Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 1 · 1 week ago

Friends & Fiction with Jeffery Deaver

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We are so thrilled to welcome #1 internationally bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, who People Magazine calls “the master of ticking-bomb suspense.” Jeffery’s 40+ books are sold in 150 countries, have been translated into over 25 languages, and have sold more than 50-million copies worldwide. His first Lincoln Rhyme novel, THE BONE COLLECTOR, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Join us as we hear all about Jeffery’s writing process, intensive research, and his brand-new thriller, THE MIDNIGHT LOCK, the latest installment in his blockbuster, fan-favorite Lincoln Rhyme series.

Welcome to Friends and fiction, fournew york times. Bestselling authors, endless stories, novelists, mary KayAndrews Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Patti Callahan Henry arefour long time friends with more than 70 published books between themtogether, they host friends and fiction with author interviews and fascinatinginsider talk about publishing and writing to highlight and supportindependent bookstores. They discussed the books, they've written the booksthey're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books andyou're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hello everyone. It's today night andthat means it's time for our favorite hour of the week. Friends and fiction.Tonight we are so thrilled to introduce you to killer thriller writer JefferyDeaver. What I did there. Oh yes you are, yes you are. And I'm off to a good start. Ladies startalready. I'm Patti Callahan Henry, I'm Kristin Harmel, I swear we've done thisbefore. Yeah it's 107 times. I mean mary Kay has gone for five minutes andwe've totally I know this is friends infected fiction for new york times.Bestselling authors, endless stories to support independent bookstores. Ourguest for the evening is Jeffery Deaver whose latest novel The Midnight Lockwas recently recently released and we cannot wait for you to meet him. Wealso wanted to let you know that we'll Miss mary Kay tonight if she hadanother obligation and head to miss tonight's show but she will be backnext week and she says she's sorry to Miss Jeffery Deaver. Um but I'm sureshe'll uh she'll be tuning in and we'll see you next week. In the meantime. Asyou know, we continue to encourage you to support independent booksellers whenand where you can. And one easy way to do that is to visit our own Friends andfiction bookshop dot org page where you can find Geoffrey's books and books bythe four of us and our past guests at a discount of course at bookshop dot org.A portion of each sale through the friends and fiction shop goes tosupport independent bookstores. And it also helps to support this show. So ifyou enjoy watching this is a great way to support our guests, independentbookstores and the Friends and fiction group itself all at the same time. WinWin Win guys, what more could you ask? That's exactly right. And don't forgetthat our spring box is now available from our friends at Oxford Exchangeorder now and receive my book the wedding veil which comes out in 75 days.You guys like that. You know now that we're planning for 75 days.And um Mary Kay is the home records which comes out in May. I'm not exactlysure how many days sorry Mary Kay and a special friends and fiction notebookcomplete with sticky flags for marking all your favorite pages. And we're alsoa couple of weeks into our very first Friends and fiction reading challengewhich our friend and I'm always so scared I'm going to say your name wrong,no matter how many times I've said it and lisa Armstrong has been sharingwith you each month of the year. There will be a different reading prompt andwe challenge you to not only complete all 12 months but also keep track ofwhat you've read this year. One way to do that is with our beautiful readingjournal designed by us in conjunction with the independent bookstore OxfordExchange. And this month is day review books and I have loved watching on theFriends and fiction pages. Everybody...

...has started to talk about the debutsthey chose whether there are debuts or someone else's and sharing them. Somepeople are reading way more than one debut and it's so much fun to watch butare reading journal has plenty of space to record your thoughts on what you'rereading and to write about it. And I know a lot of you have been posting onthe page asking where can I find the the what's next month? We always keepthe whole sheet that sean just popped up of all the months pinned to the topsection of the facebook page. And also it is on our website. Great, well, so exciting. I mean I'mloving it. I'm loving seeing everyone reading and I'm loving my journal. Ilike just filled out my first entry is really what was your first century.Great. Um it was a book called The Sunshine Girls that actually does notcome out until like may actually, maybe even later than that was something thatI blocked, but I loved it. It was okay, what was your first entry, Kristen? Umoh my gosh, it was also something that I just finished recently and I amdrawing a blank right now because that's how my brain is working today.And it's something and it's like, yes, it'sterrible. My yeah, my first entry and I'm soexcited to finally have a place to write it is uh the Lincoln Highway.Yeah. Eight more tools. Yeah, yeah, it was the last book of 2011 that kind of,you know, it's this big, so it rolled over. So it's my first it's not a debutthough, but I will, I'll read today with you this month. Well now let'swelcome our guest for the evening Jeffery Deaver Jeffrey is aninternational number one best selling author of 45 novels. 45 45. That's alot of novels. People magazine has called the Master of Ticking bombs.Suspense Jeffries novels are sold in 150 countries and have been translatedinto 25 languages. He has served two terms as president of the mysterywriters of America and was recently named a Grand Master of MW A whoseranks include agatha Christie Ellery, queen mary Higgins, clark and walterMosley. That is some esteemed company right there. No kidding. Right? So hisnovel, The Bone Collector, which marked the debut of his fictional sleuthLincoln rhyme was made into a feature film by Universal Pictures starringDenzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. And I actually I think I saw that inthe theater back in 1999. I remember that that the movie so well seeing itat the time. Um NBC also yeah NBC also recently aired the nine episodeprimetime series Lincoln rhyme Hunt for the Bone Collector. So we are certainthat you've seen this series seen this movie um fairly recently. So Jeffreygraduated from the University of Missouri and has a J. D. Degree fromFordham University in his free time. Jeffrey enjoys cooking and hostingdinner parties which we hope he'll invite us to after we have him on theshow. So hopefully tonight we'll get invited to a dinner party and it's justright up the road in Chapel hill like you know right now. All right seanlet's bring Jeffrey on. Hello. Hi. Oh my goodness. It's so good to see youand let me just say the Friends absolutely applies. But you don't havethe word enthusiastic in your title. So I think you should not call yourselfenthusiastic Friends and fiction because you clearly are you love books,you love authors and you love to write I can tell that as well and you love tolaugh and I'm in my kitchen right now if I was not afraid of like disruptingthe entire I've got that one of those ring lights up and everything. I wouldshow you my, my panoramic kitchen, which is like five by five ft. It's notthat panoramic. But anyway, here I am...

