Benson discusses what it was like to write the 007 novels, the little-known 1985 Casino Royale stage play, working on role-playing games, day-to-day routines, and much more…
A few snippets from the interview:
Paul Fuhr: In 1985, you were commissioned to do a stage play of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. While you can’t produce or publish this yourself, could you share some details about its structure or action? What did you take from the source material and what did you leave behind? How does one go about staging Fleming’s novel? Do you regret not seeing it produced?
(Photograph by Phil Goldman)
Raymond Benson: At the time, the Fleming literary estate owned certain rights in that one particular novel, including stage adaptation rights. Because of my theatre background, they asked me to try and adapt the novel to a play…
My play turned out to be very faithful to the book… A staged reading of the play was performed in New York in early 1986 and it went very well. But the Fleming estate ultimately decided not to pursue a real production…
Paul Fuhr: When you were announced as the new author of the James Bond series, were you ever intimidated by the shadow of Fleming, Amis, and Gardner? Early on, did you find yourself imitating a style, keeping certain “Bond” elements, or rewriting your work to meet expectations?
Raymond Benson: …I didn’t try to mimic Fleming’s style–that would have been a disaster–and besides, I don’t think anyone can really do that. What I tried to do was simply stay true to the spirit of Fleming’s books but write them the way I felt they should be.
Paul Fuhr: What goes into creating the perfect James Bond villain, in your opinion?
Raymond Benson: That’s the toughest part of doing the Bond books. A good villain and plot… I would always try to tie in my villains with the history of a particular country. The plots of my Bond novels usually have something to do with Britain’s concern over a hot spot in the world…
There’s much, much more. Head on over to Paradigm for the full interview with Raymond Benson. Simply click on the link and then enter the ‘fiction’ section of the website.
Stay tuned to CBn for all the latest literary James Bond news.