Dear Mr. Cornwell, I am a 10th grade student in Pennsylvania and I have enjoyed your Warlord Chronicles and am currently reading them again along with the Grail Quest series. But I write this email due to the fact that I love stories and history and you have a knack for combining the two. So my simple question, is it hard for you to do and how do you do it? I am currently entertaining thoughts of becoming a historian or history professor. I thank you for any advice you are willing to give and I won't sue you :) Sean Berryman
Is it hard to do? Well, I guess that depends who you are! And how do I do it? I don't know. There, that's really helpful! The history part is easy enough . . . either you love it or you don't, and I grew up with a love of history, and still love it, and read very little else. If you love it, then you'll spend time reading history and, probably, major in it at college. So that bit's easy! As for the story-telling? I really do not know. Some people can tell stories and others cannot, and I am not sure that story-telling (unlike history) can be taught. There is advice . . . try very hard not to be boring is good advice, but even so I still do not think that there is a set of skills that people can acquire . . either you're born a story-teller or you're not. That's what I think! Perhaps I'm wrong! But if you do want to combine story-telling and history, remember that the main story of a novel is probably a story you make up . . . and the big real-history story is pushed into the background . . . I'm a story-teller before I'm an historian. I'm not sure any of this is helpful, but for the moment immerse yourself in history and read lots of stories . . . that's the best training possible for a writer!