Today, I am pleased to welcome CJ Carver to my blog to discuss the background to her latest novel Spare Me the Truth. All this week there will be a series of blog posts, you can read more tomorrow on Christine’s blog. My review will be published towards the end of the week.
1) Spies, Spooks & James Bond type appeal
Readers find this world so fascinating because they know they will never meet a real life spy – and if they do, they won’t realise it. They could be chatting to a member of the SIS at the bus stop, at a party, oblivious that this apparently “normal” individual leads a double life.
Spies are masters at duplicity. They need to be when they’re living two lives at once. Oblivious that our neighbor could be a spy – we think he’s just a rather dull civil servant – we are always trying to figure them out. What makes them tick. A spy is a heroic myth, an urban legend and it seems we’re addicted to them.
I’m very careful about the information I impart on the page, whether it’s a new weapon being developed by QinetiQ or SIS trade craft. Careless talk costs lives. Any knowledge I pick up from my sources I get checked before publication to make sure I’m not giving anything important away.
Putting the story on the page is a real joy because this is when I can let my imagination rip! Real spies blend in. They’re the quiet man or woman in the corner. They’re cautious. They don’t like attention. All of which is very much Dan Forrester, my spy in Spare Me The Truth, but he’s a larger than life character with extraordinary skills and knowledge that help him get out of some really dangerous situations.
Would you make a good spy?
I think I’d find it too lonely. I can keep a secret but I’m not sure I’d be able to live a double life without struggling. I’d need to have a much better memory for a start!
That said, being an author enables me to travel extensively to unusual places like Skopje pretty much under the radar. However, the second I landed in Macedonia the entire International Community was there, checking me out, convinced I was something I wasn’t. This is where I met a real-life Dan Forrester. And boy, was he cool.