Stella Rimington: The Private Life of an MI5 Spy
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Dymocks Literary Lunch
Imagine your partner takes up a diplomatic post in India. While you're there, playing the role of the dutiful spouse at a cocktail party, a man taps you on the shoulder and asks if you'd like a job helping him in his office.It turns out that the shoulder-tapper is not just any man, but a spy. You accept, and within a short time are embarking on a career full of intrigue and mystery. Sounds unlikely, something from a fanciful movie plot? Well this is not some work of fiction, but rather how Stella Rimington found herself working for British Domestic Intelligence Agency, MI5.This change of career saw her progress through the ranks of MI5 before ascending to the highest position of MI5, becoming the first female Director General of the Agency in 1992. Some say that Ian Fleming based his character M, played by Judy Dench in the James Bond films, on Rimington. She'd say that her experiences have made her a writer. Recently in Australia she talked at a Dymocks Literary Lunch about the line between fact and fiction.Stella Rimington says she's had 4 careers. First as a Librarian/archivist, then a diplomats wife, MI5, and now as an author. In this field she has written four books, her first a memoir titled Open Secret: the Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5. She has published three spy-thriller novels Secret Asset, Illegal Action and Dead Line. She's currently working on a fourth novel.