Acclaimed British novelist Sebastian Faulks has emerged as the author whom Ian Fleming’s estate has chosen to write the next James Bond novel.
Faulks was commissioned for writing Devil May Care last year, but the estate kept his identity under wraps by simply stating that a renowned novelist had been selected for the task.
The book is set in “several of the world’s most thrilling cities” during the Cold War. It has been scheduled for publication on May 28, 2008 to mark the centenary of Sir Ian Fleming’s birth.
Faulks, whose books include Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, says that the book is “about 80 per cent Fleming”.
He also reveals that he got “surprised” upon being told that he was the estate’s choice.
"I was surprised but flattered to be asked by the Fleming estate last summer if I would write a one-off Bond book for the Ian Fleming Centenary,” the BBC quoted him as saying.
"I told them that I hadn't read the books since the age of 13, but if, when I re-read them, I still enjoyed them and could see how I might be able to do something in the same vein, then I would be happy to consider it,” he added.
Faulks has also jotted down points on how Fleming used to write his novels.
"On re-reading, I was surprised by how well the books stood up," he said
"I put this down to three things: the sense of jeopardy Fleming creates about his solitary hero; a certain playfulness in the narrative details; and a crisp, journalistic style that hasn't dated," he added.
The writer also says that he tried to "isolate the most essential and the most enjoyable aspects of the books".
"I found writing this light-hearted book more thrilling than I had expected," he further said.
Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, has hinted that the Fleming family were happy with Faulks’ work on the new James Bond novel.
"The Fleming family were delighted with the typescript when we received it. Sebastian couldn't have written a better book to celebrate Ian's 100th birthday," Turner said.