My life as a spy

First, a disclaimer.

I’m not a spy, and I’ve never been one. That title was a ruse to get you to read further.

I’ve often thought I’d make a top-notch spy, though. Fair enough, I have a few qualities that would count against me, such as gullibility, extreme physical cowardice, and a shiftiness of manner that would make me stand out like a sore thumb. But none of these are flaws that a few years of intense training couldn’t eradicate.

Seriously, though. Espionage is possibly the oddest profession there is. You’re paid to deceive people, primarily. I know it involves a lot more than that, but deceit is the essence of it. It must attract a range of different personality types for all sorts of reasons, but the people who stick with it, and are good at it, must have… well, issues.

I know that’s a bald view, and quite possibly an unjustified one; so if there are any genuine spies, past or present, reading this blog, please feel free to correct me.

In the mean time, here’s a preview of the cover of my new novella, Reunion, which features some decidedly damaged spies. Set in the murk of 1970s Cold War Germany, it’s a 20,000-ish-word story of violence, betrayal… and schooldays.

Coming early June.

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  1. If you like deceiving people away from the public glare, then you might make a good spy. If you prefer to deceive people blatently in full view of everyone then politics is a better profession

  2. Couldn’t have put it more pithily, or accurately, myself, Kim.

  3. In Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night, the protagonist’s recruiter tells him that espionage offers each agent a chance to go crazy in a way he finds irresistible.

  4. I like that. Haven’t read much Vonnegut – no, I haven’t read any Vonnegut apart from the obvious one, Slaughterhouse-Five, which I liked a lot though probably didn’t appreciate fully as I was too young – so I’ll give it a look. I have some neo-Lovecraft to peruse first.


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