S. 3, Ep. 14: A Chat with Mystery Author Ray Flynt on the Crime Cafe - The Crime Cafe

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Debbi Mack interviews crime fiction author Ray Flynt. The transcript is below, if you’d like to read it. Or download the PDF copy and read it later. Debbi: Hi everyone. This is the Crime Cafe. Your podcasting source of great crime, suspense and thriller writing. I’m your host, Debbi Mack. Before I introduce my guest, a quick reminder that the Crime Cafe Nine Book Set and Crime Cafe Short Story Anthology, are available for sale at all major online retailers and some minor ones too. In any event, just go to my website, debbimack.com and click on Crime Cafe, where you’ll find the buy links as well as ways to subscribe to the podcast. And with that said, I’m thrilled to have on my program today, one of my old writers’ group buddies, and a great mystery author as well as a master thespian, Ray Flynt. Hi Ray, I’m very glad to have you on today. It’s awesome and thanks for being here. Ray: Well it’s great to be with you and we do have a history, even though you’re barely out of college and I’m 39 again. We do go back a few years. Debbi: Oh, please! Ray: I have fond memories of that writers group in Maryland for many, many years. Debbi: We miss you. Ray: It really kind of crystalized my writing, that group. Debbi: It’s a great group and I’m glad to be a part of it and we miss you and think of you often (at least I do). Your first mystery, I remember reading parts of that I believe. Ray: Absolutely. Debbi: Unforgiving Shadows Ray: Unforgiving Shadows Debbi: Yes. It kind of seems to set up Brad Frame’s backstory for kind of like the whole series that carries him through the whole series in a sense. Was that intentional? Ray: Yes, although it was not the first Brad Frame story that I wrote. Debbi: Ah, Okay. Ray: The first one that I wrote was entitled, Grateful Husband Loving Wife and it was not good, plain and simple. However, I thought when I finished it, it was a masterpiece you know. First of all, it was only about 40,000 words. It was not…I mean some might debate whether I’m a good writer now, but I was not a good writer back then and I rediscovered my manuscript for that book about 10 years after I’d written it and I started to read it and I thought, oh my god, this is just absolutely awful! Debbi: [laughs] Ray: So I know I’ve improved from then. So that was the first book and it really was I think unconnected character that I wanted to make Brad. One of the issues that (in my life) I wanted to infuse Brad Frame with was to create an investigator whose life had been informed by tragedy and that kind of shot him off into a different trajectory then he had been. In my own life, when I was in my mid 30’s, I had a younger brother (age 22) that died. And it was certainly a tragic event for our family. It was something that we were all dealing with; trying to come to grips with, did a lot of reading, etc. The second book that I wrote with Brad Frame as the lead character, was a book that later got published called, Lady on the Edge, and in that book it features a South Carolina ceramic artist whose son’s death had been ruled a suicide four years earlier. Brad Frame was in town and she reached out to him saying she didn’t believe that her son would commit suicide. As a mystery writer, it has to be a murder mystery and, in fact, that’s the case. But that book gave me the opportunity to explore suicide on families. Debbi: [agrees] Ray: So that was basically the second manuscript that I wrote…a book which was originally titled Death Scenes, and that is what became Unforgiving Shadows. …for me a little of the story…I think this is informative for writers. Some of my favorite authors growing up were like Reck Stout. So he had the Watson character that basically told his stories, you know. Debbi: [agrees] Ray: So originally I started off with the idea that Brad Frame, this wealthy member of the mainline in Philadelphia had hired a publicist to tell his stories and that cha...

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