This week we see the return of the Field Report with the talented artist Richard O’Neill.
What is your favourite Richard Chopping cover and do you own any 1st editions?
Probably From Russia With Love, though I also like Octopussy and The Living Daylights and The Man with the Golden Gun.
Unfortunately not – they’re a bit out of my price range. Unless you count my recent purchase of Forever and a Day!
What is on your literary 007 wishlist?
Basically any unpublished Fleming material. There was a limited edition book collecting some of his journalism (Talk of the Devil) about 10 years ago that I’d love to have. Also, my understanding is that there are now three unseen plots for the cancelled 1950s TV series (two having been used for Trigger Mortis and Forever and a Day) – again I’d love to see those in print.
When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favourite?
I can’t remember exactly but I think it was probably later than most – in my early twenties. I’d always enjoyed the films but somehow it took me a long time to get around to the books. Moonraker is probably one of my favourites, but I’m also fond of the short story format and always enjoy The Hildebrand Rarity.
Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors?
I like the 1960s Pan paperbacks. There were also some nice retro ones about ten years ago by Roseanne Serra and Richard Fahey. I have to be honest, much as I have enjoyed many of the continuation novels the covers haven’t really done it for me.
Tell us about your own Bond artwork
I make my living as an artist, though most of the time I’m drawing things at the behest of other people – so choosing a subject yourself is a bit of a treat! I’d been meaning to do a picture of the exterior of Goldeneye for a few years, but when I finally got around to it and did some research I decided it wasn’t really going to work in the way I’d hoped and that I could get far more Bond elements in by doing an interior view looking out.
I did quite a lot of research on what was on Fleming desk – deciding to set the picture in 1964 so I could have most of the books on show (though a bit tidier than Fleming seemed to have them!). I think I managed to locate the ashtray, lighter and cigarette case he was using at that time from some other photos and added a bottle of Floris and the Birds of the West Indies book. I also changed the view out of the window to make it a bit more picturesque. It’s still reasonably accurate to other room’s at the house though. The bird on the windowsill is a Jamaican kling kling – a last minute addition after watching an interview with Fleming at Goldeneye which the bird loudly interrupts!