When she’s not writing, Katie Ruggle rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I’ve had a little too much experience with the cold and isolated setting of Fan the Flames! Until last fall, when I moved to Minnesota to be close to my elderly parents, I lived in an off-grid house in the Colorado Rockies. Despite…ah, unusual neighbors and temperamental generators and winters that stretched from October to June, I loved it there. My schooling, jobs and hobbies have been rather diverse. For a few years, while getting my law-enforcement degree, I worked on a police crime-scene team. That turned me into a bit of a forensics nerd, as you can probably tell from my books. Currently, I’m working nights at a bakery, and I live in a 150-year-old farmhouse with my dogs, cats and chickens. Stuff I consider fun includes riding horses, reading (of course!), yoga, cross-country skiing, SCUBA diving, and shooting (I’m not a hunter, but I’ve killed a lot of paper targets on the range).
I’ve always thought, “I want to be a writer someday.” A few years ago, it occurred to me that, in order to fulfill that dream, I needed to actually write something (kind of a duh moment for me). So I started writing. I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure out that connection.
Team Pantser for the win! In the rest of my life, I’m a total Plotter. I write up ridiculous numbers of lists, read owner’s manuals, and plan everything down to the smallest detail. My ducks are lined up in neat rows in all things except my writing. If I try to outline my books, my writing stalls to the point that it’s like running through knee-deep mud. I just can’t do it.
Everywhere. One off-hand comment or tiny occurrence can spawn an entire series. When I tell people I’m a writer, sometimes they give me a panicked look, as if they’re afraid that, in my head, I’m putting them in a story right now. Building characters, at least for me, doesn’t work that way. They’re not one part my neighbor, one part the hardware-store guy, and one part my aunt. My characters pop into my head and onto the computer screen fully formed, and they spend the rest of the book-writing process bossing me around.
Rory knows guns, but people are a mystery. Ian is torn between the MC and firefighting…until they come after Rory. Now all bets are off.
I’m a bit ADD in my reading choices. If it’s a good book, I’ll read it, regardless of genre. That said, I’m usually up for romantic suspense (of course), YA/NA (my maturity level stalled out a long time ago), urban fantasy, mystery, nonfiction (especially about alternative energy systems or horses), and contemporary romance.
I have so, so many favorites! My bookshelves are filled with my “comfort reads,” books that I’ve read and reread many times. It’s an odd assortment, ranging from Deerskin by Robin McKinley to The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White to On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to Phase by E.C. Newman to Sheltered by Charlotte Stein to Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series to The Self-Sufficient Life by John Seymour. In very different ways, each one has earned its place among my favorites.
The technical scenes are probably the hardest to write. When Ian (and eventually Rory) are fighting fires, I tried to get all the details correct. I hate getting things wrong; my mistakes haunt me. The toughest part is to incorporate technical accuracy into the scene without sounding like a how-to manual.
Living ones? I’d probably go with Karen Lynch, Donna Augustine and Helen Harper, because I’m really loving their books right now. Dinner would consist of me in complete fan-girl mode, so I’m not sure how much fun they would have. If I could pick dead ones (not that I want to host the zombie-author dinner or anything), I’d have to pick Mark Twain, Shel Silverstein, and Agatha Christie. How much crazy fun would that be (even if they were zombies)?
I’m currently (and frantically—it’s due by the end of May!!) working on the first book in my new Rocky Mountain K9 series. There are women on the run, hot cops, brave dogs, lots of explosions—what more could you want?
In Fan the Flames, Ian is both a firefighter and an MC member, and he’s torn between those very different worlds. What’s your favorite type of hero? Bad guy? Good guy? A little bit of both?
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath—and he may just have to.Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she’s managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war—with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.
Check out the Search and Rescue series:
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