Novelist Dave Cole joins me today to chat about his new young adult paranormal, The Window.
Dave is from St. Louis and has a degree in Computer Science. He is the author of The Math Kids series for middle grade readers. When he is not designing data center management software, he is usually reading, writing, or coaching elementary school math teams. He loves writing and his wife loves that he has found a hobby that doesn’t cost money!
Welcome, Dave. Please tell us about your current release.
A dark window to the future…
Everything changed the day Brian Bingham looked out the attic window and saw something that wouldn’t happen for another week. Through a mysterious window no one else can see, Brian gains a portal into the future. But the future is not always something he wants to see.
Brian has enough troubles in the present without worrying about the future. His parents are constantly fighting, his grades are plummeting, and his new relationship with Charlotte, a girl way out of his league, is in jeopardy.
When the window accurately predicts his best friend’s brutal death, it becomes a battle between him and the window. It’s Brian the window wants, offering him an escape from everything. But the escape might be permanent…
What inspired you to write this book?
My office window looks out on the street in front of my house. One day I heard the screech of brakes and looked up just in time to see a car barely miss hitting a kid riding his bike. That got me thinking about what would have happened if the car hadn’t missed, which led me to thinking about having the power to change what I just saw. That thought stuck in my head for months and I finally began to write a story about a window that allowed a boy to see into the future. When he sees his best friend hit by a car, is there a way to stop it from happening?
Excerpt from The Window:
I was fifteen when I saw my best friend die. Although, if I think about it, I was fourteen when I saw him die the first time. Time had a way of confusing me that year. Ever since I’ve looked at past and present with a jaundiced eye. What is now and what is then? The one thing I’m certain about is that the worst year of my life started on December 16th, even though the bad stuff didn’t happen until the next year. I’m certain of the date, because that’s when I discovered the window.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I just completed An Encrypted Clue, book 4 in The Math Kids series. It is scheduled for publication in April of 2021. An Incorrect Solution, book 5 in the series, is almost ready for editing and will be published in October of 2021.
I’m also working on a book tentatively entitled Three Weeks in October. It is about a man whose only relationship with his father revolves around baseball. As his father lies dying in a hospice, the man learns there are events in his father’s life he has never heard about, including him killing a man. The son must dive into his family’s troubled past to unravel the mystery.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always love to write. I’ve won some short story writing competitions and have written more than a dozen plays which have been performed locally. I’ve also written a number of technical articles in magazines. I still didn’t consider myself a writer.
I wrote three middle grade books before a co-worker convinced me I should try to get them published. It only dawned on me that I might be a writer when I signed the book contract for the first three books in the series.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m not a full-time writer (although I hope to do that at some point). I work for the largest social network company in the world. I lead a team that develops data center management software for their data centers around the world. It’s a technical role that doesn’t allow me much time to exercise the creative side of my brain, so writing is a great release for me. I sometimes write early in the morning, sometimes after work, and almost always find some blocks of time on the weekends.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I never know how my book is going to end until I get to the end. Some writers plot out the entire book and then write it. I start with a general concept but I’m not sure where it’s going to lead me until I get there. The Window took me down several paths I never planned to traverse and is probably a better book as a result. I never go back and read what I’ve written until some time has passed. It allows me to review my work as a reader instead of a writer. I must confess that I don’t always recognize what I’ve written, and I’ve found those sections are usually my best writing.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As an avid reader (I still try to read 50 books or more each year), I always wanted to be an author. As a backup plan, I studied mechanical engineering, math, and computer science, never dreaming I would somehow circle back to my first love. It’s funny that it took math to bring me back to writing.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I think there are stories that need to be told, whether it is a mysterious window in an attic, kids using their math skills to solve mysteries, or a man reconnecting with his father as he dies. In the end, it doesn’t matter if no one reads these tales. The story tells itself—in many ways the writer is only the conduit. That sounds much deeper than it really is. My point is that I write what I would like to read.
Thanks for joining me today, Dave.