Meet the Characters with Jessie Clever

JessieClever_ToBeASpy_800pxHello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Jessie Clever, and her characters from To Be a Spy: A Spy Series Short Story. It’s a fantastic historical romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Samuel, the hero from To Be a Spy.

We are so lucky to have Samuel Black with us today. Samuel gets the spotlight in the latest Spy Series story, so he should have some titillating gossip to share with us!

How did you first meet your writer?

I ran into a ballroom as a small child and there she was. A bloke had just been shot, and my mother was trying to keep me from seeing it. She’s protective like that. But my writer just let me walk right in. It was brilliant really.

Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

I had wondered about it honestly. What with my parents being in a book and my uncle and grandparents. Like spying, it seems to be something that runs in the family.

Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

My author once made me cover my face in chocolate to pretend to be a street urchin. I don’t need to help her when it comes to writing scenes. There are some I hope she doesn’t write if you can imagine.

Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?

I have a terrible suspicion one is coming. She left the last story rather open ended. I just hope she doesn’t let me get shot like she did with my grandfather. No one is safe from this writer, I tell you.

Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?

I really enjoy children. This doesn’t fit so much with my character as I’m supposed to be embarking on a life fighting crime in the metropolis of London. But I have a feeling children are going to play a large part in my future.

What do you do for a living?

I’m studying at Eton at the moment, but I’ll be leaving school soon. I’m thinking about attending Oxford, but I’m really not sure at the moment. It’s funny being a member of a family of spies. There is a lot of pressure to go into the family business as it were.

What do you wear when you go to sleep?

Well now, I think that is a bit personal, don’t you? I don’t want to offend all the ladies here.

Did you have a pet as a child? What happened to it? How did you feel about that?

I spent the first part of my childhood below stairs. We had just enough to feed ourselves let alone a pet. And I don’t think the lord and lady of the house would have approved. But then my mother married Nathan Black, and we finally had a home of our own and by the time I had reached ten and five, we were living on farming land in Kent. We had all kinds of working animals. Horses, cows, pigs, and farm dogs. Cats to keep the mice out of the barn. I had asked my father, Nathan, once if we could have goats, but he got the strangest look on his face and never responded to me. I guess I’ll need to read the story of him as a child to figure that one out.

What is your most favorite memory?

My favorite memory is from the night my oldest sister was born. I’d never had a sister, and I was about ten at the time. For many years, I believed I would have no siblings at all. But we were at Grandmother and Grandfather’s house in London as we often were at that time. Mother had become pregnant with child not long after marrying Nathan, and I remember being oddly nervous and excited about the coming baby. But I’ll never forget the night she finally arrived. Grandmother was roasting chestnuts with me as we all gathered in the library. The doctor had been ages ago, and we could all hear my mother’s screams through the house. Suddenly my father walked into the room, a broad smile on his face. It was at that moment that I knew we were a family.

What’s the worst/weirdest thing you did as a kid?

I was kidnapped once as a child and taken to a brothel as bait. A spy for the British crown saved me by tossing me out of a window into a pile of garbage. That spy is now my stepfather, so that was kind of a weird moment in my childhood, I suppose. But golly was it sure grand.


Samuel Black must make a decision: to be a spy like his father or follow his heart.
Either is likely to give his mother chest pains.
For Samuel is no longer a lad with the ambitious and noble wish of being a lamplighter to keep the seedy streets of London safe. About to embark on university, his mind stirs with the thoughts of creating a policing force in London to safeguard its citizens. Held back by his family’s legacy as spies, Samuel does not make his ideas known.
But when he stops a would-be purse-snatcher, his path unexpectedly veers into that of one Miss Penelope Paiget, and suddenly, Samuel must make a choice.

The short stories in the Spy Series:
1. To Be a Spy
2. To Be a Duke
3. To Be a Lady

The Spy Series short stories take place after the conclusion of the Spy Series.


London, 1822
It happened on Marlborough Street a little past two o’clock two days before Christmas.
Samuel had just returned from Eton the day before as his Greek studies had compelled him to stay longer than the rest of the students. It all sounded rather dull, but honestly, it was quite thrilling as one of his tutors believed he had stumbled upon an undiscovered Biblical text. The ramifications could be enormous, and so when asked to assist him in analyzing the text, Samuel had stayed on, of course. It wasn’t as if he would miss the opportunity.
And thus two days before Christmas, he found himself on Marlborough trying desperately to find a present for Jane and Elizabeth. He wondered briefly if any other man of ten and eighteen was stricken with not just one headstrong sister but two for whom to shop, and if those sisters were raised by an equally headstrong mother. All three of them would not settle for the customary ribbons or baubles or fabrics that other ladies would surely drool over. If it were anything less than divine, the Black women would not find it at all appealing.
Samuel stared in one window after another hoping inspiration would strike. It was while waiting for inspiration that the crime was committed.
He was standing innocently enough outside of Rugbottom’s Books admiring a particularly ornate illustration of Shakespeare’s sonnets when the commotion began behind him. Having been raised in less than ordinary circumstances, the time that lapsed between when the commotion began and when Samuel noticed it was rather exaggerated. But commotions were quite common in the Black family, and he thought nothing of it.
Until Lady Delia Witherspoon screamed.
“He’s stolen my reticule!”
Samuel turned at this in time to see Lady Witherspoon pointing at a fleeing figure clutching the offended reticule under his arm.
And then Lady Witherspoon screamed again.
“That man! He’s stolen my reticule!”
The fleeing man charged at Samuel directly, as it was previously noted, Samuel merely stood in the middle of the pavement staring into a window. He was obviously ripe for any interaction with a passerby on the pavement, even should that passerby be a thief.
As he watched the thief approach, Samuel’s mind took that opportunity to think on matters. He wondered briefly if other gentlemen stepped out of the way of fleeing criminals or if they advanced. He wondered if they cowered at the thought of getting their waistcoat ruined. And then he wondered what the wives of said gentlemen would think if their noble husbands did not act to avenge the slight against a lady.
Samuel thought none of that likely as the gentlemen of the ton that he had had the pleasure of meeting were all sopping idiots. The apprehension of criminals was not something that suited such personalities.
And then Samuel sighed.
He sighed because he quite liked his waistcoat. It was a fine cranberry color that went well with his breeches, and if he had learned anything from his Uncle Alec, it was that a man who showed care for his dress showed care in every aspect of his life. And that was why Samuel was rather despondent to put his cranberry waistcoat in danger.

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Meet Jessie:JessieCleverheadshot

In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring. Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found. And Jessie has been writing ever since.
Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love.
Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated Basset Hounds. For more, visit her website at

Connect with Jessie:


As s special treat, Jessie is giving away an ebook copy of Son of a Duke, the first book in the Spy Series to one lucky commenter. So be sure to include your EMAIL so Jessie can contact you if you win. (Email will not be used for spam or any other purpose other than to notify the winner).

Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!


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