Real Spies, Real Lives
By P. A. Duncan
Real Spies, Real LivesMay 25, 2023
Spy Movies and TV Shows -- Top 5s
The author talks about her favorite spy movies and television series compared to the top 5s from IMDb. Plus, a reading from TREACHERY, book 3 of the series Meeting the Enemy.
From 5/27 - 5/31, the author's 2016 short story collection SPY FLASH II, will be FREE to download at amazon.com/dp/B01N5D7GEP.
TREACHERY can still be preordered at a special, low price at amazon.com/dp/B0C55ZXWYT. TREACHERY launches on 6/24.
Undercover in the CIA?
The author discusses the feasibility of the premise that a counterintelligence officer from one spy shop could go undercover inside the CIA. We get a brief history of one traitor in the CIA who might be considered an "undercover agent." Plus, you'll get a reading from the author's upcoming novel, TREACHERY, book 3 of the series Meeting the Enemy.
The featured May sales book is SPY FLASH II, on sale this month for $1.99. Find it at amazon.com/dp/B01N5D7GEP.
PROLOGUE TO TREACHERY, the prequel reader magnet for TREACHERY, remains on sale for 99¢. Find it at amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8.
Finally, the novel TREACHERY releases on June 24, but you can preorder it now at amazon.com/dp/B0C55ZXWYT.
No Podcast Episode 5/11
Because the host is out of town, there will be no podcast episode this week. The podcast will return on 5/18/23.
The Why of Spy Flash II
Duncan explains how Spy Flash II came about and what inspired the writing of each of the four stories in the collection. Duncan also reads from the first story in the collection, "Spymaster."
Spy Flash II the eBook is on sale the month of May for only $1.99 at amazon.com/dp/B01N5D6GEP.
NOTE: THERE WILL NOT BE AN EPISODE ON MAY 11 BECAUSE THE HOST IS OUT OF TOWN. The podcast will resume on May 18.
Prologue to TREACHERY
Duncan talks about the background of her series MEETING THE ENEMY, specifically the upcoming book 3, TREACHERY.
Two of Duncan's novellas will be free today (4/27/23) and tomorrow (4/28/23) only, and you can find them here: THE YELLOW SCARF amazon.com/dp/B018R55P2W and MY NOBLE ENEMY amazon.com/dp/B00y40IN7E.
If you preordered PROLOGUE TO TREACHERY, you'll find it in your Kindle Library, and it can still be ordered at the preorder price at amazon.com/dp/B0BZZNFPZH.
Don't forget to follow P. A. Duncan's Amazon Author Page at amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
By Any Other Name . . .
A traitor is a traitor. Duncan offers her take on a U.S. Airman accused of stealing classified material and posting it on Discord, allegedly to impress people. And learn about an audiobook hack that allows Alexa to read an eBook to you.
For the week of April 24 - 28, 2023, both of Duncan's novellas, The Yellow Scarf and My Noble Enemy, will be free to download (eBooks only). For her birthday week, she's giving presents to her readers. You can find The Yellow Scarf at amazon.com/dp/B018R55P2W and My Noble Enemy at amazon.com/dp/B00Y40IN7E.
There is a week left before the launch of the reader magnet prequel, Prologue to TREACHERY, and you can preorder it still at amazon.com/dp/B0BZZNFPZH.
And that's all, folks.
Old Spies and Old Pilots
Duncan explains the tagline for her novella My Noble Enemy -- "There are old spies and bold spies, but no old, bold spies." Also, some chat about The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s various iterations.
My Noble Enemy April eBook sale: amazon.com/dp/B00Y40IN7E.
The Yellow Scarf April eBook sale: amazon.com/dp/B018R55P2W.
Follow Duncan's Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
Capturing an Audience
P. A. Duncan talks about why her books are often on sale and how she uses "organic" marketing to increase her audience.
The reader magnet/prequel, Prologue to Treachery, is now available for preorder at amazon.com/dp/BoBZZNFPZH. Special preorder price -- 99¢.
On sale for 99¢ each, Duncan's 2015 novellas, The Yellow Scarf and My Noble Enemy. (The latter ties into Prologue to Treachery.) Find The Yellow Scarf at amazon.com/dp/B018R55P2W and My Noble Enemy at amazon.com/dp/B00Y40IN7E.
Don't forget to give my Amazon Author Page a follow at amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
Transparency Disclaimer: I used AI to create an outline for portions of the podcast, but the words are all mine.
3/30 Episode on Hiatus
Because it's tax season, the podcast is on hiatus this week and will be back on April 6, 2023. Catch you then!
Researching Historical Fiction
Duncan talks about the importance of research when writing historical or any genre of fiction and gives some researching tips. Duncan is also conducting a workshop on researching historical fiction as part of the Author Transformation Alliance 2023 Virtual Spring Writing Retreat. For more information on that retreat, which starts at 0900 on Friday, March 24, go HERE.
Here are other links mentioned in this episode:Link to the blog post "When Is Something Considered History?" Link to the March sale eBook, The Better Spy, amazon.com/dp/B0112R8I8A Link to follow P. A. Duncan's Amazon Author Page, amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan
Is Espionage Ethical?
Duncan explores the ethics of espionage, i.e., is it a black and white issue, or are the ethics of espionage dependent upon perspective, what side you're on? And we have a reading from Duncan's debut mystery novel, Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season.
Preorder Supreme Madness of Carnival Season (only two more days) at amazon.com/dp/B0BTTR97KQ.
Get The Better Spy, Duncan's novel in stories, for free (also only two more days) at amazon.com/dp/B0112R8I8A.
Also, consider following P. A. Duncan at amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
The Whole of its Parts
P. A. Duncan talks in-depth about the plot, characters, and setting for her debut mystery novel, Supreme Madness of the Carnival season and reads an excerpt from it.
You have 8 more days to preorder Supreme Madness at amazon.com/dp/B0BTTR97KQ.
Don't forget this month's special eBook sale for The Better Spy at amazon.com/dp/B0112R8I8A. The Better Spy will be free to download 3/13 - 3/17 at the same link.
Mystery vs Espionage - More Alike than Not
Duncan compares and contrasts the mystery and espionage genres and find some commonalities you might not realize. We conclude with a reading from Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season.
The March book sale is for The Better Spy, Duncan's novel in stories. The eBook is only 99¢ all month. Find it at amazon.com/dp/B0112R8I8A.
