May 28, 2014


Ian Fleming was born on this day in 1908. After serving as assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence in the Admiralty during WWII, Fleming became the manager of foreign correspondents for Kelmsley newspapers, owners of the Sunday Times and other papers. His job offered him three months off a year to spend time at his Goldeneye retreat in Jamaica. In 1952, he sat down and created the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (published in April, 1953). Where some writers aim to tug at the heart or stimulate the brain, Fleming confessed that the target of his books lay "somewhere between the solar plexus and the upper thigh." Fleming has been a great inspiration, both for his genius invention and as a role model as a writer. He established a disciplined routine that he later described in an essay called How to Write a Thriller: He wrote for three hours in the morning, then for one hour between six and seven at night. He would not edit or revise as he went, allowing the words to flow naturally. By the end of six weeks, producing four hours per day, he would complete a solid draft of each new novel. Fleming eventually published fourteen 007 books, as well as Chitty Chitty Bang BangThe Diamond Smugglers, and Thrilling Cities before his death in 1964. Celebrate Ian Fleming today by picking up one of his books, now available in print and eBook editions through Amazon. Or better yet, spend the morning writing, followed by an afternoon of snorkeling around your own private tropical cove- That's how he would have wanted to spend the day!

It was Fleming's gift of language and talent as a writer that has allowed his work to endure. Here is a passage from my favorite short story in For Your Eyes Only, From a View to a Kill, photographed below from my first edition published by Jonathan Cape in 1960. Click image for larger view. Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive on Pinterest here. Our recent acquisition of a rare photograph sheds light on his trip to Japan here. Ian Fleming Publications here.

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