Boyd, William Boyd

One of the authors I heard yesterday at the London Book Fair was William Boyd. Boyd, a novelist and screenwriter, has penned seventeen books. He won the Whitbread First Novel Award for A Good Man in Africa in 1981. He was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his novel An Ice-Cream War in 1982. Restless won the Costa Book Award in 2006.

The crowd before the talk.

The crowd before the talk.

He arrives and looks chipper.

He arrives and looks chipper.

And now he has written the next James Bond novel, which will be published in September. He’s always been fascinated by Ian Fleming as an individual. In fact, he had Fleming as a character in one of his novels Any Human Heart. When he was asked to write a Bond novel he said yes instantly. To prepare for his project he re-read all of Fleming’s novels. And he has worked with three actors who have portrayed James Bond in film: Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.

William Boyd

William Boyd

Boyd is interested in the man who is depicted in literature. Yes, many people know Bond via the film, but that Bond is more one-dimensional. The literary Bond is incredibly rich and the author wants to explore the man more, not just the adventure. His novel is set in 1969. This was the year when William Boyd was in London for the first time. He grew up in Africa. He said that it was fun revisiting his younger self (he was seventeen at the time) and remembering all the fashion and music from the time period. In 1969, James Bond was forty-five. The Sixties, according to Boyd, were a modern time, but still different from today’s world. They had cool cars, people wanted to look cool, and they lived similar lives. Yet it was completely different since they didn’t have the technology that we have today: Internet, GPS, and mobiles. He believes that technology has ruined spy novels to a certain degree.

At the end of the talk William Boyd had big news. He announced that the title of his Bond novel is Solo. He wouldn’t say too much about the novel except to say that Bond will travel to three continents: Europe, Africa, and North America. Something happens in Africa that causes Bond to go solo and he ventures on a private mission. All of us will have to wait until September to find out more.

Please note that I will be at the fair all day today and tomorrow. I will will do my best to respond to comments and visit your blogs when I can. Have a wonderful two days!

The rush to get photos and to speak to Boyd after the event.

The rush to get photos and to speak to Boyd after the event.

I wonder if he is relieved that his interview is over?

I wonder if he is relieved that his interview is over?

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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22 Responses to Boyd, William Boyd

  1. Oh, you lucky duck!! It has only been in the last couple of years that I have started attending events where authors speak, and I truly find it thrilling. I wish I was there to attend with you :). You missed the most important detail though – how much money did you spend on books???? LOL

    • TBM says:

      Fortunately this fair is geared more towards bookstore owner. So if I bought books I would have to buy a hundred copies of the same book. That stops me in my tracks. I did download some free classics to my Kindle yesterday. Which means the only books I’ve purchased this year have been gifts. Do you count those?

      • Well, that’s good that it kept you from buying, but how frustrating to see all those books and only be able to buy in large quantities. So, you mean you couldn’t just buy one to get the author to sign, or did they not do book signings after they talked? And I would have to say that buying books for gifts does not count for your book ban – well, that is, as long as you didn’t read them before you gave them as gifts LOL!!

      • TBM says:

        There was a rumor that you could purchase copies of the books from the authors who were featured. I didn’t follow up on this rumor. Too tempting!

        I haven’t read the books that I bought for gifts and I’m not sure I plan on it. They are large and won’t be in my possession for much longer.

      • I am so proud of you for resisting!!! And just think, now you can get tons of books on your Kindle for free :).

      • TBM says:

        It’s addictive. I keep adding a bunch of classics. What can I say, I love classics

  2. bocafrau says:

    Sounds interesting. Wonder how the book will be received.

  3. Beth Ann says:

    Sounds so wonderful to hear this author speak!!! Enjoy!!!

  4. wonderful! thx for all the photos. i can imagine myself there through your descriptions. lookin’ forward to more 🙂

  5. Sounds ike you are having fun!

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Great to learn this plan he has!

  7. lazybill says:

    Thanks for that exciting news…I’ve read all the Bond novels and love the books plus (most of) the films alike. I enjoyed Sebastian Faulkes’s ‘Devil May Care’ which was another recent new Bond novel so I shall await this new one with interest.

    • TBM says:

      I didn’t know about the Faulkes one. Thanks and I hope you enjoy this one. Boyd seemed like a character himself so I imagine his writing is entertaining.

  8. The Guat says:

    I like the fact that the you mentioned the characters in the book have more depth, because I do agree with you the movie Bond’s are little one dimensional. Not that I’m complaining or anything. I love Pierce he was an awesome bond. But with Solo coming out in September I may check it out. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I have to admit that I haven’t read any of the Bond novels. I think one is on my 1001 list, maybe more. I need to read them. I’m a little weird, I like to read a series in order so I will have to wait to read Solo. But it does give me a gentle nudge to start them.

  9. Fergiemoto says:

    I’m especially intrigued by the new Bond novel, since I am a big James Bond fan.

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