Your Questions

Q

Just read your piece in the Guardian, and hoping you haven't forgotten that the US Civil War hasn't ended yet and we await the fate of Nate Starbuck!

But thanks for all you've written to date. In my youth i wondered why my father reread books, and your books are the reason why, because they are well worth rereading. You've made English history more exciting, and rekindled an interest in my pagan roots! But where did you get the 9th/10th century cussing from? It's much sharper than today's excuse for swearing.

Cheers!

Kevin Birkett

A

I don’t think I consciously thought about 9th/10th century cussing! And certainly there aren’t any sources I can think of. I suspect I made them up!

 


Q

What happened to Nate Starbuck? At the end of The Bloody Ground” you say he will be back.

I love all your books. My very favourite is Fools and Mortals

David

 

When will Nate Starbuck be seen again? Miss him!

Pat McGarry

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

A recent article in the Guardian has you saying you’d hate to start another series and not finish it as you are now 76.  Please don’t go to Valhalla and leave Nate Starbuck where you left him-that’s a tale that begs more telling! Please consider it, and thank you for the many hours of diversion, entertainment and enlightenment you have made available through all your hard work.

DFM

 

Please, please finish the Starbuck Chronicles.......love Sharpe, love Uhtred......I’m awaiting the finish of the last kingdom.....and caught in the middle of the civil war? You left Nat’s enemy and revenge quite frankly unavenged.

Peter Brazolot

 

are we going to have more Starbuck, pleaseèeeeeeeee.

Heather Brown

 

Good evening Sir,

is there any way to continue the Starbuck books? I have to admit that the Uthred books fascinated me, but meanwhile they offer nothing new. A book about one of the great battles of the American Civil War would of course be great, too.

my respect for your work

M. Götz

 

Will there be more Starbuck books forthcoming beyond book 4?

Latrell Cronister

 

A

I’ll consider, but I really doubt I’ll return to Starbuck – sorry!

 


Q

Just hoping that someday you will give us a story about how Sharpe and Harper  acquired the volley gun. There has to be a battle available for its first use.

Kevin Egan

A

I suspect Sharpe stole it from a naval ship, but I’ll see if your suggestion provokes a tale. No promises!


Q

Is it possible Guy Vexille has a child? I only ask this because I feel like Thomas's story is over but I don't want The Vexille saga to end. Also I was doodling my interpretation of Thomas and didn't draw all his fingers. Which got me thinking what if he lost two fingers on one hand by "someone" with a grudge therefore rendering his ability to use a bow. Dude I come up with the weirdest shit sometimes.

Brianna

A

I’m not going to quarrel with your last sentence!  I can’t say I’m entranced by the idea of Thomas losing two fingers, especially his bow fingers, so that’s not going to happen. As for the rest? I won’t say it will never happen, only that I shall let it marinate of what’s left of my mind. Keep coming up with weird stuff!!!


Q

Hi Bernard,

A question about the Catholic characters in your books. I've been researching the whole thing, and if Catholic Emancipation - which allowed Catholics to join the army, among other things - only came in 1829, then how were Catholics like Harper able to join the army before that date? (I mean, they obviously were there, Penal Laws or not, before Emancipation had even been dreamed of).

Thanks

Isac

A

The British army needed men and I assure you they didn’t care if they were Catholic so long as they could stand in  line and fire a musket. Wellington’s army must have had thousands of Irish Catholics, and wonderful soldiers they were too!

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

With the final book on its way I’m wondering if you plan to spin-off the series, or leave things open so you can potentially revisit the series in future. Or will it just be a “neatly“ tied up end to the series?

Andy

 

I finished War Lord and must say I got a little teary eyed at the end, I'll be sad not to read any more of his saga.  The Viking era fascinates me and you and other authors like Giles Kristian have done wonderful work.  Have you considered expanding the stories and continuing with his son or are you done with the Viking era for now? I guess going another century to see the Battle of Hastings would be a bit of a stretch!  Anyway, for now I'm re-reading Sharpe which is always an enjoyable pastime.

Chris Horry

A

I have a suspicion that the series is over, neatly tied up and in my past. But I’ve learned never to say never, so who knows?


