Jeffrey Archer

Literary Birthday – 15 April – Jeffrey Archer

Happy Birthday, Jeffrey Archer, born 15 April 1940.


  1. I usually know the first four or five chapters in detail, and the next 10 in outline, which will take me to the middle of the book. Then it’s time to pray.
  2. As I write, I’m wondering what will happen on the next page. My theory is: If I wonder what will happen on the next page, there’s a good chance you’ll wonder what’s going to happen on the next page, as well. If you know exactly what’s going to happen two chapters down the line, you’ll give it away. If you don’t know, you can’t give it away.
  3. I write what I feel at ease with, and then hope that it works for the reader—it might be a saga, or a thriller, or short stories.
  4. With a novel, you haven’t got a clue where you’re going—you look up there and you pray. With a short story, you have to know the end. It’s only 3-5,000 words, not much in between. You begin and you know what the last line is going to be.
  5. I normally spend a year doing research, followed by a year of writing. I follow that schedule above, and it normally takes me about six weeks to produce a first draft. I then take a four-week break and get away from it. I come back and do another draft. That takes another four weeks, and I handwrite the whole thing out again.

Read: Jeffrey Archer’s top 10 writing tips

Jeffrey Archer is an English author and former politician. His books, starting with Kane and Abel, are published in 97 countries and more than 33 languages. Jeffrey Archer is firmly established, with international sales passing 330 million copies.

Source for quotes: Jeffrey Archer

We hosted Jeffrey Archer as a guest speaker in 2012.

Did you know?

  1. Jeffrey Archer writes 14 drafts of each book.
  2. He spends 1 000 hours on every book he writes.
  3. He has a regular writing routine, and wakes up at 05:30 to write.

Jeffrey Archer and Amanda Patterson, 15 April 2012.

For more photographs from the event, click here: A Twist In The Tale – Writers Write Lunch with Jeffrey Archer

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 15th April 2013