I just turned in the contract for my first novel for Ravenous. It’s called Chastity Flame and it’s part of the Breathless line. She’s a secret government operative. I would say think James Bond: swanky international settings, glamourous lovers and high-flying lifestyles. But the real inspiration for her name was Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise.
Modesty Blaise came to life as a comic strip, then films and novels. As a child, she was a refugee and lost. She found a mentor in Lob, another refugee who took her under his wing and tutored her. Modesty eventually rises to be the head of a crime network in Tangier. After becoming incredibly wealthy, she retired to England with her right hand man, Willie Garvin.
It’s there that the government persuades her to offer her services on their behalf and Modesty and Willie find a second career. Often they help out people in need or returning folks from their old life of crime.
I love the 1966 movie with Monica Vitti, Terrence Stamp and the hilariously campy Dirk Bogarde. It didn’t do well at the time—and didn’t capture accurately O’Donnell’s heroine, but it’s a good fun film with terrific pop art sets and costumes.
Chastity Flame captures the film’s sense of fun at time: she’s always seeing the humorous side of some rather dark moments, but there’s also exciting intrigue and a complicated plot involving computer hacking and the European economy.
Of course, there’s also lot of hot adventures, too! A secret op has to unwind somehow and Chastity finds all kinds of opportunities waiting for a gorgeous young woman with a spirit of adventure. She’s used to having a new lover every day—so what will happen when she runs into the one lover who won’t let her go? You’ll have to wait and see!