Rediff.com  » Getahead » Jeffrey Archer: Available as captain or manager of England

Jeffrey Archer: Available as captain or manager of England

March 17, 2015 12:26 IST

The world's most popular author took questions from you, our dear readers.

Here is the unedited transcript of the chat:

Jeffrey Archer

Good morning, Jeffrey here. Just back from a book tour -- congratulations on your brilliant victory this morning against Ireland -- you're now looking like a team in a good position to defend your title as World Champions. Happy to answer your questions.

Vinu Murthy

Eight chapters of your next book in India... are you saying thank you to your India fans :)

Jeffrey Archer

In a way yes, but I'm using the knowledge I've picked up on my visits -- I always say authors should use personal experiences in their novels.

Molshree Bhatnagar

I am fan Sir! Congratulations for the immense success that Clifton Chronicles have received. Does Sebastian have in him to take the legacy of Harry forward? (Intrigue of Character)

Jeffrey Archer

Yes he does, wait and see!

Manuja Sahai

What is it in your own writing that appeals to you... do you sometimes repeatedly read your own novels?

Jeffrey Archer

No, I don't re-read my own work.

I'm often embarrassed when someone asks me a questions about something that I wrote 30 years ago, and I can't remember the detail.

Niraj Punjani

How can you make kids to read books regularly? How can you develop that habit?

Jeffrey Archer

If you find the right book to give them early on, it becomes a habit -- very important for parents to encourage children to read at an early age.

Anjistho Basu

Q1. Would you ever write a screenplay for a feature film? If yes, which genre would you prefer?

Q2. How do you feel when you: a) Finish a book? b) Start a book?

Q3. How do you know you have finished a book, including additions and corrections?

Jeffrey Archer

I've already written two screenplays -- Paths of Glory and False Impression.

And I can assure you, you know when you've finished a book.

Varsha Karthik

Which, according to you, is your best novel?

How much are your characters inspired by people you have known or met in real life?

Jeffrey Archer

My most popular is Kane and Abel; I'm sentimental about Penny, but I think the Clifton Chronicles are the best work that I've done.

Ganesh Nadar

Kane & Abel was your best novel I feel. Did you enjoy writing it the most?

Jeffrey Archer

Not necessarily. Funnily enough I was writing a chapter this morning for the next book, and I was still enjoying the process of writing.

Kumar Prakash

When is your new novel coming? Write one more like shall I tell the President? It is by far best novel to me.

Jeffrey Archer

Glad you enjoyed it. I'm doing 7 volumes of the Clifton Chonicles - No.5 came out last week, and no.6 comes out in March next year. After book 7, I'll be doing a book of short stories.

Shubh Singh

How common are ghost writers among the bestsellers?

Jeffrey Archer

I don't know, as I've never used one.

Hezal

England's out of the World Cup... what's the mood like in your part of the world :)

Jeffrey Archer

Pretty dreadful -- headlines you wouldn't want to see in your papers when discussing your team.

I've made it clear I'm available as captain or manager of England... but have had no response so far.

Rediff

Watch our video interview where Jeffrey Archer offered to be captain of England!

Abhishek Sharma

Do you read Indian authors, If yes which one is your favorite? Have you heard or read about Shiva Trilogy?

Jeffrey Archer

Not heard of that. My favourite Indian author is R K Narayan, and particularly enjoyed Malgudi Days.

Vinu Murthy

Which country has your biggest fan following? I think it is india

Jeffrey Archer

I can't prove it, but I suspect that's true. In numbers though, it would be US, then UK; and I have a strong following in Japan.

Dilmesh Singh

Sir, you have seen lots of ups and downs in your life. When can we expect you to write an autobiography? Also, how would you describe life (not yours, in general) in few lines?

Jeffrey Archer

Not for at least another 10 years, as I have many more things I wish to achieve - not least the captaincy of the England cricket team.....which I'm expecting to be offered in the next few days.

Amol Dhurve

Sir, Is it true that you were a Politician before becoming an author?

Jeffrey Archer

Yes, I was a Member of Parliament for five years, and then wrote Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less.

Ankit Daga

Are you a cat person? If yes, do you like Lady Virginia?

Jeffrey Archer

My wife is a cat person, and I tolerate them in order to remain married.

I adore Lady Virginia, and can't wait to see who they cast to play her in a proposed TV series!

Parth

Sir i am a big fan of you i am a 16 year old do you think one has the potential to write a mature book at that time? if yes what advice will you give to him?
Jeffrey Archer

No, I would advise you to get some experience of the real world. I didn't write my first book until I was 32. But don't lose the desire to write.

Nilesh Sonawane

What advice would you like to give to all amateurs about the writing?

Jeffrey Archer

Realise that it is a professional job, and you can't treat it in an amateur way; remembering that only 1 in a thousand books offered to publishers is actually published.

Abhishek Sharma

Will any of the Clifton's will see same fate as Jessica in 5th or upcoming novels in series?

Jeffrey Archer

There's a new Jessica in the latest book, and I have a feeling -- although it's not yet written -- that she'll play a major part in the final two books!

Nishant Shukla

What inspired you to write?

Jeffrey Archer

I confess in my later years, I'm inspired not only by the sales, but the warm and generous response I receive from readers all over the world.

Mrudula Julukunta

What do you enjoy writing most, short stories / Novels / Epics like Kane & Abel?

Jeffrey Archer

The Clifton Chronicles has been the biggest challenge, as it's 7 volumes, and even a one-off novel is a far greater enterprise than a set of short stories.

Although I enjoy writing all three.

Sukhvinder Agah

Which bit of your India trip did you enjoy the most?

