Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pro-File: David Jack Bell

David Jack Bell is the author of THE CONDEMNED and THE GIRL
IN THE WOODS. His short fiction has appeared in or is
forthcoming from Cemetery Dance, Western Humanities Review,
Shock Totem, and Backwards City Review. He is an Assistant
Professor of English at Western Kentucky University in
Bowling Green, Kentucky and can be reached through his
website at

Pro-File: David Jack Bell

1. Tell us about your current novel (or project).

My latest release is THE GIRL IN THE WOODS from Delirium
Books. It's a thriller about the disappearances of two young
women twenty-five years apart. As my protagonist--a former
police officer named Diana Greene--investigates and unravels
the details of the disappearances, she finds that there is
much more to the story of what happened to these women than
meets the eye.

2. Can you give asense of what you're working on now?

Two novels are coming--one is called TOWN WATCH, the sequel
to my first novel, THE CONDEMNED. The other is a thriller
with the tentative title CEMETERY GIRL. It deals with a
father whose daughter disappears at the age of twelve and
suddenly shows up again at the age of sixteen but is
unwilling to tell anyone where she has been or what she was
doing. I'm also co-editing an anthology with my wife--the
writer Molly McCaffrey--called COMMUTABILTY for Main Street
Rag Press. It features stories from Ed Gorman, Tom
Monteleone, Scott Nicholson, and many others. I'll also have
short fiction of my own in future issues of CEMETERY DANCE

3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?

Creating people and worlds out of my imagination. The
neverending quest to get better. The satisfaction of seeing
my work in print--or having someone tell me how much they
enjoyed something I've written.

4. What is the greatest DISpleasure?
The uncertainty. It's a time consuming job, and few of us
ever know if what we work on will see the light of day. I
think most writers live with the fear that the last thing
they've published will be the last thing they ever publish
due to shifting tastes and the challenges of the
marketplace. Then again, the uncertainty can be exciting in
its own way. And it beats a real job.

5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what
is it?

Take more chances on new writers and help them build
careers. Be patient and let writers--and books--find
audiences. It doesn't always happen overnight. Spend less
money on the latest celebrity or political memoir and spend
more money on good fiction of all kinds and genres.

6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to
see in print again?

Anything by Karl Edward Wagner or Michael McDowell who are
criminally out of print. The non-McGee novels of John D. MacDonald.

7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never
forget that moment.

THE CONDEMNED is an expansion of a long short story I
published in the late, great journal THE EDGE, TALES OF
SUSPENSE. Greg Gifune was the editor there, and then he went
to work for Delirium Books and asked me if I had ever
thought of turning the story into a novel. Of course I had!
We went through several rounds of revisions, and one day
Greg left a message on my voicemail at work saying he wanted
to "talk about the manuscript some more." I thought he
either wanted more revisions, or he was going to tell me it
just wasn't going to happen right now. Instead, he told me
they were taking the book. I nearly fell out of my chair.

1 comment:

Janis Gore said...

Off-topic, but I remember enjoying the "World According to Garp" back when I was 21, but "Last Night on Twisted River" by John Irving got on my nerves.

Do writers go to the Iowa Workshop then live with a celebration of "being a writer" for the rest of their lives?