Author of new James Bond novel chosen by estate


(CBS News)Swagger, style and intrigue are words synonymous with James Bond. "007" creator Ian Fleming intended the agent to be what he called "an uninteresting man to whom things happened."

However, when his first novel, "Casino Royale," debuted in 1953, readers quickly embraced the debonair spy as a symbol of post-war Britain.

James Bond through the years

Beautiful women, fast cars and fantasy became the cornerstones of the Bond success. Fleming went on to write a total of 14 Bond books and in 1962, the character made his on-screen debut in "Dr. No."

Sean Connery was the first of six actors to play bond in what's become the longest running movie franchise in history. It's also one of the most profitable, worth more than $6 billion.

This year, James Bond turned 60. There have been 24 Bond books translated into over 40 languages since Ian Fleming's death in 1964.

The latest 007 novel, "Solo," was written by William Boyd, who was hand-picked by Fleming's estate. The book is set in Africa and features a more mature main character than audiences are used to.

Boyd told the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts that he was surprised to get the job.

"You can't audition for this job. You can't volunteer for it. I think I've written two spy novels myself, recently. One set in World War II, one said in World War I. So I sort of was in the genre, squarely," he said.

A review of "Solo" in the New York Times suggests that Boyd was able to capture the infamous character. They write that "Boyd proves that there are plenty of pages left in 007's passport and many miles still to fly in first class, a willing stewardess and a martini within reach. I doubt his creator could have done it better."

Boyd said that he thought one of the major lines on his resume was that he knew a lot about Ian Fleming himself. Boyd had written about Fleming and used him as a character in one of his novels.

Boyd said that once he got the job, he completely immersed himself in Fleming's Bond world reading each book in chronological order.

"He's not a blunt instrument, Bond, he is a man of feeling." said Boyd. "Fleming gives him a lot of interior thought and sensations and I was looking for those, acquiring them for my book. And I found out all sorts of strange and unusual facts about him that I had forgotten or never known."

He told the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts that audiences often mix up the sleek character they see in the movies and density of the James Bond character that is in the novels. For example, he weeps a lot in the novels

Inside the archives of James Bond

"He's a complex, troubled man with a dark side, with a bit of melancholy," he said. "He's a far more interesting character than the cartoon character we might think," he said.

For William Boyd's full interview and to learn more facts about James Bond, watch the video in the player above.