Best-Selling Author of Cyber-Thrillers
LETHAL CODE tells the shocking story of a massive and anonymous cyber-attack on the United States – and the unforgettable men, women, and children who fight back against the invisible invasion.
TERMINAL VALUE provides an insider’s look into the excitement of a technology start-up, the anticipated riches of an IPO, the gut-wrenching murder of a friend, and the dark side of corporate America.
Thomas Waite is the best-selling author of cyber thrillers. His debut novel, TERMINAL VALUE, was critically praised (one critic wrote “I believe with time he will become the John Grisham of the murderous technology novels.”) and reached #1 at Amazon. His latest novel, LETHAL CODE, tells the shocking and frighteningly possible story of a massive, anonymous cyber-attack on the United States by an unknown enemy—and the unforgettable men, women, and children who fight back against the invisible invasion.
Tom was born in the seaside town of Ipswich, Massachusetts, once home to the authors John Updike (who was a patient of his Dad, which enabled Tom to build a nice collection of signed first edition novels), Adele Robertson, John Norton, and the poet Anne Bradstreet. Perhaps it was the history of the town, but from an early age Tom developed a love of writing and left Ipswich to earn his degree in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There he focused on creative writing and was selected by the English Department to participate in an international study program at the University of Oxford.
After college Tom lived in New York City and Boston and published non-fiction in such publications as THE NEW YORK TIMES and the HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW. He embarked on a career in technology culminating in his starting, building, and selling a technology strategy consulting firm. Tom then turned his attention to combining his work experience and his life-long dream and began writing cyber thrillers.
In addition to writing fiction, Tom is the board director of, and an advisor to, technology companies in the cyber security, media, data analytics, cloud computing, mobile, social intelligence, and information technology businesses. He now lives in Boston.
Any writer staring at a blank page agonizes over the first sentence (or first page) of their novel. I know that I do. Most writers have had it drilled into their heads that it’s all about grabbing the attention of the reader. If you blow it, you’ve lost them forever (I heard one author tell me it is like a pick-up line with a stranger in a bar – either it works, or you are deeply embarrassed when the person walks away – or does something even worse). Mickey Spillane famously said “The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.” More crassly, I recently read advice from a supposed “expert” who proclaimed that “the job of the opening line is to hook the agent, the publisher, and, eventually, the bookstore browser.” How commercial.
But is it really all about just simply demanding the reader’s (and for an unknown writer the agent’s/publisher’s attention)? I don’t think so.
A new series of “NASA-Inspired Works of Fiction,” which grew out of a collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and science fiction publisher Tor, is helping writers develop plausible story lines, and even spot check manuscripts for technical errors.
I’ve been reading a lot of debate recently about the value of book trailers (basically a video advertisement for a book, not unlike movie trailers). Once a novelty, they have been steadily growing. “Old school” critics dislike them, saying that books are intended for you to use your own imagination – and that a trailer may instill a preconceived impression on readers that they wouldn’t have formed on their own.
Others argue that in today’s world, where we are all inundated with media of all types on all platforms, you need to create something succinct and attention grabbing. For better or worse, the fact is that fewer and fewer people are leisurely scanning through books in bookstores or even reading detailed book reviews. If readers need a video advertisement to grab their attention and draw them to an author and a book, then so be it.