Tag Archives: raymond benson

transcript – Raymond Benson: Live Chat

Raymond Benson Chat

Mon Apr 24 18:05:10 2000 icebreaker: hello everyone we are just about ready to begin I`d like to thank everyone for coming out tonight
i`m sure we`ll have a few late people drop in like we always do a transcript of this chat will be posted later for reference I`d also like to thank Raymond for being gracious enough to be our special guest tonight

Mon Apr 24 18:06:35 2000 rbenson {action: } grins evilly.

Mon Apr 24 18:06:52 2000 icebreaker: and we will start off tonights chat by asking him to give us just a brief background on his life and how he got to the point of writing the novels-end

Mon Apr 24 18:07:23 2000 rbenson {public msg} Hi everyone! Thanks for having me here Michael Background on my life? That could take a while… 🙂 Suffice it to say that I`ve always been in the arts studied theatre in school, majored in directing in college, spent over a decade in New York City directing plays off-off and off-Broadway, composing music…then fell into writing around the same time I got into games I wrote The James Bond Bedside Companion in the early 80s and also became a computer game designer. I did that up until 1996, when Glidrose asked me to take over from John Gardner out of the blue (they had liked the Bedside Companion and we had kept in touch) so I`ve been writing Bond novels since! 🙂 (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:09:58 2000 icebreaker {public msg} First, let`s talk about Doubleshot. Who`s in it? What`s it about? If you are a new fan who has not read your prior work, can they pick it up right away and understand what`s going on?

Mon Apr 24 18:10:24 2000 rbenson {public msg} Sure, all the novels are built such that anyone can read one without having read previous ones…… but so are Fleming`s and Gardner`s, to an extent
there are some continuity things, of course it`s always best to start with the beginning, but not necessary

Doubleshot is the informal 2nd part of a trilogy featuring a criminal organization called The Untion
Mon Apr 24 18:11:15 2000 rbenson {public msg} er Union
Mon Apr 24 18:11:23 2000 rbenson {public msg} the Onion? 🙂
Mon Apr 24 18:11:39 2000 rbenson {public msg} In it, Bond goes through some, well, psychological problems in a way, it`s my `From Russia With Love` the bad guys are out to GET Bond… Gardner had his FRWL with `Nobody Lives Forever` the Union creates an elaborate plot to trick and trap Bond and kill him off in a humiliating fashion (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:12:57 2000 icebreaker {public msg} What process goes into creating covers for the books and how do the covers get chosen? For example, the UK and US versions of Doubleshot are startlingly different.
Mon Apr 24 18:13:14 2000 rbenson {public msg} we have no say on the covers… that`s entirely up to the respective publishers they show them to us, and we can nod courteously or say `hmmm, I don`t really like it` but the latter response usually does no good. I really like the UK Doubleshot cover (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:14:09 2000 icebreaker {public msg} yes, so do i

Mon Apr 24 18:14:18 2000 icebreaker {public msg} the next question is from Jason
Mon Apr 24 18:14:33 2000 icebreaker {public msg} i`m sorry the next question is from Bondfan

Mon Apr 24 17:58:58 2000 bondfan {ask} how far advanced are the short story collection plans? And a general comment–I finished Doubleshot, and it is another excellent entry in the Benson Bond canon. Very well written, with a sweep reminiscent of Fleming.

Mon Apr 24 18:15:10 2000 rbenson {public msg} Thanks very much, I appreciate that… the short story collection won`t happen until there are enough short stories to justify doing a collection!
right now, there are only 3 and the `Midsummer Night`s Doom` was such a Playboy-oriented story that it probably wouldn`t be included in the collection

that was a special wink-wink nudge-nudge story just for Playboy
simply to celebrate Bond`s association with the magazine and really isn`t supposed to be taken seriously as a Bond story (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:16:47 2000 icebreaker {public msg} following up on that…does Playboy own the story? Glidrose? Can you do what you want with it? End

Mon Apr 24 18:17:09 2000 rbenson {public msg} Glidrose owns all the stories… they can re-sell them anywhere (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:17:55 2000 icebreaker {public msg} i`m trying to keep all the doubleshot questions together so Bondfan had another one

Mon Apr 24 17:52:27 2000 bondfan {ask} Did you travel to all the locations in Doubleshot? Have you ever met with members of MI6? Now, this is a spoiler, but why did you not include Major Boothroyd in Doubleshot?

Mon Apr 24 18:18:15 2000 rbenson {public msg} that`s 3 questions! 🙂
Mon Apr 24 18:18:21 2000 rbenson {public msg} I did travel to all the locations; big trip!
Mon Apr 24 18:18:32 2000 rbenson {public msg} Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, England
Mon Apr 24 18:18:48 2000 rbenson {public msg} never met anyone from MI6, and I doubt they would want to meet with me! 🙂
Mon Apr 24 18:19:14 2000 rbenson {public msg} as for Boothroyd, I just decided to leave him out of this one… you know, he only appeared in the Fleming books once!
Mon Apr 24 18:19:35 2000 rbenson {public msg} People ask me that since Desmond died, will I change Boothroyd?
Mon Apr 24 18:19:47 2000 rbenson {public msg} the answer is `no`… the character didn`t die… the actor did
Mon Apr 24 18:19:54 2000 rbenson {public msg} Boothroyd will return in my books.
Mon Apr 24 18:19:56 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:19:58 2000 willply {public msg} Maybe remind all at this point if they want to ask questions to enter the auditorium… A few new folks have wandered in.

Mon Apr 24 18:20:23 2000 icebreaker {public msg} to the new people who have entered…if you want to submit questions to Raymond, please go into the auditorium to do so. Thanks!

Mon Apr 24 18:20:29 2000 icebreaker {public msg} well raymond
Mon Apr 24 18:20:33 2000 icebreaker {public msg} you stole my next question
Mon Apr 24 18:20:41 2000 rbenson {public msg} I saw it coming! 🙂
Mon Apr 24 18:20:52 2000 icebreaker {public msg} so we will move on to Jason Allentoff`s question about The Bedside Companion

Mon Apr 24 17:58:33 2000 planet007site {ask} Are there plans for an updated version of The Bedside Companion?

