Dave Riese


Born in 1946, I grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts. I attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, majoring in English literature. During my junior year, I studied English Literature at Oxford University and travelled in Europe.

After graduating in 1968, I enlisted in the Air Force one step ahead of my draft board's kind invitation to join the army and travel to Vietnam. I married Susan, my high school girlfriend, during leave between tech school and my posting to the Philippines at Clark Air Base.

Discharged from the military in 1972, I was hired by Liberty Mutual Insurance to attend their three-month computer training course. I learned later that the major reason I was hired was my writing and communications background. An English degree can be a valuable asset!

After 35 years in information technology, I retired from Massachusetts Financial Services in the spring of 2012.

My wife and I moved north of Boston in 1974. Our daughter lives in Ireland with her husband. Our son and his wife are pediatricians working in Rhode Island. We have four grandchildren.

Smashwords Interview

You’re a 68-year-old man who grew up around Boston. Whatever possessed you to write a novel from the point of view of an 18-year-old Jewish girl living in Montreal in 1951?
Possessed is the right word. Every morning, I had coffee in a café where I read a book to unwind after commuting to my job in Boston. Riva Weiss, an elderly woman who also stopped at the café before work, introduced herself and asked me what I was reading. Over several years, we discussed authors we liked and swapped favorite books. When I told her I was retiring, she asked about my future plans. I said I wanted to write short stories “and maybe a novel.” Riva began telling me several stories about her childhood in Montreal. When I said they would make great short stories, she encouraged me to ‘write them up.’ I jumped at the chance.
One morning, soon after I finished writing two stories, she beckoned to me as if wanting to tell me a secret. “I know you like dark stories,” she said. “Here’s one I haven’t thought about for sixty years.” For the next half hour, she described the events surrounding her engagement at the age of 18 to a young, wealthy man in Montreal in 1951. I was astounded by her story and couldn’t get it out of my mind. I also couldn’t wait to start writing.
She expected it would be another short story; I envisioned it as a novella. Every week I brought in the latest pages for her to read. After two and a half years, the novel reached over 300 pages.
You’re publishing your first novel in your sixties. That’s unusual. When did you decide to be a writer?
One doesn’t choose to be a writer. There’s something inside you that compels you to write. I began writing at Bates College in Maine. While studying abroad at Oxford University in England during my junior year, I travelled throughout Europe during term breaks. For my B.A. thesis, I wrote stories, essays and poems based on my travel journals. Like many young writers, I was ‘bitten’ by the poetry bug in my twenties. I was cured, mercifully, within two years. Three poems were good enough to escape the shredder.
In my mid-twenties, I began writing short stories. An early story, submitted to the literary magazine at the University of Massachusetts, was not accepted, but the editor wrote a personal note praising the story and encouraging me to continue writing. I have always treasured that ‘rejection.’
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


The Blue Dress
Price: Free! Words: 35,100. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Historical » Canada
A series of three short stories introducing Rebecca, a Canadian teenager, living in Montreal in the 1940s. In the title short story, Rebecca receives a second-hand blue dress as a gift. When she is forced to give up her hand-made needlepoint pillow in return, she finds a way to exact a fitting revenge for the adults’ betrayal. The stories are a prequel to the novel Echo from Mount Royal.
Echo from Mount Royal
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 92,560. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards • Winner in the General Fiction/Novel category • Second Place Grand Prize for fiction books Montreal, 1951. 18-year-old, working class Rebecca falls in love with a handsome, older man. His wealth introduces her to a world of privilege. But class, religion, sexual secrets and family conflict test their love, leading to a life-changing revelation.