David E. Fessenden has been in the industry for decades with experience as an editor, author, and now agent. One thing he’s always been, though, is a reader, and today he’s giving us a look at his book list.
Thank you so much for being here! I know you’re a word guy, but what was your favorite picture book as a child? What did you love about it?
And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss. I loved how Marco let his imagination run wild, but when he got home, he was honest about what he saw.
What was the first book you read that you couldn’t put down?
It was not the first book I couldn’t put down, and I admit it didn’t grab me until about two chapters in, but Winterflight by Joseph Bayly was the most compelling novel I can remember reading, and the only book I ever cried over after I finished it. It is a Christian novel without a happy ending, and takes euthanasia and abortion to its logical extension.
Where’s the most unusual place you’ve read a book?
Reading while walking home from work — on a fairly busy highway. Dumb thing to do!
If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?
Sherlock Holmes — or maybe his brother, Mycroft, or Dr. Watson. While I love the stories, I don’t think Holmes would be that pleasant a dinner companion. And since both Mycroft and Dr. Watson appear a little more friendly, I might choose one of them. I’d love to challenge Holmes to consider the claims of Christ — though theologically, I suppose it’s hard to defend the salvation of a fictional character!
If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which would you pick? Who would cast as the main characters?
My novel, The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, would make a great movie! I would cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Thomas Watson (Dr. Watson’s son and the narrator of the story), even though he is now getting a little old to play a guy in his 20s. I would cast John Houseman as Mycroft Holmes (although he’s passed away, so it really wouldn’t work).
Who’s your favorite author?
That’s a hard one to answer, but I’d say currently it’s Alton Gansky. He is a master at taking a plot out to the ragged edges of believability, and then wrapping it up in the most plausible yet unexpected way.
Share five books from your TBR (to be read) pile.
Fallen Angel, Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky
Aspects of the Novel, E.M. Forster
The Elements of Mystery Fiction, William G. Tapply
The Compulsive Christian, David Mason
Hearts on Fire, Fred Hartley (not yet published; I am typesetting/editing it now, but I’ve got to go back and read it when it’s done)
The Case of the Boomerang Body, follow-up to The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy has Thomas Watson and Mycroft Holmes investigating the strange appearance, and disappearance, of a banker’s body — and yet the banker is still alive!
David E. Fessenden is the publisher for Honeycomb House Publishing LLC, a literary agent for WordWise Media Services, and editorial coordinator for CLC Publications. He has degrees in journalism and theology, and over 30 years of experience in writing, editing, and editorial management for Christian book publishers. He has published seven books.