Mon Apr 24 18:21:17 2000 rbenson {public msg} The Bedside Companion is now currently on sale again as an electronic book from www.PublishingOnline.com
Mon Apr 24 18:21:21 2000 rbenson {public msg} it is not updated
Mon Apr 24 18:21:30 2000 rbenson {public msg} As I wrote in the new introduction
Mon Apr 24 18:21:43 2000 rbenson {public msg} I shouldn`t update it now, it wouldn`t be `right` now that I`m the Bond author
Mon Apr 24 18:21:55 2000 rbenson {public msg} I wouldn`t feel comfortable critiquing the films or the later Gardner books
Mon Apr 24 18:22:14 2000 rbenson {public msg} so it`s the 1988 version that is available now for downloading (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:22:32 2000 icebreaker {public msg} yes, we will be getting to your deal with POL later on
Mon Apr 24 18:22:38 2000 icebreaker {public msg} i have a smart group here tonight
Mon Apr 24 18:22:53 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Bondfan has a new question…

Mon Apr 24 18:21:33 2000 bondfan {ask} Any plans for a return of Hedy and Heidi from this book? They are your best girls to date, and I`d love to see them again.
Mon Apr 24 18:23:21 2000 rbenson {public msg} Thanks, my British editor thought so too… I have no idea at this point whether or not they will return…
Mon Apr 24 18:23:31 2000 rbenson {public msg} the usual thing is for Bond girls NOT to return, but you never know (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:23:40 2000 rbenson {public msg} btw—
Mon Apr 24 18:23:54 2000 rbenson {public msg} an excerpt from Doubleshot where Heidi & Hedy are introduced will be in the June issue
Mon Apr 24 18:23:58 2000 rbenson {public msg} of Playboy, on sale next week
Mon Apr 24 18:24:29 2000 rbenson {public msg} there is also an article on the history of Bond and Playboy in the same issue
Mon Apr 24 18:24:37 2000 rbenson {public msg} a must-have for collectors! (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:25:00 2000 icebreaker {public msg} See what you learn guys when you attend 007Forever chats –end

