Ask the Author: T.R. Ragan
What would you like readers to know about you?
I spend most of my day brainstorming about murder and mayhem. I also play the piano.
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
Don’t Make a Sound is the first book in my Sawyer Brooks series. It’s about three sisters with disturbing pasts who are all trying to cope while attempting to move on with their lives. The death of their grandmother brings Sawyer Brooks, a crime reporter in Sacramento, back to River Rock, a small town with a dark history. When a young girl is murdered, Sawyer extends her visit, and is shocked to discover family secrets long buried.
Meanwhile, back in Sacramento, five women who have been sexually abused team up to get revenge on the men who harmed them.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
I have four sisters, so I was excited to write a series where sisters play a big part of the story. It has always fascinated me that all five of us grew up together under the same roof, and yet we each see our childhood in a different light.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
The scene where five female vigilantes get together to teach the first offender on their list a lesson. They quickly realize that talking and strategizing is much easier than actually putting their plan into action. Things quickly take a turn for the worse.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
Short answer: Jude Deveraux and Lisa Gardner.
Long answer: In 1992 I was pregnant with my fourth child and on leave of absence from work as a legal assistant when my sister handed me Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor. That book took me to a place far from diapers and laundry—escapism at its best. By the time I finished the book, I knew I wanted to be a fiction writer. I started writing that day. My first book, a medieval time travel romance (Return of the Rose by Theresa Ragan), took me five years to write. Fifteen years and many more novels and rejections later, I still hadn’t managed to get published. That’s when I read about Lisa Gardner switching genres. I decided to follow suit. I devoured every book Lisa had ever written. I stopped writing romance and started writing thrillers. Killing off characters turned out to be therapeutic when it came to my frustrations with the industry. I decided to self-publish my romance novels and let readers decide if they liked my stories. I sold thousands of books before self-publishing my first thriller, Abducted, in 2011. My writing career took off from there. I have sold more than three million books. If not for Jude Deveraux and Lisa Gardner, I don’t know if I would be where I am today with my writing career.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Read and write every day. If you can’t find the time—make time. I used to write in the car while waiting for kids to get out of school. I wrote late at night and early in the morning. If you really want to write a book, do it! The real writing is in the revision, so don’t worry about a crappy first draft. Believe in yourself. You can do it!
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