Guest Author: Jeffrey Archer: Delivering the Manuscript

Cropped for TWITTERLast month I completed the 14th draft of the fourth book in The Clifton Chronicles series – Be Careful What You Wish For – and sent it to my agent and publisher. What followed was an agonising wait for them to read it over the weekend, and give their opinions on Monday morning. Even after 17 novels and 6 sets of short stories, it doesn’t get any easier.

The first draft of a book takes me around 400 hours, or 50 days, to write, long-hand, at my home in Majorca, where I can write with no distractions. I don’t have to answer the phone, or go out to dinner or visit the theatre. I sit in my writing room looking out over the beautiful Bay of Palma with the Tramuntana Mountains in the distance and I can think through plot, do some research, and write in total silence – well, except for the occasional dog barking nearby.

I would imagine very few writers work in the same way. Personally I’m extremely disciplined, and like to follow a set routine, writing in foBest Kept Secretur, two-hour blocks – 6-8am, 10-12noon, 2-4pm and 6-8pm. I have a large silver two-hour egg timer on my desk, that Mary bought for me many years ago, and it’s proved very useful for keeping me on track. A typical writing day will always include a couple of long walks – I find walking clears my head, especially if I’m wrestling with a tricky part of the plot, or introducing a new character. If the weather’s good I’ll eat a light lunch out on the terrace, and then in the evening I’ll relax by watching an hour or so of TV, maybe a film or a drama series.

My latest book, Best Kept Secret, book three of The Clifton Chronicles, was published in March 2013 in hardback. Even though the hardback had 21 weeks on the bestsellers list, it doesn’t stop one being anxious whenever a new publication day comes around.

His fourth book, “Be Careful What You Wish For,” in The Clifton Chronicles series will be released in March 2014.

About Author:

Jeffrey Archer has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 270 million copies in 97 countries and more than 37 languages, and is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (fifteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries). He gained a Blue in Athletics at Oxford, was President of the University Athletics Club, and went on to run the 100 yards in 9.6 seconds for Great Britain in 1966. Jeffrey has served five years in the House of Commons and twenty-one years as a Member of the House of Lords. 

His latest novel Best Kept Secret, published in March 2013, is the third volume in a seven book saga called The Clifton Chronicles. All three books (Only Time Will Tell, The Sins of the Father and Best Kept Secret) went to No.1 in hardback on the Sunday Times Bestsellers list, and around the world.  Jeffrey is also an art collector and amateur auctioneer, conducting around 30 charity auctions a year which have raised more than fifteen million pounds in the last ten years. Jeffrey has been married to Dame Mary Archer for 47 years, and they have two sons.

Visit his website:

Follow Jeffrey on Facebook and Twitter @Jeffrey_Archer


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