Ryan Boyd Clark lives, rides, and writes in his native Arizona. Ryan spent much of his young professional life as a teacher and debate coach, but he now works at Costco and writes full time. Ryan has degrees in English Secondary Education (B.A. Arizona State University), Creative Writing (M.A. Lacrosse University), and Human Dynamics/ Organizational Intelligence (M.A. Western International University). A writer with several published works in the rear view, Ryan now expresses his work independently through Ghost Rider Press and Online Magazine: Keep The Greasy Side Down . An avid motorcyclist for over twenty years, Ryan explores his beautiful home state, looking for tales that take his readers deep into the mystique of the scenic and rugged state. Spirits of Jerome is the first in a series of short story novellas exploring the secret and supernatural history of Arizona.
Scotland Yard Demons – Short Story / Sinister Landscapes Anthology
Grave Whispers – Novel
Spirits of Jerome – Short Stories / Novella
Ashes & Ghosts – Navajo/ Hopi Travel Feature Article
The Ongoing Shame of Cultural Tyranny – Apache Travel Feature Article
Sonoran Silver & Water: a Yaqui History – Yaqui Travel Feature Article
Confronting Nietzche, Embracing Hamlet, & the Great Cosmic Joke – Music Feature Article
A Quarter Century: A Peacemaker – Music Album Review
My Home is in Jerome – Travel Feature Article
“I taught for seven wonderful years as a high school and college English teacher, but life happens, and sometimes it comes at you pretty hard. 2007 hit a lot of people, in a lot of different ways: many lives changed. I ended up leaving teaching, pursuing writing, and working at Costco because it is a fantastic company with fantastic benefits for my family. The stability Costco provides has allowed me a lot of freedom to finally get back to pursuing my passion of writing.”
“Failure. Pain. Loss. But also just the vast wealth of experiences. I have raised and raced sled dogs. I ride motorcycles. I have taught teenagers, and maintained friendships with them into adulthood. I coached debate, and I love a solidly constructed argument. All of these experiences have molded the way that I write. I have a tendency to project a lot of myself into my characters.”
“Horror is my first love, but more specifically ghost stories, legends, hauntings, myths. I have never been into the blood, guts, and gore of horror… I am much more interested in the psychological effects. Jerome was always fascinated me, and perhaps, even from a young age, this is where some of that fascination came from. So after a lot of starts and stops and missteps and by-ways, as I started to focus in on exactly what I wanted to do with Ghost Writer Press, Jerome seemed like the obvious place to start.”
“My wife and I have been going to Jerome for years and years. The Spirit Room has been our destination many times to go see bands play, and the place simply captivated us. It seemed like the Sedona for regular people, and by that I mean not normal people at all, and we loved that about it. We love to stay at The Mile High. So we learned more and more about the town: about its legends, its ghosts. What the book does is tell ten loosely connected short fiction stories about the real settings, ghosts, and legends of Jerome. It does not re-tell those ghost stories, rather it weaves completely original tales around the existing myths and legends.
Other artists have found the same Muse in Jerome and chased it there. I am very heavily influenced by music, so when I asked the legendary Arizona songwriter, Stephen Ashbrook, to write the forward, and he accepted I was ecstatic. I have seen Stephen play at the Spirit Room countless times over the years. Music, specifically Arizona music, is very heavily referenced in Spirits of Jerome. The book is meant as a homage to the artists of Jerome, because Jerome has been my Muse.”
“The website was originally just supposed to be my author page, but it evolved very quickly into a way for me to give back story into the stories I was writing. So, all of my travel feature articles now, directly relate to my research trips that I am doing while working on my next book.”
“Horror is an incredibly hard genre to promote. It has avid fans, but it is certainly not a good cross genre type of category. If you like horror, you will buy a lot of it. If you do not like horror, you usually don’t even look at it. I think horror is far too limiting. It has a whole lot more implications: blood, violence, murder, fear, etc than really what I like to do at all… but my book is scary. I like to think of the fiction I write now being more Alfred Hitchcock, more subtle, more psychological…. less about throwing gore at you, and more about making you think thoughts that are perhaps spooky… because they are so real. Horror in that vein, can really do amazing things in terms of exploring the human experience. That is what I try to achieve in my writing.”
Author: Ryan B. Clark
Foreword by: Stephen Ashbrook
Publication Date: October 2017
Stock Lists: Ingram, Amazon
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Spirits of Jerome
A Book of Speculative Fiction
A book of stories, linked to the hauntings of Jerome, Arizona. A book as fascinated by place as it is by theme. The stories use the ghostly setting to explore: the casualties of art and the search for inspiration, the angst of dealing with ones ghosts , the elusive nature of happiness , the eternal transformations of love
and the mystical nature of music.
“Why do we concern ourselves over which side of the membrane of soil our feet poke?” asks Annie Dillard in For the Time Being.” With Dillard’s same flare for the lyrical, Ryan B. Clark probes this question in Spirits of Jerome, giving readers astonishing insights into the other side, the dark places that come after the grave. This is where the dead philosophize while searching for what it might mean to breathe again. “Nothing lasting was ever created in safety,” Clark says, purposely blurring the lines between fiction and reality.
Reading story after stunning story, you’ll start to believe it’s all true.Jerome is “like the paradoxical yin to Sedona’s yang,” Clark writes in a chapter titled “The Muse.” “One had its vortex and neo-classical spirituality. The other had its ghosts.” Indeed.
Jerome is the original “Ghost City” with places like the Haunted Hamburger and the Asylum Restaurant and the Spirit Room, where the veil between the living and dead wears thin. “All lost and wandering souls find their way there eventually, but the awakened souls of the living create the basis for why they stay.”
All roads lead to Jerome. On your next visit, bring along a copy of Spirits of Jerome as your only companion. It will enhance the experience. Or you will be chilled to the bloody marrow.
Ken Lamberton / author of Chasing Arizona
Never underestimate the magical properties of a seemingly ordinary place.