Jeffrey Deaver Talks Bond. James Bond.
James Bond returned to the literary world not too long ago in the form of Jeffrey Deaver's 007 novel, Carte Blanche. In this interview with Seattle PI, the author explains some of the updates he's made in the character from the late Ian Fleming's interpretation.
How did you decide how much and in what what ways to change and update Bond? Why make him a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, for example, and not Iraq? Why make him an ex-smoker?
I did not change many facts, vis a vis the original Bond, though in updating him I had to make sure he was very appealing and current. Smoking was out not because it's politically incorrect, but because it's a bad habit for a spy nowadays, given the use of forensic evidence in espionage work.
Why did you decide to update/change his attitudes toward women, especially toward coworkers? The Bond of old surely would not have hesitated in sleeping with coworker as he did in this book.
Actually, Bond in the original books (my source material; not the movies) was always looking for someone to settle down with. He was married once and lived with two women for extended periods of time, though none of those worked out. He was much less a flirt than people give him credit for (again, that was more the movies). The women in Fleming's original books were quite empowered, though they were often presented through a male-dominated filter. Look at the TV show Mad Men and you'll see reflections of this attitude.
Did you have to run this book by the Ian Fleming estate or others involved in prior Bond books or movies to get their approval? Did they request or demand any changes?
The Fleming estate had approval rights over the book, which was fine with me. I submitted an outline early in the process, which they approved with some very good suggestions. I then went ahead and finished the book and submitted it to them. They again made a few good edits and then it went to my publishers, including a very good British copyeditor, who made sure my language and approach to Britishisms were "spot on."
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