Allison is stunned when the CIA leaves her no option but to go undercover to surreptitiously modify the code she wrote to protect her symphony. She is deployed from New York with a savvy street vendor to Tanzania, where he is from—and where the cybercrime trail goes dead. Their guarded love affair is sidelined when they are abducted by a trafficker who poaches elephants on a massive scale. To avoid betraying each other they abandon their CIA handlers and return to New York City. Allison must find a way to bring down the syndicate knowing that she might have to sacrifice her symphony, her loved ones and her privacy—for a greater good.
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Author Bio:Impressions on a South African farm, boarding school, a father who read from the classics to his children, and a storytelling mother, sparked Geoffrey Wells with a writer’s imagination. Though the piano and drum kits and Mozambique led to his first thriller, A Fado for the River, his career as Art Director in advertising led him to the American Film Institute, and an awe of digital technology propelled him to VP/CIO at Disney, ABC-TV stations and Fox. Wells wrote an award-winning animated film, has visited elephant reserves, and climbed to the tip of Kilimanjaro. He lives on Long Island where he swims the open water and runs a video and design company. He writes thrillers about imperfect characters who, always with a diverse band of allies, fight villains that devastate our natural and virtual ecosystems.
“Atone for the Ivory Cloud is a compelling, fast-paced thriller with an exotic international flavor. Geoffrey Wells takes the reader on an enthralling ride, skillfully entwining cybercrime, music, and the fate of African elephants in a breathtaking tale of danger and romance.”
Pamela Burford, best-selling author of Undertaking Irene.
Reality versus fiction. Which is worse: imagination or reality?
Guest Post by Geoffrey Wells
Author of Atone for the Ivory Cloud
The problem with reality is that it’s fuzzy. Readers are pounded with information 24 by 7. And, regardless of how disciplined they are, it is difficult to filter out the noise from the message. In addition, their own psychological noise blinds them to information that could be useful. They have biases, interests and obsessions. Of course, life gets in the way too. The result is that readers are numbed by reality, meaning they never get a chance to step back, assess, cogitate or grapple with a specific issue—unless they are deep into a book. They are looking for the sharp lines of clarity. They think about how much worse their lives would be if books didn’t help them think.
When readers find an author who makes them think—a writer whose singular vision fires their imagination and thaws their synapses—their imagination takes flight, and suddenly, effortlessly they are thinking; ideas flow in, stress flows out. Thinking leads to action. The writer has done her job.
But writers are also readers—they share the same confrontation with reality—yet it’s up to them to focus reality into a clear message—a springboard for further thought.
In my case, because of an experience watching elephants bathing at a waterhole in Botswana, I am biased to media coverage of elephants. Sadly, it’s mostly coverage on poaching and ivory trafficking, and littered with the horror of elephant carcasses.
In my thriller, Atone for the Ivory Cloud, the message about the 30,000 plus elephants that die every year is simple: this wouldn’t be happening if there was no demand for ivory.
But I was challenged with the clarity that I would want my reader to see; and that was how this impacts them, even if they have nothing whatsoever to do with elephants or ivory.
This pickle then, is where the writer’s imagination must go to work. The answer to the question: why should the reader care, needed to have an answer. And the answer was cybercrime, ergo: Ivory trafficking is organized by cybercriminals whose crimes impact us all.
To further fire the imagination of the reader I jacked it up to an eco/cyber thriller about Allison, a New York-based electronic composer and coder who must go undercover to trap a cybercrime syndicate that has hijacked her website—to traffic blood ivory. The CIA leaves her no option but to go undercover to set the trap. She must modify the code she wrote to protect her symphony, and is deployed with a savvy street vendor to Tanzania, where he is from—and where the cybercrime trail goes dead. Their guarded love affair is sidelined after being abducted by a trafficker who poaches elephants on a massive scale. To avoid betraying each other they abandon their handlers and return to New York City. Allison must bring down the syndicate or sacrifice her music, her loved ones and her privacy—for a greater good.
Having read the last page the reader would be justified in asking which is worse: imagination or reality? And the answer in the context of my book would be the imagination, because reality passes by us, but the imagination grows into ideas that stay with us forever.