David Wheeler’s new novel, Drone Strike, features a character who graduated from Bowdoin and embodies some of the traits the author associates with the college.
“When I was thinking of this character, Dan Rubin, I was thinking of someone outdoorsy, athletic, intellectual, charming — someone with a little sparkle to him,” Wheeler said. “At the risk of engaging in a gross stereotype, when I thought of the character I wanted Kate [one of the book's protagonists] to fall in love with, the set of attributes I wanted him to have correlated with my impressions of a Bowdoin student.”
Though a Princeton graduate himself, Wheeler is familiar with Bowdoin because his daughter Kristen graduated from here in 2007. She is now a public defender in Massachusetts.
Drone Strike, according to Wheeler, is about two cultures in conflict, as seen through the eyes of a special operations soldier drawn to both. “The plot involves several young Americans and Iraqis who are thrown together by two drone strikes in 2008,” Wheeler said. “Their conflicts start in Iraq but ultimately threaten a coastal city in North Carolina.” The book features strong roles for women in the military and academia.
Wheeler uses an alias of Nathan Mosby for his book, which is self-published. Now that he is in semi-retirement from his career — he is a senior emeritus fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. — Wheeler said he is doing what he’s always wanted to do, write fiction.