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KEN FOLLET MEETS ISLAND ACADEMY
Monday 26th January 2015

Ken Follet, author of The Pillars of the Earth, and Eye of the Needle, graced the upper secondary students at Island Academy International School with a presentation on the secret life of being a writer. For many students, this was a life changing experience, as it was proof that a career involving the creative arts could amount to the prosperity that each parent seeks for their child. As Island Academy holds the idea of pursuing a career in creative arts in high regard, Ken Follet was naturally the perfect choice for a speaker. Some students exited the assembly hall with faces teeming with a new hope, others were left in awe, only managing to slip a single word past their lips: inspirational.

World renowned author Ken Follet, is a charming and down to earth person, who seems to have the perfect story for any occasion. His presentation included descriptions of his childhood, and how he had been impassioned with reading and storytelling from a young age. The connection he made with everyone in the room was obvious. His face demonstrated the same interest and excitement as the ninth graders, and his speech was relatable to both students and teachers alike. One of the comments he made was, “I’m an entertainer,” and within just five minutes, the entire room was in agreement.

Ken Follet began his writing career at 23, only managing to write short stories in his free time. Trying to orient his life around writing and storytelling, he became a journalist, and a somewhat ‘caped crusader’ figure: reporter by day, writer by night. But when the pull of his passion became stronger, and his efforts amounted to just two stationary copies of his books on sale, he traded in his job as a reporter for that in a publishing company. Similar to the characters in his novels, he infiltrated the headquarters of the publicists to pinpoint the characteristics of bestselling books. Having learned the key to creating a best seller, Ken Follet then decided to devote all of his time to his passion.

The British author commented on his style of writing with a beautiful metaphor, “My style is a window that you look through and see the story.” True to his word, Ken Follet writes with a clarity that allows for the quick yet captivated reading of each book, focused less on making the reader think and more on offering the reader enjoyment. His current novel recounts the fictitious stories of spies in the 16th century, and is greatly anticipated worldwide. The impact of his stories on the students at Island Academy will be far from forgotten, and his time spent at the school was greatly appreciated. Nothing could have been more enlightening on a cold, wet, Monday morning.

Written by: Leah Hadeed, IB Student


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