by Felicia Donovan
Anyone who has read THE BLACK WIDOW AGENCY series knows that I draw a lot of my plotlines from my own years of experience in law enforcement, as well as my extensive research on all facets of cyber crime. Throughout the writing of the series, I assisted on cases involving child predators, cyber stalkers, on-line harassment, etc; alongside the gal who gave me the original idea for the series, Detective Kristyn Bernier. Kristyn works as an Investigator with the Northern New England Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Together, we trolled the Internet, watched a lot of nasty things pop-up on monitors as she posed as a young teen in chat rooms, and tracked these creeps down through a variety of sources to identify them and get them off the street.
Kristyn is a bloodhound when it comes to finding the slugs and maggots who prey on our children. In that, we are very much alike - sniffing out the bad guy like a dog and never giving up the bite until absolutely commanded to - but beyond that, we're very different. "Ying and Yang" is how she often refers to us. She's quick-witted with an even quicker tongue, I'm methodical, reflective and reserved. She's always "pulled together" while I slouch around in whatever happens to be clean that morning. Her desk looks like a hurricane just blew through the area while I need everything in folders with labels.
Despite our differences, we work incredibly well together because we both have a strong work ethic and desire to see justice served. We also appreciate each other's intellectual capabilities, so to that end we put our collective blonde (sort of) heads together and schemed up a brilliant idea - What if we collaborated on a book all about cyber crime and case stories from the victim's and law enforcement's perspective about the REALITY of cyber crime? What if we were to make people aware of some of the most frightening websites and tools available to stalk someone? What if we told what it is really like to "catch a predator?" My agent loved the idea. Publishers loved the idea. So...
I'm proud to announce the impending arrival of CYBER CRIME FIGHTERS: TALES FROM THE TRENCHES by Felicia Donovan and Kristyn Bernier, which will be released in December from Que Publishing (ISBN: 0789739224).
Writing non-fiction has been an entirely different experience than writing The Black Widow Agency series. There's all kind of formatting, figures and captions, pull quotes, permission issues, research, fact checks, and more research. There are Development Editors, Permissions Editors, Technical Editors and Author Reviews. And just when we thought we were done with everything, a case that we'd mentioned in the book would take a bizarre turn so we'd have to scramble to squeeze the details in.
As much as I loved writing CYBER CRIME FIGHTERS: TALES FROM THE TRENCHES and working with a terrific co-author, let's just say that I began to sorely miss my Black Widows and the freedom to suspend reality. I'm looking forward to returning to my gals to chronicle their adventures once more, but in the meantime, who says crime doesn't pay?