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Fricka
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

Welcome, Hallie! I see I have several of your books to be added to my ever-growing TBR pile!:smileywink:

I was pleased to read in your bio that you've been a teacher. I'm an English teacher and tutor at a community college, so my theory is that you've just found a different audience for yourself other than in the classroom.

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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maxcat
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

Hi, Hallie, I'm glad you are this week's guest on the mystery thread. Thanks for being here and I definitely will have to check out your books.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


RosemaryH wrote:

Hello Becke, all and blog sistah Hallie,

Although we're both on Jungle Red the last time I saw Hallie was last month when she gave a terrific presentation at MWANY's monthly dinner - if you ever have a chance to hear Hallie speak, run, don't walk. Not only is she a terrific writer she's wonderful speaker. I'm also happy to report that her charming husband doesn't really have fangs - that was a pic from last fall's New England Crimebake featuring Guest of Honor Charlaine Harris - so a lot of us got into vampire mode!

Can't wait to read Come and Find Me - if it's half as good as Never Tell a Lie they'll be casting the movie any day now...

Rosemary


Hi Rosemary! I'm so jealous of you New Englanders (except when it's snowing). So many cool mystery-related events take place out your way! One day I hope to make it to the New England Crimebake. One day...

 

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Hallie_Ephron
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

**I'm also happy to report that her charming husband doesn't really have fangs**

Yikes, Rosemary! You're revealing my secret.

 

**Casting call for COME AND FIND ME** -- from your mouth, to you-know-who's ear.

 

Rosemary has a great new book out, the newest in the Paula Holliday series which I highly recomment if you like a whip-smart mystery leavened with humor, gardening. Her newest is SLUG FEST (I love her titles... this comes after DEAD HEAD and THE BIG DIRT NAP.

 

 

 

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.
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Hallie_Ephron
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

Were we having fun or what? The Vampire Ball at last year's New England Crime Bake! This year the conference had as guest of honor Charlaine Harris so we were getting in the mood for reading all of her books!

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.
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Hallie_Ephron
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!


Fricka wrote:

Welcome, Hallie! I see I have several of your books to be added to my ever-growing TBR pile!:smileywink:

I was pleased to read in your bio that you've been a teacher. I'm an English teacher and tutor at a community college, so my theory is that you've just found a different audience for yourself other than in the classroom.


ME: I'm always amazed at how many teachers there are out there writing MURDER mysteries! And it's true, we do like to have an audience. Adults are a whole different thing than kids - when I was at the Broward Public Library Foundatio nLiterary Feastof reading I spoke to 2 classes at the Blanche Ely School -- the kids were GREAT, I was terrified. 

 

 

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.
Author
Hallie_Ephron
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


maxcat wrote:

Hi, Hallie, I'm glad you are this week's guest on the mystery thread. Thanks for being here and I definitely will have to check out your books.


THANKS, Maxcat!

 

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


Hallie_Ephron wrote:

**I'm also happy to report that her charming husband doesn't really have fangs**

Yikes, Rosemary! You're revealing my secret.

 

**Casting call for COME AND FIND ME** -- from your mouth, to you-know-who's ear.

 

Rosemary has a great new book out, the newest in the Paula Holliday series which I highly recomment if you like a whip-smart mystery leavened with humor, gardening. Her newest is SLUG FEST (I love her titles... this comes after DEAD HEAD and THE BIG DIRT NAP.

 

 

 


 

Rosemary wrote a great guest blog that will be posted here on Thursday. Stay tuned!!

This is her new release:

 

 

Slugfest (Dirty Business Series #4)

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


Hallie_Ephron wrote:

Were we having fun or what? The Vampire Ball at last year's New England Crime Bake! This year the conference had as guest of honor Charlaine Harris so we were getting in the mood for reading all of her books!


I'm a longtime fan of her Shakespeare series, too.

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


Hallie_Ephron wrote:

Fricka wrote:

Welcome, Hallie! I see I have several of your books to be added to my ever-growing TBR pile!:smileywink:

I was pleased to read in your bio that you've been a teacher. I'm an English teacher and tutor at a community college, so my theory is that you've just found a different audience for yourself other than in the classroom.


ME: I'm always amazed at how many teachers there are out there writing MURDER mysteries! And it's true, we do like to have an audience. Adults are a whole different thing than kids - when I was at the Broward Public Library Foundatio nLiterary Feastof reading I spoke to 2 classes at the Blanche Ely School -- the kids were GREAT, I was terrified. 