Mon Apr 24 18:25:57 2000 icebreaker {public msg} It seems like whenever an article reviews your books, they make mention of the fact that you were a fan who had done the games and the Bedside Companion. Does it help or hurt to have been a fan first and do you know how much of a fan Gardner was before he began writing?
Mon Apr 24 18:26:28 2000 rbenson {public msg} Gardner was a little bit of a fan, I think, from what he told me… after all, The Liquidator series is
Mon Apr 24 18:26:31 2000 rbenson {public msg} a Bond parody of sorts
Mon Apr 24 18:27:03 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`m not sure if it helps or hurts with the games/fan stuff… some of the reviewers who are less kind
Mon Apr 24 18:27:12 2000 rbenson {public msg} think that because I was a game designer I can`t write prose
Mon Apr 24 18:27:17 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:28:03 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Globetwo had a question that I think I can answer and then you can pick up where I left off i you`d like to Raymond
Mon Apr 24 18:28:26 2000 rbenson {public msg} go ahead
Mon Apr 24 18:28:42 2000 rbenson {public msg} “Evil Hours”?
Mon Apr 24 18:28:48 2000 icebreaker {public msg} I`d like to remind everyone that Evil Hours, Benson`s 14 part serial, will debut at PublishingOnline.com tomorrow morning at 7:00 am est, as well as two of his non-Bond short stories “The Plagarist” and “Thumbs Down”, described as TWILIGHT ZONE style stories dealing with frustrated writers.
Mon Apr 24 18:28:57 2000 icebreaker {public msg} end
Mon Apr 24 18:28:57 2000 rbenson {public msg} It`s supposed to, but I`m not sure if POL will have it ready
Mon Apr 24 18:29:20 2000 rbenson {public msg} There will be an announcement on the newsgroup as soon as it is online
Mon Apr 24 18:29:47 2000 rbenson {public msg} like most website based companies, sometimes they don`t meet their target dates
Mon Apr 24 18:29:48 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:29:56 2000 icebreaker {public msg} What kind of fan fiction, if any, can a fan get away with?
Mon Apr 24 18:30:25 2000 rbenson {public msg} Hmmm… all I know is that Glidrose does not take kindly to fan fiction. Best to stay away from it.
Mon Apr 24 18:30:26 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:30:44 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Yankee has a question
Mon Apr 24 18:30:03 2000 yankee {ask} Hi Raymond. With your novelisations of TND and TWINE, I`m sure you`ve crossed paths with Michael Wilson and B. Broccoli. Has there ever been even a passing conversation with them about you writing an original screenplay for them? Or adapting one of your books?
Mon Apr 24 18:31:23 2000 rbenson {public msg} I have a friendly relationship with EON, but so far nothing has been said about me doing either of those things.
Mon Apr 24 18:31:41 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`m keeping my fingers crossed. (end)
Mon Apr 24 17:58:06 2000 planet007site {ask} Are you writing the novel for Bond 20?
Mon Apr 24 18:32:01 2000 rbenson {public msg} I can only surmise that I will. (end)
Mon Apr 24 17:58:54 2000 planet007site {ask} Do you know any details on the plot for Bond 20?
Mon Apr 24 18:32:30 2000 rbenson {public msg} As far as I know, there is no script yet. (end)
Mon Apr 24 17:59:15 2000 planet007site {ask} Are the rumors about Brosnan doing four more films true?
Mon Apr 24 18:32:59 2000 rbenson {public msg} I have no idea what plans Pierce has with EON. (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:30:42 2000 yankee {ask} What are your thoughts on the film TWINE?
Mon Apr 24 18:33:24 2000 rbenson {public msg} It was a fun ride. 🙂 (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:34:01 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Do you have fans bugging you wanting you to use their name as a character, good or bad, in your novels?
Mon Apr 24 18:34:31 2000 rbenson {public msg} Not really. I do it as favors for friends. It`s more of a tradition… Fleming did it, Gardner did it…
Mon Apr 24 18:34:50 2000 rbenson {public msg} It`s fun to do it… nobody has really asked me to do it…
Mon Apr 24 18:34:52 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:35:09 2000 icebreaker {public msg} if fleming had not done it, would it change the way you feel about doing it?
Mon Apr 24 18:35:17 2000 rbenson {public msg} probably (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:35:23 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Of your friends names that you have used as characters, how do you decide who is bad and who is good?
Mon Apr 24 18:35:53 2000 rbenson {public msg} Totally arbitrary… sometimes I`ve just got a character, good or bad, and I need a name, so I use the first one to pop in my head
Mon Apr 24 18:36:05 2000 rbenson {public msg} I don`t start out thinking, I`m going to use so-and-so in this part
Mon Apr 24 18:36:14 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:36:33 2000 rbenson {public msg} I do make up some names
Mon Apr 24 18:36:35 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:32:06 2000 spy {ask} Do you envision a particular actor playing James Bond inside your mind when you write for Bond? Do you hear echoes of Connery or Moore when you write for Bond as protagonist?
Mon Apr 24 18:36:57 2000 rbenson {public msg} No, I don`t. I envision the guy I pictured when I first read the Fleming books, and it wasn`t Connery.
Mon Apr 24 18:37:17 2000 rbenson {public msg} I suppose he`s probably closer to the UK comic strips Bond
Mon Apr 24 18:37:40 2000 rbenson {public msg} However, many people tell me that they hear “Pierce Brosnan saying those lines” or they hear “Sean Connery saying those lines”
Mon Apr 24 18:37:43 2000 rbenson {public msg} Maybe…
Mon Apr 24 18:37:49 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`m sure Pierce influences the novelizations
Mon Apr 24 18:37:53 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:37:59 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Do you have any idea why the Spanish press insisted on stating you were doing research at Gibraltar for the next Bond movie?
Mon Apr 24 18:38:26 2000 rbenson {public msg} They either got it wrong or they wanted to inflate its importance? I don`t know… it was annoying… 🙂 (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:38:33 2000 icebreaker {public msg} This is a 3 part question. #1 Were you scheduled to testify at Kevin McClory`s trial and if so, did you? #2 If you did, are you free to summarize what your testimony was, and if you did not testify, can you tell us what your tesitimony might have been? #3 And do you think we have finally seen the last of him?
Mon Apr 24 18:39:06 2000 rbenson {public msg} Well, I hope we`ve seen the last of him… I think all I can say is that I was an expert witness on the MGM side, but I was never called to testify.
Mon Apr 24 18:39:07 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:39:29 2000 icebreaker {public msg} I think we all hope we`ve heard the last of him
Mon Apr 24 18:39:39 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Where does SPECTRE fit in all of this?
Mon Apr 24 18:39:50 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Can you use the organization?
Mon Apr 24 18:39:52 2000 icebreaker {public msg} end
Mon Apr 24 18:40:02 2000 rbenson {public msg} SPECTRE could still be used in the books… but I prefer not to.
Mon Apr 24 18:40:22 2000 rbenson {public msg} I have the Union now, which in a way is my version of SPECTRE.
Mon Apr 24 18:40:23 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:40:30 2000 icebreaker {public msg} I think that is the best course
Mon Apr 24 18:40:39 2000 icebreaker {public msg} SPECTRE was good, but they`ve had their day in the sun
Mon Apr 24 18:40:46 2000 icebreaker {public msg} the next question
Mon Apr 24 18:37:25 2000 bondfan {ask} Did you work with Jaguar the way that Gardner worked with Saab?
Mon Apr 24 18:41:18 2000 rbenson {public msg} Yes I did… I worked with an engineer in the UK who helped me with all the `extras`, which despite some of the criticism are all entirely possible
Mon Apr 24 18:41:39 2000 rbenson {public msg} all of those things, including the flying scout, the pigment-changing paint, are all possible
Mon Apr 24 18:41:43 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:41:48 2000 icebreaker {public msg} wow!
Mon Apr 24 18:41:53 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Did not know that!
Mon Apr 24 18:41:59 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Actually Raymond
Mon Apr 24 18:42:12 2000 icebreaker {public msg} I think you picked the best runner up to the Aston that anyone could
Mon Apr 24 18:42:20 2000 rbenson {public msg} I doubt I`ll be using the Jag again
Mon Apr 24 18:42:27 2000 icebreaker {public msg} it`s a shame that EON doesn`t use the Jag
Mon Apr 24 18:42:28 2000 rbenson {public msg} Time to move on… (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:40:01 2000 suzy {ask} Hello, Michael…it`s Suzy…took me forever to get here…Hello, Raymond
Mon Apr 24 18:42:40 2000 icebreaker {public msg} hey Suzy
Mon Apr 24 18:42:46 2000 icebreaker {public msg} glad you could come

Mon Apr 24 18:41:40 2000 suzy {ask} RB, could you say something about the significance of the title “Doubelshot”?

Mon Apr 24 18:43:30 2000 rbenson {public msg} It`s just a play on the “doubles” concept that runs thematically throughout the book
Mon Apr 24 18:43:40 2000 rbenson {public msg} It wasn`t my title
Mon Apr 24 18:43:44 2000 rbenson {public msg} But I think it works
Mon Apr 24 18:43:46 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:44:20 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Critics, fans and John Gardner himself all seemed to agree that he had done a few too many books by the time he stopped. Do you have a limit to how many you want to do in order to have made your mark in the series?
Mon Apr 24 18:44:47 2000 rbenson {public msg} Not sure how to answer that one… I suppose if I felt they were getting stale, I`d let them be…
Mon Apr 24 18:44:56 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`d be proud, though, to have done 14… no small feat
Mon Apr 24 18:45:10 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:45:35 2000 icebreaker {public msg} I ask because Gardner has been on record as having wanted to stop back at #6 but never did
Mon Apr 24 18:45:43 2000 icebreaker {public msg} end
Mon Apr 24 18:45:48 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`m not aware of that (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:46:12 2000 icebreaker {public msg} we are getting lots of questions so hold tight a second

Mon Apr 24 18:32:39 2000 nated3og {ask} to rbenson, I have noticed that your wrighting is similar but inexorably different than Ian Flemming. Are you tring to meet Mr. Fleming`s style, or surpass it with your own blend of wrighting?

