We recently sat down with podcaster John P. Davis for an interview about our new novel, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. The full transcript is below.
JOHN P. DAVIS: Good afternoon, Preston and Anne. What a pleasure sitting on your deck, Preston, overlooking Hamilton Lake. I just finished reading your book…what a treasure! Why don’t I start by asking you….Preston, how and when did you decide to develop the idea for your book?
PRESTON HOWARD: November 8, 2016 was the date that made me first think about our book, the day when Donald Trump was elected. After the topsy turvy Republican campaign and his election, I knew that he was fodder for a book; I just didn’t realize how much of a target he would be for insult and comical relief.
DAVIS: You stressed a number of times in your book the enormous divide between the right and the left, and how it’s affecting our country.
PRESTON: Thanks for asking this question, John P. I felt it was important to talk about how our country is so split, with people spewing hateful thoughts back and forth toward each other. Folks now simply disagree and are disagreeable at the same time. I believe the president exacerbates this situation with his words and actions.
DAVIS: How did you arrive at the decision to have the character of Preston Howard fixate on the president of the United States in this book?
PRESTON: The president’s behavior, his obvious mendacity, his threat to our country.
DAVIS: And then why did you bring in the three corrupt Austin police detectives and their tense, exciting trial?
PRESTON: Well, in a noir crime thriller, there has to be a red herring, so I decided that our readers would have to guess who, in the end, would get killed.
DAVIS: Aren’t you worried, Preston, that with your incendiary words about the president, the Secret Service will show up at your house and haul you down for an interrogation?
PRESTON: Actually, the Secret Service showed up in my book, a hilarious scene. I would look forward to a visit from them for real; it would sell more books!
DAVIS: Anne, how did you become involved in writing the book?
ANNE HOWARD: My Dad and I discussed the novel, and we decided that a counterpoint, someone who could play off his story, was needed. Also, my character becomes embroiled in his plot, along with two other people.
DAVIS: Have you ever written a novel before, Anne?
ANNE: I am a software developer and writer for an AI company, a fact that is brought out in the book, several times with sarcastic comments from my Dad. But this is my first stab at writing a novel.
DAVIS: A personal question, Anne. During the development of the book, did your Dad’s….raunchiness and playing around with multiple women, ever bother you? If you’re uncomfortable answering it, I will understand.
ANNE: No problem answering. First off, my Dad has always been a little bit of a naughty fellow, but he’s never been uncouth to the point of turning off either his friends or me. As far as his attraction to multiple women, I’ll just say that the book is fiction; that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it. (Anne laughs)
DAVIS: Preston, unlike your first novel The Sheltering Palms, you have a love interest in this one. Why did you insert this theme into your book, and was there a prototype for the character known as George?
PRESTON: (halts for a few moments, then snickers) I felt George would spice up the plot a bit, and she did for sure. As far as the prototype for her, I actually met her, just like in the book, at a gym. I used her physical features as the construct for her character, and then added a whole lot of pizazz to her character, none of which applies to her…I think. Fortunately, the real George enjoyed the book and still speaks to me.
DAVIS: Anything else either of you wish to add?
ANNE: This experience of working with my Dad has been one of the great pleasures of my life. Hopefully, we can take another stab at a novel again in the future.
PRESTON: Back to your question about the divide in our country between the left and right. I felt compelled to write about the gulf between our friends and citizens and how it is destroying our country. People have stopped talking except with like-minded friends in their own echo chamber. Some of my good friends have sadly disowned me over this election; and I’m sure several of my Facebook friends will unfriend me after reading the book. Very sad state of affairs.
DAVIS: Thank you, Preston and Anne Howard. This is John P. Davis signing off. Listeners, please tune into my podcast later today.