The preorder is still on for Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season. Find it at amazon.com/dp/B0BTTR97KQ for the special preorder price of $1.99.
Why Are We So Fascinated with Spies?
After experimenting with AI for a podcast outline, author P.A. Duncan talks about why spies and espionage is so appealing to the average person. It's all about the fantasy for us Walter Mittys. Also, listen to a new excerpt from the upcoming Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season, Duncan's debut mystery novel as read by the author.
Preorder Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season at amazon.com/dp/B0BTTR97KQ.
This month's featured sale, Spy Flash, can be found at amazon.com/dp/B00AKEX062.
(c) 2023 by Unexpected Paths Media (P. A. Duncan)
You Can't Ignore Racism
Some more observations on Chinese spy balloons and a discussion about how the author couldn't ignore the thread about racial relations in her novel set in a rural southern town.
To preorder Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season, go to amazon.com/dp/B0BTTR97KQ.
Don't forget this month's feature ebook sale - Spy Flash for only 99¢. Go to amazon.com/dp/B00AKEX062.
Spies and Balloons and Shoot-Downs, Oh My!
Some thoughts on the Chinese spy satellite saga, a history lesson on balloons used in spying, and a reading from the soon-to-be-released mystery novel, Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season.
Buy link for the featured, February 99¢ sale of Spy Flash: amazon.com/dp/B00AKEX062.
The preorder period for Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season starts on 2/11/23, but here's the preorder link: amazon.com/dp/B0BTTR97KQ.
Inspired by Poe
Duncan talks about some spy movies to brighten a dreary day and about her upcoming new book, a mystery, which is a genre change for her. Also explained is the connection of the new book, Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season, to an Edgar Allan Poe short story, "The Cask of Amontillado."
To comment on this episode, go to the podcast's Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/RealSpiesRealLives.
This month's promotion is Duncan's second collection of espionage short fiction, Spy Flash, 25 flash fiction stories. The eBook of Spy Flash is on sale this month for 99¢, and you can find it at amazon.com/dp/B00AKEX062.
Duncan winds up her promotion of her first collection of espionage short stories, Blood Vengeance, with a bit of Balkan history and a reading of the award-winning title story.
You have until January 31 to get the eBook of Blood Vengeance for only 99¢. Go to amazon.com/dp/B007WWBX14 and grab it now.
Spies -- At Career Day?
What happens when your parents are spies but your teacher insists they come to career day? The second story in Blood Vengeance is "Career Day," and Natalia Bukharin has a lot of questions for Mai and Alexei about what they really do. The answers, however, are not forthcoming.
Blood Vengeance is FREE January 19 and 20 then after that 99¢ for the remainder of January. You can download it at amazon.com/dp/B007WWBX14.
A Blast From the Past
Time to give some love to P. A. Duncan's first collection of espionage short stories, Blood Vengeance. Published in 2012, these stories are the earliest ones featuring U.N. spies Mai Fisher and Alexei Bukharin, and they delve, of course, into history.
Blood Vengeance is on sale for 99¢ for all this month. Go to amazon.com/dp/B007WWBX14.
Time for Season Four
It's Season 4, Episode 1 of the podcast where we talk about writing, spies, and writing about spies.
Today, though, we're talking more about writing and the writing life, especially when a spy writer decides to try writing a mystery.
While you're waiting for Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season -- the mystery -- to be ready for preorder, check out P. A. Duncan's spy writing. All reasonably priced whether eBook, paperback, or hard cover. Go to amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan and see for yourself.
Taking a Holiday Break
It's going to be a busy couple of weeks to the end of the year for P. A. Duncan, what with family holiday "stuff" and a book launch on 12/24/22, so the podcast is on hiatus until 1/5/2023.
In the meantime, you can still preorder MEETING THE ENEMY: REVENGE (book 2) and find MEETING THE ENEMY: TERROR (book 1) on sale at amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8.
Happy Holidays and a safe New Year to all!
Getting It Right
When you're a writer focused on historical accuracy and you can't verify something through research, where can you turn when all else fails? A subject matter expert.
The link for the Meeting the Enemy: REVENGE preorder, the sale for Meeting the Enemy: TERROR, and the print editions of REVENGE is amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8. There for your holiday shopping.
How does a writer deal with making a secondary character the main character? What happens if there's not much action? A NaNoWriMo update and a free excerpt from the upcoming novel, REVENGE.
To preorder REVENGE and to find book 1, TERROR, on sale, go to amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8.
Art Imitates Life -- Again
Duncan is still building up to the launch on December 24 of Meeting the Enemy Book 2: REVENGE. She explains how an incident in her work life found its way into her fiction (happens all the time) and discusses how National Novel Writing Month has helped create a publishing backlog for her.
Finally, you can preorder REVENGE for a special preorder price (eBook only) and find Meeting the Enemy Book 1: TERROR on sale at amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8.
Also note: There will be NO PODCAST ON NOVEMBER 24 -- HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Unexpected Paths Media and P. A. Duncan.
Better Late Than Not at All
Duncan apologizes for doing her civic duty as an election officer and missing the recording of a podcast for last week.
This week we learn about the origin of Meeting the Enemy: REVENGE, book 2 in the series, and Duncan reads a free excerpt.
For the REVENGE ebook preorder and the ebook sale of book 1, TERROR, go to amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8.
If you're in the central Virginia area, specifically near Richmond, VA, on November 12, you'll find P. A. Duncan at the Hanover Book Festival, VFW Post 7808, 7168 Flag Lane, Mechanicsville, VA, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
No 11/4 Podcast
The Real Spies, Real Lives Podcast is taking a break this week because P. A. Duncan's time has been taken up with election officer duties.
So, don't forget. Go vote! Democracy depends on it.
See you next week.
Finishing up the Series Birthday
Some current Balkan history, or current events, and a final reading from Self-Inflicted Wounds.
All 3 eBooks are FREE today and tomorrow only, so grab 'em while you can from amazon.com/dp/B08L3886FP.
Justice or Injustice
Duncan talks about the fact that justice can sometimes be construed as injustice when it doesn't go the way you want. The third book in the Self-Inflicted Wounds trilogy is about some justice gained and some lost.
Along with the eBooks of Welcome to Belgrade (book 1) and Dangerous Truths (book 2), book 3, And Justice for All, is on sale for 99¢. You can find all three books at amazon.com/dp/B08L3886FP.
