David Bell is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 novels, including his latest, Kill All Your Darlings (Berkley/Penguin 2021). He is a professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY.
Kill All Your Darlings
After years of struggling to write following the deaths of his wife and son, English professor Connor Nye publishes his first novel, a thriller about the murder of a young woman. There’s just one problem: Connor didn’t write the book. His missing student did. And then she appears on his doorstep, alive and well, threatening to expose him.
Connor’s problems escalate when the police insist details in the novel implicate him in an unsolved murder from two years ago. Soon Connor discovers the crime is part of a disturbing scandal on campus and faces an impossible dilemma–admit he didn’t write the book and lose his job or keep up the lie and risk everything. When another murder occurs, Connor must clear his name by unraveling the horrifying secrets buried in his student’s manuscript.
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Mystery, murder and plagiarism set in the realm of academia, Kill All Your Darlings is diabolically twisty with an absolutely ingenious plot. A tortured English professor who can’t write. A tragic backstory. A stolen manuscript. This is suspense writing at its finest… Read full review
Author’s Corner – Interview with David Bell
Thanks so much for being on Author’s Corner! Can you tell us one funny, quirky thing about you, something most people might not know? An interesting hobby or funny habit, something so readers can get to know the person behind the author.
I was born in the same city as Charles Manson (Cincinnati, Ohio) and attended the same college as cult leader Jim Jones (Indiana University). Not bad for someone who wants to write thrillers.
What was the very first thing—ever—that you remember writing?
When I was pretty young, maybe eight years old, I wrote a story about a ship getting sucked into a whirlpool and emerging in a world where there were still dinosaurs. It was a complete rip-off of the TV movie The Last Dinosaur which I saw around that time.
As a thriller author, what scares you? Do you ever find yourself scared by what you’ve written?
I’m certainly scared of needles. Every year when I have to have blood drawn for my check-up I whimper like a child. And when I screw up my courage and have it done, there’s no lollipop. No balloon. Needles are much scarier than anything I’ve written.
Who is your favorite crime hero or detective?
There are so many to choose from, but I would pick two—Spenser by Robert B Parker and Easy Rawlins by Walter Mosley.
What are some authors you draw inspiration from and/or are some of the book(s) that you’ve read and loved recently?
There are so many great mysteries and thrillers being written today—and so many of the authors are friends of mine—that I know I’ll leave out some good ones. But a few I’ve recently enjoyed have been: The Next Wife by Kaira Rouda, Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby, and Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury.
How has the pandemic affected your writing or writing schedule?
Early on, it was tough to concentrate. A lot of news was coming at all of us quickly, and I found myself obsessively reading everything in the paper and online. I managed to push that aside as much as I could because I had a looming deadline. Writers have to be good at compartmentalizing, and we were all tested during the last year and a half.
Writing Kill All Your Darlings
Let’s talk about your book Kill All Your Darlings. Can you tell my readers a little about it?
When a creative writing professor’s student disappears and is presumed dead, he passes off her manuscript as his own only to learn it implicates him in an unsolved murder.
How do we first meet your main character, college professor Conor Nye, and how did he grow and evolve as you wrote?
When we first meet him, he’s doing pretty well. His first book has been published, and he’s trying very hard to emerge from the fog of grief he’s been in for five years since he lost his wife and son in an accident. Things pretty quickly go south when the student he plagiarized from turns up alive and well. During the course of the book, Connor has to learn about the massive implications of his theft. He comes close to losing everything. Again.
You’re a college professor as well. Did your experience affect the creation or development of this character?
Sure. I’ve been teaching creative writing at the university-level for sixteen years now, so Connor’s world is very familiar to me. I understand the pressures he’s under. I will go on record and say I’ve never stolen one of my student’s books. Not even from one of the talented ones.
Describe Kill All Your Darlings in three words.
Suspenseful, timely, surprising.
What do you think readers will love about this book?
