Lee Child Dead Good Facebook Chat
Bestselling author Lee Child recently jumped onto the Dead Good Facebook page to answer fans’ questions LIVE. If you weren’t able to make it, you missed a lot, including a discussion on weapon research, Jack Reacher’s musical tastes and whether Child feels any affinity with his protagonist.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s an edited transcript of the fast and furious webchat that Lee had with his fans on our Facebook Page.
The edited transcript begins below:
Dead Good: A big dead good warm welcome to Lee Child! Thank you for joining us!
Leo Sam Mas: Hello Lee! Is Jack Reacher ever going to be married and settled and when is he back next?
Lee Child: He’ll be back next year end of August with the new book. I think Reacher would love to settle down but his problem is, the kind of woman he likes is too intelligent to put up with him. So it’s a catch 22 for Reacher and romance.
Lovely Books: Hello Lee – thanks for answering our question! This is LovelyBooks from Germany and we want to know – when will you come to our beautiful country for a reading tour? We are big fans of your thrilling books!!!
Lee Child: I try to go to at least one European country every year. This year it was Italy. I’ll put Germany on the list!
Warren Smith: Hopefully sometime we will see you in New Zealand too.
Lee Child: I’ve been to New Zealand three times because it’s the world capital of Reacher madness. I love it there and hope to be back soon.
Robin Kramer: If Reacher had been in a band, what kind of instrument do you think he would’ve played and what kind of music would he have made?
Lee Child: I think undoubtedly he would’ve been a bass guitarist. Playing the blues or maybe something like Led Zeppelin’s first couple of albums.
Warren Smith: Are we going to see more books from Reacher’s past life in the Military police?
Lee Child: I’m sure we will as there’s a lot of stories to tell from that period.
Prabha Salimath: Jack Reacher will be good for society indeed, but what about legality?
Lee Child: I think it’s a fascinating contrast between law and order, most people think they’re the same thing but they’re actually opposites.
Siphelele Ngcai: The first Reacher book I read was Tripwire and I’ve been hooked ever since to this giant who’s fighting for those who have no one in their corner. Is he based on someone you know or it’s just a perfect imagination on your part?
Lee Child: I guess he’s based on someone we would all like to know. Which is I think, what makes him popular.
Margaret Foster: You studied law, has this helped with your writing and what prompted you to start writing?
Lee Child: I think law teaches you to think and express yourself very concisely. I started writing because I was out of work and needed a job.
Siphelele Ngcai: Jack Reacher is such a realistic character and I love how you describe each person and place. I’ve introduced friends to Reacher – thanks for stimulating my brain.
Lee Child: Thanks for being a reader.
Siphelele Ngcai: When are you coming to South Africa?
Lee Child: If I went to everywhere I would like to go I wouldn’t have time to write the books!
Derek Smalley: Who are your favourite writers?
Lee Child: That’s very hard to answer as I don’t want to miss anyone out and I tend to remember books not authors. I loved Belinda Bauer’s Rubbernecker and right now I’m reading Sue Grafton’s W is for Wasted.
Lawrie Thorpe: Have you ever considered a flashback book where Jack and Jo join forces together?
Lee Child: That’s a great idea. Second Son was a short story featuring them both and I could expand on that period.
Lawrie Thorpe: Are other short stories on the way?
Lee Child: Yes I write quite a lot of short stories including one Reacher story every summer.
Uli Haessler: Jack Reacher knows a lot about weapons. As the author, do you need to do research to stay up-to-date in this area? A visit to Germany would be fantastic!
Lee Child: Research about weapons is very important.
Prabha Salimath: I aspire to be a writer one day. Do you have any advice?
Lee Child: Yes but all I can tell you is to read, read, read – that’s the only training.
Lawrie Thorpe: Will you ever write anything other than Reacher? Apart from the shorts you already do?
Lee Child: I don’t think so. Reacher is what people want and I think a writer is here to give people what they want.
Derek Smalley: Have no TV companies approached you about a TV series?
Lee Child: Yes but I’ve worked in TV So I know enough to stay very far away from them.
Andy Ebookwyrm Angel: Did you believe in Tom Cruise as Reacher?
