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In a Whirl of Delusion

a novel by J.R. Greenwell

With the help of a big-hearted team of misfits, Chester Davis, a tall, gawky refugee from the Morning Glory Trailer Park in Birmingham, is transformed into Daphne DeLight, an aspiring drag queen with the delusional quest of becoming the next Miss Gay Drag Queen Alabama. Or is it? Both Chester and Daphne are blessed with an inspirational naivety and ambition that won’t surrender to any humiliation. Quirky, clever, and infused with a Southern gothic campiness, In a Whirl of Delusion is a marvelous series of misadventures on a road toward love and fame.



About the author


J.R. (John) Greenwell, author and playwright from Nelson County, KY, and a graduate of the University of Louisville, is the published author of Who the Hell is Rachel Wells? (Chelsea Station Editions, 2013), as well as a variety of LGBTQ themed short stories, many published in the Saints and Sinners Anthologies. His memoir, Teased Hair and the Quest for Tiaras was completed in 2011.  In the Seventies, J.R. was a featured entertainer at the Sweet Gum Head, the legendary showplace of the South in Atlanta, Georgia.


Praise for Who the Hell is Rachel Wells?

“It’s impossible to resist the adorable appeal of the collective world Greenwell has created on page, populated with larger-than-life characters who are each worthy of a novel of their own. He has crafted a memorable collection of short stories that will certainly establish him as a powerful new voice in Southern literature.”

—David-Matthew Barnes, Lambda Literary

“Winning, witty, and wise. Greenwell has a talent for creating immediately recognizable yet slightly weird around the edges characters, and he puts them through some wonderfully silly paces as well as some heartbreaking ones. His prose is admirably restrained, conveying a great deal yet never sounding overwritten. But it’s his characters that shine and sparkle like sequins in the spotlight. If you’re looking for a light read that has some substance behind its humor, you’ll hardly go wrong with this collection.”

Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print

“Eleven clever and engaging stories based in small Southern towns, some sweet and emotional, most amusing and often full of campy bitchiness! The stories are character-driven, with a diverse cast that includes drag queens with attitudes to reckon with, clueless parents trying to deal with their “fabulous” kids, criminals without a lick of common sense, and men “coming out” late in life. This is a home run for this first-time talented author, and a Southern-fried treat for his readers. Five stars out of five!”

—Bob Lind, Echo

“A slew of bizarre stories, some hilarious, some heartrending, and almost all of them as original as an Ionesco play with a good dose of David Lynch trompe l’oeil thrown in. Today’s gay literature needs more voices from Greenwell’s South, and here’s hoping Who the Hell is Rachel Wells? has called them out of the wilderness.”

Kyle Thomas Smith, Edge

“If you haven't picked up a copy of Who the Hell is Rachel Wells? yet, then allow me to tell you that you should.”

—’Nathan Burgoine, reviewer and author of Light

Who the Hell is Rachel Wells? is a collection of eleven short stories about being gay in the South and I loved each of them... Greenwell gives us a wonderful cast of characters with heart and we laugh and cry with them. Written with wit and emotion, we are taken into the world of Southern drag queens and feel what they feel as they navigate life.”

—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen



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Read more about J.R.Greenwell and Rachel Wells