Jeffrey Archer Introduces This Was a Man Transcript
Did you always know how the series would end?
Certainly when I started, with only time will tell, I hadn’t got a clue where I was going. So when I got to the last book, the seventh book, no. I did realise that they couldn’t all live at the end of the seventh book as any reader will work out otherwise they’ll call for the eighth book. ‘They’re all alive Jeffrey, give me the eighth book! No. So I realised I was going in that direction but it wasn’t really until I was about three quarters of the way through when that direction opened up and I could see possibilities. Now I’ve always written, if I’m lucky, a chapter ahead and see where I’m going so when it got to near the end I knew where I was going but I didn’t quite know how I was going to get there.
How did you feel writing the final chapter of This Was A Man?
After seven years and seven volumes, it was a weird feeling for the first time to write the end because in the other books, the first six books, I do not put ‘The End’ on the last page because it isn’t the end, you have to go to the next page, which is the first page of the next book. So to physically write the words ‘The End’ after seven years was quite something and I leapt in the air and screamed Hallelujah! Because it had come to an end and of course, part of the Hallelujah was, I was very excited about the way it came to an end.
Without giving too much away, what can fans expect in this final volume?
It’s the biggest challenge of all for a writer, the final volume. Because now if you’re among the millions of people who’ve read the Clifton Chronicles, you know Harry, you know Emma, you know Giles and you know there’s going to be tragedy somewhere and that was the biggest challenge of all; to make the ending credible. To make all those characters you’ve lived with now for seven years, something has to go badly wrong but I’m certainly not going to tell you to whom or to what happens… no. This Was A Man.