Jeffrey Archer

Pune had the most remarkable turn-out for my talk, so much that I wasn't able to finish signing the books in just under 3 hours, and had to have 200 sent to Kolkata so I could sign them whenever I had a moment.

I'm indebted to the Crossword bookstores for their fantastic turn out and generous welcome!

Cheong

May I know will you conduct a meet&greet session in UK other than London only, like South region?

And also, is there any chance for you Sir to come Malaysia to do a fan meeting or book signing? Thank you

Jeffrey Archer

I won't be in Malaysia this year I'm afraid, but I am doing a couple more signings in the UK -- check my FB page for details.

Shikhamani Sharma

So, what exactly does Jeffrey Archer mean when he says: "I am a storyteller, not a writer" ? I need to understand this

Jeffrey Archer

There's a difference between a writer -- when you're probably well educated, well read and have a great command of language, and being a storyteller which is a God-given gift, and some of the greatest writers do not possess.

A combination of the two is what every writer would like to be -- R K Narayan is a classic example of this.

Mohit Kumar

Dear Sir!! Your list of must reads... at least 5 of them !!

Jeffrey Archer

Count of Monte Cristo, Of Mice and Men, Beware of Pity, The 39 Steps, Malgudi Days.

Aditya J

Sir, I've been a huge admirer of your work and being a young writer myself (I'm 17), what advice would you like to give young writers like me? :)

Jeffrey Archer

Don't be in a hurry -- keep writing, and keep reading -- particularly the classics.

Gaurav Talera

Hello Mr Archer, I had read your bestseller Paths Of Glory, an awesome novel, is it based on a true story?

Jeffrey Archer

Yes it is!

Aditya J

Is creativity the best gift of a writer? If you had the choice; would you be a writer who relies on creativity or a writer who takes inspiration from real life events?

Jeffrey Archer

It's quite possible to do both. As I state in my short stories - some come from my imagination, some from real life.

Rakesh

What do you like in Indian food?

Jeffrey Archer

I do enjoy a good chicken curry, as long as it's not too spicy!

Hitansh

Sir, how is your health now? And your wife's? Please pass on our good wishes from India

Jeffrey Archer

Many thanks! Mary and I are fully recovered.

Tushar

Your books are read all over the world -- which places is it being read that surprised you the most?

Jeffrey Archer

I can't say that an individual country surprises me, as the enjoyment of storytelling is universal, although I would confess to being surprised by the number of people who read my books in India

Ankit Daga

Coke or pepsi? Or is it earl grey ?

Jeffrey Archer

Diet Coke.

Jinny

Did starting off a major enterprise like the Clifton Chronicles daunt you?

Jeffrey Archer

Yes, but I was determined at the age of 70 to focus on something that would keep me young and enthusiastic!

Ankit Daga

Do you yourself believe that Mt. Everest was , in fact, scaled earlier than the world believes ?

Jeffrey Archer

I'm not convinced that Mallory reached the top, but I am convinced that he was capable of doing so.

Mrudula Julukunta

Hello Sir, I got my copy of Mightier Than Sword signed by you in Bangalore.

I did not get a chance to ask a question to you then.

I wanted to know which authors you read while growing up and how much they inspired your style of writing.

Jeffrey Archer

Thank you for coming along to the event.

I read the Just William books when I was younger, and then in my teens read the Ian Fleming books, and I suspect they did influence me in my later writing.

Ankit Daga

Don't you think Harry was a little reckless in signing that confession in Inspector Warwick's name ?

Jeffrey Archer

Not at all! Harry took a risk, but one worth taking.

Ankit Daga

I studied at LSE, will you ever consider it as the college of your protagonist?

Jeffrey Archer

I've already used it in an earlier book -- A Prisoner of Birth.

Ulfat

Did you mange to meet any of your favourite cricketers this time around?

Jeffrey Archer

Sadly not as they're all currently in Australia and NZ in the World Cup.

Bhanu

If you had a free hand, who would you like to see cast as Lady Virginia?

Jeffrey Archer

Rosamund Pike.

Gaurav Talera

Who inspired you to write novels? And make a career in this field?

Jeffrey Archer

The first person who influenced me was my English teacher, Alan Quilter, who gave me my love of Shakespeare. I will be eternally grateful to him.

Kaushal

How does it feel getting up every morning to the knowledge that you are the most famous author in the world :) Thank you for your books

Jeffrey Archer

Thank you! It puts a pressure on you to try even harder on the next book.

Deepali Joshi

Pray, Why didn't you let Abel know that Kane was the benefactor?

Jeffrey Archer

Because as explained in the book, Kane didn't feel it was professionally correct to tell him, and retained his old-fashioned standards.

Akhil Tyagi

Could you pls tell which book of yours should I read to start with as I ahve not read any...

Jeffrey Archer

I suggest you start on Only Time Will Tell, because if you like it, there are six more books in the series to follow.

Vidhi C

Hi Jeffery, I absolutely love Not and Penny more not a penny less.

What was your inspiration to write that novel and as your first one what would you recommend to budding authors who face writers block at times?

Jeffrey Archer

Thank you. I've never had writer's block, and I pray I never will.

Rakesh

You used to run for England... what other sports do you like playing?

Jeffrey Archer

I only run in the gym now to keep fit, and I walk a lot when I'm on writing trips.

Sathish Kumar

Normally how do you plan your writings, what are the process you undergo before writing any novels? Are there any time frames or target

Jeffrey Archer

I don't plan the outline of my next book - but always start a writing trip with ideas of where I'd like the story to go. I do most of the research before I start writing.

Jeffrey Archer

THANK YOU for all your fantastic questions. It's been great talking to you all, but sadly that's all I have time for today.

If you'd like to buy a Jeffrey Archer book, do click here!

SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT