Your Questions

Q

I know it has been asked and answered, but you see, I have a vested interest in the fate of Sharpe's daughter. I have only seen the films, but the sound of Sean Bean's voice saying my name is something I treasure. Any chance that I will hear it again someday? Antonia Sheller

A

I think it's possible he might see her again some day...


Q

Hello, I am a big fan of the Sharp Books. I am a part-time college student taking a coures call Modern Epic Fantasy. My course requires that I do a review of a book that is relevent to the course. I have choosen your epic adventure "The Last Kingdom." The review should be an analysis of literatry value, content, style and factual warrant... I would like to ask a few questions about your book and what your motivation was to choose this era and characters moral dilemas.

1. Who would you say influenced you most to write the style of books that you do?

2. Beyond the commercial success of your books how do you hope your works will be remebered/evaluated as Epics or historical fiction ...?

3. What inspired you to write the Saxon Stories?

In Redcoat Sam Gilpin has a value conflict that causes him to switch sides; In the Last Kingdom Uthred is torn between allegiance to both sides. 4. Do you intially plan a moral conflict or does it naturally develop with the character/story?

Both of the primary authors in this course Tolkien and Terry Brooks work hard at giving each name and event a image/meaning that is not verbalized. They both follow the Epic styles of Roland and Beowulf who raise the question of Morales and Values. 5. The Arthur Books, Grail Quest and Stonehenge all had the same feel. Were they influenced by the Medieval Epics and did you intend the "Last Kingdom" follow this idea?
Steve Fernaays

A

1) Haven't a clue. I started with the Sharpe series, which was plainly under the influence of C.S. Forester, but I don't think Forester had much influence on, say, the Arthurian trilogy. I don't think there was a direct influence on the non-Sharpe books - like most writers I suspect I write the sort of books I'd like to read. Not a very helpful answer!

2) I never think about how I'll be remembered! I'll be dead, so it won't matter to me. But I certainly never think of myself as writing epics . . so I guess the the answer is that I'm a historical novelist pure and simple.

3) The root of the stories goes back to my days at university when I was introduced to Old English poetry and discovered a love for it, and from that sprang an interest in the Saxon period which I've kept up for the forty years since. The immediate spur for the series was the discovery of my natural father (very late in my life to find him, but there you go) and learning that we were descended from a man called Uhtred who had been lord of Bebbanburg, and I wondered how a solidly Saxon family (for such they were) had managed to hold onto their lands through the Danish invasions. The answer to that question is fictional, of course, but the question itself was the immediate spur to writing the new series. As to the conflict of loyalties, it just seemed to me that the Danes would not be understandable unless Uhtred had an affection for them - one of the constraints of writing in the first person. If I'd written in the third person then I could have tackled them differently.

4) Never! Don't plan anything! I just start the book and see what happens. I don't know any other way. But even in starting you plunge the main character into almost immediate conflict - whether moral or not. I'm just starting the new Uhtred and the poor sod has been taken to the mountaintop and offered the kingdoms of the world, but I don't see anything very moral in his reaction. Actually he'd like to take what's offered, but his reasons for rejecting it are, in the end, entirely self serving and trivial. But then, he is my ancestor, and genes will out.

5) Gosh! they do? Wow! I'm not that clever. I just tell a story and, to be honest, never think about unverbalised meanings. I doubt very much that I write under the influence of mediaeval epics because I'm not a great reader of them. All I'm trying to do is to entertain by telling a story, nothing else. Truly.


Q

Hi Bernard. I'm a huge fan, and I'm in the midst of reading the Sharpe series (not the first time read, but the first time in chronological order). The timing of the release of Sharpe's Fury is well timed, or I am, as I just finished Gold and am moving on to Escape. I've noticed a couple of anomalies, but you've been doing amazingly well, considering how much you jump back and forth in time.

My first question is - in Sharpe's Rifles, a rifleman named Cooper dies while trying to rescue the mule during the ambush. Is this the same rifleman Cooper who appears in the movies, and later books? (Oh, that's a Sharpie (trekkie equivalent) question, isn't it? Sorry.)

My second question is regarding the Battle of Vimeiro. You refer to it several times in Eagle and Gold. I'm wondering if you will be covering that battle in the years to come? My curiosity is tweaked. Thanks, Tamara

A

I suppose the script-writer might have taken the name from Sharpe's Rifles? Dunno. I guess they're the same!

Vimerio/Rolica are not in my plans at the moment, but it's possible they'll feature in one or more short stories some time in the future.


Q

Dear Sir, My son is a big fan of your books,I wanted to know whether you do any book signing tours as I would like to buy a signed copy of your new book "Sharpe's Fury" thank you, Regards, Tony Plumb.

