The Pillars of the Earth | Page 6 of 1612

Author: Ken Follett | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 519994 Views | Add a Review

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consultant, and we became friends and table-tennis opponents until his death.

By March of the following year, 1987, I had outlined only the first two thirds of the book. I decided that would have to be sufficient. I began to write.

By December I had a couple hundred pages.

This was pretty disastrous. I had been working on the story for two years, and all I had was an incomplete outline and a few chapters. I couldn’t spend the rest of my life on this book. But what was to be done? Well, I could drop it and write another thriller. Or I could work harder. In those days I used to write Monday to Friday, then deal with my business correspondence on Saturday morning. From around January 1988, I began to write Monday through Saturday, and do letters on Sunday. My output increased dramatically, partly because of the extra day, but mainly because of the intensity I was bringing to my work. The problem of the end of the book, which I had not outlined, was solved by a flash of inspiration, when I thought of involving the principal characters in the notorious real-life murder of Thomas Becket.

As I recall, I finished a first draft around the middle of that year. A combination of excitement and impatience impelled me to work even harder on the rewrite, and I began to work seven days a week. My business correspondence was neglected, but I finished the book in March 1989, three years and three months after starting it.

I was exhausted but happy. I felt I had written something special, not just another bestseller, but maybe a great popular novel.

Not many people agreed.

My American hardcover publisher, William Morrow & Co., printed around the same number of copies as they had of Lie Down with Lions, and when they sold the same number they were content. My London publishers were more excited, and Pillars sold better there than any of my previous books. But the initial reaction among publishers worldwide was a sigh of relief that Follett had completed his crazy project and got away with it. The book won no prizes—it was not even nominated. A few critics adored it, but most were unimpressed. It was a No. 1 bestseller in Italy, where readers have always been kind to me. The paperback was No. 1 for a week in Britain.

I began to think I had been wrong. Maybe the book was just another page-tuner, good but not great.

However, one person believed passionately that this book was special. My German editor, Walter Fritzsche, at Gustav Luebbe Verlag, had long dreamed of publishing a novel about the building of a cathedral. He had even spoken to some of his German authors about the idea, but nothing ever came of it. So he was very excited about what I was writing, and when the typescript came in he felt his hopes had been fulfilled.

Until this point, my work had been only modestly successful in Germany.

(The villains in my books were often Germans, so I could hardly complain.) Fritzsche was so en

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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