On the eve of the London opening of his new play Longing, the new James Bond author William Boyd was interviewed on the ‘Today’ programme on BBC Radio-4 on February 28, and made some comments about his upcoming 007 novel.
Boyd was asked various questions about both his writing for the stage and, inevitably, his new James Bond story. Boyd revealed that his new 007 adventure is now ‘finished and delivered’. When asked about whether he had any of the actors who played Bond on screen in his mind when he wrote the novel, he said ‘no’. He said that he actually knows three of the actors who have played 007 on screen – Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig – but he stressed that he had not allowed any image of the screen version of 007 to influence his own literary version.
Boyd pointed out that James Bond creator Ian Fleming had described Bond as looking like Hoagy Carmichael, and Boyd also recalled his own father playing Carmichael’s music, so he was very fond of Carmichael’s image, and it was that image that Boyd had kept in mind when writing his own interpretation of James Bond.
When Boyd was also quizzed about whether he could reveal any fresh details about the plot to his new Bond novel, he said he could not say much as the ‘hit squad’ would be out to get him. However, he confirmed that it is set in 1969, and that Bond will be aged 45. He also pointed out that the fictional James Bond had lived in a flat in Chelsea, in London (coincidentally not far from where Boyd himself lives), so there will be ‘a bit of Chelsea’ in his new James Bond novel.
Boyd on the Writer’s Challenge
Turning to Longing, which will run at the Hampstead Theatre in London from February 28 – April 6, 2013, Boyd was also asked a number questions by the Radio-4 interviewer about writing for the stage, as Longing is his first major theatre project. The new play, Boyd said, is based on two stories by Anton Chekhov, one of his favourite writers. He said he had ‘adapted’ the two stories and that, now that he had had a taste of writing a play, he would contemplate writing another, more original, play for the theatre.
He told the interviewer that writing is a ‘fickle and difficult’ business, and that every writer has insecurities about whether he can write another novel after the last one (Boyd has written 12 so far), so it is nice to have something else, such as play-writing, running in parallel.
Literary Bond versus Film Bond
In a separate interview, given to the UK’s Independent newspaper on February 27, Boyd emphasised that he could not give any details about the story to the new 007 novel, otherwise ‘someone will come and kill me if I say more’. He stressed that his own Bond novel, being set in 1969, is just five years after the death of Ian Fleming in 1964, and when ‘conceivably he might have written another one had he lived’.
Boyd also told the Independent that he did not think film-makers would be interested in his own 1969-based novel. He said all the James Bond films ‘have been completely contemporary’.
Ian Fleming Publications (IFP) recently revealed that Boyd’s new 007 adventure will be published in the UK on September 26, 2013, by Jonathan Cape (Fleming’s original publisher), which is now an imprint of Vintage Publishing Ltd. IFP are also planning a series of tie-in events to help launch the eagerly-anticipated novel.
With this in mind, IFP have also set up a special website to publicise the new Boyd 007 novel, which will keep people up to date with the latest news on the book in the run-up to publication in September.
This is at: www.jamesbondthenewmission.co.uk