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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Fifty-Eight

Lee Child

The Rise of Reacher

Zachary Petit

A man named Jim Grant had just been canned.

The Coventry, U.K., native had been working at the once-revered Granada Television channel in England for close to twenty years. But in 1995, he was let go. He was thirty-nine. “Corporate restructuring.”

Fortunately, like a certain soon-to-debut protagonist, Jack Reacher, Grant is resourceful. Smart as hell. And he can roll with a punch.

He’d write a thriller.

“It was just a question of showbiz—entertainment was all I knew,” he says. “It seemed like writing this kind of book was the way to go.”

He gave it a shot.

And in the most unexpected ways, the foundation of his literary career began to take shape. At the supermarket, an old woman ...

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