tv In Depth David Baldacci CSPAN May 6, 2018 12:00pm-3:01pm EDT
unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service but america's cable television companies and today we continue tobring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house , the supreme court and the public policy events in washington dc and around the country. >> .. you have been on tour for the last several weeks talking about your 36 novel, "the fallen." it features number four in line for a character by the name of a
mess. if i were to meet him on the street what would i see? >> guest: you would see a very large guy ambling down the street oblivious to everything going on. and if you stopped him and asked him a question he would probably just blow you off and keep going. he lives in his own world. i think people take his aloofness for buddhist which is not that at all. how used to be a very good guy. he had a traumatic brain injury and it changes whole personality. he's living in a body that is the same, just not the same person. the book evolves and you see in "the fallen," my wife for this book. i finally liking. he finally reached his humanity level at the core but it took me four books to get there. i like complicated guys. east, get it, being with us for our "in depth" program in the special series. we sit with authors three hours talking about their life and the work. david ball that you will spend that time with us today and we
hope very much for both of us that you'll be part of the conversation. as we continue along will put the phone numbers on the screen and our facebook and twitter handle so you can join in the conversation and we very much like to hear your questions about his writing, the characters he developed and why you're intrigued about them, the key to his success over the years. what makes amos decker a good hero? especial for a thriller series. >> guest: when i first started thinking about a series, what would be good to do? i get this guy who's aloof, he doesn't get along with people, he doesn't pick up social cues. he walks out of the room when you're talking to. he'll be very popular. he just spoke to me. i've been fascinated by the mine and this is a guy whose mind changed and he had no control over that. he had to rebuild his life. when you are developing a series you have to have enough material to justify more than one book, like a character will evolve and
go, the people can relate to and joy. if the character doesn't change there's no point in writing another book. within had enormous amount of material i could draw on. there exist back straight about his injury, about this perfect memory. when it first went on tour with the first book "memory man" everybody, i said raise your hand if you think it's called at the perfect memory, can't forget anything. a lot of people raised their hand. i said ray should you get something in your life would rather forget. everybody raised their hand and that's just a little. he has lots of things would rather forget. for me what school is every time i get it on the page i have no idea what is going to do. >> host: when you start and think about series, all of your books premature are a series come he said you don't want to do the one offs, too much work, do you have a sense of how many you can play out with him or is doesn't just evolve? >> guest: i'm not good at predicting stuff like that.
i'm not like jk rowling, there will be seven books in the harry potter series and that's it. for me i've written series that have two, witnesses that have five, written series that lot more than that. for me it's how much gas intake does the character have and i want to keep discovering things about him. i'm excited about writing him or her on the page. if the answers to that is just barely keep going regardless of the book count is. if the edge is no, i do something else. >> host: how did you develop amos? was there a model in the real world you drew him from? >> guest: no. it was almost like frankenstein. i built in from parts all over the place. i knew i wanted a large guy. i want him to have this enormous presence, , and committing prest even though he's not really intimidating guy. i knew he would be a football player, and that was the source of the brain injury. which is all too prevalent these days especially in sports, football. a lot of the players i loved
growing up watching, they are either passed away or in wheelchairs, dementia. at 60, they are totally gone,, their brain is gone. i wanted to write a story worth character scrapping with those issues as well. had this large presence and then build them a mental detective h this unique feature about being able to unforgiving thing. but all the other package. he doesn't pick up on social cues anymore. it's hard for them to relate to people. as the detective that can be difficult. on one hand he is a superpower, perfect memory. on the event it's difficultly to people which is a downside for detectives. a choice of struggle but struggles innately traumatize this thing and raises the stakes and makes people want to understand this person what makes him tick. if you can give the reader to say what makes this guy tick. >> host: a setting for "the fallen" is fictional but its
problems are real. when you tell our audience about the? >> guest: it's a rough bout time much like thousands across this country and thousands cost of the countries. western pennsylvania coal money, steel territory and this is a place where all exist because a guy named john figured out a way to make money. there is coal, a river, i can do textiles. here we have berryville and know any people to work on it, so they came. payton whatever he paid them, headlights, kids and the call went away, the textiles went away and everything when we accept people who live there. they still have to move somehow. i have a lot of challenges in this novel and sometimes those challenges take it up a dark path. in better in philly, costs a small town has a lot of secrets underneath it. when amos starts poking around, bad things happen. >> host: one of those is the opioid, and we are all seeing so
much, the travesty of the opioid crisis. what story did you want readers to learn about what the country struggling with? >> guest: first and foremost i wanted to understand this is a man-made problem, and this is not a problem start with the drug dealers on the street. mr. with prescription medication by doctors that your pharmacist filled. another west virginia town that has 900 people and 13 million opiate prescriptions are written for the town you know it's a problem. in the '90s big pharma decide if we're not selling enough of these painkillers and want some more. they may paint the fifth element of a diagnosis and set said isd for anything that ails you. ironically a lot of the opioids were prescribed for back pain. almost has no effect on back pain at all. that's the irony. this is not addictive, don't worry. i want to people understand this is a man-made problem. now it is decimated commuters, it's called the drug of despair. people have no hope.
they are spiraling. this is a problem we have that's not getting any better. it needs to be addressed. it is not being addressed. advertising campaign says just say no is not good work when you talk about that know which you can be addicted after one use. just saying no really doesn't work. the poulos of factors that needs to be addressed to get the country to it but we have to. next year if the trends continue, next year 100,000 people overdose on no prince. that's the population of a small city. i want people to take away even with this novel a is fictionall the stuff is nonfiction. >> host: one thing to get into the narcan debate. what you think about it? >> guest: i think now a lot of places are giving it to first responders. places are saying we would give that to everybody. even if you're there and you're doing drugs as well, the person you're with overdoses, take out the narcan and save his life because it is a lifesaver. people say that will encourage
people --.com headlines until we figure out how to solve the public you don't want to say don't do elephantine and will forget the problem litigant must do both at the same time. narcan needs to be out there. everybody did to have it taken in these towns. give it to family members, the addiction treatment since come first responders, everybody with a might be an issue. have it in restaurants and bars because people don't realize this, people going overdose in a public place because they know they can be resuscitated. but in a bar, restaurant, in public places. it's almost like having a defibrillator. some goes into cardiac arrest, break the glass, hit them with a same thing with narcan. bring them back to life. >> host: do you see a lot of this when you travel? >> guest: absolutely. my mother stomach came from coal mining country and south virginia, , bring much like this
pic you have a place that was once with a lot of good paying jobs where you could make 70, 80,000 a year without a college education. they are all gone. all gone. the towns still are there. when you drive to these places can try to the midwest, it's unlike washington, d.c. area. a lot of people, they don't have college education. the work is service oriented, low-paying, no benefits. people have very few properties. they don't have homes sometimes. there in old cars even if they have a car. a lot of that is what america is, and so for me i'm not surprised people are turning to opioids to try to break out of this because they don't feel like they have in hell. that's the bad thing, with the greatest country, the richest country on earth. every citizen should have hope. that life can get better and we just did get that back. >> host: what is the lesson of
capitalism then? >> guest: the lesson of capitalism is, look, i'm a capitalist. i have my own small business. there has to be a balance. i was thinking about this when i was driving in today, that would be better for one person to make $3 billion a year or the person to make $1 billion a year and a bunch of other people instead of making $30,000 a year could make $60,000 a year. they could buy more stuff, have better health insurance, syndicates to college. with that make society better for everybody to what is at the guy having to live on $2 billion less, with that hurt him? i think, we've seen this before, in the beginning of 20 center, the robber barons, the gilded age. this will thing happened again before you have an income tax and jeff anomaly wealthy people, robber baron, railroad barons, magnets, rockefellers, , carnege some people like that. people had nothing. that house was totally out of
whack in judd teddy roosevelt come in, breaking these monopolies. collective bargaining. that built the middle class. unions are pretty much dead and all of a sudden you have very few who are making extraordinary amounts of money and the rest of the people not so much. i don't know, i don't think it's sustainable, i really don't. i also can't argue to people plausibly least the united states that they should maybe be some rebalanced or redistribution. as soon as you say redistribution then you're a socialist. i'm not a socialist but i also know the track we're on doesn't seem to be sustainable. >> host: in better envelop what's been given people jobs is a fulfillment center for online unnamed online company. have you visited one of those? >> guest: yes, i have. drama what are they like? >> guest: this deal is unbelievable. they are football field times
12. you've never seen so much cardboard in your life, shelters and robots and people running literally all day. when you think about it, you think about the packages you get your house or the fact that the postal service on it operates on sunday to deliver amazon packages. when you see a mail truck on sunday look and said, amazon packages. those packages have to get to some out. fulfillment centers are how they do it. if you millions of americans by billions of packages, and your places that have told by capacity. when you go in the scales are breathtaking. the speech which the stuff moves, 400 packages processed a second, out the door and on its way. i was overwhelmed. it was like, i been to a lot of big military bases, you know. these places dwarfed the scale i saw there. it is a phenomena. it grew in the last ten years. it's the one major growth industry employment weiser
people. it was unbelievable to me tremble and i'm going get the phone numbers in about 50 minutes start taking your telephone calls for david baldacci. you can tweet us @booktv and use hashtag in depth, please to make sure get into and we can get your questions and we look forward to them. with a facebook page, lots of ways to get involved if you'd like to do that. in the very first amos dekker book, the "memory man," the central plot is around the school shooting. what year did you write that? >> guest: first was about maybe five years ago. >> host: since then we've seen a number of these. what are you thinking about happening with society? why did you use this as a device that what we hoping to gain for your readers? >> guest: with the school
shooting in "memory man," for me it was his hometown, the school where his daughter would a con had she lived through high school. you can write fiction number of different ways. you can write screenplays number of different ways. you can grow big and shallow or you can go small and litigate. i wanted in "memory man" tethys -- you see him telling the hallways of this high school at this horrific event, this very small stage, taking everything in, all points and is looking at. building this template of what is the truth. on the small stage i was able to go deep and that's i wanted to do. i didn't want to go brought and shallow. for me it was almost a hitchcockian reflection. action moved off but the primary focus come here to figure out what happened. i think when i was overseas, when i was in england they told me crime fiction had taken over
general fiction is most popular genre in uk first time ever that people asking why i thought that was. i said other things being equal if you can't get what you want in the real world you turn to fiction. in thrillers and crime fiction you good people and bad people, and then the good people get the bad people, truth comes out and it in as it is supposed in. you can't get in good life with a good people keep losing. >> host: this is the home of agatha christie and sherlock holmes so you would think thrillers of those been a part of the british popular -- tragic they really haven't. crime fiction is big over there and always has been but i don't know what happened. this year for the first time ever it overtook general literature. i think maybe that's one reason.
>> host: we will get into how this all started which of the caller. let's listen to what he has to say. brian is in sioux city iowa. welcome to the conversation with david baldacci. >> caller: good morning. my question is about his memory condition that you set start because of injuries suffered in football. this is perfect recall something we can recall things before the entry perfectly or is the perfect recall only triggered by things happen after thoughtful entry? >> guest: a great question and the answer is it's different for different people. with amos decker it can be before the injury occurred to him. we all have memories of things that happen to us from day one moving up, but sometimes our memory is nothing good about bringing it back out but it is a summa. what fasted me is in 2018 -- fascinated me. we don't know how the brain works. it's almost like traumatic brain injury unlock the memories that were in his had all along.
it's almost like you want to think that come as bandwidth went from normal to like a gazillion all the information. house was been in there but never able to access before. his ramp went up significantly if you want to talk about on a computer basis. but going forward everything he sees he will remember exactly as he sees it and exactly as he hears it. sometimes i can be tricky because sometimes people like to do he will remember that life. he remembers exactly someone says. down the road find something that's contradictory. he put his template over to understand maybe that statement was not true. he can remember everything from day one. >> host: all the amos decker books and a fact in all of the novels of yours that a bread, there's always a state and local, federal agency, there is federal agencies and is always lots of bureaucracy for people to deal with. where did you develop that
worldview about an agency relations? >> guest: from dealing with a lot of agencies who do with each other. i've had personal extremes in my office one time my office in west virginia were to federal agencies almost came to blows in the lobby in my office because one was doing something and had not told the other that they were doing. they had somebody stationed in their office with binoculars and walkie-talkie walking around and looking around. this of agency sent a a strike team into our building to grab this person. full body armor, ak 15th and it was like what's going on? the other guys came in and trenchcoats, i want named agencies. they were like she works for us. why do need to tell us? we don't tell anybody anything. we are who we are and you to tell us. it really default quickly into like chaos. i've worked in that with a lot of academic agencies over the years and one thing they will tell you is the cooperation and communication is not always what
it should be. there's a lot of people, a lot of paperwork and a lot of intrinsic values to these places. it's a turf battle. the crazy way the federal budget works is you get more money if you have more responsibility and more stuff that you do. you never want to get a piece of the fight anybody else. >> host: the changes that were made after 2001 were supposed to solve all the stuff after 9/11. bandwidth the word for communication, electronic medication. what happened? >> guest: easier said than done. the iris was supposed be having new computer systems the last 40 years as well. they dod is supposed to do lots of stuff and not spent $40,000 on a hammer. all those things to happen because look, these are aircraft carriers, military symbolism again. if you think you are going to
move those things in three minutes in a a new direction, s not going to happen. they are enormous unwieldy beast and it takes time. i'm not say changes are napping at things about working better but it's a long, long slog, martin is in washington, d.c. area. hello, martin. >> caller: good morning. mr. baldock you, good morning. >> guest: good morning. >> caller: i just finished "the fallen" recently, and went to all the series my question is, there are some pretty heavy deep emotional elements in it. do you plan those or do they come about spontaneously? >> host: what's the senior member that struck you as an emotion one? >> caller: latest one, the last page, i would just leave it at that.
>> host: we will tantalus our viewers. >> guest: that the great question, martin. for me i have to make these characters feel like they are real and human. one into that is to relate to the readers on an emotional level. we all have problems in allies, we all fall down. we all have losses and great and things went to suffer through. i really in this book in particular with amos decker wanted to show even though he had his traumatic brain injury, even though he was never used to be and he seems aloof and not really part of the world anymore, that he still had heart and soul and he could still feel things. i know exactly what you're talking about. the relationship between decker and that particular character was my way to show this guy might a change in a lot of ways but he still a human being and he can still feel and be vulnerable. as far as i don't necessary plot all these things up. a lot of it as i'm writing i'm so immersed in it it just feels right as i'm writing it. you can call it spontaneous but
i think i some colleges has been to want on for so long that it's not spontaneous. edges came to the service and the user when i spoke to use. i knew i wanted to draw a lot more emotion out of amos decker in this novel, and his relationship in the book with his other character you are talking about was really one critical way to do it. >> host: one relationship threat the series is alex jamieson who starts out annoying him i think in the first book as a journalist asked too many questions. how does she evolve? >> guest: if the one or two -- she's his watson. she keeps him somewhat normal and even keel and kicks him in the butt when he goes too far and he does something that she thinks is wrong. she's a steady influence but it's frustrating for her, too. she's good at her job and she wants to be better. she understands that that is br than she will ever be because of his unique abilities. he is issues and i think
together it's also important you have dual like this. i have to be complement it. you feel like together they are better than it would be separately for both of them. each of them to talk the other. i like that about that. alex is a really critical part of amos decker i don't think he could be himself without her. >> host: they work for the fbi, and fbi has been an bit of trouble lately, nationally lots of accusations like about the role in things. someone who is really worked with his agency for such a long time what is your view of the public perceptions and the arguing over the role of the fbi right now? >> guest: all the agencies i've dealt with without exception or a political and dedicate to what to do. their jobs are hard and tough and they don't have time reallr political grandstanding worrying about an agenda down the road. they're just trying to solve cases and get people are doing bad things are catch them before they do bad things. this criticism i'm not an agent
really gets me because i know a lot of agents. the bureau doesn't deserve this, justice department doesn't deserve this. on the sink you can't criticize institutions. you can criticize individual people who you can show were doing bad things but to say the fbi or the justice department are tainted and corrupt broadscale i think that's totally not right, martha in billings montana. >> caller: i just started reading the alex decker books. i really like them. >> guest: thank you, but had to tell you at the age of 70 i am madly in love with john poehler. [laughing] , of which no way don't give him a girlfriend, please. somebody that he can be settled with or something. i just love that man. >> host: we will talk about john later in the program it seemed like a status to be john
love interest. they don't often survive -- >> guest: bad things seem to happen. they are in the line of fire. well, i will never say never on that. he's a a fictional character se could find love down the road. but he will be back in another book. i do like knox, she may be the one to tame him and be the one that stands the test of time. i'm keeping that in mind. look, i love them, too. i think he's a great guy, will they be more amos decker books? >> guest: there will be more amos decker books. now that if it does reached the tipping point on it being him more, almost deliberated that ii can go farther with them, next up is joanne in ld-1 wisconsin. welcome. >> caller: i have been a david baldacci finance for many years, and my husband and i just finished watching, got from the library, the "king and maxwell"
tv series. it's a lot different than the book because i just finished the "king and maxwell" book, which i really enjoyed it. i read, actual and listen to it, when i walk, i do the audiobooks so i'm really glad you do the audiobooks. the amos decker one, "the last mile," which was fascinating. i felt in love with a whole series of going to go back and get first once i can figure out -- not figure out that read about what happened to him. >> guest: the "memory man", i was in the mood to do a brand-new series and amos decker fit the bill with a lot of reasons. "the last mile," the second one, will you meet marvin and some of the other cast, that really clicked, that was possible because i explored a lot that justice department, the prison system. it gave -- i guy that was on his
level. i don't get a lot of e-mails about this goes. they said when is melvin going to come back? melvin wasn't in the fall in and in what melvin come back. >> host: jacquelyn is in washington, d.c. >> caller: hello, david. this is an old friend. >> guest: how are you doing? >> caller: i'm great. i am so proud, just so happy, elated with all of what you been doing over the past several years. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i to question that we've we been pondering in her family regarding amazon, the hq to headquarters their country where to put that. while the major cities are vying for that, i often wondered if perhaps it would be patriotic service or national service if mr. beezus would consider just basically providing them if you will and industry for of west virginia or i another state whh really needs an industry.
>> guest: i would sort of agree with that, too. the headquarters of the second headquarters for amazon.com will be a huge shot any offer any community. i know the criteria they have. i'm sure they want highly educated workforce and what of lots of other amenities and things in the area that would attract people. west virginia has a lot of those things as well. i think communities like that should be in the running. i don't know what the exact criteria are. i did hear recently amazon sent out to some of the city still in the running a list of things they didn't like about the places and apparently they maybe want them to fix. i'm not sure i do that. i don't know what the issues were but it's extraordinary when a a company, one company has that much power edge of all these communities clamoring for the jobs and through all this money at them. it's really extraordinary. >> host: jeff basis as a part-time washingtonian as owner
of the "washington post." have you met him? >> guest: no. when amazon first word out in the book basis, out of his garage in the mid-1990s, and the fact 20 some odd years he spoke this enormous company. it's quite an achievement, and, but it's a lot going on. >> host: jacqueline, as a former colleague from a law firm with offices wash and, this is a good jumping off point for of what to do witches spend time tell your story to the audience. it all began as a 20 year overnight sensation. >> guest: that's right, with "absolute power" your first successful novel. can you tell our audience how it came about? >> guest: yeah, i know people think, you did like practicing law so you decide to write a book. but i've been writing since i was a kid. i grew up in richmond, virginia. one of his kids are never shut up, and i was always telling tall tales, usually get muscle
out of trouble. i was a voracious reader. i would go to the library of the week. with my brother and sister check out more books that was allowed. the library knew i would read them all. i never let richmond as a kid but i saw the world through books. i was locked in your my mom when i was seven or eight brought me a blank page book and journal. why did you try writing? i did anderson as my pen hit the paper, i can create something of the people can read and enjoy it like i do. i never looked back. i wrote short stories for 15 years. i was trying to show short stories to the atlantic and playbook and story magazine when i was in high school. had very little success during that but i went to law school in practice law, had a family. i wrote screenplays and agent in l.a. based on screen was, had a couple of the options but not a lot of success.
and then i decide to try my hand at long form, a novel. my law office was near the white house back then. i was relatively new to the d.c. area and it would walk past the white house. i think bush 411 was president been. we would occasion see the presidential motorcade and see the secret service agents and us thinking about you know what, what if or when a book that fits ulster types? i will make a bad person a good person and the good people you think are good or bad. so president, and and a cover. i know this seems like was ripped from the headlines the fact that it wasn't. i spent three years of my life writing while i was practicing law as a trailer which is pretty intense work. when i get into my cup ilmenite and work from 10:00 until three in everyday that was my type. i wanted to write. i do say so tongue-in-cheek some of best fiction i have wrote was when i was a lawyer.
i'm talking about my legal briefs now. as a writer and as a lawyer all i had in my quiver our words. that's it. i would spend my whole ten years writing as a lawyer think about words and stories and had a something possibly so someone will believe it. for me in making this transition from being a lawyer to write it was all that difficult. i would work on projects for years at a time as olympic estimates it will take years to write a book, unlike my whole life has been about that. that wasn't daunting to me. it was an easy transition. writing, i wanted to be a full-time writer since i was a kid. years later my mom came back to me after my success and i said mom, what a great gift you gave to me that day. she said i'm so glad it's worked out for you but quite frankly i just wanted to shut you up. you on my last nerve as a kid. >> host: you have two siblings, right? himself like they felt the same way about you. >> guest: totally. i just saw the yesterday. you have changed. never shut up.
>> host: was like when you got the phone call from your agent saying this book is -- >> guest: it was surreal. i just joined the firm recently in working in a small for most of my career. i had no idea who i was. today i was attorney 587. wasn't even a name. my agent called and said if i sell this book would you quit loitering and write full-time? i said my whole dream is to write full-time. he said the book sold. it really sold. at first i thought what hung up with him as like that's great, all the time i take it an agent and now i find out he's a whack job. i didn't believe him. i didn't believe him, it was too outrageous. things have like that but not to me. then i i get a call came to the office on the president of time warner books to congratulate me and it might be up for this party to celebrate the signing. i didn't have anybody i could tell at the law office. nobody knew about that. i remember going to a luncheon
that day after getting this phone call this the change my life. the talk about insurance regulation. i'm sitting around the table with 30 other lawyers losing to the discard two november insurance regulatory all the way he was jump up the table and start doing the electric slide all the way down the conference room table. that's all he wanted to do. because it was newsworthy it a go into all of friends and family that night. none of them knew i was writing. it was just -- >> host: none of the knew you were writing? >> guest: other than my wife, my brother and sister my mother my father nobody knew. nobody had ever practiced law with, none of my friends knew. we had to go around telling people of good news to share. we went there and that is not with having another baby or we're getting divorced. so they said. i said we are having another baby but i'm the one who is pregnant. this is my book. they would look away. one of my close friends can i'm godfather to one of his sons called me up later and said what
else do we know about you? >> host: we will pick up the story out would talk to dad who's been waiting from falls church virginia. >> caller: mr. baldacci and how you doing? uses you up at the barnes & noble bookstore about tyson. it's a treat to talk to you. a couple things. in the following you exposed me to this whole structure of the fulfillment centers. i assumed and you mentioned it earlier that you had visited one. in the book you also bring up the working conditions of the people in the fulfillment centers. i'm just wondering, do you see them as being a lease based on what i i thought i heard in the book, are they becoming the sweatshops of the 21st century or do they have that potential? are these places that are ripe
for being unionized? or as you brought up in the book, robots, this just a temporary boon for employment opportunity for folks when robots may be taking over a large part of those responsibilities? >> guest: those are all great question. i will say these ultimate centers have the potential to be the sweatshops of the 21st century. it's all based on productivity and when you have billions the packages you had to get out the door, there's no way humanly possible you can compete with the robot that never gets tired and never needs a restroom break. to add to your question, i think they should be ripe for unionization. whether that can happen in 2018 or not i don't know know. i do think workers can be and are being exploited in his place it because literally for $12 an hour you shouldn't have to literally have to work yourself to death for ten hours a day. but at the same time automation
is in the long run is far cheaper than paying people to do these jobs. when you're talking lifting boxes up, putting labels on them come sliding them down a thing and then putting them into a truck, robots when they would all of those things so you have these fulfillment centers and you have two people who work in the under just engineers overseeing the stuff going on behind computer screens, , and robots will do all the work. amos decker noted, he talked about, explaining this and he said if robots are going to do all the work and people are not going to jobs, who is going to buy all the crap on the shelf? the guy schedules i don't think the business guys have figured that one out yet. i think somebody needs to. >> host: if you're a regular booktv watching you know that we have spent 20 years looking at nonfiction authors and their work. our channel will be celebrate its 20th anniversary this september. for this particular your our anniversary year on our in-depth series, once in each month we've been focusing on dictionary like
mr. baldacci took the reason is that their store is also a percentage that. we are going to be talk about a lot of issues three hours together if you're new to booktv welcome and we hope you'll enjoy our programming. if you're a regular booktv pure hope you'll enjoy this little dip into fiction for 12 times this year. bill is watching us from wassail alaska. >> caller: good morning. books on the shelves, david as you know the history for centuries authors, authors and, based on actual books sold. it would be announcements in papers, this hot selling release thousands his first day and so on. if that still happening it seems like the e-books and all that stuff has got to a point where people are not buying books, and what is the effect on incomes of authors? >> guest: great questions.
in the three to four years ago i think e-books hit their height. they really peaked sales wise. for maybe seven or eight years employing every other genre or every other category of sales out of the water. art cover print novels plummeted. nobody is buying mass-market anymore. literally for me i had like six or seven books in a row what each book sold more than 1 million e-books, each book, which supposedly high numbers are probably three years ago it started to plateau and then the e-book sales started to go down again. it may be just the fact there is that the other. people of asian books under kindle or not they have registered and not by as many e-books. i may be an issue. there was a big fight with some of the online sellers and some of the publishers. at the same time print books i can look at my own statements that he get from the publisher, print books yesterday go up
again. hardcover sales are going up. downloadable audio has exploded, it's the fastest growing category of sales now any country. i think people can use other devices, smart phones, download on the ipad and they can listen to the stuff. for a while e-books had taken over the entire industry. things are getting back more in the balance. with me at this point in my career i don't really do royalty schedule. i'm a full partner with a publisher e-books go up, it's the whole pie at there. what we're trying to do is increase the pie, if the pie gets bigger i make more money and a publisher makes more money. but for a lot of writers, e-books were a good thing. for some it could be published traditionally by traditional publisher and sold just online but also dreamed of being a bad thing, it's a complicated area. >> host: what are your own habits both with how you read and that you take notes? >> guest: almost, when i read it's almost real books all the time. my wife is to shias to be real
books only. now she reads e-book is loaded and she reads a lot online. i only read online, thought it them at lunch. i read something short. for me i like to take the book out and smell, hold it, feel it and turn the pages myself. as for us note i'll let go, wherever i go my laptop goes with me. i do still do a lot of handwritten notes. the fact is, i would all three chapters in long hand just because of the like that's what i wanted to do. i took people a sense weird but it might make sense, i think better in cursive. i don't have a keyboard between me and what had to say. >> host: did you go to catholic school? they teach cursive writing. i thought maybe those habit from childhood. i'm wondering if all of your books have descriptions. you see the character in front of you when you're reading. do you watch everybody around
and take full notes about how people dress and how they wear their hair to kind of draw on that for later on when you're writing? >> guest: i like harry best buy. remember those books? i loved eavesdropper when i sent high school, college and law school i just love watching people. these days on the front of the camera and in front of the room talk a lot but i prefer to be in the back watching. people fascinate me. how to relate to each other, their mannerisms, idiosyncrasies, how they hold themselves, what to talk about. all of that is material. as writer i just think you had e to be a good observer and a listener. those are true attribute a writer has to you have to be the one eavesdropping to watch a anybody else. for me people ask me what you get your ideas some? i said i get up of day and walk out the door. i don't have a face buried in a laptop or an iphone. i'm watching the world and trying to see the potential of a particular secret ict people
talking ongoing and one in terms of walked on out and i think what were the talk about and what's can happen the person who just walked down the alley? >> host: you have referenced your wife several times. how did you meet? >> guest: we met at a vegetarian barbecue. neither one of us were our vegetarian but that's the way to have. the first thing schipper said to me, she insulted me. i was this hotshot new trial lawyer for myself. i felt this tap commercial and turn right and was. i had no idea who she was. she said i hear you telling people you're a lawyer. i said, yet. i thought maybe she wanted her story. she said kennedy some advice? okay. stop telling people that. she just turned and walked off. i thought i have to date her. you know, it took me a long time to find and who she was. nobody knew she was picked she just moved to the area. i hurt you been in a motorcycle
accident, and that was not true. finally, i got her number and called and we had, we went to lunch because lunch is, it's not working out, you're out of there in an hour. we went to natives, the old nations in georgetown. we sat at a booth and with were there for three hours. before i went i do friend of mine, michelle, although i worked with. for the luncheon i walked in and a flick of my briefcase, i had like nine ties in a briefcase. which one do you think what i want to make a good impression. we hit it off. we did it for a couple of years and to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary. >> host: congratulations to both of you. you have two kids. what did they end up in with our lives? >> guest: are a is told in the not-for-profit world. she just finished a year and a half at thrive d.c. which focus on helping the homeless. she worked there and before that she worked at another not-for-profit. that's all she's ever wanted to
do. and now i think she's going to take a little some offense may be moving to south america to do good work down there. she's my nomad, my traveler, my mayawati going just help people. our son works at a green start a company outside of philadelphia it's had a great time up there. we get to see in the a lot which is really nice. that's the most important work of ever done, raising them. >> host: is it hard for them to such a famous dad? >> guest: you know, my daughter know which is anybody. when in college people said -- she said my dads name is skipped. when i went up there for graduation nobody was calling me skip. was like, what, what's happening? she does want any of that. my son sometimes until people but neither one of them, their stall, independent kids. neither one of them have walked in my shadows. >> host: harriet in bloomsburg pennsylvania. hi, harry. >> caller: hello.
mr. baldacci, it's a pleasure meeting you try to thank you, i'm such a big fan of your books that i really preorder as soon as i my notice from amazon. >> guest: thank you, but my question is, because of i've read most of your books, i'm very familiar with how you write your venues and your descriptions are just absolutely wonderful. it puts me right there. i thought to myself, wait a minute, how does he do this? i'm curious as to, one, you probably visited these places, and two, is this being done while you're writing the book or is it that you are pretty much completed the book and film and afterwards? >> guest: great questions. i'll tell you what i do it. before i sit down to write a book i think about the subject
areas i need to learn about in order to write a book well and find an authentic way. then i set about taking where the going to go? who i'm going to talk to? i collect a lot of information before going to is a place. at the same time as i'm writing i have gone and visited other places and talk to other people along the way. it's not like i finish my research, undergraduate and more, not to write the book. it's part and parcel of the writing process. i force of the more i know about certain things, the more interesting plot twist i can come up with. i can craft my story lines better because i knew information that maybe is not common knowledge. that's something you can wikipedia or google so that's why like to visit the places, like to talk to people. it's just happenstance. it can be seat-of-the-pants, or i need to do this and i figured away. i just like listening to this te people. the research and writing go hand in hand and could be i'm
researching and thinking stuff and talking to people up until the very last page. >> host: you seem to get into places where other people couldn't. you call it agencies and you describe some of places where top-secret work is going on. why are the open to you? >> guest: i become a journalist at those parts. what a voice done, my sister was a journalist for years and don't go with her when i was in college, where should the anything people. i quickly learned a couple think she'd prepare for. one, you need to find as much as you can about that agency or the person and what they do. and educate yourself. so that when you're talking to them on the phone or send them a query that they understand he's not just calling out of the blue, he knows all of it of what come he's done some work, i respect that. if you can gain someone's respect their more open to it when i go in and the den background like to sit there and talk to a not ask stupid questions because they can very
quickly tell whether id. at homework at all. if not doing homework, interviews will be very short. i will ask questions, show them i'm respecting what to do and i'm not here to waste of time, they get more comfortable. i didn't ask broad-based questions and i just want to, i dial it back forth. i do want specific answers. i just want us to have a chat. i make them feel comfortable. i respect what to do. i don't waste their time. people have specialized knowledge. they love to talk about it. it's something they averred and worked for hard at the know most people know about you like to share those stores. they love to tell back in 1979 i was working out of miami field office and this is what happened. i love those stores because it gives me insight into their personality, why they joined up the first place and what excites them about their work. i can take all that and bring sort of that all to bear in the novels i've written. >> host: we are still telling the story of your breakthrough in absolute power as a go alone. one thing the seem to have
changed your writing style. i look back at the chapters in absolute power and are ten to 12 pages long. now they seem to be three to four pages long. they also seem to always lead r when it was can happen in the next chapter. their choice in oakland at the end which isn't present in absolute power. how did your writing style people? >> guest: writers need to random themselves. for me part of it was becoming -- in my descriptions, my dialogue. you can't have a 300 page screenplay screenplay, it's not going to work. so everything had to have multiple purposes. for me i don't know when it was, maybe ten or 12 books ago i decided i'm going to streamline. because a lot of the stories on going to tell the potency of it, is being diluted by me not being able to care in a forced out of it. what everything out without
regard to whether it's in the flow of the story are not. that's when, in the fact about the cliffhanger at the end of each chapter, i love reading books like that that's going to gone onto the next chapter. i found it as i'm writing, i'm not bad at doing that. pretty good at doing that because they can just be one sentence. it could be totally out of the blue frequent long a particular scene that you think someone else is going to happen and then the last line is, and that didn't happen because. and then you turn to the next page. some at times i have heard people say i am really mad at you. why? because i can't get any sleep. it's 4:00 in the morning and i say to myself, put the book down at the camp. it's all about reinventing yourself and keeping yourself fresh and energetic. as a writer i i want to ask myself this question how did i do last time? i always want to ask how can they do differently going
forward? >> host: mike is in delaware. >> caller: how're you doing? try to find. how would you? >> caller: good. listen, i wanted to share an anecdote about our first became acquainted with the writing. >> guest: okay. >> caller: i was in the airport. i did a lot of traveling. i worked for the government. i was an investigator, and i was going to be sitting, waiting a long time for my flight and i went over to the book area and i looked through the books and i saw this book "absolute power" i david baldacci and a red the jacket and i said this sounds like it might be interesting. so i bought it and i sat down and while i was reading it i was saying, wow, this would make a really terrific movie. and i could see the actor -- no not going -- >> guest: clint eastwood, yes. >> caller: eastwood. as i was reading the book, some add-on dummy i've already seen
the movie. >> guest: i hope you liked the book better. >> caller: let's see, well, what i like about your rating is how you hook the reader from the very beginning and you just, like the lady was saying, , she can't get any sleep because, special and of changed your technique and the chapters. that's what i liked so much about your writing, is that you can't put the book down or essen as you pick a new book up you get hooked on it from the very beginning. i really appreciate what a terrific writer you are. >> caller: . >> host: thank you. that's a great segue into hearing about how you actually had the reverse happen to "absolute power."
what was the story? >> guest: the were a number of studious bidding on it. it happened almost simultaneous with the sale of the book. what happens is they have book agents that are and all the publishing houses and people steal the main skip, make copies and then at the hollywood. back then probably five or six major studios were bidding for the rights. i met penn station. this was pre-cell phone, smart phone. at penn station and the payphone and i got like ten people behind me waiting to use the phone. warner bros. and paramount and council rock for all on the line, all these guys on the line bidding on this book and the price keeps going up. i'm like shouting and phone certain things. i have no idea what a said. people behind obligate you liked this man is insane. we should call the police and had them taken away. so by the time i had gotten home on the train, the film rights had sold for a lot of money. the whole time, weeks and weeks
of this happening but i told by someone think i said never forget any of this because this is the only time this is going to happen to you for the first time. everything else is secondary to that. when clint eastwood i got a call from bill goldman, the screenwriter because castro hired him to write the screenplay before eastwood hired under bill called up and said hey, great news, bad news. okay, what's the good is? iconic film maker clint eastwood just sign on the line to star and direct in absolute power. congratulation. clint eastwood, unbelievable. what's the bag is? he said iconic film actor clint eastwood just signed to star and direct to produce the filter your book is pretty much gone. because he wanted to be father daughter here. even at that point when i was on the train when heard that news, they had payphones on the train back in. credit card, i got on the phone
and call anybody i item in my life, like hello, mr. dugan? you would be a first grade. you're not going to believe what's happened to me. >> host: how old were you? >> guest: 34. >> host: this just happened so fast after 20 years, i mean you really must have been hard to process. >> guest: it was a dreamlike. everyday something do. some today shawon me to be on, good morning america me to be on. i would on local d.c. channel line years ago and i remember being on the whole law firm was watching it because when we do, and talk about it at the end she said at the film is, but quite. are you doing all that? i said let me to stop you. i always want to say this and a positive said, my lawyers are handling this. i heard later anybody at holland and nights started chewing. every lawyer has wanted to say that. >> host: how long it equipped the law from? >> guest: i stayed there for almost a year.
because we just joined, my partner and i just joined this film, and he recently retired after distinguished long career. we've been brought over to start a corporate department and it didn't want to leave them in a lurch. we've been together for a long time. i was going to build book tour, writing the next book and it went in and i told, i think i've got to go full-time. i'm not being the best i can be. he was very understanding your you got to go for it, so i get. >> host: jennifer is in richmond. david baldacci his hometown, how are you? >> guest: fica, you? , good. i love the amos decker series. definitely i love how you brought melvyn back into the fix. i was shocked, didn't think you'd carry on the character. i was calling, what advice do you have for a 13 year old who
wants to be a lawyer but also wants to be a writer? >> guest: that's a a great question. i was kind of in that same situation. reading a lot is great and playing around with words is great because that's what both lawyers and writers do. i would say join a book club writing group, and you will find a lot of people with very similar interest. you might want to get involved. there are a lot of organizations around, legal organizations, law firms sponsors these to encourage people to go into law. you can go look at some of those for summer camps that deal with that as well. the truth discipline share a lot of, notes. so i think if he or she goes and does as she might find their people there who have the same dream that your kid does. i would say open up a blank page journal and start writing stuff debbie does had anything other than what comes out of it. it could be a little plot,
although narrative, some observations. do that everyday, all of it every day. i also would say at 13 you have seen a lot of light but what i would say is don't write about what you know about the write about what you'd like to know about. because passion and drive you to really bridge storytelling. >> host: we are at the end of our first of three hours with david baldacci. we will take one call from nancy in stafford virginia and then we'll show you all the bit of the truth of "absolute power." nancy, you are on. .. caller: i started listening to them because i could not sleep p
or my children were listening to them as they drove down the road , so i try to get other seniors to listen to them, but they cannot understand how you can listen to a book, and so i guess i want to thank you for all of the books you have written. i cannot recall one specific one. i listen to probably four or five books a week, so i can listen in to a voice and it's nice to hear another voice and i can visualize everything down to a-- [inaudible] and they don't have that same pair of shoes on they had in the last scene and i can visualize things like that, so thank you for all of your books.
