Your Questions

Q

Bernard: I'm a big fan and have read all your works. A while back one of your fans asked if you planned on doing anymore maritime works in the spirit of "Sharpe's Trafalger". You replied no because others do it better. I've read all the C.S. Forrester and Patrick O'Brien's works. Are there any other authors with books similar to the Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin series? Thanks for your time and all you do. Bill Thorpe

A

There are indeed. Alexander Kent, Dudley Pope and Dewey Lambden all spring to mind.


Q

Dear Mr.Cornwell, I have been in touch with you before but felt I had to thank you (and Mrs.Cornwell may I add!) for the wonderful book A Crowning Mercy. I have read many of your books and enjoyed them very much. I found this book very refreshing and found it very hard not to sneak off to the loo at work every two hours when the boss wasn't looking to try and finish another chapter. One thing I would like to ask you is how familiar you are with Dorset? I've lived in Wimborne Minster all my life and it seems that Dorset pops up in many of your novels. What about a novel about Jack the Ripper? One of the three main suspects being buried in Wimborne Minster grounds, or the nearby village of Horton where the Duke of Monmouth was caught hiding in a ditch by Militiamen with the seal of England? Or Knowlton Church and earthworks, by far the creepiest place I know. In the meantime many thanks again for so many hours of enjoyment that your books have given me. (Please don't bin Thomas of Hookton!) Regards David A Wimborne, Dorset

A

When I die and go to heaven I'll find myself living in Dorset. It just happens to be my favourite place, and somewhere I've always wanted to live - I did once live next door in Devon. I guess it ain't going to happen now, but whenever I get the chance I go and indulge the dream. Somehow I've missed Knowlton, so I'll go there. I think Dorset is the best kept secret in England, so I'll say no more.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Since my friends live in Wapping, I go there often, and I was surprised (and pleased!) to see that Brewhouse Lane is a real place, as are the other streets mentioned in 'Prey' I think that Sharpe would be somewhat surprised to see Wapping today! My question is, did you simply use an A to Z for the names, or did you visit Wapping as well? There are some really old pubs which existed when Sharpe was meant to have lived there, and for me it gives 'Prey' extra colour and atmosphere. I am glad that there is to be more Sharpe written. Is there any chance of a full-length film? Yours, Robin Armstrong

A

I visited. And had the comfort of knowing that I'm a real cockney, born not far away. Still haven't eaten a jellied eel, though. No full-length film based on any of my books in the works at the moment.


Q

Thanks for many hours of self indulgence when I should have been engaged in DIY or some other mindless task. I have a question. Is Sir Guillaume's moated castle and Sharpe's idylic French mill/farm one and the same? Gary Waywell

A

I fear not - if I'd have thought of it, they would be, but I didn't, so I can't pretend they are.


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I am humbled by the fact that you acknowledged my e-mail to you, some months ago, by putting it in your website. I am in the midst of new energy, I have been reading most of your other books besides the Sharpe novels. The Arther trilogy, Stonehenge, Gallows Thief, and my favorite the Grail Quest series. Some years ago, I saw you on the history channel doing a commentative of the Sharpe movies. You struck me as a hell of a nice guy with no heightened ego from his talent and fame. That pleases me. I have spent alot of money on you over the years, I would hate to hear that you were actually an unpleasent person. The gentleman who conducted an interview of you on that show I felt was very disrespectful to you. It was like he didn't know what to say to you so he just started talking out his bum. I hope that experience has not embittered you in any way to doing further televised interviews if such an occasion should arise in the future. With all that said, I have a few questions to ask you if I may. Will you be doing any book tours that might possibly take you to Kentucky or the adjacent states? I would love to meet you personally and have you sign a few hardbacks for me. Is the Grail Quest series going to be long running? I love the adventures of Thomas of Hookton, and I feel a personal connection to him. Will you be writing any books with the vikings, the celts, scottish highlanders or the Roman army in Britain as the main focal point? I believe that's all I've right now, I'm aware that I have written so much already, I will understand if you choose not to put all of it on your site. Until next time, thank you for time sir. Peace and love. Barry W. Harshfield Jr.

