Wednesday 12 October 2016

Happy Birthday James Bond, The secret agent

This very blog has just turned one year a few days back.
The blog was born on Friday October 9, 2015 with this little blog post. The title of the blog THE SECRET AGENT comes from the first chapter of the first book with the same title. 

Since that day, thanks to the support of most of you, the blog has been getting bigger and better each month and has now reached an amazing 78 000 page views during the first year with a current monthly average of  7 168 viewers a month.

The blogs focus has not only been on news but also on old books and material. Also on the development of making my own James Bond literature collection grow. I believe I have bought over one hundred books since this blog adventure started but not had the time to write about them all yet.

Even if this blog focus on the books (both film and novels) about James Bond I sometimes step outside that formula and write about something else. And the funny thing is that when I did just that, it became the most read blog post of the entire year. The post I am talking about is this one about Blanche Ravalec

In the early start of the first year I got into trouble with one of the authors of massive James Bond book about the films called Some Kind of Hero after writing this blog post but I was later honest about it in this post trying to show you the treats I received.

I have received some criticism for some of the posts most of them being "like I did not already know this". That will continue to happen because we all know different stuff and one of my main goals with this blog is to get none hardcore Bond fans to get curious into the books and feel the need to read especially if you are a teenager and not reading books at all.
But I have received a lot of support as well and I am really thankful for it. Some say that I am personal in the way that I write and that I write it as I see it and that is 100% true. I am a bad liar and have great faith in the truth. If I write that I enjoy something it is because I do. Not because it was sent to me for free. 

One of the true enjoyments when writing this blog is that I have connected to other collectors of Bond novelty. We are not many but a few who collect most of the books. I have learned a lot from others during this year and I am truly grateful for it. Bond knowledge is so fun to share.

So as I see it my task is to make you guys and girls want to read the books. And if you have not done this yet I hope to soon be able to persuade you into doing so and to start with Casino Royale.

I have many ideas for writing upcoming posts. Actually so many so that only half of them gets done. We need to contact the winners of the Trigger Mortis paperback, I need to publish my interview with George Lazenby, we need to read more about the James Bond comics coming up and and we have a new Bond novel from Anthony Horowitz and much much more to come.

The dream for my blog during the upcoming year is to make publishers more interested in working together with the blog when wanting to promote new books that we all will be interested in and start answering my emails instead of ignoring them. 

Hope you are visiting the blog soon again. I am hoping to deliver at least two posts a week. 

Ps. Please remember that English is not my native tongue. I live in Sweden and therefore the will be type errors and poor sentences within my text. Bare with me on this. Also. I have not yet earned a single $ or £ on this blog so please do not believe this is the purpose for the blog. As of today I feel it is more hassle then benefit of having third party advertising on the blog.

Here is to another great book year for James Bond, The Secret Agent.

Stephan Bäckman

Thursday 6 October 2016

World Exclusive: New James Bond drawing by artist Ibrahim Moustafa

A few months back I showed this amazing drawing of James Bond by American artist Ibrahim Mustafa.

Ibrahim specialises in drawing cover paintings for comics and have just finished JAEGER and when I noticed that he was a huge Bond fan and also have read the books I wanted to ask him if he was willing to draw a one month temporary new header for the THE SECRET AGENT blog. And boy was I happy when he said yes.

You can see his drawing below or in the top spot of this blog for the next thirty days. And while you are watching this beauty make sure to notice that James Bond is holding his Beretta  in this image (as Bond uses in the early books).

Ibrahim has also been painting exceptional drawings for each James Bond film that has been released. They are amazing but the best part for me is actually not what he has painted but how he came up with the idea and composition. Just looking at them makes me realise that I would never come up with these ideas and I guess that is were the real talent lies except the drawings. To be able to come up with ideas as cleaver as the once below.

Enjoy the below paintings and If you like them be sure to comment below. Ibrahim has six more to draw so make sure to check out his site and follow him on Twitter

I am sure that the day will come when we see Ibrahim's name on an official James Bond comic book or novel. You read it her first.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

October 5, global James Bond amateur day!

Since 2012, October 5th has been global James Bond day.

