The Lawfare Podcast: Spy Writing in the Real World

Jen Patja, David Priess, Brad Thor, Karen Cleveland, Alma Katsu
Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Brookings

Last week for the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, David Priess moderated a virtual event called, "Spy Writing in the Real World." The event featured three authors of espionage fiction, two with previous experience working inside the U.S. intelligence community: Brad Thor, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 21 thrillers; Karen Cleveland, a former CIA analyst and New York Times bestselling author of "Need to Know" and "Keep You Close"; and award-winning author and former NSA and CIA officer Alma Katsu, who had written five novels prior to her first new spy novel, "Red Widow." They talked about the spy thriller genre, their challenges within it, their research and their experience with prepublication classification review.



Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Brad Thor Jr. is a thriller novelist. He is the author of over 20 novels, including "The Lions of Lucerne," "The First Commandment," and "The Last Patriot."
Karen Cleveland is a former CIA analyst and New York Times bestselling author of "Need to Know" and "Keep You Close."
Alma Katsu is a former NSA and CIA officer and an award-winning author.

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