BRITISH author William Boyd is to follow in the footsteps of Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver by writing a James Bond novel, the Ian Fleming estate has announced.
The writer of Any Human Heart and Restless called it a ''once-in-a-lifetime challenge''.
''When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel, I accepted at once,'' he said. ''For me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating.''
Boyd plans to set the novel in 1969 and says it will be a return to ''classic Bond''. ''My father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then,'' he said.
The yet-to-be-titled novel will be published next year, 60 years after the publication of the first Bond novel, Casino Royale.
The new novel will be published by Jonathan Cape, Fleming's original publisher. Cape's Dan Franklin said: ''It is fantastic that Bond is returning to Cape, his birthplace, and even more so that he will do so in the hands of William Boyd. I can't think of anyone better qualified.''
The officially sanctioned resurrection of 007 at the hands of different writers began in 2008 when Faulks' Devil May Care was published to mixed reviews to mark Fleming's centenary. Next up was American thriller writer Deaver, whose Carte Blanche in 2011 brought Bond into the present.
Boyd said there was a coincidence involving Bond actors. ''It turns out I've worked with three of the actors who have played James Bond over the years. They've all starred in films that I've written: Sean Connery in A Good Man in Africa, Pierce Brosnan in Mr Johnson, and Daniel Craig in The Trench.
''The idea that these somewhat random connections with Fleming and Bond should culminate in my writing a new James Bond novel is irresistibly appealing.''