Meet The Author, Craig Gralley

Craig Gralley, a former CIA senior executive, served as an analyst, manager and chief speechwriter for three CIA directors. His debut novel, Hall of Mirrors—Virginia Hall: America’s Greatest Spy of WWII (Chrysalis, 2019), is a Kirkus Reviews “Best Book of 2020;” a New York Post, “ Best Book of the Week;” and has received accolades from The Historical Novel Society; Independent Book Review (top story) and  SPYSCAPE, among others. Senior members of the Intelligence Community—including former CIA Director, General David Petraeus—have praised Hall of Mirrors for its accurate portrayal of wartime espionage.

Hall of Mirrors began as Craig’s Master’s thesis at Johns Hopkins University. He first became captivated with Virginia Hall’s inspirational story while serving as a consultant with CIA’s history staff and knew her under-told story of heroism demanded a wider audience. Hopkins Professors, intrigued with Gralley’s thesis, agreed and encouraged him to continue writing a book. Hall of Mirrors was published in 2019.

In researching Hall of Mirrors, Craig read hundreds of WWII documents in CIA, US and foreign archives detailing Hall’s life and work behind the lines in WWII France. In 2017 he and his wife, Janet, discovered the Freedom Trail Hall took across the Pyrenees to escape the Nazis in the winter of 1942. He became expert on Hall’s career and soon, CIA’s Office of Public Affairs began asking him to field media requests about the disabled spy, whose story was just becoming known. Through these interactions Craig began sharing insights on Hall with British author Sonia Purnell, who was working on her biography of Hall, A Woman of No Importance, and actor, writer, producer Sarah Megan Thomas, who was developing a full-length motion picture, A Call To Spy, in which she played Virginia Hall. Craig consulted on the movie and appeared with actors in California and Detroit film festivals. His book led to numerous interviews–including the Washington Post, New York Post, CNN and NPR’s Morning Edition, hosted by national security correspondent, Greg Myre.

Janet and Craig in the High Sierras

Craig Gralley, a former CIA senior executive, was an analyst, manager and chief speechwriter for three CIA directors.

Craig in Pretra
Craig visiting the Lisu Tribe in Thailand

His most recent book, PARI: An Untold History of Spacemen and Spies, tells the story of how a small community in the mountains of North Carolina helped to win the space race, the Cold War and became a model for science education. Gralley, a strong advocate for education, is donating his author profits to PARI for student science scholarships.

In addition to books, Gralley has written magazine and newspaper articles, book reviews, essays and other products for the Washington Post, World War II Magazine, Elan and The Sun, among others. Craig graduated with honors from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and holds Master’s degrees from  Georgetown University (government) and Johns Hopkins University (writing). When he’s not writing, Craig enjoys running and adventure travel with his wife Janet. Their son, Will, is a business owner and professional DJ in Washington, D.C.

Screenshot from ACTS interview video

A Call to Spy-East Bay Film Festival Interview

I was delighted to accept writer, actor and producer Sarah Megan Thomas’ invitation to appear at the East Bay Jewish Film Festival–where Sarah, actor Samuel Roukin and I discussed their movie, “A Call to Spy.”