The Spyfunk! Files #4: John F. Allen

Posted: July 13, 2022 in Uncategorized
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Apologies, readers, for the wait between files. Be assured there are more being gathered by our best agents as we speak.

Our fourth file is brought to you straight out of Spy School. This session’s contact:

John. F. Allen.

  1. Where did you get the idea for your story and your character?

    The idea for the characters were inspired by James Bond and how he was not a very good spy, lol! He was way too flamboyant, and everyone pretty much knew who he was before he even started to engage in his mission. The best spies are those who can blend into their environment and avoid suspicion, which Bond always failed at. The physical descriptions of the characters are patterned after Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, and David Oyelowo.
  1. What is it that’s making your hero and/or villain tick? Motivations, plots, decisions etc.

    The two major characters are motivated by ambition and self-gratification. Service to country is the excuse they use to justify their true motivations and fulfil their duties to their superiors.

  2. What’s your favourite spy movie?

    Four-way tie: Argo, Spy Games, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Spy. Argo is based on a true story, which I found to be an almost perfect operation for a group of spies to be involved in. Spy Games deals with very interesting subject matter, characters, and timelines. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is very real-world espionage adaptation of a novel from one of my favorite spy fiction novelists, the late, great John Le Carre’. Spy is a comedic look at the very Spy tropes I expose in my story, which very much inspired my approach in some ways.
  1. Do you have any stories from real life you find especially memorable in the world of espionage? Why so?

    About 20 years ago I worked as a Private Investigator and I learned a lot about subterfuge, thinking on my feet and surveillance. In one instance, I sent a Mexican employee into a restaurant to listen in on a conversation between a subject and their extra-marital partner regarding a plot to murder my client for insurance money. My employee didn’t speak English very well but understood it well enough to write down what they heard, and they also had a hidden recording device which we were able to transcribe later. Thankfully, their plans were thwarted, they were arrested, and my client was able to live their life without fear of being murdered.

  2. So, from this, are there tensions between what is believable in fiction and what we have learned recently from real life cases such as the Snowden revelations in the US or the Salisbury poisonings in the UK?

    Yes, I believe so. Most of the popular spy films we are given are very much action oriented and because of this, they are very over the top and make it almost impossible to suspend disbelief. On the flip side, many of the BEST and true to life spy films lack the over the top action and are much more believable but aren’t very mainstream. These films are much closer to true life spies, in my opinion.
  1. Best spy hero?

    I’d have to list Felix Leiter as portrayed by Jeffrey Wright in the Daniel Craig Bond films. He was the epitome of the soft spoken, cool agent, who kept a low profile and was able to blend into his environment. I had hoped that they would’ve spun the character off into a sister franchise, but alas it never came to be.

  1. …and favourite spy villain?

    As silly as it seems to mention this character, but Gru from Despicable Me fits the bill for me. I think that he has the most growth as a villain I’ve seen and yes, even though it’s a children’s movie, his ability to utilize his strengths and discover NEW ones through his journey are very interesting to me.
  1. Scenario question: your protagonist is deep undercover and ends in a relationship to keep cover, what is their ethical approach to this? Have they got rules, or would they do anything they had to for their chosen allegiance?

    It depends on which of the three primary characters you’re referring to. For Oxford Jameson, he would enjoy any romantic/sexual escapades he encounters while on mission and consider the other party expendable upon conclusion. He also wouldn’t hesitate to assassinate the other party with prejudice if it became necessary. As for Aisha Zewde, her take is almost the same as Jameson’s, but she would likely consider, however briefly, the possibility of preserving the life of the other party, if for no other reason than serving as an exploitable asset. However, she would just as easily assassinate the other party if they in any way endangered her life or the mission. Lastly, Kwento Adebayo would be much more discreet and conscientious where his mission is concerned. He would have planned out his mission with the scenario in mind and put fail safes into place. However, if his life and the mission depended on it, he would take extreme actions as a last resort only.

  2. Talk is resurfacing about Idris Elba perhaps being the next James Bond. What’s your thoughts on this?

I personally feel as though I’d rather have him portray Felix Leiter and leave James Bond white, if we had to go that route. That said, I would much prefer he portray a NEW character whose origins are black to begin with.

  1. Any questions you want to ask me?

    This was fun, would you be open to more interviews with me in the future?

Absolutely! Actually, I’ll definitely want to be doing one of these myself as well, so I should probably consider some questions from elsewhere for that if you’re up for such things? [Russell]

Want to read an excerpt from John’s story, Spy School? Well, you can find it right here. And once you’ve done that, the rest of the collection is available when you want it here too, as a paperback or an e-book. Thanks, John, for a great interview.

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