“Get off your backside and keep writing,” author Sir Jeffrey Archer advised one audience member when he spoke at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) on November 6th. In his presentation, the writer offered wisdom and encouragement to aspiring writers. With genuine gratitude, Archer praised the Ruler of Sharjah for founding the Sharjah International Book Fair, and for being in attendance. The purpose of the festival, to encourage the love of books for the younger generation, was further realized each year that the festival grows and attracts worldwide attention, Archer noted. Through a series of funny and sobering anecdotes, Archer revisited his early days as a writer. When he thought he had no chance of making the top 15 on the New York Times bestseller list, Johnny Carson, the famous TV host of The Tonight Show, saved the day by recommending his book to over 60 million viewers. Encouraging the writers in the audience to pursue their passion with discipline, he described his writing process, which involves eight hours of longhand writing. “Have your own system,” he advised, allowing that every writer has to find his own routine. When he opened the floor for questions, audience members asked about how to get into print and his view on self-publishing. “A complete waste of time,” he declared. Several female students from the American University of Sharjah wanted to know more about his experience in prison. Asked about his process for writing The Prison Diaries, he responded that it was easy. “I had nothing else to do!” The sizable crowd lined up so he could sign books afterwards. Archer’s books are global bestsellers with more than 270 million copies sold in 97 countries.