WELCOME MIKE SMART
Mike Smart has spent over 30 years in the IT industry. Gatekeeper draws on his firsthand experiences witnessing the remarkable acceleration of our dependency upon computer software and systems. In doing so, he highlights many of the issues in the IT industry that have been overlooked. Smart is based in West Sussex and is already working on his second novel The Platinum Solution which is set in South Africa following the death of Nelson Mandela.
Connect with Mike at these sites:
Q&A with Mike Smart
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
A mixture, I have been fortunate that I have travelled pretty extensively either for pleasure or business and this has provided me with a lot of interesting perspective when one “looks back” at the UK or other countries such as the USA. Understandably people see themselves very differently in many cases than how they are perceived from afar. I also take a great deal of interest in current events and look to bring current themes into my work. Gatekeeper for example is a great story in its own right but at the same time sets out to highlight the very real problems we all face with data privacy and our total reliance on IT to support us in our everyday lives.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
Before I start on a book I see an overall picture that I am setting out to describe, so when I know where I am beginning, know what the outcome will be and then in a short punchy style link the front and back with hopefully a good story in between
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I write quickly and in a highly focused manner, normally between 20.00 and 01.00 – I have a day job so am not able to focus all my attentions on writing.
Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
It would be lovely to write all the time but unfortunately to date the income generated doesn’t fund the expenses of an extended family. My background is in the IT industry with a focus on Sales & Marketing and M&A work – so the bulk of my time is spent acting as a management consultant assisting large multi-nationals or smaller entities build and develop their businesses.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Ian Fleming, Tolkien, Dan Brown, Geoffrey Archer, Robert Ludlum – enjoy a good story, preferably delivered with pace
What are you reading now?
Jet by Russell Blake – according to one of the people who read Gatekeeper we apparently have similar no nonsense punchy styles. Am halfway through and would tend to agree
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Gatekeeper is the first in the “Max Thatcher Series” the 2nd The Platinum Solution – it’s about a neo fascist group that is prepared at all cost to return South Africa to apartheid. I started writing the book before Mandela died as I suspect there will be a power vacuum in South Africa much as there was when Tito died in Yugoslavia. There the loss of a world statesman capable of keeping everybody in line resulted in the most recent well publicised Balkan War, south Africa could easily go the same way and the story I’ve written depicts one potential way things might go. A third book is now also underway but not for sharing right now!
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
The lead character Max Thatcher would be Ben Affleck, the lead baddie Jack Hunter would bee perfect for a younger Jack Nicholson
Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Fly fishing, golf and travel
Top class Italian food
ABOUT THE BOOK
When a psychotic business man inadvertently creates a computer virus that causes destruction across the world, the UK government finds itself at loggerheads with MI6 and chaos ensues, in this fast-paced, debut thriller.
Businessman Jack Hunter runs a booming software business. Unbeknown to his millions of clients, he is stealing their private and corporate information using a secretive programme called Gatekeeper. When one of his inner sanctum contacts an investigative journalist, Serena Thatcher, in the hope of exposing Jack and taking over his business empire, Jack retaliates by kidnapping Serena and shipping her across to the Dominican Republic on a super yacht. Events take a catastrophic turn when Jack releases the latest version of Gatekeeper, which he has built using Artificial Intelligence (AI) software, without having fully tested it, and therefore blissfully unaware of the dangerous repercussions that are to follow.
To prevent detection, the software effectively hides itself, causing a virus to break out and corrupt the software on any host environment. IT systems begin to fail everywhere the Gatekeeper is installed; traffic control software, banking systems and stock markets begin to crash spontaneously and anarchy starts to stir as the UK government fails to stop the virus from spreading.
Dubious of both the government and MI6, Serena Thatcher’s ex-special forces brother Max takes matters into his own hands, and enlists the help of Jack’s ex-wife, Clare Pryce, a Cambridge professor specialising in AI software. A high-octane chase from Monaco to the Dominican Republic leads them to Jack, who is protected by his evil henchman Sergi, a former member of the Serbian special forces. Things come to an explosive climax after the Royal Navy are forced to step in. Who will make it out alive? Who is responsible for trying to destroy Jack’s business? And what are the Americans’ ulterior motives for getting involved at the final hour?
Gatekeeper is the fast-paced thriller from debut novelist Mike Smart. Highly topical and engaging throughout, Smart explores a world where the infringement of personal and corporate data and privacy is commonplace and insidious. Smart proves that it is entirely feasible for an individual to steal personal data and the novel examines the flaws of living in such a connected world, where inserting code into a global network can result in catastrophic permutations. An action-packed narrative, a heady blend of Ian Fleming and Dan Brown, explores the terrifying effects of one man’s corruption of an apparently harmless piece of computer software.
Series: Max Thatcher Series
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition
Publication Date: October 9, 2013
THANKS TO KATY AT AUTHORIGHT,
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