 

 


I was talking to Denise Swanson at the Left Coast Crime conference - she said her days as a teacher gave her lots of material for her mysteries! ;-)

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

Hallie -

 

A best selling author I know did a survey of her fans, asking them to come up with interesting questions for author interviews. They came up with some great suggestions, so I'm going to borrow a couple of them here (these are for fun - don't answer them unless you want to!:

 

* How do you choose names for characters? Is that an important step in story development for you? 

 

* What is your favorite thing about being a writer? 

 

* What new cool thing have you learned recently? 

 

* What book do you go back to re-read over & over?

 

* What are you most likely to be doing when you Really Should Be Writing? 

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Hallie_Ephron
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

Becke suggested that I post an excerpt from the book - so here it is! Copyrighted material, of course...

 

Title Page COME AND FIND ME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

If it were up to Diana, there’d be weather. Rain, snow, even the occasional hurricane. But climate was one of those things that were out of her control in this always blue-sky world. The terrain, on the other hand, was her choice: a replica of a spot in the Swiss Alps at the base of Waterfall Pitch with the towering North Face of the Eiger looming overhead.

Nadia, Diana’s alter ego in the virtual reality of OtherWorld, was barely visible standing at the base of a cascade of frozen water sculpted against the nearly vertical slope. Diana zoomed in on her avatar, who wore wraparound sunglasses, a fitted black leather jacket with a zipper and upturned collar, slim jeans, red boots, and a red newsboy cap. In the real Swiss Alps, she’d have lasted about thirty seconds in that outfit; the bitter cold turned any exposed bit of skin pink, then red, then white. Diana recalled the stillness into which tinkling cow bells and voices from the valley below had risen like whiffs of smoke.

Waterfall Pitch had been nearly un-climbable--every placement of ax or crampon risked fracturing the ice, sending chunks crashing down on climbers below. The challenge had only added to the thrill.

With a gentle touch, Diana twisted her 3-D mouse with its oversized trackball to crane the angle of view and take in the pristine beauty surrounding Nadia. In this version of reality, you didn’t have to wait days for clouds to shift. It took only seconds for the computer’s vector graphics engine to rez, revealing the Eiger’s tip.

Diana twisted the view downward. Even though she knew this was artificial reality, a place she’d created herself, fear flickered in her chest and a tremor passed through her as icy crevasses below came into focus. She forced herself to look, picking once again at the unhealed wound as she remembered Daniel’s last echoey cries. Reaching out with trembling fingers, she touched the frame of her computer screen. It calmed her to trace the boundaries of the image.

Diana had made it back. Daniel hadn’t.

She pulled up on the mouse and nudged the space bar. Nadia rose into the air, landed on a narrow outcropping near the top of the peak, and stared out at the void. At her desk, Diana crossed her arms and hunched her body to staunch the shudders of pain that rippled from her core.

With a ding, a text message popped into a corner of the screen.
JAKE: RU there?

Where else would she be? Diana swatted away the message with a click of the mouse. She had a timer ticking down in the corner of the screen, reminding her of their meeting with MedLogic. It wasn’t for another twenty minutes. Whatever Jake needed from her could wait.

Diana typed /pray. A single violin keened the opening of Pachelbel's Canon, and her avatar dropped to her knees and lowered her head. The somber, stately notes stepped down the scale, stepped down again, and then melodies intertwined and the pace quickened as more violins joined in, their melodies swirling and circling one another.

Diana splayed her fingers and rested them on the screen. Rest in peace. The words repeated themselves in her head, a chanting counterpoint to the music.

A discreet buzzer sounded a fifteen-minute reminder. With a few clicks, Nadia was home. Pixel by pixel, a virtual room resolved itself around her. It was identical to Diana’s real office in the house where she’d grown up in a Boston suburb, right down to the brightly colored Peruvian weaving that hung on the wall. Nadia’s “office” was much neater, though, and its plants were green instead of brown.

Diana shot a note to Jake, telling him that she’d be ready. Quickly, she put the finishing touches on their presentation and dragged files for the meeting across the screen and into Nadia’s briefcase. She was scrolling one last time through her notes for the meeting when a Klaxon sounded. intruder alert flashed in the corner of the computer screen.

