Spy craft training: “Use it like your life depends on it”

Tier IV Author and retired Lieutenant Colonel Lazarus Thompson

During the month of October, writers like Lazarus Thompson were hard at work at ChapterBuzz, intent on making 10,000 words’ worth of progress on their novels.

And this month I’d like to introduce you to some of the most determined of those writers, like Lazarus, who brings a wide-ranging military background to his novel-in-progress, Team Fail-Safe: Thirty Seconds to Critical Mass.

Team Fail-Safe is about an eight-person Army Intelligence/Spy team assigned to bring down an unscrupulous and corrupt North Korean General, who manages to stay two steps ahead of them—while supplying Eastern Fundamentalists with small nuclear tactical arms that they could use to bring down the United States.

Asked to choose his favorite passage, Lazarus sent me the following. “I wanted to immediately introduce tension in the chapter,” he told me. “I wanted the reader to know ‘what happens next’ at the beginning instead of using a cliff hanger at the end of the chapter.”

Have a read:

“Bring your spy craft training to your mind. Use it like your life depends on it.”

Staying in character as a Kenyan General with two Russian bodyguards, they walked with Cowboy in front, Mungo in the middle, and Dude following.

They entered the dining car […] their eyes, now super critical, scanned, saw, and interpreted every nuance of every facial tic.

Their rational minds catalogued and compared against their spy craft every bodily movement […] and cataloged each scanned person as “possibly unfriendly” or “definitely unfriendly.” They saw no “neutrals” and no “friendlies” in the crowd, no one they could reach out to, if need be, for help.

Some of the diners in the railcar […] looked at them once, dismissed their presence, and looked away to continue with their meals.

Others, however, who had been instructed to neutralize the trio, did not look away. They gave away their intentions by ever so small tells: The widening of their eyes […] an ever so slight pause in movement […] an open-faced malevolent glare of recognition […] cool glances of appraisal of the trio’s abilities to do harm.

The casual study of the trio by one General Jagwi did not escape their notice.

Intrigued? Have any comments or suggestions for the author? Check out Team Fail-Safe on ChapterBuzz!

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