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‘What does No Book to Finished book Look Like? Part 3 with Raymond Benson, Author

My Interview with best-selling author, Raymond Benson (part 3).  It’s always a thrill for me when busy, well-known authors are so generous with their answers that I must serialize the interview.  Don’t miss Part 1 or 2.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like? 

Raymond at the keyboard

Raymond at the keyboard

A. There is no set in stone process that writers should follow except the process they fashion themselves—the process that works for them. As I said (see Part 2), I happen to outline, it’s part of my process. I know writers who don’t outline, and that’s part of their processes. Everyone is different. That said, you do have to develop a process, and it must be a productive one, for the most important thing about writing a finished book is to indeed finish it.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters ?

A. My books tend to be plot-driven—I think of the storyline before I cast it with characters. They develop with the story, usually. This hasn’t always been the case. With The Black Stiletto, the character came first. My literary manager and I were having lunch one day, and he advised me to create something women would like, since the vast majority of book-buyers were women. I facetiously suggested creating a female superhero, and we laughed for a minute. And then he said, “You know, that’s not a bad idea.” At the same time, I already had a story brewing in my mind about a grown man who discovers some dark secret about his dying mother (who has Alzheimer’s). I didn’t know what that secret was yet. more »

A Chat with Raymond Benson, Author (part 2)

Raymond at the Spy Museum

Raymond at the Spy Museum

TS. ‘This photo speaks loudly about the rewards of overcoming procrastination, doesn’t it??’

Part 2 of 3 ** My Interview with Raymond Benson

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

A. If you don’t have a real deadline from an employer, then make one for yourself. Just tell yourself, “I’m going to finish this by the holidays,” or whatever, and stick to it. It takes discipline, and you might have to work at it, but hey, being a writer is, after all, a job.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?

A. Never, because I take care of all the instances of getting lost during the Outline phase. I’m a firm believer in outlining a novel prior to writing it. I know many writers don’t, and that works for them, but for me, I find it to be an invaluable tool. I spend a month or two on it, and it’s in that document I work out the plot, the twists and turns, the red herrings, and I structure the story into a dramatic piece, the entirety of which I can look at with a bird’s-eye view. It’s like doing a prose storyboard for the novel. Believe me, it’s easier to throw out a few paragraphs of an outline when you don’t like the way the story is going, than it is to throw out two or three chapters. So I do all of my hair-pulling and angst-spouting during the Outline phase, which then makes the longer, more tedious phase of Writing much easier. more »

Interview with Raymond Benson, best selling Author (1of3)

RaymondBensonAtWorkRAYMOND BENSON is the internationally-acclaimed author of thirty published titles. The third book in his most recent thriller series—THE BLACK STILETTO: SECRETS and LIES— was  released today.   He took out time to interview with me and generously talked at length about his writing process and world.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

A. I have an office at home, and it’s exclusively used for that purpose. It’s full of books and filing cabinets, artwork, trinkets, a CD player, and of course, my desk and computer. There’s even a lava lamp, although I don’t use it as much as I should! On my desk is a photo of my wife, an “action figure” replica of the black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a pebble from the beach at Goldeneye, in Jamaica, the home where Ian Fleming wrote all the Bond novels. And a slinky, to play with during the times when I have to sit there and ponder.

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Don’t Miss my Interview with Author, Raymond Benson this Tuesday!

Raymond and Black Stilleto

Raymond and Black Stiletto

Raymond Benson has been an award-winning and best-selling author, composer, computer game designer, stage director, film historian, and film genres instructor for over thirty years. He is also the fourth official author of the James Bond 007 novels.

Step inside and find out why Lee Child describes Raymond as “a top class thriller craftsman” and David Morrell calls him “one of the best thriller writers in the business.”

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