Thank you to Tyrus Books for including me on their fabulous new website. Here’s a little about me and my first book, The First Secret of Edwin Hoff, which is coming out in print and e-book on September 8th from Watch Hill Books.
I was born in New Haven, CT in 1968 and graduated from Hopkins Grammar School and Yale College, majoring in History, playing soccer, and making some of the best friends of my life. Growing up, I had many jobs, including newspaper girl, waitress, lab technician and skate surgeon (the slimy, spiny fish kind), and environmental consultant, in Paris, D.C. and San Francisco. So I did the obvious—went to law school and decided to write books. By 1999, I had finished my first thriller and found an agent, but no publisher. I also was an associate lawyer in Boston, watching so many of our clients create valuable companies from scratch that I was itching to join one. At Café Trieste on Telegraph Hill in SF, with dark rings on the covers of Fast Company, Inc. and Red Herring, and a few shots of cappuccino courage, I made a big change. Soon I learned of Akamai Technologies, Inc. The company had just spun out of MIT, and was racing to catch the crest of the dot-com wave, hiring like mad. It did something important—it invisibly sped up websites that were slow, or crashing, when anything interesting happened on them. Working there, in the headiness of the tech bubble and with one person in particular, inspired this book. Now I write books and, ever bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, consult with technology start-ups. My husband and I live outside Boston with our kids, our 80-lb. dog Dash, and our tomatoes, which Dash likes to lure, trap, and ultimately, make confess.
So why write thrillers? I trace it to two pivotal moments:
The first: Mrs. Feinberg’s eighth grade English class. We were reading Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. I was slightly behind in my reading when the class discussed a key character’s true identity. I won’t spoil it for you here; I still feel the profound disappointment of missing the chance to discover that twist with Pip. Ever since, I have loved the thrill of confronting an authentic surprise on the page. Edwin has a few in store for you; I hope you enjoy them.
The second: lunch with a lawyer who had recently published his first novel. I shared how I wanted to write a smart thriller, like John Grisham or Scott Turow, one day. Then he gave me the best advice, however unvarnished, on how to write a book: “Talk is cheap. Apply ass to chair.”
So this is what I have done, nearly every day for at least an hour, for the last several years. The First Secret of Edwin Hoff is my first book to be published.
Thanks for reading! For more about Edwin and his true-life inspiration, please visit my website at abbourne.com, and follow me on Twitter under @anniebourne.
The First Secret of Edwin Hoff is a Batman-meets-Bourne thriller about an elite commando living the unexpectedly public life of a billionaire tech entrepreneur. But when Edwin is called to stop a bio-attack planned to release from a 9/11 plane, he does what a Seal Team 6 fighter would do for his next act, and more. Under deep cover, he protects the world from terror while turning those he meets into heroes. Edwin Hoff is a fiction inspired by a real person: Danny Lewin was a Counter Terror Captain in Israel’s equivalent of Seal Team 6. He trained to rescue hostages and kill terrorists with his bare hands. Later he went to MIT for his masters in math and founded Akamai Technologies, becoming a billionaire overnight. The author worked for him there for two years until, on September 11, Danny went to visit customers in California. He boarded AA Flight 11. Amid the horrifying tragedy, Danny left behind this puzzle:
On September 10, he packed up his office. No one knows why.