Wednesday, July 13, 2011

David Hagberg's "Abyss"

David Hagberg is a former Air Force cryptographer who has traveled extensively in Europe, the Arctic, and the Caribbean and has spoken at CIA functions. He has published more than twenty novels of suspense, including the bestselling Allah's Scorpion, Dance With the Dragon, and The Expediter.

Here he shares some suggestions for director and stars for an adaptation of his latest thriller, Abyss:
My nasty little story telling secret concerns the age of Kirk McGarvey who has been the main character in fifteen novels and counting. Without Honor, the first story, he is hiding in plain sight in Switzerland with a live in girlfriend and his go to hell kit—cash, several passports, credit cards and his pistol a Walther PPK, suppressor and a couple extra magazines of ammunition. An assignment for the CIA that went bad in mid-stream ruined his marriage and forced him to go to ground.

At that point he was a man of fifty or so, with a background in Air Force intel in Vietnam.

Move forward to my new novel Abyss, set right now, and Mac is still about fifty or so, and I no longer mention any Vietnam connection, because that would put him in his late sixties. I’ve never aged him, and I blame it all on Mickey Spillane, who early in my career gave me two pieces of advice: If you have a character you like, don’t age them, your readers won’t care. And, if your plot sags kill someone important.

With all that in mind Bruce Willis has always been in my head as McGarvey. The actor is so goddamned versatile. The problem of course is that Willis has aged, where Mac has not. Right now I’m seeing Russell Crowe, one of my favorites, as Mac.

So in Abyss which is basically an ecological thriller (global warming and all that) Mac goes up against Brian DeCamp, a highly trained former South African Self Defense Force mercenary who has been hired to sabotage a nuclear power plant. Of course he’s Matt Damon.

DeCamp has been hired by Anne Marie Marinaccio who is a multi-billionaire hedge fund/derivatives manager doing business in Dubai because she’s wanted for financial crimes in the U.S This woman is evil, manipulative and as driven to continue making money as she is brilliant. I can’t see anyone else in the role except for Meryl Streep.

But driving the entire story is the NOAA ocean scientist Dr. Eve Larsen—think a bronzed, outdoorsy Hilary Swank —who has devised a system to take limitless energy out of the Gulf Stream and other ocean currents, not only generating cheap electricity from a non-polluting resource, but actually having the potential to change the weather planet wide. Dr.Larsen will win the Nobel Peace Prize for her science, but just about everyone who makes money from fossil fuels and nuclear energy will come gunning for her.

And how about Ridley Scott or  James Cameron to direct?

Ah, I can see myself sitting back now with a bottle Veuve Clicquot, my feet up, watching the opening credits.
Learn more about the book and author at David Hagberg's website.

Writers Read: David Hagberg.

--Marshal Zeringue