Virginia Cornue and Linda Lombri
Life Imitates Fiction
When Masquerade on the Net was being written, Crystal Sharpe introduced several devices and plot points to build a sense of danger and suspense. One was a backpack-sized drone released by a shadowy and menacing figure to follow and spy on Sandra Troux and other characters from above. We (Virginia Cornue and Linda Lombri, the authors behind our C.S. pen name) laughed at the absurdity of it all – until an NPR report detailed a story about small drones used in the military and for civilian use. Now Amazon plans to use drones for delivery and there have been lawsuits over neighbors spying on each other via small drones flying overhead!
Some of the action drew inspiration from real-time news stories – like allegations of Russian government corruption during the building of the Sochi Olympic site and a resurgence of Nigeria-based email scams to the U.S. and Europe. Others were conjured up from our imaginations. We thought our over arching plot line of deadly Russian Bratva criminals hacking U.S. bank accounts and disabling computer and energy systems was a little over the top. Then we had them threatening a Nigerian government official and recruiting local criminal syndicates to gain control of Nigeria's oil exports. A Russian plot to take over the world’s information, financial and energy markets via cyber crime? And using criminal "actors" to aid and abet them? Preposterous! It could never happen! Or, could it? Mr. President, what do you say? Just kidding?