A warm welcome to author Daisy Harris, joining us for Riptide’s Publishing blog tour for new release “Investigating Julius Drake”.
Welcome to the Investigating Julius Drake blog tour! I’m Daisy, the author, and I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book, as well as extra information about the characters, location and story. Up until recently, Seattle was my home town, and I’ve stolen plenty of locations and institutions as settings for Investigating Julius Drake. Together, we’ll take a tour through the twisty-turny, damp and caffeine-addled world that my protagonist, Henry Walker, finds himself in. Grab yourself a double, almond, split-shot, extra-foam latte, pull up a chair, and join us! And don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a $30 Starbucks gift card. Drink like a Seattleite and enjoy.
To Catch A Catfish
In my new young adult novel, Investigating Julius Drake, my heroes find themselves chasing a cunning catfish who’s manipulating popular boys at their school. For those who don’t know, a “catfish” is a person using a fake online identity to talk to and/or manipulate. But how common is catfishing, really? I’ve been asked that by several early readers, and a lot of parents. Most people seem to believe that it’s easy to tell the difference between reality and fantasy online. At the very least, most parents hope that their kids would never talk to a stranger on the Internet.
The truth, however, is that it’s remarkably easy to stumble into fake relationships with fake people. I have two daughters, one aged fourteen and the other almost eleven, and I’ve seen firsthand how easy it is for kids—who aren’t always the most savvy, though of course they think they are!—to believe in false identities online. My first daughter and her group of friends were catfished by an account claiming to be a boy their age when they were eleven! Luckily, while parents tend to imagine that it’s pedophiles catfishing young girls, it’s actually more common for it to be one of their friends. “Fake Jake,” as my daughter’s catfish came to be called around our home, turned out to be nothing more than an almost-seventh-grader.
One way kids get lured into catfishing scenarios is that a new person is added to a group chat or tagged on social media. If a kid’s friend tags or includes a name on a list, most kids won’t bother to question whether the newcomer is real. Even if kids wonder who “Tom” is, the identity claiming to be Tom can simply say “we met by the school once.” The tween or teen immediately lists a couple of local schools, asking which one they met at, and “Tom” can just choose from the list.
None of us recalls the names of everyone we meet, so if someone claims to have met us at a party or on a trip, most of us take their word for it. Even if a catfish doesn’t say they met us, they can easily claim to have met one of our friends. And once a friend vouches for the online entity, most of the time, we believe it’s real.
In past few years, the author community I’m part of has been attacked again and again by catfishing. A person, usually with a very attractive profile picture, befriends others online, and then draws them into all sorts of games. This person can claim to be a reader, or an author. They may create several identities—and use one identity to validate the other. This is complicated stuff, and I’ve known adults to fall for it just as much as children.
The sad reality is that most catfish are never caught. One of my favorite TV shows, Catfish, documents the experience of people tracking down their online lovers to determine if they are real. But without a degree of detective work, most often people end up walking away from a fake relationship, never knowing who was behind it.
Remember Fake Jake? We only discovered the girl behind it years later, through middle school gossip. By then it was too late for me to give her a stern talking to because my daughter and her were no longer friends. Meanwhile, me and the other moms had met with the principal, confiscated phones… All in the fear that some faceless mystery man had been trying to lure our daughters. But the answer was simpler. The mastermind behind the plot was nothing more than a twelve year old girl with a cell phone.
So, is the catfish in Investigating Julius Drake realistic? I’d say so. She might be more evil and manipulative than most online fakers, but she’s not out of line for a sociopath. Beware the catfish, gentle readers. Because the person you’re talking to might not be who you think!
I hope you all enjoy Investigating Julius Drake, and please comment below for a chance to win an amazing Starbucks gift card!
About Investigating Julius Drake
After arriving at Seattle’s prestigious Clinton Academy, fourteen-year-old Henry Walker realizes he won’t fit in. If he’s going to run with the rich and powerful, he’ll have to hide his modest background, his lack of interest in girls, and most importantly, his fascination with his handsome but troubled classmate Julius Drake.
When Julius draws Henry into the investigation of a classmate’s suicide attempt, Henry can’t resist the case—or Julius. Soon, Henry’s not only facing the truth about his feelings for Julius, but also risking his life to unmask a social media imposter. “The Other Woman” is manipulating his classmates, searching out their vulnerabilities, and driving them to desperate actions. Julius himself is at risk, what with his callous parents threatening to send him away, and his mental health taking a beating both at school and at home.
If Henry’s going to save the day and get the boy of his dreams, he’ll have to stop worrying what everyone thinks and stop pretending to be someone he’s not. Most of all, Henry will have to be honest about who he loves.
About Daisy Harris
Born into the psychedelic wonder that was the seventies, Daisy Harris has had an interesting life so far. She’s been to Catholic school and Ramones concerts, danced to MC Hammer and Flo Rida, made the honor roll and Phi Beta Kappa, survived cholera, faced bed bugs, and she’s been a hair’s breadth from shipwreck twice. (Three times, if you count sea kayaks!)
Daisy has been a lifelong reader, devouring romance, young adult, urban fantasy, and nonfiction alike. In her professional life, she’s written medical copy and edited scientific papers. However, since 2012, she’s devoted her energy to writing gay romance full-time. That’s okay, because now on the weekends she reads medical studies for fun.
As far as Daisy’s concerned, the best things in life happen by accident. Though she’s gotten better at planning over the years, she still writes, lives, and plays by the seat of her pants. Her books are a happy mix of mysteries, romantic comedies, and coming-of-age stories, more often than not inspired by the great films of the 1980s.
Daisy lives in Seattle in a house full of dogs and children. When she’s not writing gay fiction, she can be found riding her exercise bike and testing the outer boundaries of her food processor’s potential. Every once in a while, she goes out to pay homage to the party gods of her youth—and maybe to find a little trouble.
To celebrate the release of Investigating Julius Drake, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Starbucks Gift Card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 8, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!