Diana’s heart lurched and her breath caught in her throat. She swiveled to an adjacent monitor. Live video feeds from cameras stationed outside her compact ranch house showed a brown UPS van parked out front, a hulking shadow on this bright sunny day. A uniformed man had just breached her electronic fence and was on his way to her front door with a good-sized package.
Diana took a deep breath and steadied herself against the edge of the desk. The alarm continued. The doorbell rang. The meeting buzzer went off—ten-minute reminder.

“Shut up, all of you!” Diana screamed. She hit a button to silence the Klaxon. But there was no button to slow her heartbeat or erase the sick feeling that had invaded her gut.

She turned back to the video monitor. At the front door, the deliveryman peered up at the camera from under the brim of his cap. She recognized his face. Wally. She’d never caught a last name.

Through the speaker came his voice: “Package for ya.”
She knew that her house appeared to be empty; every shade was drawn and the car that she hadn’t driven for months, Daniel’s Hummer, was locked in the garage. Soundproofing kept what little noise she made inside from leaking out. If it had been anyone else, she wouldn’t have answered the ring. But Wally would know she was there. She never wasn’t.

Diana sighed and pulled over a microphone. “Hey, Wally. Whatever it is, can you just leave it for me in the bin?”

“Come on, Lady Di,” came his tinny voice. “This one needs you to sign.”

She hesitated. Glanced at the clock. She had a few minutes yet before her meeting. But time wasn’t really the issue.

“You can sign it for me, can’t you? I’ll never tell,” she said.

“I’m not going down for forgery just so’s you don’t have to take a breath of fresh air. It’s a beautiful day, trust me.”

But could she trust herself?  

She watched Wally in the fish-eye lens. He was holding the package over his head, showing it to her. “Hey, you ordered it. Did you think it was going to transport itself inside? You just let me know when you’re ready.”

She stood, exasperated, knowing from past experience that he wasn’t going to give up. “I’m coming, I’m coming.”

She left her office, pulling the door shut behind her, and continued through the living room and on to the front hall. Heart pounding, she peered through the peephole in the door. Wally’s eyeball seemed to bulge back at her.

“Anyone else out there?” she asked.

“Uh, hang on, I’ll check . . .” He withdrew from the eyehole for a moment. Then returned. “Nope, just me. The duke and duchess sends their regrets.”

A comedian. Diana swallowed a nervous laugh and patted her pocket, feeling for her Xanax, her magic tranquillity pills.
She threw two dead bolts, removed the security bar, and entered a twelve-digit passcode into the alarm. As she opened the door, she felt as if an abyss opened in front of her, like an elevator door sliding open into an empty shaft. She grasped the door frame with both hands.

Wally flashed her a crooked-toothed grin. He was well over six feet, and looked as if his arms and legs were made from the limbs of slender saplings. He touched a long index finger to his cap. “You’re lookin’ spruce.”

Diana looked down, taking in her matted furry slippers, sweatpants, and an oversized Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt, black with a silver “zero” printed across the chest. Her face grew warm, and she tried to run her fingers through the tangles in her long dark curls.

“Here you go,” he said. “For Nadia Varata.” He held the clipboard out like bait, just beyond her arm’s reach. “Russian?”

“Pardon?”

“Varata. Sounds like a Czech or Russian name.”

“I guess it does,” Diana said. What it was, was pure nonsense—Varata and avatar were anagrams, just like Nadia and Diana.
The air within the door frame seemed to quiver like the surface of a pond. She’d have to reach through in order to sign.

“Polish?” Wally said. She could almost see the word floating toward her, the P and the O round and buoyant. He waggled the clipboard and called past her. “Yoo-hoo, Nadia! You hiding her in there?”

Diana forced in a breath, leaned forward, and swiped the clipboard from him. It was warmer outside than in, unusually so for March. Another sign of global warming?

The screech of car tires on the street pushed her back. Relief washed away the panicky feeling as soon as she recognized the gold Mini Cooper that had come to a halt behind the UPS van.
Panic flared again--wasn’t Ashley in Los Angeles on business?
Wally turned to look. “Toy car.”

Diana drew back into the dark coolness of the doorway and scrawled a hasty signature on the form.

Ashley climbed out of the car and clattered up the walk on spike heels, bangle bracelets on each arm, heedless of any anxiety her unexpected appearance had generated. She hugged a grocery bag, and her enormous purse swung from her shoulder. In her other hand, she carried an incongruous, corporate-looking computer laptop case.

Diana heard the Klaxon going off again. Intruder alert, indeed. Diana felt a twinge in a spot behind her right eyeball, a headache starting to bloom.

