Category Archives: Lee Child

Raffle: Kiss, Marry, Kick

I have a raffle going on at my page on Facebook.  If you’re a member of Facebook, all you have to do to enter is join my page and then respond the following question: Name three literary characters and state whom you would kiss, whom you would marry, and whom you’d like to kick in the shins.

A random winner from the comments will receive a signed copy of Lee Child’s new novel, 61 Hours.

You can join my page and enter the raffle here.

Replacing Jack Reacher’s Button

Okay, so it wasn’t really Jack Reacher’s button, but a button from the shirt of his creator, Lee Child, whom I’m fortunate to call a friend.  A few years ago, I was at Lee’s apartment, about to throw something in his kitchen garbage, when I spotted one of his familiar button-down shirts in the bag.

“Do you know there’s a shirt in your garbage?”

“Who do you think put it there?”  (Yes, he has a way of talking like Reacher.)

Ever curious, I plucked it out expecting to find a coffee stain or cigarette burn, since Lee pretty much lives on coffee and cigarettes.  Its only flaw was a missing button.

Not surprisingly, the man who created Jack Reacher – moving town to town with nothing but a toothbrush – doesn’t own a sewing kit.  I, however, own an entire sewing basket filled with an array of threads and notions.  A shirt was saved, and a friendship sealed.

I know many of you enjoy Lee Child’s books, so I thought you might enjoy an article the Wall Street Journal recently published about his fuss-free, no-clutter apartment life here in New York.  The button story works its way in, as do a couple of quotes from me and Lee’s brother, Andrew Grant.

You can read the full story here.  More importantly, you can buy Lee Child’s new Reacher novel, 61 Hours, now in the UK and on May 18 in the US.

Thrillerfest Activities

Thrillerfest, the annual conference of International Thriller Writers, was held last week. Aimed primarily at writers, both aspiring to bestsellers, the conference is a great time to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

I wanted to tweet pithy updates from the conference using Twitter, but of course I had no cell phone reception in the enormous Park Hyatt hotel. Instead, I thought I’d share some highlights.

  • Sitting on a panel with fellow writers Hank Phillippi Ryan, Kate White, Julie Kramer, David Hosp, and Jeff Buick, discussing “Is the Job a Requirement: Are Thrillers Better if They Come From Experience?” For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kate White’s work, she is the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and has just signed on with my publisher. Her books are fresh, fun city romps. You might like them.
  • Lee Child giving me a shout-out during his seminar on character development. Lee just read the manuscript of my next book, 212, and used it as an example of a work where the author really let herself infuse every character in the book. Woo-hoo!
  • Meeting my publisher’s sales, marketing, and publicity teams through a Lunch and Learn discussion with fellow authors Steve Martini and Andrew Gross. Both amazing author and great guys to lunch with.
  • Thanking Jeffery Deaver for selecting my short story, Winning, for his forthcoming anthology of Best American Mysteries Stories 2009.
  • Seeing Lee Child and his brother, Andrew Grant, on the same panel. As part of another blood-related duo of writers, it’s fun for me to see how other writers handle the bizarre collisions between family dynamics and the book world.

What Are You Reading?

Like most (all?) writers, I’m also an avid reader. Ironically, the biggest sacrifice I’ve had to make since I published my first novel has been my leisure reading. On too many airplane flights, rainy Sundays, and sunny summer weekends, the novel that would have once occupied my hands has been replaced by a MacBook Air on my lap.

But lately I feel like I’m back in the thick of it as a reader. Usually a late-summer author, I am waiting until spring for my next book, 212. That has made this summer a longer one for me — more time at home, less on the road, and making a good dent in that big ol’ to-be-read pile.

Hopefully I’m not the only person reading more. The fact that Newsweek devoted an entire (wonderful) cover feature to … books (gasp!) gives me hope. (Be sure to check out the roundtable with authors Lawrence Block, Susan Orlean, Kurt Andersen, Annette Gordon-Reed, Robert Caro, and Elizabeth Strout. Great stuff!)

I thought I’d share with you some of my recent favorite reads, as well as all-time-faves. Have you read these? What do you think? And what are you reading … both now and always?

Summer Reads:
Lisa Unger‘s DIE FOR ME – Lisa adds such a unique voice to the thriller genre, taking her time to establish character but still delivering the requisite thrills.

Lee Child‘s GONE TOMORROW – One of my new favorites in the Jack Reacher series, this one you’ll want to read in one big gulp.

Michael Connelly‘s THE SCARECROW – A different kind of book for Connelly, there’s no whodunit here, but I still couldn’t put it down. This former reporter’s take on the dying newspaper industry is an added bonus.

Philip Margolin‘s FUGITIVE- This one took me right back to the courtroom hallways of Portland. Margolin’s always a pro about pace and plot.

Garth Stein‘s THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN – I wouldn’t have thought that a book written from the perspective of a dog (and a dying one at that) would be my cup of tea, but consider me charmed.

Books I’d Pack for a Desert Island:

Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.