Saturday, May 30, 2020

T.R. Ragan

T.R. Ragan (Theresa Ragan) is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her exciting Lizzy Gardner series: Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies, has received tremendous praise. In August 2015 Evil Never Dies hit #7 on the Wall Street Journal bestselling list. Since publishing in 2011, she has sold over three million books and has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, PC Magazine, Huffington Post, and Publishers Weekly.

Ragan grew up in a family of five girls in Lafayette, California. An avid traveler, her wanderings have carried her to Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, China, Thailand, and Nepal, where she narrowly survived being chased by a killer elephant.

Her new novel is Don't Make a Sound.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

High Anxiety was the original title for Don’t Make a Sound, but it didn’t make the cut. This was one of the few times I’ve had a difficult time coming up with an alternative title. In the end, Don’t Make a Sound worked well since it has as much meaning for the protagonist as it does the antagonist.

What's in a name?

I find it difficult to come up with just the right name for each of my protagonists. The name must represent strength and warmth in equal measure. The name must roll easily off my tongue. A well-chosen name can help make a character come alive as I write.

How surprised would your teenage reader self be by your novel?

My teenage self would be shocked to see that my future self wrote a novel. My teenage self was shy and quiet and did everything possible to not stand out. She wanted to be invisible because the world was a scary place. I would hope that the novels would inspire and empower that person to become stronger sooner.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

Endings are much easier for me to write, whether it’s the last chapter in a novel or the last book in a series. By the end of a novel, not only do I know my characters inside and out, I know my plot. More often than not, I know how my story will end before I start writing. Once or twice I wrote the ending before I started writing Chapter One.

Do you see much of yourself in your characters? Do they have any connection to your personality, or are they a world apart?

Every protagonist I write has a piece of me in him or her. I want fairness and justice in the world, and my characters want that too. Within the pages I write, I get justice. As I mentioned before, I was quite shy growing up, which I believe made me an easy target for predators. My shyness led to fear, and later, to anger. It wasn’t until my early thirties that I found a way to let go of my anger and fear, not only through the books I read, but through the books I wrote. My characters could say and do things that I could not. With every book I wrote, I grew stronger. I no longer live in fear. Just like my characters, I can do anything I set my mind to.
Visit T.R. Ragan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue