Interview with Paul Ziehe

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The prospect of learning something new and figuring something out that has been eluding me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, mostly about science and history. I am a fitness freak and exercise almost obsessively. I also dabble in pencil drawings and music.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Word of mouth or noticing other books that appear on the website where I'm investigating a certain book.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think it was about an expeditionary rocket mission to a newly discovered planet in our own solar system. I think I was about 7.
What is your writing process?
I tap first ideas out on the processor, then spend a lot of time going over and refining the whole thing, perhaps a bit obsessively, but I think it gets better with every revision.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I only remember the first story that left a profound impression on me. It was Tom Sawyer, followed by Huckleberry Finn.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I have three favorite novels. The Sea Wolf, 1984 and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. All have their peculiarities and charms. The one thing they all have in common of course is that they are all about the struggle of an individual against a tyrannical order of some kind--the most dramatic and important of all themes. I am fscinated by tyrannies, the willingness of some people to submit to them, and the strength of others to rebel. Wolf Larsen is the most fascinating character in all literature for my money--a true Nietzschean superman and a worthy tyrant.
Two favorite non-fiction works: Caesar and Christ, by Will Durant--I love the Roman Empire, an incredible civilization and a remarkable tyranny--and The Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan--a veritable Bible for the true rationalist..
What do you read for pleasure?
Guilty pleasure: Stephen King.
Less guilty: works by religious deconstructionists like Robert Price.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is my first attempt so I have nothing to compare it with.
Describe your desk
Cheap and cluttered.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
A little town in Maryland called Wheaton. It was a lot like the town in Stand By Me, and we had adventures and conflicts with older boys like in that film as well. These adventures and conflicts seemed worth writing about and I kept a sort of journal, now long lost.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My decisive loss of religious faith, the rise of the evangelical right in America. And the bizarre saga of Larry Flynt, which is ancient history now, I know, but a timeless, uniquely and hilariously American farce. It just seemed somebody ought to take all this on in fictional form.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having something important or amusing to say and having it come out right.
What are you working on next?
Story about a guy who finds a crashed research module from a deadly asteroid and holds it for ransom.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have a number of favorite books, but I can think of only one favorite author: Mark Twain.
Published 2014-02-06.
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Books by This Author

American Saints
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 143,820. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
In an America that is truly becoming the fabled “Christian Nation”, a rationalist hero challenges a superstar evangelist to a modified re-enactment of the Biblical Contest on Mt. Carmel (First Kings, 18). She accepts, the Contest occurs, and the world is treated to an American spectacle. The faith of a nation, and the very existence of God, seems to be on the line. Will God step up to that line?