Wednesday Writers welcomes Janeen Swart to the blog today with an excerpt of her YA novel, The Hidden Truth, and a warning about the research she had to do. Welcome, Janeen!
Don’t Try This at Home
by Janeen Swart
While doing research for my book, THE HIDDEN TRUTH, I needed a way for the teens to break into a building so I searched online for ‘how to make a bomb’. Later, my husband was checking our computer history and asked, “Why are you wanting to make a bomb?” with a rather perturbed look on his face. I assured him I only needed the information for my book and he kidded, “You know someone, like the police could misinterpret this information.” Well, not so likely, since we don’t attract that kind of attention. Anyway, this is what I learned: First things first: they do not under any circumstances recommend that you build your own electromagnetic weapon. But if you’re hell-bent on adding to the mayhem, cheaply and without too much studying, you might try a high-energy radio frequency, or HERF, gun. As described by an engineering student, you can make one from a microwave oven. Before you begin, though, wait until everyone else has left the house. (That right there should discourage anyone.) Take apart the microwave oven and connect several other gadgets and voila, you have an e-bomb. There’s even a schematic available. It seemed a little scary to me that this was so easily available online for would-be bomb makers, but I’m glad the information was available to solve my problem of getting the teens into the building in my book.
THE HIDDEN TRUTH
by Janeen Swart
After being struck by lightning while jogging, Clara’s dreams cause her to question the issues of DNA changes, cloning, and genetically modifying food. In her dreams she visits an environmentally perfect world where an angel-like being tells her to watch for a sign. While Clara searches for answers, her boyfriend, Brian, becomes active in demonstrations against a local biophysics company, named aptly, New Nature. Clara convinces her Science Club to begin a project to confront this company to make them more accountable. She and John, a new friend, vow to do their part, using peaceful strategies. Brian’s jealousy results in several uncomfortable incidents between the three teens. Things go awry when a few of the Science Club members go beyond simple investigation by breaking into the company, then later sabotaging the company’s biosphere. What’s even more troublesome is the fact that Clara suspects her ex may be the one behind the crimes. Relationships and beliefs are tested as Clara searches out the truth. In the end, her questions are answered, but at a cost, she hadn’t anticipated.
Brian jumped in and turned the key. The ignition ground, but started. As soon as Doug left, Melanie scrambled into the passenger side and said, “Let’s go. Doug can find his own way back. We don’t need him anymore.
“No, we’re not leaving him. He’s the one who got us in there like you wanted.”
“Me? What happened to ‘We’ve got to do something about this company’? You were just as much in favor of this. You’ve gotten soft because you’re afraid Clara will find out,” said Melanie.
“You’re wrong. I was hoping we could find something, so we could get it out to the public.”
“Oh, right. Then Clara would look at you again with those adoring eyes.” Melanie grunted. Brian leaned back against the headrest, waiting. She was right.
Doug’s image materialized in the rearview mirror. He was running toward the car, arms waving. Twenty feet behind him, two other figures sprinted their way. “Open the back door,” Brian yelled at Melanie. She leaned over the front seat and pushed the door open just as Doug reached the car.
Brian put the car in gear with his foot on the brake, ready to take off. Doug fell in, slammed the door behind him and Brian tromped on the gas. Tires squealed and a faint smell of burnt rubber entered the car’s open window. One of the guards grabbed at the door handle but had to relinquish the chase as the car sped away. Please God, don’t let them see the license number or shoot.
“Good thing I covered the license plate with foil,” said Melanie.
Brian just stared ahead, saying a thank you prayer. Melanie watched behind. “No one’s following. You can slow down.”
They drove several more blocks and Brian asked, “Did you get the power inverter?”
“No. When I went inside, I heard the guards coming and I had to make a run for it,” said Doug.
About the Author:
SMALL TOWN GIRL
Growing up in a small town in Indiana may have been the best experience or the worst depending on your viewpoint. For me, it was the best. My two sisters and I were raised with strict traditional values and rules for the life of a Christian. Once I left for college my horizons expanded, giving me the chance to see many different viewpoints. I wanted to travel the world. Instead, I met the love of my life in college and we married. After retiring from teaching at age fifty-five, it was time to move forward with my dream of writing. After many rejection letters, A DOG AND HIS BOY, was published through a small Christian publisher. I self-published my other five children’s books. During this same time my young adult novel, THE HIDDEN TRUTH, became a reality, thanks to Soul Mate Publishers. When I received my contract to publish it as an e-book, I was ecstatic. New writers often ask for advice from published authors. Here’s mine: be true to yourself, and then, have fun with your writing. Maybe, just maybe, you will become one of those best-selling authors we see featured in the bookstores.