When Truth is Dangerous
Truth is truth, isn't it? P. A. Duncan explains how sometimes truth can be dangerous, so dangerous in fact she titled book 2 of the Self-Inflicted Wounds trilogy Dangerous Truths.
Dangerous Truths along with book 1, Welcome to Belgrade, and book 2, And Justice for All, are only 99¢ each for the eBooks in October, to celebrate the trilogy's second birthday. You can find all three at amazon.com/dp/B08L3886FP.
Author Backlists - What and Why?
Duncan explains author backlists, gives us a brief Balkan history lesson, and reads from Welcome to Belgrade, book one of the trilogy, Self-Inflicted Wounds.
The three eBooks in Self-Inflicted Wounds are on sale for 99¢ each to celebrate the trilogy's second birthday. You can find them at amazon.com/dp/B08L3886FP.
Baseball and Spies and Life and Writing
Duncan reflects on two baseball seasons 61 years apart and tells us writing is just like baseball. Kinda. We wind up our look at the reader magnet, Prologue to Revenge. And Duncan is on the road, keeping an eye out for spies, on a trip to Columbia, Maryland, for a book event.
Also, October will bring a celebration of the two-year anniversary of the series Self-Inflicted Wounds with reduced prices for the eBooks and some free days thrown in.
No Podcast This Week
P. A. Duncan has been under the weather this week, so no podcast for 9/22/22. Many apologies. We'll be back next week.
Setting as Character
Can the location and time of a story, i.e., the setting, be the same as a character. P. A. Duncan thinks so and explains why.
Today and Friday are the last two days of the preorder of PROLOGUE TO REVENGE, which launches on Saturday, September 17. After that, the special preorder price of 99¢ goes away. You can preorder the eBook at amazon.com/dp/B0BCGGVC5L.
Duncan explains how an extensive character worksheet helped discover traits about her characters even she didn't know and provides a brief homage to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who died recently.
Preorder link for PROLOGUE TO REVENGE: amazon.com/dp/B0BCGGVC5L
Introducing PROLOGUE TO REVENGE
A bit of a history lesson about the Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s and how that ties into book 2 of Meeting the Enemy, REVENGE. Plus a reading from book 2's reader magnet, PROLOGUE TO REVENGE.
PROLOGUE TO REVENGE preorder link: amazon.com/dp/B0BCGGVC5L.
An Emotional Episode
August 29, the launch date for Duncan's new novelette, Old Love Does Not Rust, is also the anniversary of her father's death 40 years ago. Old Love Does Not Rust is a gift for him, one she wishes she could have given him when he was alive.
Duncan would also like her listeners to be aware of the National Suicide and Crisis hotline, which anyone can reach anytime by dialing 9-8-8.
Old Love Does Not Rust is still available for preorder at a special price of 99¢ at amazon.com/dp/B0B6RWHHCH.
The reader magnet Prologue to Terror is still on sale for 99¢ at amazon.com/dp/B0B1F64YLQ.
Reminder: NO Podcast This Week
P. A. Duncan is at a writer's retreat working on her next book. She'll be back next week.
Prologue to Terror - Part 2
Duncan wraps up the dive into PROLOGUE TO TERROR, the reader magnet/prequel for Meeting the Enemy Book 1: TERROR, and you learn why writers retreat.
1. PROLOGUE TO TERROR - 99-cent eBook at amazon.com/dp/B0B1F64YLQ
2. OLD LOVE DOES NOT RUST - 99-cent preorder price at amazon.com/dp/B0B6RWHHCH (launches 8/29/22)
Prologue to Terror Part 1
Duncan explains what reader magnets are for, as well as the structure of a genre novel, and provides a brief review of the Amazon Prime movie The 355. Heavy on the writing stuff this week--but a bit of early, American espionage history surrounding George Washington's Culper Ring.
Prologue to Terror, the prequel/reader magnet for TERROR, book one of the series Meeting the Enemy, is only 99 cents at amazon.com/dp/B0B1F64YLQ.
Wrapping Up a Book Birthday
Duncan concludes the month-long birthday celebration for Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules, gives a review of the new Netflix "espionage" movie, The Gray Man, and talks about why she likes reading and writing short stories.
July 28 and 29 are the last two days to download a free eBook of Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules. You can download it at amazon.com/dp/B093THXD7M.
And a new novelette, Old Love Does Not Rust, is available for an ebook preorder at amazon.com/dp/B0B6RWHHCH.
Vary Your Pattern
The "other half" of Moscow Rule No. 6: Vary your pattern and stay within your cover, offers some advice on personal security--without appearing too paranoid.
Links for books on sale or available for preorder:
On sale: Prologue to Terror, prequel to TERROR, book one of Meeting the Enemy, is 99 cents at amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8 (eBook only);
Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules is 99 cents at amazon.com/dp/B093THXD7M (eBook only).
Available for preorder: "Old Love Does Not Rust," a novelette, at amazon.com/dp/B0BHR6VC44.
The new episode drops next Thursday, July 28, at 1 p.m.
Oh, and, a minor warning for some adult language in this week's episode.
Stay Within Your Cover
Why do spies need a cover, and why is it important not to blow your cover? Duncan answers those questions and provides an example from her story, "Stay Within Your Cover," from Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules.
Links for Duncan's eBook sales:
Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules - amazon.com/dp/B093THXD7M
Prologue to Terror - amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8
You Are Never Completely Alone
We're revisiting the Moscow Rules for the first book birthday of Duncan's short short collection, Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules. In the reading part of the episode, please be advised of some sexually explicit dialogue.
For the 99-cent ebook sales mentioned in the podcast episode, you can find them at:
Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules - amazon.com/dp/B093THXD7M
Prologue to Terror - amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8
We Have Met the Enemy . . .
Duncan provides us with a bit of a history lesson around the adage, "We have met the enemy and he is us," which was the inspiration for the series title, Meeting the Enemy. We wind up the promotion of TERROR, book one of Meeting the Enemy with a reading from near the end. And we get a preview of July's promotions.
To get your 99-cent eBook of Prologue to Terror (reader magnet/prequel to TERROR) and either an ebook, paperback, or hard cover of TERROR, go to the series page at amazon.com/dp/B09ZHZXXF8.
Starting tomorrow, for its book birthday, the short story collection SPY FLASH III: THE MOSCOW RULES will be 99 cents for the ebook, and you can find that at amazon.com/dp/B093THXD7M.