host: what a nice call. thank you. i presume you read all of your own audiobooks for your readers? guest: no, i doubt. host: they are not hearing your voice? guest: professional actors. i have learned my strength and weaknesses. it is really a performance. they act out these scenes so there is a lot of drama and you need professionals to do that people read the harry potter books have said listen to jim dale who does the audio books. ease in the book of world records for the voices, so it's phenomenal. i have sat in my garage listening with the car running listening to my books to see how it will end even though i wrote it. i know how it will end, but the audio is a different experience. host: we are going to show you the trailer from "absolute power", the book and then the
movie. now, over 140 million books in print and we will show you how it began and after that we ask our riders to tell us a bit about their favorite authors and you will see the list of david baldacci. in about three minutes we will be back. ♪ >> the body has been hidden. of the murder weapon has disappeared. the killer's identity has been concealed. two men know the truth. one is a master thief,
many countries now? guest: almost 100 countries. host: how many languages? guest: fifty. your last name is italian, are you popular in? guest: well, my first book there i used a synonym because my italian publisher called up and said we love the book, "absolute power". you just have to change your name and i said my name is italian. he said the italians want to american thrillers and if you have an italian name on their, much like american films they went to see american films and i said what sort of name do they want he said american name and i said we are all immigrants. while we were on the phone i looked in the driveway and i saw a blue ford and i said, david ford, so sounds american. david ford, number one bestseller in italy, "absolute power". if you buy "absolute
power" a won't be my name on their. host: it's must be now? guest: my second book i was david b ford in my third book i was david david baldacci and i have been not ever since. first book, "absolute power" david ford, great guy. host: do you to work in italy? guest: yes. host: what is your interaction with italian readers? guest: now they say why did you say-- change your name. host: can't win. we promised a 70-year old who called in earlier this favor is john puller. who is that? guest: on army cid agents who investigates crime involving army personnel. criminal investigative division around the army mps will investigate minor crimes, not felonies cid is higher-level. they are enlisted, no officers in cid so you can't go to west point
nba cid agent. they are all enlisted and then the state kind of like ncis for the neighbor-- navy. host: we will talk for 10 or 12 minutes and begin phone calls again so if you have questions about this particular series you are welcome, but you can ask about any of david baldacci's work. we are here to learn about his writing. phone number will be on the screen and we will give you our twitter address as well. john puller has a famous father and he is a decorated military hero, legendary guy, frese-- actually general puller, guest: jesse puller is from stanton virginia and as a kid growing up in virginia you learned about the pullers, so the name puller is where it came from jesse puller and i sort of emulated his career. jesse was also a free
star, could have gotten a fourth, but because of clinical differences with eisenhower he didn't. jesse puller volunteered when he was 74 combat, of course they didn't let him. the descriptions of john puller senior came from my remembrance of jesse puller. host: you have been writing about federal agencies now in these still-- you with the military. how does she have military readers that will spot things that are not true to reality so how did you do that. guest: i went to the source. my dad and his uncles were an armed forces. there-- air force, army, coast guard and a friend of mine was a retired lieutenant colonel army ranger so i set i'm going to write a book about the military character and went to immerse myself in the world. we jump on a plane and flew down to fort benning georgia and
spent three days down there getting my butt kicked, parachute jumping grounds, sniper range, the home the rollover test where they spin you around and then you're upside down and they give you in order to get out. egress is what they call it and i did the army functional fitness training where there is a sergeant behind me and the front of me and you do one hour nonstop of the circuit where it emulates what soldiers do in the field pushing and pulling and squatting and you can't stop because the guy behind you will run over top of you and i also spent time a lot-- listening. i learned a lot about why people do what they do and how they do it and i was writing the novel. i didn't want to write a military novel and not know anything about the military. i wanted to do some of the things these people did and get into their heads and hearts by talking to them.
listening, you have to be a good listener as a writer. you have to be. i know all there is to know about me, so i don't like to talk about myself but i love learning about other people. host: what is the most adventuresome thing you've done researching a book? guest: probably walk alongside with dc police work you know you have a right alongside. there's walk along way to get out of the car and you are there with an officer and stuff and as he said catch bad guys. we were walking down an alley just me and this other guy and i think his street name was peanut. cool guy so we pass this sense an opaque wooden fence as we walked past something on the other side hit the fence so hard when of the boers flew off and hit me in the head so i'm like staggering back and then there is this muzzle
push through the space and he's trying to with his teeth pull off another board to get through this opening. i looked at peanut and said what are we doing he said we run so we ran down this alley with this hound trying to rip out and come after us and i am running and i said what is that dog and he said that's psycho's dog and i said psycho who is psycho and he said he's a double murder that went up the river for life and the dog is as crazy as he is and the book i was working on called "true blue" and in one episode i put in a character named psycho who is one of the characters in the novel no space on what happened. i think you are shooting up enough for benning as well and dicey and you had to do it because there were 50 paratroopers there i wasn't going to chicken out.
host: the john puller series came out in quick succession 2011, 2012, 14, 2016. is that typical for you to work you have a set of stories anyone to tell them? guest: yes because i was enthusiastic about the character. and wanted to keep evolving the character. i think the last four springs have been a missed decker in quick succession and i think when you get energized and juiced about a character you want to spend time with them on the page. host: a couple things i want you to talk about. the first zero dan the last no man's land here in zero day returned to the scene of that economically stressed town in virginia, eight: mining town. sounds like your family roots. what is the story of drake, virginia, you are telling? guest: it's a town that has seen better days. people, you know it's right on the border, so if you were in southwest virginia earlier surging
in these coal towns all exist. host: did drake exist? guest: no. people will say that's not on the street corner you said it was and i am like no, i made that up. there's an object there on this enormous dome that's their that john puller investigated this murder and comes across this enormous dome that was left from 40 years ago and no one knows what's inside. for me, i like going to these small pounds, eking out its history little by little and showing it actually has secrets no one was aware of and i and peeled the layer of the onion to get to the core. i love that. i love reading books where writers do that and i like caulking stories where i turn the
tap on a bit, turn it off and turn it off and people over time realize i never saw that coming. host: are there places from world war ii where there are abandoned sites that have dangerous material in them? guest: all over the place. there is a lot of it where it was easier back than in the 50s, 60s, 70s where maybe we were not as conscious about the environment or they didn't have money to clean it up so they were like film and over and we are out of here. the epa, they would don't realize the epa did not exist until nixon created it in the 70s. talk about corporations self-regulating themselves, it was just easier and more cost effective to leave it behind and go someplace else, but obviously that has repercussions. host: you told me during the break that you did more research work for this series of books that almost any others.
why is that? guest: the military is a complicated beast with all of these acronyms and rules and regulations and traditions and just understanding weaponry and i don't like to drill down too much into that because i'm writing a book, not a textbook, but a novel and you have to get into the weeds just a little bit , so i need to know how to write this book as if i have served in the military so when john puller pulls out a weapon i can describe the m11 in great detail. every military person knows it's a side arm they carry in our scope he will use on a sniper gun or particular duffel bag key will use where the cut of his uniform and what he has to wear certain days, but i had to build that into his mentality such that it wasn't like a paragraph to describe it. this is how he led his life. it's really hard to do that.
i'd never want to write a flip book where writers have done research and they want to leave it all and, but it's not really integrated in the story so they just find a spot and slap it in their. i never want to write a book like that. host: we will take some calls. crisis in massachusetts. welcome. host: chris, are you there? caller: yes, i'm here. thank you. mr. david baldacci, thank you. my question is fact versus fiction. i'm thinking that there is a lot of people and no world that informs your writing and you have characters like jessica real and roby and they are out there saving the world from this evil and i believe
that evil does exist and i'm also wondering why there is always characters and probably real life don't believe that are always trying to tie the hands of people out there trying to slave the world. guest: those are good questions and certainly there is evil out there and every country has enemies. some countries have more enemies than others. we have our fair share. it's a tricky balance. we live in a democracy with civil liberties and rights, and you want people to be able to do their job to protect the country, but you also had to achieve a balance you don't want someone to do something that would interfere with someone else's constitutional rights, so for me as a writer sometimes people take shortcuts. they don't get a warrant when they should or they take a shot when they shouldn't have, that
people make mistakes so i like the idea people are working to risking their to protect us from evil, but at the same time understanding that no lunch is free and the one thing i learned in law school was it's a slippery slope that is indeed slippery and want to sort of cut back on enforcement of the people's rights and it's easier to cut back on the enforcement of all rights and then you go into this slippery slope where none of us want to be, so protecting people's rights and at the same time protecting people from evil is a tricky balance, but i love the challenge in the books i write because complicated stories makes great fiction. host: you present is a personable human being and yet you deal with a lot of murderers you have probably devised hundreds of ways for people to buying your book. have you deal with that? guest: kind of the dark side of me, i guess and when my kids
were little my wife-- when i worked at home and did not have an office at that point i had this cabinet and my wife made me get it because it had a lock because there were books on crime, murders and that stuff and how people do bad things. and she was like the kids never see that, you lock it up and i said absolutely. again, i'm fascinated with this stuff and i think it's a good way when i write about books like that, good way for readers to be scared from a safe distance. you never want to run into ted bundy or the golden state killer, but you are fascinated and you like to read about them and i think my books kind of do that, but for me it's part of what i do and i want my books to be authentic and feel real and because of that i had to research these things. i remember vividly when i was like 10 years old
my parents went off and did something and there was this table in the middle of the mall and it was about autopsies and famous murders and it had all these pictures and i read the whole book in the shopping mall and yes, i was turned off by the violence and what happened to these people, but you can imply when sick science to solve crimes and actually resolve issues and how closure, so it's a weird dichotomy. i don't necessarily have a great! , but it comes down to i crave knowledge and information. i have always thought that. i can write and tell a great story. host: trista and cypress, texas. a low. caller: hello. mr. david baldacci, i love all of your books and of course i love and miss puller and the amos
decker, but my question is that the kennel club. do you think you will write anymore camel club because i like the different characters and how they changed together to help solve and i have another question. i want it to ask about one summer. how did that come about because i laughed. i cried. that was a great book. caller: thank you. as far as the camel club i don't think the last six years of what has amassed. there was a big crowd and i walk up to get my remarks in a guy in the middle of the crowd stands up with a stuffed camel tied to a poll and he raised it like 10 feet in the air and said what do you think i want more than i looked at him and the camel and i was like medication, but he wanted more camel club. i love the camel club and if i can think of a great story to bring them back i will.
believe me, i have not stopped thinking about them. i have not stopped thinking about them and if i can bring them back, i will. one summer only happened because my son was having his confirmation in the catholic church was kind of the last big catholic rites before you get married and then last rites before you pass away and my wife sent me to church early to save some spaces because we had friends and family coming so i was there like an hour and a half early. i talk to the priest for a couple minutes. my dad had just passed away and my mom was not doing well in mice for-- my youngest son was being confirmed. i had this story in my head and i spent the next two months writing it and no one knew i was writing, so i sent it up to them my publisher was like where did this come from and i was like my wife sent me to church for confirmation and i
remember my editor laughed and he said that i and i'm said sure and he said can to church more often. host: rachel, south carolina. hello. caller: the lady from texas just got in front of me with the camel club. that's what i was going to ask. i have read approximately 90% of all your books and if i had time with the divine justice, the camel club i think it was page 196, might have been 296, but the driver of the van they were after and that one page was the best writing of any writing i've ever read. it was just outstanding. caller: thank you. caller: i love all the books.
