Trace Conger Day 1

 The Shadow Broker

The Story Behind the Story: The Shadow Broker

By Trace Conger

THE SHADOW BROKER began as an untitled short story about two professional
killers who were hired to kill each other. I liked the idea, but as I got deeper into it, I
realized the story was growing beyond the confines of a short story. The story was
also changing. At first, these two men were gunning for one another, but as I kept
writing it, they turned less adversarial toward each other and instead turned on
their mutual employer.

I abandoned the idea after several months, because it was missing something, but I
didn’t know what. So I shelved it and focused on other projects. A few months later, I
met an ex-private investigator who told me that during a very slow period she
moonlighted as a black market information broker acquiring illegal personal
information for a few clients who paid very well.
As soon as she was back on her feet financially she returned to traditional PI work,
because she was putting her career (not to mention her personal freedom) at risk by
working with criminals. 

After learning that these shadowy individuals exist, I was intrigued and disturbed at
the same time. I started developing the character of Finn Harding (Mr. Finn) who
after loosing his PI license begins working for criminals. I really liked the idea of a
man who, after being shunned professionally, goes to work for the “other side.”
This new direction morphed with the original “Killer” story and what had been a
5,000-word short story turned into an 80,000-word novel. Many of the elements of
the short story remain, but THE SHADOW BROKER certainly took on a life of its

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