Lee Child: I did after the first few minutes I think he nailed it. All the attitude was there, it was like 100% Reacher at 90% of the size. Which I thought was better than the other way around.
Paul Chadwick: Hi Lee, will Jack ever come over to the UK – we’re big fans over here!
Lee Child: He was here for half of The Hard Way and who knows where he’ll show up next. He speaks a version of the language at least.
Paul Chadwick: Lee, any more movie adaptations in the pipeline and will Tom Cruise reprise the role?
Lee Child: They’re talking about making another one right now. But we have no start date yet and we don’t know which book it will be. Tom Cruise loves the character and would definitely like to make another one.
Mel Butcher: Hi Lee, I’ve loved all the books so far. Do you have a number in your head for when the books have reached a natural end, or are you letting the story dictate that?
Lee Child: I’ll let the story dictate the end. I know there will be at least 21 and after that it depends on the readers. If they want more they can have more. If they’re fed up, I’ll put my pen away.
Mel Butcher: That’s great. I can’t see that I’ll ever be fed up with Jack, or your gripping and imaginative writing style. Thanks for replying.
Theresa Scott: Was Jack Reacher born out of a childhood fantasy of yours?
Lee Child: I think in a way a childhood fantasy of everybody’s like Robin Hood or Sir Lance-a-lot all those old legends.
Tim Scanlon: Hi Lee, I’ve always liked the Frances Neagley character. Are you likely to reveal whether she is asexual or damaged by past experiences or both?
Lee Child: I think she’s more interesting kept mysterious, what do you think is her problem?
Tim Scanlon: As a reader I like the mystery as well and don’t like to second guess the character or yourself. As a fellow writer I’d be thinking it would be too cliche for straight up trauma, so a combination of experiences and predisposition.
Kara James: What is Reacher’s next direction?
Lee Child: I just started the next book and so far he has been taken from Seattle and he’s flying east not sure where he’s heading. He might end up overseas even.
Dead Good: From fellow crime author Belinda Bauer – When did you know that the Jack Reacher series was going to make you a star? And what was the first truly extravagant thing that you bought?
Lee Child: Hi Belinda loved your last book, Rubbernecker. I guess I knew when the second book won the WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award which was judged by ordinary readers. But still it was a long slow process from there to total world domination.
Cheryl Barwell: Does Lee ever get fed up with answering the same questions over and over again?
Lee Child: No I’m flattered that anybody would want to ask me a question.
Ellen Hopkins: I noticed in your books that you mention numbers quite a bit. I was wondering if you liked your math classes? I read that you went to law school, which is in a different direction from math. (Love your books!)
Lee Child: Technically I liked arithmetic rather than math and I like trivial knowledge, coincidences and interesting facts.
Lawrie Thorpe: Would you write under a pseudonym like JK Rowling?
Lee Child: Maybe I already do, maybe I am JK Rowling. Have you ever seen us in the same room at the same time?
Lorna Ledger: I would like to know how you aesthetically dreamed Reacher up? As he seems to hit the right notes for most women. Also he has that understandably unobtainable aspect that we hope to tame!
Lee Child: Purely autobiographical.
Lorna: Thanks so much for replying. I wish he was real!
Sandie Jordan: Do you decide the title of your books before or after you have written the story?
Lee Child: It varies. Sometimes I have the title from the beginning sometimes it’s the last thing that gets written.
David Williams: Would you ever bring Jodie Garber back into Reacher’s life?
Lee Child: That’s a nice idea. Maybe if he comes to London he’ll find her. I think she’s still working in London.
Derek Smalley: Did you base Jack Reacher on someone you knew?
Lee Child: Not really, but in some ways he’s like a lot of people we all know. Like a footballer for instance, with super human skill out of a narrow range of things and a normal person everywhere else.
Lawrie: Would you ever write novels for younger readers?
Lee Child: In a way I think I already do. The youngest reader I met was 9 and I think you could start reading Reacher at 12 or 13.
Dead Good: That’s all we’ve got time for – thank you for all the questions and a very big thank you to Lee Child!
Lee Child: Goodbye thanks for being Reacher readers and have a great day!
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