Questions You'd Like Asked to Peter Janson-Smith?

DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
edited December 2014 in Literary 007 Posts: 14,947
I have a number for Ian Fleming's former literary agent and former Glidrose Board Member (in charge of the Literary Bond Continuation) Peter Janson-Smith and I was wondering if members here would like to suggest a few questions that I could ask him over the phone?

Thanks in advance for any suggested questions!
«1

Comments

  • edited December 2014 Posts: 5,745
    How often (if ever) to his knowledge have Eon been interested in using continution material for the films, or specifically requested something or interjected in the creation of a continuation story?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,947
    Thank you for that, @JWESTBROOK.

    Any other interest in giving some questions to ask?
  • Why did Gildrose persevere with Gardner for so long when the decline in quality after 'Role Of Honour' was so apparent?
  • Other questions for the great man:
    1) Was the idea to have Robert Markham as a pseudonym that could be used by many different writers or was it to be uniquely the non de plume for Kingsley Amis ?
    2) Who else was considered at the time that John Gardner was appointed and what was considered to be the deciding factor?
    3) Who else was considered at the time that Benson was appointed and who made the catastrophic decision and did they pay with their Job?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited December 2014 Posts: 14,947
    Thank you for those extra questions, @Villiers53 - I had two of those in my head too!
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    Posts: 12,351
    What long range vision do they have for the series? (I really want to know what they envision!)
    Do they want to have one continuation author for several years, or no?
    Do they feel that having one continuation author for a certain length of time is helpful? (personally, I prefer it; not just author-hopping or celebrity author nabbing).
  • What long range vision do they have for the series? (I really want to know what they envision!)
    Do they want to have one continuation author for several years, or no?
    Do they feel that having one continuation author for a certain length of time is helpful? (personally, I prefer it; not just author-hopping or celebrity author nabbing).

    I understand that @dragonpol's interview is with the guy that was in charge of continuation at the time of Gildrose not IFP?
    Please clarify.

  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    edited December 2014 Posts: 12,351
    Oh, all past tense and not present. That changes a good deal. :)
  • .
    Oh, all past tense and not present. That changes a good deal. :)

    That's my reading but perhaps @Dragonpol could clarify?
    In any event, it would be great if the interview was published on the excellent 'Artistic License Renewed' site.
    Other questions in addition to the 3 already posted could be:
    1) Given the relative critical and commercial success of 'Colonel Sun', why was there a 13 year hiatus before JG was commissioned?
    2) Was JG given specific guide lines regarding his reboot. Period,changes to be made, plot and branding requirements?
    3) Was the relationship between JG and Gildrose harmonious?
    4) Given that the movies and JG's novels were in sync from a period perspective. Why did eon not elect to take up the movie rights?

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,947
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    .
    Oh, all past tense and not present. That changes a good deal. :)

    That's my reading but perhaps @Dragonpol could clarify?
    In any event, it would be great if the interview was published on the excellent 'Artistic License Renewed' site.
    Other questions in addition to the 3 already posted could be:
    1) Given the relative critical and commercial success of 'Colonel Sun', why was there a 13 year hiatus before JG was commissioned?
    2) Was JG given specific guide lines regarding his reboot. Period,changes to be made, plot and branding requirements?
    3) Was the relationship between JG and Gildrose harmonious?
    4) Given that the movies and JG's novels were in sync from a period perspective. Why did eon not elect to take up the movie rights?

    Yes, just to clarify here I am planning to hopefully interview Peter Janson-Smith over the phone soon and so this will deal with the Literary Bond Continuation up to Raymond Benson as the Fleming Family took over from about 2003 or so when Benson stood down as official Bond Continuation author and IFP was formed to replace Glidrose.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    I'd be interested to know from someone who was there does he consider the TB trial was as much to blame for Fleming's early demise as his drinking and smoking?

    Also to what extent was TMWTGG finished off? Was the basic manuscript complete and just given a polish or were there actually chapters missing that needed completing?

