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  1. Pussy Galore…make way for 'Wilder Lawless'

    In a profile of author Charlie Higson published today in The Independent [Charlie’s Angle] the new Bond author reveals some choice details about his first “Young James Bond” novel, including the name of young Bond’s first love interest, Wilder Lawless. Higson also reveals how he got the job.

    “I was approached by Kate Jones, who’d been my editor at Hamish Hamilton, and was working with the Fleming estate. She knew I liked James Bond, and there were Bond references in my earlier books. The estate was looking for ways to reawaken interest in Fleming. Penguin had republished nice editions of Dr No and Casino Royale. Now they wanted someone to write books for nine-to-12s, to show that Bond was a literary character before he was a movie character.”

    He’s now written the first (its title firmly under wraps) to be published by Puffin next March. In it, the 13-year-old Bond is at Eton in the 1930s, and is drawn into an adventure on a remote Scottish island. There’s a villain, and a villain’s henchman. There’s even a love interest. “She’s called Wilder Lawless. But it’s a fairly chaste relationship. She’s older than him, and he’s got an older friend who fancies her. There’s a lot of confused pre-sexuality. She wrestles him to the ground and pins him down with her thighs, and he likes it but he doesn’t know why … “

    To research the book, Higson re-read the complete Bond oeuvre, in search of biographical clues. “There are only tiny nuggets of information, because Bond is a fantasy figure on to which anyone can project themselves. The books were like a textbook for the dull, grey, Fifties, British chap on how to be a man. It was the early-Playboy time. This is how you order a steak in a restaurant. This is what you should be drinking and wearing. This is how you treat a lady. That’s why they were so popular and why they’re interesting now, for what they tell us about Fifties aspirations.”

    The article mistakenly reports that “the film rights were snapped up last week by Miramax.” As first reported here on CBn, Miramax Books has aquired the publishing rights to Higson’s first two Young James Bond novels. All film rights to James Bond, young and old, belong to Eon Productions and MGM exclusively.

    There are currently five books planned in the Young James Bond series.

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    johncox @ 2004-07-09
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