SALT LAKE CITY, UT June 21, 2013
Raymond Spitzer’s brother, Ron, had Arizona Guy on his desk at school where a special ed student with limited reading ability saw the book. When he learned it was written by his teacher’s brother, he borrowed it, and by himself, laboriously, managed to read the entire book. He reported his progress to his teacher almost daily. Ron had the author sign a personalized copy of Arizona Guy to give to the student. It was the first book of that size the young man had ever read.
And now WiDo Publishing™ is pleased to announce that the second book in the series is under contract. “We hope there are many more Ted White mysteries,” states WiDo’s submissions editor Allie Maldonado. “Ray Spitzer captures the small town feel of Ajo, Arizona so perfectly that basically the entire town bought or borrowed a copy of his first book Arizona Guy. It was wonderful to witness such amazing support of a local author by his community.”
The writing bug bit Spitzer when he was in high school. A charismatic English teacher, Bob Kuhlman, and a creative writing class led him to churn out original science fiction stories on an old Underwood typewriter. He majored in English and creative writing at the University of Arizona, but the rejection slips never stopped until he decided to put writing on the back burner. As an English and social studies teacher, Spitzer’s creative energies were used in the classroom instead of chasing the elusive dream of becoming a published author.
When Spitzer went into law enforcement, he had time to consider writing again. He was now reading mysteries more than science fiction, and with the influence of working in law enforcement, he decided to write a mystery novel. Because of a religious theme in the story, he decided to send it to a religious publisher. It was rejected. The second publisher also rejected it. Although he found numerous publishers on the Internet, the only ones that seemed right were not accepting new material at that time. He reluctantly put it on the shelf.
A year later, prodded by his wife, Spitzer again checked the Internet for publishers. There was a new one! WiDo Publishing was looking for new authors. In the cover letter he wrote that this was the first book of a proposed trilogy. Three weeks later WiDo Publishing phoned, accepting the mystery with the stipulation that some changes be made. It took five rewrites but on May 3, 2011, Arizona Guy was finally published. The religion was virtually eliminated and the proposed trilogy became book #1 of the Ted White Mystery Series.
According to Spitzer, future stories will involve Ted’s students as well as the adults of the community. There will continue to be a mix of humor, drama, and the natural history of the region. Subjects relating to Ajo’s position in the searing Sonoran Desert, its nearness to the Mexican border, and topical themes such as the threat of school violence or even mass murder will be explored. Always the interaction of the people of the close-knit community will be of prime importance. Even people who love each other sometimes have problems getting along, especially when tension mounts in the face of unsolved mysteries.
Raymond Spitzer was born in California and resided in Japan and Montana before his parents saw the light and brought him to Arizona. He and his wife Susan currently live in Ajo, where Raymond is a 911 dispatcher for the sheriff’s department. He is in the planning stages of book #3 of the Ted White Mystery Series. Learn more about Raymond Spitzer at his website www.arizonaguy.simplesite.com