A

I will be in the UK for book signings in October. Please click on the Diary link to view the itinerary.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I would like to thank you for the hours of pleasure I have had from reading you books. Although I have read the Sharpe series more than any other books I must say that I enjoyed the Gallows Thief the most. I listened to an audio version, read by James Frain. For anyone out there who has not listened to it I highly recommend it. The part of the story where Sargeant Berrigan tells about "just what kind of soldier" Ryder is, gives me chills it is so well done by the narrator. Will there be any other books with Captain Ryder Sandman? Regards, Wayne Campbell

A

Another adventure for Sandman is a possibility....


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I am a huge fan! I have read most of the Sharpe books, actually I listen to them when I drive, and have listened to a number of them multiple times. I have read all the Starbuck books, but my favorite series is the Warlord Chronicles, though I am having trouble finding all three in a recorded version. All that being said, that has NOTHING to do with my questions. Are there any websites of artwork related to any of your books, especially Sharpe? As an American, there is something very UNSharpe-like about Sean Bean. He's almost blonde to begin with, and WAY too clean-looking to be Sharpe. I like to draw and was trying to get an idea of how other of your readers picture Sharpe. Thanks! David M. Alcantara Chattanoonga, Tenneessee, USA

A

Websites of artwork of Sharpe? Not to my knowledge.


Q

Dear Bernard In reference to your Viking novels will a future book involve the battle of Maldon in Essex???

And you have mentioned that you will probably write about Agincourt have you considered writing about the Siege of Orleans from the British perspective and fighting against Joan of Arc and did they ever find the name of the English bowmen who gave her that cross when they burned her (though If I was Joan I would much rather have preffered a knife to cut the ropes!) ??? Finally I know you get this all the time about getting back to Starbuck but since there is a bit of a gap between Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville would you consider sending him west for the battle of Stones river. btw I have read the Bragg was considered the South's Mcllelan is that a fair comparison would you say??? Look foward to Sharpe's Fury all the best, Tony

A

I wish! But Uhtred can't live that long . . . the battle was fought in 991, so he'd have to be about 120 years old! But maybe another book? I know the battle well because I used to sail past Osea and Northey islands . . . it's a good tale, so who knows? One day?

It's possible - don't know - no plans yet. Afraid I don't know the bowman's name . . .

I don't think any of the southern generals were as bad as McClellan - which is saying something! I'll know the answer to your question when (don't ask) I finally manage to find time to write the next Starbuck . .


Q

Hi,could you please tell me when the fourth book of the saxon series is due for release and how many titles will there be in this series? keep up the good work.Dave.

Just finished the Lords of the North and have to say many thanks. I have waited for 20 years for books like these, right up my street!! My question is what now for Uhtred? Any more adventures in store??? Joe Mclaughlin

Hello. a few months ago i would not have picked up a book and would have rather played a videogame. However i was given a book for my birthday, from The Saxon Stories(the first one) and have now read all the books in the series so far and am a bit anoyed that i read them so fast. i was wondering if you could tell me when the next book comes out in the uk, after Lords Of The North, As i would like to continue reading about Uthread of Bebbanburg and Earl Ragnar. thank you for your time. James

Dear Mr Cornwell Your books are wonderful, I have got many friends and family to enjoy them too. Having adored the Arthur books (my favourites, read then 4 times), The Grial Quest series, I have now finished Lords of the North and at the end it says Uhtred will need Serpant Breath again. So, does this mean there will be another Uhtred book? I really hope so, they are wonderful, he seems to me to have much in common with Dervel! I apologise if you have already answered this question elsewhere. Many thanks, Kelly Perryman

A

There will be more adventures for Uhtred. I've recently started the fourth book. How many for the series? Not sure yet - maybe seven or eight? or more? We hope to publish the next book in the series in the autumn of 2007.


Q

Is it safe for me allow my 9th grade English teacher read my soon-to-complete book? I mean I don't have any copyright to say it's mine. Couldn't one just steal it from me? Ruoke Yang

A

They could steal it, and then you sue them and become immensely rich. The copyright is yours the moment you write the words! You don't have to do anything legal, sign anything, fill in a form, just write the words and the copyright is yours.


Q

I recently read Sharpe's Company about the assault of Badajoz in 1812. You mentioned that the French threw burning corpses over the walls. Were they human or animal?
Robert White

A

No, no, no!! Carcasses, not corpses! My fault for not making it plain! It's very hard to set fire to a corpse - too much fat sizzling away, and they burn in a very unsatisfactory manner. A carcass can also mean a missile that is a fire-ball - it was filled with highly inflammable material, lit with a fuse and thrown, and it would burn incredibly fiercely - so it not only lit the breach, but also burned the attackers. A nasty thing and much more efficient than a fiery corpse.


Page 856 of 1,093« First2008558568571,000Last »