My 2nd Young Bond novel – HEADS YOU DIE – is published today!

05 May 2016

I’ve also been wrapping up work on my 3rd Young Bond (out this autumn) while planning the story for my 4th. So my thoughts are very action-packed and James-flavoured at the moment.


Part of the fun with these books is that I can sneak in jokes and references to the wider Bond universe for die-hard Bond fans to pick up on. Heads You Die has a few… I wonder if you spotted those I squeezed into my first Young Bond, SHOOT TO KILL?

  1. The prologue is called ‘You Asked For It’ – the title given to the first US edition of Ian Fleming’s Bond debut, Casino Royale.
  2. Chapter One is called ‘Do As You’re Told’ – the last line of ‘Dr No’, Fleming’s 6th Bond novel (as Shoot to Kill was the 6th Young Bond novel).
  3. Sloman has written a movie screenplay about the Ama divers of Kuro Island, off Japan – the adult Bond will eventually meet one of those divers, former Hollywood star Kissy Suzuki, in You Only Live Twice.
  4. James is heard to declare, ‘I can think of few things worse than becoming a film star’!
  5. At the Hollywood Plaza’s Blue Plate Café, young James observes Sloman ordering a martini and decides he could get ‘a taste for cocktails’.
  6. When James is touring the Allworld Academy, he hears musicians scoring a movie theme – ‘distinctive and jazzy with a mid-tempo beat, brasses and strings and needling steel guitars’ – and feels ‘a sense of anticipation and danger in its ominous swagger… as if the musicians were scoring his mood.’ He is of course, hearing the James Bond theme!
  7. James pretends to be the son of Hoagy Carmichael, the real-life singer Ian Fleming cited as a dead ringer for his vision of James Bond.
  8. Kostler views footage of the young Jack Strap beating up a victim – after joining the gangsters hunting James and his friend in Shoot to Kill, Strap will later work with the Spangled Mob (the gang from Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever) and Auric Goldfinger.

There may be others – let me know if I’ve forgotten any!


  • Brilliant references – I was also pleased to see that the plane in Sceptre was one of the old Alderney Trislanders given a paint job and an extra engine! I wonder if it was the one you came over in?

  • I love your Young Bond books. I just finished Heads You Die and can’t wait to read the next one. I just have one question. Will James meet any of the old characters from the books Charlie Higson wrote? That is my only question and I think that you are a brilliant writer and that Charlie Higson would be proud.

  • I love Young Bond! I just finished Heads You Die and it is superb. I think you are a brilliant writer and I love the way you tell the story. I can’t wait until fall to read your next book, I just have one question. Will any of the old characters from the old books be in this series? I don’t even care because I love Hugo and his sense of humor. I’m so happy they found a great writer to continue Young Bond.


    • Sorry for the delay replying, Henry, my log-in went down for some time! Thanks for getting in touch, I’m glad you’re enjoying my YBs, feel free to give a good rating on Amazon! 😉 As for any past characters returning, we’ll have to see…

  • I didn’t know that Heads You Die was out right now! It looks and sounds amazing! If I get it I’ll be sure to look out for those James Bond references

  • Hey Steve! I wrote you a book today at school! I loved your speech and can you give me the music for the grape song on piano and I can learn it on my piano. I think your books are fab-u-lous especially MAGIC INK!I really enjoyed your speech, ever considered being a stand up comedian coz you are truly EPIC AND INFINATLEY HILARIOUS!! #SUCHANISPIRATION!!


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