Jeffrey Archer


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Please welcome Jeffrey Archer as interviewed for New Mystery Reader by Narayan Radhakrishnan


I had the wonderful opportunity- privilege and honour to conduct this e-interview with Jeffrey Archer- “the greatest storyteller ever.” Being an avid fan of his works and proud owner of all Archer Novels, Dramas, Diaries and Short stories- it was with great happiness that I availed this opportunity of talking with this great author.

 Thank you Mr. Archer for this e-interview

NMR:  CAT O’ NINE TALES is No.1 in the bestseller for the last two weeks in India. So how do you feel? I believe there has been a long hiatus for you since TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT as far as short stories are concerned. 

JA:  Thank you for passing on the good news, which once again confirms the warmth and friendship the Indian people have always shown towards my work.  You are correct in thinking that it has been some time (5 years) since I did a set of short stories, but it is getting harder and harder to find little gems that are worthy of consideration.


NMR:  I have been intrigued by the title- it says “Nine Tales”….and at the same time there are the usual 12 stories. Why is that so? What gave you the idea for the title?  

JA:  Nine of the stories I discovered when I was in prison, thus ‘Cat O’Nine Tales’.  The other three I picked up in the last couple of years and particularly like ‘In the Eye of the Beholder’.  The expression, Cat O’Nine Tales, is an old naval expression of a sailor being whipped when he had committed an offence while at sea. 


NMR:  Again why the fascination with cats….black cats. The edition of Twist in the Tale which I possess also feature a black cat in its cover jacket? 

JA:  I have no particular fascination with cats, it’s just that the great illustrator Ronald Searle is famous for his cat drawings, and I wanted to take advantage of his particular expertise.


NMR:  How did you zero up on Ronald Searle for doing the illustrations? They are truly magnificent. How was the work procedure like with you and Mr. Searle? 

JA:   I have long been an admirer of Ronald Searle, since my schooldays when he did the girls of St Trinians and Molesworth.  In fact I own an original drawing of the Head Girl of St Trinians, and an original Molesworth – so I have been a fan for many years.  I confess I was surprised and delighted when the great man agreed to illustrate my latest book.


NMR:  Could you tell us more about your forthcoming novel A PRISONER OF BIRTH? And about the movie version of FALSE IMPRESSION and the original screenplay- MALLORY: WALKING OFF THE MAP. Could you give us up to date information on these projects. When can we see the movie on screen? Again, will the ardent Archer fan get to read the book version of Mallory? 

JA:  A Prisoner of Birth is the story of a young man who is wrongly convicted of murder, and is sent to prison for 22 years.  He escapes (in an ingenious way) to seek revenge on the four people who were responsible for him being in jail. 

Mallory is in what is called ‘pre-production’, and if it reaches the stage of principal photography, I will be writing it as the next novel after Prisoner of Birth.

False Impression is currently under consideration for an option, and I am waiting to hear if they intend to take up that option.


NMR:  Thank you Mr. Archer for sparing the time with us for this interview. We are highly, highly obliged.


For more information on Jeffrey Archer, please visit his site: