The time it was about Kill All Your Darlings

Posted July 5, 2021 by Stacee in Interviews | 0 Comments

I’ve been on this thriller kick lately, so when I got the invitation to interview David Bell for his upcoming release Kill All Your Darlings, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.  I love love loved the premise and I can’t wait to dive into it.

Before we get to David’s answers, let’s check out the book.

Title: Kill All Your Darlings
Author: David Bell
Pages: 416
Pub Date: July 6, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Find it: PRH | Indiebound | Bookshop | Goodreads

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.

This is a suspenseful, provocative novel about the sexual harassment that still runs rampant in academia–and the lengths those in power will go to cover it up.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for Kill All Your Darlings.

A professor publishes a manuscript belonging to his dead student. The student turns up alive. The book contains details of an unsolved murder that only the killer could know. Things get worse from there.

2. Which came first: the characters or the plot line?

Character and situation always come first. I think of people then decide what horrible things are going to happen to them.

3. Why do you love Connor and why should readers root for him?

Connor has suffered tragedy in his life. And he’s made huge mistakes. He’s like all of us—struggling and flawed and grasping for the possibility of being better.

4. Were there any weird things you googled while researching?

Vintage scarves

5. Without spoilers, which scene was your favorite to write?

There is a scene on a bell tower. Fun times!

Speed(ish) round:

1. You find out you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

First, “This must be a mistake.” Then: “Where’s the beer? Let’s celebrate!”

2. What 3 things would you take to a desert island?

Fire, food, toilet paper

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

According to the internet—so it must be true—A CHRONICLE OF ANCIENT SUNLIGHT by Henry Williamson is the longest novel ever published in English. So that’s my choice.

4. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

“Don’t expect things to make sense.”

5. You wake up and discover that you are Bella in Twilight.  You know how it plays out.  What do you do differently?

I’d take immortality the moment it was offered. If not sooner.


David Bell is the USA Today-bestselling author of eleven novels from Berkley/Penguin, including KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS and CEMETERY GIRL He is a professor of English at Western Kentucky University where he co-founded and directs the MFA program in creative writing. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he spends his free time rooting for the Reds and Bengals, watching movies, and walking in the cemetery near his house. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his wife, writer Molly McCaffrey. website | instagram | twitter


Huge thanks to Berkley for the opportunity and to David for taking the time.  Kill All Your Darlings is out tomorrow and the pre-order links are above.

Have you read this book? Do you plan to?

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