How I wrote “A Spy’s Daughter”

Here is an excerpt from a note to the reader at the end of “A Spy’s Daughter”:

“For many different reasons, writing this book was very special for me. It was like playing with several sets of LEGO® at the same time. Here is what I mean by this.

Imagine you buy several sets of LEGO, let’s say a car, a castle, and a ship. You build each of them as shown in the instructions. You love playing with them and enjoy each part of them. Then you disassemble them and build out of all, or most of, the pieces something new: a spaceship, with wheels, that resembles a castle.

This is exactly what I did with this book and am doing with the whole series. It is pure fiction, but many of the scenes did happen, either to me or to others I know of have heard of. The characters are also patched together from myself and the people I know and cherish, including our stories. You can see it in the first pages of the book, with the names of the two sisters, Victoria and Svetlana. These are the names of myself and my sister. The other given names I attributed to these characters also reflect how I feel about them. My sister is pure joy to be around and to interact with. So the character’s name is Svetlana Joy. And my sister is smaller than me, so she’s younger in the book. The age gap between the characters is almost the same as between my sister and me, although in reality my sister is the elder of us.

My husband played the wish-cake joke on me (although he didn’t name it the wish-cake. He baked the cake, put the candles on it and said, “Make a wish and blow out the candles”). And he is from the former GDR (Eastern Germany). Two different characters in the book had each of these details attributed to them.

It was an immense pleasure to play with the real “building set” available to me from the details of my life and people I know, as well as the imaginary one I discovered every time I sat down to write this book.”

“A Spy’s Daughter”, Copyright © 2015 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels


Picture: These magnets are featured in “A Spy’s Daughter” and play a small but a special role there.

P.S. The prices for e-books “The Truth About Family” and “A Spy’s Daughter” on are back to normal. But they are still at the very affordable $2.99. 🙂 “Seven Broken Pieces” remains at $0.99. The pictures below link to the books on If you would like to find the books on or, or CreateSpace, then please see here.


front cover - seven broken pieces