Insight into author Dirk Eichhorst’s creative and professional process
Dirk Eichhorst reveals secrets to writing “The Tempest In Glass” in a probing video interview with Rosie del Valle
Watch the slideshow below for a Behind-The-Scenes look at the interview!
WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO WRITING?
“Writing is mostly thinking. I think about what I want to communicate—story-wise—and thematically. I do a lot of research, a lot of outlining, a lot of taking a scene in one direction and then another, to see where it may turn. I rely on classic psychology in terms of character development. Hippocrates—not Myers-Briggs. When I started writing Tempest, I was terrified that it was going to be just horrible. I avoided sitting down to start writing. I’d written many scripts and screenplays, but never before a novel. It was intimidating. So I bought an hourglass that had a 32-minute sand run. I told myself— ‘Ok, turn the hourglass and force yourself to sit at the desk and hit the keyboard for those 32 minutes.’ That got me the courage to begin. After a few weeks of that, I forgot all about the hourglass, and I was on a role. In terms of audience and limitations, there were three parameters I set for myself before I even started outlining Tempest. One: there would be no guns. Two: there would be no F-bombs. Three: there would be no obligatory sex scenes. I see all three of those things as clichés and crutches that squelch creativity (at least, in the cross-genre approach I took). So those inclusions were off the table from the get-go. Denying myself those elements forced creativity.”
WHAT DROVE YOU TO WRITE “TEMPEST”?
“I’d say without a doubt, it was my disillusionment with prayer that affected me emotionally and spiritually. There were life-altering events in my life, following some of my prayers, that ended up very badly. I think what put me over the edge as when a co-worker spoke on the radio one day, while I was driving, and she was balling her eyes out. Her husband had been a police officer, and he had been killed in the line of duty. This woman—my co-worker—through her tears over the radio, said that she had prayed every single day for her husband’s safety. And now he was dead. It angered me and it confused me. I stopped trusting God. So—years later—the creative side of my brain led me to deal with this pain and confusion through the telling of a story. The story is an entertaining metaphor for my own voyage to understand prayer, the purposes of God, the meaning behind some of life’s most confounding circumstances. Writing it was a healing experience.”
WHAT WERE YOUR SOURCES OF INSPIRATION?
“Stylistically, the writings of Ian Fleming, Dashiell Hammet, and Raymond Chandler were foundational. I’ve done some traveling, so that played into the global trek. The romantic elements were distilled from turns in my own life. Creatively—certainly the Bible, which I’ve read through twice and studied extensively—and philosophy. Tempest’s overall theology doesn’t adhere to any specific dogma. It’s sort of this eclectic amalgam of tradition and hypothetical fiction. It draws from Christianity, spiritualism, prisca theologia, archaeology, astronomy, and mythology. Music was big too. One day I was randomly listening to Bernard Herrmann’s score to Journey To The Center Of The Earth, and it really spoke to the mood I wanted for the climax and the scenes leading up to it. Also a huge influence was the 1984 film, Temple Of Doom. I love the darkness and danger in that. It’s gritty and brutal, and I wanted my protagonist and his sidekick to experience that same kind of agony that Indy and Shortround do. The deeper you take your readers into darkness, the higher you can lift them at the climax, and at the end.”
“My plan from the get-go was to gain literary representation and shoot for traditional publishing, the machine that can really get my book to the masses. Even though there’s this spiritual aspect to the story, I wrote the book for the general market. Most people believe in something. I’d pitched it to a couple of agents who liked it, but passed, because they’re unsure of the target market, because it’s a cross-genre novel that speaks to people of faith across a broad spectrum. I’ve had a lot of interest from people in my circles of influence, so that’s why I decided to do this low-key, limited first edition, just to sell to the people who want the book right away. My long-term goal is still to sell to a big publisher. I’m excited about where this is going!”
“The Tempest In Glass” is the debut novel of writer-director Dirk Eichhorst. The novel by Dirk Eichhorst is an adventurous mystery-thriller with an edge of supernatural fantasy. The Limited First Edition of “The Tempest In Glass” earned excellent reviews and high praise from readers. The Limited First Edition of “The Tempest In Glass” is sold out. A second edition of “The Tempest In Glass” by Dirk Eichhorst is being planned for print, eBook, and audio book.