Well known as a writer of international best sellers, Ken Follett was born in Wales and began his career as a newspaper reporter in Wales and in London. His first bestselling novel, The Eye of the Needle, won the Edgar Award and was adapted as a film starring Kate Nelligan and Donald Sutherland. He followed this success with four more bestselling thrillers - Triple, The Key to Rebecca, The Man from St Petersburg, and Lay Down with Lions. His novel, Pillars of the Earth, departed from the thriller genre and was on the New York Times bestseller list for 18 weeks. It also reached the number one position on lists in Canada, Great Britain, and Italy, and was on Germany's bestseller list for six years. He followed Pillars of the Earth with Night over Water, A Dangerous Fortune, and A Place Called Freedom, before returning to the writing of thrillers with The Third Twin, a scorching suspense novel. Miniseries rights to this book were sold to CBS for $1,400,000. The series, starring Kelly McGillis and Larry Hagman, was broadcast in November of 1997. In November of 1998, Follett published The Hammer of Eden, another suspense story. Ken Follett is married to Barbara Follett, who is the Member of Parliament for Stevenage in Hertfordshire. He is a lover of Shakespeare and an amateur musician who plays bass guitar in a band called Damn Right I Got the Blues. He is also chair of the National Year of Reading 1998-99, a British government initiative to raise literacy levels, president of the Dyslexia Institute, and a council member of the National Literacy Trust.