My son, Sam, took a two-year computer programming class at British Columbia Institute of Technology. Essentially, they cram four years of learning into two. The course is widely known to be intensive and gruelling and generally the only thing a student does–eating and sleeping are luxuries. Calling home, even for money, hardly ever happened.
But on one of our rare calls, he mentioned a classmate, Luli. I fell in love with her name and said, “I might steal that for a heroine.” He said, “It’s actually Lucrecia.” I said, “Even better, but what kind of name is it?” He said her family was from Venezuela and I thought that was intriguing enough to keep it.
I later had the good fortune to meet real-life Luli. She’s lovely and no, they’re not dating. Strictly comrades in computer programming, but I have it on good authority–Sam–that she’s a really great coder.
I accidentally lifted Luli’s vocation of computer programming for my fictional Luli. I needed my Luli to develop a skill while she’s trapped for years with Gabriel’s rich, eccentric grandmother, something that would allow her to be a pain in Gabriel’s behind. Luli locks him out of his own software–which makes him mad, but secretly appeals to the nerd in him. He wants to unravel what she’s done.
I have no idea if my description of Luli’s hacking holds water. My son is generous with his time if I have research questions, but I’ll be honest. I don’t want to say, “I want this and this and this to happen” and hear him go, “Yeah, Mom, that can’t happen.” Ignorance is very much bliss! So if you happen to know something about computer programming and read this book and roll your eyes at the artistic license I’ve taken, that’s all on me. Sam and real-life Luli are innocent bystanders.