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Sunday, May 16, 2004

Conversing with Lee Child 

Now that his latest novel, THE ENEMY, is out and attempts to climb up the big bestseller lists, Lee Child's well into the promo circuit, and is currently on tour for the book. On the date of the book's publication, he spoke with C.M. McDonald about the impetus for writing a prequel, switching between third and first person for different books, and his contribution to the "thriller task force" convened post 9/11 to come up with possible ideas for terrorist attacks that the government could plan for:

McDonald: A number of writers, immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — and people in the Hollywood industry — were pulled in by government agencies to supply ideas for attacks that the FBI and others could then program against. Were you one of those?

Child: I was actually, yeah. I contributed a few scenarios. Frankly, the main one that I was worried about, nothing's been done about it yet.

McDonald: I guess then I won't ask you to elaborate if there is a big hole out there to be exploited.

Child: There is. Hopefully they'll get around to it in the end.

And of course, McDonald had to ask the inevitable "what's next" question (my own favorite of the Usual Author Interview Questions, as it happens) and the premise for the next Reacher novel, ONE SHOT, sounds most intriguing:
The next one is already finished. As I said, we work a year in advance. It's a current day story, set in Indiana — in a medium-size, unnamed city in Indiana. It starts with a sniper outrage. Some kind of psycho hides in a parking garage and shoots down into a crowd. Random bystanders are killed. The guy is very quickly arrested thanks to good police work. Six hours after the first shot, he is in custody. He refuses to talk. They give him a lawyer and he still refuses to talk until the lawyer says, "C'mon, you've gotta say something." Whereupon the guy says only one sentence: "Get Jack Reacher for me."

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