In part five of an MI6 exclusive interview,
author Charlie Higson talks about
Young Bond book five, graphic novels, videogames, and beyond...
Hurricane Gold: In Conversation With Charlie
10th January 2008
Exclusive: MI6 caught
up with Young James
Bond author Charlie Higson to talk about his new "Hurricane
Gold". Speaking for the fourth time to MI6 about
the series, Charlie Higson talks about how Young Bond book
five and beyond in this serialized MI6 interview.
Book 4 introduces us in passing to a young
Eton maid, can we assume this is the maid for book 5?
I think seasoned Bond fanatics will recognise that, yes.
It is the maid from book five, and the obituary. Although
the events will not be quite as implied by Ian Fleming...
or dirty minded readers [laughs].
We've already talked about the Alps
location for book five, but have you decided whether
or not you will make
any reference to his parent's climbing accident?
It will inevitably arise, yes. But I have
decided not to bring it in to the plot or a make it a suspicious
or anything that might imply espionage or anything of that
nature. It will be used as a climbing accident but left
as a climbing accident. Bond will obviously have very strong
memories of that in book five.
Above: Cover artwork for the UK paperback edition of Hurricane
It's been rarely used in the film series,
with only a brief mention in GoldenEye and a passing reference
him being an
orphan in Casino Royale. It's perhaps the greatest untapped aspect
of Bond's back story that has yet to be exploited.
Yes. I think they're doing in the films what Fleming did in
the books now, which is not to give us anything about Bond -
except Fleming did cave in at the end. There is only a couple
of scenes in all the films where we see Bond at home. He's always
on the move, he's on a mission, he lives totally in the present...
and that's the sort of great allure of the character. He's got
no wife of kids or dependants or friends, he's just this guy
who's out there doing the things he does. I think the only way
it'll make sense to use his parents death now would be to bring
it in as a plot device, like a villain who had been instrumental
in their death or something. But I think one of the main reasons
for Bond's continued success is that he isn't a man with a backstory.
Above: Author Charlie HIgson
signing limited edition hardbacks of Hurricane Gold
Have you completed work on book 5?
Oh, I wish I had! [Laughs] No... It's going to be pretty tight
up against the deadline for this last book.
Is there a tentative release date in mind yet?
I think we're looking at September/October/November
some time. Towards the back half of the year. (MI6 Note:
The release date has since been confirmed as September 4th 2008). I
was ahead of myself at the start of the series because I started
SilverFin about two years before it was published, so I had finished
Blood Fever before SilverFin came out. It meant that I was ahead
of the series, but by bringing forward Hurricane
Gold, I now
no longer have that buffer. I'm playing catch-up now.
You've told us before about Eton's location close to Windsor
and a Royal element. Can you give us any more teasers on what
to expect in book 5?
Well, I don't want to give too much away! But yes, the Royal
Family do play a part in the plot.
Which segues nicely in to the next question...
Is book 5 going to be titled "On His Majesty's Secret Service"?
A-ha!... Because he's not in the secret service until WWII,
so no, although he gets involved in the world of espionage, he's
not a spy in book five. Err.. I can't really say any more than
Above: The cave sequence from
Last time we spoke you mentioned there were some negotiations
with video game companies. Any progress on a Young Bond video
Things have sort of come and gone on that. In
the end it tends to come back to the fact that it's an extremely
to do a videogame and to guarantee money back is very tricky.
They also like to hang these investments on something major like
a feature film despite the fact that the books are selling in
big numbers for our publishers around the world. I think the
feeling is that it's not the right time to do it, yet.
That would be to hang it off a major feature film then, would
[Laughs] I think the feeling is you'd need that kind of big
boost to make it successful. Like what we've done with the graphic
novel, you have to spend a lot of time on it to come up with
a really good game. I think there is another complication with
the problem of positioning it in the market place when you've
already got the adult James Bond games which are action based.
It's tricky with Young Bond, it would have to be something very
different because it can't be him running around shooting people.
But there are ongoing discussions, but you're talking two or
three years from inception to get a game out, and how much that
costs and who is going to fund that...
Above: Young Bond joins the Danger
How is the SilverFin graphic novel coming along?
It's been a while in progress. It's a hell of a huge job of
work to do draw a complete novel. We had the final sketches through
recently and they are looking fantastic. It's going to be a really
fantastic book. Puffin are doing it properly and really giving
Kev Walker the time and resources to make it as gorgeous as possible.
He's such a brilliant artist. I've always loved comics and comic
books and sometimes stuff like this has been done as a quicky
cash-in and rushed out, but this I think will stand up against
the likes of Asterix and Tin Tin for the level of craft that
has gone in to it. (MI6 Note: The release date of the SilverFin
graphic novel has since been delayed until September 4th 2008
to coincide with the release of book five)
Is this one of those things that if the first one does well
we may see more?
I think so, very much so, yes. If it sells reasonably
well then there'll be a strong impetuous for more and so we're
will do well. It costs a lot of money to put one of these things
together and a huge amount of work so we do have to wait and
see how the first one goes.
The hope is that, although book five is the last novel I'm writing
in the Young Bond series, through the graphic novels and other
stuff IFP and Puffin have got planned that the Young Bond thing
will continue in one form or another. I think there are other
spin-off books and stuff you could do around it. I would certainly
like to continue to be involved with it as much as possible...
Gold was released on Thursday 6th September 2007 in the
Many thanks to Charlie Higson.