David Bell is the USA Today bestselling author of nine novels and an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University, where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. He won the prestigious Prix Polar International de Cognac for best crime novel by an international author. He sometimes dreams about playing shortstop for the Reds, and enjoys walking in the cemetery near his house in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, Joshua meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their flights, Morgan gets up to leave, leans over and passionately kisses Joshua, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.
Shortly after she’s left, Joshua looks up and is shocked to see Morgan’s face flashing on a nearby TV screen. What follows is a smart, tantalizingly tense thriller that you’ll want to read all in one go—perfect, unsurprisingly, for while you’re on an airplane.
A suspense-filled, fast-paced book that had me flipping the pages to find out what was going to happen. Layover is entertaining storytelling at its best.
Author’s Corner – interview with David Bell
Tell me a little about the quirky, philosophical you that your readers might not know.
I love watching movies and TV. I love listening to the Cincinnati Reds on the radio, even though they lose more than they win these days. In fact, if I weren’t a writer I’m convinced I’d be playing shortstop for the Reds. I mean…except for my complete lack of baseball talent.
I also like cemeteries. The best are peaceful and beautiful. The one by my house is older and has a lot of trees and flowers. It’s a great place to walk at any time of year.
In addition to being a successful author, you’re an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University and direct the MFA program in creative writing there. How do you balance these two sides of your life and how do you find the time to do both?
The two sides fit together pretty well. I have to publish to be a professor, and I have some nice breaks that give me time to write. Also, I spend all my time at work talking about writing and stories, so it all connects in a fortunate way.
Your books are known for their twists and the high suspense you weave into your stories. How do you find such great ideas for your twists and how do you create such complex, compelling characters?
I make a pretty detailed outline before I begin writing the book. The outline allows me to work out all the twists and turns and character motivations and make sure everything fits together. Inevitably things change once I write the book, and I really like those surprises that occur in the writing process. I figure if I’m surprised then everyone else will be surprised too.
What is your favourite book you’ve written and why?
That’s a tough question, but I like to think I’m getting better as I get older. All the books are different, so readers can take their pick. I suggest everyone read them all and then choose!
Stranded on a tropical island, what would be your top three books to have with you?
I guess I’d want to bring along books that were long and complex so I could occupy myself as long as possible. How about War and Peace, Middlemarch, and something called How to Stop Reading Long Books and Escape from a Tropical Island.
How has being a bestselling author changed things for you? Do you still write the same, or is there more pressure now?
Writing the books is always basically the same. It’s a writer alone with a story. The rest of the stuff doesn’t matter. My day-to-day life hasn’t changed that much. Every morning I wake up thinking the elves have visited over night and written the book for me. They haven’t showed up yet.
Let’s talk about your newest book, Layover. What inspired it?
Layover was inspired by something I observed in the Nashville airport. A couple across from me in a bar were having an intimate conversation. Suddenly, the woman stood up, kissed the man, grabbed her bags, and left. After she was gone, I heard the man say to the bartender, “That was the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me. I just met that woman, we had a drink, and now she’s gone.” I knew there had to be a story there.
What did you enjoy most about writing it?
The thing I enjoyed the most was what I always enjoy the most–figuring out the various twists and turns and trying very hard to stay one step ahead of the reader.
What’s next for David?
Are you working on a new book? Can you tell my readers a little about it, a blurb, potential release date, etc? Where did you get the idea?
I’m currently working on my next novel about a guy who agrees to retrieve incriminating evidence from a house on behalf of his friend. When he gets inside, he finds a dead body on the floor…and sirens approaching. It gets worse from there.
Get in touch
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