I am delighted to share a very interesting guest post by Claude Saayman with you today on Blog Tour….I hope you guys enjoy it.
What makes a man risk his life, over and over again, for a few moments of pleasure?
Young Marc lives in an emotionally charged and volatile home environment that sets him on a path to psychological chaos and drug addiction. As a balm for his low self-esteem he develops a need for danger and puts himself in dangerous, sometimes deadly situations. He is just seventeen when he steals his first aircraft. A year later he joins the Air Force where he takes a helicopter for a joyride. He is caught and given a second chance in a fighter training squadron. One Sunday afternoon he decides to take a fighter jet for a joyride.
Marc deserts the Air Force but is caught trying to leave the country. He learns that he will be charged for treason and executed so he makes a daring escape. He is caught and put in a secure facility where he makes another audacious escape. He is caught and thrown into solitary confinement for three years. To pass the time in his cell, he flies imaginary planes. On the verge of insanity, Marc makes one last flight where he discovers the reason for his turbulent life.
On the way to his court martial he escapes and vows to start a new life.
The Psychiatric angle
True crime readers generally tend to favour the gruesome blood and guts stories of the famous serial killers, because they are intrigued by the criminal mind. And murder perfectly represents the extreme perversity of the criminal mind.
But what drives a person to transgress the fine line between acceptable and taboo?
Since 1808 when Johann Christian Reil first conceived the study of psychiatry, practitioners, savants and charlatans have been debating whether antisocial behaviour is a result of nature or nurture. My true story introduces another ingredient to the argument: ego. Something to keep the psychologists arguing for another 200 years?
A Serpent’s Conscience is an intimate journey through my mind as I grow from an innocent being to a sociopath facing the death penalty. It illustrates the inherent struggle between right and wrong and how violence and indifference can tip the balance. Profound transformations of the human psyche are almost always accomplished through extreme trauma, and my metamorphosis was no different.
I spent three years in solitary confinement in a cell only a few paces away from the gallows. From my destiny. Three years to fight creeping insanity and to reflect on my life. Three years to realise that I was the ultimate driver of my destiny; that while nature and nurture played a role, it was ultimately ego that determined my fate.
Ego is nothing more than an expression of desire. It is a natural defence mechanism which forces one to make choices that best fit your perception of yourself. In my case ego was a primitive mechanism that mediated the conflict between an intense desire to be loved and psychological survival (sanity). It drove me to put myself in dire situations in order to prove to myself that I was worthy of love but that also drove a wedge between me and society. Something else to fan the flames of psychological discourse
I wrote this book in the third person. It was the only way to safely relive the intense emotions that permeated my childhood and turned me into a sociopath and a fugitive.
And even after forty years on the run from justice and from myself I have not been able to flee the trauma of my childhood and the intolerable shadow that is my ego.
I no longer have nightmares, but I still tend to make more bad decisions than good. And I have become expert in covering up my many weaknesses and shortcomings.
This reluctant foray into my past started out as an exercise in PTSD management. It was supposed to allow me to come to terms with my turbulent life. It was never supposed to become public. It was too intimate.
Even though the experiment failed dismally on the psychiatric dimension, it revealed my talent for writing. Since I still suffer from deep self-doubt and lack of self-esteem, the term “talent” was bestowed by those more knowledgeable in the matters of literature.
A Serpent’s Conscience is a murder story. It is the story of how I killed the monster that I became. It is no different from other horror stories where the monster that everyone thought vanquished returns to make a last stand. Watch this space …
About the Author
Some say Claude Saayman is a genius, others say he is just a no-good criminal but very few know that he is one of the greatest impostors of all time. He spent three years in solitary confinement before escaping and starting a new life. Without so much as a high school diploma, he worked as a Surgeon, Engineer Airline Executive and managed a multi-billion-dollar project.
Claude learned the basics of writing in James Patterson’s Masterclass, yet his style has been described as reminiscent of Romain Gary.
To learn more about Claude and his extraordinary life, visit him online at thegreatestimpostor.com.
Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author website: https://thegreatestimpostor.com