Kill All Your Darlings attempts to do two things. It’s trying to be a fast-paced, entertaining thriller, and it’s trying to shed light on the topic of the sexual harassment of students by professors in academia. I hope that blend is unique and entertains while it enlightens.
What was your favorite part of writing it?
The characters run the gamut—from the innocent to the guilty. From the everyday to the monstrous. I enjoyed bringing all of these characters to life and setting them loose in this world to see what they’d do to each other. And to find out who survived.
Where did the idea for Kill All Your Darlings come from?
For years I’ve wanted to set a book in academia and explore the complicated relationship between writing professor and student. I tried a couple of different times and couldn’t get it right. Finally, this version of the story clicked and now we have Kill All Your Darlings.
What’s Next For You?
Are you working on a new book? Can you tell my readers a little about it, a blurb, potential release date, etc?
My next book, The Finalists, is about six college juniors who get locked in a creepy house on the campus of a small college in order to compete for a massive scholarship given by an eccentric and wealthy donor. Spoiler alert—some people end up dead. It should be out in the summer of 2022.
Get In Touch
David loves connecting with readers. You can get in touch with him at:
269 Reviews for David Bell
Adding Kill All Your Darlings to my TBR list and The Finalists sounds amazing as well!
Thank you so much for the chance. I love both of your books.
What a great interview. I would love to read this book. The new book you also talked about sounds fantastic!
Kill All Your Darlings sounds like the type of book I like, and I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m already curious about what Connor decides to do!
I am so excited to read Kill All Your Darlings. I binge read The Layover. I would love to see your books adapted to the big screen.
Kill all your Darlings sounds fascinating! Great interview! I will definitely add this book to my collection!
Love all of his books- this one sounds great, too!
Thank you for the interview. This was very good and I can’t wait to read the book
Thank you for the chance
I can’t wait to read this book!
“Kill All Your Darlings” sounds intriguing and suspenseful, and would love to find out the “surprising” (as per David Bell) part of it! Thank you for the giveaway.
This book sounds really good, adding to my list!
Love the plot of this book! Great interview. I wonder how one teaches creative writing
Thank you! 🙂
Thank you for the chance to get a real book in my hands again…It sounds amazing!
Can’t wait to read this one!!!
Can’t wait to read this. Looks so good.
Whoa this sounds twisted and I love it! I’m definitely going to add this to my TBR pile.
Sounds great – can’t wait to read it!
This book sounds great! Great interview.
I really enjoy David’s books! Thank you!!!
I’ve been wanting to read Kill All Your Darlings! Definitely going to get my hand on it!
On my TBR list!
Looking forward to giving this a read
Great interview! KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS is at the top of my Want To Read pile!
Thank you, Carla! 🙂
Definitely want to read this book!
This sounds so good, the relationships between teachers and students… someone give the man a lollipop when he gets his shot like a big boy!! 😉
Sounds like a great book! I’m on a mission to read more this year and will certainly read this, especially as it is recommended by Christina McDonald (who is an awesome writer).
Sounds absolutely fascinating! Maybe a type of foreshadowing being connected a small way to Charles Mason and Jim Jones?
It sounds amazing! David Bell seems to be quite a character himself! Would love to read this book.
This book sounds so great..I would love to win a copy!!
Sounds a great read , thanks for the interview
This book sounds like quite a roller coaster ride. I’m looking forward to reading it. His upcoming book appears to be another hit too. I’ve spent my life in Ohio and had forgotten about the Manson onnetion to Incinnati.
Wow, I’m excited about Kill All Your Darlings and The Finalists! Both sound great.
Looking forward to reading this one!
Sounds like a good one!
I heard this read on First Chapter Fun, and cannot wait to read it!
This sounds really suspenseful–which is so much better than just “scary” or “thrilling”, to me! And the title has a double-entrendre for writers, which is kind of fun.
I look forward to reading this book.
