More from the MI6 exclusive interview with James Bond continuation author Jeffery Deaver on the new 007 adventure 'Carte Blanche'...

Jeffery Deaver Exclusive Interview (2)

2nd June 2011

Who’s voice do you hear when reading Deaver’s 007 in 'Carte Blanche'?

Although I was not influenced directly this way, I was basing my Bond on the original material rather than being influenced by the movies, so for instance, the picture I have by my computer is of Hoagy Carmichael, who of course, Ian Fleming said Bond most resembled. You have to say, in the middle of writing the book, I hear Sean Connery’s voice. He is so ingrained in my psyche that I cannot get away from hearing that.

Were you involved in the selection of Toby Stephens to read for the audiobook and what do you think of the choice?

Yes, it’s a brilliant choice, I have followed his career of course. No I was not involved in that. If I can tell as fast story that does not relate to the Bond process… Of course, everyone asks me about my American books, the audio books, because the production company is in my publisher there, would I like to read this and that. This is a book that goes back a few years. There’s an American author named David McCullough who was involved in “The Civil War”, Ken Burn’s project. He’s just a superb writer. He narrated much of “The Civil War”. Beautiful voice. So I told my producer, “Is there any way to get David McCullough as a reader?” I got a message two days later, “Jeffery, good news, your selection has been picked.” Oh I thought good news, but the message went on, “David McCallum is so excited about reading your book.” So here’s a Scottish fellow, who played a Russian guy on TV, reading a book set in Nebraska. Sometimes the authors are not always so instrumental in picking the talent.

Above: Chesca Miles and author Jeffery Deaver at the London launch event.

It is understood that in 'Carte Blanche' the 00-Section is not quite what it was in the Fleming novels? How does the department Bond works for now and the Fleming original differ and what prompted the update to 007's employers?

You’ll be completely familiar with the original. Fleming was, for obvious reasons, a veteran of military intelligence. He was a bit vague about the workings of the secret service. Curiously, as we’re talking now we are driving past Regent’s Park, which is where he set the secret service in his books. I too have been more ambiguous about the workings of the organisation that Bond is employed by and I like to keep it a bit vague in the way that Ian Fleming did. Now I will say, and of course I can’t give away too much, the cast that surrounds Bond is certainly recognisable. I did that because fans around the world have an expectation that it be not only up-to-date but familiar and comforting. I think there’s something comforting.

As a fan of the Bond literature, did you ever read any of the other continuation novels, not to research 'Carte Blanche', but as they were released? For instance, “Colonel Sun” by Kingsley Amis or “Licence Renewed” that celebrates a 30th birthday the same month that 'Carte Blanche' is released?

First I read, just for pleasure, and this is before I knew I would be involved, “Devil May Care”, Sebastian Faulk’s continuation novel and I read several of Raymond Benson’s novels. I will say that in researching “Carte Blanche” that I read Charlie Higson. I have considered, even before researching the book, I have considered them young adult novels and I know the kids really love Higson. I intentionally did not read any of the continuation novels when I knew I was going to do “Carte Blanche” to tap that creative source - that Fleming source. I re-read the originals. I intentionally did not see any of the movies again (I had just seen “Quantum of Solace” before I was contacted) but I did not go back.

Did you have an English and American editor and how will they differ?

In terms of the substance of the book, nothing is different between the English and American versions. The only differences are what I would call punctuational and syntactical. There are certain expressions that make no sense in one country or anther. A perfect example, I refer to something going counter-clockwise, here [UK] it is anti-clockwise. Just so American readers don’t blink and say “he did something wrong there, that’s just not right,” and we changed the spelling… flavour, o-u-r. Laterally is vocabulary and syntax, there are no other changes and I wanted it that.

Will you read the reviews?

Oh yes, I read all my reviews. Some I respect more than others, I think the best reviews are those that have read my other books. Those that read “Carte Blanche” will not only have read Ian Fleming but other espionage authors. They’ll be familiar with Graham Greene and Len Deighton and you know, work in the genre. I like to pick up things – if it is a reviewer I respect and it says something constructive I’ll take that to heart.

If you were asked to return and pick Bond up from where you left him, would you?

I’ll put it this way – I have commitments to other characters, Lincoln Rhyme and Catherine Dance and I write standalone books as well. Those I will never neglect, however, I have to say that this has been such a completely enjoyable experience, working with the Ian Fleming family and Ian Fleming Publications as well as my wonderful publisher Hodder & Stoughton, I will absolutely entertain the thoughts of bringing back my good friend 007.

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