Jen: Today we welcome David Bell to Romancing the Book. David, will you share a short bio for us.
David: David Bell is an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He received an MA in creative writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Ph.D. in American Literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. Visit him online at www.davidbellnovels.com
Jen: Tell us about your newest release.
David: Since She Went Away released on June 21, 2016. Here’s the blurb:
When Jenna Barton received the text message from her lifelong best friend, Celia Walters, with a single request—‘Want to meet in the park at 12?’—she jumped at the chance to re-live some old high school fun. Jenna was running late to meet Celia that night. But Celia never arrived—and hasn’t been seen since.
Now, three months later, the only piece of evidence in Celia’s disappearance is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet. The media has descended upon their small Kentucky town, dubbing Celia “The Diamond Mom,” and the police are no closer to finding out what happened since that unfortunate evening. It’s as if Celia disappeared into thin air. And Jenna, racked with guilt and hounded by a sensationalistic cable news personality, spends her down time obsessively scouring online message boards devoted to missing persons cases. No one is closer to finding Celia, and neither is Jenna closer to letting go of that horrible night.
But when Jenna’s son Jared’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived to town with secrets of her own—also disappears, Jenna wonders if the two cases are connected and tries unwind the tangled truth behind this latest tragedy and what happened to Celia. As long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how a few simple lies can completely shatter lives.
Jen: What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
David: I’ve always read a lot. I always wanted to write but was probably too afraid to try. Between my junior and senior years of college, I realized I needed to pick a career path unless I wanted to live in my parents attic until I was forty, so I decided to finally try to write. It took a long time from there, but that started me down the road.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
David: Since there are teenagers in the book, I had to know what kids do and talk about today. Being a teenager is universal for the most part, but some of the details change. I had to do my usual digging into missing persons cases and police techniques, but that feels more like fun and not research.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
David: So many things. Books, movies, friends, family. But the most influential writers would be Elmore Leonard, Harlan Coben, and Ed Gorman.
Jen: If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
David: Shakespeare. What a mind, what an imagination, what an understanding of human psychology.
Jen: What’s been the highlight of your career to this point?
David: The biggest highlight is making it as a writer. It’s getting paid to do what I love and managing to keep it going year after year. Survival is the highlight.