Spy novel brief gives author a licence to thrill
Creative writing lecturer Kim Sherwood has accepted a mission to die for … reimagining one of spy fiction’s most celebrated characters.
The successful novelist, who is also a James Bond aficionado, has been approved to write new novels set in the high-octane world of 007.
A new generation of Double O agents has been authorised by the estate of Bond creator Ian Fleming, opening the door for a series of ‘fresh, contemporary, thrill-a-minute’ spy stories.
The author has been commissioned by publisher HarperCollins to write three thrillers. Although set in James Bond’s world, the original 007 is missing, presumed captured or even killed.
For Kim, who is based in the University’s School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, it is an exhilarating prospect: “Bond has been one of the enduring loves of my life since I first watched Pierce Brosnan dive from the dam in GoldenEye.”
As a teenager, Kim chose Fleming when an English teacher asked the class to write about an author they admired.
“Since then, I’ve dreamed of writing James Bond,” says Kim, who won the Bath Novel Award for her debut work Testament, and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times young writer of the year in 2019.
“I feel honoured to be the first novelist to expand the Bond universe, bringing new life to old favourites and fresh characters to the canon.”
Corinne Turner, the managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, said Kim was the perfect author to take on the series, which is set to launch in September.
“In Testament, Kim showed a rare gift for characterisation, time and place, drawing readers into a journey that unfolded in unexpected ways,” said Ms Turner. “We can’t wait to see what Kim creates.”
Previous authors to continue Fleming’s spy series, which ran to 14 original novels, include Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks and Anthony Horowitz, although their books all featured Bond himself.
Kim is eager to introduce readers to new characters: “Bond’s contemporaries are gone, and a raft of Double-0 agents for the 21st century have been recruited to battle emerging global threats.”
Portait of Kim Sherwood by Francesco Guidicini.