From a Q & A with Katherine Neville at the publisher's website:
Question: It’s been twenty years since The Eight. Why did it take so long to write THE FIRE?Read the complete Q & A.
Katherine Neville: I don’t actually write my books, they kind of write themselves–but they also seem to decide on their own when they are going to be written. Or in this case, not written. Until the right moment.
In the early 1990s, while I was on a 16-hour train trip from Switzerland to Prague, I was pacing up and down through the railroad cars when I figured out how to continue the story that began in The Eight. I saw clearly how the children of the previous characters would have to solve the true underlying mystery, which even their parents hadn’t yet discovered, about the original creation of the fictional chess set that had once belonged to Charlemagne, and of the powerful and very real historic events that had first set its course in motion.
THE FIRE was weaving its tale within me for almost a decade. Then, all of a sudden, one bright sunny morning, a plane smashed into the Pentagon just across the river from my apartment in D.C. I already knew about the two planes in New York–I’d seen them hit the towers on TV just moments earlier–and I knew at once, when the third plane hit, that I wasn’t writing the book I thought I was writing.
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