BORDERS Book Festival attendees will get a glimpse into the world of James Bond at this summer’s celebration of literature.

Author Charlie Higson, who penned the hugely successful Young Bond children’s series, will return to the region to discuss his adult novel On His Majesty’s Secret Service.

The story involves a contemporary 007 as he tries to thwart an attempt to disrupt King Charles III’s coronation.

And Higson revealed that the original tale was written in just four weeks.

“Originally it was only supposed to be a short story, but I got a bit carried away and enjoyed writing it so much that it just kept getting longer and longer,” said the 65-year-old. “It came out in a bit of a rush.

“Ian Fleming famously did the actual writing of his books very quickly.

“I think because I’d been thinking of doing an adult James Bond book for so long and immersed myself in that world with the Young Bond books that the story was just waiting to jump out and get onto the page.”

The hardback version was released in May last year to mark the coronation and the 60th anniversary of Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

It will be published in paperback on Thursday (June 6) with revised text and exclusive bonus content.

“The book opens on the day of publication, May 4, where Bond is with the King,” said Higson. “As I was writing it I didn’t really know what Charles would be doing two days before the coronation, so the details where the scenes take place and what’s going on are a little bit vague.

“I didn’t like that because Fleming was always very specific in his books with place and time.

“Since writing it I found out they did lots of rehearsals at Westminster Abbey for the coronation and I thought that would be the perfect setting for this action to take place.”

Higson’s Young Bond collection, which focuses on the world-famous spy’s time at Eton College in the 1930s, began in 2005 with the release of SilverFin.

Although the series proved to be a hit, Higson said there was some scepticism from passionate Bond fans prior to the first book’s publication.

“I wrote a book that I would have liked to read at that sort of age and just had a lot of fun with it,” he said. “It wasn’t until after I had finished the book that I thought, ‘Oh my God, actually this is quite a big deal’.

“As soon as it was announced, I looked at all of the James Bond fan sites and they were appalled by the idea.

“They thought, ‘We don’t want a Harry Potter version of James Bond, having his hot milk shaken and not stirred’.

“Once the book was out they changed their tune because they could see that I had been very faithful to Fleming.

“That gave me a big boost and a lot of confidence to carry on with the Young Bond books.”

Higson added: “A similar thing happened with the new one. Because it came out so quickly, I didn’t have time to think about how it would be received, I just thought, ‘Well that will be fun, let’s do it’.”

On writing his first adult Bond novel, Higson said: “I really enjoyed it. As it was for the coronation, I felt like it should be about the coronation. It meant I had to do a contemporary adult Bond so he’s a bit different to the 1930s Bond.

“I wanted to make him a recognisable modern young man but also recognisably Fleming’s Bond. I had a bit of fun with the sort of tweaks and differences that a young man of today would have compared to a young man of 1953, which is when Casino Royale came out.

“It’s the same with the films, it’s the same character played by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, George Lazenby, but they’re all different.

“At the core, somehow, he manages to remain fundamentally James Bond.”

The author said that Thunderball was the first film he could remember seeing at the cinema in the 60s.

Higson, who is also an actor, comedian and writer for television and radio, said: “It had quite a big effect on me, I thought James Bond was the most exciting thing in the world. He’s just someone who’s been there all my life.”

Charlie Higson will be appearing at the Borders Book Festival on Sunday, June 16, at 1.45pm. Tickets are £14 (£12 concessions) and available from