The leading lady of Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche is named Felicity Willing. Bond is amused by the name (chapter 42), and presumably the name was meant to amuse readers too. Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care featured Scarlett Papava, which was a pun on the botanical name and colour of the opium poppy, one of the book's plot devices (and in case the reference was too obtuse, Scarlett's sister is called Poppy). In both cases, the authors devised exotic names for their heroines; names designed to raise a smile or smirk. A Times review of Carte Blanche claims that the character is named in the best Fleming tradition. Examination of the names Fleming gave his heroines, however, suggests that while many of the names are undoubtedly exotic, only a few are as suggestive as the names used in more recent literary efforts. What's more, Felicity Willing and Scarlett Papava and others are named more in the tradition of the film series than Fleming.
Fleming chose names that interested him. Some were named after things. Vesper Lynd, the heroine of Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale, was named after a cocktail that Fleming was served in Jamaica (not the same recipe as the cocktail he invents for the book). Both Solitaire (Live and Let Die) and Domino Vitali (Thunderball) were named after Caribbean birds. Gala Brand (Moonraker) was named after Galatea, the sea nymph of Greek mythology. Judy Havelock, who appears in the short story, 'For Your Eyes Only', was named after a havelock, a flap at the back of an army cap that protects the neck from the sun.
Other heroines were named after people Fleming knew. For Honeychile Rider, Pussy Galore and Vivienne Michel (who feature in Dr No, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me respectively), Fleming took the names or nicknames of his friends and acquaintances. Kissy Suzuki, who appears in You Only Live Twice, was named after a masseuse or prostitute Fleming met in Japan.
Admittedly, Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever), referring to a jewellery box provided by the New York store, was a play on words reasonably close in style to Scarlett Papava, and Mary Goodnight, Bond's secretary and leading lady of The Man with the Golden Gun, is on a par with Felicity Willing, but these are rare occurrences.
In contrast, names used for the films are more likely to have elements of sexual innuendo. For the first film, Dr No, Honeychile Rider is shortened to the far more suggestive Honey Ryder. In Goldfinger, Bond's response to Honor Blackman's introduction, 'I'm Pussy Galore', is 'I must be dreaming', emphasising the sexual connotation. In Moonraker, Gala Brand is replaced by Holly Goodhead. In the short story, the eponymous Octopussy is the name of an octopus, not Bond's love interest. And, although a villain rather than lover, GoldenEye's Xenia Onatopp's name raises Bond's eyebrow, if nothing else.
The advice for future continuation authors is clear. Look to the names of friends or interesting things, rather than the films, for inspiration of the names of the books' heroines.
Chancellor, H, 2005 James Bond: the man and his world, John Murray