Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Seventeen by Mark D. Diehl with Interview


What is something you’ve lied about?

Jennifer and I were in Hong Kong, standing at the bulletproof glass window of the immigration authority. We’d just gotten married the day before, and had brought the marriage certificate to ask for a six month extension of our tourist visas to “extend our honeymoon.”

In truth, we couldn’t return to Korea because her influential parents had gotten South Korean authorities (cops, etc.) involved in trying to recapture her before she could flee the country with me. We couldn’t go to the U.S. because she had to get a visa from Korea, and we planned to look for illegal jobs in Hong Kong in order to keep from starving.

The woman looked up from the documents. “Why do you want to stay so long in Hong Kong?” she asked.

“We like it here,” I said.

Who is the last person you hugged?

My daughter, Myra.

What is the story of your first kiss?

The first time I kissed my wife Jennifer was when we started dating in South Korea. Almost everywhere we went, we were stared at and harassed for being an interracial couple. People called her a whore, and she wouldn’t tell me about it for fear that I would attack them and get deported. The only place we could be free of it was along a little street of seedy bars across from the American military base, where almost all of the women in them were prostitutes. Our first kiss was in front of a roomful of people who must have assumed I was paying for the privilege.

Do you like kissing in public?

Not as a general habit. Truth told, I’ve had PTSD for much of my life and it makes me nervous to have my senses distracted like that in public. I consider myself to be quite friendly and I have a great time interacting with people, but I prefer handshake distance so I can see what’s going on. To me, kissing should be reserved for times when I can devote my full attention to it.

Mark Diehl


Most of the world's seventeen billion people are unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts. The ecosystem has collapsed, and corporations control all of the world's resources and governments. A bedraggled alcoholic known as the Prophet predicts nineteen year-old waitress Eadie will lead a revolution, but how can she prevail when hunted by a giant corporation and the Federal Angels it directs?


The man’s mouth hung open as he stared at her face. His long, ashen hair had shifted, revealing a smudge of grease or dirt that made an almost perfect circle on his forehead.

 “Sir? Are you all right?”

His eyes widened. “It is you,” he said. “At last. I have been looking forward to meeting you for such a long, long time.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry it took me so long to get to your table, sir. I just clocked in.”

He blinked slowly, pondering her response. “Ah,” he said. “You are a waitress, still.  Well, then, General, I would have a cup of Vibrantia, if it pleases you.” The man’s expression never altered and his lips remained mostly still as he spoke, making it seem as though his voice was coming from somewhere or someone else.

Eadie clenched her teeth, trying not to laugh, though his words made her feel as though she was being tickled with a feather along her spine. “I’m sorry, sir. This is a corporate restaurant owned by McGuillian Corporation, so we synthesize only McGuillian patents. We have Synapsate but not Vibrantia. Would that be all right?”

“Of course, General. That would be lovely, if it pleases you.”

 “Okay, sir. And my name is Eadie, by the way.”

 “Thank you, General Eadie. And, if you like, you may address me as many have lately come to do. I am the Prophet.”


Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organizations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species. 
Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong. 

After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

$50 Amazon or BN gift card

My Review:  December 2013   ~ Review Copies ~

Seventeen: Book OneSeventeen: Book One by Mark D. Diehl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First I would like to thank the author Mark D. Diehl for giving me this book for an honest review. This is a very well written dystopian novel. The world building in good and well thought out, the characters are well written, although you do get many points of view throughout the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

View all my reviews


  1. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity! I will be checking out this book, loved reading the review! ^_^ Happy New Year.

    cloud.weaver.girl AT gmail DOT com

  2. Nice interview.


  3. Thanks for the interview, Dalene, and for your interest, Melinda and Rita!

  4. wow! you had me at "unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts" This book may be labeled 'dystopian' but the blurb sounds like something not too far from where we are now .... I just added this one to my to-read list. Great cover too! Looking forward to getting my hands on this one.

    Love the story of you and your wife in Hong Kong too. Sounds like a stressful start to a happy marriage :)

  5. Sorry I missed you on the day of your visit. Your post wasn't up yet at the time I was here. Meant to come back...unfortunately I made it back 2 days later....oh well! Enjoyed reading your interview though.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com