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Raised in Revere, MA, Ray Daniel travelled West to find his fortune.  He journeyed  beyond the 128 beltway into the wilderness of MetroWest before choosing to settle down and raise a family in this new frontier.  Today, he toils in the high-tech industry, writes crime fiction, and works the fertile soil of his lawn. Ray’s Facebook Fanpage is at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ray-Daniel/149522071726511?ref=ts

Your story, “Communion” is steeped in the traditions of Boston’s North End.  How did you get familiar with your characters and setting?

My mother was born in the North End and a large portion of my extended family lived there.  I spent many years visiting the North End to see my grandmother and enjoy the Feasts on Hanover Street.  My family has a long relationship with St. Stephens Church.  My parents were married there and all my family’s funeral services happened there.   I’m a little embarrassed to say that the inspiration for Communion came to me while I was attending the funeral of a cousin.  The entire story was mapped out in my head by the time I returned home.

Your story in Thin Ice is your first fiction publication. What advice do you have to people out there still awaiting their first pub?

It’s critical to find a set time to write every day.  If you sit in front of your word processor at a set time every day you get three benefits:

1.  You will write something significant by the end of a year.
2.  You will have a way of quickly incorporating new experiences into your writing.
3.  You will become a much better writer.

I used to get up at 6AM and write from 6:30 to 8AM.  Life got in the way of that process this year, so now I get up at 5AM each day and write from 5:30-7.  I feel so good having gotten my writing in that I don’t mind the lost sleep.

What are you working on now?

Today I’m working on a short story for the MWA 2012 anthology.  The anthology is called Dark Justice and is being edited by Lee Child.  My new story is called “Requiem for Amalek”.   I seem to like religious themes in my short stories.

Beyond that, I am working on the second novel in my Tucker series. (The first book “Terminated” is with my agent and we hope to get a deal for it this year).  The second book is called “Corrupted Memory.”