Raymond Khoury biography

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Raymond Khoury
Photo: Sue McKay

Raymond Khoury

Raymond Khoury Biography

Raymond Khoury was born in Lebanon but spent his teenage years in Rye, New York, where his family moved in 1975 to escape the Lebanese Civil War. After graduating from Rye Country Day School, he returned to Lebanon to study architecture at the American University of Beirut. During his years there, in between repeated flare-ups of fighting, he illustrated several children's books for Oxford University Press's Middle East office. Raymond completed his degree just as the civil war erupted again, and was evacuated out from the city in February, 1984, by the Marine Corp's 22nd Amphibious Unit on board a Chinook helicopter.

Raymond moved to London and joined a small architecture practice. The architecture scene in the mid-80s throughout much of Europe was going through a severe downturn, and the work was far from fulfilling. He decided to explore other career options and applied to the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France. After graduating from its MBA program, he moved back to London where he joined Banque Paribas Capital Markets, selling gold-linked convertibles and other far less exotic financial instruments.

He left the world of investment banking to return to his creative roots. During a visit to the Bahamas to explore a real-estate opportunity there, he met a Wall Street banker who dabbled in the film business, developing screenplays with writers in Hollywood. Raymond bounced an idea off the banker, the idea stuck, and they agreed to develop it into a screenplay by hiring a professional screenwriter. Several conference calls later, the outlines coming back from Los Angeles weren't quite what Raymond had in mind. He decided to write an outline himself, to give the screenwriter a clearer picture of how he saw the movie. Upon receiving outline, Raymond's partner called him up and told him, "Our man in L.A. isn't going to write this movie for us. You are. You're a writer."

Raymond wrote the screenplay, which was shortlisted for a Fulbright Fellowship in Screenwriting award that year. His next screenplay, a semi-autobiographical screenplay about his college years during the civil war, was also shortlisted for the award a year later. In 1996, he optioned the film rights to Melvyn Bragg's novel, The Maid of Buttermere, writing the screenplay adaptation himself while completing an original screenplay, The Last Templar. The Maid of Buttermere found its way to Robert DeNiro, who shortly after announced in Variety that he would be producing it and playing the lead role of Colonel Hope. The movie was never made, of course -- but the experience was this budding screenwriter's introduction to the pains and vagaries of working in Hollywood.

Since then, Raymond has been working as a screenwriter and producer both in London and in Los Angeles, where his work includes the hit BBC television series Spooks, known as MI:5 in the US, and the Emmy-award winning series Waking The Dead. He also turned his original screenplay for The Last Templar into his first novel, which came out in 2005 and became an instant New York Times bestseller.

His other works include The Templar Salvation, Sean Reilly and Tess Chaykin series, The Devil's Elixir, Rasputin's Shadow, etc.

Raymond Khoury's website

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Books by Raymond Khoury at BookBrowse
Empire of Lies jacket The Devil's Elixir jacket The Templar Salvation jacket The Sign jacket
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