I grew up loving action movies long before I liked anything having to with romance. Any time my mother went out of town, my father and I would eat hamburgers, french fries, and watch action flicks. From James Bond to John McClane, we loved our high speed, high intensity action films. I read John Grisham and Tom Clancy books too, just like Dad did. I loved the thrilling drama.It wasn’t until I started reading romantic books and writing my own that I thought, hmm how cool would it be to have both. I’ve always tried to have a bit of action in both my historical and romantic books, but Falling for Freedom tops them all. I pulled out the big guns for this one and in order to do that, I needed to be well informed.
Lucky for me, I happened to know an FBI agent and thankfully he helped me along the way. I received informative insight into what badges agents wore, what training they would have had, what kinds of weaponry they used, and a bunch of other fun things. Some things he couldn’t tell me and for those moments I turned to fiction as my guide and made up stuff like a good little author does. And in keeping with the secrecy of the Bureau there is one thing I can’t tell you… his name. But today, “Dr. McStuddly” (his choice, not mine) with the FBI has courteously agreed to an anonymous interview to give you just a bit of insight into what he went through in becoming an agent.How long have you been with the FBI?
If you consider the time I spent at the academy in Virginia, I have been with the FBI for 8 and half years.
Was it the job you always wanted to do? If not, how did the job come to find you?
I become interested in the FBI while in high school. Knowing that the FBI only hires a limited number of agents, I studied engineering in college and worked for a computer company right after college. I stayed with that company while I completed my Masters degree program then applied to the FBI. It was a lengthy application process.
What was your training like?
I spent 21 weeks at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Like all potential agents, I lived on base in dorm-style housing and ate meals in a cafetria similar to what you would find on a college campus. While we were allowed to call home and talk to family, we were not allowed to travel home or stay anywhere but in our dormitories for the first three weeks of training. After that time we were allowed to visit family on weekends. Five days a week we all attended academic classes as well as classes in firearms. Regular physical fitness training was also part of the daily routine. And much like in college there were exams both academic and physical that everyone had to pass in order to graduate. At the end of the 21 weeks there is a formal ceremony with the Director of the FBI and family members are allow to attend. It is at that ceremony that your are sworn into the agency. After that you leave for your first field office. Each agent is assigned an office, according to the needs of the agency at the time and you have very little say in the matter.
The best part is doing something I love with people I enjoy working with. I never felt that way about the computer company I worked for. Sometimes the hours are very long, that might be the worst part of the job.
What’s the most exciting event you’ve had during your time in the Bureau?
There have been some exciting cases come through my office that I have been able to work on. Unfortunately, I cannot get to specific about that what, when, or where.
Thanks for working with me on Falling for Freedom, did you find it odd, refreshing, uncomfortable relaying the workings of your job to another creating a character for a book?
Perhaps a little refreshing that someone actually wanted to get the details right. So often on television and in the movies, writers portray what we do and how we do it completely wrong. I am sure that is to make it more interesting and to move the plot along faster but it does get tiresome sometimes.
If you were to be a character in a book or movie, who would you be? Or if you would like to be yourself, what would your character be like or do in the movie/book?