AUTHOR INTERVIEW: George Finney, author of No More Magic Wands

GEORGE FINNEY, ESQ., has worked in Cybersecurity for over 15 years and is the author of No More Magic Wands: Transformative Cybersecurity Change for Everyone. He is currently the Chief Information Security Officer for Southern Methodist University where he has also taught on the subject of Corporate Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Mr. Finney is an attorney and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional as well as a Certified Information Security Systems Professional and has spoken on Cybersecurity topics across the country.



About the Book:

Once upon a time there was a company that made magic wands, but when they were hacked all the magic in the world couldn’t prevent their data from being stolen. If that company had a chance for a

Most books on Cybersecurity are written for highly technical professionals, focus on specific compliance regulations, or are intended for reference. No More Magic Wands is takes complex security concepts and puts them into practice in easy to read, relateable stories.
clean start, what would they have done differently? The unlikely hero isn’t a security guy. She’s a business elf who makes it her mission to change the way her company does business from the top down.

No More Magic Wands is available at AMAZON

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I was teaching a class on cybersecurity for undergrads a few years ago. The students in the class had never taken any cybersecurity classes before, and it made me look at security with new eyes. The more technical I made the class, the less approachable the material became. I started to try and find ways to make the material more relatable to someone who wasn’t technical at all, and the students really responded. I hope to bring this experience to everyone since it’s such an incredibly important issue right now.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

No More Magic Wands was one of the first stories that I’ve written where I had a lot of fun doing it.  The stories inside just seemed to spill out and take on a life of their own, and that had honestly never happened to me before.  Writing is a lot of work.  But my advice is to find things that make you love being a writer.  Find the stories that you are passionate about telling.  Brainstorm and daydream and journal until you’ve cultivated a lot of fertile ground that you can explore.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self published through Amazon. 

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

As a self-publisher, I have to do all of my own marketing.  It has been a very eye opening experience in terms of how much work you can do to get it right.  But on the other hand, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with how helpful people are to help you along the way.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

My next project is a series of several choose your own adventure style stories for cybersecurity training.  A lot of people learn through experience and it's too late to learn after you've been breached.  Being able to play in a choose your own adventure style world will help people recognize the common ways that hackers are exploiting people without the consequences of learning the hard way.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

When I was thinking of the main character and his company, I was picturing the Keebler Elves.  There is this picture I found of them that I kept on my computer to help inspire me.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

To successfully protect ourselves, security needs to be everyone’s job.  For everyone to do their part, we can’t let security be this big scary thing that we always rely on someone else to take care of for us. 

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I love hearing from my readers.  Look up my blog and let me know what you think, 

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