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    I will never write a book on India: Jeffrey Archer

    New Delhi: Master storyteller, former politician and an ardent cricket fan, British author Jeffery Archer was in Delhi to promote his latest book,'Only Time Will Tell' the first of the five-part Clifton Chronicle. IBNLive managed a little time with the catch up with the author who chatted about his latest book, his love for cricket and his future plans.IBNLive: First things first, you're a big cricket fan and the book tour incidentally falls while the sub-continent is hosting a World Cup, which team are you betting on?Archer: Of course England! Am English and I only want England to win.IBNLive: Have you managed to catch up on some matches?Archer: I'm afraid only on TV. I have been traveling to several cities and so catching the World Cup action only on TV.IBNLive: Tell us a little about your latest book?Archer: It tells the life of Harry Clifton, born in the backstreet of Clifton. He wins a scholarship to a very posh school and his whole life changes. The story revolves around him, The lead character (Harry) doesn’t know who his father is.The tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920 and will go on till 2020. In each of the forthcoming four books I will tell the story of the Clifton family in 20-years period. The last book in the series, expected to be released in 2015, will chronicle Harry Clifton’s last 20 years from 2000 to 2020.IBNLive: In the past you’ve written about India and Indian characters, do you plan writing more with India as background?Archer:Yes I have written a short story 'And Thereby Hangs a Tale'. But no, I will not write anything on India, mostly because India is a country with complex culture. Its religion, culture, people are very complex, one really should know, have very good knowledge about it for writing anything on it, Which I believe I don't have. Hence, I will never write on India.IBNLive: If not India will Indian characters find their way in your writings?Archer: Yes! they most definitely will, I have met a lot of Indians both in India and England. Indians are very English in a lot of ways.IBNLive: Are there any Indian authors you pay close attention to?Archer: My favourite Indian author is RK Narayan, I like his work, his writing.IBNLive: What satisfies you more... plays, short stories or novels? Since you've written across the genre.Archer: Novels are definitely more challenging, it's more demanding in every way. Although in India short stories are almost as popular. A lot of people are waiting for the next short story to come out, I have written 75 short stories. But there wont be another one for next five years because I am busy writing the Clifton Chronicles.IBNLive: Books by other authors that you always go back to?Archer: I love storytellers, of course Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. I have a passion for short stories, and I mean stories, not whimsical observations, so F Scott Fitzgerald, Maupassant, O’Henry and H H Munro have always been favourites.IBNLive: Have you been happy with the TV-movie adaptations of your books?Archer: Three of my books have been adapted for television: First Among Equals, Not A Penny, and Kane & Abel. I was very disappointed with the adaptation of Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less. Kane & Abel was watched by 17 million people when it was first televised; and 50 million people in India have read Kane & Abel, that's a huge number. Eight of the other books are currently in film production, I don't have much idea if all of them reach the screens or not. Since it's all just talk..talk... talk!! But most likely would be 'Paths of Glory', by Columbia they have the script and have to decide whether to press the button.IBNLive: Will you consider acting in them?Archer: Well not really (laughs) or okay may be a minor part.IBNLive: Are you comfortable with someone else directing your vision, your story?Archer: Very few authors believe that what they see in the screen is what they had visualised, you can just cross you fingers and hope that they look like what you had in mind. I would love to have a film though!IBNLive: According to you which is the most important part of a novel, the plot, character or the theme?Archer: Unquestionably the plot, if you've got the plot you've got the story, rest everything is just around it. Also the characters have to be right. 'Only Time Will Tell' has seven characters in it but in the end it's the plot it's the storytelling which matters.IBNLive: Which book are you ashamed you haven’t read yet?Archer: No not ashamed because most I have attempted and started reading many books but never got through them. Just couldn't finish them. but that doesn't stop me from trying.IBNLive: Have you ever had writer's block?Archer: No, never! I have never had a writer's block. I had some problem writing the end of this book (Only Time Will Tell) because I'd put myself in a problem and did not know how to solve it, but that's not a writer's block. IBNLive: Barring writing what are your interests?Archer: My major interest is the theatre, and I see at least one production a week when I’m in London, and all of the Stratford season. My other hobby is charity auctions which I enjoy immensely. But as I am writing this, I am half an hour off walking to the Oval to watch a One Day Test match, so cricket remains one of my great loves.IBNLive: Did you always want to be an author, what drove you to become one? Archer: Writing is my first love, really that's been my career and my life. I have been a politician but being an author is what I do.IBNLive: What’s your take on e-books?Archer: Well, at the moment 7 per cent of people read on e-books, I have one myself (Kindle) but the organisers of Amazon tell me that there will be 50 per cent of the readership is going to be on e-books in about ten years time. But I love the feeling of holding a book in my hand reading it.