    Does he think the literary rights have been competently handled since his departure or a total shambles like the rest of us?
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    Posts: 12,351
    Yes, those are good questions, Wiz.
    I'd like his opinion on how things have been handled since, too.
  • Welcome back @TheWizardOflce. The voice of sanity returns!
    Good questions.
    Also, to what extent did Ann Fleming impede the continuation game?
  • More mundane questions for the great man:
    1) What is his, Peter Janson-Smith's favourite Bond book and movie adaptation?
    2) Which book was IF most proud of?
    3) What are his favourite JC cover art and PAN cover?
    4) What is his favourite continuation novel and why?
    5) What did IF think of the spy novelists that he inspired (obviously those that launched during
    his life time)? I'm thinking specifically of Deighton or Le Carre. Both of whom were singled out
    by critics as having more literary merit than Ian at the time.
    6) Who does he, Peter, think is the greatest post Bond espionage/thriller writer?
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited December 2014 Posts: 893
    Wonderful news Draggers.

    I would ask him about unpublished Fleming; other short stories; TMWTGG edits and an anecdote about Fleming.

    So much one could ask him!

    Here's a good interview by Benson http://commanderbond.net/9854/classified-dossier-james-bonds-literary-agent.html
  • 007InVT wrote: »
    Wonderful news Draggers.

    I would ask him about unpublished Fleming; other short stories; TMWTGG edits and an anecdote about Fleming.

    So much one could ask him!

    Here's a good interview by Benson http://commanderbond.net/9854/classified-dossier-james-bonds-literary-agent.html

    A good interview but I think there is room for another providing it is more focused on Bond and the thriller business.
    I'd love to know why Amis didn't do a second book who else was on Keeting's short list along with JG.
    I'd forgotten that Janson-Smith also represented Eric Ambler, one of my other all time favourites, and I'd love to know what Ambler thought of Fleming's creation?

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited December 2014 Posts: 14,947
    Thank you for all of the great suggested questions so far. I intend to (hopefully!) interview Mr Janson-Smith in the New Year. I've been meaning to do this for years but now seems as good a time as any! Cut a thorn stick when it's there and all that jazz! :)
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited January 2015 Posts: 9,117
    Another one struck me the other day:

    Could Janson-Smith shed any light on why No Deals Mr Bond was so titled?

    I know Gardner hated it and said it was foisted upon him. Was this by Glidrose or the publishers? And what was the logic behind it (presumably a reatarded attempt to boost sales in America)?

    I'd also be interested to know if he could recall what Gardner's preferred title was.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited January 2015 Posts: 14,947
    Another one struck me the other day:

    Could Janson-Smith shed any light on why No Deals Mr Bond was so titled?

    I know Gardner hated it and said it was foisted upon him. Was this by Glidrose or the publishers? And what was the logic behind it (presumably a reatarded attempt to boost sales in America)?

    I'd also be interested to know if he could recall what Gardner's preferred title was.

    Thank you for those, Wiz. Those are good questions.

    Anyone got any good advice for phone interviewing Mr Janson-Smith?
  • I assume that you have his permission to contact him and that all is set up?
    Given that this assumption is correct, given his seniority and out of respect, I'd let him have your questions in advance and also propose that he might be more comfortable with a relative with him.
    Other than that, the questions should be clear and the great man should be allowed time to reflect before responding. After all, he is 92!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,947
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    I assume that you have his permission to contact him and that all is set up?
    Given that this assumption is correct, given his seniority and out of respect, I'd let him have your questions in advance and also propose that he might be more comfortable with a relative with him.
    Other than that, the questions should be clear and the great man should be allowed time to reflect before responding. After all, he is 92!

    Well, I'm doing it over the phone hopefully and I will be gentle with him of course - that's my style.

    Thank you for the advice though!
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Forgot to mention about asking about Fleming's collaboration with Geoffrey Jenkins and 'Per Fine Ounce' - the lost Bond (continuation) novel.
  • PFOPFO
    edited January 2015 Posts: 18
    I'm with Villiers. I want to know who Glidrose considered when they picked John Gardner. Apparently James Leasor was on that list.

