Our guests today is husband/wife writing team, JP Ratto. JP Ratto are the authors of the new mystery/thriller, Everything to Lose. EVERYTHING TO LOSE is the first of a three-book series featuring private investigator Lucas Holt. Judy Ratto began writing full time six years ago. She attended Hofstra University’s Writing Intensive in the summer of 2010, and participated in a Hofstra-sponsored writing and critique group from 2009 to 2012. She has written an upper middle-grade fantasy adventure and a children’s mystery chapter book. She also does free-lance editing. Pete Ratto, a former member of the U.S. Navy serving half his enlistment with the U.S. Marine Corp, is a retired corporate accountant and is now writing full time.Both are avid readers of mysteries, thrillers and suspense. Active in a critique group made up of local authors, they enjoy discussions on all aspects of the craft of writing. Pete enjoys photography, writing and going to the beach. In her spare time, Judy paints watercolors and to her husband’s delight, cooks an occasional dinner. They have a son and a daughter, both grown and living in New York. Pete and Judy live in southern Florida with their cat, Gillian.
Everything to Lose is about private investigator Lucas Holt who is on a mission. Lucas specializes in kidnap recovery. Ex-Delta Force and a former NYPD detective, he has spent the last fifteen years burying himself in case files to cope with the unsolved abduction of his daughter, Marnie.
Janet Maxwell just can’t let go…
After the death of Janet’s husband and son in a tragic car accident, she hopes Holt’s expertise can locate the daughter she gave up for adoption seventeen years ago. Janet knows her actions will have explosive repercussions for the girl’s father—presidential candidate, Todd Grayson. With no family, hope of finding her only daughter is all she has left. Or is there a more sinister motive?
There’s no greater incentive for a father than protecting his daughter…
On a mission to bury the constant reminder of his failure to recover Marnie, Holt agrees to Janet’s proposal. But at what cost? When his inquiries lead to news of the death of another woman, Holt can’t shake the feeling something is off about the whole case. And when new evidence surfaces about Marnie’s disappearance, his drive to recover Janet’s daughter and his own become one and the same.
Crooked candidates, hired mercenaries, bitter lovers, and his own life on the line—will Holt find it inside him to risk it all in the line of duty? There’s no telling how far you’re willing to go when you have everything to lose.
Dorothy Thompson: Can you tell us about your publishing experience?
JP Ratto: JP Ratto is a pen name for Judy and Pete Ratto. We are a husband and wife collaborative writing team. While Judy had been writing for several years, Pete has turned his hobby into a career since retiring.
Avid readers of mystery, thrillers, and suspense, we naturally chose this genre when we decided to write a novel together. Our first book, Everything to Lose, took the better part of a year to finish. We had to organize our process as one of us is an outliner and one is a pantser, which can be a challenge. Once the manuscript was finished, we sent it to a professional editor for a manuscript critique. Having that unbiased third pair of eyes was invaluable.
Knowing how difficult and lengthy the querying process is along the traditional publishing route, we had decided to self-publish. We had a cover artist chosen and were ready to go when an author friend suggested we submit out book to his publisher. We were thrilled when Limitless Publishing accepted our manuscript.
D.T.: What can you tell aspiring authors on their quest to be published? Any advice?
JP.R.: Take the time to read the genre you wish to write. Whichever publishing route you choose to take, the most important thing you can do is hone your craft. Learn to edit your own work. Hire an editor to do a manuscript critique or send it to beta readers so you know you have a cohesive plot. The days of publishers and editors finding diamonds in the rough and taking time to polish and shine manuscripts until they become great books are gone. Manuscripts must be ready to go. Start with a great story—but well-crafted storytelling is what will catch the attention of publishers and readers.
D.T.: Where can we find you on the web?
JP.R.: We have a website or you can follow us on twitter and Facebook.