￼The day after the UK release of his fifth Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, I had the pleasure of sitting down for an informal iChat interview with author Charlie Higson. Now with the book just released in the U.S., here is a repeat of that 2008 interview.
With the announcement of Jeffery Deaver as the new James Bond continuation author, past Bond authors have shown their support.
Tweeting from the road during his recent world book tour, Young Bond author Charlie Higson says, "Good luck with the gig. From one Bond scribe to another."
Simon Gardner, speaking on behalf of his late father, John Gardner (Bond author from 1981 to 1996) says, "JG was a big fan he would be sending his best wishes if he was still with us. Good luck with the gig from all @johngardnercom."
Finally, Raymond Benson, Bond scribe from 1997 to 2002 says, "Jeffery Deaver and I are good friends. We served on the Jury (with Val Kilmer!) of the 2005 Noir in Festival (film noir festival) in Courmayeur, Italy, and have participated in many writer conferences together. Great guy."
Browsing Amazon’s Chinese website today, I stumbled on these very unique Chinese editions of the first three Young Bond novels by Charlie Higson.
Click to enlarge
Published in 2008, the three books definitely do their own thing in regards to cover art. But if you look closely, each cover includes a special identifier besides just color and number.
Within each of those Young Bond police badges is a unique image. Book 1, SilverFin, shows an image of Bond and Wilder on a horse (also used on an earlier Chinese edition); book 2, Blood Fever, shows a pirate ship; and book 3, Double or Die, has what appears to be a cemetery.
I wasn’t able to turn up a copy of Hurricane Gold on the site.
Leading fansite CommanderBond.net points out that the just-announced new Bond novel by Jeffery Deaver, codenamed "Project X", is already available for pre-order at Amazon.co.uk. Mind you this is the UK edition from Hodder & Stoughton. The U.S. edition from Simon & Schuster has yet to appear on Amazon.
In regards to whether or not this contemporary novel marks an end to period James Bond adventures (such as the Young Bond series), Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications tells us, “Don’t worry we haven’t left the past behind entirely, but it’s nice to do something different – and keep everyone guessing!”
Bond fans are still buzzing over the announcement of a new adult James Bond continuation novel by Jeffery Deaver (codenamed Project X) due for release in May of next year. But within the announcement is a cord of concern for those of us who have hopes for a Young Bond Series 2.
The new novel will be set in modern times, abandoning the idea of locking the literary James Bond within the original Ian Fleming timeline. Of course, the Young Bond series has taken full advantage of this idea, setting the action in the early 1930s.
So if Bond is headed to the present, does that mean we will see no more adventures set in the past? Does this mean Young Bond 2 -- should Charlie Higson decide he’d like to do it -- is now off the IFP drawing board?
I put the question to our very own “M”, Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, who sent this encouraging response:
“Don’t worry we haven’t left the past behind entirely, but it’s nice to do something different – and keep everyone guessing!”
Ian Fleming Publications Ltd has chosen international bestselling thriller writer, Jeffery Deaver, to write a new James Bond book.
The novel, currently known as Project X, will be published one year from today for Ian Fleming’s birthday – 28 May 2011. It will be published by Jeffery Deaver’s publishers Hodder & Stoughton in the UK and Simon & Schuster in the US.
In 2004, Deaver won the Crime Writers’ Association’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for his book Garden of Beasts. In his acceptance speech he talked about his life-long admiration of Fleming’s writing.
Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, was in the audience. She explains, ‘I’d always enjoyed Jeffery Deaver’s thrillers, but I particularly liked Garden of Beasts: it demonstrated that he was not only a master of the contemporary American thriller but could also write compelling novels of period suspense within a European setting. I didn’t know anything about the author himself and expected a fairly low key response from him when he received our award.
‘I was surprised and delighted when he spoke very fondly of Ian and about the influence that the Bond books had had on his own writing career. It was at that point that I first thought that James Bond could have an interesting adventure in Jeffery Deaver’s hands.’
Deaver comments, ‘I can’t describe the thrill I felt when first approached by Ian Fleming's estate to ask if I'd be interested in writing the next book in the James Bond series. I began reading them when I was about nine or ten, ignorant of the Cold War politics they explored but enthralled by their sense of adventure and derring-do. I continued to read and reread them, which was fortunate because as a teen and adult I found, of course, nuances, that were invisible to a child.’
He continues, ‘The Bond books were important parts of my life – both literarily and personally. They appealed to me as wonderful stories but they also stood as singular examples of a thriller writer’s craft. I learned, through osmosis as well as design, much technique from Mr. Fleming’s work; compactness, attention to detail, heroic though flawed characters, fast-pacing, concrete imagery and straight-forward prose.’
Unlike Sebastian Faulks’ centenary novel, Devil May Care, Project X will be set in the present day. Jeffery Deaver has started work on the book and his title is yet to be revealed.
Jamie Hodder-Williams, CEO of Hodder & Stoughton, comments, “Hodder & Stoughton is delighted that Jeff has been chosen to write the next James Bond novel, which we will be proud to publish. He’s a total professional, who has been with us for over 17 years and he’s immensely popular with booksellers and readers across all our markets. He’s such a great choice because his blend of fast-paced action with meticulous research will produce a thriller that will both honour Ian Fleming and at the same time be utterly contemporary. I can’t wait to read it.”
Jeffery Deaver is the author of a number of internationally bestselling crime series. He is best known for his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme books, most notably The Bone Collector, which was adapted for film in 1999, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Deaver has also written two award-winning short story collections, as well as stand-alone novels including Garden of Beasts and The Bodies Left Behind, which was named Novel of the Year at the International Thriller Writers’ Awards in 2009.
Jeffery Deaver was born near Chicago in 1950. Before becoming a full-time author in 1990, he was a journalist, like Fleming, and attorney. He started writing suspense novels on the long commute to and from his office on Wall Street. His books are now translated into 25 languages. Deaver lives in North Carolina.
Jeffery Deaver’s latest Lincoln Rhyme thriller, The Burning Wire, will be published in the US on 1 June and in the UK on 22 July. A standalone thriller titled Edge will follow in November 2010 in both the US and the UK.
The original Fleming novels are published worldwide by Penguin Books.
Today sees the duel release of Charlie Higson's By Royal Command and SilverFin: The Graphic Novel in the U.S. By Royal Command is released a hardcover from Disney-Hyperion and SilverFin is released as both a hardcover and paperback.