In part three of an MI6 exclusive interview, author Charlie Higson discusses the future of the Young Bond series, including graphic novels and videogames...

Double Or Die: In Conversation With Charlie Higson (3)
22nd January 2007

Exclusive: MI6 caught up with Young James Bond author Charlie Higson to talk about his third Young Bond novel "Double Or Die". Speaking for the first time to a 007 website about the new book, Charlie Higson talks about the future of the Young Bond series in part three of this serialized MI6 interview.

Fleming's fourth novel, "Diamonds Are Forever", isn't one of the most loved outings. Based on the pattern you've established with the first three Young Bond novels echoing Fleming's series somewhat, are there any elements of the "Diamonds Are Forever" novel we should expect to see in Young Bond 4?

Yes, I’ve deliberately made it not as good as the others [laughs]… but there are some similarities, it is set in the Americas, there are gangsters in it but there is no cowboy train! After book three being set in London I wanted very much to send Bond somewhere exotic and hot. It is largely set in Mexico and the Caribbean and the plot does involve gangsters.

How far into writing Young Bond 4 are you?

I’ve finished that and I’m just about to start on book five, we have to work along way in advice.

How firm are the plans for Young Bond 5?

I’ve got the shape of it and I know what I want to happen in it, but the actual details I’m still working on. It’s going to be probably a more complex book compared to the others.

In the beginning you told us that you had the story arc for the five novels worked out before you started SilverFin. Do you still feel that you will stop after Young Bond 5, or are you starting to form ideas for possible future novels that would take you beyond that?


Above: First edition Penguin UK paperback


Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 389
Released: 4th January 2006
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I have a story that finishes at book five, which is the story that started at the beginning of SilverFin. It will tie up all the various threads, characters and themes that run through all the five books. It will end with Bond leaving Eton, which is part of the Bond mythology, which we had from Ian Fleming. But that will be it for me on these specific Young Bond books.

I very much want to keep involved in the world of Bond, it has been enormous fun writing these books and I get on very well with the people at Ian Fleming Publications.

I would hope to write or at least be involved in the future with some James Bond stuff, whether we can work out a way of doing some more Young Bond books or look at a different period of Bond’s life or even a adult book, I don’t know. Largely that decision will have to come from the people at IFP and how they want to move forward, the style of these books, Bond being at this point in his life will definitely come to a end with the conclusion of book five, they will work as a satisfying set of five books.

Above: Artist Kev Walker's sketch of Young Bond in SilverFin


How is the SilverFin graphic novel coming along? Did you work on the adaptation?

I’ve been involved with it as with anything to do with Young Bond, but Kev Walker who is doing it was keen to do a lot of the adaptation himself. A lot of the time he has found he does know better than the writers as to how to make it work as a piece.

He is a huge fan of the thing and it was great to give him a lot of input, and we know that we are going to get a fantastic product. So he has been doing layouts and designs which come through to me and I come back with my comments… I will be involved but it will be Kev’s adaptation rather than mine

Other than the mobile phone games, are there plans for a Young Bond videogame?

We’ve been talking to various games developers about that and there are plans, and making a game takes almost as long as if not longer then making a movie and it’s a very expensive process. There is a certain amount of juggling and waiting, but we’ve definitely been talking to people but nothing is set in stone yet.

Are there any elements of the literary series left that you'd like to see used in the next Bond film?

That’s interesting, I think first time around they well covered all the best books and the best story and most usable bits. I know there are a lot of people thinking wouldn’t it be great if they went on to do them in the order that Fleming wrote them and move on to do remakes of the earlier films. I don’t think they will do that, but they will show Bond still developing, and there are key scenes in Bond that they will come back to. I think they have done such a good job with Casino Royale. I’m looking forward to the next one to see what they come up with.

Speaking of Casino Royale, did you enjoy the move back towards Fleming's roots?

Yes it was great, doing Casino Royale straight could not have worked and it would have been flat. However, they had enough of the book and Fleming in it to make in interesting to the Bond fan and they had enlarged it and made it exciting enough to make it work as a contemporary movie. I think it was a really cleaver film without having to wear its cleverness on its sleeve. You don’t need to now all the past history to enjoy the film; it’s not the kind of anal, nerdy approach to it. It’s looking at all the bits of the Bond mythology and showing how it all starts, and it worked as a fantastic film.

Many thanks to Charlie Higson.

Young Bond Novels
Blood Fever
Double Or Die
Hurricane Gold
By Royal Command
Shoot To Kill

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SilverFin : 01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06
Blood Fever : 01 - 02 - 03 - 04
Double Or Die : 01 - 02 - 03
Hurricane Gold : 01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05
By Royal Command : 01 - 02 - 03