Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quote of the Day: Ken Follett On Writing Outside Genre

"Nothing happens the way you plan it.

A lot of people were surprised by The Pillars of the Earth, including me. I was known as a thriller writer. In the book business, when you have had a success, the smart thing to do is write the same sort of thing once a year for the rest of your life. Clowns should not try to play Hamlet; pop stars should not write symphonies. I should not have risked my reputation by writing something out of character and overambitious.

What’s more, I don’t believe in God. I’m not what you would call a spiritual person. According to my agent, my greatest problem as a writer is that I’m not a tortured soul. The last thing anyone would have expected from me was a story about building a church.

So Pillars was an unlikely book for me to write - and I almost didn’t. I started it, then dropped it, and did not look at it again for ten years.

This is how it happened..."

— Ken Follett, in the 1999 Introduction to The Pillars of the Earth.

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