Q & A with Robin Burcell

Elise Cooper: It appears The Kill Order is very relevant to what is happening today with the NSA. Can you explain?

Robin Burcell: I wanted to show in this book how we have lost our privacy. We see in my current storyline how we carry around in our pockets mini computers with our cell phones. People know where we are and what we are saying. What is scary is that there are countries like China that make our phones which means control goes out the window. I hope my book encourages readers to question what is currently happening with technology. As far as the NSA let’s remember that our government is made up of individuals. What I did with this book is use “the Devil’s Key,” based on a software that interconnects things. Allegedly, the person who built this software put in a “back door” at the request of the US government so they could spy on people using it. After it was discovered, by I believe Canada, people started to get killed.

EC: What is the theme of this book?

RB: The electronic world we live in and the risks involved. For example if you bank on line can someone steal your account? Something needs to be done to insure that this way of life, which we made for ourselves does not blow up in our faces. We cannot be too busy enjoying the modern conveniences and not become aware of what could actually happen if something went wrong. Specifically, in this book I explored how the hard drives in copy machines can be a danger. I had no idea that hard drives existed and everything you copy is saved. How scary is that?

EC: Won’t readers be reminded of some real life events?

RB: Yes, I always tweak history. Gannon Ferris should remind people of Vince Foster and the surrounding circumstances. The Black Network is based on a real life group of people who operated this bank, BCCI, that originated in Pakistan in 1972. It was called the bank of crooks and criminals because the network spread to 70 countries with 400 branches. Just as in reality I had them use Mafia type tactics of extortion, kidnapping, and even murder. The BCCI was an acronym for my bank, the BICTT. Because I always question, I wondered what would happen if these power house people got together to make decisions not based on national security, but on their own self interest to enrich themselves.

EC: Besides entertainment what do you want readers to get out of this book?

RB: A warning to be careful. If you are connected to the Internet be aware someone might be watching what you are doing.

EC: Can you give us a heads up about your next book?

RB: I am writing it as we speak. I will be marrying my two series together to expand my options. Although it is still untitled the plot has the ALTAS group investigating something that leads them to San Francisco. They meet up with my other main character from the other series, Kate Gillespie. I merged the two series through this pharmaceutical company. In this new book the ATLAS crew will be secondary characters. It will be about Kate and her work with the San Francisco police force. She thinks she is working on a local crime and finds out there are international implications. Izzy, the computer genius will also be back since I personally need computer help. Having a computer genius is always wonderful to help me with the technical stuff.

EC: Can you tell us what other characters will be back?

RB: Of course Sydney and Griffin who are central characters will be back, but in this book as secondary ones. As far as the others, as a writer I have to be very careful about bringing back a secondary character too soon because of the spoiler element.