Characters, Characters, Care to be Ethnic Anyone?

Every author has a different philosophy about where s/he finds the characters s/he writes about. I loathe stereotypes. I have a tendency to take them, flip them upside down and turn them sideways to see what happens.

In my spy series – A Spy Is As A Spy Does and A Spy Revisited, I did exactly that.

Most spy novels have a male spy rescuing a hapless woman who is somehow stuck in the middle of a bad situation. How to flip that and have the man keep his masculinity was a bit challenging, and fun. Adam Levy is just another businessman, coming back from a delayed flight, using the airport restroom in the middle of the night, before he heads home to start another day.

Through unforeseen circumstances, Adam meets up with British MI5 agent Anna Martin. Why is she different? She and Adam are both of the same ethnicity. They are both Jewish. Who ever heard of a Jewish British spy?

Most Americans typically think of someone British as looking and sounding first like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Which is why I brought in British MI5 agent Harry Smythe – who looks nothing like either of them.

I decided to partner Harry with CIA agent Ken Carter. Ken looks like he stepped off of GQ. Women hand him their numbers as he passes them. Although, any women has as much interest to Ken as say a tree does in the sexuality department.

Characters are fun. Their motivation has to remain true.


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