Beth Raymer, CA

Critically Acclaimed Writer

Beth Raymer holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. Her first book, Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling, was adapted into a film starring Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Raymer has written for The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine. Her second book, Fireworks Every Night, will be published by Spiegel & Grau in 2017. She currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

As a Story Terrace writer, Beth interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Experience Groupie With a Dream

Discovering real talents, poignant hopes and just plain, intractable, human individuality is what drives me as a writer and a journalist. My quest to uncover the truth about eccentric and little known sectors of human endeavor has led me to report on bookmaking operations on Long Island, legalized brothels along the Mojave desert, offshore sportsbooks in the Caribbean, organic meth labs in Wheeling, West Virginia, the underground poker rooms of Las Vegas, all-girl rodeos in Central America, mortgage fraud detectives in Orlando, and foreclosure motels in Fort Myers, Florida.

My dream is to have my own newspaper column. I’d have complete freedom to write about anything I’d want and I wouldn’t be required to use real names. That way, the people in my stories could be honest without worrying about getting in trouble. My column would gravitate toward stories of confusion, mindless violence, and forbidden desires. With the money I made from my column, I would buy a little house on the side of a canyon very close to the beach. So close that I could step out of my front door and be on the sand. I’d wake up every morning and look for seashells before I ate breakfast, and some mornings I would also play beach volleyball. At night, I would feel a cool breeze through my window screen. Crickets would be the only sound I’d hear. I’d have a rifle but would only shoot varmints. And most importantly, I would have a library. The shelves would be set in the walls and I’d have one of those rolling ladder things so that I could reach the books on the top shelves. I’d read for hours every day but I’d never read all the books and every few weeks I’d discover a new writer who is as good as Lucia Berlin.

Beth at Belmont

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