Today we thought we would have a little fun and I asked H.L. to interview one of his characters from his newest release. Read on to learn more about Katie Brandt.
For the June 11th edition of Who’s Who in Seattle, we have with us Katie Brandt, a graduate student and the University of Washington. Katie, it seems like just yesterday you were in the local and national news for several months, mostly related to your role in breaking up an international human trafficking syndicate.
Actually, that was five years ago. A long time ago for me, considering all that’s happened since then. Both my mom, Jennifer, and I were captured twice by the traffickers. Both times we escaped unharmed. I think God was watching out for us.
You say a lot has happened since then. Give us some highlights from the life of Katie Brandt over the past five years.
Well, Jennifer and Lee, now Mom and Dad, married and adopted me. Then using the Running Start Program, and some special testing, I squeezed high school and college into 4 1/2 years so I could start my PhD program this past year. My 21st birthday is coming in a few days and, if all goes well, I’ll have my PhD in Computer Science before the end of the year.
That’s an amazing accomplishment. But, didn’t you also play on the women’s fast pitch softball team at UW?
Yes, but my schedule was so packed academically, that I only played softball one year. Fortunately, it was the right year, the year we won the NCAA championship.
We’ve heard that you have quite an arm. You played shortstop, right?
Yes, I did. Our coach wondered why all our ladies playing first base were complaining of bruised hands, some sitting out games. I tend to throw a natural sinker. It moves from the webbing down into the palm of the first baseman’s mitt. Well, the coach brought out the radar gun, put a men’s baseball in my hand, and had me throw all out a few times. On a couple of those throws, I hit 90 mph.
Are the Mariners interested in you?
I hope that was tongue-in-cheek. I can’t maintain 90 mph for 1 inning, let alone a whole game. Seriously, you would not want to see me on the mound at the Safe.
You are beautiful, athletic, one of the brightest students ever to graduate from UW, so what’s next for Katie Brandt?
My mom, Jennifer, dropped out of her doctoral program to work for NSA. I’m carrying her research forward.
Would you please summarize this research for us, in layman’s terms?
Sure. Some big-data analysis problems, like analyzing raw Internet traffic to isolate interesting patterns of communication, were thought to be not computable, at least not in a workable time frame. But, using our knowledge of the way the Internet works, things like routing and the structure of the backbone, I am defining special cases that are computable.
And why do we want to do these types of analyses, Katie?
Compared to the current state-of-the-art, my techniques are an order of magnitude more efficient at identifying bad guys, like terrorists, collaborating on the Internet. I’m already getting some contract work with the FBI, NSA, and a couple of other organizations. But finding the bad guys is so interesting and so much fun that I haven’t stopped long enough to write my dissertation. Also, this area of research is so big, it really should be split into two parts. There’s plenty of room for two dissertations here, and I think I found just the right person to work with me.
Would this happen to be a male student by the name of Joshua West?
Yes. But who told you about him?
Agent Peterson at the FBI’s Seattle field office.
Uh … he didn’t tell you about our little disagreement, did he?
Whose little disagreement? You and Agent Peterson, or you and Joshua West?
Both of them. I mean, either one?
No, but he did insinuate you were involved in locating active terrorist groups and that you take too many risks. How do you feel about that?
I think you’re probing into areas we should not get into.
But, do you consider yourself a risk taker?
Look, Agent Peterson is like a second father to me, as well as my mentor. Like a father, he worries too much. Josh and I can take care of ourselves.
Well, you heard it, folks Katie Brandt and Joshua West don’t need the FBI to take care of them.
Are we off the air now?
You said you wouldn’t talk about the fake honeymoon or Joshua West.
No. That’s not quite what I said. And … oops. I guess we aren’t off yet. It’s time for a commercial break, listeners.
Triple Threat blurb:
Brilliant, beautiful, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, detects a deadly conspiracy. Suspecting it’s only the tip of an iceberg, she dives in, pulling fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation of a cyber-terrorist plot. Damaged by the foster-care system, Katie takes huge risks to win acceptance and love. But when she risks Josh’s life, an agnostic, who isn’t prepared to die, she fears her mistake might have eternal consequences for Josh, a mistake that could break Katie’s heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh.
Will Katie and Josh survive the investigation? If they do, can they ever span the chasm of divergent worldviews that separates them? How can they awaken a dozing nation to a three-pronged danger that threatens its very existence?
Triple Threat, an adventure that spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow’s paper, but pray you never will.
H.L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life he performed research in atmospheric physics. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked 20+ years in systems development at Boeing before retiring near Seattle, where he and his wife of 48 years enjoy small-group ministry, grandchildren, hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, snorkeling Maui whenever possible, and where he writes inspirational thrillers and romantic suspense novels. He has a contracted 4-book, Christian-thriller-series with Pelican Book Group. He is currently finishing his 8th novel.
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Thanks so much for visiting us Katie…I mean H.L. It’s always great to have you here on Genesis 5020 🙂