If it's true that Follett would be interested if asked, that would be a spectacular perspective for both sides IFP and Follet himself. Obviously a Follett 007 novel set in 50's/60's period would be a topseller from the start. And it would attract public interest in the literary character that Bond is. Both Follett and IFP could only win with that combination.
That said, I strongly fear Follett's fee effectivly prevented such a move up to now (as the statement seems to suggest) and will probably continue to do so in the forseeable future.
Another name that just comes to my mind would be Joseph R. Garber. He wrote "Vertical Run", the only book I've read from him up to now. His style in "Vertical Run" is very visual with emphasis on action. Cons against him would be:
- he's an American writer, not British (although I'm not sure if that really is a concern; to me it's not and he's probably better known in the US of A which would be an advantage when one considers sales figures)
- he doesn't seem to be much into character build-up; his protagonist is drawn by his actions in the story (could be a more serious matter)
- he has only limited experience with period stories (in an interview he mentioned an adventure set in 1920's China, but either that novel is still not finished or wasn't published up to now)
Pros for Garber would be:
- he seems to go for plots that Hitchcock or Ambler would have been interested in
- his last book "Whirlwind" features a retired ex-CIA operative and seems to do a decent job in entertaining his readers
- he's not a very big name, so his fee ought to be considerably smaller than Follett's
Another point (don't know if pro or con yet):
Garber seems to be an extremely slow writer with only three books since 1989. But that also could explain why IFP announced the Centenary Novel so much in advance. Don't know if it's really a hint. I don't even know if I'd want him to be chosen. He just seems to fit the mould of being known as a successful writer and still not sporting too much of a public profile as to be unnecessarily expensive for IFP.
Just my two cents...
Edited by Trident, 13 April 2007 - 11:33 AM.