Your Questions

Q

Having just seen a comment on here that you are the greatest living historical novelist, my curiosity was picqued. I am a great admirer of Robert Harris, and his latest, "Munich" is also a suspense/thriller novel set around a real event, including real people, and it could be argued that you both do this superbly on a regular basis (you more than Robert!). Have you had a chance to read "Munich"? It's very modern compared with your novels, but it's another terrific novel including people from history we all know of...

Andrew Pain

A

Oh, dear Lord above, I won’t try and compete with the magnificent Robert Harris for the title of GLHN! I’m a huge fan, especially of his Cicero books. I’m reading Munich at the moment and am not far enough in to give you a considered opinion, but so far it’s terrific! But I expected that!


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

 

I guess my question is: if the Danes won at Ethandun, or Aflred died while on the run - whatever necessary to make Guthrum's conquest of Wessex a full success - would they still have assimilated (while still having some effect on the culture) or would it have been more like the original Anglo-Saxon invasion, with England becoming fully or very closely Danish?

 

Also (been speeding through the books; already almost done with Lords of the North) was Kjartan partly inspired by Roose and Ramsay Bolton (or vice versa)?  I couldn't help but notice some similarities in Tekil's description of him.

 

Thanks again,

 

Daniel S.

A

It's an interesting question!  If the Danes had succeeded in conquering all four kingdoms then would the unification of England have followed? Or would it become Daneland? My suspicion, and it cannot be anything more, is that it would have been called Daneland (or something similar), but that the English language would have survived. We’ll never know!

 

No inspiration – I hadn’t even started reading George when I wrote The Last Kingdom – so just coincidence!

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

 

1) What is your outline process for planning a novel? What outline or method have you used?

 

2) Would exotic settings, such as the Cholas(An South Indian Maritime Empire that ruled most of South-East Asia) would be popular in the UK publishing market - whether traditionally published or self published - or it doesn't matter what the setting is - the story comes first? Are oriental or periods of forgotten Indian history - such as the massive Hindu Empires, Marathas, Cholas, Gupta and Mauryans, Kushans, that ruled most of India before the invasions happened of the 6th century and the British invasion,  would publishers reject these time periods?

 

3) Do you find Self publishing to help the HF genre? Do you feel the traditional publishing industry has become too rotten to adapt to new methods of technology? I'm on a private writer's site where most of them advocate self publishing. Has traditional publishing received a bad rep for this?

 

Thanks,

 

Neil.

A

An outline?  No, I don't.  I have a very broad idea of where I want the book to go, then just let the characters sort it out amongst themselves.  I'm not saying this is the right way to do it - some writers plot very carefully, and their books are great, but others, like me, leave it to instinct.

 

You might have to work a little harder to persuade a publisher that a book set in what is, to many readers, an obscure setting, but that really is irrelevant because publishers will claw and scratch to get hold of a good story, whatever its setting! Story, not history, sells novels!

 

I’m afraid I wouldn’t know!  I’m still with a traditional publisher and have never been tempted to self-publish so I have no experience on which to base an opinion. But I don’t believe traditional publishers are ‘rotten’, but then I wouldn’t, would I? I do notice that many successful self-published books (The Bridges of Madison County etc) end up in the hands of a traditional publisher, which tells you something?

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell;

 

2017 has been the year of Bernard Cornwall and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all your Lost Kingdom series, watching the Sharpe series on DVD, and I'm presently reading Excalibur.

 

My question is - Are you aware of the historical research of both Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett? Their research based on the Welsh historical records reveal King Arthur II was a real historical figure, son of King Mergic, son of King Tewrig. I believe you made the same mistake as Geoffrey of Monmouth by grouping the two King Arthur's into one.

 

Would you please take only 10 minutes to check out a blog I've written on the subject.

http://guerrillademocracy.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/king-arthur-is-alive-and-kicking.html

 

Many thanks, and I look forward to reading as many of your books in 2018 as I've read in 2017.

