The Right Guard is a very realistic spy thriller, and this is, in part, due to writing style. Writing like a spy may seem like a simple task, simply report on your activities and send off the report to your boss, right? However, the CIA has a Style Manual & Writer’s Guide for Intelligence Communications in which they outline exactly what they want in communications between CIA officers. Familiarizing yourself with this guide will help your book take on a more realistic tone because the voice of your character will be more authentically spy-like. Read on →

Have you just finished a novel and you’re having trouble justifying getting a literary agent? Here are a few reasons why you do need one! Negotiation A literary agent is there to love your book and make sure you get the best deal possible. The agent should be able to find the best publisher to get your book on the store shelves. Your agent is the person that knows when to walk away or when to push for that advance or publicity commitment. Read on →

Have you finally put the last touches on your novel? Now, you think you’re ready to start on the next step of your journey? Don’t put that book in the mail just yet! The search begins Most budding novelists don’t have the necessary connections to one of the big publishing houses to get their novel on an editor’s desks. Many first-time novelists work hard to secure a literary agent, the go-between for a novelist. Read on →

Are you just starting to write your own novel? Maybe you are half way through? Have you been writing every day to finish? Imagine writing reports for your superiors and not being able to find just the right word for the sentence. Would you just choose the first word that came to mind? Richard T. Puderbaugh wrote a later declassified document in 1993 about how officers use and abuse words while writing reports. Read on →

Most authors, whether they are famous or not, have held other jobs. Often, they use this previous work experience to inform their writing. To access those experiences to enrich your writing, you might pretend you’re in an interview with a new employer. Recall how many jobs you held before the one you’re in now? What kinds of people did you work with? What types of skills did you use? Previous Work Experience During an interview an employer will often ask for previous work experience. Read on →

Are there times when you feel like you’ve run head long into a wall from a business standpoint? Or have you come across something you’re not quite sure how to handle? Instances like these are when you should turn to a consultant. A consultant is an expert in a particular field that can be hired to give advice. A consultant can help your business out of a rut or advise on a specific problem. Read on →

Do you know a spy buff who might enjoy a trip to the CIA Museum? Have you thought about taking the trip yourself? Well, according to their website it is not open to the public for tours, but the staff works with major museums and Presidential libraries to put together displays to promote a better understanding of what it means to gather intelligence and the role of the CIA in the United States. Read on →

Social structure is one of the subtopics that a cultural anthropologist, like Alexandra Hamlet, studies. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the internal institutionalized relationships built up by persons living within a group (such as a family or community) especially with regard to the hierarchical organization of status and to the rules and principles regulating behavior.” As an author, you can utilize the social structure that surrounds your character to make him easier to relate to. Read on →

The United States of America has a long history of gathering intelligence to gain the upper hand on military forces inside our borders and out. According to the Defense Intelligence Agency website there are 16 different agencies and offices that work under the umbrella of “Intelligence Community” and are led by the Director of National Intelligence. Eric Brent, the protagonist of The Right Guard, is a member of the CIA or Central Intelligence Agency. Read on →

Anthropology has many sub-specialties, one of which is cultural anthropology. Generally speaking, anthropology is the study of humans, but more than that, it studies how they interact with each other and their environment. A background in anthropology benefits an author because that knowledge can be used to make stories feel more real. Cultural anthropology looks more closely at the differences between people and their cultures. Cultural anthropologists study how the culture shaped the world around them. Read on →