Ever notice how interesting non-writers find writers? Whenever I’m forced to write in public (still a mom first and I can’t tell you how many karate or dance classes I’ve sat through) I’ll notice surreptitious glances thrown my way. I wear my bangs long and sometimes, I can watch them through strands of hair and see them debating whether or not to ask questions. I welcome questions. I can be a social hermit. <g>
But, it’s more fun to watch them read the titles of my research books. I’ve touched on this subject before but it’s a fun one to revisit.
A few years ago, there were a couple of moms in volleyball practices who took forever to get up the courage to ask why I had certain books. In fact, they looked so dismayed, I would sometimes bring extra weird books with me–just to secretly watch horror flash over their expressions. Bad Rinda.
At the time, I was working on an Irish American government hacker book. Seriously. It was about a woman who grew up in Northern Ireland with a Protestant mother and a Catholic father. Her mother, afraid for the older son took him and abandoned my young heroine. Later, she saw her best friend’s father gunned down for helping to rebuild certain bombed buildings. She saw men she knew were her father’s friends gun down her friend’s father. In a world gone mad because of political and religious differences, she found solace on this new thing called the Internet– you were equal there and judged only on your skill–not religion, race, sexuality–nothing but skill. She hacked for the challenge and ended up being recruited into an American government organization by the very brother she hadn’t seen in twenty years. She ends up tracing hackers to stop funding for illegal weapons going into her home country… sees her brother die and is later pulled back in against her will to track a hacker her ex-employers believe is that brother. Oh, and did I mention she had fallen in love with the very man who tricked her into finding her brother?
Okay, there’s a lot more but I don’t want to bore you all to death. <g>
So, in my research, I had books on the IRA, the PIRA, the SAS, Ireland, guns, computer hacking, honey pots (for those of you who have never studied hacking, they are fake systems set up to track hackers), Boulder, Colorado (where I set her up in the present part of the story)–the list goes on, but you get the drift.
Okay, okay, I have to admit that I would usually have a notebook and pen in hand, hoping they’d quickly realize I’m a writer and dismiss the books. After all, I didn’t want to purposely scare them. Not really. Seriously. In fact, a lot of times I would go out of my way to explain. But there was this one who liked to look people up and down and sneer and she did that behind-the-hand-whispering thing. I really, really dislike that. Disliked it even when I was a kid and other “kids” did that. But this was a grownup–uh, sort of– and well, she annoyed me something fierce.
So… I began bringing all kinds of books. Books on poisons and forensics and serial killers. Books I bought and had a little trouble reading to be honest. LOL! I let this go on for a while. She never got up the courage to ask but she finally overheard my daughter tell another kid that I was a writer. She visibly relaxed. To this day, I wonder what she’d come up with in her thoughts because the range of books I brought were all over the place.
She’s one of the people who inspired this shirt. heh heh
The More I Know…
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