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Running Out - a novel by Dave Essinger

Bluffton author ties interest in running and profession in creative writing and creates a novel

When two elite runners are stranded with their child in the Canadian wilderness, one of them laces up his trail shoes.

That’s the teaser line of Dave Essinger’s novel “Running Out.”

Essinger is a runner. He is teaches creative writing at the University of Findlay. His first-ever published novel was released in June.

The Icon recently chatted with the Bluffton author about the book and his thoughts on writing. Here is part of the interview:

Icon: First, tell us about you and running.

Essinger: I like to run long distances. I run between 40 and 50 miles a week. You write what you know. I run. I thought I’d write about running. There’s not a lot of good fiction out there on runner, especially long distance running.

Icon: Tell us about your novel without giving a spoiler ending.

Essinger: The main character is a runner. It’s not about me, however. It’s also not about my wife, Alice, who also runs. The story is about a couple - who are runners - in a plane crash in a remote Canadian wilderness. The crash happens very early in the book. The husband decides to run for help, to save his wife, his daughter and himself. I hope the book is a fast read.

Icon: When did the idea for this book begin?

Essinger: I start thinking about it seven or eight years ago. I’ve worked more seriously on it in the last four years.

Icon: Where does your book fit as fiction?

Essinger: It’s literary fiction. The book is about a runner, but I want to make the plot work for any reader. Runners I know are reading it, but I also want to introduce running to the non-runner.

Icon: You teach creative writing at the University of Findlay. How does publishing this novel assist you in the classroom?

Essinger: Students always ask me about how the publishing process works. And, as an adviser to literary magazines, this helps. Now I can go through the process with writers on preparing novels for publication.

Icon: Did you know how your novel would end when you started writing it? And, tell us how you approach writing.

Essinger: I knew how it would end shortly after I started writing it. I write on a laptop. My best time for writing is in mid-afternoon. I try to work every day, maybe writing down a few notes, sometimes doing editing. Sometimes I get ideas when I’m far away from the keyboard. I try to write these ideas down as soon as I can.

 Icon: The book is 235 pages. Were you trying to fit the novel into that page length?

Essinger: The early draft was longer. Now, the finished product is on the slimmer side. It could have been longer.

Icon: Explain how you released the book.

Essinger: It has a soft launch on June 16. I had a release party at the Mohican Trail 100. I’ve participated in this run several times and know many of the runners there. I set up a table and started selling books.  Now I’m working on a couple book-signing events in Bluffton. Incidentally, I’m also looking into making this an audio book.

Icon: Is there novel number two in the works?

Essinger: Yes. I’m working on it now. I’m putting together details and mapping it out. I’m also working on an outline. I have a sabbatical next spring and hope to spend more time on it then.

Icon: When did you start writing?

Essinger: In elementary school on an old Underwood typewriter. My parents encouraged me. That’s something that was very important to me. My daughter, who is in elementary school, also writes. When I was in high school and college I found it easy to knock off theme papers.

Icon: Thanks for talking with us. We look forward to your local book release parties and your second novel.

Title: Running Out
Author: Dave Essinger
Author website:
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-59948-629-1
Publisher: Mint Hill Books
Main St. Rag Publishing Co.