Valerie Plame Wilson: From Spy to Spy Novelist

The former CIA operative will pen a series of “world-stage thrillers,” the first of which will be published early next year.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

The ranks of female spy novelists are about to get some competition from a woman with a notorious spy past: former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. Blue Rider Press announced this week that early next year it will publish Blowback, the “first in a series of world-stage thrillers,” featuring a character named Vanessa Pierson. Pierson is described as a CIA operative with a “clandestine lover,” also in the CIA.

Wilson earlier wrote the nonfiction Fair Game, which told of her CIA career and having her cover blown by the late columnist Robert Novak, in an episode that became a scandal of the Bush administration. The book, for which she was reportedly paid a $2.5 million advance, was heavily redacted by the CIA, but still became a movie in 2010, starring Naomi Watts as Wilson and Sean Penn as her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson.

After the federal investigation into the leak of her identity, and a number of lawsuits, the Wilsons moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they still reside. Wilson’s co-author will be writer Sarah Lovett, who also lives in Santa Fe.

The catalogue from Blue Rider exclaims emphatically that the Valerie Plame Wilson spy novels will be “the inside story as only fiction can tell! She knows how the games are played.”