Author in lockdown: David Baldacci

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
David Baldacci says the only silver lining about the pandemic was that with all his travel cancelled, he had nothing to do but sit home and write, so he's way ahead of schedule with all his forthcoming projects. (PHOTO: Neil Spence)
David Baldacci says the only silver lining about the pandemic was that with all his travel cancelled, he had nothing to do but sit home and write, so he's way ahead of schedule with all his forthcoming projects. (PHOTO: Neil Spence)

As his new novel, A Gambling Man, hits the shelves, the bestselling author chats to us about how he's handled all the Covid upheaval of the past year - and reveals whether he'd ever be tempted to write the virus into one of his novels.

Has it been harder to work with lockdown and the events of the past year?

The only silver lining with the pandemic was that with all my travel and tours canceled I just sat at home and wrote. The result is I’m way ahead of schedule on future books.

How have you been staying sane amid all the panic and uncertainty?

I read a lot, lost myself in my books, watched some good TV, spent time with my family, tried to turn a negative into a positive. So many people have it far worse than I do. I can work remotely. I have health insurance. I’m not a frontline worker, or work in a hospital or in any other high-risk job. Compared to that, I had nothing to complain about. 

What do you miss most about life pre-Covid?

Hanging out with friends and family and enjoying life with them, particularly the spontaneous get-togethers.

Is there any chance you’d ever write the virus into any of your novels?

No. People read my books to escape. The last thing I want to do is remind them of that.

Have you ever visited South Africa?

I’ve never visited South Africa, but I hope to remedy that. We get lots of emails and social media posts from fans there.

What is the novel by another author that you’ve most enjoyed reading over the past year or so and why?

The Zebra-Striped Hearse by Ross Macdonald. He is the king of crime noir and was one of the best writers of his generation.

Do you still get excited walking into a bookstore and seeing your novels in print?

That never grows old. The first place I saw my first novel [Absolute Power] on the shelves was at a Borders bookstore in New York City’s World Trade Center. That makes you think.

What’s next for you? 

A new Atlee Pine novel in the fall of 2021 and then an Archer next spring and maybe a surprise in the fall of 2022!

Want to read more about David Baldacci and find out about his latest book, A Gambling Man? Don't miss our interview with him which will appear in the 24 June issue.

JOIN THE YOU BOOK CLUB 

Sign up for our free weekly books newsletter and get access to reviews, author interviews, book extracts and giveaways. Subscribe here:

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24