The reason for this date to be chosen is that on October 5 1962 the first James Bond film Dr. No premiered in cinemas in the UK.

And the reason this was announced in 2012 is of course that the film series turned 50 years old that year. James Bond in book form was released much earlier, in 1953 to be exact.

But if you read this chances are high that you are a James Bond nut just like me. May I therefore suggest that you do what I will do.

I got the idea from Italian-American singer Dean Martin who had a reputation of being a heavy drinker. He said that he did not drink alcohol on New years eve because that was amateur night. He drank all the other days during the year.

I have always enjoyed that joke. He knew what people thought of him and he used it.

Therefore, in my world, today is global James Bond amateur day. Today James Bond is celebrated by the common James Bond fan. The fan who has never even read a Ian Fleming book. Rest of the year I intend to enjoy the greatest spy out there.

Happy global James Bond amateur day. Bond fans!

Below is the Ian Fleming, Dr No, Film release tie in version printed in 1963.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

New Ian Fleming material to be published at Jonathan Cape

Today it was announced that a new James Bond novel will be released during 2018 and for the second time it will be penned by Anthony Horowitz.

The scoop was presented by The bookseller today over at their twitter account even if I gladly confess that I got the news from the always quick The Book Bond .

The publisher will once again be Jonathan Cape. The original publisher chosen by Ian Fleming for the release of his first book Casino Royale in 1953.
As a collector I am already starting to dream about the upcoming first edition being the same size as all Fleming first editions with a cover design that resembles the old Richard Chopping artworks. "Hope springs eternal".

According to Wikipedia  The James Bond books by Ian Fleming where Jonathan Cape's biggest sellers of all time. Jonathan Cape was bought by Random House UK in 1987. That same year the Bond books moves over to be published by Hodder &Stoughton.

The latest James Bond book to be released by Jonathan Cape was William Boyd's Solo in 2013 so it was not that long ago they did release a Bond book.

Richard Cable at Vintage (who seems to own Jonathan Cape today) said the following in a statement:

"We are delighted to welcome Anthony Horowitz and a new James Bond novel to Jonathan Cape, Ian Fleming’s publisher. Anthony’s first Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, was a great critical and commercial success, and we know that there are thousands of Bond fans who will be thrilled that Anthony has taken on the challenge once again."
As a sales manager I cant stop wondering what made Ian Fleming Publications chose different publishers so often lately. It must be just like the movie business that in the end you go with the one that pays the most upfront or are willing to spend a lot on marketing upon release.

So we will have to wait until spring 2018 before the next book The most reasent James Bond books have been released in September but just like Fleming's books this one will be released in the spring.

Once again it has been revelled that the upcoming novel will be a period Bond set in either the 50's or 60's and if that is not enough the book will also include material from another Ian Fleming story. I guess that just like Trigger Mortis this one will include material from the TV-series that Ian Fleming was hoping to sell and wrote short stories for. Here I hope for yet another Waterstones special edition with they actual Fleming script.

After reading Trigger Mortis I could not hope more for Horowitz to return for a new book and I was a bit surprised that this news was not released on August 12 (the day Fleming died in 1964) because everybody seemed to love his continuation novel so much that Ian Fleming Publications just couldn't let Horowitz off the hook. But I guess the negotiations was not ready or Horowitz had other obligations on his other books. His newest book Magpie Murders was released yesterday (October 3) so as soon as that was done they decided to spread the news I guess making sure that no bloggers beat them to it. 

A funny thing is that tomorrow is Global James Bond day. And they did not wait 24 hours to release the news tomorrow so maybe, just maybe, there will be some other James Bond news released tomorrow? Maybe from the other party over at Eon Productions.

Anthony Horowitz had the following statement to make about his return to 007:
"Writing Trigger Mortis was a pleasure and I was delighted by the positive response when it was published. And I was thrilled when the Ian Fleming estate asked me to come back. How could I refuse? I can't wait to return to the world of James Bond."

I believe I speak for many of us literary Bond fans when I say that
 we are delighted to see Anthony back onboard for a new James Bond novel. This time we know that the offer is placed in good hands and all we can do is wait. No pressure ;0) 


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