The Wilde Solution is loosely based on the Russian sleeper cell that was uncovered back in June. My story takes place in an academic background, which as we know from newspaper reports, one of the responsibilities the spy Cynthia Murphy had was to recruit when she was studying for her M.B.A.
It’s not too far-fetched for intelligence agencies to send someone an d have them pose as a student and attempt to woo their classmates to come and join them. When I majored in International Relations at my very progressive university, we had one student who was essentially a reactionary. He wasn’t there long–about two semesters–and it was suspected that he was CIA. Now at my school, and certainly the IR Department, the CIA would never have recruited successfully. If we had any other spooks on campus, it would probably have been the KGB, and I’m pretty sure they would have generated more interest.
In The Wilde Solution, Cyprian is not recruiting at all. Her mission is to woo one of the professors in the graduate department and get very close to him because he is the best friend or a former colleague who runs a think tank. Why not cut to the chase and seduce the founder of the think tank? I thought it was too obvious a choice. Plus Tom Powers is a player, not one to settle down with one woman, and the character of Hal Sarf–whose name I really need to change since he is based (very, very, very loosely) on a late professor whom I had a terrible crush on and almost hooked up with, but I backed out after feeling guilty that I would be cheating on a boyfriend. In hindsight I regret not getting involved with Hal. I liked him a lot. He had this his very Jewish intellectual nebbish way, and I thought he was very attractive–think the late Ron Silver–but with a sweater vest and tweeds. To me, Hal was very sexy, and there were plenty of nights that the thought of him lecturing about Hegel kept me up and very agitated.
That was a major too much information tangent. Back to The Wilde Solution.
The easy the part of the story-telling is the wooing between Hal and Cyprian, and getting her completely immersed at the university and as Hal’s lover. It’s the spying part where I’m stumbling about. Apart from what I’ve read in novels, seen on TV or at the movies. I really don’t know anything about being a spook. Zip. That brings me to my favorite activity in the whole world–research. This wasn’t supposed to be a novel that relied very heavily on fact, but how can I justify a story about spying without knowing the very basics? So I’ve started amassing information via the Internet, and bought a couple of books. Once I have a better grasp of this whole spook thing, I think the story will get better (at least I hope so).
Now it’s time to take a writing break and read a book!