Mon Apr 24 18:46:47 2000 rbenson {public msg} I could never meet Fleming`s style, nor do I try to do so
Mon Apr 24 18:46:52 2000 rbenson {public msg} I hold him in very high regard
Mon Apr 24 18:47:11 2000 rbenson {public msg} If any of his style creeps into my books, I can only think it`s because I know his books so well
Mon Apr 24 18:47:28 2000 rbenson {public msg} I think the correct term is that I try to capture the SPIRIT of his books
Mon Apr 24 18:47:34 2000 rbenson {public msg} I certainly can`t write like him
Mon Apr 24 18:47:39 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`d be foolish to think I could
Mon Apr 24 18:47:43 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:43:07 2000 bondfan {ask} If not the Jag, then what car–the DB7?
Mon Apr 24 18:48:16 2000 rbenson {public msg} I have no idea what car at this point… in my upcoming book, the one I`ll write this summer, Bond will need a car…
Mon Apr 24 18:48:27 2000 rbenson {public msg} in my outline, he`s driving the Jag, but doesn`t use any of the extras at all
Mon Apr 24 18:48:36 2000 rbenson {public msg} Maybe I`ll do that, but maybe I`ll find a new car…
Mon Apr 24 18:48:40 2000 rbenson {public msg} Don`t know yet (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:42:20 2000 bondfan {ask} Let me just reiterate that the Union is a fitting successor, and am I wrong is surmising that we are in store for quite a confrontation in the next book bewteen 007 and Le Gerant
Mon Apr 24 18:49:02 2000 rbenson {public msg} You are quite correct! 🙂 (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:40:41 2000 yankee {ask} As a fan, do you find that reading the scripts of the new films before they are released spoils your enjoyment of them? Or does it pique your interest to see what the final fims will look like?
Mon Apr 24 18:49:38 2000 rbenson {public msg} That`s a tough one… you see, I have to write a NOVEL based on the script before I ever see any of the film
Mon Apr 24 18:49:46 2000 rbenson {public msg} So, I`ve already got a film inside my head
Mon Apr 24 18:49:53 2000 rbenson {public msg} Before I see the real film
Mon Apr 24 18:50:04 2000 rbenson {public msg} So, ultimately, what I see on the screen is different from what I picture
Mon Apr 24 18:50:11 2000 rbenson {public msg} It can`t be helped
Mon Apr 24 18:50:28 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`m sure it effects my enjoyment, but it doesn`t mean I DON`T enjoy them
Mon Apr 24 18:50:31 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)

Mon Apr 24 18:44:06 2000 yankee {ask} Can you give us any tid-bits about the 3rd book in the trilogy?
Mon Apr 24 18:50:52 2000 rbenson {public msg} Hmmmm…..
Mon Apr 24 18:51:00 2000 rbenson {public msg} It takes place mostly in France and Corsica
Mon Apr 24 18:51:06 2000 rbenson {public msg} Marc-Ange Draco will return
Mon Apr 24 18:51:16 2000 rbenson {public msg} Le Gerant and Bond face off
Mon Apr 24 18:51:30 2000 rbenson {public msg} There`s a significant love story angle
Mon Apr 24 18:51:50 2000 rbenson {public msg} There will be a show business angle
Mon Apr 24 18:51:53 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:49:33 2000 suzy {ask} Will the next novel round out the “trilogy” and be the end of the Union?
Mon Apr 24 18:52:24 2000 rbenson {public msg} That one I can`t answer here! You`ll have to wait and see! 🙂 (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:52:29 2000 rbenson {action: } smirks.
Mon Apr 24 18:52:34 2000 rbenson {action: } grins evilly.
Mon Apr 24 18:52:41 2000 rbenson {public msg} I meant to grin evilly, not smirk.
Mon Apr 24 18:52:42 2000 icebreaker {public msg} suzy, you know better than to ask that question GIRL! 🙂
Mon Apr 24 18:45:25 2000 bondfan {ask} How many more books are you contracted for right now?
Mon Apr 24 18:53:17 2000 rbenson {public msg} the contracts are usually 3 at a time, so I`m about to begin the first one in a new contract of 3
Mon Apr 24 18:53:26 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:53:37 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Bondfan has a question about Draco
Mon Apr 24 18:51:58 2000 bondfan {ask} Wait a second–isn`t Draco dead, as Gardner pointed out in Nobody Lives Forever.
Mon Apr 24 18:54:14 2000 rbenson {public msg} If he did, both Glidrose and I missed it! At any rate, I am free to use or ignore anything Gardner did
Mon Apr 24 18:54:32 2000 rbenson {public msg} For example, I never went with the way he changed MI6
Mon Apr 24 18:54:35 2000 rbenson {public msg} in his later books
Mon Apr 24 18:54:51 2000 rbenson {public msg} We demoted him back to Commander because it sounds beter
Mon Apr 24 18:54:53 2000 rbenson {public msg} better
Mon Apr 24 18:55:07 2000 rbenson {public msg} As far as I`m concerned, Draco`s alive and well…
Mon Apr 24 18:55:09 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:55:34 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Do you get unsolicited submissions from people wanting to get their story ideas into your books and if so, how do you answer them?
Mon Apr 24 18:55:57 2000 rbenson {public msg} I am not allowed to read unsolicited submissions… if I get anything that remotely looks like one, I delete it
Mon Apr 24 18:55:59 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:44:22 2000 bondfan {ask} What would you have chosen as the titles for your books?
Mon Apr 24 18:56:36 2000 rbenson {public msg} My original title for Zero Minus Ten was “No Tears for Hong Kong”
Mon Apr 24 18:56:49 2000 rbenson {public msg} For The Facts of Death, believe it or not, it was “The World is Not Enough”!
Mon Apr 24 18:57:06 2000 rbenson {public msg} For “High Time to Kill” it was “A Better Way to Die”
Mon Apr 24 18:57:20 2000 rbenson {public msg} for Doubleshot, it was “Doppelganger” and then “Reflections in a Broken Glass”
Mon Apr 24 18:57:31 2000 rbenson {public msg} Actually, I think that the next novel will have my suggested title
Mon Apr 24 18:57:35 2000 rbenson {public msg} for once
Mon Apr 24 18:57:41 2000 rbenson {public msg} Never Dream of Dying
Mon Apr 24 18:57:44 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:57:51 2000 icebreaker {public msg} can we quote you on that?
Mon Apr 24 18:57:53 2000 icebreaker {public msg} end
Mon Apr 24 18:57:55 2000 icebreaker {public msg} end
Mon Apr 24 18:58:13 2000 rbenson {public msg} I suppose… let`s just say for now that`s what it is, and the publishers haven`t objected
Mon Apr 24 18:58:15 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 18:58:21 2000 icebreaker {public msg} sounds very good.
Mon Apr 24 18:58:25 2000 icebreaker {public msg} and if I may
Mon Apr 24 18:58:37 2000 icebreaker {public msg} put in a gratuitous plug for my own site, you can find all of Raymond`s
Mon Apr 24 18:58:56 2000 icebreaker {public msg} original titles plus Ian`s and John`s in the What Was The Title section-end
Mon Apr 24 18:59:33 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Okay, we are almost out of time. Please bear with me for one second as I peruse the last sets of questions.
Mon Apr 24 18:58:25 2000 suzy {ask} Will you be doing research for your next novel when in Paris for your book-signing?
Mon Apr 24 19:00:49 2000 rbenson {public msg} Yes I will! along with some other areas of France (end)

