Special Guest Authors


Hank's Bio—the Long Story

A nationally bestselling author of 11 mystery novels, Ryan has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: five Agathas, three Anthonys, the Daphne, two Macavitys, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. National reviews have called her a "master at crafting suspenseful mysteries" and "a superb and gifted storyteller."

Hank's current book is the acclaimed standalone psychological suspense thriller Trust Me, an Agatha Nominee. Suspense Magazine's reviewer calls "By far one of the best thrillers I've read in years." The Booklist starred review says "a knockout!" and New York Post, BOOK BUB, PopSugar, Real Simple

Magazine, CrimeReads, Criminal Element and Writer's Bone named it one of the Best Thrillers of 2018. The Washington Book Review also named it an Essential Novel. Trust Me is now available in a new trade paperback.

Her 2019 book is The Murder List, coming in August. Hank is also the 2019 Guest of Honor at Bouchercon, the world mystery convention.

The bestselling The Other Woman, (now in a third hardcover printing and also available in e-book and paperback), was the first in her Jane Ryland series (Forge Books, 2012.) It's listed as a Best Book of 2012 by the Kansas City Star, the Sacramento Bee, Suspense Magazine, and The Boston Globe, won the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was the only novel nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus and Daphne awards for Best Novel of 2012.

Her 2013 novel, The Wrong Girl, had the extraordinary honor of winning the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and the Daphne Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller. Truth Be Told is the winner of the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel—a landmark back-to-back-to-back nomination and back-to-back win—and is a Library Journal BEST BOOK OF 2014. It was also an Anthony Award nominee for Best Novel of 2014, an RT Book Reviews nominee for Best Suspense/Thriller of 2014, a Library Journal Editor's Pick and RT Book Reviews Top Pick, with starred reviews from Booklist and from Library Journal, which raves, "Drop everything and binge read!" She won a second Agatha Award in 2015 for Best Nonfiction, as editor of Writes Of Passage, an anthology of essays by mystery authors, which was also honored with a Macavity Award and Anthony Award. Ryan's novel What You See is an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel 2015 and an Anthony nominee for Best Novel 2015.


Hank won her third Anthony Award in 2018 for Best Online Content for the Jungle Red Writers Blog; she is a founder and contributor.

Her first four mysteries, beginning with the Agatha Award-winning Prime Time, feature Charlotte McNally, a Boston television reporter. Face Time was a BookSense Notable Book, and Air Time and Drive Time were both Anthony and Agatha Award nominees for best novel of 2009 and 2010. The McNally series is now available in all new editions.


An award-winning investigative reporter at Boston's WHDH-TV and a television reporter since 1975, her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in refunds and restitution for victims and consumers. Along with her 34 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank has won dozens of other honors for her groundbreaking journalism. She's been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine. Hank was a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University, and past president of national Sisters in Crime.


Hank's first novel, the bestselling Prime Time (which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in 2007) is actually not her first encounter with publishing. That was in 1969, when she got a summer job as a proofreader, and read the entire Indiana Code of Laws out loud.

Since then, Hank's been a political campaign worker, a radio reporter, a press secretary to a US Congressman, 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.

Hank began her TV career in 1975, anchoring and reporting the news for TV stations in Indianapolis and then Atlanta. She's battled her way through hurricanes, floods and blizzards, wired herself with hidden cameras, chased criminals and confronted corrupt politicians. With ground-breaking reports including revealing mistakes in the 911 system that sent emergency responders to the wrong addresses, a failing jury selection system, firefighters given outmoded and failing equipment, corruption in the mortgage industry and unfair practices by powerful contractors, her hard-hitting journalism has changed laws and changed lives. She has also covered national political conventions, the NBA playoffs and the Super Bowl, and has interviewed newsmakers from Prince Charles to President Carter to Muhammad Ali.

Hank grew up in the Indianapolis area and went to Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, where she majored in Shakespeare (and, she says, "minored" in "independent reading and listening to rock and roll records"). She also studied abroad at the International School in Hamburg, Germany.

She has been on the advisory board of the Lyric Stage of Boston, a professional theater company. There, Hank founded the Lyric's "First Curtain" program, which provides the full theater experience for underprivileged students with free tickets and theater education scholarships.

Hank lives in the Boston area with her husband, a nationally renowned civil rights and criminal defense attorney.


     James O. Born is a graduate of Florida State University and received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Psychology.

     Born started his career in police work as a US Drug Agent (DEA) and was part of the late 1990’s Miami drug war.  He then moved on to become a Special Agent with the elite Florida Department of Law Enforcement, working undercover and spending eleven years on the agency’s Special Operation’s Team (also called SWAT).

     Born has taken his career in law enforcement and love of writing and blended it into a new life as a novelist.  After advising numerous writers, including Elmore Leonard, John Sanford and Michael Connelly as well as TV shows on


realism, Born spent years working on a novel of his own.  Born was the official consultant on Elmore Leonard’s Karen Sisco, as well as a number of Discovery Channel shows.  He has appeared as a commentator on several shows related to criminal investigations.  In 2004, Putnam published his first novel, Walking Money.  Of all the attention garnered by the novel, Born is most proud that one of his literary heroes, W.E.B. Griffin, picked Walking Money as one of his all-time favorite beach books.  Walking Money was also a finalist for the Barry Award.

     The darkly comic series continued with Escape Clause, which won the gold medal in the inaugural Florida Book Award in 2007.  The award was presented to Born by Governor Charlie Crist.

In 2009, he won the Barry Award for short fiction at the International Mystery Writer’s Conference in Indianapolis.

     Also in 2009, Born published the first of several thrillers set in the vastly changed landscape of Florida in the future under the pseudonym James O’Neal.  The series features a police detective investigating crime and coping with the pressures of life more than twenty years from now.  The first novel, titled The Human Disguise and the sequel, The Double Human received critical praise with Publisher’s Weekly calling them, “Wildly entertaining.”

     In 2014, Born coauthored the popular Border War with TV commentator Lou Dobbs.  His current series is a realistic view of police k-9s.  The first novel in the series Scent of Murder, released in April of 2015, follows the pursuit of a serial kidnapper and showcases police service dogs.

Each novel strives to bring realism and entertainment together for fans of crime fiction.

In 2016, Born started as a cowriter with James Patterson.  The 2017 releases were both in the top five mystery books for sales.  There are more Patterson/Born books scheduled for later this year.


     Born has delivered talks to a number professional writing organizations as well as taught writing at conferences across the country.  He has written articles for magazines and newspapers.  He was chosen as one of Florida’s 21 most intriguing people by Florida Monthly Magazine.

Born has also received a proclamation from the Senate of South Carolina for his efforts to advance literacy.

     Born has been involved with several TV projects.  He has appeared on Fox News and CNN and was interviewed on camera for a Discovery ID show called A Crime to Remember.

     During his law enforcement career, Born has received the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the US Attorney’s Office, the Silver Medal of Valor, The Distinguished Service Award and numerous awards for merit in investigations.  In 2009, he received the Life Saving Medal directly from the Governor after rescuing a family from a SUV, which had plunged into a canal.

     Born is active in a number of hobbies.  He has finished the New York and London marathons, competed in swimming and holds two separate black belts in karate.  He is a scuba diver, wind surfer, mountain biker and avid sailor.

     A native Floridian, Born currently lives on the east coast with his wife, Donna and has two children, John and Emily.