Archive for August, 2022

The coming crisis

Posted: August 18, 2022 in Uncategorized

Not fun reading because of subject, but if it proves helpful to even one person then definitely worth sharing.

Stewart Hotston

This post contains my own personal opinion (I work in finance and this is neither official advice nor representative of what my employer thinks – caveats done with, let’s talk turkey). There’s been a lot of words spilled in the last few months over inflation and [interest] rates and energy prices.

I’ve become convinced that we’re about to see a change in the shape and nature of British society that we haven’t seen in 50 years. I won’t rehearse the arguments here about how much energy prices are going to rise or what inflation is doing to our paychecks.

I also don’t want to make this a doomsday post. What I want to do here is spell some things out clearly and then offer some help (mostly by signposting you to others who are much better at this than me). If you want to skip my longer discussion about what…

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[The Village. Video File enclosed.]

I am “The Most Secret Spy” in Spyfunkdom.

My dossier until quite recently was apparently,

“HIGHLY CLASSIFIED” and unpublished.

Alas, my cover is now blown.

#6: B.J. Jones
B.J. Jones!
Subject profile:
B.J. Jones is an attorney, business consultant, writer, artist, community activist, minister and mom. She is C.E.O. of Griot Arts Media. Her books "A Call to Gather" and "Zion Hill" are available on She is a NFT artist, active as an Administrator in the FB writing, film and faith communities. Her short film script "Right Place. Right Time." won Honorable Mention in the Orlando Urban Film Festival (2017). The film is forthcoming. B.J. Jones is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Georgetown University Law Center.


FB: B.J. Jones

Twitter: @walkinginpower

I.G.: b.j._jones

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

    When I saw the first post for the Spyfunk anthology, I knew I had to submit a story for it. I love Jazz and wanted to write a story that incorporated cryptography and the mathematics of music into the story line. I lived in D.C. for many years and became aware of the alphabet soup of specialized intelligence agencies there. I currently live near NASA. Both D.C. and NASA are central in the story.

    In Codes and Coda there is an ensemble of characters, including three siblings Jeff, Jim and Jackie Ben Ivan and their associate Tyler Patterson. I wanted to add a few next level twists so I added spy dogs and satellites. My story is also an homage to Ivan Dixon, the actor, director and producer who portrayed strong, insightful African American men. Amongst his extensive resume, he directed the films, Trouble Man and The Spook Who Sat By The Door. Hence the names Ben (son of) Ivan and Ivan Research Corporation are inspired by Ivan Dixon.
This one was popular in a previous Spyfunk! File too…

The control of and access to satellites are central to

global communication and power.

 Black folks must be brokers at that table.”

  1. What is it that’s making your hero and/or villains tick? Motivations, plots, decisions etc.

    The motivation for the Ben Ivan siblings is a sense of justice and a desire for African Diaspora people to be in power positions in global and space circles. In addition, they have a strong sense of family, intellectual curiosity and love of Jazz. The use of dogs with high tech chips and specialty tech training is a vehicle that is increasingly used in investigations. Dogs are now trained to be able to smell the chemical coatings of microchips.  The control of and access to satellites are central to global communication and power.  Black folks must be brokers at that table.

  1. What’s your favourite spy movie?

    I have many favorite spy movies for different reasons. “The Spook Who Sat By the Door” by Sam Greenlee was a book passed around by my family members when it came out back in the day. It became a favorite film because it was so revolutionary. I watched I Spy with Bill Cosby and Greg Morris in Mission Impossible on t.v. and all the James Bond films. I still love the Bond films. I love the character Felix Leiter played by Jeffrey Wright, Jinx played by Halle Berry and Lashana Lynch as a Black woman 007. I like Atomic Blonde because of the implied triple agent ending. I like the Kingsman films’ premise of a “principled” spy organization independent of a government entity. I also like the 24 Legacy t.v. series starring Corey Hawkins. The back story of his character Eric Carter, and in particular his connection with his old neighborhood as a resource, is relatable to me.
  1. Do you have any stories from real life you find especially memorable in the world of espionage? Why so?

    Josephine Baker received the Croix de Guerre from France for her role as a spy in World War II. Based on her celebrity status, she used her sheet music to smuggle intel to the French resistance. Josephine Baker was a global citizen, visionary and activist. The flip side of that is COINTELPRO. Ernest Withers, the African American photographer used as a F.B.I. informant to spy on Martin Luther King, Jr. is a prime example of spies used against the African American community.
If you don’t know Josephine Baker’s story already, definitely have a look here! And here!

  1. 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?

I think that fiction is often prescient. One aspect of Codes and Coda is the use of dogs trained in spying and discovering devises. In recent news, electronic sniffing dogs assisted in the arrests of a paedophile ring in Mexico and in the raid on Jeffrey Clark, former Department of Justice attorney in the Trump administration.

  1. Best spy hero?

    James Bond for fiction. Harriett Tubman for history.
A link to the story of Harriet Tubman from

  1. …and favourite spy villain?

    Raoul Silva. He is always scary and analytical. SPECTRE is a villain of sorts, with its own character. It outlives any one villain and is literally more invasive and inherently dangerous.
Click for a clip of Silva in action

  1. Scenario question: your protagonist is deep undercover and ends in a relationship in order 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?

    My character Tyler Patterson would definitely enter and maintain a relationship to keep deep cover. He has his own standards, rules and alliances. He has experienced and understands betrayal and loyalty. He is committed to his missions. My character Jeffrey Ben Ivan would not enter into a relationship in order to keep cover.
  1. Talk is resurfacing about Idris Elba perhaps being the next James Bond. What’s your thoughts on this?

    I would like to see Idris Elba as the next Bond or as a 007. I have questions of whether he would be limited by the existing James Bond character arc. I also like Rege-Jean Page for the James Bond/007 role. He could have longevity, as well as charisma. Maybe have Idris as “M” and Rege-Jean as Bond…
[Russell: Yeah. I can totally see this. Full interview at ]

  1. Any questions you want to ask me?

What’s next for you? Another book soon? Any plans on making your writings into films or a series?

[Russell: Well, immediately next for me is a lot of uni work! Currently finishing my Masters and going to have very little rest time between that and starting doctoral research! But it’s been really good to get back on the writing saddle, and that is going to carry on I hope, because it helps with the rest. I’m on SLOW progress with an Arthurian fantasy tale I really want to get out there. I have a newer urban fantasy universe in which I have one novella tale out and am working, I don’t mind saying, on a few more while I work out how the full-length is going to work. I’ve done an interview for that on my friend D.A. Lascelles’ site here. And I’d LOVE to have some more adventures with my own spy characters, but I’ll go into that in a future post really soon! Thank you so much for asking this!]

An excerpt of B.J. Jones’s story, Codes and Coda, plus a link to picking up this collection, is here for you. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, there’s a link in here and if you have, and you have time, drop us a few reviews! Be more than just a number…

Lurking Musings

So, in the fugue of Christmas and New Year, you probably forgot all about The Elementals. So, being the helpful chap that I am. I thought it time to remind you…

Cover of The Elementals in the element of air (surrounded by clouds)

So, remember The Elementals is still available on ebook and paperback! You can get it from this Amazon Link!

RusseditToday we are interviewing Russell A Smith, author of the final story in the collection – the Social Contract. We’ve spoken to Russ before, way back when and he did of course get interviewed by F.D Lee at the same time I was for Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. As the only other UK author involved in this anthology, I could in theory have done this interview in person had the world been less virus ridden…

The anthology theme is ‘Elementals’, what does this mean to you and how did you interpret it in your story?

Growing up much in the…

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