Mon Apr 24 19:01:30 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Here is our last question of the evening…from a mysterious spy down in Gainesville FL
Mon Apr 24 18:59:59 2000 spy {ask} If for whatever reason Bond had to be killed off in a novel, how might you plot/portray his death?
Mon Apr 24 19:01:46 2000 rbenson {public msg} That will never happen!
Mon Apr 24 19:01:51 2000 rbenson {public msg} Old age?
Mon Apr 24 19:02:04 2000 rbenson {action: } grins evilly.
Mon Apr 24 19:02:10 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 19:02:20 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Thanks Raymond. This might be a good time
Mon Apr 24 19:02:39 2000 icebreaker {public msg} to let everyone know when and where to pick up copies of Doubleshot and any book signings in the future
Mon Apr 24 19:02:44 2000 icebreaker {public msg} end
Mon Apr 24 19:02:51 2000 rbenson {public msg} It`s available now in the UK
Mon Apr 24 19:02:59 2000 rbenson {public msg} It should be available in the US the first week of June
Mon Apr 24 19:03:16 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`m doing a signing in London on May 6 at noon at Adrian Harrington Bookshop
Mon Apr 24 19:03:21 2000 rbenson {public msg} 64a Kensington Church St.
Mon Apr 24 19:03:38 2000 rbenson {public msg} I`m doing a signing at an English-language bookshop in Paris on May 10 at 7:30pm
Mon Apr 24 19:03:42 2000 rbenson {public msg} WH Smith Paris
Mon Apr 24 19:03:47 2000 rbenson {public msg} 248 Rue de Rivoli
Mon Apr 24 19:03:52 2000 rbenson {public msg} then… back home
Mon Apr 24 19:03:58 2000 rbenson {public msg} in the Chicago area
Mon Apr 24 19:04:11 2000 rbenson {public msg} June 10, Barnes & Noble, Arlington Heights, 2pm
Mon Apr 24 19:04:26 2000 rbenson {public msg} June 14, Borders Michigan Avenue, Chicago, 7pm
Mon Apr 24 19:04:33 2000 rbenson {public msg} that`s all I know of for now
Mon Apr 24 19:04:35 2000 rbenson {public msg} (end)
Mon Apr 24 19:04:30 2000 suzy {ask} Can`t wait for Doubleshot, RB…a toute a l`heure, alligateur 🙂
Mon Apr 24 19:04:55 2000 rbenson {public msg} Thanks, it`s been fun!
Mon Apr 24 19:05:01 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Okay, thanks again Raymond for coming
Mon Apr 24 19:05:06 2000 icebreaker {public msg} thanks everyone
Mon Apr 24 19:05:06 2000 rbenson {action: } waves at everyone.
Mon Apr 24 19:05:08 2000 icebreaker {public msg} for showing up
Mon Apr 24 19:05:09 2000 rbenson {action: } faints dead away.
Mon Apr 24 19:05:12 2000 icebreaker {public msg} you were great
Mon Apr 24 19:05:13 2000 willply {public msg} Great work both of you. Very nice chat! (MIC OFF)
Mon Apr 24 19:05:16 2000 icebreaker {public msg} raymond was great
Mon Apr 24 19:05:23 2000 rbenson {public msg} thanks
Mon Apr 24 19:05:27 2000 willply {public msg} Both of you were.
Mon Apr 24 19:05:36 2000 icebreaker {public msg} and we`ll see you next month with Patrick Bauchau from A View To A Kill
Mon Apr 24 19:05:38 2000 icebreaker {public msg} Bye for now!

Totally Banned

Canadian Bond fans who have been hunting high and low for the Special Collector`s Edition of TV Guide, with the cover story of “Totally Bond”, need not bother; TV Guide is not distributing the edition outside of the United States at this time, nor is it translating it into it`s Spanish editions. Instead, TVGuide Live is offering Canadian readers a cover story on Lisa Kudrow, star of “Friends, where she talks about her role as Phoebe Buffet.

What non-U.S. Bond fans won`t get a chance to read is Raymond Benson`s exclusive short story “Live at Five”, set in a Chicago television station and of course, featuring James Bond. Also, as mentioned here exclusively several weeks ago, the Special Edition also features a Bond Girls Reunion, with several Bond Girls from past films getting together for a photo shoot and reminiscing over old times.

