1. What is your favorite Chopping cover and why?
From Russia With Love. I think the combination of the revolver and the rose is timeless, and it is the origin of the Chopping-Bond style. In addition, it is my favourite novel so I’m inclined to be biased.
2. Do you own any 1st editions?
No 1st edition/1st impressions. I have later impressions of The Spy Who Loved Me and The Man With The Golden Gun. I also have Octopussy and The Living Daylights and You Only Live Twice, but minus their dustjackets. I also have the first editions of John Gardner’s Licence Renewed and For Special Services.
3. What is on your literary 007 wishlist?
I would particularly like to get hold of the first Pan editions of Casino Royale and Moonraker. Collecting the early UK paperbacks tends to be my thing, as collecting the first editions is too expensive for me. Having said that, all of the 1st editions are certainly on my wishlist!
4. When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favorite?
The first Bond novel I read was the Raymond Benson novelisation of Tomorrow Never Dies, followed by his Zero Minus Ten. The first Fleming novel I read was The Man With The Golden Gun.
My favourite is From Russia With Love. I love the plot and the characters especially. I love the Cold War intrigue and the settings as well. FRWL is also my favourite Bond film, and initially my love of the book stemmed from my love of the film. But having re-read many of the Bond books recently it remains my favourite.
5. Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors?
All of Sam Peffer’s Pan paperback artworks are fantastic! Those Pan covers with his paintings are undoubtedly my favourite Bond paperback covers. I also enjoy the Raymond Hawkey series, as they are very stylish and it is also the earliest series in which one can have a complete set of 14 Fleming books.
I also enjoy some of the early John Gardner hardbacks done in Chopping-style. especially Icebreaker and Role of Honour.
6. How did you come up with the idea behind your own dust jacket for Shadows of Death*?
‘Shadows of Death‘ is a short story collection along the lines of ‘For Your Eyes Only’. When designing the jacket I obviously wanted to pay tribute to the Richard Chopping artwork. I used a chess board as the primary motif because one of the stories features a chess game between Bond and the villain, and I also wanted to include a signature image from the Fleming jackets and included the skeletal hand from the ‘Thunderball‘ jacket, which also tied in nicely with the title and death’s hand casts a shadow of the board.
Matt is an up-and-coming filmmaker from Cape Town, South Africa. His production company TH Films has produced several award-winning short films and are hoping to break into the feature film market in the near future.
Matt has been a Bond fan ever since renting a VHS tape of Moonraker at the age of 10. Since then he has watched and rewatched every Bond film many times and devoured all the Ian Fleming novels as well as many of the continuation novels. Matt’s website ‘Golrush 007 Fan Art’ contains a wealth of fan art and fan fiction produced over the last ten years.
*Shadows of Death, is Matt’s collection of Bond fan fiction short stories. This anthology collects all of the short James Bond fan-fiction that he has written. It includes Sidewinder, Wienerblut, A Chance to Die, Another Day’s Work and The Queen’s Pawn.
Download a collection of Matt’s James Bond fan fiction here
Follow Matt on Twitter