One day it dawned on me that I could try to combine my professional role as an “ethical hacker” with my long-held but extracurricular interest in creative writing. Having extensive experience of communicating complex topics at a high level, a keen eye for detail and a writer’s sensitivity to the needs of driving a plot, I put finger to keyboard with the aim of advising writers on the subject of computer security and other dark arts.
In this capacity I can give an appraisal of the technical accuracy of anything from a loose plot to a full manuscript over a number of disciplines. I can make suggestions as to how keep the plot devices doing their job but in a way that feels authentic. Obviously it’s your call how much rewriting you do – my only aim is to help you make informed decisions.
Take a look at the Testimonials page for some nice things that people have said about work I’ve done in the past.
The aim of this site – as well as my Twitter feed @MrJeromeSmith – is to both inspire and inform writers with interesting content in subjects that might otherwise seem esoteric and inaccessible.
A brief history of me
I currently work full-time as a penetration tester aka white hat hacker aka ethical hacker – choose your favourite – but I have always had a passion for writing. The rejection that a friend and I received from Amblin Entertainment in response to the 8-page screenplay we sent when we were 9 didn’t put me off. Later I messed about on stage with the Footlights Dramatic Club, touring as a writer/performer with the 1997 national show, instead of studying science. My first job was at a training company as a scriptwriter, taking dry technical topics and turning them into multimedia learning packages. One of the products I wrote won Bronze at the International Visual Communication Association (now EVCOM) awards. I then hid in central government for a number of years, where I fell into computer security. In 2008 I joined a small company where I wrote and taught courses on “ethical hacking” popular with private companies and public agencies alike. I currently work as a senior security consultant for a major firm in the industry. I held a qualification for practical security testing recognised by the UK government until November 2018 (voluntarily letting it lapse!). I have spoken at conferences and had whitepapers published on various topics. This geek streak is reserved for my technical blog at exploresecurity.com and Twitter feed @exploresecurity.
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed on this site represent my own and not necessarily those of my employer.
Credit: some photos from Pexels.