Book Talk: Ken Follett tackles the 20th Century

Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:26am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

MEBLOURNE (Reuters) - British author Ken Follett decided he wanted to take on a massive project -- so he embarked on a trilogy following five families across the entire 20th century and the major historical events of that period.

The first novel in "The Century Triology," "Fall of Giants," is released this month at about 1,000 pages.

Follett, 61, known for writing over 30 thrillers and historical novels including "Eye of the Needle" and "World Without End," said he believed people still had an appetite for long books, if they were well written and engaging.

Follett started out as a journalist and then publisher and is a prominent supporter and fundraiser for Britain's Labour party. He recently joined 54 other public figures in an open letter opposing Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Britain.

Follett spoke to Reuters about his writing:

Q: "Fall of Giants" was quite a project.

A: "It took me 2-1/2 years which was about six months of planning and 15 months on the first draft."

Q: What spurred it?   Continued...