Seduction Secrets

For my first book, Seduction, I drew inspiration from many sources. Fictionalizing facts that were horrific in real life and emphasizing them through fiction. It is not an autobiography, with only the names changed, but a WTF-graphy. It was the first time I had sat down to write about the incredible greed and abuse present, which is terrible, and the intentional coverup, which exacerbated the pain and loss of everyday people while filling the coffers of graft and upholding social privilege.

First, the title, Seduction. I believe the Gulf War was when I first heard the term “ordnance.” It was common parlance when talking about action in the Middle East. It took me a while to realize ordnance was a bomb and news briefs sanitized the war. So, I decided to sanitize “murder” by calling it “seduction.”

When we meet the female protagonist, a male college student is assaulting her. The influence for that was a documentary, It Happened Here, shown on PBS. Male students were assaulting female students, and the colleges were sweeping the crimes under the carpet to protect the college image and campus safety. Meanwhile, it ruined lives, silenced women, and excused male students from taking responsibility for their behavior.

The assailant, the son of a diplomat, did not get prosecuted. At the time, New York City was having a problem with diplomats and their families using their status as a get-out-of-jail-free card. These included parking violations, public behavioral issues, assaults, and property damage. Entitlement and privilege gave them all the protection they needed.

I also address depression which I did experience. It is an invisible illness, causing erratic and harmful behaviors. In the almost ten years since I published the book and today, there has been much enlightenment regarding depression that wasn’t available then. Depression is treatable and no longer shameful. I wanted to share that message.

The birth of Tawanda, an African nation, is based on the terrible hurricane endured by Haiti in 2010. It wrecked the island, leaving many homeless, hungry, and stuck in refugee camps. Billions of dollars in aid and donations sent shiploads of food and supplies to Haiti. I happened to see the newscast of the dock where all these materials were unloaded. It was full and locked. Every time volunteers got a shipment approved for release, it was/they were stopped as another tariff/stamp/approval letter was necessary. The government of Haiti would not release the goods to its people without endless payouts to the government officials first. Welcome to the real world. In addition, Tawanda’s seemingly endless war with the Democratic Republic of the Congo references the endless struggles Ethiopia has had with its neighbors.

As for the seduction of public officials, I wasn’t sure it happened with the regularity I implied. So, I looked it up. It’s hundreds of people, thousands if you go back far enough. People fall down stairs, die in aircraft crashes, eat poisoned food, die in car crashes, suffer heart attacks, and fall mountain climbing. It was not hard to imagine the killers in seduction doing the work and no one being the wiser.

When I located a Presidential designated conference in Lake George, I researched the area and remembered “Last of the Mohicans” came out of that region. So, of course, I wanted to include indigenous peoples. I picked the Mohawks, who no longer live in the area, because of the famous Mohawk Iron Walkers who worked the frames of the New York skyscrapers and built the iron frame of the Adirondack house where the conference was held.

I’ll end with “Seduction.” Keep an eye out for the many kinds of seduction as it’s not just for killing. It can be kind, loving, murderous, abusive, coercive, demeaning, blindsiding, and controlling. For me, from the first version to the final version took five years of writing and rewriting, taking chapters out and putting chapters in, working on characters, and weaving the web that connects so many disparate ideas, concepts, plots, and people into a book I hope you enjoy.

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