Q

Dear Bernard

Good afternoon My name is Paul J Darran. I would, if I may, ask your advice. I come from 9 generations of British soldiers. We have served 22 decades continually from 1794.We are not officers but non commissioned officers & privates, that have fought in nearly every campaign & battle since that date, Including the Irish Rebellion ,the Peninsular War & Waterloo, NSW, India, Afghanistan, New Zealand ,South Africa ,Egypt & Palestine as well as other countries around the world & of course both world wars ,in between & post war campaigns. I have been told by historians & author's that their wouldn't be an interest for a book, on such a military family, from a working class background. To basically forget it. it is too long & covers over two centuries. I am the last to serve & feel its my duty to preserve the historical heritage of my family, which has been fully documented, covering over 20 years of research. So I would like your advice. Would you create one book or many covering decades? would it be better to search for an author or self publish .My forefather have been mentioned in three books. Victorian Medals, Road to Armageddon & Battle of Eureka Stockade. Soldier magazine & Who do you think you are magazine, both did articles & Dan Snow did a podcast,. but I would like to get our military heritage into book form.  I hope you can help in some way.

yours

Paul J Darran

A

Without knowing a lot more detail I’d suggest a single book because there’s a single theme running though your family’s extraordinary and admirable story!  It might be a very long book, but that’s fine. I’d also suggest that you try to write it, because even if you did find someone else to be the author they’d need your research and memories. I confess I know nothing of self-publishing, except that it works extremely well for some writers, but I’d try to find an agent who would be interested in what does sound like something extraordinary and so be published by a company that specializes in military books.


Q

George RR Martin said that while he wasn’t involved in casting, he lobbied for Nikolai Coster-Waldau to play Jaime Lannister because his face and attitude was exactly what he saw when he created the character. I know you have said you also weren’t involved in casting for Sharpe or Last Kingdom, but was there an actor that you ever suggested or thought of as perfect for a character?

Ron Filipkowski

A

I never suggested any actor, nor would I!  Casting is an expert skill and I have none of it, so while I would never make a suggestion, nor have ever thought of any particular actor as ideal for any part, I am constantly amazed by the skill of the people who do the casting. Sean Bean, Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson, the extraordinary Pete Postlethwaite, Cecile Paoli – among many others - how lucky can I be to have actors like that play parts from the books?


Q

Hello Mr Cornwall,

I haven't messaged you for years as I wanted to leave you in peace but I do now have a burning question. It's from genuine curiosity and not nitpicking. I have just read The Burning Land again for probably the 9th time and am starting Death of Kings and in it he says he defeated Heaston at Beamfleot the year before and now it is the year 899 which would make Uthred 42. At the beginning of The Burning Land he is 35 so does that mean that book took place over 6 or 7 years?

Last question (all be it silly) as you created them you are the only person who can answer this. Who would win in a fight between Steapa and Finan?

Many thanks

Ian

A

I know this is a totally unsatisfactory answer, but I have no idea. The timeline of Uhtred’s life is (too) long and I was careful never to be too specific, though perhaps I was too specific in The Burning Land. Most of the books take place over a few months, or a year or two at the most, so I suspect I was careless with The Burning Land, though I confess I wrote it so long ago that I can’t remember the story. Sorry if that all confuses you!

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

I know you’re a busy man, and you have answered many a question about getting published for the first time, but I am pulling my hair out with the prospect (even though I am a long way off as of yet). I am still writing my first draft, and the story is coming together nicely. I have a lot of character development to do but the bones are slowly being put in the right place.

My question is about the steps of self-publication, and whether you think it is worth it? Lots of people these days are going through Amazon and Kindle, and are creating some good sales, but I wanted to hear from someone who struggled for a long time to get their book off of the ground, and finally had success through an agent. Would you have done things differently now? If so, what steps would you recommend when self-marketing? If not why not? And could you recommend a good publisher to potentially contact in the future?

It was my father who introduced me to The Winter King and I have been hooked by your writing ever since. The Last Kingdom series has been an ever favourite, to the point where I am about to start them over as I love the little details that you put into your work.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

Kind regards

Peter

A

I was very lucky and found a publisher almost immediately and have been wit that publisher ever since. Which means I know nothing at all about self publishing, though I do have a friend who has achieved a lot of success publishing with Amazon. She would certainly say go-ahead, and she even abandoned her publishing house for the self-publishing route with Amazon. Another friend posted this on her blog and I’d recommend it: https://www.vickyjpayne.com/post/ten-things-i-wish-i-d-known-before-self-publishing