Saturday, August 11, 2012

GUEST POST WITH AUTHOR, CHARLES D. MARTIN

Author’s Perspective



While I have written other books, this was my first venture into the fiction space. I was fortunate to have excellent advice, an outstanding book designer and good technical support from copy editors/production proofers (although I must admit that the latter was like going through a 12-hour colonoscopy). I have really enjoyed the process; the ability to create characters, to take them through a journey of life’s experiences & adventures and, in the process, explore some aspect on the human condition or of the human experience. The encounters between men and women are an especially rich area for our entertainment, enlightenment and amusement.

What is this book about?
Simply stated it is about: audacious women taking on powerful men … and winning.

My wife and I are art collectors. In our collection is a set of six etchings by Picasso of the Greek comedy, Lysistrada (441 B.C.). It is an early comment on the power that women have over men. To end the war between Athens and Sparta the women of the two city-states ban together to deny men sexual pleasures until they stop fighting.

Down through the ages writers have created stories about this aspect of the human experience. Delilah rendered Samson powerless; the enchantress, Kirke, lured Greek sailors on the rocks in Homer’s Odyssey; Cleopatra possessed Mark Anthony. And so, the story continues in our every day lives. 

The dynamics, the interplay, between men and women is one of the most fascinating aspects of the human condition. For me it was enjoyable to visit this aspect of life, perhaps exaggerated by the contrast between an audacious female (Nadia my leading character), and the powerful men she encounters. In Nadia we have a fragile feline creature, seemingly easy prey for the ever-powerful alpha males … but stealth-like she has a sting like a diamond-back rattler.

The genders, male and female, are so different. It is enjoyable and enlightening to think about the unique attributes of each and how they interact with each other. All of us males are intrigued philosophically with what we observe in the potency of women’s power over us and how they employ those powers. Certainly, women have the wisdom to wield their powers in a clandestine manner. Women are not overt; they are subtle and intuitive in how they manipulate events to suit their goals. Men are obvious; superficial; objective in their thinking patterns … what you see is what you get. There is no mystery in men’s behavior; there is a great deal in women’s. 

Mother Nature made women smaller in stature than men. It gave men additional size, strength and the aggressive behavior traits to be good hunters. Throughout history their physical superiority has put men in a position of dominance. Women were dependent on them as the provider in a family unit. Thus, men have had the ability to force their will upon women. In the modern era, all that has changed. Yet, at the end of the day, what still drives female and male behavior is very primal and unchanging. In my novel, I chose to celebrate “woman power” in an amusing, adventurous way. Furthermore, through Olga’s views we look into this aspect of the human condition in a philosophical context.

In constructing Nadia’s character, I looked into the dark world of Russian orphanages. My research took me into that world through the eyes of a friend that visited many of those orphanages in the course of a three-week church mission to Russia. I was dismayed by what I learned. They are desperate places as described in the novel. Children in these institutions have little hope in life. Life on the streets for the gypsy children is even worst. With such a terrible beginning to her life, I chose to give her a genetic gift; very high intelligence. This becomes a big asset to her when she escapes from her dreadful circumstances. However, while her “IQ” is high, her “EQ” (emotional quotient) is low; with her early life deprivation from affection, family or young love, she struggles with her emotional development.

My inspiration for Olga’s character came from two sources. Firstly, a few years ago, while attending a State dinner at the US Embassy in Madrid, I met Aline Griffith (The Spy Wore Red, 1987) a fascinating woman that had been a CIA agent behind enemy lines during WWII. Her life story was amazing. Then, in August, 2011 just as I was beginning to write the novel, I read about the real life story of Nancy Wake, an agent in the British Special Operations forces during WWII. Her story is also remarkable and has been posted elsewhere on this website.

In the novel, the story takes us through Nadia’s encounters with men; her assignments. We experience the suspense of these missions and see her win through her finesse and feline prowess. All this is presented against a landscape of the highlife of her male “targets” (great destination hotels, grand villas and big yachts that provide the reader with a vicarious travel experience to places that they may never see). Readers also learn about a number of interesting things (the America’s Cup, Costa Smeralda, the emerging threat of a cyber-attack on the US and many other interesting things).

A basic aspect of the encounter between men and women is in their sexual interaction. On the advice of my lady (preview) readers, I have added some spicy scenes. These are not your ordinary “soap opera” type encounters. I have attempted to add sexual tension and to orchestrate something unusual between the characters. Nowhere is this more interesting than in the scene between Russoff and Nadia. She deeply fears him and is not immediately attracted to him. Yet, his masculine ruggedness and power inflame an unexpected carnal desire and nature takes its course. Mixing these contradicting emotions, fear and desire, makes for memorable scene.

Synopsis

BOOK DETAILS

Hardcover, $23.95
ISBN: 978-0-9851984-0-4
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9851984-2-8
Fiction/Suspense, 246 pages
Chaney-Hall Publishing Group
August 2012

Provocateur explores that aspect of the human experience that surrounds the age-old contest
between men and women. It is the story of Nadia, a young Russian woman who comes to
America through a mail-order-bride program. She becomes employed in an enterprise operated
by an ex-CIA agent named Olga, whose agency, through clever missions, extracts large amounts
of money from wealthy men.

In her “assignments” Nadia must get the best of powerful men that are at the top of the male
order.

Nadia, born an orphan, rises out of a life of poverty and despair, where she had no experience
with affection, to face her struggles and take on the challenges of her “profession.” She is a
complex, enigmatic woman of superior intelligence who must “win” through her finesse and
feminine prowess.

AUTHOR WEBSITE: www.ProvocateurBook.com
FACEBOOK: Provocateur-Book
TWITTER: @ProvocateurBook
GOODREADS: Charles_D_Martin

Charles D. Martin
Author Biography


“I love writing about strong, intelligent, independent women … they are
sexy and fun.”
Charles D. Martin grew up in a small Ohio town. His parents
were poor, but by working two jobs, he was able to put himself
through college – he studied 5 majors (physics, mathematics,
chemistry, electrical engineering and business) at Ohio State
University.
Martin has been fortunate to enjoy much success in life. He had a
distinguished career in venture capital and private equity,
founding two highly successful investment firms that he
managed during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. Currently he runs a hedge fund, Mont
Pelerin Capital, LLC, and serves on the investment committees of prominent universities.
Martin has extensive background in finance and technology, and has travelled to the exotic
locations featured in his debut novel Provocateur (August 2012). However, the novel itself
is more about the intrigue in the story and the alpha female that takes on dominant males and
conquers them.

Martin lives with his wife Twyla in a coastal town south of Los Angeles, California.

AUTHOR WEBSITE: www.ProvocateurBook.com
FACEBOOK: Provocateur-Book
TWITTER: @ProvocateurBook
GOODREADS: Charles_D_Martin

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