Author Interview: The Book of Eadie by Mark D. Diehl
Today we have a very exciting interview from author Mark D. Diehl who is celebrating the release of his book The book of Eadie, the first in the Seventeen series.
First a little about the author:
Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organisations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species.
Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong.
After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
I was lucky enough to ask Mark some questions about his writing which he very kindly answered. Have a look at the interview below:
How would you feel about selling the movie rights to this book? If you would be happy to do this would this be conditional?
I never answer questions about the religious or spiritual aspects of these books, because in today’s world that can only divide people. You’ll see them on every page, though. The 17 Trilogy is what I believe about the universe and our place in it. I could perhaps sell the story to film or other interests, but I would need to ensure the message remained intact.
I’m writing my 17 Trilogy because I believe I know where humanity is headed, not just in the near future, but as a species. My career has been driven by a compulsion to share what I see, to convince the world that we need to protect human uniqueness and individuality from the dehumanizing institutions we’ve created. I’ve put so much time and energy into making sure I got the message just right, it would be hard to just turn it over so someone else.
Where do you write?
At home. I’m pretty much always at home unless I’m speaking or signing somewhere.
What was the inspiration for your book?
I worked in East Asia for a number of years, especially in Japan and South Korea. Other American teachers assumed that Asia’s strict, hierarchical cultures would learn from us how to be free, that they would “catch up” with us. That didn’t sound right to me. I saw that Asia had always had much higher population densities and depleted resources. Now populations are swelling and resources are dwindling all around the world. Asia is ahead of us.
Ancient Rome built its empire by beating armies that lacked the structure and discipline of the Roman army. Now every army in the world is organized in a Roman-style top-down hierarchy, because those who weren’t have been wiped out. War has always been about the struggle for resources, and now that process is centered around multinational corporations that eclipse nation-states in wealth and power.
Extrapolate into the future and you’ll see that our destiny is crowded, bleak, hierarchical, and corporate, all to a greater degree than humanity has ever experienced before. I feel compelled not merely to tell people about what’s going on, but actually to convince the world that this is happening, and fiction is the best way to do that. I worked to write a story with enough detail and nuance to prove my point, and also to make that story compelling enough for people to want to keep reading it. I’m pleased with the result, and I hope you will be, too.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book? How throughly did you outline the book before writing? Do you prefer to improvise as you write?
There might be an actual literary term for it, but I don’t know what that term might be. I think of it as “Clocking.” Each title in my 17 Trilogy has its own characters engaged in a unique struggle, but the trilogy itself has a separate, larger arc as well, in which humanity is evolving into a corporate species. To keep fiction interesting and readable, I needed a core group of characters to whom readers could relate. I struggled with how to use a small number of characters to demonstrate such a huge concept as evolution.
My solution was to make the storylines of the first two books wind around each other, but connect at certain points. (For a graphic of what this would look like drawn out on paper, see the small section of DNA on the Book of Eadie cover.) The combined outline was over 200 pages long, but those 200 pages weren’t consecutive. The stories had to fit together so that their elements interlocked like gears. Each character experiences the story differently, and each segment of the book is told from a different character’s point of view, so sometimes different characters in different books are seeing the same event but interpreting it differently. I worked on the outlines for close to two years before I started writing.
What is the message you want your readers to take away from the book?
Institutions grow ever larger. Generation by generation, the compliant edge out the wild, and conformity and obedience to hierarchy are now our most important survival skills. To be integrated as components of the larger whole, we surrender our uniqueness, our compassion, and our willingness to stand for what is right. The most human among us become outcasts, because humanity is being cast out. As organizations conquer nature and expand, they leave nothing behind upon which individuals might live. In a world with depleted resources and increasingly concentrated political and economic power, the choice is clear: Surrender or die. We are evolving into a corporate species.
What's next for you?
Surprise! It’s a memoir. I met my wife in South Korea, back in the days when academies there would hire anyone, even a hoodlum like me, to teach English. She taught at the same school I did, and we began dating. Her family was one of the most powerful in Korea, and when they found out we were together they beat her up, locked her in a room, and told her that they were going to arrange a marriage for her to the first Korean they could find, in hopes of saving the family name. She escaped at 4:00 in the morning and ran to my place. Eventually her family chased us out of the country with the police, but I couldn’t take her to the United States. We ended up stranded in Hong Kong with no income. The book is already written and edited. I need to do a cover and get it formatted. There’s no publication date, yet, but the best way to find out about it would be to follow me on Facebook.
Check out Mark's new book out below:
Title: The book of Eadie
Author: Mark D. Diehl
Series: Seventeen Triology
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Author: Mark D. Diehl
Series: Seventeen Triology
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Corporations control all of Earth’s diminishing resources and all of its governments, dividing the world into two types of people: those who unquestioningly obey, and those who die.
Most of the seventeen billion humans on the planet are unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts. The ecosystem has collapsed, naturally growing plants have been declared illegal, and everything from food to housing to medicines must be synthesized from secretions of genetically modified bacteria. Only corporate ambulatory workers can afford patented synthetic food, and non-corporates fight for survival in the city’s sprawling, grotesquely violent ghetto known only as the Zone.
Nineteen year-old waitress Eadie challenges the hierarchy when she assists a bedraggled alcoholic known as the Prophet, drawing massive social-control machinery into play against her. The Prophet predicts she’s the general who will lead a revolution, and a few desperate souls start listening. How can she and her followers possibly prevail when she’s being hunted by a giant corporation and the Federal Angels it directs?
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