicians, chased down criminals . . . been in disguise, been stalked, and threatened and had many a door slammed in my face. I’ve had people confess to murder, and others, from prison, insist they were innocent. So when that happens to Charlie, it’s fair to imagine me. Although the plots are completely from my imagination, those are real-life experiences.



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