Thread: Book Me, Dano.
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Old 2016-07-01, 02:56 PM   #89
inflatable dalek
Duke of Kidderminster
 
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Kidderminster UK
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Finished The Man With the Golden Typewriter: The Ian Fleming James Bond Letters.

Really a must read for anyone with the mechanics of writing whether they like Bond or not. The constant fighting with agents and publishers (he basically has to try and twist their arms into big print runs even after Bond is a success) are a great curtain lifting insight into the process, with Fleming being a natural wit stopping it being dull and dry.

The interaction with fan mail and the extent to which it is just a slower twitter is good fun as well. Having to tell people that no, he didn't steal the title of Live and Let Die from their husband; politely dealing with lengthy lists of factual errors (my favourite is him sending a free copy of the Spy Who Loved Me to one such person as a thanks for their insight, only to get a reply pointing out all the factual errors in that); suggestions that Diamonds Are Forever should have more bondage (ho ho) and even a death threat. I especially like the Scottish minister who considers reading to be sinful and books evil, but who is still upset that his local library has banned From Russia With Love.

And at its heart is a man who never quite believes he's good enough and covers it up with a lot of bluster but probably died thinking all he'd done was make a modest amount of money and nothing else of worth.

And the fact his spelling (he gets the name of his own son wrong. Repeatedly) and grammar are awful gives me great hope as a writer. There's a lot of "Maybe you shouldn't start every sentence with "And" Ian" letters from frustrated editors in there.
 
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