A LOCAL author has written a new book on the wartime experiences of original James Bond creator Ian Fleming – and the inspiration this provided for the fictional 007 spy character.
The author of the new book, Mark Simmons, is a writer of fiction and non-fiction books on espionage, so it is natural that he should have an interest not only in the famous fictional spy but also in the background of his creator, Ian Fleming.
In ‘Ian Fleming’s War: The Inspiration for James Bond 007’, he seeks to identify some of the wartime experiences which inspired Fleming’s plot lines.
It was in 1953 that Fleming’s literary sensation James Bond first emerged onto the world’s stage and even before becoming a multi-billion-dollar film franchise and being played by actors as diverse as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, the character appeared in 14 Bond novels published between 1953 and 1966.
Yet despite Bond’s popularity, Mark argues that as originally portrayed in the books, 007 was a maverick, a man out of place.
He says that, at times, Bond even admits this, wishing that he was back in the real war – in other words the Second World War.
Mark says the thread of the Second World War runs through all the Bond books, and many of Bond’s adventures were inspired by the real events and people that Ian Fleming came across during his time in Naval Intelligence.
For example, Thunderball has a clear link to Operation Ruthless, Fleming’s scheme to capture a German naval code book desperately wanted by the boffins at Bletchley Park.
Similarly, the exploits of 30 Assault Unit, the commando team Fleming helped to create, provided the inspiration for Moonraker, and both of these examples and many more are explored in Mark’s book.
Mark himself is well qualified to write on these subjects as he comes from a family with a long tradition of service in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
He himself served in 3 Commando Brigade and with 40 Commando, during which time he was involved in the 1974 Cyprus emergency.
Later, when with the Commando Logistics Regiment, he took part in the Belize emergency of 1977 and served on detached duties with 42 Commando, the Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre, and 36 MAU of theUS Marines.
He has written a previous book on the 007 author in Ian Fleming and Operation Golden Eye, and has authored 11 other books on espionage topics – including Agent Cicero: Hitler’s Most Successful Spy, and Keeping Spain out of World War II – plus he has written more than 200 feature articles mainly on naval and military, motoring and travel subjects for publications both in the UK and USA.
Indeed, there is a display of some of Mark’s writings at Jack Ryder Books in Pike Street, Liskeard, and readers will also have the opportunity to meet Mark at the Callington Book Fair on Saturday, July 17.
The Cornish Times is running a competition in this week’s edition where one lucky reader can win a signed copy of the book - look out for the Cornish Times in the shops to enter the competition!