(1) $10 Amazon gift card
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Keeping Our Writing Fresh – Breakfield and Burkey
In writing our technothriller fictions of the Enigma Series, we use technology as our story’s foundation. Technology changes so rapidly, as does the consumption by businesses and individuals that we get a healthy stream of story baseline material subjects. As a result, we can pick a different focus topic yet maintain familiar characters and introduce new ones in supporting roles. Our stories are tales of cyber good guys versus cyber thugs. For example, we have focused on Identity Theft, Living Forever, Stealing the Future, Gamification, Commodity Market Hacking, Artificial Intelligence, and Cryptocurrency. These are relevant topics often appearing in world headlines and on social media outlets. These help us develop our stories and evolve our writing.
We feel we have an advantage as co-authors. It is very effective when we review characters because we can keep each other honest on what a man or woman might say. We draw upon our professional experience with various businesses, people, and travel which brings a realistic quality to our stories. When we use analogies to highlight a point, it is typically something that occurred. Sometimes we observe the absurdity of an event or a situation then stretch it enough to make it fascinating or even plausible. We often think about what Tom Clancy said about the difference between fictional stories and reality. Fiction has to make sense. We spend a lot of time trying to make sense of what we get in the technology space.
Our passion for technology and understanding of its continual evolution provides a relevant pool of information to draw upon. For example, the forerunner to devices today like an iPhone goes all the way back to the Enigma Machine. That device encrypted and transmitted German military secrets in World War II. We like storytelling that takes readers and listeners down a path of intrigue and makes them reflect on things like passwords or the use of social media. Today’s technical enablement online and embedded into every mobile device have helpful and harmful qualities.
Using that premise, we take a subject like Identity Theft in The Enigma Factor, put it on steroids, and mix in some clever bad actors from the darknet. Then we round up the R-Group’s cyber heroes to hose off their nefarious plans while exercising some romance coupled with travel and a dash of humor. Our diverse character universe allows us to exercise the persona needed in these different sub-plots to keep each story fresh. It permits the personalities we love and those we love to hate to grow, evolve, and thrive.
It’s terrifying to see how naïve some people behave today, especially our youth when it comes to simple things like putting a password on their phone. Most phones have credit card information they also have addresses of friends, photos of family, and a clear view of the preferences of an individual. What an easy way for someone to take advantage of some poor soul. The social engineering aspects are stunning and growing each day exponentially.
You might wonder how we take actual events and turn the scenario into a fictional story. Here is one example of identity theft. At a convention not that long ago, a young lady and her buddy were looking at all the tables, laughing and cutting up. They stopped at our table and chatted, looked inside several of the books, and grabbed some swag promising to return later. She smiled and walked away. A few minutes later, Burkey noticed a smartphone on the table after all the visitors had moved on. It was a brand-new device that at the time cost nearly a thousand dollars. Burkey swiped the screen, and it opened immediately. All the girl’s private information was there and available. Keep in mind that the phone could have been stolen or sold in minutes, let alone the number of purchases that were possible. We deduced who the likely owner was and put ourselves on babysitting duty to keep the device safe.
Thirty or so minutes later, the phone chirped. Yep, the owner had made a purchase somewhere else in the convention, which her device acknowledged. The anxiety must have set in as we heard a growing panic-stricken voice moving through the aisles and tables, seeking her phone. She finally arrived at our table. Burkey pulled out the phone and swiped it open. After chiding her for not having a password on it, the overall issues her carelessness exposed. Subsequently, she purchased The Enigma Factor, and put a password on her phone right after adding our photo to her device.
Current events are perfect story fodder. Granted, we take a different twist depending upon how we are telling our story. That said, both personally and professionally, we keep on top of global technology events, especially related to security. After all, Tech·nol·o·gy (tekˈnäləjē) – Is today’s weapon of choice….
If you enjoy the series, our newest The Enigma Threat has three new characters, two geeky girls, and one new love interest. One geeky girl in book 12 was a contest winner and provided a perfect role model for the needed persona. You can imagine the spirited conversation exchange when the person learned her geeky character was running an unsanctioned business model. But in the end, she laughed at how her geeky character evolved and was quite pleased. Good thing she didn’t win the Evil Genius role. Whew!
We look forward to hearing from you at Authors@EnigmaSeries.com.
Meet Breakfield and Burkey
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