"absolute power" and "total control", but what i like is you capturing about the first three pages. i don't know if it's your writing or your instructions or your editors, but i love the fact that you are chapters are shorter than most books and that you have period after the pages. i just got done reading a book with like 13 pages where i'm only there was a. back at the end and that's because i'm elderly and i feel like i can stop at the end of something. host: thank you, rachel. appreciate your phone call. overall with these readers, do you find most of them read all of your books or do they zoom in on a particular creditor.
guest: i think probably maybe 20% zoom in on a particular character, camel club or a miss puller. the rest, over the last five years in particular where i have people coming in with hand cards and boxes of every single book i've written work i cannot remember the last time i have done a book event where there were two or three people there with every single book i but written and it's much more the majority of people with every single book you have written including fantasy and the kids of stuff. host: do you have every call of almost all of your books? people are mentioning specific chapters. can you recall all of them? guest: yes, i can. if you give me the name yes. i don't use ghost writers on the one that writes all the books, so yeah. host: total recall. gene in washington. caller: i'm so excited. if it said david
baldacci, we buy the book, but hearing the man i am deeply impressed with your integrity, mr. david baldacci and that is something incredible to express in this day and age. i have also to personal questions. you sound like you wrote till three. how do you stay married? sounds like you sleep only four hours and that keeps the house alive and i've been impressed by the books. how do you choose another authors of books and how often do you get to read throughout the year and god bless you for being there. on going to hang up and listen. guest: your first question, i wait till everyone is asleep and we just had one kid so my wife was really glad i was not around i was down in my cubbyhole writing in the middle of the night, but i spent time with them and family was very important to me.
that was really the only spot i had and she was understanding. without her support none of this would have happened for me, so i definitely zero a debt to her. so, your second question was? host: how do you choose what to read? guest: much like a lotta people i know i get recommendations from friends and family. it a lot of times and i get hundreds of these a year with other publishers sending me books. i almost tongue-in-cheek say i will get to it the funds i do read it, but sometimes i give it to my wife for a friend and my wife will read a little bit and say you should read this is really cool. when i was-- a friend of mine who used to be my editor, my publisher left to go to another publishing company and she sent me a book she's publishing and said i'd know you get hundreds of these, but i think it is one you will enjoy. recommendations from other people or people i have loved reading since
high school and college. host: one thing that's notable on your facebook and twitter is you constantly promote other writers. why do you do that? guest: because as an industry and sort of doing the right thing we always need fresh voices. we need new writers telling us great stories and one way to do that is to support them, i mean, when i was a new writer coming up i had other writers who would tout me and give me the benefit of their experiences, so i lead to do that with other writers. there are a lot of writers that came up after me and i give them the benefits, all the mistakes i made. host: some are not up-and-coming like brad meltzer. is there a kind of writer's or call, a thriller writer circle where you stay in touch with one another's-- another? guest: the justice league of writers. well, we see each other at events. you mentioned brad and sandra brown in new york and also jim.
i know pretty much all the popular writers. i'm sure i know them all , patterson to john grisham michael connelly , all of those and occasionally we will do charitable events together or i've done one with john grisham and he came out with a book last year. called me up and said i will be in dc do you want to do a podcast, so we did a podcast together which was a blast. you see them occasionally. it's not like we all hang out together. it's not like that show where they sit around playing cards, castle. we get together from time to time and talk shop and it's nice to catch up. host: that old hotel in new york guest: right to. host: lewises bethlehem, pennsylvania. caller: mr., david baldacci, my comment is i got into reading through my father in grade
school and he forced us to read so when we got to the dinner table we argued. you wanted facts, not just emotion, so that's how i got into reading, but the movie absolute power that i saw based on your book, how close to that is your writing? did they take a lot of liberty with it as far as the movie goes? guest: the first act of the film is right from the book, breaking into the mansion, the burglar, what you see and then pretty much everything after that totally changed because clint eastwood wanted to be the hero of the film and back and he was enough hero for any film and also the fact that in the book his character is killed about halfway through and the movie-- i don't think clinton died in any of his films. one time he died and came back as a ghost and killed everyone, so that's clint eastwood. he can't die, so back then they really had to
change the second and third act of the film to keep it viable the fact that clint eastwood would still be alive. host: twitter comment from hampton brown he writes most want to be writers would be taken aback when you first learned of clint eastwood selection with "absolute power" and had to borrow money from the taxi driver to get to the nbc studio in new york. guest: hampton brown was a client of mine, coolest pieces of litigation i had ever done. he was a great client and scored a great victory against pepsi-cola which was a whole other story, so yes-- as having to borrow money from a cabdriver to get to the nbc studios and having to borrow money to get out of a parking garage because the gates were closed and i have no idea needed to pay to get out. when you're going to million miles an hour back then, which i was pending before that i had never been on a television show and then everyone it-- everyone wanted to talk like i was in the same body,
but a totally different person. host: back to our hero john puller in this series and the most recent no man's land, first of all the relationship with the general puller continues, but he has dementia. tell me about that family dynamic and begin the human story you are telling their. guest: the great thing about the military is there's a lot of opportunity to have action and weapons and things happen, high-stakes, but that's well and good but i needed some type of emotional component where you can relate to this guy on a human level. even though he seems to have human strength-- superhuman strength, but having a father that was a ledger combat commander who you have always walked in the shadow of and now to be a shell of what he was for me for john puller was something that could knock him down to his knees and always know that he can never measure up to the old man, but at the same
time seeing his father the way he was now with the albatross across-- around his neck. so, for me the emotional baggage in that book was the relationship between john junior and john senior and senior could no longer be senior because of that john junior could really no longer be john junior. host: our collar wanted them to have a relationship, but in the last book dealing with this father's dementia and his relationship with his brother has evolved in the story was about the disappearance of their mother, so a lot of family dynamics going on. guest: veronica comes the closest to being the woman that could be with him for a long time, but it's tricky. people right after the first two pics when will they get together. some people were very graphic about what they wanted and i said do you remember there was an old sitcom with bruce willis and cybill shepherd and it was a great tv series until they fell in love and
got in bed together and then it all fell apart because the magic went away, so that for me that sexual dynamic and sexual tension is a great thing, but once it's resolved its like okay and it's done. host: you don't do a lot of explicit vaccines in your book. y? seems like sex cells. guest: i like to leave it to the imagination. the scariest scene i have ever seen the film is the shower scene from psycho and there is no violence. it's all in your imagination. you let the mind go and you are good. host: next is a call from irene in virginia. you are on for david baldacci. caller: hello. guest: hello. caller: i've been a fan of yours for many years beginning with "absolute power" onto "wish you well" and "in between" and i have read your books in english and german and i would like to ask you, i have written a book
and it's about my experiences as a child in germany in world war ii and entails events about my family and where we lived, what we experienced. we lived right next to the swiss border, so we were very fortunate. however, we felt the effects of the war and saw bombs falling in burning planes coming down etc. and so i went into quite a bit of detail and going on to coming to america, so the statue of liberty, which was extremely emotional for me to see etc. what i would like to know, everyone who has read this is encouraging me to by all means write a book and publishes.
how do i go about this? host: i bet you get that question all the time. how do i actually become you, david baldacci? guest: if this is a nonfiction piece there are agents that handle only nonfiction and you really need an agent, so you can find their names writers digest, writers magazine to get names of agents. a lot of them are based in new york and they will tell you if they specialize in nonfiction or memoirs, which is what this sounds like. send them a letter with the first chapter and two or three other sample chapter sameness is my life. keep it short, no longer than a paragraph and send them two or three chapters and i guarantee you they will read the chapters and get back to you at some point and then having an agent represent you going forward or these days if you want to publish yourself you can self publish online with amazon and barnes & noble and other places
have a platform to self publish. this book sounds interesting. you might want to get an agent. that would be my advice. host: last question from me about john puller and that is in no man's land 2016 the main character, paul rogers, and he is the subject of military experiments on the human being to-- increase soldiers capability on the battlefield or car there such things or as a product of your imagination? guest: these are all things, yes. indo skeletons are in effect, the ones outside the body that greatly increase human capacity to lift weights and move fast. those are already deployed. about making the mind more of the form the fields more precise, they do that research as well. there is a whole cognitive out there based on-- [inaudible] you have a lot of highly qualified intelligent people with billions of
dollars doing all sorts of things still in the flipside a guess there is also a lot of work going on to repair soldiers who have been injured on the battlefield and we are learning a lot about bionics. guest: absolutely on a lot of soldiers that were injured, the injuries they had in iraq and afghanistan, if that had been in vietnam they all would've died because these were non- survivable wounds 30 and 40 years ago and now you get treatment on the battlefield that saves lives and make it airlifted out to other places and then they have amazing work done and to bring them back, but at the same time you are talking about soldiers and thank god they are alive, but they have a lot of challenges now. they may have lost all of their limbs or whatever and there are grave injuries. i was doing a book signing and talking to troops about seven or eight years ago and there were different places at walter reed,
one for amputees and one for dramatic brain injuries and i was talking to one young man there with his father and he had been injured and he was not a tbi candidate, but he had lost both of his legs from an ied and i was asking how would you are doing, what is your name and all of his responses were very slow and i could see he was struggling and then i pulled his doctor side and said that he's not a tbi and he goes this guy has been blown up. they are all tbi's, all of them. we call him an amputee because he lost limbs, but can you imagine getting blown up? his brain-- they are all tbi's. we can fix these soldiers, but it leaves them with a lot of challenges going through next seven years of their lives. host: do you spend time visiting veterans? guest: i do.
i have been to the air force base in germany, walter reed and i went to continue to do more of that because when the wars were going hot heavy-- [inaudible] talk about the 5000 plus that died, or the hundred thousand or blanchard, so these are people, 18, 19, 20-year old people and we zero them everything. host: next, joe from montana. you are now with david baldacci. caller: yes, i stock your books so i can read them on airplanes because i'm a terrible flyer and i get so engrossed in your books and i forget that-- about any fears i have. works like a charm. the question i want to ask you is you come from richmond, how come you don't have an accent? my wife lived near monument avenue and she
never lost it, even in montana. guest: i used to have a southern accent growing up in richardson has its own version. my wife was born at a naval base outside of chicago and she has lived all over so when we go to richmond my wife will tell you she puts on her richmond boys-- voice. i think my accent over the last 30 years have been smoothed out because i have lived in that dc area and traveled a lot and it just went away, but when i'm in richmond for any period of time at all starts to come back. host: judy is in belton, texas. you are on. caller: hello, mr. david baldacci, i have been very enamored with john puller and i was wondering, i'm afraid you don't write enough about him.
are you planning on anymore books in the future? guest: john puller will definitely be back. i think i have just hit my stride with him, but he has a lot of baggage and even in "no man's land" he saw what happened to his mother, but he has a lot of things ahead of him. his character has more room to grow and i really have not touched the relationship with his brother yet. 's brother got out of prison and escaped, but there's only been one book sense then. he will be back. host: we are going to talk about one standalone book. that's the name of your book in the name of your foundation, "wish you well". to me the story of trend for and why it's so important you. you speak about it emotionally. guest: by far is the most personal book i have written and even though the story in "wish you well" every element in the life his nonfiction based on my mom's life growing up in virginia on top of a mountain.
i read a story in the "washington post" in 2004 and they finally pulled the running water and electricity of their in 2004. she lived there in the 30s and 40s, the youngest of 10. very hard life. host: you have a couple pictures we will put on the screen that you include in the book. guest: she had a lot of siblings , a difficult life and it made her incredibly strong. my mother was a force of nature. when i was thinking about writing the story because i heard all these stories. she was a teacher and i remember going to her bedroom before i would go to school and talking to her and we would talk about the civil war. we would always talk about the civil war and she had a great uncle who had fought in the war and he had left her something that was the only thing my grandmother really had which was needed 61 single shot rifle that my great great uncle carried and on the strap
he would carry-- [inaudible] have that in my office at home and my grandmother said the only thing wrong about that was that they fought for the yankees and i said yeah, but grandma, didn't they win. that was a long battle between us, so that was my way and i interviewed my own mother for this book. hundreds of the pages of notes in her recollection of events that happened 60 or 70 years before were pristine. i cannot even remember what i did yesterday and i asked her about that and she said when you grow up like that, you just never forget it. host: what did she think of the book? guest: that was one of the most tremendous promise of my life because i wanted her to love it and she did. we both. i was like thank you. she did not live to see the film, but i think
she would have liked the film as it was accurate portrayal of what life was like. host: i will ask my producer to put that one picture of the men with a checkered shirt back on the screen. guest: that was my grandfather who passed away before i was boring. anyone who reads my book will see on the copyright page, copyright whatever the year by the name of my grandfather. my other grandfather, he was six for-eric rudolph valentino looking guy that died before i was born as well. no one in richmond could pronounce any of his names, so they just called him mike. host: what generation was he in the us? guest: he was the immigrant that
came across from italy the turn-of-the-century through ellis island. for a lot of italians new york was to fall so they got on the train and got off at the first stop in the south and that was richmond, virginia. so there is a huge italian community in richmond, virginia, because of that. host: we will take more calls and then learn about how "wish you well" became a foundation. kathy is in bradenton, florida. caller: hello. how are you? guest: i'm fine. thank you. caller: i want to tell you how much i enjoy your books and i'm so glad to hear you are doing more john puller books because i've enjoyed those and i encourage you to bring the camel club back when you get there. my concern is you don't write quick enough because i've read all of your books and i have to wait so long for another to come out. i have not read the following.
i went to the library to get and i'm 92 on the waiting list, but i will wait. it will come, but i enjoy your work and you write so beautifully and i am asking you to continue with this wonderful talent you have and that's all i had to say and thank you so much for listening. guest: thank you. wonderful, and a graduate of the books so much i do try to write as fast as i can. although, my wife keeps telling me to slow down. host: library seem to be on the decline in our society. guest: i'm a big proponent of libraries and i have been forever as they made a huge difference in my life. i think the use of libraries is going up the funds we used to support them are going down, so these days libraries people use them to get online. there are job resumes posted there sometimes. they have had to evolve
in the problem is they are not being funded. for me, invest in an library in education is putting great money to great use because you are investing in our future and i know what book reading made to me -- meant to me. made me what i am today. it's a well rounded person you would want to have in the society. all of the founding fathers were well educated men. you can tell from the letters they wrote and documents they trap-- drafted were very well read intelligent people and that's why we have this great country so why should we not be well read because it's what got us here. host: jost-- josh jones on twitter. what number did decker where in college? guest: it will be my old football member in high school, number 68. i wasn't nearly as big as decker, but that definitely would have
fit what he did on the field, number 68. host: charlie, california. hello. caller: hello. i started reading your books and i get mine from the library also. guest: great. caller: i just finished one of your kingdom maxwell, babbage. the psycho analyst that treats her and they have a consequence where the father had torn down the rosebushes outside the house and when the germanic federal tree scene happened or whatever, but did i read in one of your earlier works something in reference to that, another character that had mental-- dating back where they tour the rosebush down or was that in the child books?
