1. Turning James Bond Into A Technical Exercise

    By Devin Zydel on 2008-05-27

    Sebastian Faulks

    The BBC News carries a new article centering on how Sebastian Faulks followed Ian Fleming’s footsteps in his approach to writing Devil May Care.

    As the British novelist has stated several times before, he was initially intrigued by the direction the Fleming family and Ian Fleming Publications (IFP) wanted to take with this new James Bond novel.

    ‘What Ian Fleming’s family wanted was a centenary book,’ he said. ‘They didn’t want a conventional thriller writer. They wanted to cast against type.’

    ‘My last book [2005’s Human Traces] was a 650-page novel about psychiatry, set in a lunatic asylum. It was quite a weird choice, but I think a good choice.’

    I viewed the whole thing as a technical exercise,” he says. “I wrote the whole thing in six weeks.

    I tried to go inside Bond’s head,’ Faulks revealed, ‘to create an inner life for him, and I realised he didn’t have one.’

    ‘There were bedroom scenes where I thought it might help to show him being reflective, but it was like being in the bedroom with a stranger. It was very embarrassing.’

    Ian Fleming

    Ian Fleming

    While the plot elements of Devil May Care remain relatively underwraps (some snippets have shined the light on a bit of what can be expected), Faulks did say that he chose the Middle East as one of the novel’s locations because it hadn’t previously appeared in a Fleming Bond novel.

    ‘Fleming was very forthright in his prejudices–anything between Marseilles and Delhi was viewed with great suspicion. I was very happy to tread in territory he chose to avoid.’

    ‘The focus is on an individual bad guy but there are political ramifications,’ he added.

    And while Faulks is ‘writing as’ Fleming, there are some differences that will set his story apart. ‘I had written about him eating breakfast washed down with spirits, but it was giving me indigestion. So I have compelled him to drink wine.’

    Humour will also play a role. ‘I wanted to be witty without being arch,’ Faulks explained.

    ‘When situations presented themselves, I wanted to be able to make people laugh. But I didn’t want the humour to be groan-worthy.’

    Devil May Care is released tomorrow.

    For a full round-up of the numerous events going on this week to mark the Ian Fleming centenary and the release of Devil May Care, visit’s Literary 007 section.

    Stay tuned to the CBn main page for complete coverage of Devil May Care.