Friday, May 25, 2012

William Dietrich

William (Bill) Dietrich's historical and action thrillers have been translated into 28 languages. Dietrich is also a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, nonfiction author, and college professor of environmental journalism. He has won the Washington Governor Writer's Award and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.

His Ethan Gage Adventures feature an imperfect American adventurer who is not only a protege of the late Benjamin Franklin—but also a gambler, sharpshooter, treasure-hunter and romantic, who manages to get into plenty of trouble with women. Ethan's story entwines with Napoleon Bonaparte's, whom he first meets in Napoleon's Pyramids and is later allied to and odds with in The Rosetta Key and The Dakota Cipher. The newly released The Emerald Storm is the fourth novel in the series.

From a Q & A about the new book at the author's website:

Q: Ethan in retirement! I don’t believe it.

A: Our hero is perfectly ready to settle down, except that ambition, vanity, greed and treachery gets in his way.

Q: Fortress de Joux sounds forbidding. Why would Napoleon put a black hero, Touissant L’Ouverture, there?

A: This castle, which can be visited today, was the Napoleonic Alcatraz, one of the worst places to be imprisoned and particularly harsh for a captive from the tropics, given its alpine locale. But Napoleon wanted to return slavery to Haiti, and hoped imprisoning the black leader would accomplish it. Instead, it made the slave revolt worse.

Q: The Caribbean must have been a nice place to do research.

A: Somebody has to do it. It WAS nice, of course, but the islands we think of as paradise today were considered hellish then: hot, diseased, and thronged with insects. I had to imagine the setting from a very different perspective.

Q: Did the Aztecs really have flying machines?

A: No one saw them flying, but golden artifacts have been found that look oddly like airplanes. Perhaps they were representations of...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at William Dietrich's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Emerald Storm.

--Marshal Zeringue