WKU professor prepares to release fifth book

Anna Roederer

WKU has its own hidden secret in the English department.

David Bell, an English professor, is also a published author whose fifth novel “Never Come Back” will be released on Oct. 1.

“Never Come Back” centers around the secrets uncovered through a graduate student’s quest to discover if her mother was murdered or died of natural causes.

“We don’t always know as much about the people close to us as we think we know,” Bell said. “People are not always who they seem to be.”

Bell said it was no coincidence that the age of the main character of “Never Come Back” is around the same age as the students he works with as an English professor.

As people grow up, they begin to grasp that their parents have had past experiences that have shaped who they are, Bell said. This realization tends to happen frequently in college.

“The more life experiences we have, the more we understand,” he said.

Kristie Lowry, literary outreach coordinator for WKU Libraries, has read and written reviews for all three of Bell’s books published by Penguin and said that the books keep getting better.

“One thing I like is that he weaves a good family drama in the books,” Lowry said.

Not only has Bell’s writing been influenced by his experience working with college students, but it’s also been enhanced as a result of his role as a professor.

Rather than distracting him from his writing, Bell believes teaching and writing go hand in hand.

“My own writing has improved as I find myself applying the same lessons to it,” Bell said.

Tom Hunley, an English professor, expressed admiration for Bell’s ability to balance both teaching and writing.

“It is amazing that Dr. Bell is as prolific as he is when he is teaching a full course load,” Hunley said.

While Bell balances teaching and writing, he is also known for his ability to straddle the line between popular fiction and literary fiction, Hunley said.

“We hired him on the strength of his first novel, ‘Condemned,’” Hunley said. “It is simultaneously for the masses, but also a serious social commentary about racism in an inner city.”

Lowry also expressed admiration for Bell’s talent as an author.

“I think WKU is really lucky to have an author of (Bell’s) caliber,” Lowry said.

Although he has always loved books, Bell did not become serious about writing until after college.

Since then he has published five books including, “Never Come Back.” In addition to writing four novels, Bell co-edited a book of short fiction in 2010.

“I’ve met a sort of milestone I have created for myself,” he said.

The book is now available in nearly every format, including e-readers, and at stores such as Barnes and Noble, Target and Amazon.

There will be an opportunity to meet Bell on Oct. 1 at 6:00 p.m. Bell will have a book reading and signing at the Warren County Public Library on State Street. The event will be held at the CEC Parish Hall next door to the Main Library.