The lead story on Brosnan can be found at TV Guide, entitled “Bond and Beyond”. It doesn`t contain much in the way of news that long time Bond fans would find interesting, but it at least will give you a taste of what you`re missing. Also at TV Guide and TV Guide Live you can order back issues, special issues (presumably this one) and send your unhappy email about this situation to the distribution and marketing department.

New Non-Bond Benson Book Available

PRESS RELEASE – January 5, 2001, Seattle, WA, USA

PublishingOnline, a leading international distributor and publisher of eBooks, announced today that the first installment of Evil Hours, a 14-part serial novel by Raymond Benson, the acclaimed author of original James Bond titles and film novelizations, is now available for free digital download on its new, state-of-the art Web site.

“We are extremely excited to be the exclusive representative of this new work by Raymond Benson, and we are very proud to have Evil Hours help us to showcase what we believe will fast become the Internet`s standard-setting eBook Web site, ” said Min Yee, Publisher of PublishingOnline.

“Mr. Benson has long been one of PublishingOnline`s best-selling authors, and the tens of thousands of James Bond readers are testament to his unique ability to draw readers into his thrilling world of action and suspense,” Min Yee added.

Evil Hours follows the tracks of Shannon Reece as she tries to uncover the truth surrounding her mother`s brutal murder 26 years earlier in the small, working class town of Limite, Texas. Although the alleged murderer was convicted, imprisoned and subsequently killed by fellow inmates, the case has long troubled Reece, and with the help of a private eye unravels a hidden trail of deceit that ultimately leads to the most unsuspecting of places in the novel`s haunting conclusion.

In an exclusive interview with PublishingOnline, also available on the new site, Benson said that his latest work, which is “Larry McMurtry meets David Lynch,” was written in the down time between the second and third of his four original 007-novels.

Each of the 14 episodes will be made available free to PublishingOnline members in PDF format, or one dollar per episode for non-members, on each Friday through March 16. Membership with PublishingOnline is free.

About Raymond Benson

Raymond Benson`s first 007 foray, a short story in Playboy magazine, was published in 1997, and since then, following in the footsteps of previous Bond authors John Gardner and Kingsley Amis, he has written four original Bond novels, with a fifth one due in June, 2001, and two 007-film novelizations. He is also the author of PublishingOnline`s bestselling The James Bond Bedside Companion, the ultimate authoritative book on James Bond facts and ephemera. The Kirkus Reviews has called Benson`s writing in his novel The Facts of Death “a postmodern treat for fans and newcomers…” and the Boston Sunday Herald called the writing in his most recent work “as irresistible as ever.”

About PublishingOnline

PublishingOnline is a leading distributor and publisher of digital books. With eBooks offered off its Web site in the world`s eight most populous; with an Affiliated Publisher Program comprising dozens of publishers; with the rights to hundreds of exclusive works; and with a growing collection of out-of-print and rare, award-winning titles, PublishingOnline is aggressively building the largest online library in the world.

Membership with PublishingOnline is free and entitles readers to many benefits including free downloads of literary masterpieces, exclusive offers and e-mail alerts. PublishingOnline`s new Web site utilizes the latest in eCommerce and search technology and can be accessed at www.PublishingOnline.com.

Get Into Bed With Bond. James Bond.

Seattle PublishingOnline.com announced today that it has entered into an exclusive publishing agreement with Raymond Benson, best known as the current author of the James Bond 007 novels. Mr. Benson was commissioned by Ian Fleming (Glidrose) Publications Ltd. in 1996 to continue the best-selling series after Fleming, Kingsley Amis, and John Gardner.

Of particular interest to James Bond fans is the electronic publication of Benson`s landmark encyclopedic work, The James Bond Bedside Companion, long considered to be the best non-fiction study of the 007 phenomenon. Originally published in 1984, it was nominated for an EdgarAllan Poe Award (Mystery Writers of America) for Best Biographical/Critical Work of that year.

The Bedside Companion is often cited to be the “Bible of Bond,” as it contains a history of the rise in Bond`s popularity, a in-depth biography of Ian Fleming, and illuminating analyses of the novels and films up to that point in time. Out of print since 1990, The James Bond Bedside Companion will now be available again to fans around the world.

PublishingOnline.com has also entered into an exclusive agreement with Benson to publish his first non-Bond novel, Evil Hours, a “serial” in fourteen episodes. Benson describes Evil Hours as a “drama that takes place in a fictional small West Texas town and is a cross between Larry McMurtry and David Lynch.” The story concerns a young woman`s quest for the truth about her mother`s murder, which occurred over 25 years earlier.

Evil Hours will appear in weekly installments on www.PublishingOnline.com, free to readers for a limited time, after which it will be offered for sale in its entirety along with POL`s other titles. The first episode of Evil Hours will make its online debut on April 25th at 7am est.

Two of Benson`s original short stories, The Plagiarist and Thumbs Down, will also be published on the POL Web site. Benson describes these tales, written in the mid-eighties, as “Twilight Zone”-style fantasies dealing with the plight of frustrated writers.

PublishingOnline.com digitizes in-print, mid-list, backlist and out of print titles as well as front list selections and makes them available for sale electronically on the Internet. PublishingOnline.com will make many titles available for purchase in a variety of formats—Windows, Windows CE, Palm Pilot, SoftBook, Apple. E-books, essays, articles and poetry can be downloaded for prices ranging from $5.00 to $50.00.

PublishingOnline.com carries titles from all types of trade publishers and individual authors. The Web site is located at http://www.PublishingOnline.com. For additional information call (206) 439-9257 or contact the company via Email:info@publishingonline.com.

Doubleshot’s Gala Debut

DOUBLESHOT will rocket into bookstores within a matter of weeks (May 2000 in the U.K.; June 2000 in the U.S.) and before writer Raymond Benson takes off to Europe for a publicity tour, he graciously dropped by and chatted with friends and new fans Monday night, even revealing a suprise or two.

