After COLONEL SUN (1968) by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner was the next writer to be asked to write further adventures of James Bond. He wrote, like Fleming, fourteen Bond books, plus novelisations of the films GOLDENEYE and LICENCE TO KILL, from 1981 to 1996. Before becoming an author of fiction in the early 1960s John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer, a journalist and, for a short time, a priest in the Church of England. ‘Probably the biggest mistake I ever made,’ he says. ‘I confused the desire to please my father with a vocation which I soon found I did not have.’
In all, Gardner had fifty-five novels to his credit – many of them bestsellers. John Gardner died in 2007.