The James Bond book series is finally getting its first female author.
Camden-born writer Kim Sherwood, who was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2019, has signed a deal with HarperCollins to pen a 'Double O' trilogy of novels that promises to 'blow the world of Ian Fleming's James Bond wide open.'
The first book in the series will be released in September, 2022 in the year that the film series celebrates its 60th anniversary. Intriguingly, it seems that the books won't feature James Bond as the central character, but will instead introduce 'a new generation of Double O agents'.
Sherwood's debut novel Testament, published in 2018, won the 2016 Bath Novel Award, was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Award, shortlisted for the Author's Club Best First Novel, and won the Harpers’ Bazaar Big Book Award.
James Bond is missing.
Meet the new Double O agents in the #DoubleO trilogy by @kimtsherwood, a new series that will blow the world of Ian Fleming's James Bond wide open.
Coming September 2022. Pre-order now: https://t.co/8gRCphPLHk pic.twitter.com/1nDt85dliH
— Ian Fleming (@TheIanFleming) November 4, 2021
Sherwood is also the granddaughter of the actor George Baker who made a number of appearances in the James Bond films, most famously playing Sir Hilary Bray in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
HarperCollins said: "James Bond is missing, presumed captured or even killed. All of Bond’s contemporaries are gone and a new generation of Double O agents has been recruited to replace them and battle a global threat.
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"At the same time, M and Moneypenny are searching for a mole in MI6. Will the truth be uncovered in time—or is this the end of the Double O section?"
Sherwood, a lifelong Bond fan who cites Pierce Brosnan's GoldenEye as the 007 film that grabbed her attention, said: "I was soon hooked on Ian Fleming’s novels. As a teenager, I chose Fleming when my English teacher asked us to write about an author we admired—I still have the school report.
"Since then, I’ve dreamt of writing James Bond. It’s rare that dreams come true, and I am grateful to the Fleming family for this incredible opportunity. I feel honoured to be the first novelist to expand the Bond universe through the Double O sector, bringing new life to old favourites, and fresh characters to the canon. I couldn’t be more excited to introduce the world to my Double O agents.”
HarperCollins commissioning editor Kathryn Cheshire added: "Kim is steeped in the world of James Bond, and this trilogy is fresh, contemporary and thrill-a-minute, with a new generation of spies everyone will love."
Sherwood joins a long line of authorised to write novels set in the same world created by Ian Fleming, who published the first James Bond book, Casino Royale, in 1953.
Other writers who have written official Bond books include Kingsley Amis, John Pearson, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffrey Deaver, William Boyd, and Anthony Horowitz whose third official 007 book will also be released in 2022.
The closest the series has come to having a woman author previously was the spin-off series The Moneypenny Diaries, which were written by Samantha Weinberg under the pseudonym Kate Westbrook and published in the noughties.
Double O Book One will be released by HarperCollins in 2022.
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