Friday, July 14, 2023

Q&A with David Bell




David Bell is the author of the new novel Try Not to Breathe. His many other books include the young adult novel She's Gone. He is a professor of English at Western Kentucky University, and he lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


Q: What inspired you to write Try Not to Breathe, and how did you create the Rogers family?


A: My own family lacks the intense drama of the Rogers family--I promise--but I do have two older half-siblings (we have the same mom and are very close) so I likely found myself ruminating on how complicated family and sibling dynamics can be. Ultimately this is a story about siblings learning how much they really do care about each other regardless of blood or proximity.


Q: What do you think the novel says about family secrets?


A: Every family has secrets--it's just a matter of how deep and dark and complicated they are. And if they ever fully come out into the light of day. For purposes of writing a book, those secrets better be complicated and they better come out. 


Q: How was the novel's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: The title comes directly from the trauma that Avery suffered in the line of duty when she nearly drowned. She has an intense fear of water and--guess what?--the book forces her to face that fear in the most intense way possible. The book is about a lot of things, but it's a redemption story for Avery. And that intersects directly with her fear of water.


Q: The book is set against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality--why did you choose that topic to explore?


A: I think the issue of BLM and policing have been in the air for the past few years. In Kentucky where I live--and where the book is set--we had the Breonna Taylor case, so that's in the background of the story. I hope the books shows all sides of law enforcement. Most of the cops in the book are trying hard and doing their jobs well. But not all of them...


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Two books. One for young adults called The Midnight Driving Club. One for adults called Storm Warning. Stay tuned...


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: The Cincinnati Reds are in first place. Let's enjoy it while we can...


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with David Bell.

No comments:

Post a Comment