I was happy to discover that British author Sebastian Faulks had been tapped to write the next James Bond novel. At first.
He's the author of Charlotte Gray and On Green Dolphin Street, so it seemed like a good choice.
And then I read the following quote, which put me in rather a bad mood about the whole the whole enterprise:
"My commission was from the [Fleming] family, and they strongly believe in Ian Fleming’s value as a writer. And that’s one of the reasons they went to someone like me rather than a genre thriller [writer]."
--Sebastian Faulks, interviewed on Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog
TNI: What about the issue of comparing thrillers and commercial fiction with so-called literary fiction?
Child: It’s an issue that doesn’t come from our side. We’re happy to let those guys do whatever it is they want to do. The issue always comes from their side, because they’re jealous about our sales. They get all stirred up about it, and quite rightly. I probably have more books shoplifted out of every title than they sell in their entire lives. They start to feel troubled over it, and they want a bit of our action; so they go slumming and try to write a thriller. And it’s always an embarrassing failure. Whereas any one of us—I know this for a fact, having talked to my writer friends, and we are not idiots—have read all the great books in the world, and we could write a literary novel easily. Michael Connelly, anybody like that, could invent a different name, write a literary book. Him or me, it would probably take three weeks to write that kind of book. It would sell three thousand copies like theirs do, and it would probably be well-respected. We can do what they can do, but they can’t do what we do; and that’s where the friction comes from.
--Lee Child, interviewed by Robert Bidinotto for The New Individualist
My response to that is: Lee Shoots, He Scores!
So what say all of you?