William Boyd is the third author in recent years to be invited by the Ian Fleming estate to write an official Bond novel, to be published in autumn 2013.
‘When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I didn’t hesitate. I accepted at once – for me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating – a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.
In fact my father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then – From Russia with Love being my favourite.
I then became very intrigued by Ian Fleming the man and have written about him on numerous occasions. The fascination went so far that I placed him as a character in my novel Any Human Heart where he’s responsible for recruiting the novel’s protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, into the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II.
One other coincidence should be mentioned. It turns out that 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, Piers 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.’
Born in 1952 in Accra, capital of Ghana, Boyd grew up there and in Nigeria. He attended the universities of Nice (Diploma of French Studies) and Glasgow (M.A.Hons in English and Philosophy) and Jesus College, Oxford, where he studied for a D.Phil in English Literature. He also lectured in English Literature at St. Hilda's College, Oxford, from 1980-83, during which time he published his Whitbread Award winning first novel, A Good Man In Africa (1981).
In 1983, Boyd was selected by Granta magazine and the Book Marketing Council as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Novelists'. His eleven novels and three collections of short stories have since been translated into over thirty languages, and garnered many awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award, the Jonathan Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Prix Jean Monnet and the Costa Novel of the Year. As a screenwriter, he has written the scripts for some 16 feature films and television dramas, one of which (The Trench, 1999) he also directed. His hoax biography, Nat Tate: an American Artist 1928-1960, created something of a stir on both sides of the Atlantic when it was published in 1998.
William Boyd is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and has been presented with honorary Doctorates in Literature from the Universities of St Andrews, Stirling, Glasgow and Dundee. In 2005 he was awarded the CBE.
For further information about William Boyd, visit: www.williamboyd.co.uk