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Aug 16, 2012

Dishin' it Up with Diantha, and author Eric Diehl


I’d like to welcome science fiction author Eric Diehl to Colloquy by Diantha. Thank you for stopping by to dish it up with me!

First question, when did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I played at writing a little as a child, but didn’t get serious until well into adulthood. I learned from writing technical materials that I enjoyed putting words to paper, but it took a while to make the leap into fiction.

When did you write your first book?
I started Water Harvest back in 2004. It took me maybe a year to finish the first draft, and then a few more years fix all the stuff I’d done wrong. It was a good experience; learning the techniques to make my writing work, and discovering my style.

Tell us a little about your science fiction novel, Water Harvest.
The original intent was for it to be more of a hard SciFi piece, focused on the travails deriving from a precious and limited resource—that being water. But once I was into it, I found the story taking turns that I had not expected, and there was the appearance of a number of, shall we say, fantastic characters. So I decided to let the story tell itself, and it evolved with a strong element of fantasy stirred in  

Sum the main character Cairn up in three words.
Noble, angry, self-doubting (OK, that’s sorta four words)

What do you like best about writing Science Fiction?
The imagination involved. I love how a well-told story can take me to an entirely different time and place, and I can live through an experience that I’d likely never otherwise have even imagined.

Water Harvest deals with some futuristic environmental issues. Were you inspired by the current state of the planet Earth’s environment when writing this novel?
The primary issue was a shortage of water and the competition for its use, and that was greatly exacerbated by a bio-organism that thrived on the imbalance, and in so doing threatened the ecosphere. Definitely issues we will continue to deal with on Earth..

What is your writing schedule like?
When I’ve not fallen out of my pattern I tend to start the day by rereading and tweaking the previous day’s work, and by so doing get my mind primed for the many blank pages requiring attention. I also like to take a long walk at day’s end and try to let my imagination fill in some of the details of the plot to come.

Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?
I do prefer quiet. I love music (I happily make a mess of the acoustic guitar), but it tends to distract me when writing.

Who are three of your favorite authors? Books?
George RR Martin - the Game of Thrones series
Frank Herbert - the first 2 or 3 Dune novels
And to switch genres, how about 
James A Michener - Centennial/Poland/etc.

As an author, what is the best compliment you could receive from a reader?
Simply that they very much enjoyed reading the book. Fiction and SFF are all about entertainment, and stretching the bounds of imagination, to my eye.

Last, but not least, my Super Silly Question: If you were from another planet, what would your name be? (Make it good!)
How about, Ixthylschmitty  Boggenshormer? (The Boggenshormers are of a higher caste, on the planet Boggens...)  

I can't even pronounce that name, but I think I like it! 
Thanks, Eric!

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Water Harvest

The continuous harvest of atmospheric moisture by lunar orbiters foments a plan set in place to destroy the Harvest fleet, but it is derailed by a twist that allows time for development of a technological work-around. Time passes, and the ruling Houses are caught unawares by an invasion intended to wrest control of the Harvest. The interlopers are aided by wizard-like practitioners whose hallucinogen-induced evocations bend the norms of nature to their will. 

Cairn, heir to Alar, is taken captive and then dispatched to carry the warlord's edict. The Maester Viizar, Gezladorn, has his own agenda, contrary to that of the lunar warlord. The Maester is able to manipulate some of the players through mind-control, pitting them one against the other.

Cairn learns of a human-like species that has always kept to itself in the planet's vast cavern system, and he leads a band of men and UnderWorlders on a subterranean journey to rise into the bowels of House Alar. Alliances fall apart and it becomes unclear who is the true enemy before Alar ultimately triumphs.

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Review of Water Harvest coming soon.

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