- Can’t Stop the Wind ( 2014)
- Secret Keeper: Pursuit of the Cannibals (2012)
- Dose of Insanity (2010)
- Voodoo Storm: Hurricane Katrina, Death, and Mystery in New Orleans (2008)
- Preacherman (2005)
- Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters (2002)
by Joyce Kim (SHS) 2003 Updated
Davis L. Temple, Jr., was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on June 10, 1943, to Davis and Ernestine Temple. He grew up in Tupelo and was a student at Ole Miss in 1962 at the time of the riots that followed James Meredith’s admission to the university. He received a B.S. in Pharmacy in 1966 from Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi) and a Ph. D. in Medicinal Chemistry in 1969. In 1998 Temple was the recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Temple is an accomplished scientist who spent many years working as a researcher and pharmaceutical executive. After he completed his postdoctoral research at LSU, he had a long career in the biotechnology industry, eventually becoming Senior Vice President for Central Nervous System Research for Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1984. Temple has an extensive record of patents and has published many scientific papers and articles and edited technical books and journals, but he has also published numerous works of fiction. His first novel, Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters, published in 2002, received the Mississippi Library Association Author Award in 2004. Preacherman, a sort of sequel to Booger Den, followed in 2005. Voodoo Storm: Hurricane Katrina, Death, and Mystery in New Orleans (2008), Dose of Insanity (2010), Secret Keeper: Pursuit of the Cannibals (2010) and Can’t Stop the Wind (2014) are also works of fiction by Temple. Four of his books deal with the South and the Civil Rights era, but Dose of Insanity is a thriller based on Temple’s own experiences in the pharmaceutical industry, and Secret Keeper tells the story of two medical missionaries in the Congo when one falls victim to a mysterious and violent disease. Returning home, his illness stumps medical specialists in America as they fear a new form of a devastating disease previously known to afflict only the cannibalistic people of Papua New Guinea. Can’t Stop the Wind, published in 2014, is another Civil Rights Era setting of two Mississippi boys who struggle with racism.
In an interview with this reviewer, Temple stated that his favorite authors who have influenced him the most are William Faulkner and Stephen King for their writing style and their philosophy. He also says that Mississippi, the state he grew up in is a “state with a rich heritage and is absolutely chock-full of interesting characters to write about. There is also the long tradition of writing and writers.”
Temple and his wife Patty, whom he met in his calculus class at Ole Miss, lived for a time on Long Island Sound in Clinton, Connecticut, but now they have a home near Greensboro, Georgia, where he is a member of the Greensboro Writers’ Guild, and one along the Imperial River in Bonita Springs, Florida. The Temples have a daughter, Suzanne, who went to UGA Law School. He still does some pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting. In addition to writing, he also enjoy boating and fishing.
A Review of Two Letters then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters
by Joyce Kim (SHS)
Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters is a mysterious and adventurous novel by Davis L. Temple, Jr. He provides the reader with great excitement and curiosity. Even though this book is fiction, it is basically about the roads he has traveled in his life and people he met along the way. This book is a fast-moving story with an interesting plot and many unforgettable characters.
Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters is about an investment banker from New York City, Lee Sample, who seeks for his long lost love Jenny Brown. The story begins as the protagonist, Lee Sample, finds himself in Parchman Farm, a Mississippi prison, where he meets John Henry Till, known as Big John, a huge, strong, uneducated black man with a good personality. They share their perspective life stories together and survive the horrible violence of the Aryan Brotherhood members, who end up murdering Lee’s wife and his two adopted children instead of Lee and Big John.
After the tragic event happens, Lee tells his story of Jenny Brown and two letters which brought him to Parchman Farm. He tells Big John how terrible his marriage was and now that it has finally collapsed, he wants to find his old love Jenny again. To search for Jenny, he hires a California private investigator named Frank Chellini. Chellini finally finds Jenny living in Tupelo, Mississippi, with her daughter, Ramey, and her second husband Reverend Charles Longley, the evil Pastor of the Resurrection Baptist Church. Chellini directly reports to Lee the information, and Lee hurriedly takes a trip to Tupelo, Mississippi, to save Jenny and Ramey from the evil preacher.
Temple has a unique and interesting style. He combines adventure, romance, mystery, with a look at life during the Civil Rights Era in Mississippi. There are also elements of Southern Christian religion in this book. Temple makes it seem like the events happening are so real that he keeps the reader excited every minute. He uses many different dialects and has awesome plot characterization.
