When I created my character I wanted to play into the trope of semi-normal people falling into or being coerced into spy role. With those kinds of characters I have noticed they always seem to fall into two categories the completely goofily under qualified new spy or the somehow has all the right qualities coincidently spy. For instance I remembered watching the television show Chuck with my brother and in the early seasons wondering how he was even still alive. In creating my character I wanted a balance between the totally unprepared and the ridiculously over prepared. To accomplish that I decided making them an employee of the CIA qualified that they already had the brains and research end. However as a information person she has none of the traditional combat skills that tend to appear throughout the spy genre.
I also wanted to find a balance between the genre’s of the martini spy and the stale beer spy. She’s no James Bond dashing off on private planes or to expensive galas, instead she would fly economy. However the stale beer spy tend to be very gritty and not as approachable, I liked the idea of trying to find a balance between these two types. To do that I thought a good start was to create her character around intelligence rather then strength or connections. I also shied away from an overly boisterous personality. I personally really enjoyed reading about real life examples of spies who blend in and carry information and the was a big influence in their examples, for instance Virginia Hall or Vera Laska.
Using real historic spies as a base for the character to me made her more interesting because it plays with the idea of the modern spy living among us. I remember visiting the spy museum as a child and listening to them explain how spies were not just on television but very real and hidden all around us. I always thought that was a very vexing idea. Real life spies can be more interesting than the overly dramatic or overly goofy spies I saw on television. That logic really propelled me to created my character the way I did.