The inspiration for my first novel, Life of a Double Agent came from my real life experience of serving in Russia as a volunteer for the Peace Corps after I had retired from my business career.
Initially, a few of my friends questioned my reasons for joining the Peace Corps at my age (fifty-seven at the time). A few of them suggested, somewhat facetiously, that I was probably working for the CIA and using the Peace Corps as a cover. Then after a year in Russia I was declined a visa by the Russian government for my second year of volunteer service. This fueled the questions again from my friends about why I had been asked to leave Russia after only one year. Was it because the Russian government caught me in some spy activity? No it wasn’t. The Russian government never gave an official reason. However, a couple of years later the Peace Corps shut down their activities in Russia because of a government-to-government disagreement. I was just one of many volunteers who were sent home early during a several year period.
This experience inspired the idea of creating a fictional character who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Russia, but secretly was also working for the CIA. From that idea, the book grew to include a double agent role for the lead character, who, in addition to the CIA, worked as a CIA mole inside the Chinese Ministry of State Security. And to further complicate the lead character’s life, he did all this for almost 40 years, while working full time as an international businessman.
It was fun to create a heroic character and plan his adventures through life. I hope the book is as entertaining for the readers as it was for me to write.