Now that I’m writing a new book, I’m also low-key starting to plan and research my next one. I tend to work in cycles. When I’m drafting one book, I’m slowly gathering intel on the next one. And while I’m editing that drafted book, I’m slowly planning the drafting of the next one. This next one I’ve been planning for quite a while now. I can’t seem to find a way in. So I’ve returned it to the research phase. This time, I’m focusing on various elements of spycraft. And I figured that the stuff I’m learning and have learned about might also interest you, dear reader.

Lock picking

This is the most recent of these interests and I haven’t really managed to get far with it. I’m planning to order myself a practice kit just so that I can try it out for myself. From what I’ve seen so far, it seems to be a very tactile hobby, and I feel like it’s really important to try it out for that reason. And what could be more important for your spycraft toolkit? In the meanwhile, there’s an entertaining YouTube channel, LockPickingLawyer, that I like to watch for inspiration:


Cryptography comes up for me in professional settings as well, because software. But at work, it has mostly been from a technical standpoint. How do we transfer this SSN with proper secrecy? That kind of thing. For this project, it has been really important for me to get a different kind of view to cryptography and its uses. I’m sure I’ve recommended Simon Singh’s The Code Book before. But this is a really good look at the history of people using codes to obscure their messages. Practical examples for how different cryptographic methods work, with examples. Good times for all.


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate make-up more. Because I was a “not like other girls” idiot as a teenager, I never really got into make-up back then. But make-up can be actually transformational. It can do wonders for your confidence, but it can also make you look like a completely different person. It is also a necessary element of the spycraft toolkit.

And for good measure, here’s YouTuber Yuya Mika transforming herself to look like Mona Lisa:

Her whole channel is worth watching. She’s transformed herself into various celebrities and fictional characters.

Evading surveillance

I’m not sure if this is something that can be taught as a thing, or even expressed succinctly. I’ve been listening to a lot of episodes of Darknet Diaries for multiple reasons. But especially the episode The Spy was really helpful in this regard, partly because it’s largely from the point of view of someone who does tail people. It sort of helped me see what kinds of things to look for. This is another thing that I’m still in the beginning stages on, but I’m sure it’ll get easier to research as I go.

Do you have any spycraft resources you’d like to share?