...and I do a lot of writing here and infact, you're going to get a look at my page proofs for my, the book I'mfinishing right now. I wanna see Happy Happy Right 2022 Jeffery Deaver. So youcan't, you can't can you let us read it when we come to the dinner party? SadlyI will you need entertainment. I will read it aloud throughout the entiredinner. It is, it is 1000, it is 100,000 and 10 words. So it might be,might be strong dinner party. I hope you're planning a lot of course is awine, like a 10 course dinner I like with the wine I serve after the firstcourse. You're not going to care one way. It's my kind of dinner partycocktail. We're good, we're good. Welcome Jeffrey, We're so glad to haveyou here. So the midnight block is the 15th and your long running Lincolnrhyme series and we would love it if you would tell us what Lincoln and hispartner slash wife Amelia Sachs are up to this time around. Sure, I love you.Let me let me just say this, my job is to scare the socks off my readers. Um,I have a template for my, my books, I call it a formula and there's nothingwrong with that, I mean I create a product, I'm not ashamed to say that.Um and the template is this, the books take place over a very short period oftime. They have lots of twists and turns reversals inside. They have asurprise ending after that there's a surprise ending and following that,there's a surprise ending because I love those, love those surprise endings,but and I love Lincoln and I love Amelia, but you know, truth be told,what's the most fun to create the villains? And I'm always looking for avery nasty kinds of villains that are not, you know, I've read somesupernatural something Occult, I've written some occult, but I actuallylike the villains who we could actually meet in real life. I think those aremore frightening. And we talk about kind of putting together some ideas,maybe some suggestions about writing later. We want a really intenseemotional response. So um and your viewers out there have to understand mybooks are more concise than my discussion. So I will get to the pointnow and answer your question a few years ago, I was locked out of my house,I left the keys inside And I got back and I I called a locksmith to come cometo my house and uh he took out these tools. Well, first after verifying itwas in fact my house because people have done that, you know, and and so hetook these tools out in like in 10 seconds in the house. And that was goodfor two reasons. One, my dogs were locked inside and it was time to feedthem. So they were happy that I had gotten inside. But number two, I hadthe idea for my next book and that was the, that became the midnight lock. Andto make it the idea of very, very brief, my nefarious villain known as thelocksmith is someone who breaks into people's houses after midnight ofcourse. And while they're asleep and you think, oh he does terrible things,he kills them, He's a serial killer or he does nasty things. No, he doesn't doanything. The worst thing he does is have a ham sandwich, sitting in a chairnext to the bed watching somebody sleep and then he gets up and leaves. Wellwhat's the effect of that? He has destroyed that person's life for thenext who knows how long they have to move from the apartment because he hasinvaded their space, Lincoln rhyme And Amelia Sachs get on the case trying totrack this guy down. And as in all of my books, we unpeeled layers. Uh notall is what it seems to be, in fact nothing is what it seems to be. And weget closer and closer to the truth that involves big media empire, Alice,secession. Uh it involves a Q and a kind of blogger. And at the end, all ofthis comes together with one of those surprise endings followed by anothersurprise ending and so forth. Then all I can say is I apologize to anyone whoreads it because you're going to be sleeping with your lights on from nowon. Well, it was sort of mean because...

...it sort of recently we had a locksmithand my son was with me and this locksmith came and changed our locksand he laughed and my son was like mom, like I was creepy. And I was like, Iknow Christy you have to yeah, this this book will definitely do you knowwhat I am telling you another story I was on like Chapter one and I was like,Oh God, read it if you dare. Oh, but I have to say this. Of course I'd like todo my research and we can again, we can talk a little bit about technique later.But I love doing research. And uh you know, I think we're all authors anddon't one of the reasons you became an author right? Is because you have aninnate curiosity and you'd like to learn things your research, all youryour books and you know, we were it was so much fun to impart facts to readersbecause they love to learn things I as a reader do as well. Well, of courseyou think I'm gonna try not to pick locks while I'm writing this book Ibought, I bought a set of lock picks, which by the way where I live, is legalanybody out there? You better check the law. But generally it's it's okay. Youknow, they're legal to buy, you can't break into somebody else's house withthem. That's a bad thing. But so I thought, well, it took this guy 10seconds to break into my house or just a break in to open the lock. I'm sure Icould do it. Give me a half hour, 2.5 hours later with these, these littlethings. And after some, I still couldn't do it. And after some words,which I will not repeat here and I didn't want to expose my dogs too. Theyshouldn't hear things like that. I just gave up and but I, I knew the technique.It's just some kind of a Klutz. So I couldn't, you know, it's very fine work.So I, but I did the research and if if anyone out there wants to buy a set oflock picking tools, just email me. Oh, that's awesome. I never want those lockpicking tools, you're gonna creep me out. So don't do exactly. Yeah. Let uslet us know who from among our group orders them, Jeffrey, just so we knowto be on the lookout. Thank you. Yeah, it's interesting to hear you talk aboutyour research. I actually think the most brilliant book I ever decided towrite was one set in champagne so that I would really just have to drink a lotof bottles of champagne to acclimate myself to you know what I was writingabout so that it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it, don't do it. Imean it's the sacrifices we make. Well. And I wrote a book a little while agocalled the cutting edge about the diamond district in new york city. Anduh you know, we've all heard about blood diamonds, this is about somethingother than that. And uh you know when I I research all sorts of stuff like datamining, I looked at that research, the vanished man was about illusion andmagic. So I researched that and so I had to research the diamond industryand so it was in new york and I have been known to bring my girlfriend, youknow, who knows what a bottle of wine for instance or maybe some, you know,delicious candy or something. And she pointed out that my research in theDiamond district did not result in any present for her. I Have yet to livethat one down. Oh man, understandable. My goodness! Okay, so Jeffrey Lincolnis such an interesting and popular character and he's obviously been ahuge hit with readers from the start. So I imagine a lot of fans wereintroduced to him through the Denzel Washington film, the bone collector,which as I said, I mean it's been years since I've seen it and I still rememberit so vividly. It was such a, such a good film. Um, but I'm curious to knowwhy you think that character in particular appeals to and resonateswith viewers and readers as much as he does. I mean, I think that's one of thebuilding blocks, one of the keys, really no pun intended with the lockbraking to having to having a series that's this long running and thissuccessful. Um, yeah, I know, I was just gonna say, so what do you think itis that's so appealing about him? I have thought so much about that and forthe viewers who are not familiar. And of course, I think many people arefamiliar with the story, but uh, those...