guest: you know, the rose book you are talking about, what they did, michelle maxwell with memory reconstruction of what happened between her parents when she was a little girl and it's really the reason she is ocd and loves garbage everywhere to cover things up and people who read the novel understand what that means, so as far as i remember from my books that rosebush incident only happens in typical genius. if you have a recollection in your mind it might have been from another series. debt ceiling time i have used that. host: secret service also has been difficult challenges over the past five or six years with scandal within their organization and top officials all had to lead. what's going on with that? guest: secret service is an interesting agency in that they have to endure large amounts of tdm and keep their focus complete to deal with a few
seconds of pressure and that is hard and difficult to do long-term. at the same time, that is their job. so, i have worked on a lot of things that have happened in particular when obama was president agents going off and doing things when they are traveling overseas with prostitutes and stuff like that, never should've happened. total breakdown in command and i think what happened is they needed a total housecleaning and obviously when training and readiness for duty breaks down you have a tremendous problem and i don't know if people got complacent like nothing's ever happened anyway so we can go off and have the some fun, but it's crazy and i think a lot of agents there who didn't do any of that, these are just the bad apples we hear about and they were totally ashamed about what was going on and they wanted the agency to get back because before that time they were the gold standard.
no bad things to say about the secret service , but organizations are made up of people and people are human, obviously, they make mistakes and bad judgment. they can turn it around. host: susan is an illinois. hello. caller: hello to both of you. i just want you to know that when i reach her book i become one with your book and i need to have my patrolled by my bedside when i'm reading host: as not good. caller: that's not true, but that's how i get so involved that i feel it in my chest. when you write a book, do you your self become part of it? guest: great question and the answer is unequivocally yes. when you read the book and you feel excitement and the need to grab nitro for your chest paid them i go through that, the emotional mess i get excited and nervous even though i
know i'm writing it in creating it in the end it's this whole coup-- emotional connection is write the novel. i feel it. host: how about jan in kansas. what is on your mind? caller: can you hear me? host: yes, we can. caller: i have a question about plotting. do you outlined? do you note this sand turns? do you know the exact ending? guest: i never know the ending of the book before i sit down and write it. it evolves. i use little outlines in a chapter. i've always felt that if i outlined the entire book it would read like i wrote an outline, to uniquely tied together at the end. i sort of type to a conclusion. sort of like a reader where you read the last page first and if you know the book is good, but not as exciting as it could've been so for
me not knowing the ending for a novel i'm working on is a good thing. host: the wishing well foundation, when did you start it? guest: we started the wish you well foundation in the year 2000 and we fund literacy organizations and programs across the country. we have a board of directors and we meet four times a year and we get about five to six housing grant organizations. we approve as many as we can to fit within our emergency state-- our statement. we will continue to do this. we have poured enormous amounts of money into this. we accept donations from other people, but i know what literacy and reading has meant to me and it's not just about enjoying the book on a beach. if you can't read at a sufficient level, you can't be a effective member of the democracy, you just can't be.
we live in the information age where lots of stuff is thrown at you every day and if you're reading skills are not high enough in your cognitive skills are not high enough to determine what's really what's not real effectively someone else is telling you what to say, so for me mary-- making america great would be making a nation of readers again. even today, if you are a mechanic in need strong reading that cognitive skills because you are working with computers not just polling wrenches. we are in the information age and reading is at the forefront of that. years ago we parted with feeding america at all might eventually have books collected. over the past seven or eight years we've collected nearly seven or eight books. getting books into the home is important.
host: in an average year, how much money does the foundation giveaway? guest: each year hundreds of thousands of dollars. host: is it hard to give away money? guest: no. host: you get many more applications than you can process? guest: yes and there's little government money for adult literacy. i asked someone in the field and they said well it makes perfect sense and i said explain it. the government starts funding adult literacy they are in fact acknowledging the k-12 program doesn't work and they will never do that. most of the donations for adult literacy comes from foundations. host: did you work together? guest: yes, we did. great proponent, raised more money than any other organization and they did a lot of great things. host: gave a big donation to your alma mater, over a million dollars. what was that money for? guest: that was to endow a couple things, the coolest thing
i thought is to allow financial assistance for people studying political science and another fund for exponential learning. before we made the donation, before the 2016 election my wife and i paid for i think 20 political science students to travel to the new hampshire primaries. they were interviewed, scientist talk to them, great thing. the money will allow students to travel the world engaging in these learning experiences, so they might call to south america to learn something about the political system there. they might work on a political campaign. you don't have to spend all four or five years of your life not interacting with the wonderful world. if we can get students from the get-go to work in the area that they want to learn about study about and get a degree in, what can be better than that? host: virginia commonwealth university for those of you and
other areas of the country. catherine is in florida. go-ahead. caller: hello, david baldacci. what an honor i found you today. guest: thank you. caller: i am blind in one i am going blind in the other. i have an eye doctor and he signed me up for aggression all takes and i listen to on tape. guest: that is great. it's a great way to read a book. listening is different, but that's okay because it's the same story and i loved to listen to books on audio and it's a different experience and something different from the words on a page. dramatically to experience. host: gail in washington. caller: hello. my name is gail made olson and i am a published author on amazon and i know i'm missing a lot of things
by not having a publisher, so my question is have you ever had a character in a role of one of your books that you are very attached to, but your editor wanted you to change the character, change how he fits in the role and you didn't want to? guest: that's a good question. i have never encountered that. editors have given me comments about plot development or how a character is described or the ark of the particular person in the novel. i've never had them tell me we don't want this character in the book or we don't think it's ripe of the, but editorial relations are important to me and i have a great editor who has been editing my last 20 books and with a great report. host: who is that? guest: mitch hoffman. is now an agent, but mitch and i have got along so well that he still edits my book. he's a great guy and i love him to death.
i didn't want to start over at this point in my career. i wanted the comfort of having mitch. at this point in my career, it's unlikely the publisher will tell me not to do something. they want me to write the books and they know that after 40 odd novels that i sort of got what i'm doing. that's not to say that you should listen to editors. you don't have to always agree with them and at the end of the day you are sort of the king or queen of the story and you can do it you want to do, but it's always respectful to listen to other people's opinions and at the end of the day i think they are trying to make the story as good as it can be. host: we will hear from barbara in st. petersburg, florida. caller: hello, mr. "absolute power". contrary to the other callers i have never read any of your books. i've always been kind of the nonfiction reader. however, listening to you now for the couple hours i can't wait to
region books, but it's like which one would i start with? guest: well, for first-time readers i tell them a cool fun story with a great villain and heroin is called "the winner" third novel i wrote. figure out a way to fix the national lottery so he can pick the winner. he will make you rich. all you have to knew his plan no one will find out. it's a bad act, obviously. it's a crime, but i can make you rich, so a lot of people would maybe go for it, but when they find out that they do there are always consequences. most of the people that read it come away loving the story. it is the first book of mine that you will read and i think you'll like it. host: speaking of the lottery, janet has the question. when i read your book it's like writing, but i
have a soft spot for polar and decker. can one participate in an option to have a character named after us? guest: the answer is absolutely took i have done that probably over the course of 23 years maybe 100 times and what happens is charities will come to me and asked to auction off a character named in the novel and i can't say yes to everyone, but i have said yes to different organizations. i'm a former lawyer and i have them signed an agreement that basically says i can make you anything no matter how vile, disgusting and awful it is. if you don't sign you don't get in the book, but i try to have fun with the character of the book i'm working on now has five auctioned names in the book and i try to make them interesting and memorable. i remember one in the book i'm working on now,
he paid almost like $20000 for it and that the money went to buy books for every middle school and high school student in the nassau county and i went to speak to those schools in february. the gentleman came over and said he bought the name for his wife and he said can you do me a favor and i said what's that and he said cannot you make her evil and then the wife comes over and says just don't make me evil and i'm like i will have to thread this needle. host: we will take another short break at the bottom of our two. we have one more hour to go in our three-hour conversation with david baldacci. if you are in queue on the phone, stay there because we will continue to take your call in the third hour. we will be right back. >> when i was 10 and my brother was seven our lives changed in the point when i.
♪ >> hello, i'm louisa. welcome to virginia. >> there is no money and jack's estate. >> my dad died in that accident because he and my mom were arguing the neck we can't forget them, but we got to go on. >> my company is looking to make a substantial investment here. >> except i ain't selling it to you. that damn coal company will not get my farm and destroy the mountain and ruin the land. >> they paid you to steal the people's land. >> we don't exactly on the land. we just kind of take care of each other. ♪ >> two things in life you die for, friends and family.
>> believing in something is a lot better than having on empty hearts. you can find your way off my property. >> stop! >> what he doing? ♪ >> the reason i came here, but i want to stay here now because of you. >> this land is provided for me all of my life. i think it will provide for us now. >> we are back, our number three with david baldacci. this is an death, and once-- month feature on book tv where we talk about the author's life and work spending three full hours to see how they white, and why they write. we are pleased to have david baldacci with us this month for three
hours. let me ask you about this, we keep getting calls about the camel club. why do people like it's a much? guest: it so unique, it's thriller with a group of older guys headed up a guy called oliver stone, not the conspiracy director, but my oliver stone. used to be very lethal assassin for the us government until things went wrong and they came after him and he had to disappear and he has this ensemble of older guys took one works at the library of congress, once a computer whiz and one is ex- military and they are conspiracy theorists, but they stumble upon real conspiracies and they have to work together to solve them. the camel club i think it was because it was a unique premise. that took time delving into every character's background to make them
real and the reason i thought about the camel club again i was walking past-- when i first went to dci wanted to learn the city so i was walking past the white house and back then pennsylvania avenue was closed and lafayette park was there and there was one lady who-- i think she just recently passed away. she was protesting against nuclear proliferation and she had a tent in that stuff , so fast forward 10 years and i thought i will have my character be a protester with a tent and he's there every day, but he will have a secret back story and that's when i sort of right the camel club. host: the first book is dedicated to the secret service and the character has relationships with the people that control the grounds of the
white house. guest: he does. the secret service is a presence there. as i call it later, hells corner and i asked the secret service agent why do you call that he says that's our turf and if there is anything bad that happens there will be hell to pay. they get to know these people whether they are a threat or not because they are there every day and a relationship builds. secret service has a job to do, but one of the characters is alex and he betrayed-- befriends them and helps them with some of their cases. host: these novels are set mostly in deceit and that is your stomping ground and you said earlier you like to create fictional places. so there is a lot of readers in this area and they know if you put a restaurant in the wrong part of town, so how do you do that? do you rock the streets to make sure you have everything right? guest: yes.
this horrific event happened in hells corner , so i went to lafayette park-- remember those flip phone cameras? host: yes. guest: i'm walking around speaking and by flip phone taking video because i have to make sure everything i see is where it is supposed to be because it has to to be flawlessly choreographed. everything has to hit its mark, so i'm walking around this place and i remember back then there was this guy dressed like a warrior in a loincloth and spear. really nice guy. beautiful like caribbean accent and highly educated, but he's walking around in a loincloth and i'm walking around with my spirits-- flip phone and i'm thinking here would be a good place for the bomb to go off and as i said that the sky is walking past me and he stops and said you are crazy.
this is a guy in a loincloth telling me i'm crazy. i go to these places. i don't want to make the mistake that you are in georgetown and five minutes later during bethesda in your car which everyone knows it would be impossible. through rush hour it might take three hours. i know readers are out there. host: in the first camel club book very important part of it is the national information center, and i see. i presume it exists and does it do what you say which is basically data driven mission to find and sometimes kill opponents of the country? guest: every country has something like that i mean again all countries have enemies and we need to protect ourselves from those enemies so the us is very data driven and may have a assortment of assets that can be deployed to take people out. is called like were on the cheap.
