With the millennium fast approaching, vast sums of money begin to disappear from Department of Defense accounts, and then from a major bank whose y2k project is headed by British-born Annette Ashby.
The culprit? A computer worm. It threatens to spread across the country, even the world, imperiling the global economy – and if the worm isn’t found and eradicated before December 31st, banks around the world will unwittingly archive it into their vital data files.
Who can Annette trust? The shadow of suspicion has fallen across two men on her year 2000 computer team. Nerd-next-door Leo Hermann has abandoned his prestigious Silicon Valley job for a chance to win Annette’s love. And his rival, the equally brilliant and farm more charming Russian emigre Vladimir Borodin, has his own plans for Annette.
When the FBI and the CIA join the hunt, the action moves to St. Petersburg, then back to the States as the y2k team races the millennium clock to save the world’s economy from the worm that could trigger its collapse – the Chaos Protocol.
Targeted Age Group:
teen and adult
Suspense is very plot-heavy, so you really have to pay attention to time-frame, setting, and other details. That is not to say that character is not important – I don’t want to write about characters who don’t seem real – but there has to be a compelling story that works. That is paramount.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Read a lot; write daily; persevere.
Nancy McKibben was born in Conneaut, Ohio, grew up in Fredericktown, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in French and an (unofficial) minor in Russian. After graduation and marriage, she toured as the journalist with a singing group in the U.S., Asia, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe before the fall of communism. She and her husband lived in the United Kingdom for six years, and their first two children were born there.
After moving back to the States, she continued to write short pieces, but invested most of her energy in her growing family (six children, whom she homeschooled through the eighth grade), and it was not until 1998 that she wrote her first novel, The Chaos Protocol, which was a finalist for the 2000 Ohioana Book Award for Fiction.
The second book in the Millennium Trilogy, Blood on Ice, followed a few years later. Discouraged by the lack of interest from traditional agents and publishers, Nancy returned to journalism, writing a series of feature articles for Edible Columbus magazine, for which she still writes, whose emphasis on fresh, local foods, sustainably produced, mirrors her own interests. In 2002 she received a humor writing award from the James Thurber House for her essay “A Char is Born.”
With the advent of the ereader and the rise of the ebook, Nancy realized that she was free to eliminate the middleman (traditional publishing) and publish Blood on Ice as an ebook, where she hopes it will turn out to be one of those novels that publishers are really sorry they failed to pick up.
Still married to the same remarkable man, Nancy is still living and writing in Columbus.
I was intrigued by the y2k problem. My dad was in a science fiction book club when I was a child, and I used to read his books. Y2k sounded exactly like a certain genre of apocryphal SF: a small, dedicated band of people/scientists races against the clock to save the world from doom – in this case, a worldwide computer failure. Since there weren’t any novels about it that I could find, I did the research and wrote my own novel.
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