UF Professor incorporates two passions in new book

By Jacob King

For some, the thought of running 50 miles may sound unappetizing. Writing for multiple hours about running may also seem just as appalling. However, David Essinger, associate professor of English, not only runs and writes but also combines his passion for both in a book.  

“Running Out” is a fiction novel about a family whose plane crashes in Canada around the James Bay region. The area is very remote and some distance from the necessary aid. In order to rescue his family, the protagonist must lace up his shoes and run a long journey.

Essigner explains how he chose the plot for his novel.

“So, I started out with a premise. Like, okay, what would- I’m going to bring in the ‘plot’ word- what could create a plot that’s more than just, ‘oh boy will he win the race or not,’ right?” says Essinger.

He found that inspiration for his work came from the fact that he wanted to create a story that was compelling for his audience. A story in which readers can run the same journey as the main character.  

“There’s a lot of writing about running. There’s some good fiction about running, there’s some famous fiction about running. There’s less really good fiction that has a compelling plot that’s about running. It keeps getting narrower,” states Essinger.

His hope for the book was to create a story about a runner that anyone can read. The purpose is to engage everyone, whether a person is a runner or just into reading fiction.

Essinger credited a great deal of his passion for writing to an early love for reading.

“My parents decided that they were going to teach me to read when I was, before I got into elementary school, and I was into that, I was all about it. I was the kid carrying more books out of the library than I could really lift,” says Essinger.

During his youth, he would be engrossed in multiple books at once. It was a sense of traveling and escapism that he found great pleasure in.

“I would have three or four books going on at once. I wouldn’t finish one, I mean, I wouldn’t just leave it unfinished but I would just go ‘oh I’ll read this one now, I’ll read this non-fiction thing about this, oh I’ll have this novel going on’.  It’s just, ‘what do I feel like reading right now?’” states Essinger.

When it’s time to let the fingers rest from typing and the mind decompress, he finds appeasement in running.

“Running is easier for me than writing, I’ll tell you that,” said Essinger. “Writing you have to mentally be there and you know if it’s not good and you have to hold yourself to that.”

“Running Out” is out and available for sale on Amazon.com. For further information on Essinger and his works, contact him by email at essinger@findlay.edu, campus phone at 419-434-4893 or checking out his website www.dave-essinger.com.

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