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Hi! Thanks for stopping in. I created this website so we can keep in touch. You will find the first chapter of each of my books below for free and under Drayer’s Notebook, you can join me on my open-ended motorcycle trips. The other tabs above will tell you more about my life as a writer, give a brief overview of what inspired each book, and offer discussion questions for reading groups. Also, there is a contact page that I hope you will use to say hello, share your thoughts on the books, or tell me if there’s something in particular you’d like to read about next.

Enjoy browsing and please, invite your friends.

 

  David Drayer
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Wayward Son: Travels and Reflections

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Is it better to be talented or lucky? Have you ever experienced a synchronicity? What are the things you will never regret doing?

In this collection of blog posts and newspaper columns written during his time back in western Pennsylvania and while traveling around the country, novelist David Drayer explores these insightful questions and many more. You are invited to join him on open-ended motorcycle trips to peculiar small towns, late evening hikes through the woods, visits with ghosts from the past, and philosophical conversations from neighborhood bars.

At turns inspiring, hilarious, thoughtful, and always wise, these commentaries on what makes life worth living not only stimulate the mind, they encourage us to venture off the beaten path and enjoy the ride.

Wanderlust never made so much sense.

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Available for purchase.

Andrew—a psychotherapist who has made a career out of helping people in crisis—is suddenly unable to stop the unraveling of his own life. A reoccurring nightmare is making it impossible for him to sleep and he has gone from a social drinker to a man who regularly blacks out and does things he doesn’t remember doing, a man whose drinking has cost him the woman he loves.

When this woman requests they meet, he hopes it is the first step in their reconciliation. Instead, she returns with a strange, startling message: his intensifying battle with insomnia and alcohol are coming from a supernatural source, the spirit of an angry, restless soul. She didn’t tell him this when she left him because she knew he would have considered such a notion ridiculous.

She’s telling him now … because she has proof.

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A Noble Story  
A Noble Story

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When hard work fails to pay off, relationships fall flat, and carefully-laid plans unravel, it is easy to lose heart. The narrator of A Noble Story is a man whose dreams have faded and who zombie-walks through meaningless work days, drinks himself to sleep each night, and keeps company with the ghosts of lovers past.

One day, a dancing pickle twirling a sign on a street corner captures the narrator’s attention. The pickle is giving it all he’s got, caught up in a rhythm all his own. He is so sincere and dedicated in his efforts, he doesn’t look as ridiculous as he should. In fact, he seems somehow dignified. Even noble.

Who is that guy? And what’s his story?

As the answers to these questions begin to unfold, the narrator finds himself believing again. And just like that, he’s on his motorcycle, leaving his job and the city behind for open country roads and adventure. He may have no idea where life is suddenly leading him or if he’ll even survive, but for the first time in a long time—he's enjoying the ride.

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Something Fierce  
Something Fierce

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Something Fierce is a tale of two lovers, from their initial tryst to the powerful dissolution of their stormy relationship months later.

When struggling writer Seth Hardy accepts a teaching position at a local college, he discovers he has a gift for inspiring students. None more so than Kerri Engel, a talented but troubled young woman who is determined to win her professor’s affection. What follows is an all-consuming, sensual affair that is as tender as it is wild and dangerous for them both.

Something Fierce explores the delicate boundaries between love and obsession, and forces characters and readers alike to question their perceptions of what is real when the truth becomes distorted and then hopelessly lost.

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Strip Cuts  
Strip Cuts

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Welcome to Cherry Run, Pennsylvania.

...the epitome of “blink and you’ll miss it” American town where the jobs are dead end, the ultimate dream is hitting the lottery, and the only apparent escape is drinking at the Ruffled Grouse.

In story-like chapters, Strip Cuts spans a seven-year period beginning with and centering around Seth Hardy, a young man struggling to come into his own despite a dreaded nickname and the low expectations of those around him. We meet other residents as well, including a middle-aged man and woman who drift into an adulterous affair, a vacuum cleaner salesman who doesn’t take no for an answer, a man who battles his hairy back, a Peeping Tom who is confronted by the object of his desire, and an elderly couple who get lost in a snowstorm and end up on the most astounding journey of their lives.

Often humorous and always sincere, Strip Cuts rings with universal truth, capturing Cherry Run’s residents in their most private and defining moments. David Drayer’s debut novel presents a unique and memorable look at the heartache and hope of a small town, where the land and the people have been stripped bare for all to see.

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Reviews

From Publisher's Weekly

A series of vignettes reminiscent of Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, Drayer's debut novel is set in the small, dead-end town of Cherry Run, in southwestern Pennsylvania, a place that until recently was dependent on coal mining. The book chronicles ordinary and surprising events in the lives of the townspeople, centering on Seth Hardy. At the opening, Seth is a 13-year-old high school freshman, newly saddled with a horrible nickname and painfully attracted to his kind and pretty English teacher. Though his father, Earl Hardy, is supportive and loving, he doesn't know the extent to which his son is bullied, not even when Seth, now a little older, nearly kills a loutish, long-time tormentor. Earl has problems of his own, but he always finds a way to solve them: he loses his job at the mine, but starts a TV repair business. In a poignant, if not subtle, chapter, Earl informs Hercules, the town garbageman, that his television is shot. When Earl learns that Hercules's wife has breast cancer, he virtually gives the couple a bigger, better TV. Cherry Run's other characters include a married hotel cleaning woman who has an intense, dramatic affair with a co-worker, a man who's desperate to defuzz his hairy back and a schoolboy who spies on his sexy female neighbor, only to suffer her clever, humiliating vengeance. Seth eventually comes awkwardly but surely into his own, focused on his determination to become a writer. A University of Pittsburgh student initiates him sexually, and the book ends with the endearing hero vowing to get out of Cherry Run. All of Drayer's characters are down-to-earth, fully formed people whose dilemmas are presented with honesty and compassion. 6-city author tour. (Mar.)

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