DOUBLSHOT will be excerpted in the June issue of Playboy Magazine which goes on sale the first week in May. Apparently they had a particular interest in this story and you U.K. readers who have already gotten your hands on the novel will understand what we are talking about (but we won`t give away the surprise!)Benson also confirmed to our intimate chat group that he`ll be researching locations in France next month for his follow-up to DOUBLESHOT, and Corsica will play a part in the book as well. The tentative title for his next novel, to be published in Summer 2001 is: NEVER DREAM OF DYING.

NDOD is Benson`s own idea, and so far the editors have had no objections. Also revealed were the original, working titles for DOUBLESHOT: “Doppleganger” and “Reflections In A Broken Glass”. See what kind of fascinating information you can learn in a celebrity chat? Our sincere thanks again to Raymond, for his patience and time, and a special thanks to our chat group members who came well prepared, well read, and quite enthusiastic! We will post the full transcript of the chat session later in the week!

Bonding in France

Raymond Benson`s next book, following Doubleshot, will be set in France.

According to to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, Feb 14, 2000 in an article by Mary A. Gruner (Daily Herald Correspondent): “At present, Benson is working on a new book, for which he will soon be researching in France. Although he has traveled to Hong Kong, China, England, and many other countries, he confesses that his research forays are intensive and exhausting.”

Zero Minus Ten

The Hero: James Bond; The Villain: ??? The Bond Girl: Sunny Pei; Supporting Characters: “M”, Q, Moneypenny, T.Y. Woo, Chen Chen; Locations Covered: Hong Kong, Australia, Jamaica; First Published: 1997

Someone long ago called it the “Undertaker`s Wind”, but hardly anyone in Jamaica referred to it by that name anymore. The Undertaker`s Wind was supposed to blow the bad air out of the island at night. In the morning, the “Doctor`s Wind” would come and blow the sweet air in from the sea.—-Zero Minus Ten, page 1.

In the passage quoted above, Raymond Benson was referring to a Jamaican superstition about the weather. For all intents and purposes, he might as well have been talking about the current state of the Bond literary franchise. Prior to his taking over that is!

Zero Minus Ten is a tough, raw, back-to-basics Bond novel that pays tribute to fans of both the cinema Bond and the literary Bond. It contains the best of both worlds, and should be a crowd pleaser for all.

Zero Minus Ten starts off with a teaser of sorts. A mission before the main mission, and one that is totally unrelated to the rest of the book. Chapter Two: Three Events, sets up what will become the catalyst for the investigation Bond will undertake. The events include an atomic bomb exploding in the Australian Outback, an explosion that destroys the entire Board-of-Directors of Eurasia Enterprises, and the gunning down of several customs agents in England. What`s the connection? Is there one?

Bond is sent to Hong Kong to investigate who may be responsible for these and several other terrorist attacks that have taken place in Hong Kong or with corporations doing business in Hong Kong. Could someone be trying to set up a potential war between China and Britain? A conflict that could possibly destroy the peaceful transition from British rule to Chinese rule that`s due to take place July 1st, 1997?

I haven’t mentioned the villains yet and for good reason. There are several who may have a motive for wanting to destroy peace between England and China. Those include an insane Saddam Hussein-like General Wong, who is just chomping at the bit to go ahead and invade Hong Kong with force, a Triad (a type of Chinese mafia) leader who hates Communist rule, and the President of Eurasia Enterprises, who is bitter at England for turning her back on Hong Kong. Even if you were to guess who did what to whom, it`s unlikely you`d figure out why until the very last few pages. Benson throws in enough red-herrings to confound even the most savvy mystery reader.

You can tell from reading the novel that Benson did his homework. The novel is rich in detail. The greatest thing that Benson does for Zero Minus Ten is “personalize” Hong Kong. By that I mean he makes Hong Kong seem just like a person. Not a soulless, steel and concrete mega monstrosity, but a living, breathing, vibrant human being. Through the many different characters Benson presents, you get a sense of anxiety for Hong Kong. A sense of worry for her. You feel how many residents now feel. Nervous with anticipation for her future. I cannot reiterate this enough. I was really impressed with how I felt about Hong Kong after putting down the book. I felt like i`d made and lost a new friend all at once. I feel this was the greatest achievement of Benson`s effort.

I was also impressed with the amount of background material presented about Hong Kong and the Triad`s. Benson gives you quite an education on Hong Kong`s evolution into the city she has become today. The rich background history lays an excellent foundation to later explain who is doing what to whom and why. It makes the main villain`s scheme seem much more plausible, and makes you somewhat more sympathetic to his cause.

Benson writes Bond back as a man in or around his early forties. The emotional baggage is still there, but without overtly giving in to today`s political correctness. Benson`s style of writing is definitely different than Fleming`s, yet it`s not necessary to copy Fleming`s style when you`ve captured the essence of who Bond is. And Benson has done that.

The Bond girl in this story is a prostitute, but to Benson`s credit, he never takes the easy way out in writing her character. Though she is a prostitute, Benson writes her with intelligence, an educated background, and an attitude. Benson also creates an interesting paradox that helps add to the chemistry between Bond and Sunny Pei. At one point, her very existence depends on her killing Bond, while Bond is trying to keep her alive by doing a nasty job for one of the villains.

Benson also brings a genuine sense of humor to the novel that has been lacking for quite a while. Most of the best humor comes from T.Y.Woo, or his son Chen Chen, who at just 15, has been put in charge of driving Bond around Hong Kong. I laughed out loud at Bond receiving “flammable shoelaces” from “Q” or Moneypenny telling Bond she`d whisper him “sweet and sour nothings”.

As I said, Benson`s novel is rich in detail. Sometimes too rich. Pages 50 through 53 contain a lengthy review of a dinner that Bond enjoy`s while in Hong Kong. Chapters 6 and 7 extensively cover a game of mahjong between 007, Guy Thackeray (The President of Eurasia Enterprises) and T.Y.Woo, Bond`s liason in Hong Kong. If you`ve had some experience playing mahjong but still had a few questions on how to play it, these chapters are for you. If you`ve always wanted to know how to play mahjong, these chapters are for you. But if you`re like me and never likely to play it, these two chapters can be awfully tedious. It would have been nice if these passages had been consolidated somewhat.

