I was a free lance writer. So was Hemingway. So was Shakespeare. And many others. I lived wholly from my writing. I wrote countless magazine articles and stories. I wrote 28 books. Always I demanded the highest fees I could get, becoming in the end what counts as a rich writer. Most writers spend most of their lives locked in small rooms typing. I refused to live like that. Throughout I have tried to manage my career in a different way, call it my way, if you like. I know no other professional writer who can say this. Year after year I chose to plunge down every road that opened before me, often heedlessly. I started life as the Football Giants' press agent, the first they had ever had and the first job I had ever had, six seasons, even as I wrote many stories and two novels no one would publish. Later I wrote a novel based on the Giants and on players I had known. I was six years a New York Times foreign correspondent in Europe, and later wrote a novel about that. Much later I served as an NYPD Deputy Commissioner, ducking under the yellow tape to get as close to the crime scenes as possible, and I wrote a number novels based on that. I wrote also about bull fighting, opera, grand prix racing, France, wine, treasure diving, for I plunged into all those worlds as well, plunged all the way to the end if possible, where I stood around gawking for a time, then wrote as accurately as I could, whether in fiction or non-fiction about what I had found. There is a price exacted of those who ignore traffic signs. I paid it in fear, defeat, humiliation, even in lawsuits. But other times I reaped an incredible profusion of excitement and delight - money too. To keep my enthusiasm high, I had to keep discovering new worlds, new people, for otherwise writing is hard, hard, hard, sometimes impossible. There were so many strange doors out there, all of them strangely ajar, at least to a writer. One had only to lean a little and they would open and whatever was behind them would be revealed. It's all in this book. This is my story.
Used availability for Robert Daley's Writing on the Edge
February 2014 : USA Paperback
January 2014 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition