The lovely and talented Gina Robinson is back on the blog today, with her special brand of humorous contemporary novels full of suspense and romance. Let’s turn the blog over to Gina, so she can tell us about the latest book in her acclaimed Agent Ex Series, just out from St. Martin’s Press.
Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.
–from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Readers often wonder where writers get the ideas for their stories. The short answer is everywhere. My latest release is the second book of my Agent Ex spy romances, Diamonds Are Truly Forever. The title Agent Ex refers to secret agents and their ex, or nearly ex, spouses. So Diamonds Are Truly Forever had to be a reunion romance.
I set up the hero, Drew Fields, as the sidekick of the hero, Ty Miller, in the first book of the series, The Spy Who Left Me. I knew something about Drew, which made writing his book easier in some ways than starting from scratch. I knew he had a marriage that was on the rocks. He hinted at it in the first book. Now I needed a heroine for him, a perfect match, but one who would provide lots of romantic and story tension. And I needed a plot, preferably one that would supply some humor because I write lighthearted, hopefully funny, books.
Before I began the series, I brainstormed a long list of all the downsides of being married to a spy like James Bond, Jack Ryan, Chuck, Michael Westen, or even Max Smart. I also made a list of spy archetypes using everything from the classic The Art of War to former CIA agent memoirs to contemporary fictional spies to humorous sources like Get Smart. For each book, I pick a spy archetype and one of those downsides and run with it to create a story.
For Diamonds, I chose the downside of your husband being a professional liar. Could you ever trust what he said? What secrets could he be hiding from you? The perfect opposite, and hence estranged wife for my purposes, for a professional liar would be someone who couldn’t lie to save her life or his. And so Drew’s wife Staci Fields was born, or created, if you will. As for the plot, wouldn’t it be funny, I thought, if Drew had to go undercover as himself? From there, I just kept spinning the story as I wrote it. Many writers plot out their stories ahead of time, but I generally have an idea of where the story is going, but discover it and more about the characters as I write.
If you were a spy, would you like to be undercover as yourself? Or as someone different? What would you want your cover to be?
SHE CANNOT TELL A LIE
Staci Fields loves her gorgeous husband—and that’s the honest truth. Unfortunately, her inability to lie is a major liability for the wife of a CIA agent. During a previous mission, her loose lips nearly got her husband killed. So now Staci’s filing for divorce to keep him out of danger—no matter how much her lips still crave his kiss…
HE CANNOT HIDE HIS LOVE
Drew Fields knows that his wife doesn’t want to play the spy game anymore. But when he learns that Staci may be a pawn in her stepfather’s secret dealings with terrorists, he has no choice but to step back into her life. This time, the stakes are higher than ever. The closer he gets to Staci, the deadlier the odds. And the more he loves his ex, the more he has to lose…
Vanessa, here. Gina’s latest book sounds great, doesn’t it? Be sure to visit her website to get all the details about Diamonds Are Truly Forever, and all her other books. You can also follow Gina on Twitter and facebook.
For my readers today, Gina will be giving away a copy of The Spy Who Left Me. Just answer her question above for the chance to win her book!