I am very fortunate to be able to welcome the lovely Carol K. Carr to One Book Shy today. She is currently on a virtual book tour celebrating her new book India Black which I enjoyed and posted a review of yesterday. Welcome Carol...
Thank you, Julie, for having me on your blog. Thanks also for suggesting a nifty subject: “Why I Want to be a Spy.” Except, mmm, I wouldn’t want to be. For one thing, I don’t have the courage to dabble in espionage. Oh, it would be fine if all one had to do was wear fabulous clothes and swill champagne and track international arms dealers from the opera to a Michelin-starred restaurant. But when the going got tough, I’d be looking for the door. And at the first sign of the electrical wires and the car battery, I’d spill the beans.
I’m afraid I’d sign up only to find that things weren’t glamorous. This would be espionage hell for me:
It’s true that some very fine writers have done the odd bit of spying. Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, W. Somerset Maugham, Compton MacKenzie, Len Deighton and John Le Carre all worked for intelligence agencies, either before or after commencing their writing careers. I suppose authors make good spies. Theoretically, they should understand people, being able to create believable characters. Lots of writers drink to excess, which comes in handy. You can get sloshed at the bar with a corrupt official of the regime and tempt him into indiscretions. Writers (particularly journalists) should be good at finding out things, like where the rebels are hiding, who shot the mayor, and where can you find the cheapest whiskey in town. Still, it’s risky. The idea of blowing my cover and getting shot because I forgot the Ukrainian dative case does not appeal.
- Being assigned to an equatorial climate. I hate being hot. I hate sweating. I hate sweating through my clothes. I hate sweating while I’m sleeping.
- Going undercover. You never know who’s been sleeping on the mattress in that seedy hotel.
- Learning languages. I’ve tried. I don’t have the gift. The best I could manage would be to ask the location of the toilet, and I don’t think I’d get very far with the locals with that level of expertise.
- Having to subsist on rancid goat while I staked out the terrorists. I have a weak stomach.
- Trying to shoot bad guys from a distance. I have an astigmatism which would make that difficult. And wounding chaps just makes them angry.
I’ll leave the spying to my heroine, India Black. She’s savvy, having grown up on the streets of London. She knows how to protect herself: she can handle a gun and she knows how to fence. She’s pretended to be lots of people she’s not, like maids and shepherdesses and governesses, all for the pleasure of her customers. She can run a bluff with the best of them. She’s not afraid to mix it up, whether in a catfight with another madam over territory, or with Russian spies bent on stealing British military documents. She can gun down a Cossack guard without blinking, and use her feminine wiles to extract state secrets from a Russian official. Writing may provide a useful background for spying, but running a brothel has got to be the best preparation of all. Yes, I think I’ll leave the spying to India.
Carol, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us what you won't be doing in the near future :) Me either, btw! I am looking forward to living the spy life vicariously through India in her next adventure.
Learn more about India Black, the lovely Carol and check out what she's currently working on at her website: carolkcarr.com. Also find her hanging out on Facebook.
Carol and her publisher are generously offering 1 reader a copy of India Black for their own reading pleasure. As usual, it's simple to enter:
- Must be 13 years old or older
- US or Canada residents only
- NO PO Boxes
- Giveaway ends 3/31
- Winner will have 48 hours to respond
- Leave a comment for Carol or tell us your thoughts on being a spy, be sure to leave your email address/contact info
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.