Tag Archives | spies

Interview of a 13-year-old author – Spencer Brokaw.

Welcome to week two! We’re celebrating my release of A Spy Like Me:

Stripping your date down to his underwear has never been so dangerous.

And I wanted to celebrate by hosting authors in my genre.

So welcome!

When I heard about this kid who published his work I was curious. Then when I learned he wrote a spy novel – I had to contact him for this blog series. You might’ve heard about him before. Spencer Brokaw author of The Impenetrable Spy. He just started a new grog called Inkslingers Press dedicated to supporting Indies. And he likes to write about spies!

Curious about what his friends and family think? And when he finds the time to write? Read on!

blog ~ twitter

Where do you find the time to write?

Finding the time to write can be very hard, between schoolwork, socializing with friends, and spending time with my family. I normally get to my writing on the weekend or in the summer. Sometimes I squeeze some writing into the week, but normally don’t have enough time. In the summer, I finish most of my novels, and end up starting new ones with the abundance of time, and there is no homework or projects to worry about.

 What do all your friends, family, and teachers think?

They are very proud of me, and are very interested in my writing. My friends think it’s cool, but don’t bug me about it much, mostly because they know it’s an odd topic for me to discuss. Writing is like my separate life, but I’ll mention something to my friends if I think they’ll be interested. My family has gotten very interested, and likes to stay up to date on my writing, and my publishing process, as do my teachers.

 What do you like best about your spy stories?

What’s not to like about a world that you have complete control over? Writing is a way to express yourself, but also to entertain yourself in the process. Sharing it with others is amazing, and is really fun for me to hear feedback, whether it is good or bad. Spy stories are the best. They involve high-speed chases, secret missions, stealthy agents, awesome weaponry, futuristic technology, stealth tactics, sports cars, and bad guys that will always get in the way of your protagonist. Writing a spy story is like playing a video game, only you control the plot. I love writing, and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Purchase Links: Amazon ~ Smashwords

Thanks, Spencer!

Love it. And that’s what it’s all about. Having complete control over our world and loving what we write. Some might say that thirteen is too young to publish – I think it’s awesome! There’s no better way to improve than feedback from readers and going through the fire of publishing. So kudos to you, Spencer. And best of luck!

Spencer will be offering one ebook of The Impenetrable Spy to one person in the comments. Please tweet! 

Thanks for stopping by everyone! What do you like the best about the genre you write?



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Spies, Murder and Mystery Marathon Winners – week 1

Thank you to everyone who helped tweet and spread the word about our fantastic authors from the past week!

And now onto the winners:

Gemma Halliday’s Hollywood Scandals goes to Janet Johnson!

Anne R. Allen’s The Gatsby Game goes to Natalie Aguirre!

Elisa Ludwig’s Pretty Crooked goes to Donna K. Weaver!

Elena Andrew’s Run Like Hell goes to Creepy Query Girl!


Please use my contact form up on the menu bar and leave me your email address and which version of the ebook you’d like: Nook, Kindle, or PDF. Donna, please leave your mailing address.

Coming up this week!

We’ll be hearing from five more amazing bloggers and authors!

S.R. Johannes     Nova Ren Suma

Cindy M. Hogan    Stacy Green

And….Elizabeth Spann Craig

Of course, there will be more giveaways! Yay!

Have a terrific weekend! Hope you found some new novels to enjoy!

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What does the Creepy Query Girl and A Spy Like Me have in common?

Welcome to Day 4 celebrating A Spy Like Me!


Today we have a treat. Katie (A.K.A. Creepy Query Girl) is talking about living in France. I’ve followed her blog for a couple years and keep reading for her honesty, humor, and well, because she’s Katie! Visit her blog and see why she’s loved by the blogosphere. I’ve read snippets of her work and think she’s a talented writer. Watch out world! Take it away, Katie!

Oh, and Katie lives in France and A Spy Like Me is set in Paris, France!


So, when Laura proposed I write about being an American living in France, I realized that most of the posts I’ve already written complained about French drivers, or ‘goodbye’ protocol, the French’s obsessions with eating outside or ironing every piece of clothing they own.

But the bottom line is, I choose to live in France because there are way more things I love than things that irk me. So today I’m going to tell you about those things:

Eating in France is awesome. Any trip to the grocery store can result in cheap-but-delicious wine, cheese, pastries, pâtés, smoked meats, or chocolate. The food here is that good.

Staying skinny in France is pretty awesome, too. Despite the calories in all of the above, the strict eating schedule most French adhere to (early breakfast, two-hour lunches where everything closes from 12:30-2:30pm, snack at 4pm and hour-long dinner at night ‘en famille’) gives us an advantage in digestion and food choices that works to maintain average body weight.

Free Health Care in France. Basically, French citizens have a social security card with a chip in it. We pay for our medical appointments up front (between 25-50 euros) and then we’re reimbursed electronically within the week/month. Same goes for procedures like ultrasounds or x-rays. Things are usually covered immediately for prescriptions. With two kids suffering from asthma, and one who throws herself into constant calamities, I couldn’t be more thankful for this system.

