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WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN, SIR?

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Bikram Vohra with Lord Jeffrey Archer

Daily Dose by Bikram Vohra

Bikram Vohra with Lord Jeffrey Archer
Bikram Vohra with Lord Jeffrey Archer

Spent a rather unusual three days in Muscat at the Open Minds seminar where I met this little known writer called Lord Jeffrey Archer and I told him I was a writer too and he said, well, fancy that, so can you give me a few tips and I said, sure, why not, nothing like helping newcomers to the game.

And so he listened intently as I shared my secrets with him and cheered him up a bit because his books have only sold 270 million copies and he is a bit disheartened by the sales graph because he was expecting at least 300 million. He was a bit crushed that his first 19 efforts with publishers were rejected and it was the twentieth publisher who printed 2000 copies of Not a Penny more, not a Penny less. You may have heard of it. That was followed by Kane and Abel which a few people read and he kept on trying with Shall we Tell the President and A Quiverful of arrows and First Among Equals and about 20 other best-sellers including the Prison Diary trilogy.

The man writes eight hours a day, long hand in two hour spurts. Never touches a computer. Each book is rewritten three times. Honed to perfection. Much of his money goes to charity.

On stage he is like Jerry Lewis and Norman Wisdom in a kind of a blend with a drizzle of Benny Hill.

He can be crusty, warm, enormously charitable and I am glad I was able to give him a bit of lift up in morale. We professionals have to help one another.

He shared this joke with 600 members of the audience.

The EU had a meeting to discuss how many condoms there should be in a packet.

Italy wanted seven… Mon, Tues, Wed etc

France wanted eight…Mon, Tues, Wed… and two on Sunday.

Greece said, nah, we want nine… Mon, Tues, Wed… twice sat and Sun.

Lord Archer, representing Britain, decided to score one for the Brits. We, he thundered, want 12. The others looked aghast.

Twelve, they chorused.

Yes, he said, Jan, Feb, March…