A Note from Laura about SNAPPED
People often ask me where I get my ideas. For SNAPPED, the inspiration was very personal. The story opens with a sniper scene based on a real event at the University of Texas at Austin, where one hot summer day a gunman climbed to the top of the clock tower and started shooting.
I grew up hearing about this terrifying event from an eye-witness--my mother. She was on campus that day in 1966 and, like scores of other students, got caught up in Charles Whitman's deadly rampage. Sixteen people were killed in what came to be known as America's original school shooting.
As a resident of Austin, I live in the shadow of the UT Tower. Each time I see it I remember my mother's account of that fateful day. Many times I've put myself in her shoes and tried to imagine the emotions she must have felt as the incident dragged on. Her perspective helped shaped that of Sophie, my story's heroine, whose quick trip to campus turns into a nightmare when a gunman opens fire.
The hero of the story is Jonah, a member of the SWAT team called in to confront the shooter. Having never stormed a building and taken down an armed assailant, I decided to do a little research on this topic. I interviewed a police sniper whose job it is to train--day in and day out--for the moment when people's lives are at stake and there is only one chance to get it right. Wow, do those guys have a stressful job!
The day I began the book, I went to the UT campus and walked the crime scene, where you can still see marks in the concrete balustrades from the sniper's bullets. After getting a feel for the setting and what I wanted to say, I hiked over to the student union, sat down with my laptop, and wrote the first chapter of SNAPPED.
This book is very close to my heart. I set out to take readers on a journey that begins in a very dark place, goes through twists and turns, and ends in a brighter spot. I hope you will read SNAPPED and enjoy the ride.