Aw shucks, Samantha, fame at last!!! But if you insist...
Why DID you alter Fleming's ableit vague chronology? You date CR to 1952 - okay - but Moneypenny in the Diaries did not join MI6 until 1953. M didn't become M until 1956? Yet, Fleming name-checks both in CR and the other novels written/set before 1956. As you state in your interview with Zen, the Mau Mau didn't influence your dating the Diaries, surely Moneypenny being that bit older - so to fit with the Fleming "facts" - wouldn't have made her that bit less physical/resourceful in 1962?
And, of course, why cannot Bond be "Bond" if Moneypenny, Messervy, Tanner etc. are real names? I don't want to sound thick - I could be! - but don't see the benefit of it. The Diaries work perfectly well within the Fleming world as it is (same complaint to Mr Pearson, BTW).
Thing is, Samantha, if you'd written a pile of rubbish, I wouldn't have cared: the Diaries IMHO fits very well WITHIN Fleming.
PS - Zen, here, present and correct - wife and kids need attention too.
I've been thinking about all sorts of clever ways to answer your - very good - questions, but have decided that the truth might be best. I very much wanted to stay true to Fleming as far as I could and read the books several times, made notes, re-read them, cross-checked things, highlighted inconsistencies and so on. When I found the perfect spot in which to slot my story, I was both excited and relieved. At that point, I took a detour to 'develop' my characters. This involved, among other things, writing long biographies of the main players. I immersed myself in Miss M's story, the whole Kenya thing. I thought Mau Mau sounded like a good idea - since it gave her a reason to question the status quo, which might give her cause later to question her alliegence; kin or country? Then, I tried to think of an ideal age to make her - I wanted her to be in her mid-thirties - old enough to be in a position of considerable seniority, but young enough to relish a bit of 'off-piste' adventure.
Unfortunately, somehow - and I regret this - the parallel tracks of story devlopment didn't quite match up. I am afraid I didn't think about the dates of CR etc in relation to Miss M and indeed M joining the Firm. So yes, you were right. It was a mistake. I'm sorry, but there's no going back now. I wish I could plead a Fleming-like unconcern for continuity, but that's not the case. I really wanted to get it right.
As for Bond's name: once I decided to try to make the diaries seem authentic - and Fleming's works based on real events (and yes, that whole thought did arise out of the obituary M wrote following Bond's disappearence in YOLT), then it seemed improbable that Fleming would have used his real name. If he moved the location of MI6 - which he did - then surely he would have had to disguise his hero's identity. I know there are some logical inconsistencies - relating to the obituary, Miss M, TAnner etc keeping their real names - but I couldn't see a way around that.
However, this is very much half a line, mentioned by Kate Westbrook and never referred to again throughout the book. I am sorry if it causes concern; it shouldn't.
Thank you Mr S for reading it with such attention. I wish you could have done so pre-publication. I hope you enjoy Vol 2, in which I will attempt to avoid the more obvious bear pits.