    A fellow fan I know is obsessed with this list. It's his holy grail. Here are the names:

    John Gardner (obviously!)
    James Leasor
    Adam Hall/Elleston Trevor
    Christopher Nicole/Andrew York
    William Haggard

    We're both stymied if we can think who the sixth name on that list may have been. Derek Lambert? Peter O'Donnell? Philip McCutchan? Christopher Wood?

    Sadly, Janson-Smith probably won't tell you. He always tells people that he doesn't remember and even if he did he wouldn't tell. When Raymond Benson asked, PJS told him he did remember but didn't think it'd be appropriate to divulge the information. Can't imagine why as I suspect most of the authors are dead!

    What we do know is that the authors were not big names, in fact they were considered journeyman authors, they were fairly prolific and were thought that they could bring some prestige to the project.

    BTW, if was PJS who himself suggested that they hire Raymond Benson. I'm not sure if you should ask Villiers53's #3 question, because PJS left Glidrose/IFP around the same time IFP dropped RB.
  • Posts: 5,745
    Is there any possible way to record the conversation?
  • PFO wrote: »
    I'm with Villiers. I want to know who Glidrose considered when they picked John Gardner. Apparently James Leasor was on that list.

    A fellow fan I know is obsessed with this list. It's his holy grail. Here are the names:

    John Gardner (obviously!)
    James Leasor
    Adam Hall/Elleston Trevor
    Christopher Nicole/Andrew York
    William Haggard

    We're both stymied if we can think who the sixth name on that list may have been. Derek Lambert? Peter O'Donnell? Philip McCutchan? Christopher Wood?

    Sadly, Janson-Smith probably won't tell you. He always tells people that he doesn't remember and even if he did he wouldn't tell. When Raymond Benson asked, PJS told him he did remember but didn't think it'd be appropriate to divulge the information. Can't imagine why as I suspect most of the authors are dead!

    What we do know is that the authors were not big names, in fact they were considered journeyman authors, they were fairly prolific and were thought that they could bring some prestige to the project.

    BTW, if was PJS who himself suggested that they hire Raymond Benson. I'm not sure if you should ask Villiers53's #3 question, because PJS left Glidrose/IFP around the same time IFP dropped RB.

    Who was on the list? This is a hugely interesting question.
    I like @PFO's hypothesis. If there was a sixth, it may have been the late, great James Mitchell (aka James Munro) who created the fabulous Callan under his own name and the slightly more glamorous John Craig as Munro.
    Alternatively, it may well have been Peter O'Donnell as the Blaise literary franchise had peaked and he paused it between '85 and '96.
    AS PFO says, there is no reason not to divulge the list at this point in history. One things for certain,if this speculative group is correct, it contained some great talent and although I liked a lot of Gardner's work, I'm not sure I'd have picked him from it.
    That said, maybe I'm speaking with hindsight as he ultimately disappointed with Bond whilst his other works held up.
    Personally, if O'Donnell had been on the list,he'd have been my absolute number one choice as he was, without doubt, the greatest writer of escapist thrillers to emerge as a result of the Bond boom.
    Finally, I agree with @PFO, don't ask what he calls my #3 question. We don't want to stress the old boy.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,947
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    Is there any possible way to record the conversation?

    My telephone has just such a facility.
  • Dragonpol wrote: »
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    Is there any possible way to record the conversation?

    My telephone has just such a facility.

    Ok, but when are you scheduled to speak with him?

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,947
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    Is there any possible way to record the conversation?

    My telephone has just such a facility.

    Ok, but when are you scheduled to speak with him?

    Whenever I feel like ringing him and he wants to talk I guess. Soon.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Quick! He's not getting any younger!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,947
    007InVT wrote: »
    Quick! He's not getting any younger!

    I know. I need to get a move on!
Sign In or Register to comment.