Monday, August 7, 2017

Blog Tour + #Gvieaway: Trap and Trace by Megan Carney @XpressoTours

Trap and Trace
Megan Carney
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Adult, Adventure, Thriller

A sabotaged CIA operation makes Navy Trent a captive. But surviving the kidnapping is just the beginning of her ordeal. The CIA will kill her if she doesn’t stay quiet. The saboteurs will kill her if she does. Navy is forced into a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse where only her wits – and a little bit of luck – can keep her alive.

Interview with Megan Carney

What inspired you to write ‘Trap and Trace’?
I had a few inspirations. The first is I wanted to see more books about resilience and strength in everyday people. There are a lot of thrillers about ex-special forces soldiers who get pulled back in for one last mission – and some of them are really good (like Patrick Lee’s ‘Runner’).
But I also need to read books about relatively normal people who rise to the challenge of extraordinary situations. It’s the difference between ‘Man vs Wild’ and ‘Survivorman’ for me. ‘Man vs Wild’ was an entertaining show about how you can survive in the wilderness if you have military training. ‘Survivorman’ was a show about how anyone can survive, if you can keep panic at bay.
Which is another theme I was thinking of. There’s still this idea in the world that some people are born psychologically strong and resilient and others aren’t. The truth is that anyone can learn to be more resilient. It’s a set of skills, like anything else. I wanted to write a book that taught me as I was writing it, and hopefully teaches people as they read it, that you can learn how to be more resilient. Even if you’ve failed in the past.
Aside from resilience, my other inspiration was reading the news. A lot. Not to get too political here, but since 9/11 the government has vastly increased its surveillance powers, sometimes legally and sometimes illegally. Most of the actors involved have good intentions. I just don’t think the average citizen really appreciates the potential impact of those surveillance powers.
We probably don’t know the full extent of what the U.S. government is collecting, but we do know that U.S. intelligence agencies are collecting and archiving phone and internet records. These records include a lot of information on U.S. citizens.

So I wanted to think through what it would mean for a private citizen to be wrongly labeled as an enemy of the state. How would these surveillance powers be used? How could she fight back? And, beyond those questions, do these mass collection programs actually make us safer? Can we feel secure as private citizens when these programs exist?

Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in Navy Trent series or what you have planned for the future?

I have two other books for Navy in the works right now. While she grows a lot in ‘Trap and Trace’, the experiences that make her grow also leave her with unresolved issues. And the relationships she builds during the course of ‘Trap and Trace’ have to evolve as she works through those issues.
In the second book, we’re introduced to Byron’s daughter. Byron’s daughter is in love with a very dangerous man, and Byron asks for Navy’s help. Navy has to confront her past (and present) fears. Jackson’s relationship with Navy has to change too. Jackson has to confront how his overprotectiveness gets in the way of them becoming truly equal partners.

In the third book, Navy becomes the target of a high status defector from North Korea. The defector decides that Navy is the only one he’ll trust, and Jackson has to be agent that retrieves him. Jackson ends up captured by the North Koreans, and Navy has to confront some ethical questions about exactly how far she will (or should) go to save him.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in ‘Trap and Trace’?

All of the point of view characters were a lot of fun to write because they each have a slightly different perspective on the events in the book. Navy, of course, is the one that’s mainly affected. She’s new to the world of spies and subterfuge and fighting, and she learns and makes mistakes as she goes.
Erin is sort of the alternate reality version of Navy. Her lack of conscience makes her good at her job in the field, but it also means she doesn’t get emotionally invested right away.

Byron has been in the CIA for a long time, and his experience tempers his reactions. He started in the field, but now he’s an analyst. So he’s often the voice of calm and perspective during arguments.

Jackson is a conflicted character. Like Erin, he’s a field agent. But unlike her, he’s not always comfortable with the choices he has to make.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?
Hmmm. That’s always changing. Currently it’s Gavin Extence. ‘The Universe vs. Alex Wood’ is my favorite book that I’ve read this year. It’s clever and sweet and engaging and it will make you cry. Or at least it made me cry.
Some other books that stick out in my memory, even years after I’ve read them are: ‘Generation Loss’ by Elizabeth Hand, ‘A Tap on the Window’ by Linwood Barclay, ‘The River Wife’ by Jonas Agee, ‘Scepticism, Inc’ by Bo Fowler, and ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel.

I like books that have deep characters with complicated emotions that drive the plot. In order to keep my interest things have to happen for a good reason, and even the most flawed characters have to learn something along the way. Which doesn’t always means a character changes for the better. As long as they change.

If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular time period?
I would like to time travel ahead 50 years and see what people are saying about the 2016 election. Maybe by then we’ll understand what was going on.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?
Not at the moment. I do love dogs, but my current commitments don’t give me enough time to take care of one.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today.

Author Bio:
Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”

Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.



Giselle said...

Thanks for hosting today! :)

diannekc said...

Really enjoyed the description of the book. Sounds like a great read.