by Megan Carney
July 18th, 2017
Adult, Adventure, Thriller
A sabotaged CIA operation makes Navy Trent a captive. But surviving the kidnapping is just the beginning of her ordeal. The CIA will kill her if she doesn’t stay quiet. The saboteurs will kill her if she does. Navy is forced into a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse where only her wits – and a little bit of luck – can keep her alive.
~AUTHOR INTERVIEW with M. Carney~
1) What gave you the inspiration for the storyline?
I wanted to write a book about a private, ordinary citizen who survives what seems like an impossible situation. And I wanted the enemy to be unexpected. Yes, there are terrorists in this book. But they’re not the criminal masterminds. They’re being used by someone even more terrifying.
2) Are there any hidden themes in the book that you hope readers will discover?
I think there’s poisonous idea in the world that psychological resilience is something people are born with or not. And that if you’ve failed at some point in the past, or you didn’t stand up for yourself in a situation where you should have, that you just don’t have that psychological resilience.
You can learn to be strong. You can learn how to face panic and deal with anxiety. You can learn resilience. It’s just a set of skills, like any other.
3) Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
Very loosely. I’m certainly inspired by all the wonderful qualities in my friends, but I don’t like to make my characters too close to people I know. For one thing, it’s distracting while you’re writing to try to predict what someone you know would do. But also, I don’t want anyone I know to feel like they found a character that represents them. They might assume I think something about them that’s not true.
4) Who has influenced you most as a writer?
There isn’t just one writer. I’m a big reader in a lot of genres. At one point I did a lot of reading on psychological heuristics and the games your brain can play while you’re trying to make decisions. I also like to read books that help me dig into the psychology of my characters. What is a victim actually feelings? What are attackers actually thinking?
I’m kind of a news junkie as well, because there are always stories behind the stories. Global politics is as much about the personalities of world leaders as it is about hard facts, like military strength and GDP.
Fiction-wise, I like to read any book that is character driven. I like Dennis Lehane and Gavin Extence and Linwood Barclay. I really enjoyed ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel, even though I don’t read much dystopian fiction. The pandemic that sets the stage for the novel is a backdrop, not the focus. The characters feel very real.
5) If you could have any three literary characters over to your place for game night, who would you invite, what would you play, what would you serve, and why?
Well, Katniss, of course. And Matilda from Roald Dahl. And Jennet Stearne from ‘The Last Witchfinder.’ All of those characters showed tremendous strength in extraordinary situations. As for what I’d serve . . . whatever’s easiest on that day. I don’t have a lot of time in my schedule for gourmet meals.
Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”
Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.
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