Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Straight from the Mouth of 'Crypto' James Stone

OK, so my name is not really James Stone. There’s a reason. The book is about spies, and traitors, and mostly set at The National Security Agency, and talks a lot about Cryptographics, NSA core business. I worked there a long time ago, but have spent most of the rest of my career in high security work. People in the business tend to look askance at associates who write books in the genre. Hence the pseudonym.

I’ve read a lot about the frustrations of getting published, so I believe I’ve been very lucky. I wrote Crypto and then subscribed to Writer’s Market. For some reason, I was attracted to Twilight Times Books, went to their web site, saw an open window, and submitted my manuscript. The publisher, Lida Quillen, responded almost immediately with a tentative no-advance offer. I accepted, and was assigned an editor, who was also very quick. Lida mentioned several times the importance of marketing, so I started researching that and fell into tj=he pit of gloom, negativity, warning, about bad strategies, and evil money grubbing, do nothing publicists. No real top-down ‘this is how you do it,’
Back to Lida for advice. She recommend a person. I went to her web site and was very pleased to see a set of well-ordered plans at extremely, what seem to me, good prices. This blurb is the firs of her suggestions.

A word about the Internet. I spent many years writing government, scientific, popular articles, and even a children’s book. Contrary to popular thought, Government officials appreciate clear and accurate writing. As a result, I am very particular about accuracy of my content. I couldn’t have written Crypto without the Internet. The most amazing content can be found there. One instance: I suppose most everyone knows about the Lubyanka in Moscow – even seen pictures of it. In my opening scene I wanted a bunch if Zil limos to stream into the courtyard. I went to Google StreetView. Lo, and behold, the Lubyanka. No front entrance for cars. Nor on either side. I slid around and found what is basic an alley, but it has a big door that lets cars into the courtyard. Problem solved. I found myself solving problems over and over the way. OK, I lied, one more example: My main female character is leaving LAPD for NSA and wants to know more about the organization. She goes to the Internet and finds the current Security Handbook, that tells her all kinds of useful information, including her organization and job description.

Total time to Amazon eBook, about six months.

Dr. Stone has a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, and numerous international certifications in computer security. He has worked at NSA, NASA, and the Department of Defense in various capacities, as well as having been a professor of engineering at a major university.-He recently retired from engineering and plans to devote himself to writing. CRYPTO is his first novel.

No comments: