- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: DK ADULT;
Revised edition (September 25, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN: 0756623049
- Product Dimensions: 12.3
x 10.3 x 0.6 inches
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR WRITING CAREER PRIOR
TO WRITING THE SECRET WORLD OF 007?
Before I joined DK, and wrote The Secret World of 007, I wrote
articles on film, rock music and literature for magazines, including
The Movie and The History of Rock. I also edited and wrote a magazine
series for Marshall Cavendish designed to introduce children to
classical music called Music Box which combined fact, drama, and
fiction called Music Box. A fairly eclectic mix. I also worked
as a singer/songwriter, and very occasionally, actor.
SECRET WORLD OF 007 WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 2000 COVERING THE
FILMS UP TO AND INCLUDING 'THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH'. HOW DID YOU
BECOME INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT?
When I heard that DK had the licence from Eon productions, I quite
simply put my hand up! Also I had lots of ideas about how to approach
the subject of Bond movies and DK said well, you write it then!
When Eon said they wanted a book that didn't show Bond much at all, I
realized that a semi fictional approach to Bond, starting with a
Foreword "by M" was the way to go. Not everybody who has
picked up the book has realized that!
I wanted to do a book for people who loved the character of Bond and
his adventures, a book for real Bond fans, not movie buffs or critics.
I was lucky enough to have a great designer, Gary Hyde, on board who
also had some great visual ideas.
WHEN WRITING THE BOOK, HOW DID YOU WORK WITH ILLUSTRATOR ROGER STEWART
AND CONSULTANT EDITOR DAVE WORRALL? DID YOU CONTRIBUTE IDEAS TO THE
PICTORIAL CONTENT OF THE BOOK OR WAS THAT DECIDED BY ROGER AND DAVE?
Gary and myself selected the pictorial content and briefed Roger
Stewart, but he added his own ideas too. He was amazing at figuring
out the inner workings of machinery. I'm hopeless at all that!
Dave Worrall was very helpful throughout the project, particularly so
on the Aston Martin DB5 feature as I recall. Also we had a great
photographer to take original pictures of vehicles and equipment
called Jerry Young.
Eon Productions were incredibly co-operative throughout, giving us
amazing access to their archives and their prop warehouses. I also had
superb assistance from Ken
Wallis, the inventor of Little Nellie,
who personally went over those pages with me. Meeting him and seeing
his collection of autogyros was perhaps the high point of the whole
project for me.
WERE YOU HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO UPDATE THE BOOK IN 2006 IN ORDER TO
INCLUDE 'DIE ANOTHER DAY' AND 'CASINO ROYALE'?
Very happy indeed, although I would have preferred to have had more
information on 'Casino Royale'. Unfortunately further details were
under wraps at the time. Hopefully I'll get the chance to revisit the
book some day and add in some more Secret stuff on 'Casino Royale'.
I HAVE READ BOTH EDITIONS OF THE BOOK AND THINK THAT THE ARTWORK IS
SUPERB AND MINUTELY DETAILED. BECAUSE OF THIS I THINK THAT THE BOOK
APPEALS TO BOND FANS BOTH YOUNG AND OLD. DID YOU WRITE THE BOOK
PURELY AS A CHILDREN'S BOOK OR DID YOU INTEND IT TO APPEAL TO A WIDER
Definitely the widest possible audience -- children and adults.
WERE THERE ANY ARTWORK AND/OR CHAPTERS TO EITHER EDITION OF THE BOOK
THAT WERE NOT INCLUDED?
I don't think so. It all ended up in there. There was never a chapter
on 'Never Say Never Again', as Eon Productions did not have the rights
to this movie, and it is not regarded as an 'official' Bond film.
WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE SECRET FOR KEEPING THE JAMES BOND FILMS
SUCCESSFUL FOR THE LAST 44 YEARS?
I think that whenever the world of Bond has started to get a bit
stale, the producers have managed to breathe new life into the
character and the kinds of missions he undertakes. The movies seem to
capture the time in which they were made -- fashions, social
attitudes, even world politics --which gives them great nostalgia
value a few years on. The injection of humour in the series (which
really kicked in with 'Goldfinger') has also helped the series retain
freshness. And the character of the lone wolf hero is utterly
timeless. And then of course, there are the exotic locations, the
unforgettable chases....... and the Bond girls!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE JAMES BOND FILM, AND IF SO WHY?
That's tough! The first Bond film I actually saw in the cinema
was 'Goldfinger', so I'll plump for that one.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE JAMES BOND GIRL, AND IF SO WHO?
Yes I do: Carole Bouquet, who played the crossbow-toting Melina
Havelock in 'For Your Eyes Only'. I saw her recently in a French film
called 'Red Lights' and she looked just as beautiful-- and acted just
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE JAMES BOND GADGET, AND IF SO WHAT IS IT?
The X-Ray glasses from 'The World Is Not Enough'! More seriously, the
DB5's Ejector Seat. I've often wished I had one of those!
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE WRITING PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE THAT YOU CAN
TELL US ABOUT?
Well I'm just completing a visual guide to the Spider-Man movies.
Unfortunately [or perhaps fortunately, some might say] I spend
most of my time editing books written by others (many various DC and
Marvel Superhero guides, the DC Encyclopedia, the Marvel Encyclopedia,
'Bond on Set: Casino Royale') these days, rather than writing myself.
Maybe this situation will change one day! While waiting for the offers
to roll in, I write and perform my own songs. You can check some out
on my Myspace
site, if you like!
thanks to Alastair for agreeing to this interview.
for Christopher Johnson's review of 'James Bond: The Secret World of
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