Secret origin of the Associates, confessions & no clown sex!
Little known fact: the Associates started out TOTALLY based on Charlie’s Angels. Do you remember that show? I soooo loved it. One of my favorite things about Charlie’s Angels was that the Angels had special areas of knowledge (though, I just went on Wikipedia to refresh my memory on what the knowledge was, and it didn’t say anything about that – rather, the show is referred to as “jiggle TV”. WTH! I remember the Angels as having specific areas of knowledge. Wasn’t Kate Jackson super brainy? Maybe I was too busy stuffing my face and fighting with my sisters to really pay attention. Also, Wikipedia says they put in Bosley because they worried that viewers wouldn’t accept three women alone fighting crime? Gah!)
Anyway, I made the boss of the Associates this absent figure, like Charlie, that nobody ever met. (Until the second book, when I decided he was too interesting to keep hidden. I actually might go back and stick a point of view chapter of his into the first book. That’s the beauty of self publishing, baby!! A maniacal level of control!!)
So maybe Charlie’s Angels was better in my memory than reality. The point is, the Associates is based on my memory of Charlie’s Angels, in which the Angels were good at really specific things.
So, in my first Associates book, the spy, Cole, is really good at math and logistics. Basically, he looks at bad guy organizations as a system that you can make into an equation. I actually read a few books on logistics and systems and it was kind of fun to integrate it into the book.
In the second book, I decided to make my guy, Macmillan, a linguist who uses his skill to track bad guys. I read a boatload of books on linguistics and got super wonky about it. It was fun! But hard.
My third book, I wanted to shake things up a little and not have a really academic thing for my spy guy to embrace, so I went with “really into Bruce Lee.” Which was totally convenient, as my husband taught martial arts for years and was really into Bruce Lee.
So, are you seeing a pattern? On a good day, I’m like, Wow, it’s fun to learn about these different fields of study! Other times I’m like, What the hell have I gotten myself into?!?!
My next agent is going to be a forensic botanist, where plants are used to solve crimes. Needless to say, I’ll be reading some books on plants, and I have a few people in mind to hit up with my questions.
I actually keep lists of possible areas of study for my agents. I really want to do one with an ornithologist, somebody who studies birds—like maybe crows!–but my husband laughs every time I bring it up. Which just makes me want to do it.
In addition to ornithologist specializing in crows, I have also considered the following for my spies or heroines:
- Expert on small mechanical devices, engines, or watchmaking
- Molecular biology, but who am I kidding?
- Accounting, though you would laugh if you ever saw my checkbook
- Expert on bees/ something with bomb sniffing bees (because there are those!!)
- Assassin/expert marksman
- Optics, super observant with reflections, angles, and the play of light
- Wilderness survival knowledge
- Systems theory
- Urban tracking – like wilderness tracking, but urban!
- Old-timey battlefield strategy
- Super nerdy puzzle solving detective abilities
- Something with animal behavior
- Some sort of behaviorism, mind control, or hypnotism thing, or knowledge thereof
- Artistic, ex-forger, something like that
- Something highly psychological
- Body language or microexpressions, but that has kind of been done a lot.
Here is a list of areas of expertise I will NOT be having my spies specialize in:
- Really good at driving. You have my permission to shoot me if I end up doing a car chase-based novel
- Magician. Okay, maybe that one has possibilities, but it’s so dorky. Which kind of makes me want to do it, suddenly.
- Clown abilities. NOT. Though, it has some super freaky possibilities. But it would be too quirky. Would you take a hero seriously who can turn into a clown? How much would you pay me NOT to ever do a clown sex scene?
- Study of clouds and weather. Briefly, I thought it would be cool to know more about the moon and clouds and things, but how do you integrate that into a spy plot?
- Super good at discerning smells. I had thought, what if a spy grew up in a family that owned a perfumery, and could totally discern smells? But it seemed a bit werewolfy, you know?
So what do you think? Do you want to read about a spy with clowning abilities? Will you turn up your nose at an accountant spy? Is body language overdone? Can I make ornithology work? Do you have other ideas for me? DO tell!
HE’S A KILLER.
Thorne McKelvey knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her was the hardest thing he ever did, but his undercover mission could blow up at any second. No way will he drag Nadia down with him.
SHE CAN’T RISK HER HEART.
Maybe it was foolish to fall in love with her late father’s deadliest henchman, but Nadia Volkov’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful little boy. There’s nothing she won’t do to protect Benny, which means she must hide his identity—especially from his father.
Now Thorne has burst back into her home, searching for clues to a gangland mystery…and stirring a hunger Nadia hasn’t felt in two years. But Benny’s identity isn’t the only secret she’s keeping, and things are turning deadly. Can Thorne and Nadia trust each other long enough to stay alive and have a chance at happiness?
BUY “INTO THE SHADOWS” NOW
Carolyn is giving away a digital copy of INTO THE SHADOWS.
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