Authoring the Next Chapter

From teacher to entrepreneur to motorcycle racer, David Nees has been successful. But when forced to start anew later in life, the Cambridge resident demonstrated his true character.

Written by Joe Willey  | Photography by Jill Jasuta

Life unfolds like a story. Some changes are sudden, while others creep like an approaching thunderhead. But each challenge can bring surprising opportunities. The story of best-selling author David Nees has plot twists worthy of any novel. His story continues, and the upcoming pages are as exciting as the first chapter.

David attended Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating with a degree in psychology in 1966. It was the height of the Vietnam War, and two paths were open to him—graduate school or go to war.

LITERARY MARVEL Eastern Shore-based author David Nees has self-published 12 books since his debut effort, After the Fall: Jason‘s Tale, debuted on Amazon in 2016.

He joined President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Teacher Corps, teaching during the day and earning his master’s degree at night. After moving to Virginia, he taught in the Alexandria School System. Each year, his students matured and developed new interests, but he sensed that he was stagnating. After six years, he needed a change.

In his free time, he rode motocross and looked for ways to turn his hobby into a sustainable business. He and one of his roommates saved enough money to open a Yamaha motorcycle dealership. It was 1972 when they founded Cycle Sport in the Tysons Corner, VA area.

Running a business was consuming, and he didn’t have time to train for motocross. He met someone who liked road racing and said it was less physically demanding than motocross, so David tried it. Enjoying it and successful enough to be in the professional ranks, he raced from the mid-70s until 1985. During his racing career, he and his wife Carla had two sons.

In the late 80s—while still owning the Yamaha dealership—he started a fitness equipment business—Fitness Resource. He operated both businesses for 10 years. After selling the motorcycle dealership, David grew Fitness Resource to 27 stores around DC—and as far away as Atlanta.

A looming tax problem in Georgia and the 2008 recession forced his business into bankruptcy. During this dark time of crushing stress, he worked to repay the debt and read voraciously. A book that became a favorite was a dystopian novel about the results of a cataclysmic electromagnetic pulse. Intrigued by the idea, he created a scenario and wrote a 20-page synopsis. He sent it to his sister, an English teacher, and asked, “Does this work? She was enthusiastic and thought the draft would make a good book. With this encouragement, he began writing.

David Nees has established quite the following with his realistic character portrayals of post-apocalyptic life, earning thousands of positive reviews from fans on Amazon for his works.

Following the traditional path of submitting his manuscript to publishers seemed like a waste of time to an iconoclastic thinker like David, so he self-published. After the Fall: Jason‘s Tale, his first book, was released in April 2016 on Amazon. Within two weeks, it was number one in the Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian genre.

Over the next two years, David followed with four more books. In 2018, he began writing thrillers. Payback was his first—and a success. Even though his most recent career began inauspiciously as an antidote for stress, his writing continues with the same characteristic enthusiasm and drive that launched other successful careers. In the past eight years, he has published 13 books, recently finishing his latest—The Orphan Girl.

For over five decades, David’s career changes have been dramatic but always focused on people. Now, characters drive his books. The plot is imperative, but he is most interested in how the character reacts. And though he starts with an outline, every story has strayed from the original plan. Often, he wonders how he will write a character out of a desperate situation. Writing that way is an apt metaphor for David’s life. And the story keeps unfolding.

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