Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out as well as the Harbored Secrets Series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and connecting with readers on Instagram and Facebook.

In this interview, Natalie shares some of her thoughts and inspirations behind her latest book, Fatal Code.

FF: Can you please provide a brief summary of your new novel, Fatal Code?
Elinor Mitchell is an aerospace engineer who is working on a satellite project to win a lucrative contract for the defense technology company she works for, but she becomes distracted when she discovers a decades-old secret left to her by her grandfather. The only problem is, she can’t decipher it.

Kekoa Young is the SNAP Agency’s cryptologist and Elinor’s next-door neighbor, which works out perfectly when the FBI requests he investigate Elinor’s knowledge of a top-secret design her grandfather created with four other scientists who worked at the laboratory responsible for creating the atomic bomb.

The stakes have never been higher in the race for space defense against America’s enemies, but Kekoa will have to overcome the ghost of his past if has any hope of protecting Elinor and her secret from falling into the wrong hands.

FF: What can you tell us about the group of scientists featured in the book, the Los Alamos Five?
The five men—a theoretical physicist, chemists, and nuclear physicists—worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory during and shortly after the creation of the atomic bomb. The United States was determined to stay ahead of the nuclear arms race, so the scientists began working on a new project. The testing of that project led to a determination of its instability and potential devastation if completed, and it was decided that, for the good of humanity, the project would be halted. The Los Alamos Five went their separate ways, never expecting their unfinished design would be deadly decades later.

FF: What is Kekoa’s dilemma concerning Elinor? Can you elaborate on the relationship between these two characters?
Kekoa is a cryptologist, and his comfort level hinges on computers, food, and his hula hips. So when he’s tasked to keep an eye on his neighbor Elinor, he finds it hard to navigate her intelligence and beauty. However, he quickly discovers that behind Elinor’s love of science jokes is a woman who is hurting from the lack of ohana (family) in her life, and it reminds him of his ohana back home. This brings up the tragic nightmare that made him leave the islands in the first place. But when the danger continues to grow around Elinor, he’s forced to address his worst fears to protect Elinor’s life.

FF: What about your own background and military involvement influences your writing?
If there’s one word that could describe life as a military wife it would be unstable. There’s never certainty in the job or lifestyle, and I think that directly influences my writing. My stories have that element of instability as my characters have to shift, adjust, and grow to overcome obstacles and challenges, but I also like to include these solid moments of community that reflect the ones we find in our military community no matter where in the world we live.

FF: What inspired you to write a series about men and women who work for a high-level agency based in DC?
The thrill. Is that too simple an answer? Actually, the inspiration behind the SNAP Agency series is the many men and women I’ve met as a military wife for the last twenty-five years. The characters, the plot, the settings have all been inspired by friends we know, locations we’ve lived in, and stories we’ve heard from those with boots on the ground. They work tirelessly, vigilantly, and selflessly to keep America safe, and I wanted to write a story that, in a very small way, reflected my adoration for them and what they do.

FF: What do readers have to look forward to in the rest of this series?
More heart-pumping thrills, I hope! They’ll also get to know Kekoa, Lyla, and Garcia on a more personal level as each story will reveal more about each of these team members.

FF: What do you hope readers will gain from reading Fatal Code?
I didn’t realize this when I began plotting Fatal Code, but as the writing began, I realized there’s a theme of loss in this story that made me reflect on the loved ones I’ve lost in my life—especially my grandparents, who always shared our rich family history with us as often as they could. It really made me appreciate my time with them and the time I have with those still here. Every memory made with our loved ones is precious and irreplaceable. I hope readers will feel that too.

FF: What are you working on next?
I just turned in a novella that will be a part of a themed collection with amazing authors, Lynette Eason and Lynn Blackburn. And I’m working on book 3 in the SNAP Agency. It’s untitled as of yet, and I’m really sad that the series is already coming to a close for me. I’m not ready to say goodbye to the team.

Fatal Code
The SNAP Agency Series #2
Natalie Walters
Genres: Mystery/Suspense, Espionage Thriller
Release Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN-10: ‎ 0800739795
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0800739799

Book Summary:
In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those five scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession–and a target on her back.

SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she’s his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because…well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. When Elinor learns he has been spying on her, she’s crushed. But with danger closing in on all sides, she’ll have to trust him to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands.


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About The Author

Natalie Walters is a military wife of 22 years and currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. In addition to balancing life as a military spouse, mom, and writer, she loves connecting on social media, sharing her love of books, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past.