Ed Davis: One Man’s Unique Journey From Nomad To Author

Author Ed Davis returns to the publishing world with his new story, ‘The Last Professional,’ based on his forty years of adventure riding America’s railways.

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While many authors take a circuitous route to writing, Ed Davis‘s journey is a truly unique story of self-discovery and adventure. Inspired by a Jack London story, he enrolled in a psychiatric technician training program at Sonoma State Hospital. In the course of his training, he discovered the harsh realities of how patients were brutally treated behind closed doors. One summer at the psychiatric hospital was enough for Davis and he left without any plans. That’s when he found himself hopping freight trains in 1972, and for four decades he never looked back.


For years, Davis would explore the Pacific Northwest and Canada by riding trains, creating a nomadic lifestyle that mirrored the ones lived by Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation. He would visit friends long lost, attend presidential inaugurations, camp out with fellow train-hoppers, and discover remote areas of the world that he otherwise wouldn’t have explored. Throughout his travels, he did his best to capture everything he saw and experienced as he roamed where the railways took him. He recorded the stories, sounds, and music of the railroads not knowing how these memories would change his life later on.

During this time, Davis would write and release his first book, A Matter of Time, relaying his ideas on what we could see in a post-9/11 America. Now, Davis is a multi-published author who shares his experiences with readers everywhere. He revisits his days at a psychiatric hospital in a fictionalized account called In All Things. He gives an honest report of his nomadic life in America and abroad in the autobiographical Road Stories. And after eight years, he brings to life a fictionalized tale based on his train-hopping days through his brand new book, The Last Professional.


Based on the final leg of Davis’s own journey on the railroads, The Last Professional tells the story of Lynden Hoover, who hops onto the railways to avoid his past and chase an unknown future. He makes friends with The Duke, becoming his apprentice as they travel the American landscape. But when the antagonistic Short Arm harms Hoover’s new friends, Hoover must decide where his loyalties lie, even if it means ending up alone.


Pulling from those same roots of the rock and roll 70s, the book features illustrations from Colin Elgie. He was a member of the artist collective ‘Hipgnosis’ and behind some of the most famous rock and roll record covers from Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Rush, Genesis, and many other legendary bands.

Join us Thursday, January 27 for a Facebook live with author Ed Davis to discuss his upcoming novel, The Last Professional.

Keep an eye out for our look back at the nomads who helped define American literature, as well as our feature in this week’s Three to Read. You can click here to order the book online or find it at your local bookstore on January 25.