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Creep Inside the Mind of Spy Thriller Writer

Excerpt from spy thriller V.E.N.O.M.

“You know, I met God before,” Parker said, turning his attention toward Jake. “He’s not that great of a guy actually.”

“I really don’t want to hear about your near-death experience.”

“No, it’s nothing like that. When I was a kid, I would have trouble sleeping. I’d fidget in my  bed, make little noises, just restless the whole night. Until one evening this strong bear claw of a hand came cutting through the darkness and placed itself on the right side of my face like a pillow. I remember a sweet smell coming from him, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it. It was the most masculine thing I’d ever felt in my life. My heart would race every time it came near me, but after a while, I got used to it. I even grabbed his hairy forearm to hold onto like my favorite toy. That hand stayed with me until I went to sleep. I can still remember his thumb caressing my cheek. When I woke up, I told my mother about it, and she told me that it was God coming down to protect his angel.”

The thought of his mother brought a sparkle to his eyes, and he smiled.

“From then on, every time I had trouble sleeping, sure enough the hand of God  came down and calmed me to sleep. Then one night, I was going through my normal sleepless phase, and the hand of God came right on schedule. Only this time, it was a full moon that night, so my room was more lit than usual. As God approached me, I could see his eyes contrasting in the moonlight. At first, I was  shocked to see that God had soulless ice-blue eyes with a scar going through his left eyebrow. But then it didn’t take long for me to figure out it was my old man. The scar was from when my mother clocked him with a lamp to keep him from beating me to death. Come to find out, he didn’t have the most soothing touch either. He worked a lot with his hands, so they were calloused. Instead he used a cloth formed around his hand and would dab chloroform into it to put me to sleep. And then it hit me. It all finally made sense. The pastors always preached for people to be God-fearing; it’ll save your soul. But really it was because God was my father, and he struck fear in me like no other human could every day of my life. That is, of course, until he passed away. Heart attack. I watched God get buried like the rest of us, and I told myself I would never fear anyone like that again.”

Agent Ethan Wayne Parker. Probably the most fun and, also, one of the more complex characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing. This scene is a defining moment for Parker because it’s not just the typical turbulent father/son relationship. This scene peels back the layer that defines why Parker is who he is up until this point of his life and subsequently shows: why he views the world the way he does and why he makes the decisions he does throughout the book. But this isn’t a character breakdown (I’ll do that in another article). This is an intimate look at my thought process into creating this scene.


Ironically enough, this scene comes from a place of joy and innocence. In the early drafts of my spy thriller, V.E.N.O.M., I had just become a new father. When I would put my 6-month-old son down to sleep, he would grab my forearm for dear life and snooze away. The only way to break free was to cover the side of his face with my hand and caress his chubby cheeks. I remember thinking in those moments, “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt. This hand is the only thing this little human knows in his existence that helps him go to sleep. How could anyone ever ruin a moment like this?”

Then the writer in me took over.

To be 100% clear, drugging my son to sleep has never crossed my mind. However, as writers, the place where we draw inspiration from is peculiar, to say the least. At this point in the story, Jake and Parker are still virtually strangers, and Jake has no problem treating Parker as such. He’s distant. Closed off.


Parker, on the other hand, sees something in Jake that brings up a familiar feeling. For Parker to take this vulnerable leap of faith shows where he gets his internal power from… the pain and fear of going back to that place as a child. Jake avoids his internal struggles while Parker embraces them.


These two spend the majority of the book together, so their dynamic, relationship and interaction with each other had to be somewhat of a battle. Two characters that are damaged want the same external goal but have different ideologies when reaching that goal. Parker and Jake never really become friends or even fully trust each other by the end of the book. I intent was to flip the saying, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” on its head. Jake is neither a friend nor an enemy to Parker, but for some reason, he feels compelled to keep him close. This scene is one of the few human connections Jake and Parker make. It gives them common ground and becomes somewhat therapeutic for both. Parker gets to release some pain to someone. Jake realizes that he isn’t the only one suffering in the world.

If you want more content like this, please check us out every week Tuesday and Thursday! I write BTS pieces like this on spy thriller/psychological thrillers/espionage thriller content, character development, and my personal experience in the self-publishing world.

If you want to check out my thriller, V.E.N.O.M. for yourself, you can download it for free HERE!

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