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  1. Meeting Raymond Benson In London; Book Signing

    The day couldn't have been better!

    As soon as we got to London, we checked out the Swatch Shop in Liverpool Street Station and saw the 40th Anniversary Bond watches – they looked absolutely fantastic – it would have looked better on my wrist I have to admit.

    Well, we wasn't hear to buy James Bond watches, but it was too early to go to the bookshop, so we decided to have lunch at Planet Hollywood at Picadilly Circus. No queue at all, we was straight in. Unfortunately the "James Bond" room was full, so we couldn't sit inside the gun barrel to eat our BBQ ribs.

    However, just because we wasn't sitting in the Bond room, we did get to see the Die Another Day trailer on the big screens to both sides of us! The day couldn't have been better!

    After eating we made our way to the bookshop, situated near to Kensington Palace. Although the bookshop was small, it was one that you wish you have down the end of your road. It had too many copies of the first edition Fleming books (made me very jealous as I wish I had such a collection). Making our way down to the back of the book store, we saw the man with a pen in hand!

    After signing mine and Greg's book's, and the other people's attending, Raymond Benson told of his trip to Japan.

    All of the places in "The Man With The Red Tattoo" Mr Benson visited. If you've read the book, you'll know of the part where the train stops half way down the Seikan Tunnel. Well, Mr Benson took the maitenance train half way down the tunnel to take a look around. After he'd finished with his notes, the staff member had the train the passenger train stop to pick them up, and that the look on the Japanese passengers was one of curiosity as to why the train had stopped to pick up two Westerners in the middle of the Seikan Tunnel!

    Along his travel's in Japan, he met up with Akikio Wakabayashi and Mie Hama (Aki and Kissy Suzuki from You Only Live Twice) aswell as interviewing a member of the Yakuza, the manager of a Soaplands establishment and a Soaplands girl!

    Raymond Benson recommends a trip to Japan anyday!

    After his great talk, questions were asked. One gentleman asked about the Die Another Day novelisation. The book is all finished and now ready for publication, however the release date was unknown, however, Amazon.co.uk still lists it as the 7th of November.

    Another was about film rights to his books; as Eon hold the rights to the Bond character, they can use any of the storylines or titles for a Bond movie, which he'd love to see done.

    After questiontime, we said our farewells and headed home.

    Meeting Raymond Benson in person finally, and getting to see the Die Another Day trailer in Planet Hollywood's – what a day!

    David Winter @ 2002-06-29
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