© 2013 Clive Eaton
C.K. Raggio blends her love of Long Island with her obsession of monsters, mystery and serial killers in her thrillers and horror stories. Besides her addiction to reading, writing, fishing and P90X, C.K. is also a diehard NY Islanders fan. She lives with her husband, two dogs and one very temperamental cat.
Book title: Heron Park
A small Long Island town erupts in a panic when a woman and her dog are found savagely murdered on a popular hiking trail. Tasked with finding the sadistic killer, Homicide Detective Cassie Logan and FBI Agent Rick Sanders grow increasingly desperate after another woman is found dead at the same park, her body more gruesome and disturbing than the last.
The killer and his unusual, but highly-trained best friend are on the hunt. With the body count rising, Cassie and Rick fight to stay a step ahead of him. But how do you catch a predator who evolves with each of his brutal attacks? And what if the killer ultimately decides that you will be his next prey?
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
I hate to say it, but I am a TV junkie. There is nothing more relaxing than cuddling up on the couch with a cocktail and a good movie or TV series blaring on the tube. But usually within about fifteen minutes I’m multitasking by reading a book or going on line too. I mean really, who can sit still these days? I also love fishing, walking my dogs and jogging. Oh, and P90X. Nothing says relaxing like working up a good sweat!
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
Like most, I’ve always written in some form. I think it really started when I was given a diary for my birthday. That’s when I realized you didn’t always need a person to be able to quiet down an active brain. My love of reading made jumping from journals to novels an obvious choice. I tried many times through my teens, but never finished one.
I found Jack Ketchum a horror author (the best in his genre) about five years ago. One of his books called RED was what gave me the impulse to try my hand at writing a novel again. My first novel HERON PARK was published three years later.
What, or who, inspired you to write your soon to be released novel, The Gentlemen’s Club?
The character of Vincent Giorgi actually came to me in a dream, but when I sat down and really started putting a story together everything ran a bit deeper. A similar experience of happened to one of my characters happened to me. It made this novel all the more complicated and difficult for me to write. I had to really dig deep and it wasn’t easy at all. But in the end, no matter how readers take to it or not, I am ridiculously proud of not only it, but myself for really pushing the limits and for opening up. I learned a lot about myself and that’s always important.
Here’s a brief synopsis of The Gentlemen’s Club:
Vincent Giorgi’s revenge for his daughter’s death crosses every line. His money gives him an edge and his friends make it all possible. He kills for the greater good, but as he brings more and more people into his twisted club it’s not only the guilty who are being destroyed.
Cara Lasko was raped by a co-worker. She’s fragile, but not broken. Johnny Staal was a child left behind who turned to murder to survive into adulthood. Vincent will bring them together. But to what purpose?
The mistakes, lies and deceit build to a breaking point, and then an unexpected twist that nobody could’ve imagined. When it comes to revenge nobody is ever truly innocent
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) Main Character Johnny was involved in underground fighting.
2) The clock starts ticking very early on in the novel when we find out a character is dying.
3) Cara will probably seem broken to most, but in my mind she is one of the strongest characters I’ve ever written.
What research did you need to do for this book?
I did most of my research on line. Google is a writer’s best friend!
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
I mentioned above that I experienced something like one of my characters goes through in the beginning of The Gentlemen’s Club. There’s no reason for details but I am working on an ‘afterward’ that I’m hoping will not only let other survivors know they are not alone but for any family or friends in the picture, this is when you will be needed the most.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
The Gentleman’s Club is my current WIP and will be released summer 2014. But I am also mentally preparing for the second book in my crime series starring the gorgeous Detective Cassie Logan. I left an opening at the end of the first in the series Heron Park, so this second book will begin about a year later. That’s all I can say without giving anything away!
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
I always write my first draft as quickly as I can. TGC took me about four months to complete. What I am left with is a very, very rough draft. I then edit till my head is going to pop, then submit it to my on line critique group. critiquecircle.com is awesome for anyone who is looking for some amazing and honest help. I then edit some more before sending it to my editor.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
My dogs must be by my side for moral support and I need it to be pretty quiet. I get distracted easily, an on-going battle for me.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
JA Konrath’s website single-handily gave me the push in the self-publish direction. Then after more research, I decided for me it was the best way to go.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Personally I had to open up and dig deep.
2) Editing. It is always a nightmare for me.
3) I think hitting the publish key is going to be a huge challenge for me on this novel. To be honest, I’m nervous on how people are going to take it. But that’s why there is alcohol, breathing exercises and I could always shut my eyes and hit enter (which is probably how it’s going to go down).
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
The first thing I’ll try is walking away from the computer. Do something else for about fifteen minutes. If that doesn’t work, I start thinking about other story ideas. No matter if I think I’ll ever write them or not. I think most writers have something hidden away somewhere. Once my brain gets back on the imagination train, I’m usually good to go.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Don’t listen to all the naysayers. These people can be good friends and family (of course the ones who hurt the most). They don’t understand a writer’s passion, and they probably never will. Keep yourself surrounded by positive writers and people who lift you and your writing up.
What genre does your book fall into?
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I’ve always read thriller/horror/mystery since I can remember. I’d say Nancy Drew got me started!
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Jack Ketchum – the man is brilliant and writes what he wants.
2) Stephen King – Though I’m not a huge fan of his work especially over the last twenty years, the man’s passion for what he does is inspiring. And his book On Writing is awesome.
3) JA Konrath for introducing me to the world of Indies. And he’s a great author as well!
What was your favourite book as a child?
The Pineapple Story by Bill Gothard
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
Wow, that’s tough. I’ve read quite a few.
The one that stands out to me is one I recently finished. Very dark, but extremely well written. Boys For Sale (Book 1): A novel about human trafficking, by Marc Finks
Then of course there is Coerced by Dana Griffin, The Cassidy Jones series by Elise Stokes – I could go on and on here…
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
On Writing by Stephen King and The Successful Novelist by David Morrell. A writer asked what were my favourite books on writing.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
Kindle normally because I can take it everywhere with me. But on the beach or at the pool, I like a paperback because I don’t have to worry about damaging the screen. I’m a bit of a klutz.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
Tom Hardy as Johnny Staal because he has that bad boy look and attitude (think of him in The Warrior)
Olivia Wilde as Cara Lasko again because of her attitude and look. Gorgeous but tough.
Andy Garcia as Mr. G because he has the ‘I’m rich but still can kick your ass look’.
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Never thought of that. I’m going to go with Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Audioslave, Imagine Dragons.
Drink – Definitely can’t just pick one here - Red wine, cosmos, ginger tea
Meal – Steak and cheese fries, maybe some mac and cheese if I’m feeling really crazy.
Holiday destination – Jamaica in the winter. Tuscany any other time.
TV programme – Criminal Minds, The Walking Dead, Revolution, House of Cards
Film – Natural Born Killers
Method of travel – Whatever is going to get me to my destination the quickest.
Sport – Hockey - Let’s Go Islanders!!
How can people connect with you?
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