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The Secrets of Best Selling Author Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 275 million copies in 115 countries and 49 languages. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (nineteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction.

In this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, we learn some of the secrets of this best selling author as he takes us inside the process that turns an idea into a book that will be purchased by his more than 750,000 loyal readers worldwide,

Jeffrey Archer’s latest novel, Traitor's Gate, is the sixth of his William Warwick series and was published in in September. It's a story about a dastardly plot to steal Britain's cherished Crown Jewels, something that has happened only once since the 1600s. Can you believe 14 drafts and a year of writing and research on average?

Archer is an art collector and amateur auctioneer, conducting around 10 charity auctions a year, and he’s raised over £51m in the last 30 years for good causes.

He has been married to Dame Mary Archer DBE, Chair of the Science Museum Group, for 55 years, and they have two sons, two granddaughters and three grandsons.

Here are some questions we posed to discover the secrets of best-selling author Jeffrey Archer:

Q. Tell us about Traitors Gate and how you came to write it.

Q. The story is rich in intrigue and presents a wonderful inside look at Great Britain’s traditions involving the monarch and the king’s – or in the case of the book – the queen’s crown…which in the theft of the century, gets stolen. Where did the idea for this plot originate?

Q. Your website, with summaries and links to all of your books, also includes your original manuscripts – all hand written. Is that how you actually write your books – in longhand?

Q. Your work includes 28 fiction books, seven short story collections that comprise 95 stories, three prison diaries, three plays, and three childrens’ books, all managed by the Jeffrey Archer Company, which deals with all TV and film interests related to your books. Tell us about that.

Q. Tell us about the prison diaries. What’s their origin and what do they cover?

Q. What are some of the themes of your short stories?

Q. You are an art collector and Traitors Gate trades on that experience. Tell us about that. Is that something that finds its way into your other novels?

Q. You also were a member of the House of Lords. How does that experience provide fodder for your books?

Q. You are so prolific – how many drafts do you customarily go through, and how long does it take you to research and write your novels?

Q. I understand you’re working on two more William Warwick novels. Tell us about them, and when do you expect them to be published?

Q. Do you prefer writing novels or short stories?

Q. Are your adaptations available on video or DVD?

Q. I understand you have a new TV series about to come out.

Q. Of the books you have written, who is your favourite character and why?

Q. Is it true that you often don’t know how a book will end?

Q. Do you write with a specific reader in mind or do you write for yourself?

Q. How long does it take you to write a book?

Q. What is your writing day like?

Q. Do you ever plan to quit?

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

Q. What advice do you have for aspiring young novelists who want to become the next Jeffrey Archer?

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