Prolific author Libby Fischer Hellmann wrote an interesting guest post — “Espionage, Thrillers and Women” — on the blog of site eBookSoda.
Hellmann talked about her experiences when she first started reading thrillers.
I worked my way through most of the good old household name standards like John Le Carre, Robert Ludlum and Len Deighton … whom I call the “L’s.” Unsurprisingly, all the authors I read were men except for the marvelous Helen MacInnes (who is definitely not an “L”).
I have my own story about reading Helen MacInnes’ books.
I was getting my M.B.A. at Wharton and I had a job interview with a small consulting firm. The interviewer and I had nothing in common until we discovered that we both read thrillers.
The man asked me who I read. I said Helen MacInnes.
He said, “She writes just like a woman.”
I asked what that meant, and he replied that it meant she described the hats that her characters wore.
I then asked who he read. His reply, “Len Deighton.”
Of course I immediately read a Len Deighton novel — and I saw the difference. Deighton doesn’t describe people’s hats. In fact, he barely describes anything.
Later in Hellmann’s article she talked about three female thriller writers who “have all worked in the field, living the life before writing about it.” She even mentioned that author Gale Lynds “had Top Secret security clearance.”
And this is true of me. I wrote the spy thriller CIA FALL GUY partly because I had worked as a civilian (with Top Secret security clearance) for the U.S. Army’s 66th Military Intelligence Group in Munich from 1971-72.
(The bombing of the U.S. Army’s Officers Club in Frankfurt that is part of CIA FALL GUY is an actual event that took place in May of 1972.)
P.S. In my previous post “Inspiration: Eavesdropping in Beverly Hills” I talked about Beth Barany’s “Clear Message” in her book TWITTER FOR AUTHORS. Hellmann’s CM: “Compulsively readable thrillers.”
© 2014 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.
Click here to read Hellmann’s entire guest post on ebooksoda.