Saturday, November 12, 2011


The term "gumshoe" comes from the early athletic footwear, aka, sneakers, which were called that because the soft rubber soles allowed for a quiet walk. Back in the day when most folks wore shoes with leather soles and heels, clumping across a hard surface produced a certain amount of noise. Hard to steal up on somebody in your #12 cowboy boot on a wooden floor.

Gumshoes thus came to represent private eyes, who were into stealth.

In my misspent youth, I was a private eye. I did it for about five years, starting in Los Angeles working for a big agency, then opening my own business when I moved back to Louisiana. 

Mostly, it's not like they depict it on TV or in the movies or in those hardboiled detective novels; however, it does have its moments, the business, and I had a few. Some were exciting, some funny, and those are fond memories. 

I've spoken to a couple of those here in passing, but I've always wanted to do a memoir of my time in that realm, and while I certainly don't have any room on my plate at the moment, what with the books I already have piled up there, the first of which is due in about six weeks, I'm going to crank the back-burner up and get it cooking anyway.

Stay tuned.


J.D. Ray said...

Interesting. I always thought (with no basis) that "gumshoe" was because private eyes followed people, and stuck to them like gum on their shoe.

Say what you will, I kind of like my explanation... :)

Jim said...

Please finish Siblings of the Shroud before this. I enjoyed all the Matador novels, but think The Musashi Flex is the best thing you've written. At this point I think I've read about 3/4 of your novels. A lot of them lost over the years. So I'm stocking up on digital now.

I take it you'd prefer readers buying from Dan's store?

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, Dan's place is the market-of-choice.

I have to write them as the spirit moves me, deadlines excepted. The new Matador books are labors of love, I'm doing them for what will amount to a relatively-few fans. They are going to be ebooks only, unless the buyers want to take the POD file somewhere and get it printed. I'm going to try to get one of them done between the first Cutter's Wars and the second, and I expect the gumshoe book will be back-burnered behind that, but you never know. Got to go with the flow.

("Gumshoe" as a word probably comes from the old term "gum rubber," sometimes used to note the difference between the latex obtained naturally from trees and artificial rubber.)