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
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.
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',
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”,
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
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
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