you can send out a single assassin and take out-- cut off the head of the snake. some of the stuff we have done around the world we try to topple dictators, sometimes not dictators, but that is the foreign-policy we have used in the past and continue to use. in these days you see the term regime change. what is that mean? everything is on the table, they say including regime change. how do you change a regime? you take the guy out, that's why. you just take him out. host: you also educate us in a scene about how much data is compiled on every one of us by the government. i remember writing about educate yourself about the patriot act, your records, phone calls. guest: we have 17 intelligence agencies in the us including dia
defense intelligence agency which is like the cia only bigger with the bigger global footprint and they are doing something all the time and i'd like to-- recently i have thought about this and i'm like they collect almost as much information as facebook does. we are information driven society and right now people talk about experts in the field trip the next word will not be on the battlefield. it will be cyber warfare that's where that. what the russians did in the 2016 election probably cost them 10 or $11 million. probably did $2 trillion worth of damages. host: does it provide new plots for you? guest: absolutely. i just have to be careful i don't get behind that eightball because techniques are changing so fast and keep in mind i have one guy sitting in my office writing stuff. i am fighting against millions of highly intelligent people who
worked with for/seven try to come up with ways to do things, kill someone, eavesdrop on someone, get four-- more information. it's a very unequal battle so i try to hold my own at times, but it's a tough fight. host: must go back to calls. kenneth from miami. caller: hello, david baldacci. my question is, given this world of trump and you have a liberal and a conservative point of view focusing on his personality versus his policy, what is your basic take in terms of government corruption. they all have controls and agenda. why are they all picking on trumpet instead of just an overreach of government and white individual responsibility, why do we tolerate if we are aware and don't-- aren't
willing to give more and more of our own freedoms away. what is your take? i don't want you to get into labels or anything, but in terms of the liberal conservative, you know, spectrum can you give me a feel? i read most of your books and i just want to get a feel on where you go down like with this dispute between the president, justice department and maybe some of that place into some of your books, but your own personal viewpoints i would be interested in. guest: absolutely. my first novel, "absolute power" has a quote and it is absolute power corrupts absolutely and that's where the title of the book comes from and i found that in my life that some people are not suited to hold power. i'm not talking about anyone in particular, but people, go. institutions we create are bill to stand the test of time and what we have today in my
personal philosophy is that no one is above law in this country. it's just the way it was built. the founding fathers wanted it that way and the institutions we have whether it be the fbi or justice department or supreme court or congress or the executive branch were built to stand the test of time so no one person should be able to bring these institutions down, but again no one being above the law. richard nixon if he had not resigned would have been impeached because the rule of law said he had to release the tapes bill clinton lied under oath and was impeached by the house of representatives, not convicted by the senate, but he was impeached. of the current president with donald trump, you know, for me investigations need to go forward. if something was done wrong consequences have to follow because no one is above the law and that's what makes us different from other places, different from
iran, china, north korea , all these places we hold ourselves above. that space on the rule of law and for me everyone has to be judged by the same criteria. i don't want people to be on an unlevel playing field, but the institutions we have should be allowed to do their job. if they are doing something wrong they should be how to accountable as well. host: related to that, charlotte williams nichols on facebook asks, based on the fact that you were stories revolve around american government conspiracy how do you explain popularity and other nations? guest: gray question because a couple years ago i got a new publishing contract and i was go and be published in arabic and i think published actually in iran and i thought-- i like the fact it was happening. books of mine could be published in a country that is very autocratic.
i think the people are intrigued because other countries have power structures as well. i think they are intrigued by the high-stakes. america come everyone-- if you go to any country overseas and i have been to many they will know more about our politics than american citizens do because america is sort of the-- the world revolves around what we do, the sole remaining superpower and i totally get that, that people are intrigued about everything about america fiction like mine is very popular american movies that deal with the subject matter is very popular. it's all there sort of front and center, but it's great to be in a country that-- i feel like it's very popular in the matter where you go. host: do you ultimately see yourself as a patriot because even when you have rogue characters the good guys always when? guest: yeah and for me i like having that closure because i
want people to understand that if you do bad things there will be punishment. that's not always the case in real life. as a lawyer i can tell you a justice depends on how much you can spend on your lawyer. if you have a good lawyer then you are in good shape. i also say name me one millionaire that's on death row. of millionaires have committed murder before in an art on death row. the vast majority of people on death row are impoverished, so for me the consequence of good triumph over evil is very important and i think it validates sort of the story i write about and gives an ending that i think since good messages. host: one other point pile talking about president and our country, your president's pop up in many of your books, but you never identify their party. guest: i don't want to get into that because it's not something i have never felt comfortable doing. i met for presidents personally.
host: do you consider any of them friends? guest: absolutely. i have known bush 41 for a long time and bill clinton as well and i know george w and barack obama. all told me they read my books and enjoy them and it was a thrill meeting all of them, but as far as identifying you put yourself in a box of you get a label it a thousand e-mails you don't want to read. host: the inner rock field, maryland. caller: good afternoon. guest: hello. caller: thank you for appearing on c-span. very interesting. you were the inspiration for my becoming a novelist, mr. david baldacci. do you remember marion barry used to be the mayor for the capital of the free world? guest: yes, i do. caller: right out of college and i graduated i worked for the district of columbia government when i was 21, 22 years old and it worked there for 10 years, so
i worked in a nuthouse, the mayor of the capital of the free world was a cocaine user with many vices and then i read your book-- i saw the movie, "absolute power". i'm a big fan of clint eastwood and then i read your book and i thought i can do this. i worked in a nuthouse. i worked for the mayor of the capital of the free world and is so i sat down in the '90s and typed up a manuscript. i called it capital city and lo and behold we got a new york publisher to publish it to good they published it a year and a half ago. you were my inspiration because i almost always read nonfiction. i'm a big fan of robert caro, another-- and other nonfiction writers
and jeffrey toobin. he's written a lot of good nonfiction, but i had never read novels since i was an undergraduate when a professor told me to read a novel and you are my inspiration, "absolute power" was a terrific movie and a terrific book, so i sat down and everyone in the '90s got computers. it was easy to write. i wrote capital city and lo and behold we got a new york publisher. host: thank you. that's a great story to tell. guest: congratulations. host: you spend a lot of time, not just doing the interview with us, but also call and into radio shows when you have books out doing book events, signing. you don't need to do that anymore. why do you do it? guest: because it's a symbiotic world in the book world. there are multiple components, publishers, writers, readers, libraries, book sources
and we support each other work you are right i don't have to tour anymore, but i like to go out for a couple reasons. one, love the readers and talking about the books and see the love they have for the written word and secondly the bookstores i go to, often if their lifeblood between existing or not existing , so for me to go there and have people come in and i other things and become moral patrons throughout the year makes them sustainable and we support each other. it's like this fragile ecosystem. take out one piece and everything falls down, so i feel like it's my duty and obligation because i know how hard they work to help build my career and this is what i do to help them. host: writing is such a solitary profession or does getting out in the public recharger battery? guest: it's a way for me to be the ham i always wanted to be. good to stand up and make people feel good
about themselves. my wife says you need to keep doing it otherwise what the much fun to be around. caller: good afternoon and thank you for having david baldacci on today. i met david and a thriller i car-- archive roundtable a number of years ago and talking to him was really interesting. you gave some stories. i told him how i read "absolute power" on the flight home in the flight attendants were asking me what i was reading because i could not put it down and he also told the cute story with him and his wife out to dinner and a woman coming across and asking him who he was and it turned out it was the crack profession wrong author, but i also wanted to mention that he talked about his literacy and being able
to find it and i wanted to tell him and he probably knows this, but most libraries when you donate to them i know in the providence public library i do that you can take your money and you can actually have it designated to go to the literacy program, which i do. i wanted to thank him for his work in doing that for people who are not able to read and also to be able to get more people out there and more books to people who can't do this and i just wanted to thank him for that and for the countless hours of being able to read his fantastic works. guest: thank you very much. we definitely know that about libraries. that's what they do as part of their curriculum and we feel like they are good partners and
thank you for the work you do. i do remember that brown university worked-- roundtable. i think we had a great discussion. host: hello. caller: hello and thank you for taking my call. i'm an inspiring writer who can just starting out, 49 years old and getting a late start, but i question to you is from a creative standpoint when you come up with the genesis of your stories and novels do you find it easier to come up with an interesting character first and work the story around the character or do you find it easier for you to come up with the plot and story and then work the characters into that plot? guest: great question and the answer is i have done it both ways. i will give you an example, the winner had the idea for the guy that could fix the national lottery and that was the plot process and that's what i came up with first and then i thought about who would inhabit this plot
your car needed a villain, the heroine and characters. i would say for the majority of my novels, certainly all the series the characters come first and i build plots for them to inhabit going forward. characters are the only way to relate to people and readers on an emotional basis and a human basis. the best books i've ever read, can't really remember the plot details, but i remember the characters, so that's the impression that leaves behind so you can write many great stories but if you have mediocre characters people won't enjoy the story. whatever comes first, character or plot yet to make sure the characters are memorable, that people can relate to them and they will care about what happens to them. if you have that they will finish the story. host: what role does michelle play? guest: i will give you an answer to that. host: she might be watching. guest: i know.
we were in florida and have a place down there and we had to-- we had an order that was ready. michelle went to the dealership to sign the papers took a friend there was a fan of mine and it was david this and david that stuff she had heard a million times and finally he said what you do, so michelle methodically signed the documents and said what do i do? and he said what you do and she said everything else and it is so true because without her nothing gets done. i give her stuff to read early on, manuscripts and she's a voracious reader even more than i am. she's a great critic. i don't need her to tell me what is right with the book. i need her to tell me what's wrong with the book and she's good at pinpointing stuff. you know, i don't like this character, this did not work for me and
that's what i need her to do and she is my first and my best critic and it's a partnership. it really is. host: are you easier to live around when you are writing or when you just finished the book? caller: when i'm writing i'm very easy to be around. it's when i'm in between stories that i'm grumpy. .. she knows as soon as i hit that story i am going to be, you know, cheerful. press it seems like you are never not writing. >> i am mopey for about one day. [laughter] >> how many books do you have in the works at any one time? you work on one and finish or do you have a couple of going?
cause i've never written more than one at a time. i would lose my focus. right now, i'm working on a book for the fall and the last installment of the series. and i am doing though simultaneously for the last year. >> will talk about that and we also have questions but let's take a call. we have karen in colorado. you are on. >> caller: i want to thank you so much. i have several authors i follow that i have read. they all seem to become predictable. you are never predictable. and i love your books. i love reading your books. and when i travel, you are always, always on. thank you so much. >> i appreciate it. i work very hard not to be predictable. i think i might learn different series and i tried to get out of my comfort zone. i tried to write every book, is
my first novel and i've no idea what i am doing but that gives me the edge that you know, fear is a great antidote to complacency. once a writer figures out what they're doing i think they should go and do something else. >> host: and from facebook we have two questions. one thing i love vega jane and venomous as ever the series and it became a series. when a releasing book number four? these are young adults. is it difficult for you to write so much adult fiction to do young adult books? >> guest: finisher took me five years to write. and i just could not get what i wanted to write in my mind. i love fantasy, reading it. and again, it was like you have to keep reinventing herself as a writer. what will challenge me, i met a written fantasy can i do that?
it is like the complete total exercise of your imagination. so for 4 and a half years, thinking about this and not getting anywhere, and six months at written under a thousand words. and i put it out under a pseudonym. i do not put under my name. and scholastic bought it and because the way the book is written the tone in the language, they thought that it was a brit. when i got there they said what are you doing there? and i said you just bought my novel. and i think he just almost fainted. it was a way for me to challenge myself again. but fantasy is so cool and the book will be out, the next one will be at spring of next year. >> were 25 minutes left.
thank you for being with us for three hours. why would listen to the next caller i will have you fix your earpiece. marjorie in virginia. you are on the air. welcome. >> caller: thank you very much mr. david baldacci for what you just told us about giving this away and feeding the hungry. i think it is a marvelous thing to do. my grandson is 22. he wrote his first novel when he was 18. it is a medical thriller. i am wondering, how do you go about finding publishers and how did you first find your publishers? >> is a great question. what i did was i sort of knew to have an agent would be good thing to have. with a publisher, get your book out where it needs to go. i heard about a really hot book. i would get out of the bookstore and look for the
acknowledgment section. that's where they thanked people to help them to read to discuss the person they will think is there agent. so i had a list of agents from that. and i set up a letter and samples of the book. and i was hoping that one of them will call me back and you know this is interesting what we talk about it? i was fortunate enough that all of them call me back or wrote back. and they wanted to be my agent. i went up to new york and i met with all of them and i picked the agent that i have to this day. one of my best friends. the way you do this is you get names from different sources and they would say whether they represent fiction, nonfiction or first-time novelists. a lot of them don't. they will only deal with established writers. you can get that online, there are addresses. you can send a query letter with sample chapters. they sort of showcase your writing. and you will hear back from them. >> we talked about how the book business has changed and e-books over the course of your
writing career. what are some other significant ways business has changed? and what you think of all of the book festivals that seem to be popping up all over the country these days? >> the book industry really has, for 200 years it did not change at all. but then e-books came along and everything changed for what they have seen from when i first underwriting, consolidation, there are nearly as many avenues out there but it is balanced out by publishing. self-publishing. back in the days it would be xerox and put them out of the back of your car. now you can do it on social media platforms and get this done and it is a very professional product. it has changed and now they are more self published authors making a living as writers than ever would have been the case in 10 years ago. that is an avenue that people can pursue and they can do in a
lucrative matter. i think that one thing that peoples attention spans are very short these days. when i first started out they were no cell phones, there were no ipads. people did not have xbox and all of that. these days, books have to compete with all of that. for peoples time and attention. it is not something we had to worry about. now there is talk how can we do this more interactive worksheet into other elements of what we are competing against. and i'm not sure where that will go. i just think the written word is very powerful. people always like stories. i'm hoping jack tried to put the square book into a round peg. i think that would be a problem. the industry has to change. and i think change is always good and getting new people involved in the book industry. not just writers but on the publishing side. it is a really good thing. both festivals are awesome!
