Dawnwells February 23, 2023
When was the last time you sat down with a mystery/thriller and were able to truly relate to its hero? Most of the time, we are given protagonists whose flaws are meant to humanize them but who are still so brilliant or physically impressive that we cannot connect with them. We are meant to admire them but at a distance. In Grant Davis, the title character from Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis, award-winning author Philip E. Barrington gives us someone different: a relatively ordinary man whose quiet life is turned upside down when his friends try to kill him. The book explores two questions: why, of course, but on a deeper level, what such a betrayal means for a person who had valued ethics, loyalty, and relationships.
“I chose to write Grant’s story because I wanted to inspire people who are struggling to believe that there is beauty in the midst of darkness. They just have to have the courage to see and embrace it,” says Philip E. Barrington. “It’s something that Grant must discover for himself as he goes on a profound journey around the world to save his life.”
Who Okayed This?!, which is based on some real events, details how one night a mysterious attacker injects Grant with a deadly toxin before vanishing and leaving him with more questions than answers. With his health rapidly deteriorating and his confidence in his friends and family shaken, Grant flies from country to country, gathering clues and staying one step ahead of corrupt authorities.
“Grant is just as baffled by these events as the reader is,” Philip E. Barrington says. “This is a guy that you would expect to be coaching a Little League baseball team, not trying to understand why people are determined to end his life. The world is suddenly a very different place for him and plays by no rules at all. It completely upends his perceptions of those around him and makes him question the meaning and purpose of his own life.”
Philip E. Barrington grew up in New York City, where he worked in the world of luxury goods at the Plaza in Manhattan. His own life was upended by a horrific accident when he was crushed between two cars. He remembers the bewilderment and disorientation that he felt when he woke up in a hospital bed.
“One moment, I had been just fine, and the next, I was wearing a Philadelphia collar around my neck, and I had two metal wrist-splints on both wrists and a cast from my right knee down to my toes,” Philip E. Barrington recalls. “I had concussion syndrome as well as multiple herniations in my neck and back, and the only way I could get around was by scooter.”
He says he learned very quickly who his true friends were, as many deserted him in his time of need. He was able to use that experience to make the emotions and reactions of Grant more realistic when he learns his friends are behind the attack.
“I was also very fortunate to cross paths with a woman who used a wheelchair due to a serious illness,” Philip E. Barrington reveals. “I was inspired by her full recovery, which she attributed to changing her diet and mindset. She was also a best-selling author, and this motivated me to begin writing my book.”
The ideas for Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis flew onto the page, and within a few years, he had created his first “faction” novel (a book that is based on some true events).
“In some ways, I had my own Grant Davis experience because of my accident,” Philip E. Barrington reflects. “Thankfully, I have made a full recovery, and I’m having a great time working on my second book as well as learning more about photography, cell physiology, and geo/bio physics.”
While Philip E. Barrington won’t give away what happens to Grant at the end of Who Okayed This?!, he emphasizes that his protagonist learns that his own peace must transcend his circumstances.
“That’s part of the beauty of Who Okayed This?!,” he believes. “Yes, it is a fun mystery that keeps you guessing until the final pages. More than that, however, it’s about the realization that no matter what is going down or how life might be falling apart around us, we can still remain hopeful and live our lives to the fullest.”
Read this article in full https://ventsmagazine.com/2023/02/23/a-new-kind-of-hero-who-okayed-this-the-riveting-life-of-grant-davis-by-philip-e-barrington/