Ashley’s denim skirt ended a few inches below her panty line, which, in turn, was a few inches below the ends of her long blond hair. Her western-style shirt clung to her considerable anatomy. She’d gotten breasts from Grandma Highsmith. Once upon a time, everyone said Diana had inherited Grandma H’s sheer nerve, verve, and stubbornness.

“Well, look at you! You’re out!” Ashley said. She set down her computer case on the front steps and tossed back her tresses like she was auditioning for a L’Oréal commercial. She gave Diana a juicy smack on the cheek.

“Ick,” Diana said. She hated to admit it, having Ashley there calmed her jitters. But it didn’t keep the ache in her head from starting to throb.

Wally’s gaze shifted back and forth from Diana to Ashley. “I’m guessing here, but this isn’t Nadia.”

Ashley smiled at him and winked. “You think?”

“Behave yourself,” Diana said.

“You sure do sound alike,” Wally said. His speculative glance wandered from Ashley to Diana and back again. “And except for the hair and--” His gaze drifted down a notch or two.

“The attitude,” Diana said. “Not to mention the accessories.”

“Sisters?” Wally asked.

“Got it in one,” Diana said. Inside, the phone rang. In seconds the meeting reminder would sound again, too. “Thanks.” In a single move, she pushed the clipboard back at Wally and took the grocery bag from Ashley. “I gotta go.”

Ashley appraised Wally, narrowing one eye. She rummaged in her purse and came up with a sleek, brushed steel business-card holder. Opening it, she offered him a card. Wally took the card with his teeth and transferred the package into her arm. Then he reached two fingers into the pocket of his shirt and pulled out slip of paper, scrawled on it, and handed it to Ashley. She tucked it into her purse.

“So, are you in or out?” Diana asked Ashley. With her free hand she picked up Ashley’s computer case.

“Well, duh. In.” Ashley stepped inside and pushed the door shut. She glanced at the label on the package and shot Diana a sharp look. “So who’s this Nadia Varata?”

 

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

I want to read the next page! Hope my copy arrives in today's mail...

Author
Hallie_Ephron
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

I love Becke's questions;

 

* How do you choose names for characters? Is that an important step in story development for you? 

It IS important. And I often pick names that relate to some literary figure I've admired. Diana Highsmith, a tribute to the talented Patricia Highsmith, for example. She started out as Diana Banks, named after one of the twins in Mary Poppins. I might have named her Dorothy (for Dorothy Gale of the Wizard of Oz) except I wanted a first name that had a good anagram that could be a name for her avatar, and Diana was perfect for that.

 

* What is your favorite thing about being a writer? 

Having WRITTEN. I hate writing first draft, but reading what I wrote and editing it is a pleasure.

 

* What new cool thing have you learned recently? 

That a huge percentage of the female avatars in Cyberspace are 'owned' by men. Supposedly partly because they think women trust women more than they do men. Scary.

 

* What book do you go back to re-read over & over?

Charlotte's Web. The Little Princess. The Secret Garden. A Wrinkle in Time. The Art of French Cooking.

 

* What are you most likely to be doing when you Really Should Be Writing?

Cooking or thinking about what I'm going to cook. And SPRING is coming and soon our farmer's market will open again. Yay!

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.
Author
Hank_Phillippi_Ryan
Posts: 273
Registered: ‎01-26-2009
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

HI everyone..and blog sister Hallie!

 

Becke, you are right--Hallie is a whirlwind, and the most amazing speaker--as well as being a terrific author. And Rosemary, thank you so much for explaining we were dressing like vampires..someone might have been wondering!

 

Hallie, you must have done an astonishing about of research for COME AND FIND ME--and yet, in the book, its all very seamless, you know? Very natural. How difficult was it to take something so complicated--and make it seem so easy to understand?

 

(And if you're in the BOston area in MAY, I'll be appearing with Hallie and Cara Black at the Boston Public Library and elsewhere...check the schedule!)

 

xoxo Hank

http://www.HankPhillippiRyan.com

Hank
http://www.HankPhillippiRyan.com
watch for THE OTHER WOMAN coming in 2012
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,679
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


Hallie_Ephron wrote:

I love Becke's questions;

 

* How do you choose names for characters? Is that an important step in story development for you? 

It IS important. And I often pick names that relate to some literary figure I've admired. Diana Highsmith, a tribute to the talented Patricia Highsmith, for example. She started out as Diana Banks, named after one of the twins in Mary Poppins. I might have named her Dorothy (for Dorothy Gale of the Wizard of Oz) except I wanted a first name that had a good anagram that could be a name for her avatar, and Diana was perfect for that.