A

Sorry, no book tour planned for the US this year, perhaps next? The Grail Quest series is done - at least for now. Vikings are on the way - the book is half done - don't have a title. The rest? No plans at present.


Q

Hey Mr. Cornwell I'd like to say how wonderful I think your Sharpe series is. Obviously some books are better then others but all are consistently fantastic. I loved the Sharpe television series when I was a kid too. I was just wondering who your own favourite author is? Also if you got stuck on a desert island with just one book, what book would that be? Did you ever think Sharpe would have so much success? I myself now live in the States and I saw you on a news program a few days back (regarding the QE2) and you was referred to as "one of Britain's best authors", did you ever think you would be thought of so highly when starting out? Steve Jones

A

My favourtite author? An undeservedly obscure novelist called John Cowper Powys, which is, I admit, an eclectic choice, but I've had a passion for him for years and collect his books, and books about him, even though he would have disapproved hugely of the sort of books I write. One book for a desert island? Has to be the Oxford Book of English Verse. 'One of Britain's best authors'? I worked in television for 10 years so know how wrong they get things.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, Sharpe is an addiction in this family across three generations - my father put me on to them, and my 11 year old son is a big fan of the films, and will graduate to the novels soon. I also liked the Grail quest series a lot, and thought the 18th century thief taker novel especially fine as well. My son wonders whether, as you seek new adventures and horizons for Sharpe and Harper, you had considered sending them to the US to take part in the Battle of New Orleans? The Rifles were there, and if you haven't visited the site at Chamarette (sp?), you certainly should. A particularly interesting action, and it would be interesting to see how Sharpe dealt with a defeat to British arms (which I suppose Copenhagen was in one sense, but not in another). I know authors hate comparisons (I'm an historian), but have you read Allan Mallinson's stuff? I think his first Hervey novel, with Waterloo as the centre piece, was particularly good, not least because the light cavalry in an unusual perspective from which to view the battle. Thanks for your time. (Dr) Jeffrey Grey Professor of History Australian Defence Force Academy

A

Sharpe made a promise never to fight the Americans so I don't think he can get to New Orleans, besides which I think that time is pretty much taken up with Sharpe's Revenge. Maybe someone else?


Q

My husband and I listen to your audio books (we have also read most of your wonderful books). PLEASE! David Case the best ; but who is the phlegmy voice on one or two of the other Sharpe novels? Can't abide the voice. Unable to listen to the tape! Do you have a say so? J. F. Holmes

A

No, sorry, I don't. You may want to contact the publisher directly to express your concerns.


Q

Dear Bernard, Previously in the Diary Page, there was a mention of a U.S. book tour in October. I noticed that this item was removed from the Diary page. Will there be a U.S. tour this year? Charles Romeo

Do you do signings at bookshops in the US?
E. Ross

A

I do signings at US bookshops when on tour, but it does not seem likely that there will be a US tour this year.


Q

Hello. Thanks for the Sharpe series - they've displaced Hornblower as my favourite "rereading in the loo 'till I get pins and needles" books. I'm looking forward to "Escape", (I prefer paperbacks, so it may be a while). Like many others, I'd love to see a sequel (or even a prequel, perhaps) to Gallows Thief. I've got it on tape, which is excellent - a TV adaptation would be marvellous, as long as Carlton weren't involved. I've only seen positive reaction to the series, but I'm not impressed so far, having just bought the DVD set and watched Sharpe's Eagle. I noticed you don't watch TV (nor do I, on the whole - the DVDs were an excuse to be more sociable, as I tend to hide upstairs when the telly is on!), but have you seen the Carlton stuff, and what do you think (I guess you may have to be circumspect if you didn't like them)? Thanks again. Graham Nicholls

A

I was, of course, delighted to see the books turned into film and quite pleased with the results.