Monday, 11 July 2016

Q&A: Andy Martin

Something a little different, my first Authour Q&A with Andy Martin author of 
Reacher Said Nothing :Lee Child And The Making Of Make Me. 

I haven't actually read this yet but Andy was kind enough to not only answer my questions but to send a signed copy of the book. Cheers Andy.

1. What is your favourite Jack Reacher book and why?
My first reaction to this question is: the one that is right in front of me! I suppose I am always going to have a particularly soft spot for Make Me, since I watched it being written. But it just so happens that right now I am going back to the first one, Killing Floor, to refresh my memory about the prison scenes.

2. Where did the idea for Reacher Said Nothing come from?
I had done some work on Sartre and Camus, each of whom comments on the work of the other. But from afar. And I thought, wouldn’t it have been so much better if they had actually checked it out at close quarters while they were writing, rather than afterwards. Then I thought, yeah, but they’re dead now. But, on the other hand, what if… That was the start of it. Could have been almost any writer (not Donna Tartt!), but Lee said yes.

3. When did you first become aware of Jack Reacher?
About 10 years ago. As it happens, in a small bookstore in Pasadena, down the road from CalTech. Don’t think I’d ever heard of him before.

4.  Which Reacher book did you read first?
In the same bookstore, I picked up a copy of The Enemy. For some reason that simple but elemental title spoke to me. One of those where Reacher is still in the army. In, but already in some way, out.

5. For potential readers which Reacher book would you recommend and why?
Tough one. Lots of people like to start with book one and read through to the most recent. I’ve known one guy who did it the other way round and worked his way back to Killing Floor. Lee’s personal favourite is Gone Tomorrow (which starts on the subway). I’m going to vote for the one in which Reacher is reunited with some of his old crew: Bad Luck and Trouble. Why? The blissful absurdity of tracking down Neagley in Los Angeles without ever fixing a time and place. It’s classic Reacher.

6. What was it like watching Lee Child at work?
Fascinating. Real learning experience. Plus there was always the possibility that he would head butt me if I really annoyed him.

7. Was it fun hanging out with Lee Child?
On a par with hanging out with Jean-Paul Sartre or Albert Camus (if they were alive). Except you always have to drink your coffee black or he cracks up. It’s a sort of religion with him. And you have to be relaxed about substance abuse. And then there is the Jekyll and Hyde factor…
8. For those who enjoyed Reacher Said Nothing is there a sequel planned?

WITH CHILD, coming soon. In which I focus more on the readers than the writer. But also THE FOREIGNER, thriller-in-progress, putting theory into practice. For those who did not enjoy, no worries: I will plot some terrible revenge.

9. Have you read Night School yet?
Only the fragments that Lee wanted to show me as he went along.

10. Did you get to go to the set of Never Go Back, if so what was it like?
See my article for the Independent:
Otherwise my lips are sealed (well, unless someone wants to pay me some unspecified but definitely large sum of money).

11. What do you think of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher?
Apparently he is huge in China. I’m not going to go against a billion Chinese citizens. I am optimistic about Never Go Back and will definitely go and see it.

12. Who do you think could play Reacher in the future?
Idris Elba. I once asked Lee who would play Lee in the movie. If not Lee. He wants Jeremy Irons - but it has to be a young Jeremy Irons (tricky).

13. If you could pick a book to adapt for the next movie which one would you pick and why?

61 Hours. I love movies with a lot of snow. It’s almost like Reacher meets Nordic noir. But in America. Or maybe Echo Burning for the opposite reason. The deep south and Reacher gets to crack some racist redneck over the head with a pool cue. Good move, Reacher.

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