...who aren't Lincoln rhyme was head ofthe new york city, uh, forensics unit, the crime scene thing and then he wasinjured on the job became a quadriplegic, not a paraplegicquadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down. And I wrote the book because ofthis, uh, you know, I'm always looking for different sorts of things. Maybeyou've heard the old saw about Hollywood that when a producer islooking for a product to turn into a movie that's a book or a short story toturn into a movie. He or she wants something that has been wildlysuccessful in the past and has never been done before and we laugh becausethat's that's Hollywood, like, but but it's but it's very true. And so I takethat to mean Uh that that formula I talked about earlier, the fast paced umstory, the twists and turns, the reversals, the hook, the theme that I Ilike to put in the story as well, that's my trademark, that's never gonnachange, but I have to bring something new to it. And I thought this is goingback over 20 years. What can I bring to my readers? That will be new andexciting because this is all about readers, it's not about me, you know, Iwrite from my readers, I want to give them something happy and fun and Ithought, well, I haven't, I had just seen a thriller movie and I'm not gonna,you know, with all respect to Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis, who doesn'tlove thriller movies, they're fun explosions, car chases, you know, theJames bond stuff, gunfire, but then we get to the end and the bad guy isbeating up the Tom Cruise, our hero or the Bruce Willis character. Is thereany doubt in anybody's mind that although he's bloodied and he's down,he will suddenly have a recovered memory that his father taught him tokick box when he was five years old. Oh my goodness, dad, you've come back inmy memory and he kicked boxes the guy out the window and these fillers arealways set on cliffs. So the bad guy has to fall off a cliff. And then we goto the, we go to the then we go to the credits. Well who doesn't love that? Ilove that too. But I thought it's, that's like junk food, that's like,that's like popcorn, Wouldn't it be more enduring to have a character likeSherlock Holmes or agatha Christie in the modern day who had to out think thevillain who didn't shoot them, who didn't karate kick them. And I thought,well, I'm gonna create a character who did not have the option to shoot forthe karate kick. He was simply his mind and that is Lincoln rod. And I thoughtit was a good idea for one off book and then um, it was published and I got, Iwas working on something else and my agent got a call from DenzelWashington's agent and said he wanted to do the, I wanted to do the movie andadvice to everybody out there who's writing If Denzel Washington calls youoff and says he wants to do your movie, say yes, don't even make this okay. I just want to be enforcement butanswer but an answer your question, that's where the character came from.But then he became more and more popular. The movie certainly helped.But people then started to buy the books and I'll tell you, I think thisis why he's so successful and enduring that he like all of us is his mind andhis heart and his soul before. He is his physical incarnation. And that'strue of all of us. You know, we, we all get older. We may, I don't know, Somepeople have lost their hair, I don't know who, but maybe some people havedone that and we're not, we're not in, we're not in such good shape as wewould like to be. But we always have our mind with this. And so that's whythere's an everyman or every woman aspect about him. And uh, again, Iwrite for the audience. People want Lincoln rhyme. They're gonna getLincoln rhyme. I love that. Oh my gosh, What a great analysis. You know, I'malso curious because you've now spent...

...so many years writing this character,right? I mean you spent so much time with him. How has he changed during thetime you've been writing him? But also how has he changed you? How has writinghim changed who you are as a person during your very, very you guys aregreat. But we're here for three hours, right At 3.5. Great question. And we'llbe done by midnight, don't worry. Yeah, very good. How how has he changed? I'lltell you how he's changed in in one sense. Um, and I will say this, Ilistened to feedback a lot. I am a man you, I'm Procter and Gamble I'm amanufacturer of a product, as I mentioned earlier, nothing to beashamed about that. I want to get the consumer product into the hands of thefolks who wanted. And I listened to feedback critics, not so much often.Critics just want to hear themselves right and be cute and clever, but fanshave no interest in doing that. They want to express their opinion to yougood and bad. And the first books dwelled much more on his physicalcondition because that's a very valid theme about the difficulty of beingsomeone who is severely disabled. Um now as medical science has gone on, hiscondition has improved his condition parallels uh, science and I foundreaders were more interested in the plots that I created and I'm a veryplot driven author, we can talk a little about that later again when Italk maybe about technique and so forth. Um, and I think the readers were moreinterested in that. So what has happened is I don't feel quite so muchwith what I call with all affection, the soap opera elements of the, of thestory, but with the, the attraction of the plot get in there, solve it movedquickly and uh, and how has he changed me? Um, not so much actually. I'm quitedistant from my characters. I've heard some authors say that they connect withtheir office, they have a relationship with them. I think the best way I canput it is, someone asked me once if I'm when I'm writing a story and acharacter uh you know, kind of breaks out of the role I have created for himor her. How do you run with that? And I say I don't, I killed them, wow, that'sawesome. It's my story, it's my story, not theirs. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Yeah.There's a good writing tip, your character gets out of line, they'regone now. That's not to say if you write a good character, they might havea role in a different story, but for for this particular book, uh it's it'smy book and they have to toe the line. That's awesome. Yeah, it's kind of hardto live that way in real life, but that's how we can write crime booksthough. Right. Yeah. Right. I just want to switch gears for a minute and talkabout short stories because before we came on, we were talking about thatlast year, you had out two books and three short stories. Is that what yousaid? We did four short stories last year, I wrote for one will be publishedin 2022. I mean holy moly macaroni, I mean I have written two short storiesin my day, long form short stories and I fear them more than I do the fulllength novel. Um don't y'all, I mean there's something intimidating aboutthose short stories. So talk to us a little bit about why you do the shortstories and how it feels different for you. Is it a challenge to switch gearsthat way? Sure, I love, I love short stories. I have written you, I knowthat they can be difficult challenging to some people. I've written quite afew about 80 short stories. I have 33 collections published and threecollections that have not been...

