Message From The Author

Shana Galen

Book Title: TRUE SPIES
Genre: Regency Period, England, Historical Romance

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Author's Message

I’ve always been envious of people who could say things like, “For my job, I dine out and write restaurant reviews” or “I watch movies for a living.” I haven’t yet figured out how to land one of those choice careers, but I did find a way to watch movies and do what I love, which is write books.

When I wrote Lord and Lady Spy, the first book in the series of which True Spies is part, I was inspired by the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I loved the idea of two married spies who didn’t know the other was also a spy, and I thought, what if that story took place in 1815 rather than the present? I had a lot of fun paying homage to some of the famous scenes in Mr. and Mrs. Smith while making the story something completely new and fresh. So when I was asked to write the second in the series, I knew I had to find another iconic movie to reference.

Here’s where the movie watching part of my job came in. I had to watch quite a few spy movies in order to find one that would work. Hours and hours of watching movies with Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Tom Cruise—it was grueling work. Grueling. Honestly, I probably knew the movie I wanted to pay homage to even before my “research” began. True Lies is such an iconic film. Who could forget the scene where Jamie Lee Curtis is hanging from the helicopter or doing a sexy striptease for her husband, or when she asks Arnold Schwarzenegger if he’s ever killed anyone, and he says, “Yes, but they were all bad.”

It’s one of my favorite movies, and I couldn’t wait to take some of my favorite scenes and find a way to wink at them in my book. And so True Spies was born. It’s not the story of the movie, though I do nod at the movie in the beginning. Baron Winslow Keating, Winn, is an elite spy and his wife has no idea of his secret identity. Elinor is a wife and a mother who’s in love with her husband but feels ignored by him. She’s bored with her domestic role and wants a little intrigue and adventure in her life. But she ends up with a lot more than she bargained for when she’s tapped to catch a diabolical crime lord and stop a royal assassination.

I loved Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies, and I wanted my Elinor to be just as tough and sexy and kick ass. And I wanted Winn, her husband, to have to work and grovel a bit more than Schwarzenegger’s character in the movie in order to win Elinor back. I’m a wife and a mother, and if my husband was out there doing something as fun as saving the world while I was home making broccoli casserole for dinner, I’d be slightly annoyed and maybe ready to live life on the edge by his side—at least vicariously.

And that’s why I really love being an author. I get to be a pirate or a baroness or a spy for a living and I still go to sleep at night in my own comfortable bed. What could be better?

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