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July 11, 2007


Kevin Wignall

Sarah, I turned down a semi-ghosting project earlier this year (similar to this, in that your name appears on the cover but it's not your story) despite being intrigued by the subject matter and the odd nature of the project (writing novelizations of graphic novels).

I think back to my reasons for turning it down - lack of time, an inability to commit creatively to something that wasn't mine - and I wonder why those reasons didn't apply to Faulks.

PR? Well, my project would have created more knock-on PR for my books than Bond will for Faulks (is anyone who reads "Devil May Care" likely to go out and buy "Birdsong", or "Engleby", which has had very mixed reviews over here btw?). And this is a guy who's already had a huge international bestseller and the big movie treatment.

The money then... and it must be a lot of money to make it worthwhile. I was offered a big sum, a figure that would have made me happy if it had been for my own work, but it still wasn't enough to go down that road.

Baffled. And I think it'll be interesting to see what comes of it.

Gerald So

I was unfamiliar with Faulks until now, but I don't think writing a Bond novel will hurt his career because his other books are of a different genre. Also, from what I've learned of the plot, it sounds like a one-off: Bond's final mission, so I doubt Faulks will be pigeon-holed as Gardner and Benson were.

As to why Faulks was chosen, the process may not have been so esoteric. Benson was chosen because Fleming's estate liked his JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION reference book. He had no prior experience writing fiction.

Jenny Davidson

Sarah, you've got to read ENGLEBY, work of total genius in my opinion! It's really good...

I can imagine Faulks being drawn to pastiche, in any case, and it's true that the original Bond books (the best ones, that is) are extremely stylish, they're done with real lightness of touch. Should be a good fit, and more enjoyable work than some--I don't know, I understand Kevin's reasons for NOT taking on a job like that (and given limited writing time, of COURSE I see the point), but there are times when it's really liberating to take in a more sideways kind of assignment, for certain writers it frees up the imagination and sense of play in a way one's own project might not. You know--the way it always seems more appealing to do someone else's job rather than one's own!

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