The Bedside Diaries is a world that is born in small-town West Texas, a dying element of Main Street America, and the death of those things, those old-school values and ways, religion and honor and duty and ideas that were more than words, is as much a character as Trent or Big Paul or Piper. Generations diverge. The Greatest Generation gives way to the Baby Boomers. Our story begins with two lifelong best friends, Trent and Dub, leaving their hometown of Weston, saying goodbye to Big Paul Anderson and his wife, Pearl, in search of answers, two young men on a journey.
Trent and Dub are the proverbial twin sons of different mothers; tied to each other in all their thoughts and actions and memories. When Dub's mother committed suicide years before, Big Paul took him in as one of his own, into the big house with the rambling wrap-around porch, into the oil and cattle business, into his home of diminutive Pearl, athlete Trent and sweet, retarded Vonnie.
Dub suspects his mother did not commit suicide.
Trent suspects his father was not a faithful man.
Their suspicions run as much about their own identities as these other questions.
They journey to Durango, Colorado, to the Victorian-style hotel, the Strater, known as much for its diaries beside the beds where for decades guests have shared secrets as for its collection of the world's finest walnut Victorian furniture and hotel logs signed by the rich and famous.
At this splendid, romantic hotel, under sentinel of the San Juan Mountains, the two young men discover more than what they were in search of --- love, murder, secrets --- and they find these answers in the diaries.
The Bedside Diaries has two storylines that parallel and then converge ---- Trent and Dub as young boys; the secrets play out tantalizingly in front of you while running beside their early lives in the shadow cast by millionaire/bully Big Paul is their current odyssey, their present trials. Was Dub's mother murdered? Who was Big Paul behind his bluster and money? Can Trent overcome his encoding, his propensities suffered by his father, a man who is part hero, part villain? Can the best friends' relationship withstand the discovery of an even greater and more threatening secret?
The secrets are answered. The lives of the three main characters, Trent and Dub and Piper, crash headlong into walls of truth. The proverb in his head, one cannot truly become a man until one's father dies, Trent faces the fact that despite the death of his father, he cannot easily become a man, and he disengages from becoming a patriarch. Piper must deal with the Machiavellian nature of her lover, Trent, and decide if she can live with his powerplays and manipulations or move on. And Dub, always on the lookout for a new sin, drugs or alcohol or self-mutilation, is assaulted more than any other character by these revelations. How will he maneuver?
The reader will be reminded of scenes in The Sun Also Rises as Trent recreates Jake Barnes' own search for truth, fishing the Irati River, drinking in Pamplona, taking on Basque culture (and other primitives) head-on. Piper, whom he met through the diaries of the Strater, is his Lady Brett Ashley, perfect companion and yet also his adversary, Lilith. The reader will find a main character – Trent -- who all too often looks for answers in literature, music, pop culture and especially in water.
Water haunts them. The Bedside Diaries is an intense, referential exploration of the human condition, a brash, revealing look in Narcissus' pool.
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About the Author
Williams has published numerous books including So Many Fish So Little Time: The 1001 Best Places on Earth to Fish from Harper Collins (agent David H Smith, DHS Literary). Other books include Trout Fishing Sourcebook, The Backpacking Flyfisher, Flyfishing Southwestern Colorado, Knots for Flyfishers and Freshwater Flyfishing Tips from the Pros (Fireside/Simon and Schuster.) He and his wife Amy finished up two books with Wayfinder Press that just came out (top 30 Things to Do in Durango, Top 30 Things to Do in Telluride.) Williams has two books coming out in the next few months: Colorado Flyfishing: Where to Eat, Sleep and Fish co-written with Chad McPhail, published by Johnson Books due out in late June; and So You Want to FlyFish? also co-written with Chad McPhail, published by Fell Publishers, due out in September. He and Amy are working on two more Top 30 books for Wayfinder (Amarillo, Santa Fe).
Williams has traveled the world but finds himself more and more fishing small streams in New Mexico and Colorado and working on his second novel. He also teaches high school English and Speech at North Heights Alternative School in Amarillo Texas. He and his students have written two books, Voices From the Heights and Paintings on the Walls. Get in touch with Mark D. Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.