2 Apr 2023

Harlan Coben: Writing books and making TV a 'dream come true'

From Sunday Morning, 5:25 pm on 2 April 2023
Author Harlan Coben

American author Harlan Coben. Photo: Supplied

American author Harlan Coben has to have the book's ending and how it will make sense to readers sorted before he can start writing.

Once those two things are sorted, he can start his journey.

"For those who have been to the United States, or are looking at a picture of the Unites States map, I start off on the East Coast in New Jersey," Coben told Sunday Morning.

"I know I am going to end up in LA, Los Angeles. I may take route 80, which is a direct ride, but no, I'll probably go via the Suez Canal, or stop in Tokyo on the way, or whatever. But I pretty much always end up in LA."

Coben is a number one bestselling author of numerous thrillers including Don't Let Go, Home, and Fool Me Once, with more than 70 million books in print around the world and published in 45 languages.

A number of his books have also been adapted into television series.

Harlan Coben has just published his latest book. Photo:

He has just published his latest book I Will Find You.

Coben said he is "very hands on" when it comes to the television series and is an executive producer for all that are produced in the English language.

He is very involved in selecting actors to play his characters and often has final say on who gets the job.

But there are some elements of TV he did not like, saying TV was much more collaborative while when he writes novels, he is in charge of everything.

"The analogy I use is a sports one. When I am writing a book, it's like I'm a golfer, tennis player and I have a chance at winning the masters or Wimbledon.

"When I'm doing TV, I feel like I'm captain of a world cup team and I don't care who scores as long as we win, I want everyone to do well, I want to celebrate with everybody, I want them all to go home to their home teams and get bigger contracts.

"Both are really, really satisfying, I'm extraordinarily lucky."

Coben said it was an "honour and privilege" that people wanted to read his books and watch his shows.

He was always trying to make each book or TV show better than the one before.

"It's a dream come true. I don't know why I would want to do anything else."