Posted on 05/31/2019 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we’re interviewing Ray Flynt, the author of two mystery/suspense series.
One features Philadelphia-based private investigator Brad Frame, who led an aimless life until his mother and sister were kidnapped and murdered. Brad helped to solve their crime and then formed his own agency to help bring justice to others.
Flynt’s second series focuses on Ryan Caldwell, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who now aspires to be a journalist. Flynt also wrote a stand-alone political suspense, Kisses of an Enemy.
A native of Pennsylvania, Flynt is a member of Mystery Writers of America and active with their Florida Chapter. He is a life member of the Florida Writers Association.
Flynt retired from a diverse career in criminal justice, education, the arts, and human services. You can join his mailing list via his website for publication updates and discount offers on books.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
RAY: I’ve been writing for more than thirty years, initially because I wanted a creative outlet since my job precluded me from doing as much community theater as I’d been used to.
Because I enjoyed reading mysteries, that was the genre I chose to write.
It was a long process from honing the craft of writing (reading books, attending workshops, and participating in critique groups, etc.) until I finally felt ready to submit for publication.
Even then, I wrote two books that will never see the light of day before my first book was published in 2005.
Now I’m working on my twelfth novel.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
RAY: You mean like do I write naked? (Laughing) Every writer has to find the process that works best for them.
I’m not a fast writer. I often agonize over the first paragraph of a new chapter trying to capture the right words. Eventually the words come.
I’m most productive in the morning. Evenings are okay for editing, but seldom for the initial creation.
It takes me about six months to complete a draft of a book, followed by revision, editing, and submitting it to beta readers for their overall assessment.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to trade places with?
RAY: I’ve joked that Brad Frame is a younger, wealthier, and better-looking version of me. However, he thinks and acts a lot like me.
I have a love of trains and have given him an attic model railroad that anyone could envy. So I wouldn’t mind trading places with him and his bank account, if only for a day.
Andrew is Brad’s adopted brother in my stories, who is — in so many ways — antithetical to Brad’s character. I have no desire to trade places with Andrew.
SADYE: Which historical figure would you most like to meet, and why?
RAY: Funny you should ask.
Earlier I mentioned my interest in theater; I’ve had the opportunity to play Ben Franklin in the musical 1776 three times.
As a result, and after watching a few one-person shows, I researched and wrote a one-man play based on Ben Franklin and have given more than thirty performances over the past five years.
He is a fascinating character, and I would sure enjoy the chance to sit across from him to share his wit and wisdom.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
RAY: Each person’s life has a lot of twists and turns. There are those we can plan for and, unfortunately, ones we cannot.
In 1982, my youngest brother committed suicide. It was a devastating tragedy for our family, and one which still impacts us today.
When I set out to create a protagonist for my first series, I decided to imbue him with a backstory of a family tragedy (loss due to murder, in his case).
I figured my experience would enable me to convey the emotional aspects of that loss, combined with the hopeful elements of how he used that sorrowful experience to transform his life.
I hoped that readers would be able to identify, and based on feedback, I think they have.
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Categories: Author Interview