when i go to a place for the book festival i say look, i will say up front. lots of communities around the country would like to have a festival like this and they don't. never take this for granted. because once you start taking for granted i will not go this year because i have to do this or that been you don't have a book festival. so all other industries, music you know like they have all these awards show same with the film community and all of that. we have a couple. we have the pulitzer, national book award. nobody watches them. it is on page d seven on the newspaper. i think as industry were to be better about self-promoting ourselves and handing out awards and things like that. to be better promoters. because the other industries do a much better job than we do. >> bob, oyster bay, new york. welcome. >> caller: thank you for taking my question. when you develop a new character, do you have in mind that this may be a character that will be a series on and if
so, how do you make sure that they are not too narrowly defined so they can broaden out in a future book? >> guest: a great question. i will give you an example for the first series i started i did not know this is going to be a series was a book that i read called trentb it was going to be a standalone futures former secret service agents and detectives they partner up and solve a mystery. at the end of the book and realize that i have not even tapped into their personal life at work the background, back stories or how they came to be. they just teamed up and solve the mystery. so i wrote another book and another and another. later on, i knew that it would be a series from the get go. so in equating john carr and ruben and others, i needed to build into them potential back stories but i could explore and did is in future books.
i added that in and i didn't tell you everything about them. i allowed there to be secrecy and things you did not know about their lives back and further explained that in separate novels. and i have done it with all of my novels. i continue to explore characters. so really very self focused and intentional set up in the first series but knowing that i will not be done in the first book is done, i will keep going. >> secret service agents, we say the first family presidents are part of that. you talked earlier about how the military opens its doors to to learn about it. and also federal agencies, how about the presidents? the ones that you been friends with? do they help guide your writing about making the presidents authentic? >> certainly, when i have gone to the white house many times when bush 41 and bush 43 were in office. i met bill clinton several times in different events.
i see the protection he had as a former protest as -- as the former president. i into white house correspondents dinner. >> that is all the public part of the job. >> guest: absolutely does. but i've had conversations with them about things that they had done when they were president and things that the public would not necessarily know about. and things that they have to think about the rest so i will, i've never acknowledged them in a book with i say thank you for telling all of these super secrets but just hang out with them, talking to them and seeing how their life is. really, there are things that are used in books and explored and use the facts and make the fiction even better. >> host: with 20 minutes left. three interesting hours with david baldacci. we have a question you can probably get in if you're lucky for the end of the program or send us a tweet and will try to mix it up.
next we have donna from pennsylvania. >> caller: hello. hello mr. david baldacci. i just wanted to say thank you so much for your interest in books. my sister is near richmond and she gave me my first book and it was signed by you. >> guest: very nice! speak issues that i think you will enjoy this because you enjoy reading. and i read it and i was amazed! and i was caught. i love intrigue. so i love your books. >> guest: thank you very much. with all my books, i tried to hit the ground running. i do not want to waste time in the beginning. i would like to immerse you in the story, hooking it's what i'm trying to do. and something interesting happened on the first few pages. evan was what they like the writer is in control and not the reader. if you are a leader in control of the bucket will not be really good reading. but if you're on your tiptoes,
unstable, you don't know what will happen next, he thought you had it figured out, he carefully categorized this person is good, this person is bad i know what will happen to them. if i knock you out of all those categories include on the edge of your seat you don't know what will happen next is a good story. >> i would say were not generally sympathetic to rich people. [laughter] >> guest: i will be sympathetic to rich people if they treat other people with respect. and i'm not saying that i have not met people who don't do that. i have met a lot of wonderful people. but they just don't tend to end up in my books. [laughter] for a number of reasons.i think with this comes great responsibility and again i go back to the quote - about absolute power. a lot of money can corrupt people, obviously. and feeling like they are above everyone else and above the rule of law. i incorporate a very
blue-collar background in virginia. wealth was not something that we were ever close to. and my life has not changed in that regard. i look at everybody as a person with not how much money they have. but i do, i have seen that as a corrupting influence. >> how do you prevent your kids grow up in a pretty privileged lifestyle, parents multimillionaires, from having that second generation problem? >> major that we kids were never going to live in a bubble. disclose that they went to. offense and have to submit to this private school. no, we are not doing that. we are sending them to schools where lots of kids from the socioeconomic platform and their parents were friends or that was good went to school events. we lived in neighborhoods where everybody came from lots of different places. as i was taught, we taught our kids that everyone deserves respect and compassion.
and that that is the we need to conduct your life. and be a good person. none of the stuff you have is actually yours. it does not belong to at all. if he did not work for it, you did not earn it. in your life, dedicate cars when i was 16, and they have jobs, they work and support themselves. they know mom and dad are there if they need it but have their own independent lives and we raise them with that focus in mind. that this is our life. you get to be part of it when you were little. and then you go up and you have your life. and you build it you can and you have a happy life. we will be there to support you and love you. but mom and dad are not writing checks. >> harold, south carolina. you are on the air. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. can you hear me? >> guest: yes, i can. thank you. >> caller: do you read the british writer -- >> guest: yes i do.
i loved his pseudonym. i think his last name is something cornwall. he also lives in cornwall as well. but he was actually an intelligence officer during the cold war. and actually have a first edition signed book that my wife bought me many years ago. he is probably one of the, when i even categories him. he's a great storyteller and he writes amazing books. it puts right into the heart of the situation. talk about being immersed in the world of intelligence field. particularly cold war. distaste cannot be any higher. he is one of the best. >> cindy, florida. >> caller: hi. my favorite is the forgotten. how did you get that seen and why did you write that book? >> guest: the forgotten is in the panhandle of florida. they thought the redneck riviera.
and we had just gotten a place down there. i was exploring florida more and more. i saw the area and all of the oil platforms were there and the idea came to me for john and something bad happened he had to go investigate. the intrigue of what is happening offshore and onshore. in the area. i think i use destin, florida. but it incorporated it was another way to show hit other family members and he had an aunt that was a substitute mother because his mother vanished when he was very young. she really helped raise him because his dad was in the army and spent a lot of time. this is the military guy, tall strong guy. he could do the impossible but here he was, helping an old woman who really was a second mother to him because something really bad had happened. they wanted to make sure justice was done for her.
>> we have ynez and new hampshire. >> caller: we are new listeners. we have been trying to get your books on cd. the first two were divine justice and hells corner. but it did manage to get a cd of the fallen and i'm very interested in learning about how you -- [inaudible] >> guest: perfect recall is what it is called. thereto is to get this. you can even be born with this. an actress was born with this. mary lou henner. she looks at it and she does not forget. we can get their traumatic brain injury. the brain is a phenomenal organ. it can repair itself when it has been damaged. it can re-circuit its way
around damaged areas. the sometimes weird things happen. it can open up parts of the brain that have not been utilized. that's why the perfect result comes from. but it can also cause pathways to cross. and that's where you get other conditions. we associate a particular sensation with a collar. some people have this and they will see numbers and colors. the number seven for this person might see a vivid burst of orange. they know that is the number seven. whenever he senses that he is around a dead body he sees electric blue colors. that represents death ran. it all comes from the tbi that he endured playing football. and it was just, i love the brain. and figuring how this thing functions and trying to push the envelope on it i think is great stuff for storytelling. >> host: the last stretch here 10 minutes left. he made reference to your next book. it is also a new character. so is your new character?
speech issues fbi special agent. she works in the hinterlands of the west where she is probably the only federal agent. she prefers it that way. the very first line, the first chapters of this in longhand because it felt right. the very first line is a nursery rhyme. it begins, eenie meenie miney moe. i caught the choosing rhyme. because the last, where you start and you are doing two different people, the last word will fall. that is the way the word count starts out. and for natlie, it is disastrous. because someone was counting on her and when she was six years old. her sisters four head -- her sister vanished. so she is an fbi agent and this is the first time i've ever had a series that i knew was going to be a series where the lead
protagonist is a female.i've written lots of female characters in my novels. the first time. but the name popped into my head and her background popped into my head. and i have been working. about 70,000 words into it. i'm super excited. >> had to get the authenticity and in a woman characters voice? >> strong independent woman, doesn't want to write about. i don't write about damsels in distress because i've never met one of my entire life. it is has impaired my mother was a force of nature. my sister was a very strong independent woman. my wife is a force of nature. and we raised a very strong independent daughter. my whole life i have been with women. my grandmother was very influential part of my upbringing. i find it sort of natural to the extent that a male writer can write from the female perspective because i've seen
in my whole life you see how they react, how they talk and act. how they do with other people. and i tell people that i have such a healthy respect for the other gender because i feel acknowledged that men are the weaker sex. we might as well just admitted up front and get it over with. other than physical strength, it is pretty much it. i like writing from the fema point of view. and even with my fantasy series. where she was and wishes coming from. i like the fact that i can write from both perspectives and i think it is because again, i'm a great listener and a great observer. i love watching people and i watched a lot of women over the years. >> wayne is in michigan. >> this is wayne from michigan. david, i wanted to say we had david on our high school team
to wrestle and i wanted to say that we all have a lot of folks from the team that have accomplished a lot of things in life but i will tell you that we are proud and talk a lot about your compliments and where you are. i just wanted to call in and send regards. >> wayne, thank you so much man, it is great to hear from you! >> where is our firm in your life? question high school. i just spoke with my wrestling coach a couple of days ago. i signed up for him and we get together and i've seen some of the old wrestling team of the year and wayne was on the team. it is a blast from the past and it is awesome. >> he wrestled, he played football. what other sports? >> those are the two that i did in high school. i wrestled some in college. i played a lot of tennis and i play with my son now. but i'm just too old to keep up with him.he is 22. he can hit the ball a million miles an hour.
i think he tolerates at this point.he doesn't hit as hard as he can just so that he can keep me in the game. [laughter] >> and washington d.c. person. welcome, christine. >> hi, how are you? >> hello. >> hi. i was going to ask, did not sell making it stuck a lot with your plots. which is, you have said that you do not get grumpy for a long time. i've been grumpy for the last four or five months because i have been writing what i thought should be a memoir. and i get too personal places and i got to one where i can't put it on paper. i'm having a really hard time with, when they do better, and not written about before but i do better if i made it less personal maybe or did not write this is a memoir? >> i think the writers need to be flexible. if you really want to write a memoir, you can do that and might be able to work through. i get writers block.
it is just a part of the writing process where you are still thinking about what you want to do. and how do you get that? he just work on every day. think about it or thought and do something else and let your subconscious work on a little bit and so you figured out and keep moving forward. if you really cannot possibly because you don't want to delve done it's how personal it is for you, then be flexible enough to move on and maybe my as a novel and write fiction. then you can make up stuff and get to the personal accounts that might have been a little traumatic for you. then move on and get you into the story. >> will join us from bridgeport, connecticut.just a couple of minutes left with david baldacci. go ahead, please. >> i just wanted to let you know that i love your books. i am more partial to the series because i love their caring characters. i need new facets of the character and i was wondering if when you come up with the premise for a plot, one of your series does it ever happen that you feel that it is better suited to a different one of
your series? >> that is a great question and it has happened to me. i thought of plastic sometimes and i think okay this will be for a certain book but when i go deeper into the plot i can tweak it a little bit and do it but the fact that have so many series going, i can tweak a story and go off in a different direction and is a different series character. i think will roby is the only one we haven't talked about. >> he is an assassin. we first met him in the innocent.he goes around the country. he is the sort of guy that is a regime change guy. he cuts the head of the snake off and he goes around the world and kills. you would think that how can i quit a series about a guys whose job it is to murder people? and that was my challenge as a writer. i had to make him relatable in
some ways. and it took great pains to do that. action sequences we see them doing what he does with great professionalism, great precision and tenacity. overcoming ions along the way. often times -- you know if you pull the trigger and effectivity of the carry that baggage with you all the time and it affects who you are and what kind of like you can leave. and yes, he can be live and a learner it is a big surprise. most people don't go around pulling the trigger but he has to do that. so these are fascinating characters. i have yet to really touch the surface with him. >> our last call is virginia from pennsylvania. hi virginia. >> hello. i loved your camel club series. >> thank you. i cannot wait for the next book to come out. why did you kill them off? i mean, couldn't you have stopped for a while and brought him back later?
>> if you're talking about oliver stone, in stone cold at the end of the book, when he goes off, it is done for him. now he came back and he lives into my books. hill's corner and -- if he stopped the stone cold your tumor books. but the end of hill's corner, other than milton everyone else was alive.i can always bring them back. john clark, fiction wise is alive and kicking. i love to bring this back and if i could think of a really cool plot to put them in, i will bring them back. >> my final question. your 57 years old. you have a lot of writing like ahead of you. you only have a huge body of work. what would you like your legacy to be as an american writer? >> i want to sort of be the guy that it would be hard to put me in a box. it would be hard to label me as what kind of a writer i was. i don't want to be thought of
as a mystery or thriller writer but fantasy, personal histories, dramatic family stories as well. i would like to be the kind that you open the book and you do not know what you're going to get. if you look at the word formula in the dictionary, you will never see a picture of me next to it. >> thank you for spending three hours with the booktv audience. >> thank you, i enjoyed it. >> c-span. where history unfolds daily. in 1979, they spent was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress. the white house, supreme court and public-policy events in washington d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite
provider. >> here's a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. on may 19 in maryland, it is the gaithersburg book festival which has been held on the city hall grounds since 2010. later in the month love for us in new york city at the publishing industry is annual convention book expo where we talk with publishers and authors about the forthcoming books. then we will be in chicago. the next weekend the fdr presidential library and museum hosts the result reading festival the day of author programs and the like and tenure america's 32nd president. june 21-26 is the american library association annual conference held this year in new orleans. for more information about upcoming book fairs and festivals, and to watch previous festival coverage click the book fairs tab on our website, booktv.org.