Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Birmingham author talks about his life and influences
Stratford-Upon-Avon Literary Festival is hosting an exclusive one-off interview with bestselling Birmingham author Lee Child that will reveal childhood loves that helped inspire his world-famous character Jack Reacher.
Lee Child will talk to his biographer Heather Martin in the event
Fans of Child's action-packed Jack Reacher novels can view the event online on September 28 at 6pm UK time through Eventbrite as it will be broadcast across the UK and world.
The event - Reacher, Prospero and Me - will see Aston Villa fan Child talk to his biographer, Dr Heather Martin, about the influence Shakespeare had on his life and work.
Child will explain how visiting Stratford-upon-Avon - the birthplace of Shakespeare and home of the Royal Shakespeare Company (the RSC) theatres - from his home in Birmingham when he was nine was a life-changing experience.
Watching Henry IV, Part II sparked a life-long love of Shakespeare and his work in Child, which helped influence the creation of his main protagonist, Jack Reacher.
"Everyone's life is full of formative moments and a lot of mine were at the RSC," says Lee Child, whose authorised biography is about to be published. "Directly or indirectly that company and that town taught me most of what I needed to know."
The Reacher Guy is the biography of writer Lee Child
The 65-year-old author, real name James Dover Grant, was born in Coventry but moved to Handsworth Wood in Birmingham when he was four. He now lives in New York and continues to write his Jack Reacher novels, which have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and spawned two films starring Tom Cruise.
Awarded a CBE last year, he was the 2019 Author of the Year at the British Book Awards and is on the 2020 Booker Prize judging panel.
Ticket revenues from the event will go towards securing the future of Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival which had to cancel its spring programme because of Covid-19. It plans to have a Winter Weekend event instead from November 20 to 22.
Biographer Heather Martin, languages and literature expert, formerly of Cambridge University and King's College London, says:. "One of the pleasures of doing the biography has been getting beyond the Reacher myth to the man himself; and not just the man but the boy, as enamoured of Shakespeare as of Aston Villa and The Beatles."
Audiences can order a copy of the biography, The Reacher Guy, with a double-signed bookplate designed exclusively for Kenilworth Books.
Book a ticket for the author event with Lee Child with a donation here.