Jeffrey Archer thinks his life isn’t interesting enough for an autobiography. The world might disagree.
I’m not that interesting, said Jeffrey Archer, master storyteller, in a conversation with Explocity. Three decades, five years and 17 novels later, Jeffrey Archer, king of racy fiction, has launched his best work yet. He is 71 years old. ‘Only Time Will Tell’ is the first of the five books in ‘The Cliffton Chronicles’, a series that spans 100 years. The author is in India on his fourth visit as part of the 16-city worldwide tour to promote his latest offering. Dressed in a green tee and brown pants and watching the India-versus-Netherlands cricket match, Jeffrey Archer talks freely about books and cricket but rebuffs the subject of his time in prison. Excerpts from the interview:
Describe a day in the life of Jeffrey Archer.
I get up at 5.30am and start writing by 6.30am right up to 8am. Then I take a break for two hours and start again at 10 until noon. I take another two hours’ break between writing and then stagger into dinner. I am hardly awake by then. I don’t have any social life and I am not complaining.
‘Only Time Will Tell’ is one of your most ambitious works. How did the idea come about?
It’s the most ambitious work. I had just finished rewriting Kane and Abel and I wanted to write a bigger saga. That’s when I thought about writing a five-book series. ‘Only Time Will Tell’ spans 100 years from 1920 to 2020.
You still write all your books by hand. It’s said you don’t know how to work on computers. How do you manage your blogs?
I dictate my blogs and then rewrite it. I have my Facebook and Twitter pages and a million people read them. I find time between my travels.
Which book was the most fun to write?
I thought ‘Kane and Abel’ was my most popular book. But I had a journalist here telling me that ‘Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less’ was my best work. I was surprised. Writing your first book is always the biggest challenge. It’s like running a marathon for the first time. You are more prepared for the second marathon; you know how it works, when you will need a break. I enjoyed writing ‘Kane and Abel’ the most.
Your favourite team in the World Cup?
I think South Africa and India are good teams. Though the match between Ireland and England was an interesting watch, I will always support England.
Your life has been no less than a great novel. You have seen many ups and downs in your career as a writer and a politician. (He served two years in prison for perjury and has released memoirs about his time there.) Will you ever write an autobiography?
No. I am not that interesting. Besides, all my focus is on ‘The Cliffton Chronicles’ for now.