by | Mar 15, 2017 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

AKA: Why Women Make Good Spies

by Sonja Stone

As many of you know, March is Women’s History Month. To celebrate, my blog sisters have written about the unsung intelligence officers throughout history—women who have risked their lives for their countries and causes.

History has proven time and again that women make excellent spies. We used to be underrated and overlooked, which gave us a natural edge. Women are cunning and clever, careful and courageous. We’re strong, soft and serious. And we carry great accessories.

KGB Cold War lipstick gun
The KGB’s Cold War lipstick fired a .177-caliber round

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, several of my rogue sisters deserve recognition this month. Francine Matthews actually served in the CIA. Several others have climbed the corporate ladder with hammers in hand to pound against the glass ceiling. Karna Bodman was the highest ranking woman in the White House during the Regan administration. Gayle Lynds, together with David Morrell, founded International Thriller Writers, and she’s worked tirelessly to ensure that we, as women writers of international intrigue and espionage, are treated with the same respect as our male counterparts. Gayle and Robert Ludlum co-created the Covert One series, and Jamie Freveletti was later selected by the Ludlum estate to write for the series. KJ Howe, the Executive Director of ThrillerFest, has received rave reviews for her debut novel, THE FREEDOM BROKER, while promoting awareness for Type 1 Diabetes. Jamie and S. Lee Manning are both former lawyers, and S. Lee championed for rights that changed state legislation. Chris Goff’s debut thriller, DARK WATERS, has been nominated for a handful of prestigious awards, and she continues her hands-on research as she travels the world.

I want to take a moment to thank the women who came before me. Women who diligently fought for the right to vote. Women who bravely entered the corporate world. Women who selflessly stayed home to raise a family. And the women who seemingly did it all: worked full time, nurtured the children, cooked the meals, paid the bills… Women like my mother, my sister, my dearest friends.

Lastly, a thank you to the men standing by our sides. The men who supported our fight for equality, who welcomed us into the workforce, who do the dishes after dinner. Some of you make excellent spies, too. 😉

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  1. Gayle Lynds

    MY goodness, Sonja, what a beautiful post! Thank you so much for recognizing us one and all, including you for trailblazing for YA spy stories starring … gasp, girls! x

  2. Karna Bodman

    Oh, Sonja, that was such a lovely post mentioning all of us "Rogue" members and our varied career moves while keeping the home fires burning as they say. You are so right to say that women make great spies and have contributed to the safety and security of our country. So glad women in general are being recognized for their many accomplishments all this month Finally, I know I've mentioned this before, but your story DESERT DARK was truly terrific! Can't wait to read the next one.

  3. Sonja Stone

    Gayle and Karna, thank you so much! It truly is an honor to know you both!

  4. Debi Huff

    Let's hear it for the women!!! Thank you for blazing the trails for those of us coming along after you!! May we never forgot the shoulders on which we stand to reach for our goals. Hugs to all of you!!

  5. Francine Mathews

    You know, I'm the last of six daughters, which means that when I was entering kindergarten my older sisters were in college…in the 1960s. So many of the life events and lessons I've watched them experience have taught me how to live, and I'm constantly aware that they were trailblazers for opportunities I was allowed to take for granted. I'm grateful to all of them–and to the men who understood these things were rights, not privileges.

  6. Chris Goff

    What a wonderful post. I am the only child of an only child, but my grandmother and mother were incredible role models for me. My grandmother lost her husband when my mother was 10 and instantly life changed. No more being a stay-at-home mom, living in the big house. It was 1939 and my grandmother and mom had to move to a small apartment in town. My grandmother had to take a full time job to pay the bills. And, I never realized until much later, my mother actually had to share a bedroom with my grandmother until she left for college.

    My mother was never a great stay-at-home mom. She worked for Vogue magazine before I was born, and immediately upon my going to kindergarten, she took a job as the business manager of the Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra. When I was 12, she took a job with KUSA Channel 9, at the time the ABC affiliate in Denver. As Director of Public Affairs, she was responsible for many of the flagship programs the station brought to Denver: 9 Health Fair, 9 Who Care, 9 Cares/Colorado Shares. She raised massive amounts of money for public service programs in Denver, had her own television show, and produced documentaries way back in the 1970s on the water issues the west is now facing. She became a corporate VP of Gannett Broadcasting Company, and she died young. Too young.

    I have five daughters, and I can only hope I'm half the role model to my daughters that both my grandmother and mother were to me. Thank you, Sonja, for reminding me to appreciate those that paved the way.

  7. Sonja Stone

    Debi and Francine, I completely agree! The trailblazers before us lightened our load and lit our path.

    Christine, what an amazing story. You come from a long line of remarkable women!

  8. Jamie Freveletti

    I came back from vacation to this lovely post. Thank you Sonja!