My name is Natasha Bajema. I am a fiction writer, a national security expert and a professor. While working full-time for the National Defense University, I am trying to become a published fiction writer. For more personal information, please see my about author and gallery sections.
In April 2016, I decided to come out of the writing closet and announce to the world that I am a fiction writer. For my muse, I draw inspiration from my day job working as a senior research fellow and professor at the National Defense University. In recent posts, I have been reflecting on what it takes to be a writer in A Writer’s Life and A Modern Writer’s Journey. I’ve summarized my writing goals for this year in Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017, though much has changed since I wrote this post. As I realized the biggest challenge for new authors in Too Many Fish in the Sea, that of discovery, I have recently decided to change my writing and publishing strategy. More about this below…
In my blog, you can read more about my journey from a national security expert to a fiction writer and get updates on where I’m heading as author.
I began my writing career in October 2015 with an epic political thriller trilogy titled The Nuclear Conspiracy. In the first book, Dr. Morgan Shaw, a newly minted Ph.D. and professor at the National War College, finds herself unwittingly entangled in a family conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government. I’ve completed the first draft of book 1 and have concepts, working titles, covers and outlines for books 2 and 3. Recently, however, I have decided to put these books on the shelf until 2019 while I pursue a slightly different strategy for launching my career as an Indie author. More about this below…
In September 2016, I began an experiment to crowdsource fiction and started a second novel titled Bionic Bug and spawned an entire series. I’m now focused on developing the Lara Kingsley Series, which is a series of fiction novels set in Washington, D.C., blending elements of the technothriller and cozy mystery genres. WARNING: This is not your mother’s cozy mystery.
Each novel in the series thrusts ex-military operator and private investigator, Lara Kingsley, her side-kick, Vik Abhay, and a vibrant cast of characters which includes an FBI special agent and D.C. Metropolitan Police detective, into a new technological world to solve crimes involving drones, biotechnology, gene editing, robotics, microelectronics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and 3D printing. Throughout the series, I plan to continue with my experiments in crowdsourcing, allow readers to make choices about the story and provide real-time input.
The first book in the series, Bionic Bug takes place in Washington D.C. in the fall of 2027. Lara Kingsley, a private detective, and her brilliant side kick, Vikrama Abhay, a Georgetown criminal justice student and computer whiz, race to unravel the strange mystery of her friend’s sudden death, a drone swarm and bionic bugs. As the investigation unfolds, Lara finds herself becoming deeply entangled in a new technological world and has to seek help from her ex-boyfriend FBI special agent to solve the crime. Lara must risk everything in order to prevent an evil madman from taking more lives.
In the second book, Project Gecko thrusts Lara, Vik and a vibrant cast of characters into another technological mystery involving an array of nanotechnologies and a dark conspiracy.
In early 2018, I will launch a crowdfunding campaign for the series and offer a unique interactive experience in which backers will help me brainstorm during the pre-production phase, choose character names and settings, vote on what my characters do in upcoming scenes, send immediate feedback on draft scenes, and even make choices about the cover design. That’s right, my backers will help choose the adventure.
As a professor passionate about teaching about weapons of mass destruction, I have started to develop education resources including a Technical Series on WMD Issues and a Film and WMD Series. In the future, I hope to upload additional resources and an online course about the Game of Interdiction.
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The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.