...published and the ones I'm writingright now, not yet appeared in a, in a collection. And if anyone's interested,of course, you know, shameless self promotion, you can go to Jeffery Deaverdot com. But I also the stories I've been doing lately have been on withamazon amazon original uh stories and what is there about short fiction? Ithink it's this and I will say this when I teach my writing course, somestudents come up sometimes and say, well I've written a short story and Ithink you've turned it into a novel and this will be a way to start. And I said,no, it's not a short story. What you may have done is written an outline oran idea that will become a novel, but a short story is a very different, a verydifferent animal. And I think I can explain it this way. Best a novel umpresents enduring characters, rich characters that we fall in love withare heroes and evil characters when we despise uh, and the author has tocreate that emotional connection between author and um and reader with,with these, with the vehicle being the characters, a short story is different.The short story is a sniper's bullet. A short story exists for one thing andone thing only. And I'm speaking of myself, um, that is the twist, the gutwrenching twist at the end and I'll give you, I'll give you a very fastexample of the kind of pretty fast. I'd love an example. This is okay, allright now you have the floor. Alright, here's a short story I wrote,This is going to give away the plot, but you know, there are plenty more, asI mentioned, plenty more to choose from 70 nine. Here's the here's the scenario,there's a high school girl who is the target of a stalker also in her class.Uh, the young man is troubled, he never touches her, never does anything to her,but he stares at her all the time in school. When she walks home from school,stays on the sidewalk, which is legal outside her house and looks into thehouse and the father runs her off but he comes back and she's clearlytroubled. Then one day she says to her father, oh my God, dad come look andher bedroom windows open and uh, the her, you know, her dresser drawers openand close have been picked through and the father, she's sobbing and thefather breaks, he snaps and he takes his golf club and uh goes to the boy'shouse and when the boy comes out, he kills him. Well, he goes to jail forthis. But you know, he's a hero because he has protected his daughter. He hadthis moment of, you know, absolute, um, you know, absolute psychosis. And uh,the final scene is where the, the girl is in her room, She's been visitingwith her father. She comes back and the mother comes to the door and says,Honey, um, your, your golf instructor called and asked if you'd be interestedin a lesson on monday. And she says, no, I've learned all the golf. I need toknow she had killed the boy herself to get her father put in jail because herfather was very restrictive. He wouldn't let her go to the prom, hewouldn't let her date because he was worried about this guy. And so she putsthe corsage, that's what they called. The little corsage Corsage on her wristand she's going out on a date after she has put dad in prison for life. Oh myGod, how do you think of anything? I am sick and twisted. I, you see, we don'tlike anybody in it, but we like the twist. And because it's a short story,we don't have anything invested in the characters. We don't need to like them.They can all be bad. And so that's uh, that's just a fun thing to do, a funthing to do that, but a cool insight that'sincredible. That's really good insights.

See this is why I'm not good at shortstories, I'm going to have to be too worried if you know them well. I knew Iknew you, I knew you three were nice people, you gotta work on that. Yeah, Imean, real flaw, it's a real well, we'll practice privately. Any of youplay golf. I'm just curious, you know, I did play miniature golf today, that'sthat's that's that's not a murder weapon. Well, the villain in this book,the locksmith seems to have a timely love hate relationship with socialmedia and the internet and its seemingly subversive effect oncontemporary american life, would you say that that's a bit of editorializingon your part? Very, very good perception. Uh my books are, arethrillers, they move very quickly. Um their novels that I want people toenjoy, but I also want at the end of the novel when they closed the lastpage to have a little bit to chew on, a little bit to think about. And forinstance, my book, the broken window about data mining, the dangers of datamining, and frankly, I was there 88 or nine years ago before we know what'swhat's been going on recently when, you know, facebook was still a gleam inZuckerberg's. I well it was actually it was it was in existence then, but Ikind of sensed something was going on there. Well, um I have been aware of,you know, the dangers of what we put out there into the world and I don'twant to give to the reason we're hesitating is this is a plot, that kindof explanation for one of the plots. But I will simply say that when youread this book, you will understand how careless we have become about sharingour lives on the internet with, you know, I was going to say hundreds ofthousands with millions of of people. And I create a fictional video platform,kind of like Youtube and my my villain is a content moderator. Now, I was notaware of content moderators before this, before I started researching this bookand it's quite a fascinating job. These men and women spend long days watchingvideos, They have algorithms that kind of helped them. Uh you know, direct thebad um the bad videos to them. And they either they say, well, you know, put itbehind a screen that says for adults only or simply ban it completely anderase it and sometimes ban the account of the, of the poster. But the, theamount of material out there is astonishing. And I'm misquoting that Icould look in the book and find out, but I'm gonna this is a rough idea ifyou were to um sit down with Youtube and watch every video. You yourselfwatch every video that was currently on Youtube, you would be watching 10,000years worth of videos and that doesn't even count what's going to be postedposted tomorrow. So all of this material has kind of a numbing effecton folks who watch it. And you know, as a cautionary table table. Well, to someextent it is, but I think it was Samuel Goldwyn, the film producer said, youknow, if if you're gonna send a message, go to Western Union and uh you know,it's not your job to get on a soapbox. But I think it's it's our it is our jobmaybe not to sell a political point, but to enhance the book to enrich it bygiving it some depth. And so I do look at social issues and people could drawtheir own conclusions from that. But certainly social media is notnecessarily an enemy. But what is an enemy is the kind of the travesty thathas been uh has that journalism has...

