“I like reading history, and actually most authors enjoy the research part because it is, after all, easier than writing.” – Ken Follett
Born in Wales on this date in 1949, Follett has carved out arguably the number one spot in the world for writing a combination of thrillers and historical fiction. Since the publication of his first book Eye of the Needle in 1978 he has sold a remarkable 380 million copies (and counting) achieving a rare three number ones in a row on the New York Times Bestseller List with his “Century Trilogy.”
I agree that doing the research is both interesting and an absolute “must” if you’re going to tackle the historical fiction genre’. You build and build on a folder full of facts, figures and personalities until, of course, you realize that if you’re ever going to actually create your story you have to stop researching and start writing. And, then it's fun to connect “real” historical personalities with those you imagine.
Follett likes that process. “I like to create imaginary characters and events around a real historical situation,” he said. “I want readers to feel: ‘Okay, this probably didn’t happen…but it might have.’”
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