Cassy's Corner- Hank Phillippi Ryan
Folks, please join me today and welcome our Guest Blogger the wonderful and super-talented Hank Phillippi Ryan.
Agatha, Anthony and Macavity award-winning investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is on the air at Boston's NBC affiliate. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution. Along with her 26 EMMYs, Hank’s won dozens of other journalism honors. She's been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine working with Hunter S. Thompson.
Her first mystery, the best-selling PRIME TIME, won the Agatha for Best First Novel. It was also was a double RITA nominee for Best First Book and Best Romantic Suspense Novel, and a Reviewers' Choice Award Winner. FACE TIME and AIR TIME are IMBA bestsellers, and AIR TIME was nominated for the AGATHA and ANTHONY Award. (Of AIR TIME, Sue Grafton says: "This is first-class entertainment.") DRIVE TIME, February 2010 from MIRA Books, just earned a starred review from Library Journal saying it “puts Ryan in a league with Lisa Scottoline.” And Breaking News! DRIVE TIME was just nominated for the Agatha for Best Mystery of 2010!
Hank's short story "On The House" won the AGATHA, ANTHONY and MACAVITY for Best Short Story of 2009..
Hank is on the board of New England Sisters in Crime and the national board of Mystery Writers of America. Her website is http://www.HankPhillippiRyan.com
The Thrillzie of It All
By Hank Phillippi Ryan
It’s such fun when there’s a new word! LOL was just okay’ed by the OED. And OMG, right? And a few others entered the list of acceptable and now-useable-in-educated-society words (NB and whoo hoo, fellow Scrabble players).
But here’s a new one that’s now making the rounds in mystery-thriller-romantic suspense world—and that’s Thrillzie.
From what I can glean, a thrillzie is sort of an amalgam of thriller-plus-cozy. A word to describe a book that has thriller aspects, but isn’t sexy or bloody or gory or violent or over the top. Like a cozy. A cozy thriller, you see? A thrillzie.
So whaddaya think? My first reaction was to laugh. The evolution of genres is so interesting to watch—and even more interesting to be part of. Who’d have thought in addition to mystery and thriller and paranormal and chick lit and mom lit and hen lit and “literary fiction” and the newly-cool “a novel of suspense” that there’d be steampunk, and zombie-lit, and…what else is there? And I do admit, I’ve wondered, with our ever-increasing need to “label” every genre, if there could be a cozy thriller.
And isn’t there a market, say, for a fast-paced, action-filled, high-stakes high tension, excitingly-finished (I’m not going to say climaxed) novel about a smart, competent, clever and tough heroine? What would you call that?
Romancing the Stone, a movie, I know, that’s a thrillzie if I ever saw one. (And I bet I’ve seen lots of them.) What would I have called “Romancing” if I didn’t have the word thrillzie? What other moves and books are there that would fill that slot? My own DRIVE TIME, I bet, could be in that category. Would I want that?
Hmmm. We all just got over the controversy about “cozy,” remember? And though many readers and writers embraced it, it does have just a bit of condescension attached. Doesn’t it? It now means—cute, and crafty, and a book with no, um, unpleasantness of any kind. And “cozy” certainly telegraphs “written by a woman.”
But how about a Spenser for Hire book? Robert B. Parker (and we miss him every day) didn’t do sex and violence—if act, part of the wonderfulness (oh, Microsoft word isn’t liking that word) of his books is how UN-graphic the sex and violence is. Which makes it even sexier. Right?
But hey, I wouldn’t want to be in the room with Robert B. Parker when someone suggested he call his books “thrillzies.”
To give something such a diminutive name—and thrillzie certainly is, along with cutesy and kittie and honey pie--is that a diminution of the value? Or is it something to kiss on both cheeks and welcome into the family of writing?
I just Googled it, and it’s not there. So we’re definitely in on the cutting edge. (OMG.)
And now Microsoft Word is bugging me about using Thrillzie. I just clicked on “add to dictionary.” And so it goes. Will you be adding it to yours?