The book really hit`s it`s stride though beginning with Chapter 8: Private Dancer, where Bond hooks up with Sunny Pei. Up to this point we`ve had the teaser, the set up, and then two long chapters about mahjong. But here is where the action begins. From here on out, Zero Minus Ten is a fast paced, page turner. It`s no coincidence that, from this point onward, it only took me a day to finish out the book. Literally, I could not put it down. I did not want to put it down.

No book is perfect, and Zero Minus Ten has it`s faults. My gripes with the book are minor though. Benson is more explicit with how he approaches the love scenes than Fleming or Gardner ever were. I sort of miss that subtlety. I also felt Bond`s infiltration into Guangzhou was a lost opportunity. I was looking for a Mission:Impossible type scenario here, and it turned into more or less of a shootout. I felt the Stephanie Lane character too closely resembled Xenia Onatopp from “Goldeneye”, the “coldhearted bastard” remark from “M” was too reminiscent of the exchange between “M” and 007 in “Goldeneye” and the scene with “Q” seemed culled straight from any one of the films.

Still, small gripes aside, this is the hardest, tightest, and fastest Bond thrillers to come along in ten years. It`s Bond at his most basic. As of this writing, we aren`t certain what Hong Kong`s future will hold with China. But with James Bond and Raymond Benson around, it`s looking good so far.

Tomorrow Never Dies (Novelization)

Movie novelizations are notoriously bad, as the action is badly translated from the silver screen to the printed page. Thankfully, Raymond Benson`s adaptation of the 18th Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, is an exception. Far from being a direct copy of what was seen in the cinema, the novel nevertheless remains faithful to Roger Spottiswoode`s film.

Just as a chef perfects a familiar recipe Benson had tweaked the plot of Tomorrow Never Dies to produce an original and compelling read. Without budgetary or time restraints, time is given to character development and background. We learn of Carver`s rise to power and the seeds of his madness, while Wai-Lin`s mission is given some much-needed back-story, which only strengthens the already impressive character.

The central theme of media manipulation is also examined in more detail than was seen on screen, with nice touches such as M leaking misinformation to the British press to ensure her position at MI6 is secure, adding a feeling of realism to the snowballing world crises.

One of the biggest changes is the character of Paris, now a far-more independent character ready to leave her husband at the drop of a hat – or dress – and willing to wear her involvement with 007 on her sleeve. Unfortunately, without the entrapment of a marriage impossible to escape, Paris loses her desperation and sympathy this making her death less of a tragedy.

While Tomorrow Never Dies fails to touch Zero Minus Ten`s crown, the novel stands head and shoulders above the usual tie-in pap and successful captures the excitement of one of the best Bond films in the canon.

The World Is Not Enough (Novelization)

Raymond Benson’s novelization of The World Is Not Enough screenplay reads “fast and loose,” but of necessity, the book follows the screenplay so closely that fans will have to dig in with grit to unearth the fans’ treasures hidden inside.

By Mr. Benson’s own admission, he was rushed by Hodder & Staughton’s publishing schedule combined with a fast post-production on the TWINE final film, to do very much of anything exotic or innovative with the book. Raymond Benson’s knowledge of the James Bond phenomenon is encyclopedic in nature, however, and besides being a leading Bond writer, he is a fan’s fan who can recall chapter and verse of any significant Bond novel section, and he adds spicy details to his 007 movie novels.

Tidbits of Flemingiana are scattered throughout the TWINE novel, as when Bond savors the “scent and smell and sweat” of Valentin Zhukovsky’s casino (confer with Chapter 1 of “Casino Royale”). There are fun pokes at the Purvis/Wade/Feirstein scripts of recent years, shared lovingly, like when M admonishes Bond that “Contrary to what you may believe, Double-O Seven, the world is not populated by madmen who can hollow out volcanoes, fill them with big breasted women, and threaten the world with nuclear annihilation . . . ” (!) from a rejected Bruce Feirstein script bit. Benson adds his response, “Bond grinned at the irony of her remark . . . “. Bond ducks into the Bilbao, Spain art museum for a wistful look at great works after leaping from a window away from a sniper, in another place. We get fun and Fleming-like travelogue, weapons and vehicle details throughout.

Another help for any avid Bond movie fan Mr. Benson provides is his thorough covering over of some of the final film’s weightier continuity errors in his work, a pleasant tradition dating back to the first Bond novelization for “The Spy Who Loved Me”. How does Bond’s small craft leap up to destroy “Giuliana’s” gun placement on her boat? (Bond uses her craft as a launch ramp.) Why do all four of the dreaded parahawks chase down Bond instead of at least half targeting Elektra King on the slopes, to make Renard’s “attack” on her look valid? (Two hawks indeed chase King in the novel, until she is “frightened” enough to turn tail and head conveniently in Bond’s direction.) Bar bets and newsgroup disputes on TWINE continuity errors should be checked here first. Mr. Benson is thoroughly meticulous in making Bond’s world dovetail with our real world where possible.

Best of all the goodies, a delightfully Fleming-ish chapter late in the book explores in detail Renard’s history as a terrorist/Bond villain. Benson’s yarn of villain Renard and his “affair” with Elektra King receive treatment from Benson at a clever spot in the narrative, and makes this book worth a read by itself. Thanks, Raymond!

In sum, “The World Is Not Enough” movie novel gives readers a quick taste of Bond while they await Benson’s forthcoming novel, “Doubleshot”. Plus in its first printing British hardcover, The World Is Not Enough from Hodder & Staughton, is fetching US $75 to $150 for its scarcity only two months after publication! (Rumor has it Hodder ran merely 2,250 copies of the first printing state, with many copies gone to libraries immediately.) Oh Hodder, when will you promote your Bond novels like you did years ago, when John Gardner standees and fancy displays headlined “License Renewed” and every Bond novel hit the NY Times list?

–Matt Sherman collects all the British Bond firsts and many more hot collectibles with you at 007Forever Collectors’ Corner.