Monday, June 23, 2008

Charlie Higson talks Young Bond and his future has an excellent new Q&A interview with Charlie Higson. While the interview is focused largely on Hurricane Gold (just released in paperback), Charlie does offer some nice insight into exactly what makes his young James Bond character tick:

“He is a loner who nevertheless makes friends easily. He has a strong sense of right and wrong. He is brave and resourceful. And he is good at punching. At the start of the first book - SilverFin - he is an ordinary 13 year old boy (albeit one who has lost his parents), starting his first day at "big" school. I wanted kids reading the book to be able to identify with him, I didn't want him to be a mini, shrunk-down version of the super-cool Pierce Brosnan (who was Bond at the time). Neither did I want him to already be Fleming's ruthless, professional killer. Fleming hints that as a boy Bond was a fairly ordinary but he has changed as he has grown older (for the worse). I wanted to show Bond growing up through my books, learning a little about the world, and becoming more cynical and hardened. By the end of By Royal Command we see him poised on the edge of becoming Fleming's Bond. He is very much ready for the next phase of his life. He has come a long way - but still has far to go.”

When questioned about exactly where James goes in the future, Charlie had this to say.

“Well, first of all to a new school - Fettes, in Scotland (that's not a spoiler, anyone who has read the adult Bond books knows the story). But the big thing looming on his horizon is the second world war. The events of By Royal Command take place in 1934 so the war is only 5 years away. Bond will be 19 when war breaks out, and we know that he went into naval intelligence - MI6 - and worked as an agent overseas. I think it would be really interesting to find out more about his early wartime experiences, his training in Scotland, his 1st missions, his gaining the 00 status. That would be a fun job for a writer.”

Galaxy Plus releases Large Print Hurricane Gold

Specialty publisher Galaxy Plus has released a Large Print edition of Charlie Higson’s fourth Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold. The book is an oversized trade paperback with cover art similar to the UK paperback, but with no golden effect, making the book orange in color, and Charlie’s name is in red instead of white

The Galaxy Plus Large Print Hurricane Gold contains the complete text (excluding the By Royal Command extract) with enlarged type for those who have difficulty with standard font sizes.

Galaxy has now released all the Young Bond novels in Large Print editions.

Galaxy Plus is one of the most prolific publishers of large print books and unabridged audiobooks in the world with over 3000 titles encompassing a wide range of best-selling authors. Galaxy titles can be ordered at BBC Audiobooks.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

YOUNG BOND centenary week events

Bondmania swept London last week as the first adult James Bond novel in 6 years, Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, was released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s birth. But Young Bond was also part of the celebration with the release of a sparkling paperback edition of Hurricane Gold. Charlie Higson may not have rode down the Thames in a catsuit, but he did embark on a book tour while stores across the UK held Young Bond quizzes and special Young Bond Mini Adventure challenges.

Charlie kicked off the week with an appearance at the Imperial War Museum’s special Ian Fleming exhibition, For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond. Noting that he labors for a year over each Young Bond installment, Charlie joked, “there’s this man called Sebastian Faulks who claims to have written a Bond novels in just six weeks.”

Charlie joined fellow Bond authors Sebastian Faulks and Samantha Weinberg (The Moneypenny Diaries) at the spectacular Devil May Care launch party on May 27. Held at the exclusive private club FIFTY, the party was also attended by Devil May Care cover model Tuuli Shipster and a host of notables and celebrities, including members of the Fleming family.

On launch day, May 28, Charlie appeared at the Hay Festival in Wales while back in London magician David Crofts entertained children and hosted a Young Bond costume contest at Waterstones Piccadilly. Waterstones had a full stock of signed copies of Hurricane Gold waiting for those Bond fans who had queued up in the pre-dawn hours to buy a special limited edition of Devil May Care (including yours truly).

The following day, Charlie appeared at Waterstone’s in Bristol, which also hosted a Young Bond Mini Adventure Challenge. Friday found Charlie signing copies of the book in Norwich where, according to the Evening News, some fans showed up in their own suave James Bond suits.

The Young Bond Dossier was on hand during Charlie’s appearance at Waterstones in Milton Keynes on Saturday, May 31. Charlie signed copies of Hurricane Gold for a long queue of enthusiastic fans while the brave took on a rolling rock wall challenge set up in front of the store. Free bookmarks promoting the next Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, were also available. After the signing, Charlie signed the store’s entire stock of Young Bond novels in record time.

Charlie concludes his book tour today with a signing at WHSmith in Manchester. He will then complete the circle and return to the Imperial War Museum this Tuesday for a panel discussion about “Writing Bond”.

What a week for Bond fans!

The Young Bond Dossier: The Centenary Week that was

Click the headline to read The Young Bond Dossier's report on the Young Bond events during Centenary Week in London.

Monday, June 2, 2008

YOUNG BOND box set exclusive at Borders

Borders Books in the UK are offering a limited signed box set collection of the first three Young Bond novels, SilverFin, Blood Fever, and Double or Die.

Each book in the set is signed by author Charlie Higson and number stamped. The sets are limited to 1000 and retail for £30.00. “The Young Bond Collection” is a Borders UK exclusive and, as far as I can find, are only available in stores.

Collectors will be interested to know that the paperbacks in these sets are not the standard editions. Each book notes on the title page that it is part of this 2008 Limited Edition and the copyright pages mark them as first editions (thus).

Fans will be pleased to hear the books include a preview extract from the upcoming SilverFin graphic novel that is different from the extract found in the recently released Hurricane Gold paperback.

Get them while they last!

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