Mata Hari: Agent H21 – The Eye of Dawn

Mata Hari

MATA HARI: Agent H21 – THE EYE OF DAWN is a pet project of mine. For many years now I have been interested in the story of Mata Hari – and even beyond that, the myth that has built up around her. I asked myself was there a real-life character more befitting the Pulp Fiction treatment than Mata Hari? Her name alone conjured up images of exotic temple dancing, veils, ornate jewel-encrusted head-dresses and rhythmic undulating body movements. The idea of an exotic dancer who worked as a lethal double agent and used her powers of seduction to extract military secrets from her many lovers made Mata Hari an enduring archetype of the femme fatale.

In the fictional world, she’d been the subject of at least four movies, three stage musicals, and countless other plays and radio adaptations. She was the woman Indiana Jones lost his virginity to – The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – Demons of Deception. If that wasn’t enough, in Charles K. Feldman’s Casino Royale (1967) – that’s the one with David Niven as Sir James Bond – it is suggested James Bond fathered Mata Hari’s child – naturally enough, named Mata Bond.

So I had this idea putting together an anthology of stories, featuring Mata Hari, and inviting other authors to participate. However, with my busy schedule, I kept pushing the idea back. But the idea wouldn’t go away. Finally I bit the bullet, and pitched the idea to my publisher…

“There may not be a more tantalizing, truly amazing historical figure to have existed than Mata Hari,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions. “And when the man behind this project, David James Foster came to me with an idea for a collection of tales centered around her, the answer was simple. This is the sort of project Pro Se thrives on. Pro Se Productions is a company about reviving characters from the past, real or fictional. Mata Hari, in many ways, uniquely qualifies as both, so a new collection of tales swirling around her seemed a perfect fit for Pro Se.”

So the project was a go! I must admit, when the call for submissions went out, I wasn’t sure what to expect. When the stories started coming in, I was surprised many of the authors picked up on the fact Mata Hari was a mother, who’d lost one child and had another taken away from her. In other tales of Mata’s life, that pain, anguish and regret is often glossed over – but each of the contributors had done their homework, and their stories moved beyond the myth. While this theme was not always front and center, after all these are pulp adventure stories, it bubbled beneath the surface and gave the collection a weight, and a sense of humanity.

I am proud of the fantastic team of authors who came aboard this project – Justin Manuel Sawyer, Marie Beaud, A. S. Crowder, E. W. Farnsworth, Shannon Court, and Simone Torey. They took the concept and ran with it, and made this book what it is. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.


MATA HARI: AGENT H21 – THE EYE OF DAWN is now available in paperback and as an eBook, from Pro Se Production. Yes, the Queen of Spies is back in seven new tales of adventure, seduction and espionage.

Trust No One!

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