Eric Diehl, author of Water Harvest and 24:01 One Minute After.
If you were trapped on a desert island, and a magical talking stork could bring you one book (not yours) which would it be?
That would be the 5th installment of George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series (which I’ve just downloaded to my Kindle 😉 )
Which authors influenced/influence you most?
The stories that transformed me from a struggling young reader to a kid reading above his grade level were the old Norse and Greek mythologies…
Frank Herbert’s Dune got me hooked on science fiction and Stephen King had me for a while-though I’ve mostly parted company now it still amazes me how he can take such a dumb-sounding plot and write an engaging novel based on it; like Thinner, or Cujo.
More recently I’d have to put George RR up top, but I’ve also greatly enjoyed Greg Keyes, Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie and others.
What made you go indie?
Well, first off, I’d like to say that I have no real problems with Double Dragon Publishing, who published my first novel (Water Harvest). The publisher (Deron Douglas) is a nice guy; accessible and quick to respond. He also does nice cover artwork, and it’s pleasing to get the recognition of being formally “published”, even if that’s just in my own head. There were a few quirks in the process here and there, (like oddball formatting in the version that went to Kindle), which I mostly had to find and fix myself, and as best I can tell it appears that promotion of the manuscript is mostly up to the author anyway (although my book did share the limelight on the main DDP webpage for the duration of the month it was introduced). When I later became aware of the relative ease involved in self-publishing, through web-based services like Smashwords and Kindle, I decided to give it a try with my second novel and my anthology.
What’s your favourite part of indie publishing?
First is probably the immediacy of the process. I can be published and available on at least some of the ebook websites the very same day that the process is initiated. There is also the increased level of control—I can make any desired modifications and submit them myself, and again see them in place almost immediately. There is also the matter of pricing. Not only do I garner a larger percentage of the sales price as the author’s share, but with some exceptions I can set and/or change the pricing any way I see fit. Smashwords will let me create coupon codes that I can use for promotional purposes, or I can set the price at $0.00, as I have done with my anthology 24:01 One Minute After.
What’s your least favourite part?
That would be the lingering stigma attached to self-published works, but I’d say that that negative is falling away fast, especially when many already-established big-name authors are choosing to self-publish rather than accede all control to the traditional publishing houses. Unfortunately, the reality is that the stigma is sometimes still deserved, because very literally anyone can now self-publish pretty much anything, even if the material they publish doesn’t even deserve a place at the bottom of the slush pile. So, assuming that his/her work is good, the challenge for a newbie author is to rise above the clutter; to attract the attention of the group of readers whose tastes are such that they would appreciate his or her style and genre.
Summarise your writing style (or books) in 100 words or less:
I have thus far favored the third person subjective style of narration (though I do like to change whose head I’m inside from time to time, so long as I make it obvious to the reader that I’m doing so). With regard to genre, I would call my novels science fiction with a healthy dose of fantasy stirred in. Ditto for my short stories, though I’ve inserted some horror there as well.
If you were offered a book-deal would you take it?
I would certainly consider it, depending on the terms, if for no other reason than the fact that I still have little name recognition out there in the big world. If and when I do gain a significant indie following, then a contract would become a much harder sell.
Why should someone pick-up your book(s)?
Because they’re great! But I’m also making you an offer that you can’t refuse with my anthology 24:01 One Minute After. It’s free—all you need to risk is a bit of your time. Check out the positive reviews from Goodreads; after the first couple of stories you’ll be hooked!
What formats is it/are they available in and where?
My website lists all three books with previews, links and reviews, and there are also other motorcycle and RV stories there, some having been previously published. Make sure that you turn on your speakers when you click on the link to my Flash page for Guild of the Viizars. It’s cool (or so I think)…
Bye—see you in your imagination!
Eric currently has a short story, Sprirt of the ‘Cane, available at indieebooks.co.uk.