MI6 talked to author Charlie Higson on the launch
of his second Young James Bond book "Blood Fever"
about the new adventure...
Blood Fever: In Conversation With Charlie Higson
18th March 2006
Exclusive: MI6 caught up with Young James Bond
author Charlie Higson about his second novel Blood
Fever. Speaking for the first time to a 007 website about
the new book, Charlie Higson discussed his work on Blood Fever
and the Young Bond series in this serialized MI6 interview.
What was it like doing the research for this book, especially
Ohhh, it was a terrible hardship going to Sardinia and staying
in nice hotels! I hate doing research and I’ve always avoided
it before, because I love just getting on and doing the writing.
But from doing these books I have found that I’ve enjoyed
doing the research a lot more than I thought. I’ve had to
do a lot of research about Eton, the 1930’s and then specific
locations for each book.
The reason I chose Sardinia was that it was a place that I’d
been to a couple of times and a place I thought was really fascinating.
Also it’s an island that not many people know very much
about. So I felt it wasn’t well-worn territory that had
been gone over in a lot of other books and films. Starting it
I did remember that “The Spy Who Loved Me” is supposed
to be set partly in Sardinia, but you wouldn’t know if you
weren’t paying attention. But it has got a fascinating history
and its very different to everywhere else around in the Mediterranean.
Above: Mountain Hideaway
I’d seen a bit of the island, the main thing that inspired
me was a picture I’d seen in a travel book of a cave. A
hidden cave up in the mountains where a village was inside. There
was an artist’s impression and it looked like a kind of
Bond villain's lair. It has a lot of echo of the interior of the
volcano lair in "You Only Live Twice" - the movie version.
Above: Cave fight
The fact that you’ve got these buildings inside a cave
up a mountain was my sort of inspiration for the book. I thought
fantastic that would be a great location. The more I read about
Sardinia, about the history of the invasions, the bandits I thought
"great!". So I wrote the bulk of the book in rough and
them made a trip out there to specifically go to the location
that I was using. Inevitably the actual cave that I went to visit
wasn’t as exciting, romantic and dramatic as the artist’s
impression, but it was still amazing and well worth visiting.
So I had a fantastic weekend out there, I went out with Paul Whitehouse,
the two of us went out because we were talking about some film
work at the same time. I dragged him round all the sites in the
book and we went to visit some of the monuments and weird old
castles. We climbed up into the mountains and visited this cave;
it was brilliant. It is a fascinating island and I hope to go
Above: UK Puffin 1st edition paperback
Released: 5th January 2006
Publisher: Miramax Books
Released: June 2006
How did the process of creating Blood Fever different
from creating Silverfin, was it easier the second time round
Well I didn’t have to do so much on the actual working
on the character and the specifics of the fleshing out the
"You Only Live Twice" obituary. That was done
I had the setup of the school and who he was, and the relationship
with the aunt, and the whole framework. But every new book
is a new challenge. In fact I think it took me quite a lot
longer to write the second book because of the whole mechanics
of the action sequences in Sardinia.
I cut a huge amount, the story was structured slightly
differently and was a lot more about Bond actually getting
out to Sardinia. So just getting the story right in this
one took a lot longer. But it was easier in terms of knowing
who James was, what his setup was.
Do you expect Bloodfever to sell more copies than Silverfin?
I don't want to make any predictions, I mean the idea
was always to write a sequence of books because particularly
with kids books you build up a kind of snowball effect.
The more you have coming out he more people buy. Its easier
than having a one off book, so you know you always hope
that the second one will sell more than the first one and
the second more than the third. Over time hopefully they
will keep selling.
The indications are very good on the second book, the advance
orders have been fantastic, and the bookshops and booksellers
are very keen on it pleased with it. The proof of the pudding
comes down to whether the kids like it or not. I hope they
will. The second book has probably got more action and adventure
and big scope that you expect from a Bond book. But that
being said the kids like the way the first book worked so
obviously I hope that it's going to sell a lot. The first
one has done fantastically well and much better than I could
Stay tuned to MI6 for the next installment.
Many thanks to Charlie Higson.