Why Do Writers Retreat?
Duncan talks about why and how writer retreats are so conducive to creativity, whether spies get retreats, and provides a reading from TERROR, book one of the new series, MEETING THE ENEMY.
TERROR launches on Saturday, June 25, but you can still preorder it at amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS.
TERROR's reader magnet/prequel, PROLOGUE TO TERROR, is now FREE through 6/25. Get your freebie at amazon.com/dp/B0B1F64YLQ.
REMINDER: No Podcast Today
No episode this week because spy novelist P. A. Duncan is at a writer's workshop.
Who Spies on the Spies
This week Duncan talks about a message that acknowledged she is, indeed, a spy novelist and how that got her out of a slump because she missed her sales goal in May. We'll hear about her favorite writer's workshop and have a reading from TERROR, book one of MEETING THE ENEMY.
PROLOGUE TO TERROR, the reader magnet for TERROR, is on sale for 99 cents (eBook only), and you can find it at amazon.com/dp/B0B1F64YLQ.
And after you're done reading PROLOGUE TO TERROR, you can preorder TERROR at amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS.
To catch the cover reveal for TERROR, check out Duncan's posts on her Facebook Author Page, www.facebook.com/unspywriter, and her Instagram, www.instagram.com/paduncan1.
All fiction requires you to suspect disbelief and accept a premise you might find unlikely. In her upcoming new novel, TERROR, espionage author P. A. Duncan wants you to accept that a Directorate operative can successfully go under cover in the CIA. It's her world, and welcome to it.
Look for the TERROR cover reveal on June 4 on Duncan's social media. In the meantime, you can preorder TERROR at amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS and purchase its reader magnet for 99 cents at amazon.com/dp/B0B1F64YLQ.
We celebrate the 100th episode of the "Real Spies, Real Lives Podcast." We learn something about why the right book cover is important, and we have a reading from Terror, book one of Meeting the Enemy.
Other authors interested in excellent quality pre-made book covers, take a look at www.SelfPubBookCovers.com.
The TERROR preorder is at amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS.
Get an eBook or a paperback of PROLOGUE TO TERROR at amazon.com/dp/B0B1F64YLQ.
Episodic or Serial Series - Who Said This Was Easy?
Duncan talks about the pitfalls and joys of writing serial fiction, and we get a couple of brief reviews of the spy movies, All the Old Knives and Operation: Mincemeat. Plus, a reading from Terror, book one of the new series Meeting the Enemy.
Preorder Terror at amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS.
Public Figures and their Fictional Representations
Writing historical fiction means dealing with public figures, living and dead. Duncan defines public figures and talks about the unique challenges of incorporating them into fiction. Plus a reading from her new novel, Terror, book one of the upcoming new series, Meeting the Enemy.
Preorder Terror here: amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS.
In celebration of Duncan's debut novel's fifth birthday, you can order the eBook of A War of Deception for only 99 cents for the whole month of May. Find A War of Deception here: amazon.com/dp/B06Y5ZZ7FQ
Fact vs Fiction in Historical Fiction
A potential reader asked P. A. Duncan how could she tell the history from the fiction in one of Duncan's books. Today's podcast is the answer.
Terror, book one of Meeting the Enemy is now available for PREORDER here: amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS.
"Out of the Ordinary," the reader magnet for Terror, is still FREE to download here: dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
If your book club reads one of Duncan's works, she'll be happy to join you virtually via ZOOM or FaceTime. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange that.
Sometimes Endings are Hard
Duncan talks about the struggle to bring her ground-breaking series A Perfect Hatred to its logical conclusion. Turns out she had to wait for justice to take its course.
Today is the last day you can download to your Kindle or Kindle app all four books of A Perfect Hatred for FREE. Go to amazon.com/dp/B09WZ7HRWS.
Quintet, the eBook-only compilation of reader magnets associated with A Perfect Hatred is also available at a reduced price at amazon.com/dp/B09VFQ4SXZ and books2read.com/u/3R6d6x.
"Out of the Ordinary," the reader magnet for Terror, book one of the upcoming new series Meeting the Enemy, is available to download for FREE at dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Make a donation to Doctors Without Borders' work in Ukraine in honor of Duncan's birthday. Go to https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
Femme Fatales and the Woman Spy
Duncan discusses a webinar from the International Spy Museum she recently watched and describes how real women spies who were not femme fatales inspired her woman spy, Mai Fisher. There's also a reading from Descending Spiral, book 3 of A Perfect Hatred.
You can purchase QUINTET at books2read.com/u/3R6d6x and at amazon.com/dp/B09VFQ4SXZ.
Download for FREE the reader magnet, "Out of the Ordinary," which serves as the prologue to book 1 of an upcoming, new series, Meeting the Enemy: dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Find the rest of Duncan's works at amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
Consider a donation to Doctors Without Borders for their work in Ukraine.
Why Bad Company?
Duncan explains how book 2 of A Perfect Hatred (Bad Company) came by its title, and she describes the pitfalls of conducing research into people and groups whose philosophy and politics she vehemently opposes.
Links to purchase the eBook only box set Quintet: books2read.com/u/3R6d6x and amazon.com/dp/B09VFQ4SXZ.
Link to the FREE download of the reader magnet for the upcoming new series, Meeting the Enemy: dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Find all of Duncan's work at amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
And remember, keep an eye out . . . for spies.
An Old Problem
Duncan gives us some background on the history that inspired the series A Perfect Hatred, and in a reading from book 1, End Times, she shows us the lengths Mai Fisher will go to in profiling a subject to plan her approach and her cover story.
You can purchase Quintet, the compilation of A Perfect Hatred reader magnets (plus a bonus story) at books2read.com/u/3R6d6x (non-Kindle ereaders) or amazon.com/dp/B09VFQ4SXZ (for Kindle).
The reader magnet "Out of the Ordinary" for the upcoming series Meeting the Enemy is FREE from dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Find all of Duncan's work at amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
Writer Balance: History vs Sensitivity
This episodes winds up the month-long look into the author brand of P. A. Duncan, and, as a prelude to her upcoming series, Meeting the Enemy, she also talks about the difficulty as a writer of historical fiction and an historian in staying authentic to the history knowing that some might find it painful.
