My Life in the Federal Witness Protection Program
Do you ever have a bad day and dream about leaving your life behind and starting over someplace where nobody knows you? I admit, I’ve flirted with the idea more than once. However, I never seriously thought it through until I was researching my romantic suspense novel, Identity Crisis. I learned what people went through when entering witness protection, officially called the Federal Witness Security Program (WITSEC). They gave up their lives to keep themselves and their families safe. I’m very close to my family and friends and I couldn’t imagine living without them. But if I had to enter the program to stay alive, here’s how I picture my life.
My new name. WITSEC recommends that you keep your first name and initials so you can catch yourself if you start writing your old name or so family members don’t slip-up and call you by your real name. My name is Elizabeth, but most people know me as Beth. So I’d stick with Beth or Eliza. My last name starts with a W, but here’s my chance to move up in the alphabet. My pseudonym Daly is an Irish surname, so maybe I’d use another Irish surname, such as Butler or Byrne.
My new abode. As much as I hate Wisconsin winters, there aren’t a lot of places I’d like to move to, outside of Ireland and Paris. WITSEC wouldn’t place me internationally, so I would choose a warmer destination. At the top of my list would be San Francisco or Savannah. But WITSEC wouldn’t place me in my preferred cities because I’ve likely mentioned them to someone. Maybe they’d compromise and relocate me to Napa Valley, near San Francisco. I love wine and the countryside is beautiful.
This leads me to my new job. I could own a winery. I’m an event planner, but I couldn’t continue to travel extensively for my job, since I could encounter people I know in airports and hotels. My winery could host special events like weddings and parties. One of the perks of being a writer is that I can do it from the privacy of my own home. I could use a pseudonym, a name different from my fake name, and really confuse the bad guys. I could use my cat for my author pic. After all, authors are a quirky bunch of characters. Social media is my main marketing tool, so unless I make it really big I wouldn’t have to worry about doing book signing tours. As a writer, it would be easy for me to hide out, except for my author’s voice. That elusive voice comprised of an author’s word choice, sentence structure, etc. I’ve had many people who know me well tell me that my real voice comes through in my comedy books. It would be difficult to change my voice. I’d have to stick to writing romantic suspense or historical romance, which wouldn’t require a contemporary voice.
My hobbies. WITSEC recommends that you don’t continue with hobbies that could lead the bad guys to you. I wouldn’t have to give up reading or my genealogy research, since it would be next to impossible to track me down through either. The dead people I locate can’t give away my new identity.
My new look. My hair is auburn, which would be very difficult for me to part with, but maybe I could try plum. I would have to stop wearing my hair up in a twist. I hate styling my hair, so maybe this would be the time to try wigs, which have become more popular in recent years. My signature color is fuchsia with both my wardrobe and my lipstick. If I had to select an alternate color I guess it would be red.
And now that I’ve put this all out there on the worldwide web, I guess I’ll have to change my plans if I ever enter the Federal Witness Security Program.
What life changes would you make if you had to enter the Federal Witness Security Program?
When Olivia Doyle’s father dies under suspicious circumstances, rather than inheriting a family fortune, she inherits a new identity. She learns they were placed in the Federal Witness Security Program when she was five years old. Her father was involved in an art forgery ring and testified against the mob. Brought up not to trust anyone, Olivia has a difficult time relying on U.S. Marshal Ethan Ryder to protect her, and to keep her secret. She fears her father may have continued his life of crime through her art gallery. She has little choice but to depend on Ethan when she realizes someone is now after her. Olivia’s search for the truth leads her and Ethan across country to a family and past she doesn’t remember.
At the age of ten, Ethan witnessed a brutal murder. He vowed when he grew up, he’d protect people in danger. Protecting Olivia is difficult when she won’t trust him. He soon realizes his desire to protect her goes beyond doing his job, but if his judgment becomes clouded by emotions, her safety could be jeopardized.
Can Ethan and Olivia learn to trust each other when they uncover secrets that will change their lives forever?
Eliza Daly’s first attempt at creative writing was in fourth grade. She and her friends were huge Charlie’s Angels fans and she would sit in her bedroom at night writing scripts for them to act out at recess the following day. She was Kelly Garrett. Fast forward to the present, she’s still writing stories about beautiful women who always get their men. The journey from fourth grade script writer to published author wasn’t an easy one, but it was always an adventure and the final destination was well worth it.
When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home in Milwaukee working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband Mark, and her cats Quigley, Frankie, and Sammy.
Giveaway—Thank you so much to Books-n-Kisses for having me here today and helping me celebrate the release of Identity Crisis. I will be giving away an e-copy of Identity Crisis to one commenter. To enter to win, please answer the question at the end of my post. The winner will be announced April 1. Thank you for stopping by!