8Qs: Lee Child

Eight Questions is an occasional series of interviews that I’m including on the site. Being a naturally gifted (read: lazy) interviewer, I will be using the same eight questions in every interview.

This time, the questions are being answered by novelist, Lee Child. Previously a television director, union organizer, theater technician and law student, Lee was fired and on the dole when he hatched a harebrained scheme to write a bestselling novel, thus saving his family from ruin. Killing Floor went on to win worldwide acclaim. The hero of his series, Jack Reacher, besides being fictional, is a kind-hearted soul who allows Lee lots of spare time for reading, listening to music, and watching Yankees and Aston Villa games.

Lee was born in England but now lives in New York City and leaves the island of Manhattan only when required to by forces beyond his control.

Welcome, Lee!

1 – What did you do before you did this and what do you miss about it?
I was a presentation director – much like an air traffic controller – for Granada TV when they made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker.  It was a great job and I really enjoyed being part of a team working on such a grand scale.

2 – How many projects are you working on at the moment and what can you tell us about them?
Just one.  I’m finishing the manuscript for PERSONAL, the 19th Jack Reacher novel.

3 – If you had to quit either reading or writing which would you pick?
I’ve been reading for a lot longer than writing.  Reading would be hard to quit.

4 – If you could magic another hour into the day, where would you put it and what would you use it for?
I’m fine with 24 hours if there’s coffee, cigarettes and hot sunshine.

5 – What is your pet hate in writing / language?
Surnames that end in “S”.

6 – Are there any genres that you love to read but which you never write?
I enjoy well-researched histories on subjects like air conditioning.  Fascinating.

7 – Do you have any writing rituals, habits or idiosyncrasies that you can share?
Whenever Jack Reacher is drinking coffee, you can be sure I was doing the same when writing the scene.  He drinks a lot of coffee.

8 – What are you selling and where can I buy it?
This is one of the benefits of having a good publisher.  They do the selling for me.

Never Go Back, the 18th Reacher novel, is out now in mass-market paperback. Visit Lee online at www.LeeChild.com for more information about the novels, short stories, and the movie Jack Reacher (based on the novel One Shot) starring Tom Cruise. Lee can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


Read more interviews in the 8Qs series here.