At some point, Poison Panic will be available on Amazon. How very exciting. Because I had a couple of minutes in which my brain demanded something to do and because it had no better idea, I searched for my name on Amazon. I wasn’t surprised that it queried if I’d spelled “Barrell” correctly, suggesting I was looking for a Helen of Troy barrel hot brush – but I was surprised that it returned a result for Lament for a Trapped Spy. It’s a novella I wrote as a teen and self-published like a fanzine, some stapled-together photocopied pages. I sent it through the post for a couple of quid, and about 50 were ever produced; it’s been out of print for years. How on earth did it get on Amazon?
I am a Bond fan. I have read all the Ian Fleming novels, and the short stories, and Kingsley Amis’ study The James Bond Dossier. When I was 19 I wrote a novella called Lament For a Trapped Spy, about a 1960s Bond fan. I am hugely fascinated by the Cold War and by figures like Kim Philby. My favourite era are the 1960s Bond films – even On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – and the Daniel Craig films. I’ve never been that fond of Roger Moore, and whilst Timothy Dalton was my favourite Bond when I was 13 (because I fancied him as Mr Rochester) I grew out him. Sorry, Tim. And Pierce Brosnan was a bit too much like an estate agent for my liking. I know James Bond is not politically correct. I am a good feminist and I shouldn’t like the films and books, but I appreciate them for what they are, and it’s possible to enjoy them as period pieces, even if that can set up problems for the contemporary films.
When the publicity began for Spectre, I was very excited. Daniel Craig as Bond again! The brutal, cold-eyed assassin! Oh yes! If anyone could convincingly operate a blow-torch using his teeth (as Fleming has Bond do in Moonraker – really) then it would be Craig.