David Raymond

December 13, 2022

Like many people, author David Raymond was inspired as a child by “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” and saw science fiction as an escape into unknown, fantastical worlds. For him, the genre represented something bigger than himself. He was captivated by its inherent concept of endless possibilities and discovering new things.

“It blended together the things I’m passionate about – helping people, the environment and making the world a better place,” said Raymond.

All those things intersect in his latest science fiction book, “The Mermaid of Arch Creek,” which is set in Miami’s Arch Creek Park and was released last month.

As we sat in his beautiful, sunlit home office in the Village of Biscayne Park discussing the book, Raymond spoke clearly and with passion, like a true storyteller. The T-shirt he wore, emblazoned with “Mr. Write,”  perfectly summed up his personality.

Raymond, 62, an Amazon bestselling author, is virtually a jack-of-all-trades who explored a variety of disciplines before deciding to pursue his true calling and childhood dream: writing.

He realized he was a gifted writer in the sixth grade, when he wrote a television script for “The Wild Wild West” in class. He yearned to be a comedy writer for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” but for a long while, Raymond put writing on hold to pursue other interests, like real estate, teaching and environmental sciences.

Raymond received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida International University at the age of 24. His mother was bipolar, and by the time he was 12 he had experienced all kinds of physical and mental abuse. He studied psychology to help others who had similar experiences. Then he quickly realized he could also make a difference as a social worker.

He then earned his master’s degree in mental health counseling from Barry University while working with Jewish Community Services of South Florida.

Raymond went on to work at the Florida Department of Children and Families, where he oversaw adult services such as mental health and substance abuse programs. Work-related stress caused him to develop a tumor in his colon and high blood pressure.

“Working at DCF for five years felt like 50,” he said.

He eventually left DCF and took on the role of executive director of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust for 10 years, retiring from the county in 2012 after 30 years in the field. But he didn’t stop working.

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