London, May 30 : He was the man who created the world's most famous fictional secret agent, but not many people know what inspired Ian Fleming. Now, with the coming of new James Bond book, the mastermind's secret has been revealed.
The book "Devil May Care" produced by Sebastian Faulks gives a peek-a-boo into Fleming's source of inspiration.
The first in the list is 007 himself - based on Fleming's real older brother Peter Fleming.
Peter possessed dashing looks, had vast experience as an explorer, an enviable career in espionage and, of course, glamorous women frequently on his arm.
And while Peter Fleming inspired the author's world famous character, 007's name was borrowed from the author of a bird book, 'A Field Guide To The Birds Of The West Indies'.
"Young Ian Fleming was rather in awe of Peter, as many young boys are of their older brothers," The Daily Express quoted Fleming expert and historian James Taylor, as saying.
"James Bond is a man of action just as Peter Fleming was, at least until the end of the Second World War," he added.
The head of MI5, M, was inspired by several bosses whom Ian Fleming encountered during the war. Admiral John Godfrey, Fleming's superior at the Naval Intelligence Department, is likened to M thanks to his similarly moody personality and "bright blue eyes".
Godfrey was far from flattered by his literary incarnation.
Originally called Miss Pettavel by Fleming, M's personal assistant was believed to be based on Miss Kathleen Pettigrew, the real-life assistant to MI6 boss Stewart Menzies.
But after deciding their names were rather too similar Fleming opted, at his brother's suggestion, for Miss Moneypenny.
As for the sizzling hot Bond girls, the inspiration came from Fleming's real life ladies.
Like 007, Fleming was something of a ladies' man and certainly broke a few hearts in his time. One such unlucky lady was Muriel Wright, a typical English rose whom Fleming met in 1935.
Like many of Bond's women "Mu", as Fleming called her, was sporty, accomplished and came from a wealthy family.
She didn't need to work to earn a living but nonetheless became a sportswear model and controversially modelled swimsuits on the beach at Monte Carlo.
Like many of Bond's women, she, too, met a tragic end. She adored Fleming, who treated her very badly - he enjoyed showing her off but felt she wasn't bright enough for him. He cheated on her persistently.