Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Bleg

(That's a beg for information via a blog, hence...bleg.)

For my next book idea, the hero is a Brit, a former MI-5 agent who has emigrated to the U.S. My heroine is a former CIA agent who had a forbidden romantic relationship with him a few years earlier before she had to choose between him and her job and chose her job, a choice she's since come to regret.

This book is going to take a lot of research, and I'm looking for suggestions for where to get started. Here are some of the research needs I have for this manuscript:

1) Insider info on MI-5 (at least, that which won't earn me a visit from grim blokes with pasty skin in Savile Row suits).

2) Inside information on life inside a U.S. Embassy. (I have bought a few books that will be helpful, but if anyone knows anyone who's actually worked in a U.S. embassy abroad who might be willing to talk to me, that would be fantastic).

3) Someone who lives in or is intimately familiar with life in the Smoky Mountains, either on the Tennessee or North Carolina side of the range, or a good travel guide or book that will give that sort of non-tourist picture of the area.

4) Anyone who lives in or is familiar with Key West, or a suggestion of a good travel guide or book for people who want to experience the non-tourist side of life there.

5) Any information on the inner workings of the CIA that won't involve a breach of U.S. national security, men in black knocking on my door in the middle of the night or the sudden appearance of black helicopters buzzing my neighborhood.

6) Information about torture methods of foreign countries. (Google's more than happy to tell me all about the allegations of torture by Americans, but the links on foreign torture are hard to find. Must have something to do with open societies vs. closed ones).

Any and all accurate information will be greatly appreciated. Any tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theories will be saved as story fodder for future books. Contact me here.

1 comment:

Tracy Montoya said...

For #6, one of the most vivid and awful accounts of torture (in Guatemala) is in the book I, Rigoberta Menchu, the autobiography of the Nobel Laureate. I had to put the book down and walk away after reading a little more than half. I mean, if she could live it, I should be able to read it, but I just ... couldn't.

As for the CIA, there are a few good books out there, and some that are ridiculously easy reads, including Loose Lips (on CIA recruiting) and Blowing My Cover (a chick-lit-esque account by a young woman who became an agent).