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I love to read. I know, I know, not a big shock since I also write reviews for a ton of the books that I read. Even more than my love for reading, I love it when I find an author who’s writing totally connects, and I can lose myself in the stories they’ve written. A couple of years ago a new romantic suspense author leaped onto my radar in a big way, her name is Katie Ruggle. I’m sure most of you have heard of her Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series as they both received a lot of buzz. When I was give the opportunity to interview her, I jumped at the chance. I had all of these questions! I hope you enjoy reading my interview with Katie Ruggle below. Her personality shines through. No wonder I love her books so much.
TRC: Hi Katie, thank you so much for agreeing to answer a few questions about your novels.
Katie: Thank you! I love your reviews and am so happy to get to chat with you.
TRC: If you don’t mind, I’d like to start at the beginning, with your Search and Rescue series. What struck me the most about that series was that most of your characters were flawed in some way. My favorite was Fan the Flames. Ian was gorgeous and deserving of being the cover model but Rory was sooo interesting! I’ve never read a book with her background, how did you create her character? What inspired you?
Katie: Thank you! Rory’s one of my favorites, too. I love her competence and prickly awkwardness. She’s the character I think of when I stock up on hundreds of rolls of toilet paper (after all, who wants to run out of toilet paper in the middle of the zombie apocalypse?), or when the anxious corner of my brain word-vomits animal facts in a cringe-worthy torrent of nerdiness after meeting someone new. I think it’s really important to write about flawed characters finding their happily-ever-afters, since these stories show that our wonderfully flawed selves are just as worthy of love as those who are a little closer to perfect.
It’s so hard to describe how I come up with characters, since they just seem to pop out of my brain fully formed. Although some of the inspiration for Rory came from my rather…interesting neighbors when I lived off-grid in the mountains, mostly she was just who she was. Of course she’s a socially awkward semi-hermit who owns a gun shop above her prepper-style bunker home. That’s just Rory.
TRC: I love how each of your series has an underlining mysterious plot that continues to build to a conclusion in the final novel. Yet each novel has its own mystery that runs parallel to that underlying plot. In Search and Rescue it was the body found under the ice, the K9 Unit Series was why all of the girls were hiding their identity, and Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters the mystery surrounds the girls mother. Would you share your method of how you remember all of these details? (If you have a picture board, post it note board, etc. a screen shot/picture would be awesome!)
Katie: My technique for recording details is pretty sad: A battered little notebook with scribbles everywhere. I’ve tried to switch to using a notes app on my phone, or even a Word doc on my laptop, but I haven’t been able to wean myself off of that dog-eared notebook. Since a goldfish has a better memory than me, I write down everything. Plot notes are interspersed with grocery lists and to-do items and vet appointment times and… Well, you get the picture. I’m very, very grateful that I have good editors. They’ve saved me from humiliation and continuity tragedies so many times. Editors are angels in human form.
TRC: I’ll admit that I LOVED your novella Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas. Steve’s kids were so fun and unusual! Zoe the inventor, Micah the hermit artist, Will the joyful oldest son, and Maya the youngest but oh so sweet! Will these kids ever have their own stories in a possible young adult series? I’m sure I’m not the only reader that hopes to see more of them!
Katie: It’s like you’re psychic! It’s not for certain yet, so I can’t say much, but there is a high likelihood that Will might get his own story (shh…it’s our secret).
TRC: OK, let’s talk a little bit about your new series Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters. I really enjoyed In Her Sights. I liked the set-up of Molly and her sisters needing to run a bounty hunter business in order to make a living a pay the bills. Each of these sisters seems so different! Do you have a favorite sister, and why is she your favorite? If you don’t have a favorite, would you share one thing about each of the sisters that has helped you develop their character?
Katie: Thank you! I have five sisters of my own (and a brother), so this series is very close to my heart. I love the affectionate and aggravating chaos a big family creates.
As far as favorites go, I’m so fickle! As I develop each book, that sister becomes my current favorite. Right now, I’m in the process of writing the third Bounty Hunter book, which features Norah and her MMA instructor, Dashiell. In the previous books, Norah was overshadowed by her bolder sisters, but now she’s developing into quite the badass! It’s also fun because Dash is a decidedly grumpy guy, which is a hoot to write. I do adore a cranky hero!
TRC: Your next book in the Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunter series releases at the end of December. Can you give us a hint about Cara and Henry’s relationship that we don’t read in the synopsis (included below)?
Katie: Well, Cara and Henry get to live out one of my favorite romance tropes: The Oh no! We’re two people who desperately but secretly want each other, and we’re stuck in a cabin in the middle of nowhere and there’s (you guessed it) ONLY ONE BED! trope. I love it.
TRC: Final question! I love that your background in law enforcement, your ice rescue certification, and your love of Colorado is written into your novels. I can’t help but hope that your training in boxing, Krav Maga, or gymnastics could get written into a future novel! Would you be able to give us a hint of a future novel or hero(ine) that might have some kick ass surprises in store for us?
Katie: Shockingly enough, shy Norah is the one who gets to don the boxing gloves in the third Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters book. Some Krav Maga moves sneak in there, too—nothing like a palm-heel strike to take down a creepy treasure-hunting burglar. I also have a plan for a future black-belt girly-girl gymnast bodyguard who dreams of being a hair stylist, but that won’t be until the next series. She needs to wait until the bounty-hunting sisters all get their happy endings!
Thank you for letting me blab about my books!
TRC: Thank you so much for spending time answering these questions. I can’t wait for your next novel Risk It All to come out in December!
Synopsis: Risk It All by Katie Ruggle
RISK IT ALL (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters Book #2)
When bounty hunter falls for bounty,
they’ll risk it all to save the one they love.
Cara Pax never wanted to be a bounty hunter—she’s happy to leave chasing criminals to her more adventurous sisters. But if she wants her dream of escaping the family business to come true, she’s got one last job to finish.
Too bad she doesn’t think her latest bounty is actually guilty.
Henry Kavenski is a man with innocence to prove. But when his enemies target Cara in an attempt to force his hand, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. Deep in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by danger on all sides, Henry and Cara will have to learn to trust their unexpected partnership if they want to make it out together—and alive.
A graduate of the Police Academy, Katie Ruggle is a self-proclaimed forensics nerd. A fan of anything that makes her feel like a bad-ass, she has trained in Krav Maga, boxing, and gymnastics, has lived in an off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, rides horses, trains her three dogs, and travels to warm places to scuba dive. She has received multiple Amazon Best Books of the Month and an Amazon Best Book of the Year.
Katie Ruggle’s publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, will be giving away three copies of Katie Ruggle’s novel In Her Sights. Click on the link above for your chance to win a copy! US and Canada residents ONLY!