I use a lot of drones in my story Red Steel. I became fascinated with drones several years ago when they came on the news as being used by our military. My first actual experience with a drone came from my husband’s boss who had a rather nice one with a camera. I teased he’d use it to spy on his neighbors. My husband purchased a toy drone to play around with the grandkids. Flying it around just for fun, it’s rather amazing how much it can do but you really have to practice, or you can destroy it rather easily.
When I started planning Red Steel the idea of using drones didn’t just come to me automatically. While I’ve researched the use of drones for the military, how they are being used to deliver medicines and packages, I really hadn’t thought how I could use a drone in my story. Several months ago, my friend, Bev Horvath of South Creek Media needed extras for a video she was filming. I called people I knew and asked if they’d help. Several of us gathered together and she started filming. Later in the evening, she pulled out her drone and filmed us from the air. Seeing how smooth and clear this could be done gave me my first idea for using the drone as surveillance in my story.
If you have read the series you know that the creepy guy, Phil Archer has the whole town wired. With his own electronics and security company, the people of Leeward trusted him to put in their security systems, and wire up their personal surveillance, they didn’t realize he’d hack into their systems and add a few more cameras and microphones so he could watch everyone in town.
When Phil finds himself having to be a hero and rescue someone, he knows he is extremely outnumbered but by using drones he can even the playing field. Phil and I have a lot of fun figuring out what these drones will do.
My husband’s childhood friend gave me another idea for using the drone when he told us a story of teasing his girlfriend by sneaking up on her with the drone. He explained that his smaller drone was very quiet, and she couldn’t hear it coming. The larger one made a bit of a hum. So, when Phil needs to do surveillance to see how many guys he’ll have to defeat and where they are all located, he uses a small drone with a camera.
Just before I had all of my ideas planned out for Red Steel, my youngest son gave a talk to my writers’ group. I did not know before that even the fire department uses a drone. It can be used for search and rescue, to check out details of a fire, it can even be used over water. These were interesting facts to know before crafting the story.
Articles you might be interested in reading:
Drone strikes pros and cons: do you agree with the use of military drones?
To Enforce Coronavirus Rules, U.K. Police Use Drones, Shaming and Easter Egg Bans https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/world/europe/uk-police-coronavirus.html
Photographer Uses His Drone as a Safe Way to Take Portraits of Locals in Quarantine