Faulks writes new Bond novel

Book to be released in May

LONDON — Brit novelist Sebastian Faulks has been commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications to pen “Devil May Care,” a James Bond book to mark the centenary of Fleming’s birth next year.

The new book has the blessing of 007 pic producer Barbara Broccoli, who’s had a sneak peek. A rep for Eon Prods. told Daily Variety that an impressed Broccoli believes the book, which is set in 1968, could well pass for a Fleming manuscript discovered in the attic by a relative.

The Fleming estate disclosed last year that it had commissioned “a well- known and highly respected” author to pen a fresh Bond book but few watchers suspected that Faulks, whose work includes “Birdsong” and “Charlotte Gray,” would get the nod. John le Carre and Frederick Forsyth were considered the most likely candidates.

Although careful to reveal few details, Faulks said, “He is slightly more vulnerable than any previous Bond, but at the same time, he is both gallant and highly sexed, if you can be both. Although he is a great seducer, he really does appreciate the girls he seduces and he doesn’t actually use them badly.”

Faulks wrote “Devil May Care” in six weeks and joked that his writing habits differed considerably from Fleming’s cavalier approach: “In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write a thousand words in the morning, then go snorkeling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another thousand words in late afternoon, then more martinis and glamorous women. In my house in London, I followed this routine exactly, apart from the cocktails, the lunch and the snorkeling.”

Faulks’ book will be published May 28 to coincide with what would have been Fleming’s 100th birthday.

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