On the eve of the publication of Trigger Mortis, we are absolutely thrilled to gain a quick exclusive interview with the 6th James Bond continuation novelist – Anthony Horowitz!
How did you settle on the book’s title ‘Trigger Mortis‘?
The title is probably the hardest part of getting a Bond book right! (And I hope I have.) It seems to come so effortlessly to Ian Fleming but some films and continuation novels have perhaps tried too hard.
I wanted something strong and simple. I thought a play on words would be all right as Fleming wasn’t averse to puns himself (‘Slay it with Flowers’, ‘Crime de la Crime’).
In the British Library, I came across a short story by Fleming called Trigger Finger. That gave me the first word. The second just somehow slipped into place.
By setting your Bond in the same period as Fleming’s Bond, chronologically after Goldfinger, you expertly handled the perennial issues of political in-correctness that is often (at times unfairly) associated with Fleming’s James Bond. How challenging was it to strike this balance and maintain adult thrill of it all?
It seemed very important to me to place the new book inside the canon – and, moreover, when Bond was at his absolute best. I wanted to enjoy the character for all his idiosyncrasies and I had no real fear about political correctness. My Bond belongs very much to the fifties, not the judgmental years we find ourselves in now. That said, I have been careful not to be gratuitously offensive. Why put readers off?
By providing Bond with a very strong female sidekick and – for that matter – a gay colleague, I have been able to quietly test his attitudes.
Jason Sin is a marvellous villain, akin to Dr. No, Mr. Big and Blofeld in his propensity for cruelty, hypocrisy and accidie. What was your inspiration for creating this character?
Thank you for this kind comment. After the title, the bad guy is the most important thing to get right and, again I was very careful not to try too hard, not to create a character out of Austin Powers. No phobias, no third nipples!
Stumbling across the massacre at No Gun Ri was what brought him to life. He was born there. I think (hope) he works because he is real. I understand exactly where he has come from and what’s happening in his head. All the best James Bond villains were actually human in some way. I hope Sin is too.
Join bestselling writer Anthony Horowitz on the eve of publication of one of the most talked about books of the year. Anthony will be in conversation with BBC Radio 4’s Mishal Husain, reading from Trigger Mortis and talking about the challenge of following in the footsteps of the man he considers the master – Ian Fleming. Fans will have a chance to buy the book before anyone else and get it signed by the author himself.
To also mark the publication of one of the most anticipated books of the year, an interactive pop-up experience, inspired by Anthony Horowitz’s novel set in 1957, is being installed at Waterstones Piccadilly, London for one week only.
Monday 7th to Sunday 13th September 2015 at Waterstones Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London SW1Y 6WW