 

Yours sincerely,

Matt Taylor

A

Oh dear. I’m really not sure where to begin!  And if I did make the same mistake as Geoffrey of Monmouth then I’m in excellent company. So, you believe there were two King Arthurs, whereas I believe there was no King Arthur, though there probably was a ‘dux bellorum’ called Arthur or Artur in post Roman Britain. But the truth is, we don’t know. I’m tired of messages claiming that Owain Ddantgwyn or someone else is ‘proved’ to be King Arthur. There is no proof. There is supposition, and until some major archaeological discovery or the appearance of some previously unknown document appears, it will remain supposition. What is true is that the Matter of Britain, that coalesced around the Arthurian stories, is a magnificent, romantic and endlessly inspiring sequence of tales that do not speak to real history, even if they derive from some forgotten historical character, but appeal to some basic human yearning. My own take on them is that they are tales of a lost Golden Age, and that has universal appeal, and to then try and tie down these magical, brilliant, malleable stories to some obscure chieftain or king or warlord, about whom we know next to nothing, is to drain them of meaning. So, although we must disagree, I shall persevere with my mistake!


Q

Hi again

Regarding Sharpe's Father.....is this word is relevant?

'REPLACE'

Regards

D

A

No!  Sorry!

 


Q

Hi. I was just curious about the Last Kingdom books. I see youre currently writing the next one. Wondering if the next one will be the last one? Or will there be more?

Thanks

Dave

A

Oh, there will be more!  Promise!

 


Q

I’ve just finished Fools and Mortals and I’d like to thank you for doing more for my appreciation of Shakespeare in a few days than a series of school teachers managed in the corresponding number of years, albeit a bit late for me to re-sit that O-level. I gathered from an earlier answer you gave that you see this as a one off rather than a new series, but I’d certainly read more about Richard’s progress if you happen to feel like writing more about him at some point. You make a couple of references to productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream you’ve been involved in. Can I ask which part(s) you’ve played in it? Also, did much of the characters of the actors you worked with find its way into the characters of the actors in your book? Looking forward to the next instalment of Uhtred in 2018 and whatever you decide to do after that!

Tony Mills

A

I confess that one actor in the book is a portrait of someone I’ve often worked with – Alan Rust.  Otherwise? Well, a few people (Widow Morrison, Phil the musician and Walter Harrison) will recognize themselves!  I’ve performed in the Dream twice . . . both times as Peter Quince . . .and will again on January 13th at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, SC.

 


Q

I love reading all about Uhtred. I have read every book plus own most of the series. I also have been watching The Last Kingdom series, I was a little disappointed when they didn't say anything about the arm rings or didn't explain the naming of his sword, minor details I know but important to his story. I would like to know if there will be an eleventh book? I have loved this story,and wait for more. Thank you for such a captivating story.

Kathy

 

Your postscript in the Flame Bearer indicates we are not done.  Will There be more?

Vince Saccardi

A

I am writing the eleventh book now!


Q

After Season 2 ended I have been searching monthly for any news on renewing for a 3rd season.  Any news that you cna share on this?  My husband and I enjoyed the series.  Next road trip we will start listening to your books.  My husband loves, just loves, the Sharpe series.  Hope you come to the Tattered Cover in Denver sometime.

 

Thank you!

Ellen Rairdon

A

No news yet....but we'll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I'm a huge fan of Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories. Uhtred's character truly fascinate me as a conflicted warrior in such a prominent time in the history of England. You mentioned that you are planning to write 2 more books, will the end of Uhtred be the end of the saga or would you consider writing it from his son Uhtred's perspective? Thank you for your wonderful books, they are such a joy to read.

Best regards from Australia.

Wendy

A

I suspect I’ll keep writing from Uhtred’s point of view. He and I are used to each other. I hope there will be more than two books!  I’m working on one right now . . . . .


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