...become in certain circles. I went tothe University of Missouri journalist school as as you mentioned, and uhthat's traditional journalism, like the new york times, the Law Street Journal,uh, the, the network network News, certainly there's a bias in some way,in some way, suddenly in the other way, but there there is a core of well knownjournalistic ethics that involves getting attribution checking multiplesources, giving the other side a chance to comment if one person says one thingand the, I've been aware of a kind of uh you know, cavalier attitude aboutthat and a weaponization of the media. And again, I'm hesitating becausethere's a lot of plots in the book that deal with that. I don't want to givetoo much away but an answer to a long answer to your short questions. Yes.There are some some broader issues that are that are dealt with. That's amazing.That's great. And um and you sort of answered this second part of myquestion. So that's great. But I was gonna say I went to journalism schoolat Chapel Hill and one of our favorite lines was if your mother says she lovesyou, check it out. So it was very much, you know, sort of brought up on thatsame sort of like or if your mother says you're in trouble, you don't haveto get an attribution for that, you're sure that's true. Well, I want to goback just for a minute to research because I read that you routinely spendeight months researching a book. So if you're putting out a book a year andtwo books this year and you have such intricate plots, you know, so muchabout whether it's data mining or social media or locksmith talk to usabout the writing process with the research, how do you meld those ifyou're spending so long doing the research. Sure, well, in preparationfor this, I jotted down a few of the distillation of my writing course, justa few points, and this gives me the chance to jump in with what I think ismaybe the most important and you have to understand, I'm not telling otherpeople to do this. I am simply saying this is what has worked for me and I'mcomfortable with it and the research is part of it, but more important is theoutlining um the world is divided into two sorts of writers. The plotters andthe panthers. The plotters are those who plot and outline the panthers arethose who go by the seat of the pants, what is not right or wrong? I however,only comfortable outlining, and I do recommend to my students that they knowwhere they're going before they start. Um Joyce carol Oates said, you can'twrite your first sentence until you know what your last sentence is. And Ifirmly, I firmly believe that. And so we'll talk about how I approach it. NowI am a pathological outline. Er I know no one else in the world that outlinesthis much, and I'm not, obviously I'm not recommending it, I'm simply sayingthis is what works for me. And so I come up with an idea for a book and Imay have a great bang up first chapter, but I don't write it, I'll keep that in my mind. And then Istart outlining the book and um I spent eight months doing that and theresearch, and when I say outlining, I start with a big bulletin board with apost it notes and I'll put a note here, okay, and need a murder here. Okay. Aclue here. That explains the revelation here. You know, imagine this is theboard. I put this, I do that for probably three months. And then I thenI moved to the computer and keep outlining it. And I'm doing theresearch and the research informs the outline informs my plot. And so finally,at the end of that eight months I have uh the midnight black outline was 140pages or so it's just the outline. And I had I had a couple 100 pages ofresearch as well now. And then I sit...

...down and write the book. Now I'm goingto explain why the outline why I feel the outline is important. Wait, wait,before you talk to go further, do you can post it later? But I would love tosee a picture of your bulletin board with the stickies and the outline. Haveyou ever taken a picture of it? I may have one. I'm actually at the point nowwhere I'm writing the book. So the stickies have come down. So it's ablank bulletin board. But I but I can certainly, you know, I'm sure you havea website, you know France restrictions so I can send a picture of that. Sowe'd love to see it. Okay, sure. Now I'm gonna I'm gonna sell outlines and Idon't know whether your pants is your plan is but I'm gonna sell outlines.I'm gonna tell you there are several reasons why this should be outlines.And I'm gonna say um say this. Have you ever read a book that should not bewritten? Yes, of course we have. And I'll tell you how that happens, let'ssay you come up with a brilliant idea for a set piece. Beginning that Chapterone. That is incredible. It is by set piece. I mean an action piece, a veryemotional scene. It may not necessarily have anything to do with the, with thecrime. It could be an emotional uh set piece beginning two characters talkingand bonding or fighting or something like that. But it is a scene that isfantastic. And you sit down and you write it and bang, that scene comes outjust like that and you go to set chapter two, you keep going. Theenergies of chapter three, Chapter four, Chapter four slows down a little bit.You're not quite sure what these characters are going to do. Going to dochapter five slower yet. Chapter six stop. You don't know what's gonna go onand you're looking at the rest of the book now, you've written 100 and 50 or200 pages of very good prose because you're a good writer, you can put thewords together, but you're looking at um a middle and the dreaded middle.What are you going to put in there and then your end, your big surprise endingand every book has to have a big surprise ending, there's none there,you don't know what to do. And so you you think you think about it for awhile and all you can come up with is cliches for the middle of the book. Youknow, the detective and his captain have a fight and the detective has togive up his badge and gun. Have we ever seen that before? Yes, 1000 times. Andthen the end, you know, the the villain comes out of left field, we never metthe villain before. And uh, you are then presented with two choices andyou're going to kind of figure out how I feel about this one is the morallycowardly reprehensible, intellectually dishonest thing and fill that storywith cliches and tack on that terrible ending and put that out for yourreaders and that's a sin. Why? Because the readers are our gods, we owe themeverything. We cannot give them a substandard product. Exactly. Well nowor choice to which you've probably gathered is the morally honorable,ethical, intellectually honest thing and throw out every damn page. Um,because it's not going to be a book and if you wrote a good start on somethingelse. If you've written a good chapter one for a bad book, think of thechapter one, you're right for a good book now, imagine this, you come upwith that great set piece beginning and you don't write it down except on alittle tiny post it note, and it says good set piece beginning, and you putthat in the upper left hand corner of your bulletin board, and then you keepputting other post it notes down and you say, there's no book here, it's agood start, but there's no book here, you want up those post it notes, throwit out, you've wasted a week, 10 days and you move on to something else.That's why I outlined. I also outlined, because it tells you where there's this,if you have an outline, if you create the outline, you're never gonna havewriter's block, because you'll be you'll be blocked and troubled whenyou're creating the outline. But you come to the middle part with a post itnote there that says, and the the...

