IHS teacher becomes published author


Mr.Ray posing for author photo

Ashwin Padmanabhan

Independence High School (IHS)  has a diverse group of students and staff that lead interesting lives outside of the school hallways. One teacher, in particular, is taking his passion for reading and writing to the next level by becoming a published author.

IHS English and Independent Study and Mentorship teacher, Thomas Ray is in the process of writing his new book “Nate: Broken Boyhood to Mended Manhood.” 

The book focuses on the main character Nate who is coming to terms with his relationship with his father after years.

“Nate is a coming-of-age story that details the pain and anguish of a young man dealing with the rejection of his biological father,” Ray said.  “It grapples with the themes of revenge, family dynamics, psychological warfare, and restoration.”

Ray also talks about the main inspirations in his life that lead him to write this book.

​”I was inspired to write Nate because of my concern for young men and women who face life without the affirmation and direction of a sound father,” Ray said. “Having witnessed the ‘maladjustment’ some of my friends and associates exuded, I began to question ‘why?’” 

Writing a book comes with many challenges for any author. Ray gives insight on the biggest obstacles he had in the writing process, as well as how he overcame them.

“​Diction. Because I read so much and am such a book geek, I prefer to write using words that express complicated thoughts and experiences concisely,” Ray said. “The other major challenge came in allowing myself the freedom to really become emotionally connected to the topic.”

Front and back cover of the novel

Ray was inspired by other literary works that drove him to write this book such as “Uncle Toms Cabin”, “Bleak House”, and “Up From Slavery”.

Literature and writing have played major roles in Ray’s life and he goes on to discuss its importance as well as how it has shaped him as a person.

“Literature is life,” Ray said. “Literature conveys the human experience, and the benefits of reading such conveyance prevent ignorance. Literature grants the reader omniscience that teleports them into the life of another.

The book is scheduled to be published by early 2022.