Trap and Trace
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: 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.
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.
- Do you do a lot of research for your books?
I do. I probably research too much, but I think even in fiction getting the details right matter. If I see a show or a book where torture is used and it’s portrayed as an effective solution to a problem I get a little upset. Or if I read something that implies Islam is synonymous with terrorism. Even though stories are fiction, the subconscious is a tricky thing. Readers carry the ideas from books into real life, whether they know it or not.
The hardest thing I’ve found is that you can’t fit everything you learn in your novel without making it a text book. The book I’m working right now involves North Korea and I read so many terrible, fascinating things I wish I could share with the world. But I have to choose carefully what I put in so I don’t overwhelm the story with facts.
- Are any of your characters based on people in your life?
Very loosely. Tying a character too closely to a real-life person is distracting for me. I find myself asking “would this person do that?” and I can never answer those questions for sure. Also, I don’t want anyone I know to feel like they found themselves in a character I’ve written. On occasion, I ‘ve used a direct quote from one of my friends but I always run it by them first.
- Any favorite drinks/food you have while writing?
I tend to lose time and forget to eat when I really get caught up. But a good cup of hot chocolate never hurts.
- Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Yes, though I gave up the dream for a while. When I picked the idea back up, I had to adjust my expectations. I had this idea that you work to get an agent, and then you get a book contract and then, poof!, magically the rest takes care of itself. I don’t know if the publishing business ever was that way, but it’s certainly not that way now. Even the authors I know who have contracts with publishers aren’t necessarily getting a lot of support from their publishers, unless their books are bestsellers.
I don’t know if writing will ever be my day job. I hope so. But I know it’s something I have to do, so I’ll just keep doing it.
- You have experience in computer security. Did you get a lot of ideas while doing that kind of work?
I have more novels in my head than I have time to write. Pretty much every day I see a headline or a some sort of research that gives me a new idea. Just last year I saw this article about how some researchers had discovered glasses with a special pattern on the frame could defeat facial recognition algorithms and trick them into seeing someone entirely different. Not a pattern on the lenses, just on the frame itself. The internet of things also has a lot of potential stories.
Devices like Alexa and Google Home are listening all the time. Any device with voice-activated commands is listening all the time. Just recently, there was a case where recordings from Alexa were subpoenaed by investigators on a murder case. I could see a lot of interesting plot twists where voice recordings are abused by an attacker, or used against one. Even some fancy refrigerators have internet-connected features now where someone could potentially display messages, or mess with your grocery list.