The stories collected under Spy Flash 2 have graciously arranged themselves as a novel in stories involving two key events in the careers of Mai Fisher and Alexei Bukharin, covert operatives for the United Nations Intelligence Directorate. The novel in stories will be ready for publication in early 2014.
For those not familiar with the term, “novel in stories,” let me try to help. Each story can stand alone, but, collected, they have a complete story arc involving the same characters and events. They can span a short amount of time or, as in this case, a period of years.
A novel in stories is slightly different from “linked short stories,” which are also stand-alone and use characters from one story in another story, but linked short stories do not have a story arc. They are separate and distinct, even unrelated, other than the appearance of a character from a previous story. My previous books, Blood Vengeance and Spy Flash, could be considered collections of linked stories.
Examples of novels in stories include Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout or A Visit From the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan or What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang.
Of course, since the stories decided they formed enough of an over-reaching arc to be called a novel, they needed a title snappier than “Spy Flash 2.” After much deliberation and debate, I’m pleased to announce that title, taken from a three-part story in the collection:
THE BETTER SPY
Yes, I rather like that myself. Check back periodically for updates and other announcements. Comments and suggestions I gratefully accept.
And here’s a little bonus, a draft cover: