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Fleming Literary acquires John Creasey

Ian Fleming Publications' decision to reanimate the late author's most famous creation, James Bond, in a novel by Sebastian Faulks to mark Fleming's centenary next year is the latest in a resurrection trade that has made literary estates some of the most powerful in the media.

As well as the 14 original Bond books and posthumous adult novels by other authors (including Kingsley Amis), IFP has reaped rewards with the launch in 2004 of the Young Bond series. These books, by Charlie Higson, have topped children's bestseller lists across the world and tapped into a new generation of 007 fans.

"We were looking at a younger market because that is very interesting," says Corinne Turner, IFP managing director. "We are not making Young Bond into films yet because we wanted to establish them as a literary series first."

It is the ability to control their brand names that makes estates so powerful. In the Faulks deal the estate will retain full copyright. Though the terms are being kept secret, the Birdsong author is expected to share royalties and be paid an advance. Devil May Care will be published by Penguin, part of Pearson, owner of the Financial Times.

Literary reincarnations sanctioned by estates have made some authors more prolific in death than in life. Despite her death in 1986, "Virginia Andrews" has continued to pump out gothic romances, thanks chiefly to the ghostwriting services of Andrew Neiderman.

Robert Ludlum preserved his literary legacy by preparing outlines for thrillers to be written post mortem. Eight Covert One titles and five other novels have appeared since his death in 2001. ...[read the full article]

As written in The Finacial Times, 17/08/2007

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