I love the fall season. It’s my favorite time of the year for any number of reasons. I’ve always preferred cooler weather. I’m not sure why. I’ve always speculated that my Welsh and Swedish heritage has a lot to do with that. It is also the holiday season, of course. It is a time to celebrate our military heroes who have served and are serving honorably on Veterans Day. We then celebrate our cultural and historical heritage on Thanksgiving and then there are Hanukkah and Christmas.

Of course, Hollywood has traditionally used the season to take advantage of our down time. We all now await the release of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters during December, in particular. For myself, I’ve always thought some of the better movies have been released earlier in the fall. One movie in particular was released on November 19, 2001. This movie was called Spy Game, and it starred Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. The movie made an impression on me in a couple of ways. Firstly was that it was a spy movie that was a little more reality-based. It was unlike some of the other spy films, the Bond films in particular, that traditionally presented a spy world a little more distanced from the reality of how our intelligence gatherers conduct their business in real life. Secondly, I came to the realization that the lives of a real life spy—a collections officer in our CIA—can be really interesting without all of the fancy gadgetry and chauvinism. It can be interesting in many different ways, be it cultural, relational, political, etc. etc. Though Spy Game itself is not without its flaws, the general tone of this movie is what I’ve been striving to achieve in my books.