Once the final titles rolled on my first viewing of Spectre, I sat and knew Ronni Flemmings’ story wasn’t over. Although there’s a great deal of good in Bond 24, the disquiet at what had been done with the franchise still refuses to go away, and to assuage my own unhappiness at what I’ve seen play out? Default was born. There were a number of clear objectives when I set out to write:
- Give Ronni’s ‘story’ a sense of completion
- Right a number of wrongs I feel the current Bond franchise has never properly addressed
- Place the 00 Section where I’d like to see them in 2016
That means I was forced to deal with Spectre’s narrative (because unlike the Bond films, the reset button should never be an answer) and to find a way to give myself some much-needed peace. After a love affair that has lasted pretty much my entire adult life, I sense that if Eon return to a canon that has become both outmoded and unfit for purpose in the modern world, our relationship is probably at an end. I’ll watch Bond 25, but it will be unlikely that there will ever be the empathy for 007 that existed with Mr D. Craig Esq. in the role.
This makes the over 70,000 words I’m about to foist on you quite a big deal.
It has been an extremely interesting journey too, because when I’m asked now by anyone how I honed my writing craft to make a serious fist of a debut novel (watch this space for details) I’ll have to say that without Fleming, Craig and Eon, I wouldn’t be here. I played about with fan fiction for a while when my son was born, but there’s never been enough devotion to go this far with any other canon. This journey has been all-consuming, and has taught me an immeasurable amount about not only how to write, but what. Using someone else’s characters to tell my own story is cheating, of course, but in this case it allows some comment on the sexism, stupidity and blinkered nature of the male/female dynamics in 007’s world a chance to run around and make their points in ways I doubt I’d ever see on a big screen or in print during my lifetime.
For this alone, the wish fulfilment has been more than worth the effort expended.
So, I present the logical successor to Duet. The title was picked for many reasons: most especially to give Thom Yorke the chance to have written a Bond theme, and has a number of connotations with the larger narrative. You want a summary? Here we go:
Ronni Flemmings tenure as a 00 was never going to be easy, but her existence is fundamentally altered after a sequence of events that place the agent and her future in Spectre’s sights. 004 is the target, forced to play a games for a prize never asked for: the future of James Bond, 007. The 00 Section stands behind her, Q front and centre as support, until a life-threatening standoff completely alters the landscape in MI6 forever…
Without further ado, therefore, let’s get to it.
Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.
To everyone who pushed for the sequel, and was kind enough to encourage me to do so.
To Allison, without whose artwork Ronni would not exist nearly as vividly.
To Julia, Liz and Dave for beta reading, proof reading and poking me when it didn’t make sense. Hopefully it does now.
The Pre-Credits Sequence