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A Conversation With Journalist & Author Darrell Delamaide
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/4264/1/A-Conversation-With-Journalist-amp-Author-Darrell-Delamaide/Page1.html
Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on November 8, 2011
 



Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews Darrell Delamaide Author of The New Supperregions of Europe, Gold and Debt Shock


                                       



Click Here To Purchase The Grand Mirage

Author: Darrell Delamaide

ISBN: 978-0-9839958-0-7

Publisher: Barnaby Woods Books


Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest veteran journalist and author Darrell Delamaide.

Good day Darrell and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

Could you tell us something about yourself and how you became interested in writing as a career?

Darrell:

I started writing my first novel at age 9 and went into journalism as a career so that I could work as a writer. I read continuously from an early age, everything from comic books to science fiction to adventure. I enjoy storytelling and love language, and relish the opportunity to employ both in crafting fictional and nonfiction narratives.

Norm:

What was your creative process like when creating your most recent novel, The Grand Mirage?

Darrell:

I first came across the intriguing story of the Baghdad Railway in a history of Deutsche Bank, which I covered as journalist. It seemed to be a fabulous adventure in an exotic world. I found that I had assembled whole bookshelves of works about the history of the Middle East and wanted to recreate a world that has vanished in history but lurks in our subconscious. Then it became a challenge to scour contemporary journals and letters for all the telling details of this world, while the amazing resources of the Internet produced numerous images to help visualize it. 

Norm:

Why have you been drawn to historical fiction? As a follow up, are there aesthetic advantages and disadvantages peculiar to historical fiction? Does it have a form?

Darrell:

I've always been drawn to history and historical fiction. I think historical imagination helps us immensely to understand not only the events that created our modern world but the human condition itself. The best historical fiction dramatizes what is universal about our motives and emotions, while transporting us to faraway times and places. It also enables us to strip away some of the distractions of the modern world and appreciate what is truly valuable in life.  

Norm:

What do you believe is required for a character to be believable and how did you create Richard Leighton, 9th Baron Leighton in The Grand Mirage?

Darrell:

Making up a British lord is a particular challenge because everyone of them has been painstakingly recorded and you find that many of the good names have been taken. I wanted the hero to be an aristocrat so that he would have the intellectual and financial resources to be a true gentleman adventurer and able to play his role as an unofficial spy for the government. After that, like all characters, he had to be someone the reader cares for. It's important to delve into his emotions, explore his backstory, show his thinking. At the same time, in an historical novel like this one, you want to avoid anachronism. So, for instance, Leighton does not condemn British imperialism -- he is part of it -- though his love of the Orient leads him to have some doubts.

Norm:

Did you know the end of The Grand Mirage at the beginning?

Darrell:

What I have found both with this book and my earlier thriller, Gold, is that you start out with a vague idea of the arc of the plot, put your characters to work and see just where they take you. So while I knew generally where things would end up, I didn't anticipate all the twists and turns until they actually developed in the writing. This is one of the wonderful things about creating a work of fiction. 

Norm:

What is you most favorite part of The Grand Mirage?

Darrell:

I love Constantinople (today's Istanbul) and wanted to situate much of the action there, but I think the adventure, the drama, and the revelation of an exotic world I was striving for in The Grand Mirage come across most clearly in the final stages of Leighton's trek to Baghdad and his experiences there and on the Tigris River.

Norm:

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Darrell:

From my work as a journalist. I have written two nonfiction books, one a chronicle of the Third World debt crisis and the other a new paradigm for post-Communist Europe, and both of those came from my reporting as a financial journalist who spent two decades in Europe. My financial thriller, Gold, is a fictional dramatization of the debt crisis book. As I explained earlier, I even came across the saga of the Baghdad Railway in the course of my reporting. I will be writing a sequel to The Grand Mirage, but I'm also working on a political thriller set in contemporary Europe based in part on my experiences as a foreign correspondent in Germany.

Norm:

Do you believe you have already found “your voice” or is that something one is always searching for?

Darrell:

I'm not sure I'm looking for "a" voice. I'm happy with the voice in both my novels, but I don't think it is the same. There may be some common sensibilities, but the voice of a contemporary financial thriller -- the style, the language, the pace -- is different from that in an historical thriller like The Grand Mirage. At some point, I may want to write a police procedural that would have yet again another style and voice. 

Norm:

What has been the best part about being published?

Darrell

The very best thing, what motivates every writer, I think, is that the book is available to readers and will bring them some enjoyment. My first three books were published by mainstream publishing houses, Doubleday and Dutton, and it was frustrating in today's difficult market for fiction not to find a publisher for The Grand Mirage. Fortunately, the miracle of digital publishing now offers authors an alternative route to reaching readers. I think this is a good book that a lot of people will enjoy reading, and now they have the chance to do so.

Norm:

In fiction as well as in non-fiction, writers very often take liberties with their material to tell a good story or make a point. But how much is too much?

Darrell:

Who knows at this point? Part of the revolution of digital publishing is that it opens the floodgates for a whole stream of alternative histories, paranormal fantasies, and total flights of fancy. Personally, I prefer historical fiction anchored in fact and this is the type of book I have written. The young Winston Churchill, for example, appears in The Grand Mirage and shows up in Constantinople in the course of yacht vacation in the Mediterranean. He actually did take that cruise at that precise moment in time, though of course he didn't really meet my fictional character. The portrayal of his attitudes and his thoughts about the Middle East are drawn from historical accounts. Virtually all of the historical details in the novel, in fact, are drawn from historians or contemporary accounts.

Norm:

Do you have any suggestions to held our readers become a better writers? If so, what are they?

Darrell:

I think it's important to pay attention to the role of language in writing. Plot, characterization, often research are all important, but the writer should revel in the language itself, play with it, use it as a vital part of the overall package. One of my favorite writers at the moment, Simon Mawer, says a writer should be like a sculptor working in the marble of language, shaping it to portray the reality we see.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?

Darrell:

My independent publishing imprint is Barnaby Woods Books -- Barnaby Woods is the DC neighborhood I live in -- and the website with information about me and my writing is www.barnabywoodsbooks.com. 

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Darrell:

Norm, I would like to add that I think you are performing an invaluable service with Bookpleasures and your other reviewing activities. The challenge for readers in this new age of digital publishing is to navigate the flood of good, bad and indifferent reading that is now available. As the old filters of agents, publishers and bookstores crumble, there is an urgent need for new filters to help readers locate the books they want to read. We need a whole array of such filters and I think your pioneering work shows how helpful these can be.

Click Here To Read Norm's Review of The Grand Mirage

Click Here To Purchase The Grand Mirage