Marvin L. Zimmerman is 58, father of one son, Eric, who is 7 and married for 20 years to Maisie.
For nearly 15 years now, Marvin has been Publisher & Editor of INMR Quarterly Review - a publication in the field of transmission and distribution of electrical energy, with 20,000 readers worldwide. He is also Chairman and organizer of the WORLD CONGRESS OF INSULATORS, ARRESTERS & BUSHINGS - a bi-annual technical conference and exhibition which takes place in selected cities throughout the world.
Marvin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and went on to complete his M.B.A in international business (1972). Before starting INMR, he owned a small consulting firm specializing in international marketing. During this time, he travelled extensively throughout the world, visiting over 50 countries on all continents. He was also for many years a teacher of International Business at two of Canada's largest universities - McGill and Concordia.
Marvin's parents are both Holocaust survivors who managed to flee Poland just before the arrival of the Nazis. He was born in Salzburg, Austria shortly after the war finished and emigrated to Montreal, Canada while still a child.
The Ovum Factor was written in Rio de Janeiro as well as the Amazon during the three-month period between October to December 2006. The images and experiences written into the plot of his novel are based on firsthand exposure to the jungles and rivers as well as visits to the Indians living there.
All his life, Marvin has been an ardent environmentalist and lover of the natural world. The plot of this novel is in many ways his reaction to the desperate situation faced by the planet as a result of humanity's unrelenting focus on growth without constraint. He wrote The Ovum Factor to help remind readers that our future ultimately depends on protecting the natural world as its survival depends on us.
You can visit his website at http://www.theovumfactor.com/
or his blog at http://www.marvinzimmerman.blogspot.com/.
Welcome to The Writer's Life, Marvin! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you've been writing?
I’m a 58-year old publisher of a technical journal in the field of electrical energy. I am from a marketing business background and I have been writing fiction now for only about 18 months.
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
The plot of my first novel, The Ovum Factor, came to me in a dream I had ten years ago, I woke up 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 was 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.
What kind of research was involved in writing The Ovum Factor?
Because the book has many scientific angles, there was extensive research conducted mainly through the internet. Being a chemist, I was able to quickly assimilate these facts and apply them to my story.
Apart from the science, which is extensive, I also spent several months living in Brazil where most of the book takes place. Smelling, feeling and experiencing the jungle during the day and at night played an important role I cannot overestimate.
How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?
A little – but I left this work mainly to those who know this field best. I’ve learned to focus where my skills are greatest and to rely on others where these skills may be wanting.
Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
I cannot imagine a first time author, whose name is not already a household word, having a smooth time becoming published. The publishing industry almost guarantees that. For me, too, this has been a difficult and demanding ride.
For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?
Approximately 8 months.
Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it's necessary to have one?
I have no agent at the moment. In my view, it is not necessary to have one but it’s certainly helpful, depending on who that agent is.
Do you plan subsequent books?
I am now almost finished my second novel, The Last Noble Truth.
Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
I write whenever I feel inspired. This seems to be separate from any particular time of day.
If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?
Probably I would take out advertisements in selected magazines, whose readership parallels the target profile of people who would find my story of special interest.
How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?
Unfortunately, with virtually all the publishing industry’s budget going to support their established stable of authors, self-promotion for a first time writer is critical. I have relied mostly on the web – the great equalizer – to get my message and unique storyline circulated widely. I have even produced a 3 minute trailer to promote the book:
Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?
Never lose your most important asset – your self-belief. If you give up on yourself, why would anyone else give a damn.
Thank you for coming, Marvin! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
The Ovum Factor is available at book retailers and also at popular web sites for purchasing books such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. (www.bn.com) Please visit the novel’s home page: www.TheOvumFactor.com for more details or for help in finding where to buy the book.
THE OVUM FACTOR VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on Feb. 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Marvin's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/.
Marvin's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.
If you would like to leave a comment for Marvin, click here.
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