Interview with Eric Diehl, author of Water Harvest

Publisher: Double Dragon eBooks

Publish Date: September 2011

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: The Great Houses of Kast'ar have grown complacent. Technological adaptation bolsters a fragile biosphere, but one quandary remains unattended. Lunar-based harvest vessels orbit continuously, extracting their toll of moisture from the upper atmosphere.

Over time, the planet dries.

Now the Rules are caught unawares when a lunar enclave launches an invasion intended to seize control of the Harvest. House Alar, the greatest of the bloodline Keeps, falls before the predatory warlord. The invader’s technology is strong and they are aided by the Guild; wizard-like practitioners whose hallucinogen-induced evocations bend fate to their will.

It falls to Cairn, Legion pilot and displaced heir to Alar, to persuade the House Alliance to intercede. His father and his love Neilai are held hostage, and a battered Cairn is dispatched to carry the vile interloper’s edict. With few resources at hand, Cairn and boisterous comrade Dirc Cutter are thrust into a changed world. The Alliance falters and Cairn, son of House Alar, learns how little he knows of his home world.

Author Bio: A student of many things, master of none…

A questionable turn on a time-worn clich√© but fairly apt—a jack of many trades.

Perhaps it began with the custom van built in the long-haired days of the early 70’s—an old school bus with an engine salvaged from a junk yard. Or with the dozens of motorcycles ridden, broken, repaired and ridden again. Eric has built furniture and guitars, he’s screen-printed t-shirts and created package design for bottled soap. He’s thrown newspapers and he’s written software for corporations large and small— for a time working from the wandering RV he and Sue called home. He does website design and he’s published motorcycle and RV travel articles. He earned a pilot’s license and built and flew a gyro-copter over the cane-fields and beaches of Florida. He’s penned tunes and published Sci-Fi/Fantasy short stories and two novels; Water Harvest, with Double Dragon Publishing in September 2011, and Guild of the Viizar, self-published in early 2012.

After more than three decades in south Florida, Eric and his lovely wife Susan moved to the Upstate region of South Carolina, where the nearby Appalachians beckon two-wheeled leisure. When cranky knees allow it, bicycling is a favored indulgence—more often, these days, on a recumbent. Motorcycling remains a serious passion, justified at least in part by instructing a course in motorcycle safety.

He was likely a cat in a previous life, as there’s an undeniable affinity. He looks odd, and children sometimes call out Hi Mister Ski Man! when he hikes by wielding his pair of walking sticks.

The truth is, Eric is still working out what it is that he’ll do—after he grows up.

Author Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.

‘Water Harvest’ is a SciFi/Fantasy story set on a relatively arid planet and featuring the phenomenon of a band of frozen moisture circling the planet’s upper atmosphere. Lunar colonies deploy massive ‘harvest’ vessels to orbit and take, most often in excess of allowed quantities, water for their own use. This contributes to severe problems for the inhabitants of the planet, and hostilities break out.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Since I have long been environmentally conscious, I wanted a story that described the conflict over a critical resource, which in our own world is too often taken for granted.  It was originally intended to be more of a work of ‘hard’ science fiction, but I found myself having too much fun with elements of the fantastic, and so I allowed the story to lead me off on that tangent. There is also the influence that Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ had on my reading tastes long years ago, but there is little similarity between my work and his.

Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

Once I had decided to stop just thinking about it and actually do it, I set down to outline the entire plot but found myself having difficulty staying focused to see it through. So since the start was already conceived I elected to just start writing, and I found that allowed me more creativity and it also focused my attention better than when wandering in preliminary outline mode.

Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the book?

I have had a few comments about my character-names being a bit difficult.  I find that curious considering that I consciously kept most names to only one or two syllables, and while they are not names like ‘Bob’ or ‘Sally’, this is, after all, a SFF novel about a foreign planet. So I don’t think I would change that, but I have thought of a ploy or two that might make it easier for the reader to accept the blending of high-tech with some of the sword and sorcery elements.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Realizing, when the first draft was complete, that I had committed a number of blunders common to first-timers, such as ‘purple prose’, head-hopping POV, and too much back-story (‘telling’ as opposed to ‘showing’). So I ended up spending considerably more time cutting and editing than I had spent on the original first draft. But the effort was truly worthwhile and I learned a lot from it.

Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?

If I did it would probably be acoustic guitar, but I tend to prefer quiet.

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

For me it would be those times when the story decides, of its own volition, to take off on some tangent that I had not planned. It’s rather fun, and when I’m on a roll it’s almost like reading a story as opposed to writing one

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

I’ve published the second novel, ‘Guild of the Viizar’, which is a very loose generation-removed sequel, and I’m currently working on the third novel, which is an even looser prequel set far in the past. I might also mention that I’ve published an anthology of SciFi/Fantasy/Horror short stories, which I offer as a free download at as well as at most ebook sites. Amazon won’t let me list it for free, but it can be downloaded in the Kindle ebook format (mobi) at Smashwords.

Q. Please tell us your latest news.

Nothing extraordinary at the moment; I continue working on my third novel, doing some database programming out of my home office, and teaching newbies in motorcycle safety classes. I love motorcycling, I play the guitar (though not especially well), and I’m planning a grand RV expedition to pick up where Sue and I left off back in ’02.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

With the advent of ebooks, and especially the ease of self-publishing, readers nowadays are virtually flooded with new reading opportunities—many of those, unfortunately, not worth the effort. That makes it not so difficult for a new author to get published, but much more difficult to stand out and actually be noticed against all the background noise. I understand that, and I recognize the reluctance to part with a little cash and a fair portion of leisure time by trying out a new voice.  That is why I encourage readers to download my freebie anthology ’24:01 One Minute After’, and use that to ‘test-drive’, so to speak, my writing style. Reading tastes are very subjective, but I’ve gotten some pretty good reviews, and so just maybe I will suit your preferences. And please, spread the word.


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