Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9mm interview: Jeffery Deaver

The 9mm series has been on a bit of slow burn in the past couple of months, but don't worry, it will continue to be a regular feature here on Crime Watch.

Today, for the 56th instalment of the popular series, I am sharing my 9mm interview with another of the biggest names in the business, twist-master extraordinaire Jeffery Deaver, who visited New Zealand recently as part of a whirlwind tour in support of CARTE BLANCHE, the latest 007 novel. Before taking the reins of Ian Fleming's most famous spy, of course, Deaver was already world-renowned in his own right as a crime writer, particularly in relation to his bestselling series starring paralysed criminalist Lincoln Rhyme (played by Denzel Washington in the film adaptation of THE BONE COLLECTOR), and another series featuring CBI Agent Kathryn Dance. Personally, I've also really enjoyed Deaver's collections of short stories, appropriately entitled TWISTED and MORE TWISTED.

I was fortunate enough to be given the exclusive New Zealand pre-release interview with Deaver prior to CARTE BLANCHE hitting the shelves earlier this year. I found him very personable, and quite funny in an at-time dry, witty way, and we had a great chat about all manner of things related to James Bond, crime fiction, plot planning, twists, and more. You can read my feature article for the Sunday Star-Times, based on that interview here. You can read my full NZLawyer review of CARTE BLANCHE, along with a review by NZLawyer editor Darise Bennington of the latest Bond cocktail, created by Deaver for the new book, here.

But for now, Jeffery Deaver stares down the barrel of 9mm.


Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?

Harry Bosch. I like the personality that Connelly brings to the character, and the fact I kind of relate to him.

What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
Probably THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, because although I had some problems with the story - quite early I figured it out - I liked the character of Sherlock Holmes.

Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
Well I was a journalist, so many, many articles. Poetry, a law book.

Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
Entertain, cook, collect wine, ski, SCUBA dive, drive fast cars on the track, and veg out with my dogs. I cook anything, I’ve cooked all my life; gourmet cooking, French cooking, I do barbeque.

What is one thing that visitors to your hometown should do, that isn't in the tourist brochures, or perhaps they wouldn’t initially consider?
Go to The Cave, in Chapel Hill, it’s the alternative rock club - The Cave.

If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?
Oh man, that’s a good one. I guess I would like... probably my first choice would be Kevin Spacey, because he would bring a subtlety to the relatively boring life an author leads.

Of your books, which is your favourite, and why?
GARDEN OF BEASTS, because it has the most depth, and is the kind of story that will talked about in future years when my other books aren’t anymore.

What was your initial reaction, and how did you celebrate, when you were first accepted for publication? Or when you first saw your debut story in book form on a bookseller’s shelf?
My first book was called VOODOO, a Stephen King kind of occult thriller, very small print run, but when I saw it in the store, on the shelves for the first time, I took the afternoon off and went to an Oyster Wine Bar, and just enjoyed oysters and wine.

What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival?
A woman came up to me, a beautiful women, and asked if I would like to have a drink afterwards. I was single, she didn’t have any rings on, so I said I’d love to. And as I was walking to the door after the event, she said “I know you’re the man who can help me, because as you know, Neilsen [a TV rating company that monitors viewership] has cameras in my home, and they’ve based every sit-com and drama show on TV in the last five years on my life, and I need someone to help me expose them”. And it was at that point that the security guard came up and said, “Sally”, or Jo, or whatever her name was - I can’t remember, “Mr Deaver has to go now”. And I was just totally disappointed that clearly I wasn’t the only author that she has said to. I wasn’t special [laughing], but no, clearly she was nuts. But incredibly beautiful.

Thank you Jeffery Deaver. We appreciate you taking the time to talk to Crime Watch
What do you think of this 9mm interview, and interviewee? Have you read CARTE BLANCHE, of any of Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme, Kathryn Dance, or standalone thrillers? Do you enjoy his twist-filled, pacy style of crime and thriller writing? What do you think of such a well-known writer taking over (for one book at least) a well-known series created by another writer? Have you watched the film adaptation of THE BONE COLLECTOR with Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington? If so, what did you think? Comments welcome.


  1. Love the story about the beautiful woman at the end!! One of the first books I ever read of Jeffery Deaver's was the Bone Collector. I really liked the movie too. Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie were a great pair in the movie!

  2. Glad to have these interviews back, Craig - you gt to interview some great people! I loved The Bone Collector, and also the movie version of it. I might have to find Garden of Beasts now.