Raymond Benson, author of six James Bond novels and three novelisations, has touched down following a three week stint in Italy to promote the re-issue of his first 007 novel, Zero Minus Ten (published in Italy as Conto Alla Reve).
Italian publisher Alacrán Edizioni plan to re-issue all of Benson’s James Bond novels over the next three years in deluxe trade paperback formats.
Furthermore, Alacrán will publish the author’s original non-Bond novels for the first time; Benson’s 2003 original novel, Face Blind, was also promoted as part of his tour of Italy.
The publisher sponsored the author’s visits to Naples, Rome, Florence, Bologne and Milan, where he signed books for both James Bond aficionados and noir thriller fans.
Benson considers one of the highlights of his trip to be an interview conducted at Milan’s Mondedori bookstore, by “Elio”, regarded as the “Frank Zappa of Italy”, a popular rock star, front man and vocalist from the band Elio e le Storie Tese.
Benson also spent a week on the jury of the Courmayeur Noir in Festival, an international film festival specialising in noir, suspense, thriller and crime pictures. He joined actor Val Kilmer, American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, Czech/Italian actress Barbora Bobulova, and Swiss film producer Tiziana Soudani, who, together, selected the Danish picture Adam’s Apples as the Best Film.
Whilst there, Benson presented the Alacrán-published novels at a media conference attended by journalists from all over the globe.
“I feel like Jerry Lewis and the France thing,” Benson said. “Italy really made me feel welcome.”