The story is set in different places. For example, the incidents begin in chapter one at the Parchman Farm in Mississippi in 2002. When Lee tells the story, Temple uses flashbacks to Lee’s days in the 50’s and the 60’s in Tupelo, Mississippi. The rest of the book takes place in Tupelo, Mississippi and Booger Den.
The characters in this book are very interesting. In Parchman Farm, there are many white “skinheads” — like Rolf Ingle, the head of the Aryan Brotherhood, and uneducated black men — like Big John. Different business men are described as well as some prostitutes.
I think this is a great book for readers who love adventures and mysteries. Temple weaves an exciting story about murder, mystery, haunted places, adventure, and romance. I personally enjoyed it very much. Some readers might be offended by some of the profanities used in this book, but I think that it’s a must read. This book is highly recommended.
by Joyce Kim (SHS) 2003
1. Where were you born and when?
Tupelo, Miss., June 10, 1943.
2. Parents’ names?
Davis and Ernestine Temple
3. Childhood memories?
Playing with childhood friends, some of whom I still stay in touch with, and spending time on the family farms with a close knit family
4. High school memories?
Working hard in a system that was pretty tough and unforgiving, learning about girls, and working in TKE Drug Store (my father’s store)
5. What kind of student were you in high school?
I would say mixed, but I was good at science and got the science award.
(Ole Miss: B.S. Pharmacy 1966, Ph.D. Medicinal Chemistry 1969) Balancing the books between playing hard and working hard, learning to live away from home and being responsible, learning to be a scientist and sorting my wife out from all those other beautiful Ole Miss girls
7. Marriage and children?
Met my wife Patty in calculus class at Ole Miss; we have one daughter, Suzanne, who is in the UGA Law School
8. What are you doing now besides writing?
I still do some pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting (I was a pharmaceutical researcher and executive before retiring to become a writer) and am an avid fisherman
9. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was there something in particular that got you interested in writing?
I have been a scientific writer as part of my career for many years and and making the jump to fiction was relatively easy–I have a vivid imagination as well. I grew up in the shadow of William Faulkner and was a personal friend of the late Willie Morris, who encouraged me to “write something.”
10. How difficult was it to get your first book published? How did you go about it?
“Booger Den” was published by a print-on-demand publisher, which is much easier than getting a big publisher these days–it was a logical and rewarding first step.
12. Is Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters, even though fiction, based on your life? Did you base the characters in this book on people you know or knew?
The book is basically about the roads that I have traveled in my life and the people that I met along the way. The major exception is the evil preacher, Charles Longley–I never met such a person.
13. Are you currently working on a new book? What is it called? When will it be published? Do you have a title for it yet? What is it about?
I have written a second book entitled “Moodus Noises,” which is with an editor in California. This book is an adventure story with a bit of supernaturalism thrown in–it is about the return of the old Pequot Indians to CT that were actually exterminated by the white man in 1637, and how they “got even.” I am also writing a third book entitles “Preacherman,” which is a sequel of sorts to “Booger Den.”
14. Have you received any awards?
“Booger Den” has been nominated for the Mississippi Writers Award. I have received considerable scientific and medical recognition but am most proud of the 1998 University of Mississippi Distinguished Alumni Award.
15. How has Mississippi or living in Mississippi influenced your writing?
Mississippi is a state with a rich heritage and is absolutely chock-full of interesting characters to write about. There is also the long tradition of writing and writers.
16. Who is/are your favorite author/authors?
Willie Morris, William Faulkner, and Stephen King
17. What author do you think has influenced you the most?
William Faulkner and Stephen King for writing style/philosophy (see his book On Writing)
18. Why did you decided to write the book Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters?
For the fun of it and to see if I could translate a pretty good imagination into a story in print.
19. Do you have any advice for future writers?
Live a diverse life and READ.
20. Do you have any advice for students today?
Work harder than today’s schools require. See if you can learn something useful for your future from every course rather than just making the grade. Get focused in your life and stay focused.
- Lake Country authors blog in Oconee area in Georgia includes Temple
- Editorial and customer review on Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters.
- Temple, Davis L. E-mail Interview. 2 May, 2003.
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- Temple, Davis L. Two Letters Then Booger Den: Land of Dark Waters. Hats Off Books. Arizona. July 2002.