David Bell is the author of the new novel Somebody's Daughter. His other novels include Bring Her Home and Since She Went Away. He is an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University, and he lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Somebody's Daughter, and for the Frazier family?
A: It began with the notion of a starter marriage, those very brief marriages that some people--including me--have in their twenties. What if that person, who you thought you'd left way in the past, suddenly showed up again and said you were still connected in a way you couldn't have imagined?
Q: You tell the story from the alternating perspectives of Angela, her husband Michael, and a detective working on the case. Did you write the chapters in the order in which they appear, or did you move things around as you wrote?
A: I pretty much wrote it in order, going from one character to the other. I know during the revision process I moved some things around, but I was working from an outline that kept me pretty much on target.
Q: The story's action takes place within a day. What are some of the issues involved in plotting a novel that takes place over such a short time?
A: Most people's lives aren't this exciting. Not that much happens to most of us in one day. So I had to make sure there was enough happening, and I always had to remember where everybody was and when and what they were doing.
Q: Who are some of your favorite writers?
A: Too many to mention, and I always worry I'll leave someone out. But some excellent thriller writers are JT Ellison, Jessica Strawser, Lisa Unger, Kimberly S Belle, Kate Moretti, Heather Gudenkauf, Mary Kubica, Tom Hunt, Larry Sweazy, Nina Laurin.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I'm working on a new novel...about a man who has a brief encounter with a mysterious woman in an airport. And then finds out the crazy secret she's on the run from.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I once stood at a urinal next to Norman Mailer. Now that's pretty cool, isn't it?
--Interview with Deborah Kalb