My Inspiration for I'll Catch You

by Jesse Kellerman

author of The Brutal Art


This book started as a joke. I was at work on something much longer and darker, and to relieve some of the mental pressure I started noodling around with an idea that had occurred to me late one night while on tour for The Executor: to write a book that functions simultaneously as a thriller and a parody of a thriller.

When I got back home, I began typing without any real plan, referring to a single page of notes scribbled on the back of my itinerary. I decided to keep the chapters short and the language terse, in the style of so many great (and not-so-great) thrillers. Other than those two rules, I told myself to let it all hang out. Nobody was ever going to see it, anyway.

Well, you know: man plans, God laughs. Before long I had about 30 pages, and I had begun referring in conversation to my “side project.” That was still how I thought of it. The main manuscript, the serious one—that was my paycheck.

Sometime in the fall of 2010, I sent the first 350 pages of Serious Book to my agent. (The fact that I can describe 350 pages with the adjective “first” ought to tell you how Very Serious it was. I was projecting a final page count of 800.) On a lark, I included the entirety of Side Project as well, then about 70 pages. My agent read both excerpts and called me up. We had a long and heated discussion about Serious Book, in which she pointed out its myriad flaws and I replied that I would not allow my artistic integrity to be threatened and so forth; the usual. It was getting ugly.

“But I love this other thing,” she said.

She didn’t need to tell me twice. I put Serious Book on hold and turned my attention fully to Side Project.

Which is not to imply that it was smooth sailing from there on out. To the contrary: it occurred to me that if I really was going to put all my eggs in one basket, that basket had better be capable of holding all the damn eggs. Meaning: I was going to have to come up with some sort of story, because until that point I’d been jotting down more or less anything that came to mind.

So I reworked, expanding my outline from one handwritten page to six. Even that felt like barely enough to begin. (The outline for The Executor, for example, was 75 typewritten pages.) But I forced myself to take a less rigid approach. What had made the side project attractive to my agent in the first place was its spontaneity. I didn’t want to lose that. I sat down with my six-page outline and began again.

The result was I’ll Catch You.

No one has been more surprised than me by the fact that I’ve become known as a writer of scary stories. Most of my early stuff, especially my plays, was comedy, and while all my novels contain comedic elements, I had long felt that I was neglecting part of myself.

In a very real sense, then, I’ll Catch You is my most personal book to date, because it’s the one that sounds the most like me, or at least like the me you’d know if you knew me. I had hell of a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you have fun reading it.


Have you read I'll Catch You? Let us know what you thought! #CatchYou


I'll Catch You

By Jesse Kellerman

When the world's bestselling thriller writer, William de Vallée, disappears from his luxury yacht while sailing off the LA coast, his best friend and fellow writer Arthur Pfefferkorn decides to pick up where he left off. But little does Arthur know that this impulsive decision is about to change his life for ever...

We want to tell you more about this novel. We wish we could explain how spectacular and absolutely unexpected it is; how it will burn itself onto your brain for ever. But the truth is we could never do it justice...

The only way you'll understand it is to read it.

[I'll Catch You is] fun in completely unexpected ways. Only a great writer like Kellerman could make it all work this well[Kellerman] ruminates on the practice of writing, the experience of sudden literary success, the nature of friendship, and the contrasts between the lives of writers and spies. [I'll Catch You] is very funny - and insightfulAnother brilliant performance from KellermanA writer of great imagination and skillKellerman has a gift for creating compelling characters as well as for crafting an ingenious plot that grabs the reader and refuses to let goBrilliant or bonkers? It's difficult to decide with this gem from the oldest son of the Kellerman clan... so why is it such a good, original read? Maybe that's what makes it brilliantStartlingly written, it weaves a very particular spellA clever, hugely enjoyable spoof of the thriller genreThis very funny and ingeniously plotted dismantling of the conspiracy thriller genre also mercilessly mocks the pretensions and hypocrisies of the literary world

Jesse Kellerman is an experienced crime novelist who writes well and invents original, unexpected plots. This book certainly has one of those... it's clever, and there are some lovely turns of phrase, as well as biting wit and many in-jokes relating to writing and publishing

Superbly original... a surreal, hilarious romp

What happens when an ordinary man stumbles upon the ultimate deception?
You're about to find out.

Jesse Kellerman was born in Los Angeles in 1978. He is the bestselling author of The Brutal Art and three other novels: The Executor, Trouble and Sunstroke. He graduated from Harvard and has won several awards for his writing, including the Princess Grace Award, given to America's most promising young playwright. He lives with his wife and son in California.The exceptional new novel from the internationally bestselling author of Richard & Judy Pick THE BRUTAL ART.

Praise for Jesse Kellerman:

'Startlingly original' GUARDIAN

'Enthralling' DAILY RECORD

The exceptional new novel from the internationally bestselling author of the Richard & Judy pick THE BRUTAL ART.The recipient of incredible reviews from critics, Jesse Kellerman has also sold over 220,000 books through UK BookScan.This novel is absolutely unique and completely gripping. It's a thriller with a totally unexpected twist that is impossible to see coming.