Character Guest Post: Reyes Garcia, NAKED IN HAVANA
The first thing people ask me - other than what really happened in that warehouse after the briefcase blew up - is what it was a man like me saw in a woman like Magdalena Fuentes.
I guess most people thought she was just another girl to me - I know she did. But you know, there were beautiful girls everywhere, especially in a place like Havana, and they weren’t such hard work. I sometimes think it would have been easier to seduce Che Guevara than Magdalena Fuentes.
So why bother?
Other people think it was the challenge and I suppose there’s something in that. That first time she looked at me, at her boyfriend’s engagement party, like she wanted to bust my lip and bite me on the neck, maybe both at the same time ... well if you’ve never had a woman look at you that way, you haven’t lived, all I can say.
And being the daughter of a man who hated me, and the fact that she was in love with someone else, and that after our first conversation she told me she wouldn’t go out with me if I was the last man on earth - yeah, I guess the challenge was there.
But that wasn’t what made me go for the burn with her.
You may have heard it said: ‘If one woman is not enough, a hundred is not too many.’ Well they’re right, a hundred, or however many it was - it is just too damned many after a while. I was looking to reform, I just didn’t want anyone to advertise it and ruin my reputation.
But I knew myself well enough to know that if I stayed with just one woman she would have to be a little special to keep me from getting restless.
I guess I was looking for two things; the first thing was loyalty, and if you saw her with her father, what she did for him at the end, well you’d know this was a girl who would kill for someone she loves.
The trick was getting her to love you.
The second thing was spirit and that was something Magdalena Fuentes had in spades. I remember how she shut her boyfriend’s hand in the car door and then had her chauffeur drive off. Well, I never laughed so much in years. He was asking for it. I heard what he said to her that day in the garden. I knew what I did to her.
Even that time she got arrested by Masferer’s goons in Knife Street, when they took her back to the torture cells and threatened her, she was more worried about her father finding out she’d stayed out late.
So I knew I’d never get restless with Magdalena Fuentes. You never knew what she was going to do next.
So we were the perfect match. Except of course, that we scared the hell out of each other. It was the one thing I didn’t see coming; that as soon as I got everything I wanted I’d run away from it as fast as I could. And so would she.
I’d smuggle guns for the rebels. I’d sort out the Bay of Pigs for Kennedy. I’d even train montagnards to fight the Viet Cong.
But love? I don’t know.
Hell, love is dangerous. Losing your life - I factor that in as a cost of doing business. But losing your heart? Jesus, that could hurt.
About the Author
Colin Falconer was born in North London, and spent most of his formative years at school playing football or looking out of the window wishing he was somewhere else.
After failing to make the grade as a professional football player, he spent much of his early years traveling, hitch-hiking around Europe and North Africa and then heading to Asia.
His experiences in Bangkok and India later inspired his thriller VENOM, which became a debut bestseller in the UK and his adventures in the jungles of the Golden Triangle of Burma and Laos were also filed away for later, the basis of his OPIUM series about the underworld drug trade.
He later moved to Australia and worked in advertising, before moving to Sydney where he freelanced for most of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines, as well as working in radio and television.
He has over 40 books in print. HAREM was an enormous bestseller in Germany and THE NAKED HUSBAND was only kept out of the number one spot in Australia by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. AZTEC stayed on the bestseller lists in Mexico for four months. He is a bestseller in Europe and his work has sold into translation in 23 countries around the world.
He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz. He also completed a nine hundred kilometre walk of the camino in Spain.
He did not write for over five years following personal tragedy but returned to publishing in 2010 with the release of SILK ROAD and then STIGMATA. His historical novel ISABELLA was an Amazon bestseller last year.
His likens his fiction most closely to Wilbur Smith and Ken Follett – books with romance and high adventure, drawn from many periods of history.
His latest book is the romantic suspense, Naked in Havana.
Visit his website at www.colinfalconer.org.