When Lee Child introduced the world to Jack Reacher back in 1997, the author unleashed an iconic character, one of literature’s most adored creations. This week sees the release of Make Me, the 20th Jack Reacher novel, and Child doesn’t look to be slowing down.
The thriller series features Reacher, a former military policeman who drifts from location to location, intent on traveling America, a country restricted to him during his tenure in the 110th MP. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a compact toothbrush, Reacher has the world at his feet and intends to live life on his terms for once. In true fiction style, it’s not long before he’s cracking skulls and taking names to help the innocent.
In an interview with CBS, Child confirmed that Make Me is going to take Reacher into unfamiliar territory. The former MP is going to become more vulnerable, something that has only occurred on a handful of occasions throughout Child’s back catalogue. The author summed up Reacher’s dilemma in two simple sentences.
“Reacher always wins but he likes to make sure the other guy knows he’s lost and this time it’s too big. He can win the battle but he can’t win the war.”
Child also spoke of his unorthodox writing process, one that is well documented. As revealed by the Independent in 2014, Child’s process for conjuring a new Reacher tale is a remarkable one. On September 1, every year, he sits down and prepares to write a new Reacher novel. This is his standard ritual, one he has followed since he started writing 20 years ago. After all, he wrote Killing Floor with a pencil and a pad. Nineteen books would follow — if its not broken, why fix it?
The author is passionate about his writing, a process that involves cigarettes and copious amounts of coffee. When asked about September 1, Child simply stated.
“The first day is always the best because you haven’t screwed anything up yet. It’s a gorgeous feeling.”
Child revealed the typical process of starting a Reacher novel.
“I have no title and no plot. I can feel it. The rhythm. It’s got to be stumbly. It’s tough guys talking. I have to get their vernacular. But, at the same time, it has to trip ahead. A tripping rhythm. Forward momentum.”
Child is currently working on Reacher 21, which is tentatively scheduled for an October 2016 release.
Forbes has labelled Child “The Strongest Brand in Publishing.” He has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and commands over a billion dollars in global sales. His books have been published in 42 languages and 97 territories. In 2012, Tom Cruise, possibly the biggest movie star in the world, brought Jack Reacher to life on the big screen in Jack Reacher (2012). Based on Child’s eight novel, One Shot, the movie grossed $218.3 million at the box office. The sequel is scheduled for release in 2016.
Make Me is available now from various book stores.
[Image – Random House]