Diving into a new adventure

A chemistry teacher’s continued pursuit of a lifelong passion.


Lillian Gottschling

Steve Davala, science teacher, has written five books since he began teaching in 2001.

Two years ago, Steve Davala published the final novel in his “Soulkind” series, a project he began in 2001. Known by many as a chemistry teacher, Davala pursued his dreams of becoming an author. He took his passion for storytelling and channeled it into his series. Flash forward to now, Davala is preparing to debut two new novels: “Skywatch” and “Books Are For Reading, Not Eating”. 

“Skywatch” is a science fiction novel, following Daj as he navigates a world where technology provides him everything he needs. Daj feels that there is no better way to live until he encounters an anti-technology group and is exposed to the other side of the world he thought he knew so well. 

For “Skywatch”, Davala drew inspiration from some of his favorite science fiction stories as well as developed elements of his story from the real world. “I always wanted to write a ‘Star Wars’ story,” Davala said. “I also wanted to write my own thing, so it’s kind of like being independent and creative and trying to think of your story.”

“Books Are For Reading, Not Eating” is Davala’s first childrens’ book. The story follows Liz McKeeting, a little girl who can live in the world of her favorite books when she eats them. Davala has hired Francesca de Sacco to illustrate the book and is looking forward to sharing the story with people of all ages. Davala was inspired to write a children’s book with a unique premise after reading similarly creative books with his kids.

“When my kids were of the ‘read-to’ age, my wife and I went through every book,” Davala said. “We especially liked the wacky ones, like Doctor Seuss. So I’m a little off the wall as it is and after the ‘Soulkind’ books, I thought I could try another genre out.”

Davala’s self-published “Soulkind” series has received praise amongst readers for the unique premise and gripping plot. One Goodreads reviewer said that it was, “Truly a masterful tale for fantasy lovers,” while another said it was, “One of the best fantasy stories I’ve read in a while.” 

Though Davala’s novels have been well received and have gained a multitude of fans, self-publishing comes with its own set of challenges. Without a big-name publisher to promote his story, Davala was left to do the work on his own. He found that he could gain people’s interest by selling his books through a booth at Rose City Comic-Con. 

“Marketing is always the hardest thing for anybody,” Davala said. “Getting it out there and getting people to believe in your book is really tough.” 

Davala hopes to have “Books Are For Reading, Not Eating” published in June of this year, while he is aiming to have “Skywatch” published later in the summer. Both books will be available on Amazon and through the West Linn Public Library. 

Davala’s writing career sets an example for anyone who has a dream that they want to accomplish. Through his love for writing and telling stories, Davala has been able to get people interested in what he’s doing. He also proves that you can do something for yourself rather than others. 

“I really write because, well, I enjoy writing,” Davala said.