I was raised in Newark, NJ, then and now a tough place to grow up. My parents were hard-working people who wanted the best for my sister and me. I was in and out of trouble, but somehow did well enough to be accepted into the local college (now New Jersey Institute of Technology). I had great friends --- like brothers --- and we still remain close after all these years.
After graduating college with a degree in chemical engineering, I attended Columbia University on a fellowship and earned a masters degree in nuclear engineering. It was my ticket out of Newark; I went to work for GE in Schenectady designing nuclear reactors for submarines, but it did not fit my temperment. On the other hand, developing computer programs to support the design effort was great fun. I had found my calling.
I also found the love of my life in Schenectady. By sheer dumb luck, I moved to a garden apartment complex and took an apartment below two pretty girls. One invited me up for a drink; the other girl I married.
1972 was a busy year: Lin and I were married, I earned a masters in computer science at RPI and accepted a job as a consultant with Arthur Andersen. Lin and I traveled the country as Andersen sent me out on consulting assignments over the next four years. I loved the work and we both enjoyed the traveling, but when our first daughter was born in San Diego, we decided it was time to put down roots.
We moved to north Jersey, had our second daughter, then moved to south Jersey, where our son was born. I continued working as a consultant for the next twenty years, traveling maybe 25% of the time. These were busy years, but I loved my family and enjoyed my work. I became a partner at one of the large accounting/consulting firms, managed a software consulting business for five years with two partners, and then joined Microsoft to build a consulting business along the east coast.
As much as I enjoyed helping clients build better software, something was missing. For years, I had been thinking about writing novels, but there was never any time. I wasn't getting any younger, so I left the consulting business and dedicated myself to becoming a novelist.
And I had an idea.
What if a great (fictional) software company lost an anti-trust lawsuit and was ripped apart by the DOJ? What if the leaders of this once-great company decided to have their revenge by building an intelligent, deadly software predator into their flagship software product? That's the premise of PeaceMaker, my first novel.
Having an idea is one thing, but writing a novel is a whole different issue. It's a marathon, especially for a first-time novelist. I lost count of the time I put into PeaceMaker, but I'm proud of the final product. When Winterwolf decided to publish it, I was thrilled. The critics reviewed it favorably, and the vast majority of readers enjoyed it as well.
My second novel, Unholy Domain, was released in 2008 by Kunati Publishing. Here's the concept: David Brown, a brilliant but troubled young man, was raised in the dark shadow of his long-dead father, a software genius who unleashed a computer virus that murdered thousands. When David receives a decade-old email that indicates his father may have been framed, he plunges into a gut-wrenching race with the real killers to discover the truth about his father ' and himself.
Released August, 2010, my third novel, 2031: The Singularity Pogrom explores humanity's next great evolutionary challenge. Set in a violent near-future,2031 is a clash of wills between software genius Ray Brown, his gifted son David, and megolomaniac Dianne Morgan, Ray's one-time lover.
This section turned out to be longer than I planned, but I hope you found it interesting.
And there won't be a rewrite.
Where to find Dan Ronco online
Where to buy in print
With the world sunk into depression and the US government on the verge of collapse, a fanatical religious cult battles the secretive technological genius of The Domain for power over the future of the human race.
Software expert Ray Brown is plunged into a life-or-death contest with PeaceMaker, a deadly artificial intelligence that has infected most of the world's computing devices. His determination to eliminate PeaceMaker leads him into a dangerous conflict with the Domain, a clandestine organization dedicated to a new world order.
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