JP Ratto is a husband and wife collaborative writing team. EVERYTHING TO LOSE is the first of a three-book series featuring private investigator Lucas Holt.
Judy 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. Judy 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.
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About the Book:
Private investigator Lucas Holt is on a mission…
Lucas Holt 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.
- Everything To Lose is available at Amazon.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Thanks for this interview, Judy and Pete. Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?
We are a husband and wife collaborative writing team. Everything to Lose is our first novel together. We love writing fiction and are currently working on the second Lucas Holt novel.
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?
We read and enjoy dining out with friends. We live a few miles from the ocean so an evening walk on the beach is cathartic.
Do you have a day job? Or a night one?
Writing is our day job. We try to spend time between the hours of 10am and 3pm plotting, writing, or editing.
Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing? Can you tell us about your journey?
The publication of Everything to Lose has been fairly smooth sailing. The manuscript took almost a year to finish. As it was our first collaborative effort, it took time for us to organize our process. One of us is an outliner and the other a pantser, which can be a challenge. Once the manuscript was finished, we sent it to a professional editor for a critique. Having that unbiased third pair of eyes was invaluable.
We had decided to self-publish when an author friend suggested we submit our book to his publisher and were thrilled when Limitless Publishing accepted our manuscript.
What is it about the mystery/thriller/suspense genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?
This is the genre we both enjoy reading, which encompasses a wide variety of subgenres from the Scotland Yard detective to a Government Issue assassin. In our opinion, this genre is most compatible to collaborative writing.
If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?
A private investigator’s search for a missing girl leads to the resolution of a cold case murder and clues to the mystery surrounding the abduction of his daughter years before.
What makes your book stand out from the rest?
Our writing is a unique blend of two styles and points of view. Our protagonist Lucas Holt’s personal story is what drives him to take the kind of cases he does. He’s done a lot of good for others but still hasn’t come to terms with his failure to save his own child. And he has a sexy cleft in his chin.
If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?
Thanksgiving. The first three Lucas Holt novels take place between August and November. The ultimate resolution of the overall recurring plot line will happen around this holiday.
Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?
Yes, there will be three novels initially, and then if there is reader demand, we will continue to write the series.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Having each other to brainstorm ideas is an advantage. Nuggets of ideas can come from anywhere but usually from something we’ve read or heard. Then we rehash them to make them our own.
What’s next for you?
We plan to publish two Lucas Holt books in spring and fall of 2016. Then we will work on another case for Holt or perhaps another series. We also have other individual writing projects we would like to work on.