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Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Author Clare Price: What’s a Nice Girl Like You …..
I’m delighted to welcome debut novelist Clare Price here today to talk about her new cyber thriller, WEB OF BETRAYAL.
The book takes place in 1994, at the dawn of the Internet Age, when companies from Silicon Valley to London are fighting to claim the billions to be made on the new information superhighway. Peter Ellis, an aggressive investigative reporter struggling to repair his damaged reputation, gets caught up in a quest to find a missing programmer who has mysteriously disappeared. Peter is unwittingly pitted against a brilliant hacker and deranged killer with an agenda of his own. As Peter is drawn into the deadly game of betrayal and murder, he is faced with losing everything he holds dear: his career, his one true love, even his own life.
Please join me in giving Clare a warm welcome as she talks about ‘What’s a Nice Girl Like You….’ you know. Welcome, Clare.
I think we all know the end of that sentence. I wonder how many other women who write thrillers have heard these words? I sure have. Women write great thrillers, but not so many are known to write cyberthrillers. By that I mean a thriller whose plot hinges on cyberspace, computers or software technology.
Besides my debut novel,WEB OF BETRAYAL, I know only of one other, Helen Hanson.
When we think of cyber or techno-thrillers as they are often called, we think of names like: Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Daniel Suarez and Dan Brown. All men.
Even though there aren’t that many of us, I’d like to make the case that women can not only write cyberthrillers that are as good as the ones the men write, in many ways they can be better: in two important ways. Here’s what I’m talking about.
1) Stronger character development. Let’s face it, in most cyberthrillers written by men the technology (weapons, hardware, computer systems, etc.) take center stage. They are the main characters on which critical plot twists occur. The hero gets a close second billing but all too often the women are plot devices, entertainment or a dialog foil. In thrillers written by women, I believe there is much more character development, not just due to physical danger but the exploration of the psychological and emotional trauma the hero/heroine faces and must overcome to solve the mystery or catch the villain.
2) Romance. I have yet to find real romance in a cyber or techno thriller written by a man. Sex yes, definitely. But a character/story arc in which two people meet, fall in love, stay together and still solve the crime? Nope. It’s true you have to walk a fine line adding romance to a story that must offer fast paced action and suspense as well as the technical detail that makes a cyberthriller, well, “cyberish.”
My goal in WEB OF BETRAYALwas to walk that fine line and create a romance that would add a layer of conflict and emotional context to the story. This was not because I love writing romance it was because I felt that my protagonist, Peter Ellis, could not be fully developed as a character and achieve his personal transformation without facing a true romantic choice.
With stronger character development and the layer of romance, I also believe women can write better dialog—messy, truthful dialog—that deals with the intricacies of life even while they are breaking secure computer code or developing a technology product that will change the world as we know it.
If you are a woman who has, is, or wants to write a techno or cyberthriller, I’d love to hear from you.
Clare, thanks so much for joining us today and sharing this look at cyberthrillers. I hadn’t thought about men verse women as writers for cyberthrillers, but you do have a point.
Now here’s a bit of background on Clare.
Clare Price is a former business journalist, technology reporter, Internet industry analyst and a VP of marketing for several software startups. She saw the birth of the commercial Internet firsthand as a research director with the Gartner Group, the global leader in information technology consulting. As a principal analyst in Gartner's Internet Strategies Service, Clare assisted many of the world's biggest technology companies (IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Sun Microsystems, Oracle) in their bid to make the information highway a reality. In addition to her 5-book series, The 5 Easy Pages Essential Marketing System, Clare has written more than 700+ articles in the areas of information technology, marketing and business strategies and growth and is a frequent speaker in the areas of marketing, management, and technology. An Ohio native and graduate of the UC Berkeley, Clare lives in Sacramento with her two Shetland Sheepdogs, Dan and Toby.
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