To download the FREE reader magnet for book one of Meeting the Enemy, go here: dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc. To celebrate the fourth anniversary of Duncan's first series, A Perfect Hatred, you can purchase the eBook, Quintet, a compilation of the reader magnets for A Perfect Hatred, plus a bonus, previously unpublished story here: amazon.com/dp/B09VFQ4SXZ or here: https://books2read.com/u/3R6d6x. Find all of P. A. Duncan's books at amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan.
Real Spies and Family Lives
The importance of keeping a low profile and blending in for spies and their families. What on earth is a blood cover? And some teaser readings from my upcoming book Terror, due out on June 25, 2022.
Quintet preorder links: For Kindle, amazon.com/dp/B09VFQ4SXZ. For other e-Readers, https://books2read.com/u/3R6d6x.
Terror Reader Magnet Free Download: dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Upcoming in-person author events: https://unexpectedpaths.com/about-the-author/events/
Does Romance Belong in Espionage?
It does, but not how you've been conditioned to think of it. Some fans do go for exploitation of either sex, but mostly it's women being exploited, but some fans and some espionage writers think romance, or at least a hint of it, has a place among the spies.
Find out how I balance a hint of romance against the action in any of my books at my Amazon Author Page. (amazon.com/author/phyllisduncan).
My reader magnet for the upcoming series, Meeting the Enemy, is available to download for FREE. Find "Out of the Ordinary" at dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
And. . . drum roll . . . I have a new preorder available--Quintet, which is now a novella-sized eBook only compilation of the four reader magnets for my first series, A Perfect Hatred, plus a bonus story. Preorder for your Kindle at amazon.com/dp/B09VFQ4SXZ. For other eBook providers, preorder at https://books2read.com/u/3R6d6x. Quintet launches on April 1--no fooling!
Real Spies With Real Lives - What Does it Mean?
What is a spy's life really like? Well, I found out, from a reliable source.
Reader Magnet Giveaway: dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc
Find out more about my upcoming in-person book events: unexpectedpaths.com/about-the-author/events
Everything You Ever (Maybe) Wanted to Know About Author Branding
Like Apple, McDonalds, or Nike, authors have brands that identify the author and what he or she writes for marketing purposes. This week we delve into how I developed my brand, "Real spies, real lives, a hint of romance." And a reading from an upcoming novel that shows what real spies are like.
To see examples of my authorship brand, visit my Facebook Author Page at www.facebook.com/unspywriter or my website, www.unexpectedpaths.com.
And don't forget my reader magnet giveaway for my upcoming new series Meeting the Enemy. Download your FREE copy at dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Authorship vs Writing
What does it mean to be an Indie author? A lot of non-writing related "stuff." Plus closing out a month of celebrating Love Death's book birthday.
Love Death sale: amazon.com/dp/B08QDLXBCS
Reader Magnet giveaway: dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc
Phyllis A. Duncan, Author: www.facebook.com/unspywriter
Newsletter Sign-up: https://unexpectedpaths.com/contact-the-author-2/
Where's the "Love" in LOVE DEATH
A bit about what inspired me to write Love Death and some readings from the novel.
Love Death is free for your Kindle or Kindle App through Saturday February 19, and you can find it at amazon.com/dp/B08QDLXBCS.
Don't forget my other, ongoing giveaway of a short story reader magnet for my upcoming new series, Meeting the Enemy. You can download the story, "Out of the Ordinary," at https://dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
If you're not a believer in teaching a country's accurate history, you might want to fast forward to 18:53 because this week I was in a mood to rant about book banning and book burning. Here. In the United States of America.
Starting on 2/12/22, Love Death will be free right on time for Valentine's Day. You can find it at amazon.com/dp/B08QDLXBCS.
And my short story reader magnet giveaway is still ongoing (and will be for a while). You can find "Out of the Ordinary" at dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Symbolism in Writing and Espionage
Writers use symbolism, but so do spies, so why not symbolism while writing about spies? Plus some readings from this month's featured book, LOVE DEATH, which is 40% off (eBook only). Find LOVE DEATH at amazon.com/gp/B08QDLXBCS.
And don't forget about my short story reader magnet giveaway. "Out of the Ordinary" introduces my upcoming new series, MEETING THE ENEMY. You can read for FREE at dl.bookfunnel.com/vpayastekc.
Episode WARNING: Sexual innuendo and sexual banter between a married couple.
Spy Tools, Writer Tools, and a Book Birthday
I'm coming off my social media break soon, so if you haven't already, follow my Facebook Author Page, join my Facebook Readers Group, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
Don't forget the FREE short story reader magnet, "Out of the Ordinary," available HERE.
Some Excerpts from the Upcoming Novel, TERROR
Taking On Sensitive Historical Events in Fiction
When to use dramatic license in writing historical fiction, and a reading from a new reader magnet.
What to Expect in 2022
Happy New Year! Get the down-low on what P. A. Duncan will have published this year and a reading from a brand new, upcoming reader magnet.
The Final Episode of 2021 - Happy Holidays!!!
The only reading is my 2017 holiday story, "A Visit from Grandfather Frost." Enjoy, and my heartfelt wishes for a happy holiday season. See you next year!
Starting today, And Justice for All is free through 12/27. Find it HERE.
Don't forget, time is running out to enter the And Justice for All Hardcover Giveaway. It ends on December 31, so enter HERE.
Tying up the Loose Ends - Maybe
Just when Mai Fisher and Alexei Bukharin think their Belgrade mission is wrapped up, something else pops up.
Starting December 23, And Justice for All will be free--right on time for last minute shopping. Get this end of year deal HERE.
And. . . You can still enter to contend for a signed, hardcover edition of And Justice for All, as long as you enter before December 31. Enter the giveaway HERE.
The Things Mai Fisher Does for a Mission
Would you let yourself get captured in order to close out a mission? Not me, but, then, I have Mai Fisher to live vicariously through.
Don't forget book 3, And Justice for All, along with books 1 and 2 of the Self-Inflicted Wounds trilogy, are on sale for the rest of the year for 99 cents each. A whole trilogy under $3.00. Find this bargain HERE. Also, you can enter to win a signed, hardcover edition of And Justice for All by clicking THIS LINK. The giveaway is open for entries through December 31, 2021.
Yes, Another Book Birthday
We're ending season two of the podcast with the conclusion of the Self-Inflicted Wounds trilogy, book 3, And Justice for All. And because December is And Justice for All's book birthday, I have another giveaway--a signed hardcover edition of And Justice for All.
