A Day in the Life With Delwood Grayson by Art Taylor

ON THE ROADBefore we commence here, allow me a moment to admit some ambivalence, perhaps even some reservations, about the book whose title bears my name: On the Road with Del & Louise. I’ve read it, and I appreciate the fact that Louise wrote it—she’s the love of my life, and despite what she might think, I’m not hesitant to say that aloud or to write it here. And the book mostly tells the truth—not just the factual truth, but the emotional truth, Louise’s emotional truth, if you consider each of those things as independent entities, which I do.

But each page I read as she printed it up and passed it my way, I had the lingering concern that people might succumb to some erroneous impressions about my role in all of this, about several things related to my role.

“Is this the way you see me?” I asked her at one point—similar questions at other points.

“I see you the way you are, Del,” she said.

“That’s circular reasoning,” I told her. “That’s fallacious reasoning.”

“You’re proving my point,” she said, and she turned back to the typewriter.

In the end, I wasn’t given the opportunity to contribute effectively to the revision process. Ultimately, for better or worse, the stories are what they are.

However, now I’m the one at the typewriter, and I want to say thank you to Ms. Dru Ann here for giving me the kinds of opportunities that were denied me both by Louise and by the folks at Henery Press who’ve been working with her to rush these adventures into press.

First things first, since this is a column about a day in my life, here’s my routine. I get up early generally. I like to see the sun rise when I can because it represents the start of a new day and new possibilities. I read the paper in the morning whenever I can—I’m committed to learning something, to maintaining awareness—and then I strive to put in a hard day’s work, whatever the job is: whether that’s pursuing a college degree (which I earned) or selling real estate or overseeing the stock in a winery warehouse or working in the oil fields or, like now, as I’m writing this, serving at the helm of a dynamic and growing private investigation service.

Excuse me. Someone has been looking over my shoulder. Apparently the rules aren’t entirely equitable concerning who has a say in the revision process. Sharing the helm, I’ve been asked to clarify.

Which returns me to my larger claims here (and I apologize to have derailed again the plans for telling about my day; briefly, I like a robust dinner at the end of the day and I enjoy watching crime movies, not just for the action and suspense but because they’re educational.)

Regarding these larger concerns I’m talking about, allow me to clear up ahead of time a few persistent misconceptions that I’ve seen:

  • Louise makes it sounds like I walk around with a thesaurus in my back pocket, searching for four-syllable words—and up. I can’t help it if I appreciate a wide vocabulary. I’m committed not to the biggest word but to the best one.
  • My sister is not a bad person, but I understand that plots need drama and conflict.
  • I have never purported to be a mastermind criminal, and I wouldn’t allow anyone’s comments in that direction to inflate my ego disproportionately. I merely try to plan extensively, objectively, whenever I can.
  • I would not actually have shot all of those people in the Vegas chapel, even in the worst of circumstances. (The words she quoted simply prove, as I said, that the emotional truth and the factual truth are indeed two different things.)
  • That Nova I owned was never in the disreputable shape she claims. Nor, however, was it worth as high a price as she ultimately claimed. Fact is, intoxication is never a conducive state for major acquisitions.
  • I do indeed know what the word perspicacity means and I did use it correctly in our wedding vows. And not to put too fine a point on it, but if someone’s going to be a writer, they should know how to use a dictionary properly and look up the word themselves before laying out reckless accusations.

Excuse me: My “editor” has informed me that I sound angry. I’m not. I love her and appreciate her very much—proof again, I should emphasize, that even if I can be taciturn (I am), I’m actually not reticent about expressing my emotions. In fact, I think of myself as downright fulsome in that regard.

In short, if you do read the book, realize that there are two sides to every story—many perspectives, in fact. At best, you’d need a triangulation of all those perspectives to really construct the truth of a story and of a person. In the meantime, take everything you read with a grain of salt.

You can read more about Del in On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories, published by Henery Press.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Friday, September 25 for the chance to win a signed copy of On the Road with Del & Louise. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

Meet the author
Art Taylor is the author of On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories. His short fiction has Art Taylorwon two Agatha Awards, a Macavity Award, and three consecutive Derringer Awards; his Agatha Award-winning story “The Odds Are Against Us” is currently a finalist for both the Anthony and the Macavity Awards. A professor at George Mason University, Art writes frequently on crime fiction for the Washington Post and Mystery Scene. (photo courtesy of Evan Michio)

Find out more at www.arttaylorwriter.com or follow him online through Facebook or Twitter.

28 responses to “A Day in the Life With Delwood Grayson by Art Taylor

  1. Thanks for hosting me, Dru Ann! —um, I mean, hosting Del. He sure appreciates the chance to have his voice heard—and I do too!

  2. Sounds like fun adventures – and dastardly deeds! Gotta read the Vegas chapel incident for sure. 🙂

  3. Thank you Dru Ann for featuring Art Taylor and his book on your blog. I am not familiar with his work but it sounds like a real adventure for the reader. robeader53@yahoo.com

  4. What a captivating and intriguing book. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  5. What an interesting sounding book! 🙂 Thanks Dru for bringing it to my attention! Thank you also Dru and Art for the opportunity to win a copy. Sounds like a book I don’t want to miss…even more so since I live near historic route 66. 😉

    • Oh! Barbara, where do you live? It was such fun being on Route 66 when we traveled there, and I’d love at some point to do the whole length of it. Good luck on winning the book!

  6. This sounds like great fun. An interesting character (characters?).
    I look forward to reading it.

  7. A new author for me! Thanks for the opportunity to win this one.

  8. Great characters, both of them. I’d love to hear more about their story, thanks for the chance to win it.

  9. So excited to read this!

  10. Wooo-eee! I want to read this book. (And I’d like to read the one Ms Love might help Del write.) Both sides sound marvelous.

  11. Nancy Roessner

    This does sound like a very fun read!

  12. Sounds interesting. There are two sides to every story.
    thanks for the chance to read the book.

  13. Just in case Art reads this-I live near Bloomington, Illinois. My son had a business in Atlanta, IL-a small town that welcomes Rt 66 travelers with their smiley face water tower, Maybe not the most exciting part of Rt 66, but still we get our kicks!

    • Hey, Barbara —
      I am indeed reading! …though have fallen behind on comments. Led a couple of sessions at a big library book conference this morning and now prepping for my launch party today in Arlington.
      Sounds like a fun town where your son’s business was. Getting our kicks indeed!

      Thanks all for chiming in here. Such fun to read everyone’s comments. Appreciating all the kind words and good wishes!

  14. This book looks just different enough to be really enjoyable. Different points of view and lots of humor. Thanks for the giveaway.

  15. Sounds like a winner.

    • Thanks everyone for the kind words and comments. Last night was the big launch for the book—a fun and busy time for sure! And so nice to check back in here and see so many generous comments. 🙂

  16. I have not read near as many male authors as female. Del has captured my interest, so well done, Art. Eager to hear Louise’s voice too.

  17. Thanks Art for commenting and interacting with my readers.

    Contest is closed.