There are reasons for all of these, of course, and a mystery author has a lot of leeway, right? What's more, I have to figure no one is ever going to look.
However. I could be wrong.
(And may I just parenthetically say I am SO thrilled with today's guest! I have ben a huge fan of hers from moment one, and when her first books sold, and the debut now newly published by the incredibly wonderful Henery Press--well hey. This is exactly they way the world is supposed to work.)
But back to Annette Dashofy's scary question:
What’s In YOUR Computer?
How many old computers have you thrown away? Do you have any idea what kind of information might still be on those old discards?
I love my electronic gadgets and own way too many of them—except I don’t own a smart phone, preferring to stick with my stupid phone for now. But that’s a blog for another day.
While I love my gizmos, I’m extremely technologically challenged.
For example: Recently I installed a new printer to replace the one that died the previous week. The set-up went well until I had to connect it to my wifi. It found my home network all by itself, no problem. But then I had to type in the WEP.
WTF is a WEP?
I have a faded sticky note over my computer on which I had once scrawled “Home Network Password.” That must be it! I tapped in the very long number only to be told by the printer the number was invalid. I must have hit a wrong key. Tried again. Same result. In a panic, I searched my files for some piece of paper with another number on it. Finally, I flipped my modem over and discovered—you guessed it—the WEP.
Problem solved. Until the next morning when I had to set-up my other new toy, a Nook HD+. Again, it found the network. Again it asked for a password. And again I tried the stupid number on the sticky note. It still didn’t work.
The WEP on the bottom of the modem did, though.
Maybe I should toss the sticky note.
Anyhow, I tend to merrily surf the web and waste entirely too much time on social media, all the while having no clue how it all works. And until I did the research for my book, I had no idea of the data trail left behind on my old defunct PCs.
In Circle of Influence, my protagonist Zoe Chambers shares my lack of techno-know-how. She’s a paramedic who is much more comfortable dealing with human blood and guts than with hard drives and mother boards. (Honestly, I don’t know what either of those things are. I just wrote them here because they sound techie.)
When Zoe is faced with a murder that turns out to be tied to an obsolete computer, she has to join forces with a computer-savvy teen to find out what secret is on the PC that’s worth killing for.
Or worth dying for.
If you want to know what kind of information can lurk on ancient, discarded electronics, you’ll have to read the book.
Seriously though, what do you do to your out-of-date devices before discarding them or giving them away? I’d like to know. Because right now I’m afraid to toss anything, and I don’t want to end up on the next episode of Hoarders!
HANK: And a copy of Circle of Influence to one lucky commenter! Come on, even just tell us one thing in your search history...
Annette Dashofy, a Pennsylvania farm gal born and bred, grew up with horses, cattle, and chickens. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT for the local ambulance service, giving her plenty of fodder for her Zoe Chambers mystery series including CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE (Henery Press, March 2014) and LOST LEGACY (Henery Press, September 2014) Her short fiction, including a 2007 Derringer nominee, has appeared in Spinetingler, Mysterical-e, Fish Tales: the Guppy Anthology, and Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales (December 2013).
|Yes, I put the cover in twice. xo Hank|
Zoe Chambers, paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township, has been privy to a number of local secrets over the years, some of them her own. But secrets become explosive when a dead body is found in the Township Board President’s abandoned car. As a January blizzard rages, Zoe and Police Chief Pete Adams launch a desperate search for the killer, even if it means uncovering secrets that could not only destroy Zoe and Pete, but also those closest to them.