The giveaway is easy to enter. Click HERE (https://bit.ly/AJfAHCGiveaway ) to enter. You can add to your entries by following my Facebook Author Page, my Insta account, or sign up for my newsletter. The giveaway runs through December 31, so you have plenty of time to enter, and you can enter as many times as you want.
No Podcast Today
No podcast today because the host is celebrating Thanksgiving with her family. But. . . You can still enter to possibly win a signed, hardcover edition of Dangerous Truths. All you have to do is click (or copy and paste) https://hingsumo.com/g/owor4j/dangerous-truths-hardcover-edition . Better hurry. The giveaway ends on November 30.
Concluding the Book Birthday Celebration for DANGEROUS TRUTHS
Winding up our celebration of Dangerous Truths, Thanksgiving wishes, a holiday special with Dangerous Truths being free, and don't forget the hardcover edition of Dangerous Truths giveaway, which you can enter HERE (kingsumo.com/g/owor4j/dangerous-truths-hardcover-edition). The podcast takes a break next week for Thanksgiving. Have a great turkey day, and we'll be back on December 2.
More Readings from DANGEROUS TRUTHS
Alexei is alive, but some disturbing news about his family dampens his relief. And there's the matter of his connection to Irina Pishkatova and the fact Mai wants to get on with her mission. Don't forget the book birthday giveaway of a signed, hardcover edition of Dangerous Truths, which you can enter HERE (kingsumo.com/gp/owor4j/dangerous-truths-hardcover-edition).
Happy Book Birthday to DANGEROUS TRUTHS
Yes, another book birthday for book 2 of Self-Inflicted Wounds, Dangerous Truths. A mini-review of the new animated series Star Trek: Prodigy and a mini-book review of Say Nothing by Patrick Keefe. To enter a drawing for a signed hardcover of Dangerous Truths, go to https://kingsumo.com/g/owor4j/dangerous-truths-hardcover-edition, fill out the form, and your name is entered. The site I'm using, King Sumo, will randomly select a winner on December 1. Good luck!
We're All Done Celebrating WELCOME TO BELGRADE
Readings from the ending of Welcome to Belgrade, a mini-review of Denis Villenueve's Dune, and don't forget the giveaway. If you want to put your name in contention for a signed, hardcover edition of Welcome to Belgrade, go to this podcast's Facebook Page -- www.facebook.com/RealSpiesRealLives -- and leave a comment about any of October 2021's episodes. I'll put all names in a random name selector to come up with a winner. You have until 10/31/21 to comment.
Another Reading from WELCOME TO BELGRADE
Three-quarters of the way through Welcome to Belgrade during its birthday month, we'll see that Alexei will do almost anything for the mission; a review of a sci-fi/alternate history series on Apple TV; and don't forget this month's giveaway of a hardcover edition of Welcome to Belgrade. Go to the podcast's Facebook page--www.facebook.com/RealSpiesRealLives--and leave a comment about this episode or episodes 40 and 41. After October 31, I'll select a name at random to receive the hardcover edition.
More from WELCOME TO BELGRADE
We delve a bit deeper into Welcome to Belgrade, book one of the Self-Inflicted Wounds trilogy, and I have a mini-review of No Time to Die, the latest James Bond film.
For Welcome to Belgrade's book birthday this month, I'm giving away a signed, hardcover edition of Welcome to Belgrade. To put your name into contention, go to the podcast's Facebook Page and leave a comment along with the episode number. It has to be a comment about one of this month's episodes, so far, number 40 and 41. Here's the link to the podcast's Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/RealSpiesRealLives. After October 31, I'll place all the commenters' names in a selection randomizer app and pick a winner. This giveaway has nothing to do with Facebook.
Happy Book Birthday to WELCOME TO BELGRADE
We're celebrating the first book birthday of Welcome to Belgrade, book one in the Self-Inflicted Wounds Trilogy. As part of that celebration, I'm giving away a signed, hardcover copy of Welcome to Belgrade. Here's how you can enter:Go to the Real Spies, Real Lives Podcast Facebook page. www.facebook.com/RealSpiesRealLives Leave a comment on today's episode, number 40.
At the end of the month, I'll put the names of all commenters in a randomizer tool and have it pick the winner, whom I will contact via Facebook Messenger. And since I've mentioned Facebook, I have to say that this giveaway has nothing to do with Facebook; it's my offering.
Thanks for celebrating Welcome to Belgrade's book birthday with me!
Wrapping up THE BETTER SPY!
Some final readings from the novel in stories, THE BETTER SPY, a mini-review of American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally, and what's coming up in October.
The Conclusion of THE BETTER SPY
Two readings from "The Better Spy," the title story for the novel in stories, a Netflix series review, and a book review. I was quite talkative this week.
You Always Were THE BETTER SPY
Why writing conferences are cool, a reading from my novel in stories, The Better Spy, and the expected COVID/vaccination rant. If you want to learn more about the Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity (C3) Con, click HERE.
Finishing Up BLOOD VENGEANCE
The IRA kidnaps the daughter of U.S. Secret Service Agent Henry Munro. Who can he turn to for help? A woman he met briefly in the aftermath of the Kansas City bombing - Mai Fisher. Enjoy some excerpts from one of the stories in Blood Vengeance, "A Father's No Shield for His Child."
The Podcast is Back!
After a two-week hiatus, "Real Spies, Real Lives" is back with more about writing, spies, and writing about spies. Oh, and some books are on sale, too.
Oops! Another Delay
I'm at a writer's retreat with limited internet access, so tune in next week for a return to our regular programming! Have a wonderful weekend.
No Podcast This Week
Winding up A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
Reading from the second half of A Change for the Better, a couple of mini-reviews, some baseball talk, and, yes, the weekly COVID rant.
Some readings from a recent novella, A Change for the Better, and how it came about. Plus, wear you d****d mask!
An Introduction to an Upcoming Trilogy
A reading from book 1 of a new trilogy starting in 2022, Meeting the Enemy, about 9/11. A couple of mini movie reviews, too.
Concluding Our Look at The Moscow Rules
Readings from the final two stories of Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules, a bit about the writing life, what's coming next month, and, of course, my COVID safety reminder.
"Pick the Time and Place for Action"
A couple of reviews: the Netflix series "Spycraft" and. . . Black Widow! And some readings from another story in Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules, "Pick the Time and Place for Action," which features the return of Olga Lubova. Where did she go? You'll have to read the story!
