Author Interview – Marvin Zimmerman – The Ovum Factor

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Our interview today is with Marvin L. Zimmerman, author of the fiction thriller novel, The Ovum Factor (Synergy Books, Feb. ’08).    



Destruction of Earth’s ecology threatens the survival of humanity. With time ticking away, a clandestine think tank of scientists and world leaders has identified our last hope – the controversial research of a Nobel Prize – winning professor aimed at unleashing the power of a unique molecule that can alter the course of human history.

When David Rose, a young investment banker from New York, is assigned to evaluate the professor’s research, he soon becomes swept up in a whirlwind of international espionage, assassination, and sabotage. David finds himself on a journey that takes him to the unexplored depths of the Amazon in order to fulfill two ancient prophecies for saving mankind and at the same time to realize his own destiny. From New York to Califonia, from China to the slums of Rio de Janerio, and into the Amazon, the search for the mysterious source of this rare molecule will take you into the heart of the unknown and unseen forces of nature.


Hi Marvin, 

Welcome to Paperback Writer  

Q: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?  The plot of my novel, The Ovum Factor, came to me in a dream I had ten years ago, I woke my wife and forced her to listen to every element of the story, including the title that I also clearly remembered from the dream. She agreed it made for a compelling story and we both went back to sleep. The next day, having recounted the dream that night, I remembered it clearly. But my life took some unexpected turns as we moved to Spain from our home in Canada and I became a first-time father at the age of 52. Also, my publishing business was growing rapidly with many additional demands on my time and energy. In 2006, I went to Brazil on a business trip and something hit me. That was where the story in my dream was intended to play out. I made a commitment to myself to go there later that year to finally write the book that came to me in my sleep a decade earlier. By September 2006, I was living in Rio de Janeiro and traveling to the Amazon to get background information for my novel. By January 2007, the novel was completed and ready for editing.  

Q: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it? In my case, the story unfolds as I write. Of course, I try to think at least a few chapters ahead to plan where I want it to go. But it’s basically a spontaneous process – I am living the story as I write it.

 Q: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning? Yes, I feel it is important to know what the last words of the book will be, almost from the start. Then, I have a goal to work to that selected ending. 

Q: Do you have a process for developing your characters? I try to imagine myself in each of their shoes to keep them unique and different from one another – in dialogue and in thought pattern. ‘Living’ the story allows for this, since I keep seeing the same unfolding plot but each time from a different perspective. 

Q: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be? I believe this too. My own thoughts and aspirations find expression not in any one character but in all of them to some extent. Especially, the protagonist, David Rose, is trying to save the lives of those he loves in one seemingly impossible situation after the next. I identify with this, since I too would climb mountains for those who are dear to me. 

Q: What is your favorite part about this book? I especially like the scene where David finds himself shot in the neck with a dart dipped in the paralytic agent, curare. He is alone in the most remote part of the huge Amazon jungle and with almost no hope of surviving the lethal poison. How and why he is saved always makes my knees wobble.  

Q: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher? Only once the manuscript was edited and polished. This took almost as much time as writing the book. Q: What struggles have you had on the road to being published? The usual ones, such as being a completely unknown author with no track record as a writer of fiction. These are formidable obstacles – and one cannot overestimate their influence.

Q: What has been the best part about being published?  I see being published not as the end but as the means to the goal I really have – namely to share my stories and ideas with a broad audience. Nevertheless, probably no author can deny that seeing their hard work take form in a printed book is not without its own unique emotional reward. 

 Q: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel? If there is one underlying message in this novel, it is that if we destroy nature, nature will also surely destroy us. 

Q: Do you have plans to write another book? I am now almost finished my second novel, The Last Noble Truth. Like the first, it is an eco-thriller based around climate change and destruction of the environment. And, like the first, it offers unrelenting adventure across several exotic locations, from China to Greece. But, unlike the first, it has a deep philosophical underpinning as the protagonist finds himself saved by the teachings of Buddhism. 

Q: Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you? Yes, once this is known I will be glad to. 

Q: Where can readers find a copy of your book? The Ovum Factor is available at book retailers and also at popular web sites for purchasing books such as and Barnes & Noble. ( Please visit the novel’s home page: for more details or for help in finding where to buy the book.

 Q: Do you have a website for readers to go to? Yes. Thank you, Marvin for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour. 

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