Vail Valley questions: Author Charlie Diemer answers 7
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” As Minnestoa native Charlie Diemer’s prosecuting career came to an end, his life as a novelist began. Diemer, who spends time inColorado’s Vail Valley each winter and summer, is the self-published author of “Pearl of Tao,” a suspense novel tracing the fate of the world’s largest pearl and the Taosit, Muslim, and Christian sects feuding for it.
1. Vail Daily: Where did you get the idea for “The Pearl of Tao”?
Charlie Diemer: I was reading The Denver Post while at the Poste Montane in Beaver Creek when I read a feature about the world’s largest pearl and its murderous history.
2. VD: What type of research did the novel entail?
CD: The teachings of Taosim are voluminous. Added to that are the many translations of Lao Tzu’s ancient writings. I had to be selective. The Koran is not as long but there are many ways to interpret its passages. I went to Catcholic school for 12 years so my knowledge about these major religions expanded greatly and my core beliefs were challenged.
3. VD: How did you immerse yourself in the Taoist and Muslin cultures?
CD: I expanded my horizons with research, but the book is first and foremost an action-based murder mystery. The actions of some of the characters are motivated by religious beliefs, but the book is full of suspense.
4. VD: What are some of the Colorado connections in the novel?
CD: The Pearl of Tao has been held in a Colorado Springs bank vault for more than 20 years. This was mandated by a federal lawsuit. One of the owners hired a hitman to murder his wife in Colorado Springs and a trial resulted in a $32 million verdict.
5. VD: What writers have influenced you writing “Pearl of Tao”?
CD: I read Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben and Dan Brown, the author of “The Da Vinci Code.” The writers who have had the most impact on my writing were the other three members of my critique group.
6. VD: Any plans to write another novel?
CD: Readers have contacted me and want a sequel. I have started a murder mystery with the working title “The Snow Pearl,” which is set on a fictional ranch in the Colorado mountains. I plan to have the word pearl in the title of all my novels.
7. VD: Was writing a novel a ‘bucket list’ goal for you?
CD: I grew up wanting to be a trial lawyer and I accomplished that as a prosecutor for 25 years. I loved final arguments and pontificating at sentencing hearings. From this creative speech, I decided to write. I received an e-mail from a woman in Indiana who said I write suspense like John Grisham. She thought it must be because we were both attorneys. I feel very honored that so many people have loved my book, so I do feel fulfilled much like the old timers in the movie “The Bucket List.”
Stephen Bedford works at The Bookworm of Edwards.