Writers are omnivorous. They’ll devour anything . . . if it serves their craft, their thirst for knowledge, or the particular story or poem or blog post they happen to be invested in.
Case in point: Ken Follett’s first blockbuster novel, Eye of the Needle (1978). Just finished reading it. Oh sure, I’d heard about it, for years and years – just never got around to actually reading it.
Follett’s making literary headlines lately – got a novel as a TV film now — The Pillars of Earth is serialized weekly. In the last coupla weeks, I read the interview he had with Writer’s Digest recently. He keeps putting out new novels every year or two. He’s now a senior citizen, like me, so he’s an inspiration. Still needle sharp.
In the next to next to next to last edit I made in The Beardmore Relics, I discovered something new. Axes have eyes. That hole where the shaft joins the head is called an eye. Who knew, eh? Here’s the phrase in which I employed my new knowledge: “Sunk to the eye.” Love that image. I know – makes no sense without the context.
As I read Follett’s novel, I was swept away by his mastery of prose. The story is good – damn good – but the style is superlative. I found myself analyzing how he achieved his effects. I came up with a tip for my series RESTORE BY NUMBERS – look for it the Sunday after next.
As for my emotional outburst a week ago, be assured: the pressure is under control and there is no threat of imminent explosion. Still waiting for the cover and the maps, but I’m a week closer to getting them.
No more pins and needles. Just poised on the sharp edge, ready to leap into publication. Am I confident? Aye, aye.