During the late ’80s and early ’90s, in the throes of a fanatical preteen James Bond obsession, I started reading Bond novels when I got tired of watching the movies over and over. I dutifully made my way through a few of the Ian Fleming originals — but what I was really into were the flashier and trashier contemporary Bond spinoffs by English spy writer John Gardner. Looking over the list of the Gardner Bonds on Wikipedia, I fondly recall tearing through For Special Services; Nobody Lives Forever; No Deals, Mr. Bond; Scorpius; Win, Lose or Die; and a few others — I just wish I could remember the one where Bond makes love to a woman with one breast (who maybe later turns out to be a Blofeld’s daughter, or something else along those villainous lines).
Given all that, the news this week that another English novelist, Sebastian Faulks, has been recruited to write a new Bond novel for early next year was rousing enough to get me to pick up a phone and make some old-fashioned telephone calls. Before I knew it, I had Sebastian Faulks himself on the other line, game for a few questions about James Bond. Faulks, who lives in London, is the highly-successful author of On Green Dolphin Street and Charlotte Gray (the basis of a 2002 Cate Blanchett movie), and his Bond novel, Devil May Care, comes out on May 28, 2008 — Fleming’s 100th birthday. After the jump, the interview!