Interview with Robert Beringer

What is your book about?
This is a collection of short adventure fiction with water as the common theme. Water is the fundamental source of life for our planet; it falls from the sky and resides in lakes, rivers, streams, aquariums, underground and the ocean. It has many forms: it is warm, comforting, and salubrious; we all began our lives floating in it. It will speed the healing process of injuries, and is a part of every beverage on earth. It literally improves the health of people who spend time near it (why else would people pay so much to buy a house on the water?).
But water is also dangerous: It only takes a few inches of it to claim a life. In a storm it can be unforgiving, even murderous to those who venture out on it. And when it takes a life, it often takes the body with it. The water in a river can tear a person apart. When the world cools off in the fall, water lowers the body temperature of a swimmer until death results. In the winter it freezes and becomes hard, slippery, and painful; and contributes to myriad accidents and equipment failures. It can even be used to humiliate and torture.
From the time I wet my ankles in our backyard inflatable pool I have pursued water in all its forms. I love to paddle, swim, splash, dive, snorkel, sail, row, surf, ski, skate, drink, inhale, wade, walk and run in it. But on some levels water frightens me. As a boy I was never a good swimmer. When I bought my 16-foot catamaran I would get sick, worrying about how I would get it back to the shore. Within days of setting off on my new 34-foot sailboat with my wife, Hurricane Georges almost wiped us out, and when my toddler daughters each sank to the bottom of our pool I frantically pulled them out and wept more than they. I wrote this book because I desire to share with readers the profound effect that water has on our lives.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
In grade school I was required to do a report on Jack London’s “To Build a Fire.” To me this fiction was as real as it got: the narrator describes the struggle for survival of a lone man in the Klondike. One-by-one the bad things happen until at last, he surrenders and accepts sleep and death. I was shocked to learn that stories don’t always have a happy ending.

My book’s theme, like many of these, pits man/woman against nature, fighting with or against water to survive, desperately attempting to reach a safe destination.
Who are your favorite authors?
I wasn’t much of a reader until I graduated from college, when I borrowed a book of short stories by Ernest Hemingway. Boo-ya! It really opened my eyes, this man wrote gripping short fiction that was nothing more than tales of his own adventurous life with “embellishments”. Since then I’ve snapped up every short story collection I could find: London, Stevenson, Vonnegut Maupassant, Melville. I particularly enjoy what the well-written short story does: it pulls you in quickly with a great hook, keeps the reader engaged with plot, action, and dialogue, then ends quickly with a comfortable denouement or heavy implication. There are no wasted words--no padding of the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, and it wasn't very good...so I deleted it. Then I wrote another and it wasn't as bad as the first, so, encouraged, I wrote another. After five-years of this process I got to the point where I began keeping them, and sent some in to magazine editors. Now, twenty-years down the road I'm here with my first book, "Water Power!"

Time sure flies when you're having fun.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Trying to be a good husband and father, and doing most of the things you'll read about in "Water Power!"
What is your writing process?
Get myself up early and out of the house, away from the keyboard, and into the world. Meet as many interesting people as I can and listen to their stories, and do things that scare me.

Then, I write like hell before it all gets away.
Published 2015-04-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Water Power!
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 80,530. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Watch out, the water can be dangerous! Twenty fast-paced stories that will keep you on edge to the very end: From a beautiful day on the ocean that suddenly becomes apocalyptic, to a woman lost on the Appalachian Trail who fights to survive. A father struggles to save his drowning son in a freezing lake, and a sailing trip on Superior goes horribly wrong. Come experience the power of Water Power!