Helen Hanson - Page-Blistering Thrillers About Desperate People With a Techno Bent
Helen Hanson writes page-blistering thrillers about desperate people with a techno bent. For source material, Helen ran software projects, built video games, and crawled through corners of the darknet. For fun, she flew a Mooney over the Golden Gate Bridge, sped at 100+ mph over Highway 17 in a 911, and helped the police solve a hit-and-run. She even tracked down the offending vehicle. Filed under miscellaneous, she can mimic the sound of most farm animals, song lyrics often haunt her for days, and the sound of crunching leaves under her bike tires is pure music. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Ocean of Fear.
Please give us a short introduction to what Ocean of Fear is about.
On the surface, Baxter Cruise, an ethically challenged robotics student, hustles to maintain his lifestyle by performing illicit jobs for his professor. Baxter’s moral compass doesn’t register true north, not even when the cartel decides to tap his talent. After people around him are murdered, his life expectancy measures in days. In spite of the glaring risk, the beautiful FBI agent can’t convince him that she’s worthy of his trust.
What inspired you to write about someone who gets noticed by the cartel for his talent in robotics?
Beneath the surface, Ocean of Fear probes the effects of trauma and grief on a young man orphaned at the pivotal age of seventeen. Baxter made critical decisions without the benefit of wise counsel. Once he graduates from college, he can decide his own future. He won’t do this dirty work forever. But first, he must survive the gauntlet of people using him to satisfy their own nefarious desires.
What makes Claudia Seagal so special.
A dedicated Special Agent with the FBI, Claudia has her own haunting past. The brutal death of her fiancé during a trip to Mazatlán propelled her into a career with law enforcement. She knows Baxter is a pawn in the larger game, but pawns often get sacrificed to corner the king. Claudia won’t rest until this game is checkmate.
Readers say this book is really action-packed and keeps you at the edge of your seat. How did you pull this off?
My books are never cliffhangers, but I can’t make that promise about the chapters. I leave you with a discovery or a question or a wry comment that the reader knows will come back to bite. I’ve had readers complain that my stories kept them up all night. I consider that the supreme compliment.
The follow-on books in my series build on the storylines, expand the world, and propel the characters into greater danger. We learn more about them with each new situation. And like the people I care about, they grow. Our experiences shape us, whether or not we appreciate the change.
What is your secret to creating characters that readers care about?
I write about people I would want to meet, hang out with, including my villains. Each has a unique history that spurs a pursuit of truth or beauty or success that fits his or her yearning. They take their gifts and ply them to fulfill their needs and destinies.
Then again, several of my villains I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley, but perhaps over tea and scones.
What are you working on right now?
I have three interconnected series, in a single-story world, where the character from one might appear in one of the others. The Masters CIA Thriller Series includes an Amazon #1 Technothriller, 3 Lies. Ocean of Fear is from the Cruise FBI Thriller Series.
I’m currently finishing the second book in my Fender Hacker Thriller Series. I expect to release it in early spring. It’s a follow-on to Dark Pool in which a teen boy is released from prison for computer hacking. His sister must deal with the aftermath of his scandal and manage their father, who has Alzheimer’s. All the while, a financial wizard makes the headlines for absconding with billions from his investors.
Links to the series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074C1CWYH The Masters CIA Thriller Series
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0749Q3LBM The Cruise FBI Thriller Series
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FGT73HB The Fender Hacker Thriller Series
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love to hear from readers! Come join me in my readers group, and you can download a story about one of my favorite villains from 3 Lies. I send email once a month with some honest or funny or crazy story about my life, like the time I solved a hit-and-run. It’s not a constant bash to buy my books. I promise.
https://www.helenhanson.com/nefarious/ Reader’s Group link