Dear Mr. Cornwell,
I spent 17 years researching and writing about two categories of Iowans who dissented against authority. The first group was residents of Grinnell, Iowa, who helped fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. The second category was Iowa residents who left that state and served the Confederacy. My research culminated in my book, Iowa Confederates in the Civil War.
As you can imagine, I was very interested in the Nathaniel Starbuck series. But I was enthralled by your Saxon Tales.
I am considering writing historical fiction. Thank you very much for your specific suggestions for beginning novelists.
On a more personal note, I was raised in a Christian home and attended two very conservative churches when I was growing up. I understand from your writing (and interviews) that you had very hurtful, or even traumatic, experiences related to church and those you lived with as a child. I experienced a great deal of hurt and shame in my devout churchgoing family. It's remarkable that, in spite of your experiences, you wrote -- in Crackdown -- the most beautiful description of a Christian's hope of heaven that I have ever read.
I salute you for your mastery of storytelling and for sharing such pleasurable stories.
Dave Connon, Earlham, Iowa