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!

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