DUNDALK — Author, educator and Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts alumnus Ricky Ruszin had a flash of inspiration while watching reality television, and is now working hard to make his dream come true.
The writer has penned a novel called “Showtime,” and is gunning for enough pre-ordered copies of the book to warrant publication. Ruszin has to find 750 readers prior to being green-lit.
During his time at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, Ruszin said in an exclusive interview with The Dundalk Eagle that he nurtured his lifelong desire to become an author. After graduation, the writer he continued his education, which led to his life’s work as a special education instructor at Elmwood Elementary.
Always the wordsmith, Ruszin primarily teaches reading to second, third and fifth graders.
While on his summer break, the educator was catching up with some television when the lightning rod of inspiration hit. As he watched the popular reality talent show “America’s Got Talent,” Ruszin got the idea for a book.
“There were a lot of dangerous acts that I saw,” he said. “They were pretty intense. While I was watching, I began to think, ‘What if a contestant on the stage wasn’t who they really claimed? What if they weren’t there to do an act — but to cause chaos and hurt people?’”
A classic comedy riot, The Carol Burnett Show, also provided inspiration for the creative novelist. Once, Ruszin was watching an episode, he started to wonder what it would be like to see someone he knew in the audience.
And with that, his suspenseful thriller and second novel “Showtime” was born.
“It’s about a college aged student who is discontented with his life,” the author explained. “He doesn’t know what he wants to do, and on top of everything, the last of his grandparents pass away. As he’s clearing out his grandmother’s house, he discovers that her TV allows him to travel to the past.”
The protagonist uses the magical television set uses as an opportunity to save his grandmother from her demise.
Although new to attempts at publishing, Ruszin has been a writer for years. His debut novel, which is still unpublished, has a local bent. “Dark Chambers,” as he calls it, is inspired by Ruszin’s hometown.
“It’s about a string of disappearances in a town based on Dundalk,” he said of his first novel. “So, if you’re familiar with Dundalk, you’ll recognize a lot of the people, places, and elements of the town in the novel.”
He hasn’t published this one yet, either, but the budding writer is optimistic. “It’s not published,” he said. “But it’s in the back pocket.
As a part of a pre-order campaign, Ruszin has to get 250 pre-order’s of “Showtime” before the publisher will publish it.
“They want to make sure they have enough interest to support publishing of the novel,” Ruszin said. “I’m hoping we can get this published and out to readers.”
To pre-order, visit www.inkshares.com/books/showtime.