David Baldacci now wants an Indian setting for his heroes

  • Zafri Mudasser Nofil, PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 25, 2015 15:01 IST
David Baldacci counts Indian authors Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri and Arundhati Roy in his list of favourite authors. (davidbaldacci.com)

David Baldacci fans have something to cheer as the celebrated American crime writer is eager to pen a novel with an India setting. The master storyteller who has written popular series like Vega Jane, Will Robie and John Puller says he is thinking of bringing his characters to India.

“Will Robie has gotten close to India in some of his travels. One day he or another of my characters will make it there,” Baldacci, who has recently come out with a new Vega Jane adventure – The Keeper, published by Pan Macmillan, said.

The Guilty, the fourth Will Robie adventure, will be out in November. Baldacci, whose favourite Indian authors are Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, has a great fan base in India and he gets “many emails from India”. “We have great friends and neighbours -- we raised kids at the same time -- who are from India. From them and their extended families I have learned a lot about reaction to my works in India,” the writer, who lives with his family in Virginia, says.

Baldacci at the launch of the first book in his Vega Jane series, The Finisher. The Keeper is the second book in this series. (davidbaldacci.com)

“It is immensely gratifying to know that people from all parts of the world appreciate good storytelling,” he adds. The exploits of Vega Jane, the heroine with the iron will, are aimed at the young adult audience. Asked the reason for writing young adult fiction, he says, “I loved reading fantasy as a kid. As a writer of fiction it’s the ultimate challenge and is also liberating. You get to conjure and create every element of your world.”

Baldacci published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. The book was adapted into a Hollywood film, directed by Clint Eastwood. (davidbaldacci.com)

The Keeper is the second book in the Vega Jane series after The Finisher. In this book, Jane encounters the Quag, a wilderness filled with danger and death, as she tries to leave the town of Wormwood. The Quag is worse than Jane’s darkest imagining; it’s a living, breathing prison designed to keep enemies out and the villagers of Wormwood in.

Baldacci says he likes writing about strong, independent women. “I don’t know any damsels in distress. The name Vega Jane came to me in a flash, the first thing I wrote down in a journal my wife had given me,” he tells about the character of Vega Jane was born. “The exploits of Vega Jane are an epic journey, much like you see in classic works of fantasy. Everything from the Odyssey to Lord of the Rings revolves around the protagonists moving from point A to point B and encountering challenges, adventures and fascinating characters along the way,” he says.

According to Baldacci, there will be possibly five books in the Vega Jane series. Baldacci published his first novel Absolute Power in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, Baldacci has published 30 novels and several have been adapted for film and television.

His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries.

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