Claire Croxton here, the creator of soul-searching snark. Today, I’m interviewing Donna O’Connor, the anti-heroine from Bill Wetterman’s thriller Room 1515. I’ve never interviewed a female undercover agent before, so this is a first for me.
Donna’s here now. She’s early, and her heels click rapidly on the cement floor, as she walks to her chair. She waves me over to mine.
“Sit,” she commands as if she’s in control of the interview.
“You haven’t touched up your makeup. We’re filming this piece.” I say.
Her head tilts, and she smirks. Gorgeous red hair, seductive blue eyes—even with smudged mascara, the woman shines with confidence. I look over to my crew chief. He mouths, “Go with it.”
I reach out my hand. “Nice to meet you, Donna.”
Her smile warms the room. “Please, call me Peacock. Donna O’Connor died years ago. What would you like to know?”
“You get right down to business,” I say.
“I’m on a tight schedule.”
“Okay, so Peacock, why did you join the CIA?”
She moistens her lips. “I didn’t join the CIA. I tested for a job in hospitality with them. They analyzed my personality profile and saw what a psycho I am. They recruited me for Hercules, the ultimate unit of warriors. We’re not CIA.”
“Interesting.” I’m curious as to what she might reveal about this organization, “Can you tell me about the training, special routines or rituals that make you unique?”
A grin forms. Peacock relaxes. “If I tell you the truth, I have to kill you. It’s cliché, but it’s a fact.”
Acid hits my esophagus. Both of us laugh.
“Have you ever been water boarded, Claire?” she asks.
“Only once while doing research for a Luna project.”
“Not any fun, is it?”
“Well, it had potential.” I cock a smile, catching the trained assassin off guard.
“I’m an expert in all martial arts. I can endure being tortured to death without cracking. The how and why, I’ll leave to your imagination.” She leans forward. “I’ve never lost in one-on-one combat—not to a man, woman, or beast.”
“What was the scariest moment of your life?” I ask, figuring she’d go deeper into her past as a spy.
Peacock turns pale. Her jaw quivers. She raises her voice. “You know my whole family died in a car crash. I’m the only survivor. Even then, I wasn’t afraid. I’m angry with God. Why did they die, while I live? Explain this to me.”
“Then change the subject.”
“Forgive me, but it’s my job to ask tough questions.” I glance at the neatly typed questions on my note card and ignore them. “If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?”
“My husband, Arthur.”
“Arthur Pendleton, the leader of the World Financial Corporation.”
“Yes.” She looks at her feet. “He’s raising our son by himself. Hercules forbids me to see little George. I would apologize for not being the wife he deserves.”
Obviously, I’m too close to some hidden pain. I change the subject. “What books have influenced your life?”
The smile returns, and I detect a flash of pride cross her face.
“The Kama Sutra and Son Tzu’s The Art of War.”
“Two good ones. I’ve always thought a combination of the two would make for some interesting reading.”
She laughs. There’s something chilling about watching a trained killer grin. “Why these two books?”
“I’ve got an IQ over 150. I can read and understand just about anything.” She inhales and taps her foot. “I’m all about my job. My job is to seduce, betray, and kill if necessary. Every assignment is a battle. What better books to absorb than these. I’m very good at what I do.”
“Is there a piece of advice you received that sticks with you? If so, can you share it?”
“Yes,” she says. “I once asked my handler, ‘Do you ever question what we’re doing?’ He answered ‘Yes, and, it does no good. If you’re looking for a black or white world, there is no such thing, only win or lose. Pick your side and win.’”
“What’s next in your future?”
Peacock stands. She reaches out and shakes my hand. Before I can pull myself up, she turns and heads to the door. Looking back she says, “I’m assigned to protect the President of the United States with my life. He’s headed to London, and I’m accompanying him.”
With that, I admire her Christian Louboutin platform heels as she exits. The fact that she’s an elite operative with the Hercules Project is admirable, but that she can protect the President while wearing 5” heels makes me hate her just a little.
While hard at work writing thrillers, Bill Wetterman finds time to give back to the community by speaking to groups interested in understanding the mind of a writer. Bill’s shares his experience on how he constructs novels and short stories. He can speak on a variety of topics, including:
*Self-publishing—the pros and cons
*And, the steps to becoming a published author
Bill Wetterman is a freelance writer and published author. Bill’s interest in international politics and world spheres of influence helps him weave stories of intrigue and espionage in international settings. The stories he writes not only could happen, but also may be happening right now. Room 1515, his international, political thriller is one.
Bill’s short stories are published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and the Writer’s Digest 2011 Short Story Anthology. Bill is a member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Inc. and the Tulsa Nightwriters. Room 1515 won the thriller competition at OWFI in 2011. His short story, The Family Tree, placed eighth in the Writer’s Digest Short Story Contest for genre fiction in 2011 out of 11,800 entries.
To contact Bill to schedule speaking engagements, Email him at email@example.com.
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