...detective discovers clue X, Y Z, wheredo we go from there? It doesn't matter. Forget about it, put it, put it postedall the way down at the bottom that says, the love interest has a fightwith the detective, and you move on to that and then you'll come back do that.But I think if you have to write that in prose, you go back and rewrite andrewrite and rewrite. And ultimately I'm extremely, extremely lazy person, Idon't want to have to do that. So I well, I do the work up front, let's putit that it's got to be done in the book, is about a novel, is about structure.I'm talking about crime, commercial crime fiction, it's about structure asmuch as or even more than fine lyrical prose plots count. Mm That's for sure.Yeah, they definitely do and you do them very, very well and now we knowwhy that's like, like a master class right there, That's what I was going tosay. I feel so inspired, I'm going to buy it like that. Yeah, I will have tosay Jeffrey, you're not gonna like this, but my brain just can't do it. Likethere's something about sitting at the page where like the story develops, butif I am sitting there trying to figure out what happens next and what happensnext, like, I can't say the world is divided into those two categories andyou know, there's some people like, let me name a few Stephen King George, R rmartin who are Game of Thrones Lead Child, they never outlined and you know,if those guys keep at it, maybe someday they'll be successful outline and that's what you pay for it on oneend or the other, You know, it's gotta be, it's gotta be done, that's allthere is to it and I would say the beginning, writers just follow JoyceCarol Oates suggestion. Don't do it along outline. Just try it, just comeup with have an idea of where you want the story to end up and then workbackwards from there. Yeah, I like that about well we have got an audience outhere that is just so excited that you're here. They're when they're dyingto see that bulletin board but they have a million. Okay, I will I will getthat, I'll dig that up. Sure, yeah, but we've got some great questions for youum so christian you want to start us off? Yeah, sure. You know, we have justas many great comments as we have great questions. So we've got Carolineclement McDonough saying movie tv show dinner. If Denzel asks say yes, I thinkin reference to your talking about Denzel earlier um and Renee Herskowitzsays I love that sax is such a strong woman, so that's a nice compliment, Ifeel this Yeah, um Marlene Waters is wondering whether your books have to beread in any particular order. So I know obviously um this series, this is booknumber 15 of the series, but if we if readers have not read you before, canthey dive in with this book or do they have to start earlier? You know thebooks are all self contained. Um and that's a challenge. You may write aseries of books, it's a challenge to kind of provide sufficient informationto new readers. So they understand the backstory um and yet not bore readerswho are familiar with it. So it doesn't take a lot, a few paragraphs to kind ofexplain the character. But no, I make sure they're all they're all selfcontained and I do not really have an arc for the whole series. Um it's Ithink it's important for one to have an emotional experience with eachstandalone book. Oh, I like that. I like that thought. Okay, great, Soterry, I'm just going to read you a comment really quick. I love this.Terry Ziegler, Randolph said I have read all of your books, Jeffery Deaver.Alright, thank you. I am. And that's a lot of that's a heck of a lot of books.Yeah, I mean and she said I am a director of a small library, so Ialways recommend all of your books to...

...my mystery readers, thank you so much.That means the world to me. Like God bless our librarians. Exactly. I do alot of well when we were doing live events, I do a lot of fundraisers forlibraries. I speak there and I hope that will come back. I think we'remaybe heading out of this crazy time. We'll keep our fingers crossed. I keepsaying that it doesn't happen. But okay, so tammy Rose Dotson says, I like theNBC show, please tell me there will be more. Well I hope so that hit just atthe time. I think it, it aired in March of 2020 or April 2020 when productionshut down and you know, the ratings were good. I mean like 6, 7 millionpeople a show. Yeah, that was good. But but who knowshow Hollywood works, you know, it's a crazy thing, but I will tell you this,I write another series character named Colter Shaw and he has appeared inthree books so far. Uh and here's the fourth. Did I show you this show andtell of course area? Oh that gives the whole plot away. I shouldn't have donethat, but but uh culture shaw will be uh we'vethere in production right now, it's a series for cbs done by ken who did thisis us 30 something and its culture shaw in the Never Game starring JustinHartley, that'll be out next year, we think that would be, that would beamazing, oddly. You know, let me just say, when I tell that to my guy friends,they say, oh yeah, that's interesting when I tell that to the women friends,you have a different response. I don't understand what's that, That's going to be a good one. Not thatcomplicated, Jeffrey, I can explain, you don't need to explain it later, sodon't worry about it, it's just google it, it'll be fine. There you go. Well,Jeffrey, wow, you're such a fascinating guests if you wouldn't mind stickingaround for just a few more minutes we have one additional question for you.But first just a few reminders from us. So everybody out there, just a superquick reminder. Well it's not that super quick to be honest, but don'tforget about our writer's block podcasts. Um not only will this show bea podcast, but every friday, we dropped a new podcast under the writer's blockwith Ron block and a new episode launches every friday last week Roninterviewed Alrighty Jamnagar, the author of the new respect honor afascinating interview and this coming friday are Kristin and Ron interview toauthors about breathing life into history. Genevieve Graham of Bluebirdand Julia kelly. Our friend of the last dance of the debutantes. So except forWednesday nights, Fridays are my favorites because the new podcastalways drops that day. And let me talk to you please about subscribing. Don'tforget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and while you're hittingthose subscription buttons, you can also subscribe sub if I say too manytimes. It's a tongue twister, you can subscribe to our newsletter and ourYoutube channel so you never miss anything and you can also find selectedback episodes on logo plus our new streaming platform. Yeah, thank youactually for mentioning the podcast that's coming this friday. I completelyforgot that one was about to air. It was such a great conversation withJulia kelly who we love and Genevieve Graham who I love to. I mean they'reboth um really skilled historical fiction writers and they had a reallyinteresting chat about how they work. So um I hope you check that one out. UmSpeaking of things to check out if you are not hanging out with us yet and theFriends and fiction official book Club, you're missing out and we do hopeyou'll join us. Um We talked about it every week but of course you probablyknow by now um that group is separate...

