David Baldacci in Conversation with TheReadingRoom

Few authors are as synonymous with grand mystery, intrigue and suspense as David Baldacci. Since the publication of Absolute Power eighteen years ago, there are now more than 110 million copies of his books in print worldwide. Recently inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame, David hasn’t rested on his thriller-writing laurels: he has written several children’s novels, including The Finisher, and also crafted the memorable familial drama One Summer. For David Baldacci, genre doesn’t seem to matter: it’s his love of stories that keeps his engine running. Our Editorial Manager, Simon McDonald, asked the questions.

David, you’re renowned for your thrillers, but you’ve also demonstrated a willingness to explore other genres, too. From your first young adult fantasy novel The Finisher, to the family drama One Summer, has your deviance between genres been a conscious decision, or do you simply craft a story and leave it for others to categorize?
I think it’s important to stretch your wings as a writer and one way to do that is to get out of your comfort zone.  But with that said, I consider myself a storyteller, no matter which genre that story might fall into. I’m not much into labels. I would leave that to others.

Baldacci - Covers

Is there a genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d be interested in exploring?
Maybe a nonfiction work. I do so much research for my novels that sometimes I think I’m writing nonfiction.

You’re also extremely prolific and have published more than one bestseller a year for some time now. Is two books a year your limit? Could we push you for more?
Twice in my career I’ve published three books in one year. It wasn’t planned. I have no idea if I will ever do that again. It’s not the quantity, it’s the story. And I write all my own books. No co-writers or ghost writers need apply!

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Which 10 thrillers does David Baldacci recommend?