David Baldacci, author of The Sixth Man, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

David Baldacci

bestselling author of The Sixth Man, Absolute Power, Hell’s Corner and many, many more

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. I attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University (Go Rams!) and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At age 12, I wanted to be a superhero.

At age 18, I wanted to be 21 so that I could drink.

At age 30, I wanted to be doing something other than practicing law.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

When I was 18, I believed people in authority when they told you something. I got over that.

4. What were three works of art – book, painting, piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Book: Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. It made me want to write thrillers.

Music: Pink Floyd’s The Wall

Painting: Francisco Goya’s Executions of May 3, 1808

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

I can’t sing and I can’t dance, and my juggling is iffy.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel… The Sixth Man.

Edgar Roy is The Analyst. He’s tasked to know everything about American intelligence. A wee problem, he’s been arrested as a serial killer. My series stalwarts, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, the former Secret Service agents, have to discover the truth before it’s too late.

(BBGuru: from the publisher… After alleged serial killer Edgar Roy is apprehended and locked away in a psychiatric unit, private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy’s lawyer – an old friend of Sean King – to look into the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins: while en route to their first meeting with the lawyer, King and Maxwell discover his dead body.

A rash of terrifying events begins to unfold and it is up to King and Maxwell to uncover the truth: is Roy a killer or not? But the more they dig into his past, the more they are bombarded with obstacles, half-truths, and dead ends that make filtering the facts nearly impossible. As each new theory brings a new revelation, King and Maxwell will be pushed to the limit. Could this deadly case be the one that leaves the duo permanently parted?

About the Sean King and Michelle Maxwell Series:  Sean King is a former Secret Service agent who allowed his attention to wander for a split second, an error that resulted in the death of the presidential candidate he had been protecting. Michelle Maxwell is a former Secret Service agent who “lost” the politician she was supposed to protect when the politician vanished behind closed doors while comforting a grieving widow. Their destinies converge when Michelle becomes obsessed with Sean’s case, and when Sean needs the help of a new friend to solve crimes that implicate him as the culprit. Professional pride, romantic tension, and common causes bring together King and Maxwell as a crime-solving dynamic duo. )

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I hope they feel entertained and slightly more informed about important issues than when they opened the book.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Mark Twain. He took on serious issues with great humor. And he was as captivating a speaker as he was a writer.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To keep writing until I croak. And to branch out into other avenues, including independent film production.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Write even more than you read. Never let a stranger suck the passion out of you by rejecting one of your works. Believe in yourself even if no one else believes in you.

David, thank you for playing.

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