Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a cyber security consultant. My job is to attempt to infiltrate secure businesses either through their networks and applications or through their front doors. I also help clients when they are attacked and I have testified in federal court cases as a digital forensics witness. I have written one book, and intend to release several more, including a fiction book that relies heavily on my knowledge cyber security and social engineering. When I’m not busy working, I enjoy motorcycle riding, hanging out with close friends, and spending time with my daughter.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Trust Me I’m Lying: Banks Pay Me to Rob Them was inspired by my many adventures conducting social engineering tests. That is I manipulate people to get them to expose sensitive information and let me into secured areas. Think of it as the cybersecurity world’s term for con artist. My friends are always getting me to tell them, and new people they introduce me to, stories from my social engineering exploits. Because of that popularity, and because I want to ultimately use that to write a fiction novel, I decided to write this book first.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write like I talk, which you could say is somewhat eccentric. This results in heavy editing after it’s done to correct it to a more properly structured book. It’s just a raw dump of my thoughts that needs polishing for mass consumption. I don’t know if that counts as unusual.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
William Gibson was my favorite author for a very long time. I loved how he painted these amazing scenes in the cyberpunk genre. All his early works are influential. I also enjoy the style of R. A. Salvatore, and I must give props to Stephen King’s ability to build tension.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a few titles. One of which is a fiction novel that uses my knowledge of hacking and social engineering to drive the storyline. It’s early still and I’m still working on the plot. I have a few more in the works for using social engineering in daily life to turn situations favorable to yourself.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m brand new to this. I really enjoyed Kindlepreneur and I’m sure I will continue to read that. Awesome Gang is the first site like this I have used as it came highly recommended.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just start writing. Know that you will go through several drafts. If you’re like me, at some point you have to to take the plunge and go for it. Put your perfectionism aside. Get some close friends to read it (of course they are going to be kind), and tell them to give you some honest criticism. I put my book down a lot but was told over and over again that it was great. We’ll see what people think. Liek I said, just write. If it turns out to not be well received, learn from your mistakes and try again. Hone the craft. Sitting on it because you think it won’t be good enough is not the way to learn from teh experience and make it better.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Just write. My girlfriend, who is an author, told me that.
What are you reading now?
Marketing books and blogs specifically targetted at writers.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m going to continue to write books and perfect my skill. I have a number of ideas in my head and I’m working on a few already. I’m slowed down for the moment as I try to market this current book and see what the market reaction is.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Neuromancer by Wiliam Gibson
Black House by Stephen King
The Ancient by Salvatore (it’s next in my queue to read by him)