JEFFREY ARCHER: CLIFTON CHRONICLES HAVE SOME AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ELEMENTS
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Jeffrey Archer’s last book Be Careful What You Wish For was released year ago. It was the fourth part of his Clifton Chronicles. The next chapter of the series, Mightier than the Sword, will be on the market in few days time – on February 24. The well known British author will turn 75 in April. His books were sold in over 270 million copies around the world. It’s a great honor for Land of Books to welcome Mr. Archer, well known member of British Parliament, cancer survivor, former prisoner and one of the best writers on the planet.
– Mr. Archer, Be Careful What You Wish For is one of the best books worldwide for 2014. What kind of surprises and turns the readers may find in the fourth part of Clifton Chronicles?
– Part of the fun of writing a novel with many different twists and turns is that the readers can expect the same ingredients next time, but I’m not telling you what they are in my new book, MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD.
– Do you remember the first time you decide to develop the plot around the Clifton family?
Some five years ago I decided to set myself a challenge and write a seven-part series called The Clifton Chronicles, based on two families living in Bristol, which is in the West Country, and because I’m from that part of the world myself, it has some autobiographical elements to the story.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process of such series full of interesting characters?
The biggest challenge when writing a series, is keeping track of the plotline, and making sure the reader doesn’t lose the thread of what is happening to each of the characters. Also of course, to ensure the reader wants to find out what will happen to them in the next book!
– Tell us something more about your main persons Emma and Harry? Are they close to persons from your real life?
Emma and Harry are loosely based on me and my wife Mary – which is why the series has some autobiographical elements.
– When we will see your next novel Mightier Than The Sword and what the fans of Clifton Chronicles may expect?
I’m not sure which date Mightier than the Sword will be published in Bulgaria, but the book – which is the fifth volume of the Clifton Chronicles – comes out on February 24 in India, America and Australia, and on February 26 in the UK.
– Do you plan to come back to writing of single novels?
– I haven’t yet decided what to do after I’ve finished The Clifton Chronicles, but anticipate writing a new set of short stories and a one-off novel.
– What are the writing habits of Jeffrey Archer?
– I am very disciplined when I write (by hand), and when I am working on the first draft of a book, I write for 8 hours a day, split in 4 blocks of 2 hours each: 6-8am, 10-12, 2-4pm, 6-8pm, every day for seven weeks. I then take a couple of weeks break, and then go back and begin the second draft.
– Are you disappointed that you spent so many years as a politician, instead of concentrating just on writing?
– Absolutely not – I much enjoyed my years as a Member of Parliament. That time was well spent, because it gave me an insight into a subject I’ve been able to write about regularly.
– Great authors like Cervantes, Marco Polo, Oscar Wilde and you wrote from jail. What is the positive side during creation process behind the bars?
– Pretty much the only advantage is that you get to meet a whole new group or people, and can listen to the amazing stories (not always true) that they have to tell. I was able to use this knowledge and experience in my three Prison Diaries, in A Prisoner of Birth and my short stories in Cat O’Nine Tales.
– You have been diagnosed with cancer last year. Did all the emotions and scare around the operation changed you as a person by some way?
– Both my wife and myself have suffered from cancer, and she went through a much more demanding operation than I did. Nevertheless because I was taken care of in a great hospital by a fine surgeon who assured me that within a month of having my operation, I would be back to normal, my anxieties were lessened.
– How would you describe yourself with few sentences?
– Energetic, determined and impatient.
– If you may ask yourself one question what it will be? (Don’t forget to answer)
– Have you made the best of your life? Answer: No, but I have done my very best!
Huge thanks to Alison Prince for the interview assistance!
Take a look at his books:
Shall We Tell the President? (1977, revised 1986)
Kane and Abel (1979)
The Prodigal Daughter (1982)
Prison diaries (non-fiction)
Hell – Belmarsh (2002)
Purgatory – Wayland (2003)
Heaven – North Sea Camp (
Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976)
First Among Equals (1984)
A Matter of Honour (1986)
As the Crow Flies (1991)
Honour Among Thieves (1993)
The Fourth Estate (1996)
The Eleventh Commandment (1998)
Sons of Fortune (2002)
False Impression (2005)
The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot With Francis J. Moloney (2007)
A Prisoner of Birth (2008)
Paths of Glory (2009)
A Quiver Full of Arrows (including Old Love) (1980)
A Twist in the Tale (1988)
Fools, Knaves, and Heroes: Great Political Short Stories Editor, Introduction. (1991)
Twelve Red Herrings (1994)
The Collected Short Stories (1997)
To Cut a Long Story Short (2000)
Cat O’Nine Tales (2006)
And Thereby Hangs a Tale (2010)
The New Collected Short Stories (2011)
The First Miracle (1980)
By Royal Appointment (1980)
Willy Visits the Square World (1980)
Willy and the Killer Kipper (1981)
About Ognian GeorgievOgnian Georgiev is a sport journalist, who is working as an editor at the "Bulgaria Today" daily newspaper. He covered the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 and in London 2012. The author specializes in sports politics, investigations and coverage of Olympic sports events. Ognian Georgiev works as a TV broadcaster for Eurosport Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting group, TV+, F+ and TV7. He is a commentator for fight sports events such as boxing/kickboxing and MMA. In May 2014 Ognian Georgiev released the English version of his book The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski's secret story.
Posted on February 12, 2015, in Author, BESTSELLER, Books, Interview and tagged Be Careful What You Wish For, book, Clifton Chronicles, interview, Jeffrey Archer, Mightier Than The Sword, new. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.