Author Interview with Dale E Lehman on The Belt

Indie Author Interview: Dale E. Lehman on his Kindle Vella The Belt, and upcoming Books Penitence & Rooftop Sonata

Intense, with a rush of energy, Dale E. Lehman’s The Belt, on Kindle Vella, opens like an action packed movie. You may forget you’re reading in the first the place!

Lehman discusses The Belt and his numerous upcoming works. A member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), Dale has been reviewed by the Midwest Book Review, and is the author of numerous books and short stories.

Tell me about The Belt.

The Belt is a science fiction series set on Mars and in the asteroid belt. Colonization of Mars and the Belt is in its early stages. Only one colony currently exists on Mars, Lowell Colony, and the Belt is largely the province of mining operators, mercenaries, and outlaws. Now, exobiologist Dr. Miguel Hernandez and a small group of graduate students have made a stunning discovery: fossil evidence that microscopic life once existed on the red planet. But the microfossils have been found in a region slated for development of a new colony, and the power-hungry mayor of Lowell Colony, Andre Rand, is rushing to build it and to secure for himself the role of planetary governor. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep Hernandez and his proteges from disrupting his plans. Scientist and students are thrown into an underworld from which there may be no escape, a world ridden with crime and corruption, where nobody is quite what they seem…not even Dr. Hernandez himself.

Who is your favorite character(s) in The Belt ? I know it can be hard to choose!

I’m rather fond of Carmen Rand, Mayor Andre Rand’s duplicitous wife. We first meet her when she breaks off her affair with Dr. Hernandez. Although she’s in a perilous position–being Andre’s wife is dangerous enough without the complications she mixes in!–she never loses her cool and is adept at manipulating others without their realizing it. At the same time, she’s not entirely without scruples. She’ll protect others from harm whenever possible.

What’s your writing process like, especially pertaining to

The Belt ?   

I’m not a serious plotter. Even when writing novels, I generally throw in whatever comes to mind and clean it up later. But with The Belt, I’m treating it like an open-ended TV series. I try to make each episode self-contained in that the characters face issues and address them as best as they can. Of course, they never get out of the fire. There’s always one more issue, one more mystery, one more complication. I don’t actually know where Dr. Hernandez and his students are going to end up. They have been split apart by events and are following three different tracks, but forces are at work that might eventually bring them back together. We’ll see.

What made you want to put The Belt on Kindle Vella instead of publishing as an E-book?

I originally conceived The Belt as a series of screenplays for something like a TV series. It was more practice for me than anything, since I’ve only dabbled with that form. When I learned about Vella, I realized The Belt was a natural for that form, too, and more up my alley. 

What’s coming up next for your writing, Kindle Vella or otherwise?

I expect to release the fourth novel in my Howard County Mysteries series, A Day for Bones, in the first half of 2022. I’m writing a post-apocalyptic SF novel titled Penitence about, of all things, a deadly pandemic. However, it has nothing to do with COVID-19. It was originally a short story I wrote almost 20 years ago and have always wanted to expand into a novel. I just happened to get started on it a few months before COVID hit. Complete coincidence! I’m also making notes for my second Bernard and Melody caper, to be titled Rooftop Sonata.

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I try to make each episode self-contained in that the characters face issues and address them as best as they can. Of course, they never get out of the fire. There’s always one more issue, one more mystery, one more complication.

Dale E. Lehman

The Starstrike is coming to Kindle Vella this November 2021! Follow GG5 in a coming of age & dystopian story, of a girl born from a star in a technologically advanced Victorian world.


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