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  Love inspired by unnatural means

Title: Enchanter

Author: David M. Dibble

Publisher: Asgard Pub Co; (November 2004)

Genre: Mystery/Romance

ISBN: 0974579017

Hardcover: 313 pages


Rating: Consider


October 17, 2004


A young struggling actor by the name of David Graham is offered an unbelievable part in a play for television being in Italy. Graham is a stage actor tormented by severe stage fright in addition to having a problem committing to a relationship. Graham views this film offer as not only an escape from dealing with live audiences, but as an opportunity to end his current romance.


The film sponsor, Count Cagliostro, pays for Graham’s expenses for travel to location. The Count has the namesake of a 17th century con man who was infamous for dabbling in the occult, as well as swindling large sums from unsuspecting victims.


Upon arrival to the set, not only does Graham find his leading lady irresistible, but Deidre Carson is also more than capable of matching Graham in battle of the sexes. Throughout the filming of the play, a number of strange occurrences cause Graham to do some investigative inquiry about the films’ sponsor.


Meanwhile, Count Cagliostro is performing his magical tricks and mind-manipulating tactics for his own purpose, which appear to be something other than the production of the play. The Count’s practices put Graham and Deidre in a life or death situation in which the outcome is totally dependant on Grahams choice of action.


David M. Dibble’s fictional romance details a love story within a love story. The play itself is nicely written. However, I found the character of Count Cagliostro contradictory in actions as to the legendary description of a charlatan. What did the Count gain from all of this? Why did he bother? If this story’s intent is to baffle the mind, mission accomplished. I found myself, as puzzled as it’s main characters.


Having read the author’s last work ‘Typhoon Rising’ which was an exceptional read, I felt let down. Enchanter could have used a bit more developing in the two main characters.
  Reviewd by Juanita Reynolds

Purchase your copy today

An Interview with David M. Dibble




Betsie: To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


     Enchanter is a novel of mystical intrigue, and somewhat literary. A troupe of American actors are performing a Roman play in Italy. The contemporary story is bright Mediterranean sun and sea, and warm lovemaking; but the character Cagliostro increasingly introduces a sinister and disturbing past. Distant past and living present interweave, blurring the boundary between illusion and reality. So part of the book is ancient Rome, and everything that has been lost to us. And I wanted to blur time, and the magician Cagliostro allowed me to do that, with his claims of immortality. Most readers will assume this is total fiction, but Cagliostro and his story are all historical. I did find in writing such a book that I had to feel what was right, that I increasingly had to rely on my instincts.




Betsie: Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


     While growing up in Cincinnati, I read constantly, checking out eight books from the local library every two weeks.



Betsie: Who were your earliest influences and why?

     I read everything. Everyone in modern science fiction—Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke—as well as the classics of the schoolroom.


Betsie: What would a typical day be like for a writer?


     I try to start writing first thing in the morning, and go for about five or six hours without a break. I always try to read in the evening to recharge my batteries, so to speak. This isn’t terribly exciting. Actually I like Robert Heinlein’s comment that the high point of a writer’s day is when the mail comes; the low point is usually immediately thereafter.




Betsie: How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I started my first novel at the age of twelve.  By the time I got to college creative writing courses, I had already written four novels.




Betsie: Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


     Fiction is more difficult. Most people in the business seem to think that nonfiction is about ten times easier to sell.  



Betsie: Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?



     When I was young I thought that every new book of mine was a masterpiece. It was hard work writing, and anything that was that hard must be good. But the writing fell short of my intent. Finally, after getting praise in college writing courses, I completed a book that seemed publishable. But it was rejected. As was the next and the next. I couldn’t begin to describe my despair, the corrosion on my soul. I never had a sense that I triumphed over anything. Eventually I came to the conviction that I would never be published. Certainly everyone around me endorsed that view. I have no excuse for why I kept on writing.   




Betsie: What is the hardest part about being a writer?


     The difficulties belong to the unpublished writer. In order to find someone lower on the social scale than an unpublished writer one has to look to the criminal classes.




Betsie: Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


     I enjoy doing things that have nothing to do with writing, such as playing the Asian game of Go.




Betsie: Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


     The competition in writing or acting is so severe that almost everyone, except for a lucky few, ends up paying a price. There are many people who love to dump their negative attitude on anyone who is striving for something, and who make things as difficult as possible. Yes, you end up paying a price. Accept it.





Betsie: What question do you get asked more than any other?


     Maybe:  “Where do you get your ideas?”




Betsie: What’s the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


     Anything positive.  Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” I can appreciate the sentiment.




Betsie: What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


     Most readers read for pleasure, which they think is plot, though it really has to do with concern for the book’s characters. A book like Enchanter works at various levels. I sometimes worry whether people really get it, whether they’re just seeing the surface action. But that’s my problem.




Betsie: Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


     Writers tend to remember details—for years if necessary—and use them in books.




Betsie: Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?


     Most popular writers deserve their success; I enjoy a wide range of fiction. I did see a DVD of Smila’s Sense of Snow recently, so I went back and re-read the novel by Peter Hoeg. I didn’t intend to re-read it,  but started looking at the sentence structure in Chapter 1 and just kept going. And I enjoy Lindsey Davis for the Marcus Didius Falco novels, such as Venus in Copper. These books deal with ancient Rome, which was one of the things I was doing in Enchanter.




Betsie: If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


     Most of the information available to a beginning writer is propaganda. When I started New York publishers claimed to read submissions. When I finally talked to people who had worked for such publishers they said no one ever read unagented submissions. Manuscripts were thrown in a back room, then every six months the junior staff held a pizza party, and sat in the back room shoving manuscripts in return mailers. A beginning writer should try to get a personal referral from his or her creative writing teacher, the name of a receptive editor or agent.




Betsie: What kind of movies do you enjoy?


     I am open to any good movie. Just as with books, I don’t worry about categories.




Betsie: What’s the best part of being a writer?


     Sometimes there is a sense of accomplishment. Writers determine the culture of a society. The teller-of-tales has been an integral part of the tribe since people became people. There is something absolutely essential to the psyche in myths and legends, and without them cultures disintegrate.




Betsie: What's next?


     Probably a novel about historical Hawaii.  I spent years gathering the Hawaiian legends about the time of Captain Cook.  Most of these are at odds with the self-serving British accounts.  A corrective history might be useful.



BLP thanks Mr. Dibble for his time and we hope you enjoyed learning more of this rising author. We also hope to hear great things from him in the future.