"Lull Them Into A Sense of Complacency"
Moscow Rule number seven's story introduces two hapless SVR officers given the task of following Cybill Fleming in Moscow. A beta reader called the two officers the "Keystone KGB"--so you get some humor amid all the drama. Enjoy!
Vary Your Pattern/Stay Within Your Cover
The next Moscow Rule is "Vary Your Pattern and Stay Within Your Cover"--again a somewhat long and cumbersome story title, so I wrote two stories. "Vary Your Pattern" takes us back to the early 1990s when Edwin Terrell, Jr. is still alive and Mai and Alexei are struggling to accustom their lives, personal and professional, to raising Alexei's granddaughter Natalia. "Stay Within Your Cover" is an examination of debating whether or not to do the right thing. If you don't someone might die; if you do, your cover's blown. Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules launches in 10 days.
"Don't Look Back; You're Never Completely Alone"
The 4th Moscow Rule--Don't Look Back; You're Never Completely Alone"--was a bit long for the title of a single story, so I split it and wrote two stories for Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules. And it's 16 days to launch!
"Everyone is Potentially Under Opposition Control"
Moscow Rule number 3 and story number 3 from SPY FLASH III: THE MOSCOW RULES. If things seems too good, like this really beautiful woman--or guy--paying attention to you, better be careful.
"Never Go Against Your Gut"
The second Moscow Rule and the title of the second story in Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules--Never Go Against Your Gut. Sage advice for anyone. Preorder Spy Flash III at amazon.com/dp/B09673NDHJ.
Assume nothing--the first Moscow Rule, and the first story in my new collection, Spy Flash III: The Moscow Rules. Hear some excerpts and learn about the special preorder price.
Winding up MY NOBLE ENEMY
This episode concludes the look back at two of my novellas, The Yellow Scarf and My Noble Enemy, and it has a tease for my July new release. Also the podcast now has a Facebook Page. Follow it HERE.
This episode features the second novella published in 2015, My Noble Enemy--where I, gasp, kill off a character. A bit of a warning: adults discussing sexual situations and some sexual innuendo; nothing explicit.
How THE YELLOW SCARF Got Its Title
This episode wraps up the focus on my 2015 novella The Yellow Scarf before we move onto the other 2015 novella My Noble Enemy. Also, you get a movie recommendation and a warning about some sexual banter between a married couple and some pretty harsh language. Enjoy!
What's a Novella?
A brief discussion about novellas and reading from my first novella, The Yellow Scarf. It and my second novella, My Noble Enemy are on sale this month. Find them on my Amazon author page.
Concluding a Look Back at A PERFECT HATRED
A writing lesson, some readings from Collateral Damage--the concluding volume of A Perfect Hatred--and a little preaching about civics. Plus, two days left to get all four books of A Perfect Hatred for free.
Revisiting Descending Spiral
Readings from Descending Spiral, book 3 of the series, A Perfect Hatred, and a bit of a chat about ethical dilemmas facing undercover operatives. Look for a birthday gift next week -- from ME to YOU for my birthday; all four books of A Perfect Hatred will be free from 4/26/21 to 4/30/21.
Revisiting Bad Company
Continuing my revisit of my series A Perfect Hatred, I read from book 2, Bad Company, and discuss music and writing. WARNING: Both readings end with a leave-it-to-your-imagination sex scene; nothing explicit.
Revisiting A Perfect Hatred
It's the 3rd anniversary of the start of the series A Perfect Hatred. What better way to celebrate than with special pricing and a reading from Book 1, End Times.
Reading from a WIP Plus a Movie Review
Some readings from my rough draft of a new novel and a brief review of the new movie, The Courier, with Benedict Cumberbatch. To celebrate the three-year anniversary of the launch of the series A Perfect Hatred, all four books are specially priced.
The Conclusion to A War of Deception
We tie up all the antagonists' threads in this episode, and you get a preview of the books I'll be featuring in April--my four-book series, A Perfect Hatred. (Warning: some salty language)
Real Spy Results vs Fiction
More reading from A War of Deception and a brief discussion of an interesting, unclassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
More from A War of Deception
And A Face in the Crowd. Some thoughts about Bobby Sands on his birthday, and the podcast has its own website: realspiesreallives.com.
A Trip Back in Time
In March, I'll be reading from my 2017 debut novel, A War of Deception, and its mini-sequel, A Face in the Crowd. Find them HERE.
A New Novel and Spycraft
I'm reading from the rough draft of a new novel, The Devil Passed By, and discussing episode 4 of the Netflix series Spycraft--"Clandestine Collection."
Love Death and ... Sexpionage
A final reading from the new novel, Love Death, and my thoughts on Spycraft Episode 3, "Sexpionage." Note: Though not explicit by any means, I do discuss the use of sex as a way to recruit, control, and blackmail subjects.
Nearing the End
Alexei's incursion into The Annex is complete, and he's escaped with Gunter Metz, who wants only to see his family. A glitch at Checkpoint Charlie means Mai has to be the diversion to get Alexei safely into West Berlin--or she'll be the target. This episode is marked clean but warning for a post-sex scene between a married couple; nothing explicit.
Planning and Spycraft
There's mission planning, but then there's Mai Fisher's intuition. Alexei has learned to trust it, even when she strikes out on her own. Also, I discuss episode two of a new Netflix series, "Spycraft." The episode fits right in with Love Death; it's called "Deadly Poisons."
Going Off Topic
More reading from the upcoming new novel Love Death, but also NASCAR and baseball. What? (Note: I've marked this episode "Clean," but there is a scene of a married couple in bed, post-coital.)
Always Good To Have A Plan
Mai learns something about Alexei she didn't know when she meets Kolya Bukharin.
Approaches and Pitches
Warning: I talk a bit about politics. Otherwise, get a glimpse into how two different spies make their approaches and pitches.
New Year, New Mission
Another taste of my upcoming book, Love Death, with some history and German politics. Oooh, exciting.
Out With the Old...At Last!
Some refections on 2020 and a reading from an upcoming new novel, Love Death. Happy New Year!
Old Spies Don't Die...Until They Do
My personal appreciation for John le Carre, who died this past weekend at the age of 89. Also, no podcast for 12/25/2020. Happy holidays--whichever one you celebrate or not. Be safe!
In this episode, I talk about who inspired the characters Mai Fisher and Alexei Bukharin. You'll get a little back story and an insight into how much fun writing these characters is for me.
