a candid conversation with the new james bond author about the future of 007, the dress code of australian aborigines, and who was the hottest babe on "gilligan's island"

Raymond Benson, 41, was raised in West Texas, and received a BFA in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin. A director and composer, he spent several years in New York, directing stage productions and writing music, collaborating with several playwrights on musicals. He currently resides in suburban Chicago, having worked for Viacom New Media, with the writing and designing of several award-winning CD-ROM adventure games to his credit. He also has taught classes in interactive screenwriting at Columbia College. In late 1995, Benson was approached by Peter Janson-Smith, literary agent for Ian Fleming in the 1950's and '60' s, and current head of Glidrose Publications, (owner of the copyright to the Bond novels), to take on the Bond literary series. Benson accepted, and the new James Bond adventure, "Zero Minus Ten" is scheduled to be released this spring. HMSS dispatched senior editors Tom Zielinski and Paul Baack to talk with Benson about himself, James Bond, and his thoughts and preferences on other important topics...
photo by Tom Zielinski
"Besides trying to write well,(it's) difficult coming up with a plot that I think is interesting, and that other people will think is interesting."
photo by Paul Baack
"I'm considering upgrading the Walther PPK to the P-99, but (Bond'll) still use both. He's going to have a more high-tech car, though."
photo by Paul Baack
"I've always been a "routine" kind of guy. Disciplined. I don't have to force myself. (Writing) came to me pretty well."