Five minutes with Steve Cole, author of the Young Bond book Shoot to Kill

Published on: 06 November 2014

Steve ColeWe talk to Steve Cole about the Young Bond book, Shoot to Kill, a real page turner that will have you on the edge of your seat!

Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from Shoot to Kill?

It's James Bond's first visit to America, as he travels by zeppelin to Los Angeles. It doesn't take him long to locate Hollywood's sleazy underbelly and the low-lives who rule it.

Did you have to do any special research to write Shoot to Kill? Did you learn anything particularly exciting while working on the book?

Set in the 1930s, Young Bonds are historical thrillers, and I wanted to get things right. I had to do an awful lot of research, from LA traffic systems to how to fly an airship, from the progressive school movement in the UK to Hollywood soundstages. Books, newsreels, transatlantic flights, eyewitness accounts... uncovering it all has been an incredible experience.

Do you have any tips for children who are interested in writing fan fiction, and who are writing stories about existing characters?

It's a great creative exercise - trying to capture the voices of characters you know, to recreate the typical situations they find themselves in. Try to do a little a day, even if you don't always feel like it, just to keep up momentum. If it works out and you finish something, then next time tackle something even more challenging...

I started off writing loads of Doctor Who fiction where I broke all the rules and had different Doctors travelling together fighting loads of old monsters... then I tried to discipline that and invent my own enemies and stick to actual TARDIS crews as seen on TV. Both approaches were a lot of fun. Of course, these days you can post stories on fanfic sites, read other peoples and share your own. I know I'd have found that very inspiring as a young writer.

If children enjoy reading Shoot to Kill, what other books would you recommend to them to read?

There are five other Young Bond novels by Charlie Higson, of course... and Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock Holmes books are well worth checking out too.

More Young Bond

Double or Die

Author: Charlie Higson

The young James Bond finds himself on the tough streets of London's East End, embroiled in the sabotage of a Russian code-breaking machine and facing danger almost everywhere he turns.

Read more about Double or Die

More Young Bond

Blood Fever

Author: Charlie Higson

A sinister and secret society seems to be operating at Eton, while in the Mediterranean a young girl and her tutor are taken captive by a Hungarian pirate - but are the two linked?

Read more about Blood Fever