...from us. It's run by our friends lisaHarrison and Brenda Gardner who do a phenomenal job with it and there aremore than 10,000 members, which just blows us away. So join them on january24th when our friend wade rouse who writes as Viola Shipman will be joiningthem for an in depth chat about his book, The Secret of Snow. So exciting.And make sure to join us for our next episode of Friends and Fiction. NextWednesday right here at seven p.m. Where we will welcome Gillian cancer.The author of Beautiful Little Fools and jenny, judson and Daniel my food.The authors of the last season then on january 26th will host a more tolls ofthe black buster at the Lincoln highway. If you're ever wondering about ourschedule, it is always on the Friends and fiction website and on the Heterographic on our facebook page. So Jeffrey, you're up one last time. Umone question that we always love to ask our guests and always get aninteresting answer. What were the values around reading and writing whenyou were growing up in your house? Um I was a nerd when I was growing up, Imean and and not a you know now if you're a nerd you're worth a billiondollars because you've created a social platform for cats dancing and costumes.Um But I was a nerd when I when it when it met something, I was to leave it tobeaver, kind of nerd, probably a reference you may not get, but it wasof my generation was the old, well I said I said that once in a presentationand this girl came up to me, you know, she was in her late teens or early 20sand said Mr Deaver Justin Bieber is not a nerd. Um So I had I had to explain itwith something else, but but I was a nerd and but I had and you know, I wasuniformly ignored by the cheerleaders and pom pom girls and I uh you know, onthe sports teams, in gym class, when we divide up, the the captains of eachteam would kind of plot like chess grandmasters to make sure I ended up onthe other guy's team. I was so bad, but you know, none of that mattered becauseI had something I thought was more important. I had the glen ellynIllinois public library and that's where I would spend all my time. Um AndI uh you know, after school and on the weekends and I just learned that thebooks were so, so important. They would teach you things you did not know preinternet days, of course, things you would have no way of knowing in a smallmidwestern town. But you could be exposed to um, the, the wide world outthere and they took you away from your, your daily care. You know, you couldget lost in the book and forget the fact that the cheerleaders and pom pomgirls ignored you. You could get get into the story, but they did somethingelse that I found and I thought it was so very important. Um, I don't know ifany of you were ever the new kid in the schoolyard or maybe you were in theschoolyard and you saw a new kid there and you know, Children are generallyexcruciatingly shy and they would be looking down and feeling lonely, butthen they would notice somebody across the schoolyard who was holding a copyof maybe a little house on the prairie or the Hobbit and you could walk up tothem and say, you know, you didn't make eye contact, but you know, hey, you getto the dragon part there. What was that? You just read that thing about paw. Andsuddenly, even though you didn't know that person, yes, you did know them,You bonded, you made friends because of books and I knew then that I wanted tobe a full time full time author and I started writing at a very early age. Itwas you know, just uh not, not, not any good, but it it didn't matter. I knew Iwould move in the direction of writing writing stories and telling storiesbecause they were such an important part of my early life. That's amazing.I think it's safe to say that you came out on the other side of that, betteroff than if those pom pom girls had or if you had been taken for the sportsteam. Yeah, I mean, you've been picked...

...first for the sports team. You probablywould not be on friends in fiction right now. And then and then that waywe know that, you know, I totally would be like a line, you can't really seethe linebacker, I'm not built like a football, I have to say, well, we havehad such a good time with you tonight, Jeffrey, thank you so much for spendingyour night with us and sharing your beautiful stories. And somebody justsaid about this pom pom girls and cheerleaders are sorry they ignored.You know, it's like that Wait Toby keith song. How do you like me now?Exactly. It, That's right, thank you so much for being here. And we lookforward to reading your next amazing novel and catching up on the shortstories. Alright, okay, well I'm going to go shoppingtomorrow and uh well we may have to wait a little while for that dinnerparty, but I actually do like dinner parties. I've got a very big diningroom and I love to cook and I think it will be great fun and actually we canbring our cameras in, you can bring your cameras in. Well, something tothink about in the future. Maybe that could be uh someone's some Wednesday,some Wednesday night. So anyway, thank you all and thank you, thank youviewers for for listening and all I can say is I truly appreciate on behalf ofall readers, your appreciation for books. Thank you, thank you so much.And thanks for being with us. Thank you. Thank you now everybody out there andmake sure that you stick around for our aftershow and don't forget that you canfind all of our back episodes on Youtube. We're live there every weekjust like we are on facebook and if you subscribe you won't miss a thing. Plusyou'll have special access to short clips that you can only find on youtube.Be sure to come back next week. Same time. Same place as we welcome Gilliancancer of Beautiful Little Fools and Ginny judson and Danielle, my food ofthe last season. See y'all in a minute. Hello, Hello, that was great. I lookgreat. He was such an interesting guest. And all I could think about was, I meannot that I probably will, but if I ever write another historical fiction novel,like it makes so much sense to me. Like why you outline because you kind ofknow the story like especially if you're telling you know, it's a realperson and you know like the interesting parts of their life storyalready and like kind of where you're going to go, I should have done that.That would have been oh my gosh, I'm gonna pull out. I need to find thepicture of my um butcher block paper when I was writing becoming mrs Lewisbecause it was two people who had a really intricate that I'm like Joy andJack. And so I had this huge butcher block, like it was really long. I tapedit along the edge of this long table, sticky, sticky, sticky, sticky. And Iwould just I did exactly what he was talking about and not near as much tooutline this story as to make sure I knew the events in their life so Ididn't put them in the wrong, I could turn around and look at it and say, ohI can't talk about that yet. It hasn't happened yet. Like that's sointeresting. I'm a really extensive plotter. I outlined very extensively.My outlines are like a quarter of the length of the finished book, like therevery long but I can't do it visually like I don't that's just not the way mybrain works. So I've never done like the post its or the butcher paper oranything like that, like it has to be in a word document so I can wrap myhead around it. And then I turned that into something longer. It's weird. It'sjust weird how are how we eat them at it from a completely different angle,but we ultimately wind up in the same place. Isn't that strange? Just superorganized mind too, that I can really see like you knowing, you know what Imean? You know? You know what's interesting about that though? It'sinteresting now I'm thinking analyzing myself, I have a super organized mind,but all of the organization is here. My house is a mess. Like my bookshelfisn't like there's nothing physical in my house that's organized. Everyorganizational skill I have is here. That's where it needs to be creativepeople. Don't you think that's creative...