This book and your next sound fantastic. Right up my alley. Which is really an odd saying. Ha
Adding both to my list!
I was hooked when I read the premise of this book because how do you steal a book from someone without confirming that they are truly dead. And how did it escape your notice that this person is a killer. This is so up my alley.
I’m already signed up. Sounds like another winner of a book. Thank you for the opportunity.
This sounds really good, as does his next book. I’ll have to add this author to my watch list.
Just added to my list!
Loved the interview! This is already on my tbr cant wait to read it! Davids books are so good!
This sounds AWESOME!!
This book sounds so good and I can’t wait to read it! Love his books and he’s a favorite of mine!
That sounds good!
Sounds like a story I would love to read! I love your books Christina Ive read them all!
That means so much to me, Linda, thank you! 🙂
I have read all of David’s books, never disappointed. Can’t wait for this one! Would make a great read on my vacation
Added to the to read list!!
Can’t wait to read it. The interview was awesome and I learned a lot.
Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book. It’s one already on my tbr so it would be awesome to win a copy!
Sounds like another hit title!
Great interview!! I can’t wait to read David’s new book!!! Thank you for the chance!!
This is on my TBR.
This sounds so interesting and I would love to read it.
i’ve been wanting to read this book. definitely on my tbr
This was so interesting. I would love to read this book!
I love the premise and the setting for this book. Looking forward to reading it, regardless of whether I win it or not.
Sounds great! Added to my list.
Adding this to my reading list.
This sounds amazing! Adding to my TBR!
Great interview! This book sounds so juicy!
Love, love, love mysteries/thrillers.
Thank you, Christina
Looking forward to reading this!
I added Kill All Your Darlings to my TBR. Can’t wait to read it.
It’s already on my TBR list! Looking forward to it even more now!
So excited to read All Your Little Darlings. Thank you for the opportunity.
The story David mentioned he wrote as a kid reminds me also of the show ‘Valley of the Dinosaurs’!
I was ahead of my time!
I would Love to win these books..yeahh
Excited! Cannot wait to read!!
Love his book! This one sounds so good!
Can’t wait to read this one ..sounds amazing
I love the premise of this story and I am looking forward to reading it! This will be my first David Bell book.
This looks so good. Adding to my TBR!
This one has been in my TBR for a while, I can’t wait to check it out!
I love the author’s precise description of the book…
Suspenseful, timely, surprising.
Thanks you for the opportunity to win your book! This book sounds so intriguing!
Wow! Sounds like an on the edge of my seat read!
Reasons I want to read Kill Your Darlings
1) love David Bell
B) it fulfills one of my book challenges
And now I really, really want to read his next book after his description.
Interesting storyline for a thriller, adding this to my list.
I am adding this to my reading list! Looks really good!
Wow! Sounds like a great book, can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the opportunity!
Wow, can’t wait to read. Risking everything to save your career is risky!
Thank you so much for the opportunity! Either way —- can’t wait to read!
This sounds great! Can’t wait to read it!
Sounds so good!
I’m in a reading binge phase and this sounds like a great story. Thank you for the chance!
This should be good! Can’t wait to read it.
thanks for the chance!
thanks for the chance
I would love to read this novel. I read few other books by David Bell and he never disappoints.
Can’t wait to read this! Thanks for the wonderful opportunity!
I hope I get to read this book. It sounds really awesome!
Read quite a few of his books and I always love them
Kill All Your Darlings sounds great and so does your next book The Finalists. Adding both to my tbr list!
I love his books and this one sounds like another good one
It sounds like something that would keep me turning the pages
Added to my TBR list!!!
This sounds like a really thrilling book to read!! Thank you for the chance!!
Sounds like a good book
Love David Bell!!
Sounds like a great read.
I have been wanting to read this David book .
Can’t wait to read the newest David Bell thriller!!
David Bell s one of my favorite authors and Id love to win this new book!He s such an outstanding, not spoke about enough author.
