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'The difference between a storyteller and a writer'

2 December 2013

'Proud? Frightened about the next book, actually, always frightened about the next book, If you've had 16 number ones in a row, you wonder if the next one will be. We can all think of a lot of authors who have died overnight. You see such big names disappearing and you think, 'That could be me'. There's always pressure. You sit down each day and say, 'this has to be better than anything I've done before', because these are real readers and they are sitting there waiting for it. The day the bookshop opens there will be half a million people round the world in straight away, and if I haven't delivered... well it is a horrific pressure.'

'I don't think a storyteller ever knows where he's going to or where it will end up. I know where Book Four will go, because I have written it, but the one after that I haven't got a blimming clue. Because if I know, then you'll know. If I don't know, how can you know? So I take the risk, and it is one hell of a risk, of never being more than three pages ahead. That's the difference between a storyteller and a writer, a writer probably has it all mapped out all the way through.'

Jeffrey Archer, whose latest bestseller is Best Kept Secret, in the Bookseller