I was lucky enough to hear Lee Child speak recently. His Jack Reacher thrillers are my number one guilty pleasure. Nobody writes suspense as well. I have blogged about him before, even wondering aloud which other fictional tough guys could defeat Reacher in a fist fight (answer none). Child's talk was wonderful, engaging and hilarious.
Lee Child's personal story is captivating as well. He's British and used to work for the BBC. When he was unceremoniously let go at the age of 42 he had to find something to do with his life. When he told his friends, "I think maybe I'll try writing a crime novel" they thought he was crazy. Yet here he is today a bestselling author with his books being made into movies starring Tom Cruise (The film Jack Reacher 2 is scheduled to come out next year).
Child expressed that he is a baseball fan and when Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games he felt that was an injustice. Lou Gehrig would have kept going if he could, but he got sick. If he were Cal Ripken he would have tied the record and sat out the next game out of respect.
Similarly his favorite author had been John D. Macdonald, who's Travis McGee series ended after 21 books. Child didn't commit but said he had always assumed he would stop writing after his 21st Jack Reacher novel. You could tell the audience was doing some math in their heads. Child's 20th Jack Reacher novel is titled Make Me and is coming out September 8th. That means there is likely only one more.
When asked if he would write a non-reacher book, his response was that he unfortunately has a terrible work ethic and he's really looking forward to doing nothing, though he might pursue a career as a stand-up comedian.
This poster about mourning the deaths of our favorite fictional character was displayed at the library and folks often commented on it (or just sighed as the gazed at it). Facing the fact the end is nearing for my favorite series makes this release bittersweet. I will probably have to start back at the beginning and binge-read them again.
If you'd like to read them in order, here's the list (by the way, there are also a few Jack Reacher short stories and novellas available as ebooks).