...people? I don't know, it's not likeit's not like a too big of a generalization. It probably is. But Ialways hear that and I give myself I let myself off the hook for thatbecause I'm it's just it's not my life skill. I wish I couldorganize my actual life better though. That would be nice. I wish I was abetter house cleaner. And yeah, we only have, I was talking about this today.We only have so much headspace, right? Yes, So right, like if if I'm going toorganize an entire house and organize an entire plot, I can't, I don't haveenough hard drive. Well, you know, and then I think we started Friends andfiction and it's like my brain is just been on overload essentially for twoyears. So there used to be like a little room left over for other thingsand now there's just not anymore. It's like book on one side, Friends andfiction on the other. Nothing else. This is like the best segway ever intowhat I wanted to talk to you guys about tonight. And when I wanted to ask you,because I was looking back, I keep these like very extensive like goalsetting notebooks every year. So I have like my, my, my yearly goals, my weekly,my monthly, my daily, I didn't even say that in the right order. See noorganization, but it's like very, you know, broken down. And so it's amazingto like go to the end of the year and see, you know, what happened throughoutthe year that you like really tried to do and then of course the things thatyou could never plan for in a million years. But you know, sort of happened.And so the one thing like I went back to 2015, which was the year dearCarolina came out and I was looking at like the one like at the things that Ireally needed to double down on this year that I just never gotten a handleon and every year I'm like, my house is going to be perfectly organized andevery year I perfectly organized my house and then like eight days laterit's a disaster all over. Or when I say like I what the new year said I'm goingto do clean out one drawer a day that lasted three days. So this morning Iwoke up, I said I have to do two drawers today because yesterday and Ididn't so like it just gets overwhelmed in my closet are kicking. Do you ever just open woman? You'relike, like I love when I do that, but it's only two drawers but those twodrawers look good. Well, but that brings me to, do you have any readinggoals for this year? I mean we have this beautiful new reading journal out,we've got this super fun challenge. The onus is running for us. Have you setreading goals? Do you set reading goals? Do you care? Do you like what's yourphilosophy around reading? I have never set reading goals becauseI read so much right? So, so like I don't like I set goals for things thatI don't naturally do right? Or that I would put off. So I'll set a goal adrawer day or I'll set a goal, you know, make sure I do yoga three times a weekor whatever. My goals maybe. But for something like reading that I do isnaturally as breathing. I've never set reading goals. I am going to try and doour challenge though. So, um, I haven't picked my debut book yet because I wasreading, um, I was finishing the Lincoln highway, but um, yes, I, I'lldo it. I would definitely want to do that. So I guess it's a reading goal.How about y'all? Yeah, I also don't set reading goals for the same reasonbecause I'm constantly reading something and I'm reading as much as Ipossibly can. Do, you know what I mean? Again, back to like the time in thebrain space. But it's, it's an interesting, it's interesting that youasked that question today because Jason, my husband and I were just talkingtoday about how last night it was just last night we had, we, it was a littlechilly out. We had a fire pit out back and so we decided because we had thefire pit going, that we would sit by the fire for 30 minutes and read. Um,and noah loved it. Like, no, no. Um my...

...little boy who's almost six, um, he'sum, he's a big reader, But I don't think we actively model reading for himas much as we should. And it's not that we're not reading, it's just that likeoftentimes we're reading on a kindle or you know, I'm reading after he's goneto bed, like I'm not conscious of setting time aside to do it. So I thinkthat's one of my reading goals for the year to read together separately as afamily, like, like to have a couple nights a week where we just for 30minutes, everyone sits down and we're each reading our book because I thinkthat's important. I think it's an important part of modeling. Um but thisis something that brings me joy. I love that. I love that too. I love it tolast year, we did not that same thing, but something kind of similar wherelike, we would all sit on the porch. It was obviously it was warm outside atthat point and we would sit on the porch and like, I would read. So like Iwas I read um Pat Conroy's the losing season, like to Will and Will,obviously I edited edited a lot for language and some content. It was kind of like the perfect bookbecause they were super interested in the sports aspect and I was superinterested in just the beautiful writing. So it was like a really goodfit for all like that. Yeah. Which we haven't we haven't done it again, butwe need to because it was it was a really good experience, but I'm like,you guys, I don't specifically set reading goals too much, but I am umtrying to make a really concerted effort to um read before bed because Ithink sometimes, you know, like the day just kind of gets away from you and bythe time it's time for bed it's like let's just fall into bed, but I dothink it helps me sleep better and you know, all of those things when I cankind of annoying, although then of course I'm into the book and I'm likeflipping pages till two in the morning um but well one of my goals too isbecause I've never done it, so like when people post I read 52 books thisyear or whatever, I've never been able to do that. One of my goals is to writedown the books I read and even if I don't write a long like analysis of itjust right whether I liked it, loved it when I read it, so I am do have a goalto do that. So in a couple of months you guys can check with me and see if Icleaned out anymore drawers or wrote down my books will keep you honest.Sounds good. I think it was Alan Hildebrand who said that that's a partof her writing day, that reading is a part of her writing day, like she has,you know, like a certain amount of time, I think it's amazing, I'm not there,but I think it's a good goal to strive for for sure, you know, and I thinkanother good goal to strive for is reading more outside of our genres,which I, which I think, which I think we all do naturally, particularlybecause we're hosting this show right? Like a lot of the guests we have arenot guests to write in our genre and we're reading their books. Um But Ialways find I learn surprising things that I can apply to my own work in theplaces, I least expect to learn them. Um like him and I like today talkingabout 100% and you know, he said a couple of times, oh well, you know,this is for people writing crime thrillers or you know, some version ofthat, but um but it but it wasn't like the things he was saying were thingsthat were specific to his genre but could be applied to any of our genresalso because they were just about good storytelling, you know? Yeah, I lovehow he said a surprise ending and then a surprise ending and then anothersurprise ending because right, we like I've got the great ending, but maybethere's another and another, so that's funny because that really stuck with metoo. I was like maybe so I was thinking about the book that I'm writing rightnow and like I'm I'm to the point where the finish line is close enough that Ican I can see what the ending is going to be, you know, Whereas before Iwasn't really so sure. Um and I'm like, is it surprising enough, you know, isit something you wouldn't expect and you know, a lot of things of course andlike women's picture not necessarily, but I guess in what I write like a lotof it like, you know, sort of what's...

...going on, some things that are going tokind of come together but um it's always nice to have something in therethat readers don't have my respect. Absolutely. Alright ladies y'all areawesome but we can't wait to see you next week.I also quickly need to add that when Sean had us stacked on top of eachother and your image was on top of mine. I kept looking over my shoulder to seewhat was burning because like I would see like the flames like that, likeyour your flames were like sitting on top of my bookshelf and like I keptcatching myself like, you know, it's just so like I've had like five falsefire alarms and like that there we go again. I wanted to message you that youshould host a like fireside reading, maybe you could just be one of thoselike I remember they called like smr what's the thing you're talking aboutthat you could just be sitting there reading your book with the cracklingfire like on a video and that was all you need to do that, can you guys hearit Anyway um I will I will I will not have it and hopefully I won't have tohave it on next week. My office was freezing tonight. I could not get warmand I didn't want to sit here going friend inspiring fiction. O Sean O Sean,We love you madly. Okay mary Kay, we'll see you next week and y'all thanks forbeing with us tonight. You guys are so awesome out there. Thanks for beingwith us. Thank you for tuning in. You can joinus every week on Facebook or YouTube where our live show airs on Wednesdaynights at seven PM eastern time. Also subscribe to our podcast and follow uson instagram. We're so glad you're here, wow.

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