Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Book Connection is pleased to have author Marvin Zimmerman with us today. Marvin is also the Publisher and Editor for INMR Quarterly Review-- a publication in the field of transmission and distribution of electrical energy, with 20,000 readers worldwide. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a M.B.A in international business. Today we'll be talking with Marvin about his fiction thriller novel The Ovum Factor.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Marvin. I'm thrilled you could join us.
Thank you. I’m glad to be here as well.
Before we get to The Ovum Factor, please tell us a bit about yourself. Where were you born and where do you now reside? What are some of your interests outside of writing?
I was born in the place made famous by the movie The Sound of Music– Salzburg Austria, also best known as the birthplace of Mozart. Coincidentally, I was born the same day as Mozart - Jan. 27 – although obviously a few years later.
Now, I live in Montreal, Canada, better known for its hockey than its music.
My greatest interest is traveling and writing about all the many fascinating places seen and people I’ve met over the years. I have been lucky enough to have visited over 60 countries so far, most many times.
In addition to all you do now, you've owned a small consulting firm specializing in international marketing, traveled extensively, and taught International Business at two of Canada's largest universities. How have those experiences influenced your writing? And how have they changed or solidified your views of the world today?
My years of consulting across many fields have given me a very broad range of knowledge that is very helpful in constructing the plot for any new novel. Similarly, teaching gave me useful experience in presenting my ideas in such a way that they can be easily understood.
My novels have a strong international flavor because of my extensive background as a world traveler and also because people today are linked together in a way as never before. When someone anywhere in the world does something significant, it has a global impact almost immediately. Every issue therefore has to be seen from an international perspective. It is no longer sufficient to think that when toxic waste lands in a river in China, it’s their problem alone. That when thousand year old trees are burned down in the Amazon to make farm land for cattle that it’s of no concern to us. We all pay the price for such localized tragedies.
Let's talk about The Ovum Factor. What is this book all about?
In a few words, The Ovum Factor is about one man’s journey to find a possible solution to the catastrophic effects of climate change. In the process, he finds himself swept up in a world of international espionage and sabotage as he races against the clock to save the people he loves most.
The Ovum Factor will take the reader on a spellbinding adventure from the centers of high finance in New York to the California Institute of Technology in beautiful Pasadena – from the villages of southern China to the slums of Rio de Janeiro and then into the hidden depths of the Amazon jungle. In between, there will be more twists and turns than The Da Vinci Code.
It's my understanding that this book was written in two exotic locations and that the images and experiences from your time in those places are written into the novel. Where was the book written and how did you turn your firsthand experiences into a novel?
The Ovum Factor was written entirely in Brazil – partly in Rio de Janeiro and partly in the Amazon.
While in these exotic and unforgettable places, I was inspired by the sights and smells, the sounds and textures of the rainforest, which one finds even in and around Rio. The unusual people I met during my several months stay eventually find themselves interwoven into the characters of The Ovum Factor. For example, while visiting a remote Indian tribe, I was introduced to their shaman or healer who became the model for the character Bakú in my book. Bakú’s tribe also used the glove embedded with aggressive live tucandeira ants whose bites are extremely painful. This inspired the episode where the protagonist, David Rose, is challenged to compete against an Indian warrior in this exceptional test of courage.
Tell us about David Rose. Who is he? Why will readers relate to him? And why will they care what happens to him?
David is a complex personality who, because of family influence, ends up working as a New York investment banker – something that does not suit his real interests and inclinations. As a result, more and more he finds himself asking “what am I doing with my life?”
Many readers may relate to someone who suddenly finds a doorway opening for him into the life destiny had always planned for him. Through the manner in which he discovers this fact, these readers may find themselves wondering whether they are also living according to their true destinies.
Because the stakes are so high, every reader will care about how David meets the many challenges fate has laid out for him. And, hopefully, they will share in his emotional journey.
When we first meet David, he is contemplating how his life has turned out very differently than he had planned. Do you think that happens to all of us? Is there a chance that David will find the path to the life he originally dreamed of?
As I already said, there are many people whose lives are guided by others and not by their real purpose. Reading The Ovum Factor may inspire some of these to look at their lives differently and question whether they have the courage to do what their hearts dictate.
With The Ovum Factor you also seek to share a message with readers that is very dear to your heart. Can you tell us about that?
As a frequent and experienced world traveler, I have seen the rapid and ongoing destruction of our environment, from Brazil to China, from Canada to Indonesia. My simple message is that if we destroy nature, then nature will destroy us. Our world is a highly-interactive one where the survival of each species is closely linked to the survival of the others. It is a complex system balanced by eons of adjustment and correction by the forces of nature. Whatever was out-of-balance in the past, nature corrected.
Climate change may end up being nature’s way of correcting the heavy-handed influence of humanity on a planet shared by millions of other species.
Where can readers purchase a copy of The Ovum Factor?
The Ovum Factor is available at most major book retailers and also at popular web sites for purchasing books, such as Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com
If anyone has difficulty finding it, they should visit the novel’s web site for additional information: The Ovum Factor
What is up next for you? Are there future projects you wish to share with us?
Yes, I am now finishing my second novel, The Last Noble Truth, which is another eco-thriller, this time focusing on the destructive practices of the oil industry and highlighting the potential for wind energy. It is another great adventure where the protagonist – an oil exploration geologist - faces great challenges and by some strange fate becomes inspired by the teachings of Buddhism. Readers can find the first chapter of this next book at:
Is there anything you would like to add?
Maybe one last point. I hope readers will give me a chance as a new novelist. The themes of my books are highly relevant to the world we now live in and they offer unforgettable adventure and romance along the way.
Thank you for being our guest today, Marvin. I wish you much success.
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