In conversation with author Keith Davies
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am fourth generation born and raised in Nevada City, graduated NUHS in 1965, and attended Sierra College before being drafted in the Army in 1966 and served in Viet Nam in ’67 & ’68. After my discharge I traveled the country with Ice Follies/Holiday on Ice shows for six years, then held a variety of positions, including Director of Operations for The Forum in LA, an associate Broadway Producer, and on tour with major rock n’ roll groups.
In 1979 I returned to Nevada City as owner of Framastanyl’s Bar until 1988. After completing my undergraduate degree and acquiring an MBA, I’ve spent the majority of my career as a corporate meeting planner in California until my retirement in 2007 at age 60.
Five years later, my wife, Robin, and I returned to Grass Valley and took the helm of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce as their Co-CEOs. I again retired in 2016 and began writing my book “Adrian’s Revenge.”
What brought you to this area?
First, as I said I was born here and have deep roots in the community with many friends and relatives. Second, I returned in 1979 to open Framastanyl’s, and then returned again in 2012 with my wife, Robin, to care for my mother.
How did you get into writing?
While sitting in the cafeteria at ASU in Tempe, AZ in 1989 I stuck up a conversation with another student. She was an English major with a creative writing minor that was learning to write screenplays. I told her I had a topic for a screenplay and after a lengthy conversation we agreed to collaborate on writing a screenplay based on my story. We finished the screenplay a year later. It sat dormant for 25 years until I retired from the GGVCC and my wife said—”now that you have the time, why don’t you write that book based on your screenplay?”
What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
My favorite book is the 1989 novel by E. L. Doctorow— “Billy Bathgate.” Since the 1960’s I have read in the vicinity of 1500 books, and the two authors I continue to seek out for story, writing and entertainment are John Grisham and David Baldacci.
What is your book about?
It is about “Addiction, Conspiracy, Murder & Redemption.” It takes place in the early 1980’s in seemly tranquil Gold City, CA. The protagonist, Adrian Davis, returns home to take over operations of his grandparent’s redneck bar and creates a popular nightclub just as the cocaine epidemic in America is ready to explode. Caught up in the social transition, Adrian’s life quickly spirals downward as he overindulges in sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. Adrian’s Revenge chronicles a painful struggle between good and evil, taking readers on an extraordinary journey through tortuous addiction, devious conspiracy, unexpected murder, and comforting redemption.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had a story and I had the time. I wanted to see if I could write a novel that would incorporate a fictionalized conspiracy—tie it to an unsuspecting drug addict— and, as the books author, take the protagonist/drug addict as far out on a limb as possible without having him fall off. Then years later, could I take that same drug addict who is now a sober successful lawyer and accuse him of murder—put him on trial for his life—and bring it all together at the end? I hope the reader feels I’ve succeeded and enjoys a few unexpected twists and turns along the way.
What do you find most challenging about writing a book?
Actually, the writing of the book was the most challenging. Hemingway said— “there is nothing to writing—you just sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” And bleed I did for over two years.
It was also very challenging to take a story that has some semblance of reality and combine it with a story of complete fiction because in the end it must make sense to its reader. Also, editing was no fun and a true experience in patience. Finally, getting the book published took about a year and was almost as challenging as writing the book.
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