If you haven’t yet read The Florentine Deception, by Carey Nachenberg, do pick up a copy soon. It’s a fascinating story, one of those tales where parts are all too plausible. We have enjoyed being part of the virtual book tour currently underway with iRead Book Tours.
Today, as part of that tour, we are very pleased to feature an article written by Mr. Nachenberg. If you would like to learn more about the author or his new book, do check out his tour page here. If you would like to read out review you can find it here as well. Enjoy…
From Carey Nachenberg…
A friend recently asked me: “What’s the most difficult thing you’ve had to do professionally in your life?”
This question was actually a no brainer. My job is amongst the most challenging in the high-tech world. I’m a cyber-security engineer for Symantec (I was one of the inventors of Norton AntiVirus), and every day I work with our teams to stay one step ahead of the hackers. Fighting these 10s of millions of threats each year – many of which mutate and camouflage themselves to look like legitimate software – is a 24x7x365 job.
But as difficult as my job is, it’s nothing compared to the challenge I went through publishing my novel, The Florentine Deception. After seven years of writing, I began pitching the book to literary agents (you can’t directly approach a publisher with a novel). Most never responded. Some showed initial interest, only to come back with a “no thanks.” And when I was lucky, they’d give me a morsel of feedback.
After each such rejection, I’d mope around for a few days and mull over whether I should just give up. But after I got over the funk, I took whatever suggestions the agent included in the email, tried to decipher their meaning (many literary agents, while good at finding promising books, are terrible at explaining how they think they can be improved), and thought about how I could use them to improve the story.
You might think that incorporating feedback would be an easy process – perhaps changing a bit of dialog – but you’d be wrong! Even a small change, for instance to a character’s dialog in the beginning of the book, can make their later dialog and behaviors seem inconsistent. And so virtually every single edit requires a full, detailed read through the entire novel to ensure that the character talks and behaves in a consistent way after the change.
My favorite example was when an agent suggested that I add a love interest to the story. My initial draft had a sixty-year old female sidekick, Linda, who was cast as a mentor/pal to my twenty-something main character, Alex. I decided the love-interest suggestion made sense and would make the story appeal to a broader audience, so after a bit of noodling, I decided to transform Linda from an older lady into a young suitor. The whole ordeal required two complete rewrites, not only to Linda’s dialog but also Alex’s lines and inner thoughts.
This was the only way to create tension between the two, to explore Alex’s conflicted feelings, and ultimately to show Alex’s acceptance of his feelings for Linda. Perhaps, if and when you read my novel, you’ll see if you can sense Linda’s original persona reflected in her current character. I hope not!
So if you ask me what the most difficult thing I’ve ever done was, hands down it was publishing a novel. Because finding an agent and a publisher required more writing, editing, plot-juggling and frankly, outright rejection than I could have possibly imagined.
Book Description for The Florentine Deception:
A seemingly mundane computer clean-up leads to an electrifying quest for an enigmatic—and deadly—treasure in this gripping techno-thriller.
After selling his dorm-room startup for millions and effectively retiring at the age of twenty-five, Alex Fife is eager for a new challenge. When he agrees to clean up an old PC as a favor, he never expects to find the adventure of a lifetime waiting for him inside the machine. But as he rummages through old emails, Alex stumbles upon a startling discovery: The previous owner, a shady antiques smuggler, had been trying to unload a mysterious object known as the Florentine on the black market. And with the dealer’s untimely passing, the Florentine is now unaccounted for and ripe for the taking. Alex dives headfirst into a hunt for the priceless object.
What starts out as a seemingly innocuous pursuit quickly devolves into a nightmare when Alex discovers the true technological nature of the Florentine. Not just a lost treasure, it’s something far more insidious: a weapon that could bring the developed world to its knees. Alex races through subterranean grottos, freezing morgues, and hidden cellars in the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, desperate to find the Florentine before it falls into the wrong hands. Because if nefarious forces find it first, there’ll be nothing Alex—or anyone else—can do to prevent a catastrophic attack.
The author is donating all of his proceeds from sales of The Florentine Deception to charities to help underprivileged and low-income students.
1,620 books sold, $8,173.00 donated as of December 31st (with $182 pending)!
Let’s help him reach his goal of selling 2,000 books and donating $10,000!
Visit http://florentinedeception.weebly.com/charities.html to see the list of charities.
Carey Nachenberg is Symantec Corporation’s Chief Engineer and is considered one of the inventors of Norton AntiVirus. As Chief Engineer, Carey drives the technical strategy for all of Symantec’s core security technologies and security content. He has led the design and development of Symantec’s core antivirus, intrusion prevention and reputation-based security technologies; his work in these areas have garnered over eighty-five United States patents.
In addition to his work in the cyber-security field, Carey has also recently published his first novel, a cyber-security thriller entitled “The Florentine Deception,” and is donating all proceeds from sales of the novel to charities supporting underserved students and veterans. Carey holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from University of California at Los Angeles, where he continues to serve as Adjunct Professor of Computer Science.