Donald Charles Davis lives in “El Lay,” as he likes to say, where he scratches out a living as a writer. One of his literary endeavors is a popular blog called The Aging Rebel.
Due to the constant swirl and flow of cause and effect, he decided to publish some of the blog posts in a book. Selecting 50, he buffed and polished them a little – not much, because he doesn’t believe in re-writing. The result is The Aging Rebel: Dispatches From the Motorcycle Outlaw Frontier. The book is selling well on Amazon, and has received some remarkable reviews.
Almost simultaneously (two days later), another of his books appeared and instantly hit the true crime bestseller list on Amazon. It’s called Out Bad, a singularly imaginative and evocative title. Out Bad is the true story of "Operation Black Rain," a three-year undercover investigation of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. ‘Black Rain’ was the idée fixe of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. By dint of relentless (and some would say, reckless) research, Davis reveals what really happened before, during, and after ‘Black Rain.’
Sometimes authors are almost as interesting as the books they write. In rare instances, they are actually more fascinating than their books. Not much is known about Davis, since he keeps a pretty low profile. So I thought I’d find out just what makes him tick.
What made you think you could write well enough that people would pay money for what you’d written?
I was working as a laborer in a battery factory. It was an unpleasant job – particularly when the batteries would explode. One lunch time I walked to a nearby, daily newspaper and applied for a job on the loading dock. I had just bought some new, acid-proof work clothes so I looked fairly reputable. The personnel woman got me confused with some guy who had recently graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism. I guess Columbia graduates dress poorly. I took some tests, wrote a trial story and got hired as a reporter. The checks cleared. People have been paying me for my words ever since.
Do you have a specific writing style? If so, how do you describe it?