What a great interview. I would love to read this book. The new book you also talked about sounds fantastic
Sounds like a good one!
Definitely adding this one to my TBR list!! I love discovering new authors!
Wow! Sounds like a real page turner! Will keep this on my radar.
The reviews are off the charts!!! I can’t wait to see what the hype is about!! 😍
Every title I have read by David Bell has been a wonderful story. I always get immersed into the story and can’t wait to turn that page! I thank my friend for sharing his work with me and I look forward to reading more.
Sounds like an amazing read!
Can’t wait to read this one! All Bell’s books are amazing!!!
Excited for this read
Not much of a fan of needles my self. Great interview. Your next book sounds really great too.
Thank you for the Giveaway
This looks so good!!
Looking forward to reading this book! The Request was the first David Bell book I read and now I read every one of his I can get my hands on! He never disappoints! Really enjoyed reading your interview with him!
Kill All Your Darlings sounds SO good and I can’t wait to read it!
Sounds very good! Will add it to my list. I have the request currently sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
I can’t wait to read this book!
Needles is a common answer! I work in dental – love the patients that say they are scared of needles while sporting several tattoos 😜. Can’t wait to read your book!
I am now very excited to read this book!
This book has been on my list to get/read! Thanks for the chance!
I have been anticipating the release of this book. It sounds SO good. I get David Bell’s emails and follow him on FB but I have to be honest. I have never read one of his books. I do not know why I just find him thrilling to follow. I DO have to Read Kill All Your Darlings
This was an informative and great interview, thank you!!! Another book added to my list 🙂
I so much enjoyed reading The Invisible Girl by David Bell. This books is on my TBR list. Thank you for the chance!!
Kill All Your Darlings is one of my most anticipated reads of the summer and it looks like The Finalists will be high on my list for summer 2022! Such an interesting interview! Thanks for the chance! 🙂
I love David Bell’s books! This one sounds awesome and I would live to win!
I’m so excited to hear about The Finalists! I’m always happy to have new books to look forward to.
Sounds really good!
This interview was quite interesting. I thought it especially unique the author is a college professor and this book is also about a college and kudos to David for taking on the topic of sexual harassment in academia.
Sounds interesting! Adding to my TBR list.
Added to my tbr! Sounds right up my street!
Wow…what a great plot for a book! It sounds amazing!!
It sounds like a good one. I’d love a chance to win a copy. Thanks!
Sounds like a thrilling read! Adding to my TBR!!
Love a good plot twister! Looking forward to reading this.
I have a couple of David’s books in my TBR pile and must say Kill All Your Darlings sounds like the perfect summer read & would perhaps get me out of my reading funk! Thanks for the opportunity 🤞
Ooh I love that it’s fast paced, thriller. I’ve read 1 if his books and it sucked me in right away !
This sounds great!
Eeeee! Exciting! 🙂
This book sounds really amazing and good. Always love a good thriller book to keep me hooked
I’ve been waiting for this one!
On my list of want to reads already as it sounds like a a good one! The new one also sounds like one to add. Thanks for this chance!
Interesting premise. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. 😊
Full of intrigue, piqued my interest.
Dont you love a secret that comes back to haunt you, would love to win a copy of this
This looks like another captivating read by David Bell. Would love the opportunity to win! Thank you
I would love to read and review this it sounds amazing
I really look forward to this read!
Looking forward to reading this one!
Wow this sounds brilliant and right up my street!
On my list to read!!
Welll a new author for me but this book sounds really good, I like that it’s an original setting and mix. Straight on my #wishlist.
Sounds like a great book! I’m adding it to my TBR pile!
This sounds a great read. Thanks for your interview with David
it keeps you on your seat wanting too read it fast as you can
David Bell is a very talented author and his new book sounds like a very captivating, intriguing thriller that I would love to read. Thank you for the chance.
Love the title! Cannot wait to read!
Loved the interview. This is a new author to me. This book sounds amazing!
