Tina Tamman — Scriggler Interview Series



Scriggler Interview series is designed to shine the spotlight at some of the more popular Scriggler contributors and to help them promote their books.

Scriggler Interview series is designed to shine the spotlight at some of the more popular Scriggler contributors and to help them promote their books.

Tina Tamman

5 sentences about me:
I was born in Estonia that still seems to be an unknown country to many people. Here in the UK I was a BBC journalist for 20 years. I've learnt to love history because it has shaped our world as it is. I like to question things, travel to hot countries, love the drama of opera and ballet and the delights and frustrations of research. Meanwhile, in Estonia, I run annual essay competitions.

5 sentences about the book:

"Portrait of a Secret Agent" is the biography of Brian Giffey, an eccentric but loyal British secret agent. Biography writing, however, depends on the material available on the subject. As the intelligence world is very secretive and doesn't open its archives to researchers, I had to rely on Brian Giffey's private papers and whatever was to be found in public archives. I am quite proud of the fact that I managed to put together a biography of this fascinating man.

5 sentences about one of the book's characters:
Brian Giffey was born in London in 1887 to a Canadian mother and German father, but for most of his life he believed he was Welsh. It was a linguistic misunderstanding because he was brought up in Germany. A colourful character as a youngster, he next obtained a degree from Oxford, joined the Worcestershire Regiment and in 1928, having learnt Russian, he became an intelligence officer for MI6. His first posting was to Estonia where he met the love of his life, divorced his first, German, wife and married the Estonian girl who was 25 younger than him.

Why should people read the book?
Many people are interested in how the government spends the taxes it collects. Intelligence, however, is a secretive area of which very little is known. My book shows what tensions there were in Brian Giffey's day, provides food for thought and demonstrates that there were also loyal agents (Brian Giffey) alongside some well-known traitors (Kim Philby). And it is a compelling love story.

Who is my ideal reader?
Anybody interested in history, even family history, who has curiosity about individuals of the past. One can learn a lot from following the life of a single person.

Other authors I admire:
My all-time favourite is Georges Simenon (his non-Maigret novels) who understands the psychology of the little man. Of living authors, I rate highly Richard Flanagan (“The Narrow Road to the Deep North”).

Cover design and editing:
The book was published by York Publishing Services who also very satisfactorily designed the cover. The editing was done by my husband who was a BBC editor for 30 years.

Print or ebook:
I knew from the start that I wanted a print book because I love paper. Kindle is harder to love. However, when York Publishing suggested an ebook, I thought it was a good idea. It was to increase the book's worldwide appeal by eliminating postal charges, which can be significant.

If anybody wanted to interview me how can they approach me?
Very easy — by email: tinatamman@yahoo.co.uk


Tina's profile on Scriggler: https://scriggler.com/Profile/tina_tamman

Portrait of a Secret Agent Who Knew Kim Philby:

on Amazon:


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