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Posts Tagged ‘Sebastian Faulks’

Sales Jump After the Author Dies

UK-based publishing journalist Danuta Kean has a piece in the Financial Times today about literary estates, and how the posthumous works of an author end up being big business. Sebastian Faulks, for example, is expected to share royalties and be paid an advance by Penguin for the May 2008 James Bond novel DEVIL MAY CARE. There’s the posthumous cottage industry of V.C. Andrews and Robert Ludlum. But not all dead authors need produce new books. The owner of Agatha Christie‘s rights has kept her in the public eye without resorting to new books. Agatha Christie Ltd is part of the intellectual property group Chorion, which also represents the estates of Enid Blyton, Raymond Chandler and Georges Simenon.

“We have absolute control over what’s made,” says Mathew Prichard, ACL chairman and Christie’s grandson, of various television series starring venerated Christie characters. “The most important thing about television is that it keeps the books alive. We definitely see a rise in sales across her whole list when the series are screened.” Another layer of protection is by trademarking: For dead authors who are still in copyright, trademarking may help estates keep control after the term ends, says intellectual property lawyer Laurence Kaye. “If you intend to republish a book that has gone out of copyright, you would have to do it in a way that did not infringe any trademarks.”

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Faulks Confirmed as Author of Centenary Bond Novel

Score one for MI6, who correctly predicted that Sebastian Faulks, most recently the author of ENGELBY, is the newest author aboard the James Bondenterprise. DEVIL MAY CARE is scheduled to be published on May 28, 2008 – just in time for the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming‘s birth – by Penguin in the UK and Doubleday in the US. Doubleday president and publisher Steve Rubin bought US rights from Gillon Aitken with Deb Futter to edit.

“Three pages into DEVIL MAY CARE and you are immediately thrown back into the world of James Bond and all those wonderful characters we have come to love,” Rubin said in the announcement, reprinted on Doubleday Broadway’s official blog. “DEVIL MAY CARE is pure Fleming channeled by Faulks – a madcap adventure, a romantic romp and a book you can devour in one sitting. It all starts in Paris, and no one alive writes better about Paris than Sebastian Faulks.”

The book will be set in 1967, when, Faulks said yesterday, “Bond is damaged, ageing and in a sense it is the return of the gunfighter for one last heroic mission”. His own interpretation of the spy, he hinted, would show all the caddishness of Bond’s previous incarnations, tempered with just a shade of new-mannish sensitivity. He has been widowed and been through a lot of bad things … He is slightly more vulnerable than any previous Bond but at the same time he is both gallant and highly sexed, if you can be both. Although he is a great seducer, he really does appreciate the girls he seduces and he doesn’t actually use them badly.”

Could Sebastian Faulks Be Authoring the Centenary Bond Novel?

MI6 News, devoted to news and opinion on all things spy-related, has been covering rumors and related information about the Ian Fleming Trust’s plans to publish an original Bond novel in the spring of 2008 to coincide with the centenary of the author’s birth. They’ve already ruled out Stephen Fry, Frederick Forsyth, John Gardner, Lee Child, John le Carré, Charlie Higson and Ken Follett and now focus on a new possible candidate: Sebastian Faulks.

What leads MI6 to its new conclusion? Both Faulks and the centenary novel bulletins have the same PR contact; the author of ENGELBY (which will be out in the US this fall) published PISTACHE, a 2003 collection of short literary parodies including a hilarious piece where Ian Fleming takes James Bond shopping. He has also critiqued Bond films for the British press, including a rather negative take on 1999′s “The World Is Not Enough”. No confirmation, but Faulks would be an interesting choice if the rumor does turn out to be true…