 

* What is your favorite thing about being a writer? 

Having WRITTEN. I hate writing first draft, but reading what I wrote and editing it is a pleasure.

 

* What new cool thing have you learned recently? 

That a huge percentage of the female avatars in Cyberspace are 'owned' by men. Supposedly partly because they think women trust women more than they do men. Scary.

 

* What book do you go back to re-read over & over?

Charlotte's Web. The Little Princess. The Secret Garden. A Wrinkle in Time. The Art of French Cooking.

 

* What are you most likely to be doing when you Really Should Be Writing?

Cooking or thinking about what I'm going to cook. And SPRING is coming and soon our farmer's market will open again. Yay!


Great answers! I'm eagerly waiting for my local farmer's market to open, too. Yesterday felt like spring - today I feel like I'm living underwater. Hasn't stopped raining all day!

 

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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


Hank_Phillippi_Ryan wrote:

HI everyone..and blog sister Hallie!

 

Becke, you are right--Hallie is a whirlwind, and the most amazing speaker--as well as being a terrific author. And Rosemary, thank you so much for explaining we were dressing like vampires..someone might have been wondering!

 

Hallie, you must have done an astonishing about of research for COME AND FIND ME--and yet, in the book, its all very seamless, you know? Very natural. How difficult was it to take something so complicated--and make it seem so easy to understand?

 

(And if you're in the BOston area in MAY, I'll be appearing with Hallie and Cara Black at the Boston Public Library and elsewhere...check the schedule!)

 

xoxo Hank

http://www.HankPhillippiRyan.com


 

Hank!! It's always great to see you here! I love that vampire picture - definitely suitable for framing!

 

I agree about Hallie's research - reading even the excerpt, I'd assume she was entrenched in the gaming world. I thought the same thing when she was writing about gaming in the first book. The second one sounds like it must have required MAJOR research!

 

So, Hank and Hallie (and Rosemary if you're still here) - if you were creating a virtual world, what would your avatars be like?

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ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,523
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

Hallie_Ephron, Welcome, I looked at your books and they sound intriguing. I love the titles.

 

Do you get to choose your titles?

 

I look forward to reading your books.

 

ReadingPatti

Author
Hallie_Ephron
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎04-06-2011
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


Hank_Phillippi_Ryan wrote:

HI everyone..and blog sister Hallie!

 

Hallie, you must have done an astonishing about of research for COME AND FIND ME--and yet, in the book, its all very seamless, you know? Very natural. How difficult was it to take something so complicated--and make it seem so easy to understand?

 

(And if you're in the BOston area in MAY, I'll be appearing with Hallie and Cara Black at the Boston Public Library and elsewhere...check the schedule!)

 


YES, "Come and Find Us" at the Boston Public Library May 4 - if you haven't read Cara's Aimee LeDuc series you are in for a Parisian treat. And Hank writes one of the smartest series around -- her DRIVE TIME is nominated for an Agatha award for best novel! How cool is that?
I did do a lot of research. Some of it involved getting my 'hands dirty' and venturing into Second Life (which I call OtherWorld so I can tweak it in the book), but I learned the most watching other people (an ex-hacker, an corporate trainer who runs training events on Second Life, a lovely couple who were then spending hours every day just hanging out there.) And of course had to learning about ice climbing and computer security and how to dress your avatar (my personal favorite.) And oh, how 'they' could be watching you.

 

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.
Author
Hallie_Ephron
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎04-06-2011
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Re: Please Welcome Author HALLIE EPHRON!

 


ReadingPatti wrote:

Hallie_Ephron, Welcome, I looked at your books and they sound intriguing. I love the titles.

 

Do you get to choose your titles?

 

I look forward to reading your books.

 

ReadingPatti


 

Great question! I did for this book. But not the last one. Though my working title for this one was AVATAR which, for obviously reason, I had to jettison.

 

NEVER TELL A LIE started out life as BABY, BABY (two pregnant women, get it?) -- but the publisher felt it didn't sound enough like a suspense novel so we batted back and forth alternate titles and ended up with NEVER TELL A LIE which I love. Of course the LTMN movie version retitled it AND BABY WILL FALL. They did a great job with the adaptation, though the changed the ending and killed the dog. I'd never kill a dog (or let a baby fall) in my books.

 

Loves suspense; Author of NEVER TELL A LIE and COME AND FIND ME.