Monday, July 12, 2010


Hi, this is Margaret Daley. I was doing some research for one of my Love Inspired Suspense books I'm writing. I needed to find out how easy it was for someone to find out information about a person on the Internet. I asked that question on several loops I'm on and got a lot of answers. The one thing that stood out in all the answers was that it is easy to get information on a person through the Internet.

There is no privacy anymore. We've seen this coming. Every celebrity and politician can vouch for that. Their lives are splashed all over the news for anyone to read. As a writer this is something we can use in our stories.

Since I started writing suspense (years ago), the way things are being done has changed rapidly. A lot is due to the Internet. People carry cell phones and can call from just about anywhere. DNA testing. We can google how to make a bomb or anything else like that. We can see satellite pictures of a place--a person's house, a business. It is much harder to "disappear". Those are just a few things that has changed the scene in a suspense book. What are some you can think of?


Ramona Richards said...

I've been reading Harlan Coben's Hold Tight, and it's a great example of how technology has changed suspense. One of his characters uses a GPS website to track his son's cell phone. These days, you have to keep the cell in mind when building suspense - either to use it in some way or get rid of it.

Coben's book also uses clues found on MySpace, chilling messages from untraceable emails, and DNA testing, among others.

Disappearing takes a lot of work these days.

PamelaTracy said...

I'm loving it, aren't you. I've used the track the cellphone (The Price of Redemption).
I've used comments on a news site (Fugitive Family).
A class I took in June was loaded with new and upcoming technology. But, wow, exploring it takes time.

Leann said...

In my up-coming book, I did have to account why my hero didn't have a cell phone.

I've been writing mysteries a long time and when the Iron Curtain fell, I had to rethink a lot of plots. And I knew the KGB (it's still here with a different name) didn't stop spying.

Dana Mentink said...

That's true. It's kind of like an enormous cyber big brother. It's hard to disappear yet isn't it amazing how many times people do? Especially those heartbreaking cases where it's a child that vanishes.

PamelaTracy said...

Oh, Leann, I want to hear more abouy the changed plots after the Iron Curtain fell.

Lynette Eason said...

Technology is so hard to keep up with. Something is changing all the time. Which means we authors have to make sure we do our homework when it comes to including it in our books. But I love research, so don't really mind it. I've done the tracking the cell phone, pulling the battery out so it can't be tracked, forgetting the cell phone, losing the cell phone, using the cell phone to set off a bomb, etc. I'm at a loss where to go next with the cell phone! LOL. Thanks Margaret!

Leann said...

Well, Pam, you have to account for the spy working independently. If they weren't paid, they probably sold their services to the highest bidder. I do have a book about that very thing. I'm praying it sells.

PamelaTracy said...

How cool. What are you calling it?

Lenora said...

I've used go-phones so they can't be traced, but I think even that is changing. I've used GPS a lot. Now they have these nifty things like sunshades that have cameras and computer chips and spy pens--or have those been around, too? I'm usually so behind on this stuff. We are all a part of Google-Earth. I saw my house on there when my husband found it on the computer. Creepy.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Everyone!
Great topic, Margaret. I pulled out an old--never to be published--manuscript and had to chuckle. No cell phone. No internet. Proves how long I was writing before I sold!

I love Harlan Coben, Ramona. HOLD TIGHT is on my To Be Read pile. I think I'll move it to the top.

Leann, I loved Russian spy books and hated to see all that end when the wall came down. (However, I was thrilled to see the wall down, mind you.) Some how I can't get into the Middle Eastern villain/terroist's mind. With the local news about the Soviet spies in the US, we'll be seeing those old Russian/USSR villain's return. Tell us more about your story!