The Trilogy Concludes
The final few chapters--and some editorializing about Slobodan Milosevic--of the trilogy Self-Inflicted Wounds, after its conclusion with the publication of And Justice for All, book three. Tying up loose ends seldom happens for spies, but Mai Fisher generally gets what she wants. Find the trilogy HERE.
The Last Mission?
We're closing in on the conclusion of And Justice for All. Mai and Alexei wrap everything up in Belgrade and prepare to return home--but is the mission really over? And is it, as Mai promised, their last?
Please note: There will be no podcast on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy your holiday, everyone!
It's well known that Mai Fisher will risk almost anything to have a successful mission, but let herself get captured? Not the first time. Trigger warning: Mention of rape.
The Beginning of the End...of the Trilogy
And Justice for All brings Mai and Alexei's mission in the Balkans to a close, but in the process, they deal with an old enemy, discover a devastating betrayal, and save a marriage--not theirs. And Justice for All is available for preorder HERE.
We Reach the End of Book Two
The final chapters of Dangerous Truths, book two of Self-Inflicted Wounds, also end on a bit of a cliffhanger. You might say all of book three is the denouement!
Plausible Deniability and Dangerous Truths
Some more chapters from book two, Dangerous Truths, and my philosophy on sex scenes in thrillers. That got your attention, right?
A Fateful Encounter
Mai and Alexei get a hint of who might be involved in the murders of the "friends of Milosevic" and someone takes care of a complication for them. More from Self-Inflicted Wounds book two, Dangerous Truths. Preorder book two HERE.
The Plot Thickens
Another reading from Self-Inflicted Wounds Book Two, Dangerous Truths. Mai Fisher confirms that if it is Russian mercenaries behind the murders of Yugoslavian officials, they're a sadistic bunch, and she finds that out the hard way.
Cliffhangers are a tried and true thriller trope, perhaps overused on occasion, but certainly a good way to keep a reader reading.
Welcome to Belgrade is still available for preorder and launches a week from today.
Let's End This on a Cliffhanger
Why not? Cliffhangers are one of the oldest tropes in a thriller. I try to avoid cliches, but a trope? Sometimes they can be an author's best friend.
Welcome to Belgrade is available for preorder and will launch on October 1, 2020.
Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave...
Episode 14! A few more chapters from Welcome to Belgrade, book one of the trilogy Self-Inflicted Wounds, and I ramble on a bit about John le Carre, British interrogation techniques, and 9/11.
Deception Shouldn't Surprise a Spy
From Self-Inflicted Wounds: Welcome to Belgrade (book one): Mai Fisher arrives in Belgrade for her mission to stop the political murders in Yugoslavia, unaware that Alexei has reactivated himself and is following her surreptitiously. Mai visits an old acquaintance, now a low-level Russian Mafiya boss in Belgrade to see what information he might have on the "friends of Milosevic" murders. Alexei, however, can't quite convince himself that Mai isn't behind some of those murders. Preorder Welcome to Belgrade HERE.
Episode 12! We're moving along--and the audience is growing. Wish I knew what caused that so I can keep it up!
This week's episode revolves around the opening scene of the first book in my trilogy Self-Inflicted Wounds. In Welcome to Belgrade, my character Mai Fisher meets with the notorious Serbian war criminal Arkan, and he insists that they make small talk so as not to raise suspicions about his motivation in meeting her. His version of small talk, however, means bringing some of Mai's worst memories. Welcome to Belgrade is available for preorder now.
He is Finished!
"He is finished" was the opposition's campaign slogan against Slobodan Milosevic in the election of 2000. It took a couple of weeks post-election to accomplish that, but it did happen peacefully. I'm winding up readings from my reader magnet, Dateline: Belgrade this week. Next episode--more background on why I wrote a trilogy about a European election.
When Protesting Made a Difference
More reading from the new reader magnet Dateline: Belgrade, with an emphasis on a change in the purpose and nature of street demonstrations in Belgrade in the year 2000. Why did the police lay off--most of the time? What did a student group and a radio station have to do with activism? And a hint about how changing a constitution backfired on the man it was supposed to benefit. I'm talking 20 years ago; I swear. You can still preorder Dateline: Belgrade at a special introductory price (99cents) here.
Introducing a Reader Magnet for a New Trilogy
Some background on a reader magnet entitled Dateline: Belgrade came about, and an introduction for the upcoming trilogy, Self-Inflicted Wounds. You may learn more about the Balkans than you ever wanted to know. And, yes, a thunderstorm passed over while I was recording. This episode contains some excerpts from Dateline: Belgrade and the trilogy. One excerpt touches on the disturbing topic of human trafficking.
Absolute Power Can Corrupt--or Not
In the final story, "Brave New World," from the collection, Spy Flash II, we see that even the most sincere of politicians can succumb to the temptations of power, even if for good reason. And it takes a spy to show the way back to the light.
Stay tuned next week for excerpts from an upcoming novella, Dateline: Belgrade, and be prepared to learn more about the history of the Balkans than you ever wanted to know.
Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
What role does a Klingon proverb play in the third story from the collection Spy Flash II, "Best Served Cold"? Listen and find out. Though this story's inspiration was four years ago, it unfortunately encompasses a topic still timely today, still unbelievably making headlines today: the killing of unarmed Black people by the police. A human story, not a spy story per se, "Best Served Cold" was difficult to write and record. Please note this story was reviewed in 2016 by sensitivity readers, and I made corrections they suggested.
To hear past episodes of this podcast, go to Past Podcasts on my website.
Manipulation--It's What Spies Do
Story number two from the collection Spy Flash II. "Promise her anything" is the instruction to get an asset to agree to a marriage she doesn't want. But some spies fulfill their promises.
Trying to be more spontaneous instead of scripted, even when reading the excerpt. I may have, well, employed my limited ability to mimic accents. Be kind.
Second Guessing the Second Guessing
Some thoughts on including extremist characters and their philosophy in fiction, and an excerpt from A Change for the Better.
When is History History?
My thoughts on whether an event is history or a current event. Oh, and an excerpt from my novella, A Change for the Better. You can hear more excerpts at my website. Just click on the "Past Podcasts" tab.
The Lure of Historical Fiction
Some insight into why I write historical fiction.
The Dark Side of Writing Thrillers Remix
Let's try this again--after some much-needed tutoring on sound editing. Enjoy!