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Raymond Benson is a freelance entertainment writer and reviewer for the Daily Herald. To date, he is the author of 23 published books.
Between 1996 and 2002, Raymond was commissioned by the James Bond literary copyright holders to take over writing the 007 novels. In total, he penned and published worldwide six original 007 novels, three film novelizations, and three short stories. An anthology of his 007 work, "The Union Trilogy," was published in the fall of 2008, and a second anthology, "Choice of Weapons," appeared summer 2010. His book, "The James Bond Bedside Companion," an encyclopedic work on the 007 phenomenon, was first published in 1984 and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America for Best Biographical/Critical Work. Using the pseudonym "David Michaels," Raymond is also the author of The New York Times best-selling books Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell" and its sequel Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell-Opertion Barracuda."
Raymond's recent original suspense novels are "Evil Hours," "Face Blind," and "Sweetie's Diamonds" (the latter won the Readers' Choice Award for Best Thriller of 2006 at the Love is Murder Conference for Authors, Readers and Publishers). "A Hard Day's Death," the first in a series of "rock 'n' roll thrillers," was published in 2008, and its sequel, "Dark Side of the Morgue," published in March 2009, has been nominated for a Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original PI Novel by the Private Eye Writers of America. Also published in 2008 was the novelization of the popular video game, "Metal Gear Solid"; its sequel, "Metal Gear Solid 2 - Sons of Liberty," was published in the fall of 2009.
In the late 1980s and first half of the '90s, Raymond worked as a computer game designer for various companies. For his work in this field, he is the recipient of the Newsweek Editors' Choice Award, the Parents Choice Award for Excellence, and two Digital Hollywood Awards.
Raymond also spent more than a decade in New York City, directing numerous stage productions off-off-Broadway and composing music for many other shows. Raymond has taught courses in film genres and history at New York's New School for Social Research, Harper College in Palatine, and College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.
He currently presents Film Studies lectures with Daily Herald movie critic Dann Gire at "Dann & Raymond's Movie Club" in Schaumburg and Arlington Heights. Raymond has been honored in Naoshima, Japan, with the erection of a permanent museum dedicated to one of his novels, and he is also an Ambassador for Japan's Kagawa Prefecture. Raymond is an active member of International Thriller Writers Inc., Mystery Writers of America, International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, a full member of American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and serves on the board of directors of The Ian Fleming Foundation. He is based in the Chicago area. Visit www.raymondbenson.com.