An Evening with Jeffrey Archer!

On 8 March 2011, Jeffrey Archer was at Odyssey, Express Avenue as part of launch of his latest book ‘Only Time Will Tell’, first of the five parts of the upcoming Clifton Chronicles. As soon as he arrived, Archer thanked the crowd for the warm welcome. Archer is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (14 times), short stories (4 times) and nonfiction.

Archer spoke about the latest book. How he manages the busy schedule (this time in India, he is covering 5 cities in 6 days, in Chennai alone 11 interviews in a day!). Archer shared lot of interesting trivia about him. He can’t use any of the latest technologies while writing, so he literally writes all his books, takes almost 50 days to finish the manuscript. Take 2 hours of break after every 2 hours of writing.  He spends almost 10 hours for the first page of the book and 15 hours for the last page, shows how important to have a great beginning and a fantastic end.

While answering to one of the questions from the audience, Archer said as a storyteller he does not need a specific place, a special environment or writer’s desk to write and that any place would do. His advice to the aspiring writer was “never wait for a special time or place to write otherwise it might never happen.” Archer praised the Indian people’s passion for literature. Only Time Will Tell had gone to number one on the bestseller list in India after just two days of its release. Archer was happy to share that readership for his books were higher in India than anywhere else in the World. As per a survey, in the Unites States and Europe only 2.5 people read a copy whereas in India approximately 25 people read one copy of a book.

Archer said he has no plans to write a novel set in India because if he did so people here would undoubtedly say he had “got it wrong” as he has not enough knowledge about India. According to him one should write about what one knows intimately and he cited his latest book as an example as the protagonist is born 15 miles for where he himself was born, goes to prep-school and finally to Oxford like he did. Jeffrey Archer was full of energy at this age of 70. He stressed the importance to be physically fit. His talk was a great mix of wit and wisdom. Archer talked about the authors that inspired him, about the ongoing Cricket World Cup (he predicted, of course he was not serious, an England Vs Ireland final but said An India Vs South Africa final would be great).  He was little bit worried about the book piracy. Archer joked that the day is not far away when a kid would knock his door and ask whether he wants ‘the latest Jeffrey Archer’. The evening with Jeffrey Archer concluded with book signing and photograph sessions.