All Time High

Since the #MeToo Movement emerged in Hollywood (and beyond) the knives have been out for Ian Fleming’s secret agent. It is no surprise, on reflection: if you wanted a genre that had male dominance stamped all over it, here it is. Despite various attempts to shift emphasis (and a distinct move away completely from women as objects that began with the Casino Royale reboot in 2006) Mr Craig’s shower entrance in Skyfall gets an entirely understandable mention in that montage. What might once have been considered sexually charged gains a different hue when consent isn’t obvious, or indeed bothered with.

The people who make Bond quite obviously know they have a problem. A look at the @007 Twitter feed or the Official Website make this all too apparent: nothing controversial, a real emphasis away from the sexual and overly misogynist aspects of the movies, with shift towards what could be considered a more family-friendly outlook. To that end, I can now buy a Funko 007. There’s a 10p Coin of the Realm in a Bond stylee. At the weekend, a friend quite gleefully linked me a tweet which would appear to suggest the iconic DB5 is soon making a debut in brick format.

Those of you concerned that Danny Boyle’s gonna stuff up Bond 25 should bear in mind that there’s a lot at stake here besides the transfer of 007’s License to Kill. The world does need heroes, of that there is no doubt, but it is clearly time to ensure that diversity and respect get a fairer hearing than was previously the case. If the push into less controversial territory in terms of merchandising (and a new installation in the Alps in a location where SPECTRE was filmed that ignores all those scantily clad ladies completely) it’s a fair shout that you’ll be fixating on plot far more than has normally been the case.

The tabloids are full of casting rumours, we know when it starts shooting. Bond 25 has a lot to live up to, quite apart from public expectation. The groundwork already being done already suggests the direction that we’re heading may be distinctly different to those trodden before. Time will tell.

PS: I’ve written my own take on the current 007 and how there could be the means to introduce a female into the iconic slot on the MI6 roster. It seems like a good idea to shove some self-promotion in here…


Almost Home

I can see light at the end of the Bond tunnel.

Last night I finally filled in the holes of plot that had been avoiding me for a couple of weeks, by effectively trashing a 10 thousand word section. ‘Kill your darlings’ is the thing I’ve always struggled with when writing, assuming that because a plot-line exists, I’m duty bound to maintain it at all costs. In this case however I was losing an important viewpoint, and that matters more than the action-based chapters that has preceded it. That means I’m back down to basics again, and can now spend the next couple of days putting meat on the bones. It allows me to go away next week with pretty much two thirds of the story done, and with only two major sections left to write in the final two chapters? My guess of an early June serialisation start’s not far off the reality. I do love it when a plan comes together.


After that, plans are afoot to start several new projects. The Big Grown Up Novel of Awesome is already 75% done, then the continuation/conclusion of The Sayers and after that? Lots of possibilities. Many, many things on the hard drive I feel confident enough now to pull out and play with. That’s the biggest stumbling block removed for my progression, an ability to feel confident enough with what I have to share it with the world.

That means that things get really interesting round about my 50th birthday. They say you’re never too old to start something new, right?

Death in Venice

For the last week, I’ve been trying to write a section of fiction that has been steadfastly eluding me. In fact, I’ve had nightmares, and moments of pure unadulterated rage because the description just wouldn’t come. Finally, blissfully, IT IS DONE. The thing’s not complete, far from it, but the basic foundations are now in place. It might end up being finally decorated and finished, but this is the plan and the direction, and I never want to go to Venice ever. I don’t care how beautiful and romantic this city might be, NO. JUST NO.



Next up? Northern Italy, which actually is likely to be FAR less stressful, as most of it is actually written and only needs to be strung together… except there’s some porn to write with a rather interesting twist.

Excuse me while I go and lie somewhere dark for a while.



This morning, a tweet sent me down a rabbit hole.

I took one look at this and freaked, because not only is it a) funny  and b) probably more accurate than I’d care to admit? It made me think of Q, stuck underground in his Spectre brick lair. Then I had a moment: where is my current fiction actually set?


I know what it looks like, but where IS IT?

This sent me on a task: I know where Duet takes place, have a fairly strong mental picture of the Barracks I set up for that, I just never really planned it out. I used what I knew and was shown in Skyfall and understand that the prisoner containment system was moved outside London after Silva showed how easy it was to bypass (which is addressed quite early on in my proceedings.) The rest? Well it’s actually fairly nebulous and I’d like to use that ‘set’ quite a bit in Default. Except now it isn’t. I have a plan.

This is going to get planned TO DEATH, people, because I suddenly need to know where the vending machine is, which is Ronni’s favourite space in the sleeping quarters.

Don’t ever give me ideas. I can be REALLY dangerous. :D