West-side Cincinnati native David Bell was a voracious reader as a child, spending much of his free time at the Westwood Public Library taking in such books as his favorite, Mabel Louise Robinson's King Arthur and His Knights. It was no surprise, then, when Bell took a creative writing class at St. Xavier High School, which in turn spurred him to study English at Indiana University
. A series of odd jobs followed before Bell decided to spend even more time pursing his passion, returning to academia to earn a Masters in creating writing from Miami University and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, culminating in his current tenure-track teaching position at Western Kentucky University. Oh, and now he's just published his first novel, Cemetery Girl, a well-received thriller that former Cincinnatian and UC professor/current novelist and discerning imbiber of fiction Brock Clarke calls a “smart, tense, creepy take on the story of a missing daughter, told from her far-from-perfect father.” Bell returns to his hometown 7 p.m. Oct. 26 to read from and discuss Cemetery Girl at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Free.