WATCH: Lee Child and Heather Martin at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend
"But writing is also a serious business: it's a job."
The Hay Festival, now in its 21st year, brings writers and readers together in a free digital space of thoughtful conversation, storytelling, comedy, and family fun. This year, the Festival has been streamed live with a star-studded line-up of speakers and performers, and is currently available for public viewing.
Below, Lee Child, a judge for the 2020 Booker Prize and the author of 24 Reacher books, joins his biographer Heather Martin in conversation about his extraordinary tale of self-reinvention, the concept of the hero, and how Reacher was already part of his life long before he ever dreamed of becoming a writer.
From the video:
Lee Child: The biography reminded me of a lot of things that I’d forgotten, not just the first book. But yes, it was serious, serious business. When you’re a writer who’s trying to make a living, you’ve got to take it 200 percent seriously. In a way that’s what fascinates me about writing: it is the most ethereal and ephemeral thing; it is purely a mental construct; it’s purely in the imagination; it’s the least definite and real thing you could imagine. Because it’s just wisps of thoughts. And it is joyful; it’s creative. There is nothing like the pleasure you get out of writing a truly satisfactory sentence or paragraph of pivot. Pivots are the hardest thing, where you’ve got a great scene and you’ve got to get into the next one.