Monday, October 7, 2013

Valerie Plame

Valerie Plame's new CIA thriller is Blowback.

From her Q & A with Katie Baker for The Daily Beast:

The Daily Beast: You and Vanessa Pierson, your novel's protagonist, seem to share a lot of the same qualities—you are both blonde, you both have a CIA background, you share the same initials. How much of your own story and psychology is in your heroine?

Valerie Plame: There are a lot of things. I draw on my own experience. I very much wanted to depict a female CIA ops officer that was much more realistic, who has flaws but is smart and loves her job—but what comes with that is a great deal of frustration and challenges and trying to have some sort of normal relationships—hard under the best of circumstances, but especially in an otherwise crazy career. We both come from military families: My dad was Air Force and fought in WWII, but because of the timing, her father is Air Force and he was in Vietnam. Brother in the Marines, same as me. All the places in the book, I’ve been to, lived there or traveled there, worked there. I think that’s part of the appeal of, say, Bond. You’re not watching them for the dialogue—it’s taking you to exotic locales.

Did you have the same rebellious streak that Vanessa has?

I would say, growing up, I was very conscious of authority. And yet the CIA recruits a certain type of person to go into operations. They want someone who has a lot of initiative, and is willing to work right at the edge. But it’s not good to have cowboys. They exist, but it’s not a good idea to have people who go off and try to do ...what their own judgment is telling them. As you saw at the beginning of the book, it was her judgment call that lead her to decide to do that ops meeting. She was so close and it had tragic consequences. In terms of authority, she is really pushing the system as hard as she possibly can. I probably...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue