I suppose the question I´m asked most often is how I came to dream up Modesty Blaise (and, of course, Willie Garvin, who is an essential part of her). The answer is I don´t know but I sometimes suspect it happened the other way round, and Modesty Blaise dreamed me up as a tame biographer. Certainly in the early nineteen-sixties, with all that was to happen in the decade ahead, especially among women, Modesty Blaise must have been a character in search of an author; but she took her time about being born, for the gestation period was well over a year. That´s how long I brooded over her while her character, qualities, abilities, virtues, vices, and history were gradually unfolded for me.
Once she had fully emerged, the totality of Willie Garvin followed about thirty seconds later, so I suspect she had him under wraps all the time.
Peter O´Donnell, August 1984