Commercial Breaks. In France, a 6-minute commercial break occurs once every HALF AN HOUR! The program doesn’t just ‘cut to black’, but we’re given a ‘PUBLICITE’ warning that it’s commercial time. When the French buy up an American series, they usually show it two episodes at a time in order to take up the same slot one episode would have taken in the U.S.  I remember how annoyed I was with the programming when I came back to visit the U.S.- the shows would just cut out every five minutes for a commercial. Sometimes I didn’t even realize we weren’t watching my show anymore! #easilyconfusesdpeople

Paid-At-Home-Moms One of the biggest reasons I love living in France is that the French government attributes ‘family allocations’ – basically a kind of salary if one parent decides to stay home and raise the children. Men have just as much right to this as women. For four years I was a paid-at-home-mom and was able to raise three beautiful children, which is something (with the price of childcare and medical expenses) I’m not sure I would have been able to do in the United States.

My Husband Because I’d be in trouble if I wrote a list of things I love about France and didn’t include my French husband J

Thanks for having me Laura! I’ll be sure to hang out and answer any questions in the comment’s section. Can’t wait to read ‘A Spy Like Me’!


Thanks Katie! I love your posts about living in France.

No giveaway today but check out the three still happening.

Gemma Halliday and Hollywood Scandals
Anne R. Allent and The Gatsby Game
Elisa Ludwig and Pretty Crooked

Come back tomorrow for Elena Andrews and her young adult thriller, Run Like Hell! Every teen’s nightmare come true.

Feel free to ask Katie about living in France!


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A Spy Like Me celebration kicks off!

Welcome to the kick off of a terrific blog series to celebrate the release of my YA novel, A Spy Like Me!  **throws confetti**


And wow do we have an incredible line up of authors and bloggers in the next three weeks! Stick around and you’ll get tidbits of personal stories, behind the story stories, mystery writing tips – you name it.

Here’s how it will work. Almost every day there will be a guest post with a giveaway. To enter, please leave a comment and tweet using @laurapauling. If you tweet more than once or blog about this series then add another comment with the link. Let’s show these fantastic authors and bloggers our support!

On Saturday, at the end of each week, I’ll announce the winners. So you’ll have all week to promote and enter. Woo hoo!

I thought I’d start with an interview. Yeah, I interviewed myself. Okay?

Why did I choose to write about spies?

I’ve thought about this and to find the answer all I had to do was look back at my favorite books and movies in the last 20 years or longer.

  • 1. Count of Monte Cristo. Yes, a one thousand page book that I liked so much I’ve read it twice. The aspects of unfair imprisonment, betrayal, revenge, secret identities – all called to me.
  • 2. Until Tomorrow Comes by Sydney Sheldon. I’ve read this numerous times. A woman is unfairly imprisoned, escapes, and turns into a cat burglar.
  • 3. And, of course, Ally Carter’s Gallagher series and Heist books.

And for movies?

  • 1. Shining Through with Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith: A woman because of her ability to speak German becomes a spy during WWII – and falls in love, of course. Loved it!
  • 2. True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. The story is about a wife learning her husband is really a spy and how she gets involved. Over the top, funny, serious – all at the same time.

So now you know why my tagline is Spies, Murder and Mystery.

Why did I wait so long to write a story about a spy?

Inspiration. I needed a different take. A unique angle. And I found that during Castle. Yes, Castle. In this one episode, the victim was involved in Spy Games. Bingo. I found a way for my main character to become an accidental spy. And then I set the story in Paris, France to add some flavor.

Anything else you want to know? Ask away in the comments.

Wait! What about the giveaway for today?

Here’s what Gemma Halliday, NYT best selling author of the Spying in High Heels series thought about A Spy Like Me.

“Move over Gallagher Girls – there’s a new spy in town! A Spy Like Me is a fast-paced, high energy ride through Paris that left me almost as breathless as Pauling’s hot hero. Super fun beginning, great story, and an ending that won’t disappoint.”

-Gemma Halliday – NYT best selling author of Spying in High Heels.

So I thought we’d give away her books today! Spying in High Heels, which I read and loved, you can download for free! At Amazon and Smashwords. And Gemma is also offering the ebook of Hollywood Scandals, the first book in a separate series, to one winner today. Thanks Gemma!

That wraps up day one. Tomorrow we’ll hear from Anne R. Allen and a little bit about The Gatsby Game and the Hollywood scandal that inspired it. Here’s a terrific review by Benoit Lelievre.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you tomorrow and the next day.

Don’t forget to enter to win Gemma’s book!




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Want a sneak peek into the next three weeks of Spies, Murder and Mystery?

So the posts are rolling in and I’m loving what I’m reading and can’t wait to share it with all of you in the next three weeks.


What? Haven’t you heard?

To celebrate A Spy Like Me I’m holding a 3 week Spies, Murder and Mystery Marathon.

Read more about it here.

But here are some sneak peeks!

Six common challenges when writing a traditional mystery and some ideas for getting around them, by the fabulous Elizabeth Spann Craig, author of Quilt or Innocence.

Don’t miss it!

What does the Deepwater oil spill, the European debt crisis and the barefoot bandit have to do with Elisa Ludwig’s YA debut, Pretty Crooked?

You’ll have to wait to find out!

When does a 13-year-old author find the time to write? And what do his teachers and friends think?

Spencer Brokaw of The Impenetrable Spy tells all.

Teddy bear cams, rearview sunglasses, listening ears, video pens – all needed spy equipment.

Find out how Gina Robinson uses them in her fiction, The Spy Who Left Me.

Hollywood scandal inspires Anne R. Allen to write The Gatsby Game.

Curious about which scandal? Return next week!

Becca Puglisi, co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus talks about cake, er, I mean sub-plotting and editing.

Don’t miss out!

That’s just a taste of what’s coming. More great authors. Terrific info! Lots of stories behind the stories. And, of course, book giveaways!

See you next week!

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