Virtual Friends Helping IRL

While reading SECONDS TO SUNRISE, my latest Black Ops: Automatik romantic suspense, Elizabeth Lane (@elisabethjlane) book blogger at Cooking Up Romance (cookupromance.com) tweeted: “I realized while reading @Nico_Rosso's book that if I were hiding from hired killers, my online girlfriends would make excellent choices.”

I responded that the women of the online romance community were the inspiration for that aspect of the story. The circumstances are different for April Banks, but the way her friends help her is definitely the same. She is a war widow who, in order to pull herself from her sadness, created a website and forum for other war widows. It’s grown so large, including a having a financial option where the women can support each other, that it attracted the attention of hackers. If not for April’s hand written encryption, the sensitive financial and personal information of the widows would be exposed.

But it’s just a matter of time until the hackers break through, and April’s doing what she can to track them down. Once her efforts threaten the hackers, they send goons to convince her to stop. Neither the goons or April expect James Sant, former SAS soldier and current member of the underground Automatik network to be there to protect her. He thought he’d just be watching her for a few days until the hackers were caught, but he has to step in to fight off the goons.

Because April designed the security for her website, she’s the only one who can keep it intact and trace the hackers. James is forced to take her on the road and into the dangerous pursuit.

They’re not without their allies. James has the aid of the other former special ops soldiers of Automatik. April’s support comes from the other widows on her website forum. It’s the same kind of thing I’d seen on Twitter among the women in the romance community. Readers and writers come to each other’s aid. Sometimes it’s just a book recommendation, others it’s about promoting the latest release.

But the relationships go beyond that, and the emotional support the community shows each other is inspirational. People rally around others going through a hard time. Yes, it isn’t always perfect, and there is friction and areas where people misstep with each other, but I’ve seen more good than bad from it. These women are amazing, and they’re one of the big reasons I love working in this genre.

I’m wondering, do you have any examples of your online friends helping you IRL?

For more information on Seconds to Sunrise, visit my website.

Comments

Nico, what a fabulous and unique premise for a book! Love it. I'll have to check it out. As for IRL examples, I'm grateful every day for the connections I've found via online support groups (mostly romance-related). Some have turned from social media to email connections and we "chat" at least once a week. They keep me sane. :)
jean harrington said…
Nico, your warm experience with fellow romance writers is the same one I've been lucky enough to experience. I really think my writing buddies in my local RWA chapter are the main reason I'm a published author today. The central irony here is that I don't write romance, as such, but that didn't stop them from critiquing, welcoming, encouraging me each step of my writing journey. Thanks for reminding me about women power!
Rita said…
O. I have friends scattered around who whould hide me in their basements if needed. And since I live near the swamp with lots of gators, I'm their go to person for hiding bodies.
Nico Rosso said…
Thanks for your comments! I was traveling this week, and am finally home to read your thoughts. I agree that this community can keep us sane, motivated and hidden from the bad guys if need be. Good to know about the swamp, Rita, just in case.

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