When Noah tells his family an unknown God was about to destroy the world and that he had been ordered to build a huge ship, they start fearing for his sanity – at least until the day a group of mysterious strangers appear out of the desert claiming to have been sent by God to help Noah build his Ark. As construction on the ship progresses, relations between Noah’s family and their neighbors deteriorate into ugly confrontations and threats of violence. Then, as the ship nears completion, it starts to rain. That’s when the real problems start.
About the Author
For more than three decades, Daniel Diehl has been involved in writing for publication and documentary television production. His canon of work includes 20 non-fiction books (which have been translated into 11 foreign languages) and scripts for more than 170 hours of documentary television for A&E, History Channel, BBC, Biography and Discovery.
Mr. Diehl’s work has won awards from the Houston Film Festival, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (US) and the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Arts Foundation. He is currently short-listed for the 2014 Crompton Crook Award for Best New SiFi/ Fantasy Novel.
In addition to his books and scripts, Diehl has served as historical consultant on such films as The Color Purple (Amblin Entertainment, 1986), Darrow (PBS Television Theatre, 1991) and Baskin’s Run (Finnegan’s Wake Productions, 1994).
He has written for such periodicals as Victorian Homes, Gilded Age, Old House Journal, Voice of Russia, MAXIM, Country Victorian, FLAIR, Tournaments Illuminated, Popular Woodworking and Conde Nast Traveler. He frequently lectures and has been interviewed for television, radio and podcasts in both the US and UK.
1. How did your life as a writer begin?
Although I had been writing occasional magazine articles since 1981, it was not until 1996 that I stumbled into writing as a full-time occupation. My writing partner, Mark Donnelly, and I had both seen the same – very bad – documentary program on TV and were bemoaning the fact that we could do a vastly better job than whoever had scripted this show and after discussing it for a few hours we decided to do just that. Since then we have written more than 170 hours of documentary television and collaborated on 20 nonfiction books. Although my novels are my own work I am sure Mark and I will work together on many, many more nonfiction projects in the future.
2. What makes you feel inspired to write?
I think there are two questions inherent in this and I find both of them kind of odd. The first is ‘how do you decide what to write about?’ My list of topics that I would love to write about has more than 200 subjects on it and I know that I could never live long enough to cover even a fraction of them and more and more come to me every day. The world is filled with fascinating subjects. The second question here is literal – ‘what inspires you to set down at the computer and start writing’. Writing is a job just like any other job. I get up, walk the dogs, have breakfast and go to work. My work day usually lasts from about 6:30 am until 3:00 pm and I do the same routine 6 days a week. I don’t need to feel inspired to do my job; I don’t know anybody who needs more inspiration than next month’s bills to go to work in the morning.
3. How did you come with the idea for your current story?
Since Deluge is a novelized version of the Noah and the Flood legend, the idea hardly originated with me. Although I can usually remember when and how I come up with most of my ideas, I honestly can’t remember what first gave me the idea to turn this tiny, ancient legend into a full length novel. What I do remember is being amazed how rich and expansive the plot line turned out to be. The few hundred words from the book of Genesis and a few lines from the Gilgamesh saga provided me with an amazing framework on which to build an intricately developed family saga filled with love, strife and endless adventure and discovery, all set in a society that is so far removed from the modern world in time that we cannot possibly conceive of their day-to-day reality.
4. Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?
Before writing my first novel I had co-authored 20 nonfiction books and written more than 170 hours of documentary television scripts, so I am thoroughly accustomed to doing massive amounts of background research and developing a sizeable working outline for each chapter. I want to know where I’m going before I set out on each step of the journey that is the writing process and I insist on developing a solid set of directions and a reliable itinerary before going to work.
5. What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
This is, after all, the story of Noah and the great flood. As a strong and vocal advocate for animal rights I could not help but find myself particularly drawn – and deeply touched – by the process of collecting the animals that were to be housed on the Ark. While I don’t like to brag about my work, I think that these chapters are among the best writing I have ever done.
6. What do you have in store next for your readers?
Noah seems to have come out in the middle of an on-going trilogy of fantasy books that I have been writing. The first book in this series ‘Revelations: book one of The Merlin Chronicles’ came out last year and in late May of this year (2014) GMTA Publishing will be releasing the second installment entitled ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: book two of The Merlin Chronicles’. At the moment I am deep into writing the third book in the trilogy and I think that Merlin fans everywhere will be delighted with how this trilogy portrays the old wizard and with the fact that I have brought him into the modern world. It’s a ton of fun.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I just want to stress that although Deluge is the story of Noah and the great flood it is in no way a religious book. It is the saga of one family who find themselves caught up in an absolutely extraordinary and unique set of circumstances. Like any family, Noah and his extended family are alternately drawn together and pulled apart by forces which are ultimately beyond their control and it is their challenge – as it is the challenge for each of us – to deal with what life throws at us in the best way we can.