I’m planning on reading this book – the premise is very interesting to me. Firsttime reader!
His books are so good. Thank you kindly
I’m adding Kill All Your Darlings to my ‘to read’ list! Thank you for the opportunity to win an advance copy.
Kill All Your Darlings is at the top of my TBR list!! I can’t wait!!
I’ve read a lot abut this book and can’t wait to read it. Great interview!
Sounds very good. Not fan of needles either…
This book sounds like a great read!
Can’t wait to read
This sounds fantastic! Interesting storyline.
David Bell’s book sounds fantastic. I’m putting it in my to read list!
Sounds great. Can’t wait to read
I have seen Kill All Your Darlings all over bookstagram. Looking forward to reading it soon.
Great interview and another great book
I have seen so many rave reviews for this book that I so want to read it.
Your new book sounds so interesting. Can’t wait to read it.
Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
Keep them coming.
I love the story line! I’ll definitely add it to my list!
I love these interviews and cannot wait to read this book! Thank you.
I read Kill All Your Darlings for Netgalley and loved it so much that I purchased my own copy. The suspense built throughout the book and the ending was a real surprise.
This book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win it.
Looks like such a great read!
I love these interviews, they are very informative and excited to read his book……thanks so much for this opportunity.
That means so much to me, thank you! 🙂
Sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to read his newest!
Both of his new books sound really good!
Great interview. I look forward to reading this book.
Love a good mystery!
It must be hard to think of a new take on a psychological thriller but this sounds like an original idea to be explored.
This sounds like a great read!
Looking forward to this one!!
Oh wow, this sounds great! I love finding new authors that write suspense/thrillers. Going to add this to my Goodreads list.
This sounds amazing!
This sounds like a great read! I am adding to my TBR pile immediately.. Great interview with David as well.
Would love to win! Enjoy Mr Bell’s stories.
Sounds so good!
Would love to read this!
I have purchased many of David Bell’s books and would love to add this one to my collection, after reading of course!
Adding to my to be read list!!
Looks intriguing! What a great interview as well! Can’t wait to read it, have a great day!
This book looks really good. Thank you for the interview.
Adds to wishlist… this sounds amazing especially about the student showing up alive and well..
Thanks for the cahnce!
Both books sound great! I would love to win either or both!
Wow after reading this I defiantly need to check out this book! It sounds like a wild ride!
Sounds so good
David Bell is one of my favorite authors that I found on a whim at the library. I can’t wait to read this book. It’s on my TBR list.
I would absolutely love to read these books! Thank you for the chance.
I can’t wait for your next book to be published!
I am soo excited to read this book!
Great interview! I loved his very first writing at age 8! LOL
Sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance!
I’ve heard such good things about this book!
As an avid Suspense/thriller reader, this is on my TBR list!
sounds so good!
Great interview. I’m adding this to me tbr list!
SOOOO looking forward to reading Kill All Your Darlings! Great interview!
SOOOO looking forward to reading Kill All Your Darlings! Adding to my TBR list!
I unfortunately acted too late to get an ARC of this some time ago and haven’t bought a copy yet. Love books that are either set in academia or use academia as a jumping off point. Even though it has been over a year since I read it, I still think about Layne Fargo’s They Never Learn.
I’ve never read any of his books but this one sounds awesome. Would love the chance to read it.
This story sounds really good!
Adding this to my list! Great interview!
This would be a great summer read.. I look forward to reading the book!!
Great interview! Kill All Your Darlings sounds phenomenal 👏🙌😁
I just finished reading David Bell’s Cemetery Girl. So it was great to read of his next book! Can’t wait!
Looking forward to reading it.
Can’t wait to read this!
Love David’s books! Great interview!!
I can’t wait to read this book. My list keeps growing.
Sounds like a great book!
I would love to win. This books looks great.
Thank you for the opportunity
I’m looking for a new thriller to read. Sounds good!
I love a good thriller!!