Please welcome, Chicago author, Ray Ziemer, talking about his book 'The Ghost of Jamie McVay' and about his writing career.
By nmurray, Jan 22 2020 10:50AM
Hi Ray, it is great to have you on my blog today. I have a few questions for you.
1. What made you want to write a book?
I used to teach junior high language arts, and it seemed at that time there weren't enough books written with teen-age boys in mind. In those days I rode my bike on the Illinois Prairie Path, a former light rail right-of-way turned into recreational trail.
I made up a story of the Ghost of Jamie McVay to entertain my sons. They enjoyed the story, so I tried it out on my students. When they responded positively, I thought I'd work the ghost story into a coming-of-age tale of a teenager trying to fit in, making new friends, and dealing bullies and problems at home.
2. Tell us about you and where you live.
Like my main character, I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I'm at home now in the setting of my book: a far western suburb of Chicago, a neighborhood partly rural in nature, criss-crossed with bike trails, but at the same time a developing area with small-town roots and legends, modern attitudes, and hopes for the future. Where I live, the front of the house looks out on a typical suburban cul de sac, but out back is a pond, woods and riverbank frequented by typical Midwestern wildlife. It's a private, quiet place to write.
3. What have you written and what are you working on now?
The Ghost of Jamie McVay was my first published novel, but I write poetry and short stories, too. Right now I am writing a literary fiction novel based to a great extent on my own youth on the south side of Chicago in the 1960s. It concerns the adventures and coming of age of three friends in a place and time of change.
4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?
I have modest success selling my book in person at local author fairs and literary festivals. Circumstances prevented me from getting many online reviews, though, so I am presently focused on requesting reviews from bloggers and critics, with hopes of engaging more readers and reviewers.
5. Where can readers find your book for sale?
The Ghost of Jamie McVay is for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com. I am happy to have it on the shelves of a few book stores in Chicago's west suburbs, too.
Brian Krueger has a lot of problems: The death of his grandfather and his father’s alcoholism have led to hard times and a move to a new town, where his nearest neighbor is a pyromaniac and a bully. Brian runs to escape his troubles, but it’s on the gravel jogging path that he encounters the ghost of Jamie McVay.
Brian and his new friend, Sharon, investigate the ghost’s origins. Clue by clue, secrets are revealed as the teens discover the truth behind Jamie McVay’s quest for redemption. Along the way they must deal with teen issues such as school, sports, friends and rivals. Brian also struggles to reconcile with his father, while facing dangerous Pete the Pyro..
Can Brian and Sharon prevent catastrophe on Halloween night? Will the ghost of Jamie McVay find peace for his unquiet soul?
Thank you so much for talking today.
Wishing you all the best
If you would like a copy of Ray's book then please visit Amazon via this link