He was born in Richmond, attended Virginia Commonwealth University and got his law degree from the University of Virginia before moving to D.C. to practice law in the 1980s.
Now, after publishing books in more than 80 countries and selling 150 million copies worldwide, author David Baldacci can be found sitting and writing at a restaurant in Vienna, Virginia.
“There’s a little Greek deli, Plaka, near my office in Northern Virginia,” Baldacci told WTOP. “I go there a lot, I sit at the back table and I’ve written a lot of great stuff there. I go there so often that they’ve actually put a plaque there on the wall that says: ‘David Baldacci’s Remote Office.’ … People come by all the time to see if I’m gonna be there.”
The bestselling author is out with his new novel “The Edge,” a sequel to last year’s novel “6:20 Man,” named after the train that protagonist Travis Devine takes from Westchester County to Wall Street every morning for work.
“Travis Devine is an unusual character, a former Army Ranger who left under a cloud,” Baldacci said. “He got his M.B.A. and started working on Wall Street. … He got involved in a murder mystery in New York, a co-worker of his was killed, and he got an offer from a guy, a retired two-star (general), who runs a clandestine agency at DHS who says, ‘I know what you did in the Army. You can either go to Leavenworth … or you can come work for me.”
What’s the thrilling premise this time around?
In ‘”The Edge,” he gets dropped into coastal Maine, where meets a woman named Jenny Silkwell. Baldacci said. “Her father was a senator and Army icon who now has Alzheimer’s. She worked for the CIA and her body is found floating in the Atlantic Ocean. He has to go up there to figure out was she killed because she worked for CIA? Did someone torture her to get secrets? Or is it something to do with her past in her hometown of Putnam?”
Baldacci sold the “6:20 Man” series to Netflix about six months ago.
“They’re gonna make it into a series of movies,” Baldacci said. “They love Travis Devine. They’re calling him the American James Bond. Instead of a martini and a tux, he’s got a Glock and a lunch pail, so that’ll be fun to see him on the small screen. … I sold the Amos Decker series and Atlee Pine series … both to Amazon Studios. They both have show runners and writers attached, so now that the strikes are over, they’re going full-bore on all three.”
In his spare time, he and his wife run the Wish You Well Foundation championing literacy.
“We fund literacy programs and initiatives across the country,” Baldacci said. “This is our 23rd year. I don’t know how many programs we’ve funded over the years — 100,000. Our goal is to eradicate illiteracy in the U.S. Reading will determine how well you’ll do economically. … It’s also tied to a lot of our social ills, everything from poverty to homelessness to hunger to crime. … Every dollar you put into literacy, you get $10,000 in return as a society.”
Listen to the full conversation on the podcast below: