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Van Horn, Ray, Jr. 1970-

VAN HORN, Ray, Jr. 1970-

PERSONAL: Born May 12, 1970, in Baltimore, MD; son of Ray Van Horn and Susan Plitt (in securities); married June 17, 1995; wife's name Ardisse (a teaching assistant). Education: Catonsville Community College, A.A., 1990; Towson State University, B.S. (business administration), 1993. Religion: Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Music, art, sports, movies, travel.

ADDRESSES: Home—750 Johahn Dr., Westminster, MD 21158. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Bank of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, post-closer, 1993-95; Fairfax Mortgage, Baltimore, post-closer, 1995-98; Valley Title, Owings Mills, MD, processor, 1997-99; Chase Title, Owings Mills, senior processor, 1999—. Member, Carroll County, MD, Arts Council, 2002—.

AWARDS, HONORS: SGA Newspaper Excellence award, 1990.

WRITINGS:

Mentor (thriller), Publish America (Frederick, MD), 2002.

Contributor to Hockey Voice, GC, and Cyber Age Adventures; assistant editor, Spectrum.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Diaries of a Non-Conformist, a novel; a third novel, tentatively titled The Interview.

SIDELIGHTS: Ray Van Horn, Jr., told CA: "I developed my writing craft through high school under the guidance and tutelage of Paul Day, my creative writing teacher, who recognized my talent early on and encouraged me by forcing me to read every single piece I wrote to the entire class. Not one to be a starving artist, however, I obtained a business degree from college and took full-time work to make ends meet as I practiced my craft in my spare time. Like any would-be author, I accumulated rejection letter after rejection letter and sure, I was tempted to give up.

"My first novel, Mentor, was a twelve-year labor of love that blossomed from a short story about a small boy who retaliates against his abusive father. The story was the catalyst for what would end up being a multifaceted thriller story which was published in 2002. After so many years struggling to find myself, I'd finally scored

"I work my writing time around my primary job, which involves real estate title work. I get up two and a half hours before I leave each morning, which consists of my core writing time. … A day without writing is a day wasted, as far as I'm concerned. I'm my own worst taskmaster, as my wife will attest.

"I look at the world around me and draw everything into my microcosm, accept or reject it, but subconsciously I store it all for future use in a story. I love people as much as I detest them, and my challenge is to glorify some within the context of my vernacular, while scrutinizing the remainder. Race, creed, and sexuality are big issues in my life I detest bigotry and waste no opportunity to condemn discriminatory behavior within my writing. My attitude is, we all need one another, whether we're black, white, Asian, Latino, straight, gay, Catholic, Baptist, Buddhist, whatever. As a writer, I need everyone on the globe because they're all potential characters in one of my books or short stories. I believe we should all cease cross-examining one another and focus more on what's important: peace and unity."

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