By 16, my writing shifted from comedy sketches to stories about subjects I was into at the time, like baseball and espionage. One of my first pieces was a spy thriller focusing on an American agent named Sean McSky. I cringe now because I see how “A Day in the Life of Sean McSky” is rife with blatantly lifted ideas from Ian Fleming and the Bond movies.
In a preface, I let readers know that my character, though influenced by James Bond, was in no way a copy of him. This was blatant rubbish. Both spies tangled with the Russians, enjoyed copious amounts of both booze and ladies, and made witty quips after ultimately winning the day.
The name Sean was an obvious nod to Connery and I even snatched the Istanbul locale from From Russia with Love. Even McSky’s boss S had a single letter name just like Bond’s M. But, so what if my story was a copycat? I was a teenager and having a Bond-like protagonist in my story fanned the flames my secret agent passion.
The more James Bond films I watched, the more I realized that I was leaning towards the Connery camp. George Lazenby, who wore the Bond tuxedo only once in 1969, portrayed the part well for his first-ever acting job, and I liked the light way Moore portrayed 007 as a tongue-in-cheek playboy, but there was just something cooler about Sean Connery.
He was grittier and tougher, but still suave; the type of guy who knocked out henchmen with single punches while still looking like a million dollars in a dinner jacket and tie. He was rough with muscles and hairy arms, yet he was charming and made the ladies melt. When I developed unfashionable chest hair by age 17, I dismissed style and fully embraced my frontal fur because Connery had some in his films.