ABOUT Ray Shoop

Ray Shoop
I'm a three times retiree: Air Force master sergeant , businessman, restaurateur, agnostic seventy-one-year-old dyslexic writer, who hopes to retire again in fifteen or twenty years, if my highly religious Greek Orthodox, Russian wife doesn't lay me to rest before then. Like most writers,  More...


His dad calls him a 'runt bastard', his teacher calls him a 'defiant brat', and his mother doesn't call him at all. His brother skips grades, while he has to repeat them. While the family struggles to keep the homestead producing, his father slowly drinks them into poverty. The only good thing in his life is Bee, his slightly older niece.While his family struggles to make it through the war torn years of WW II, Runt seeks out his identity, and what it is that makes him so different from everyone else. Finally, as the big bombs drop over Japan, his mother drops a bomb of her own exposing a secret that shatters the lives of two young children.

When I started writing RUNT, it was going to be a story about an abused mountain boy during the WWII era when child abuse, whether physical or emotional, was a simple and approved method of correcting or bring up your children. In fact, I felt as a child that if I wasn’t screamed at, cussed, whipped or walloped upside the head when I did something wrong, or in some cases didn’t do something, my parents didn’t love me. It was during my research process that I learned I was dyslexic. I had spent a lifetime thinking my slow reading and atrocious spelling and writing skills were attributed to my lack of ability to get the basics of these things down when I was a child. I didn’t like going to school and took every opportunity that came along to not go. Besides, education didn’t seem to be of much importance to my parents; out of seven of us, only one made it through high school.