Arch villain Ann Marie Marinaccio would stop at nothing, including murder, to prevent the development of a new alternative energy source.
Marinaccio, a new breed of bad guy -- a hedge fund manager who trades in oil derivatives in best-selling author David Hagberg’s new techno-thriller, “Abyss” -- stands to lose billions of dollars, you see, if the answer to the world’s energy crisis is found in harnessing ocean currents.
Thursday, the real-life Ann Marie Marinaccio, actually the chief financial officer for Lakewood Ranch MGA Insurance Group, beamed as Hagberg, a Palm-Aire resident, read a passage in public from “Abyss.”
“It’s kind of neat,” Marinaccio said after Hagberg finished reading the passage.
She has no issue with her name being used for a super villain. In fact, she likes it that way.
She was offered the opportunity to have her name used as a good guy or a bad guy in the book by Hagberg, and chose to be a villain.
Not that she is a fan of evil-doers, but that she thought the character might be more interesting.
The character in “Abyss” is not to be confused with the real-life Ann Marie Marinaccio.
But the fictional character is like her mother in that both are “clever and smart,” said Ann Marie’s daughter, Lori Ann Marinaccio.
Several years ago, Hagberg, who has written more than 70 novels since 1975, volunteered to use the name of the high bidder in a charity auction in one of his books.
Hagberg’s wife, Laurie, is a member of the Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club, which has raised more than $850,000 for charity in the past 10 years through its SunCoast Food and Wine Festival.
Ann Marie Marinaccio bid $5,000 and won the opportunity to have a character named after her husband, Lou, president and CEO of MGA Insurance Group.
But Lou Marinaccio declined and said the honor should go to his wife.
Hagberg, a former U.S. Air Force cryptographer and newspaper reporter, said it was the first and likely last time that he will put up for auction the name of a character in one of his books.
“Abyss” is built around the energy crisis and climate change. Many of Hagberg’s novels are written from current events, or sometimes even anticipate threats that become headlines.
“In Joshua’s Hammer,” he foresaw the 9/11 attack on the United States by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida; in “Desert Fire,” Saddam Hussein’s nuclear ambitions; and in “High Flight,” the downing of airliners as a method of terrorism on a massive scale,” his website says.
Hagberg’s style of suspenseful writing has been compared to that of Ian Fleming and Tom Clancy.
After reading a portion of his book, Hagberg presented a signed copy to Marinaccio, and then had a book signing at Lakewood Ranch Country Club. Some who bought the book, released just a couple of days ago, took the opportunity to have Hagberg and Marinaccio both sign their copy of “Abyss.”
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.