Tuesday, March 25, 2008

FIRST LOOK: Double or Die U.S. hardcover

Our friends at Disney Publishing have given us an advanced first look at the new U.S. edition of Charlie Higson’s Double or Die, due for release on April 22. The book is a high quality hardcover with dust jacket sporting breathtaking new artwork by Kev Walker.

Says author Charlie Higson, “It’s fantastic to see the new American cover of Double or Die which has all the romance and atmosphere I imagined when writing the books. Double or Die is a new start for Young Bond in the states and I’m very excited about its release.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Charlie Higson talks By Royal Command

Having just completed the manuscript for By Royal Command, Charlie Higson has graciously offered to sit down with us for a quick Q&A about his fifth (and maybe not so final) Young Bond adventure.

TBB: The title, By Royal Command...is this an echo of OHMSS?

CH: There is a definite echo. Unfortunately we couldn’t think of a nice twist to it (like adding ‘Secret’ to OHMS.) There is a lot of stuff in the book about the secret service, and it sows the seeds for a lot of what happens in James’s later life. There was always a plan to have this book involve the royal family and as it’s a slightly more grown up book, it has a slightly more grown up title. When you read the book you will realize that the title is slightly ironic. There are many similarities with OHMSS, not least because of the alpine setting, but also because it’s a love story.

TBB: Having just completed the book, what's your gut feeling about it? The best one yet? Did it turn out as you expected?

CH: No book ever turns out how you expect, but I do like this one. I have tried to give it some emotional depth. Bond’s choices are not so clear cut. The book asks what is right and what is wrong, and Bond doesn’t always necessarily make the right decisions. It’s a great way to finish off the series, and at the end of it we really feel that James is poised for the next phase of his life. You can’t have a favorite book just as you can’t have a favorite child. It’s interesting that different readers have different favorites, and I have to be careful when looking at the websites, because the posters are not my target audience. When I do events with children I am always startled by how young they are, and I mustn’t forget that.

TBB: How long is By Royal Command?

CH: It’s pretty well the same length as all the others. I always set out with the intention of making the books shorter, but it never happens.

TBB: Are there any new plot details you'd like to tease us with?

CH: By God, you’re greedy. I don’t want to spoil it. What can I say? Bond meets princess Elizabeth… (based on an anecdote told me by my father in law, who met her in very similar circumstances). He also meets the Prince of Wales - later the Duke of Windsor (heir to the throne), various people from his past reappear, and there’s a visit to the opera. As for gadgets - Boys at Eton used to sew pockets into the tails of their coats, so that they could hide/smuggle items in them. I have used this idea to give James a kind of utility jacket.

TBB: Finally, are you relieved or sad that you've completed your set of five Young Bond novels?

CH: A bit of both. I've lived with Bond for a few years now and it’s been great fun, but writing 5 books back to back is a strange and draining experience. It will be good to take a break and do something else. I am not saying I won’t return to Young Bond in the future, but for now these 5 books will stand as a set. The graphic novel is out in September (it’s going to be fabulous), and if that does well there will be more to follow, so I hope to be involved with Young Bond in one way or another for many more years to come.

By Royal Command will be released by Puffin in hardcover on September 4, 2008.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bond fans give new title ROYAL seal of approval

Bond fans can be a contentious and opinionated lot, but it appears they are generally united in feeling that By Royal Command is an excellent title for Charlie Higson’s fifth Young Bond novel.

In a poll currently running on the CommanderBond.net forums (THE gathering place for Bond fans young and old), a whopping 93% “love” the new title, while only 7% “are not amused.” Furthermore, in a poll asking which of the five Young Bond titles is their favorite, By Royal Command comes out way ahead at 67%, followed by SilverFin at 13%, and the remaining three titles tying for third at 7%.

Many fans have keyed into the similarity to Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and with what we know about action in The Alps and a love story, it appears By Royal Command may indeed echo that classic Fleming novel.

By Royal Command will be released by Puffin in hardcover on September 4, 2008. Pre-order information is not yet available.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


In a nice bit of serendipity, Charlie Higson tells us he has completed his fifth Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, on the same day the title was officially announced by Puffin and Ian Fleming Publications.

By Royal Command sees Young Bond in action from England to the chilling heights of the Austrian Alps. Charlie says this final Young Bond novel will be the most Bond-like in theme and scope. Publisher Puffin says the book “is meant to be the best one yet!”

By Royal Command will be released in hardcover on September 4, 2008.


For immediate release, Thursday 6th March 2008

Puffin and Ian Fleming Publications announce that the next book in Charlie Higson’s bestselling Young Bond series, to be published on 4th September 2008, will be entitled By Royal Command.

Young Bond’s most daring adventure yet takes him from England to the chilling heights of the Austrian Alps. When his whole world explodes, James is forced to go on the run, pursued by enemy agents and the British authorities. James must choose between friendship and duty. His life will never be the same again…

By Royal Command will be published in hardback, priced £12.99

The Young Bond books have to date sold nearly three-quarters of a million copies combined. The series was launched with SilverFin in 2005 and was followed by Blood Fever in 2006, Double or Die, published in January 2007 and Hurricane Gold in September 2007.

By Royal Command will be published in hardback on September 4, 2008, priced £12.99. Pre-order from Amazon.co.uk

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