Ken, Jojo Moyes, Kate Mosse and Lee Child European tour
Ken, Jojo Moyes, Kate Mosse and Lee Child will visit Milan, Madrid, Berlin and Paris in November 2019, on their Friendship Tour. The authors will appear on stage together, talk about their work, and answer questions from the audience.
Ken said: “We all have millions of readers in continental European countries, most of whom read us in their own languages, and we want to tell them how much we cherish them – despite the impression that may have been given by recent political events in our country.”
The tour is scheduled to begin at the Teatro Carcano in Milan on Sunday 17 November at 11.00 a.m. as a headline event at the Book City Festival. The authors will go on to Madrid on 18 or 19 November at a venue to be announced. They will be at RBB Radio in Berlin on 23 November in an appearance that will be broadcast live, and finally the tour will go to Paris on 25 November.
For more information and author biographies, see The Friendship Tour web site.
Ken appointed an Officier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Ken has been promoted to the rank of Officier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters), established in 1957, recognises significant contributions to the arts and literature.
The French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Jean-Pierre Jouyet, presented Ken with the insignia at a ceremony in London on the evening of 20 March.
Ken said: “I’m extremely happy to receive such a distinction from the people of France, a country I’ve loved ever since my first visit in 1966.”
Cécile Boyer-Runge, CEO of Editions Robert Laffont, Ken's French publishers, said:
“We’re very proud that Ken Follett, a Francophile and French-speaker, regarded as one of the world’s most popular authors, is being distinguished by France in this way.”
Ken's finished the first draft of a new 'Kingsbridge' novel
Ken has finished the first draft of his new novel. It's a 'prequel' to The Pillars of the Earth, set at the end of the first millenium in the village that would become Kingsbridge. In the year 1000 CE, however, it was a small Anglo-Saxon settlement threatened by Viking marauders ...
It will be published in 2020. I know this may be further into the future than you would like, but doing it well is a lengthy process!
Ken made a Commander of the British Empire
Ken was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List. His appointment, announced on Friday 8th June, is for his services to literature and charity.
Ken received the award from the Prince of Wales at an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday 16th November.
“I am very pleased and proud to receive this honour for doing something I love – making books and stories as entertaining and accessible as possible," Ken said. "Reading is a hugely important part of my life and I am glad to have helped others to enjoy it too.”
Ken is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 165 million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.
Ken has been active in numerous literacy charities and was president of Dyslexia Action for ten years. He was chair of the National Year of Reading, a joint initiative between government and businesses. He is also active in many Stevenage charities and is President of the Stevenage Community Trust. Ken also set up The Follett Trust, in 1990, which awards single donations to the arts and in cases of social deprivation and education.
University of Hertfordshire awards Ken an honorary doctorate
The honour was given at a ceremony on September 11 at St Albans Abbey in recognition of Ken's contribution to literature and the promotion of literacy.
Ken, pictured above with Chair of the University of Hertfordshire's Board of Governors, Richard Beazley, said: “I am proud to receive this honour from the University of Hertfordshire, which is in the county that has been my home for over 20 years."
As a resident of Hertfordshire, Ken actively supports several local and national charities. In 1990 he set up The Follett Trust, which awards grants and scholarships to students in higher education, organisations involved in community work and the arts, and supports the promotion of reading among those with dyslexia. Last year the trust awarded £160 000 in grants.
"Reading is something that should be accessible to all and I thoroughly enjoy working with some fantastic local and national organisations to help make that a reality," Ken said.
Ken elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Ken Follett was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) on Monday 4 June 2018 when he signed its historic, leather-bound, Roll Book at the RSL’s Summer Party at The Bloomsbury Hotel in London.
This unique literary honour, which the RSL has given to distinguished writers since its foundation in 1820, means Ken joins literary greats like Thomas Hardy, J.R.R Tolkien and J.K Rowling as a lifetime Fellow.
“I am delighted to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature," Ken said. "I am very pleased to join an esteemed group in the Fellowship of such a renowned and valuable institution.”
Part Three of The Pillars of the Earth video game is out now
Daedalic Entertainment has announced that Eye of the Storm, the third and final part of the interactive edition of The Pillars of the Earth, is now available. Those who bought Book 1 – From the Ashes, and Book 2 – Sowing the Wind, will automatically have access to Book 3 at no additional cost. Anyone who has yet to buy the game can download all three Books for $29,99 on Steam/GOG or $39,99 on console. The game can be bought and downloaded from the PlayStation Store, Steam Store, Xbox Store or your favourite online store.
Daedalic Entertainment is part of Bastei Lübbe, publishers of the German editions of Ken’s books.