Your Questions

Q

Mr Cornwell I am a big fan of your books, especially The Warlords Chronicles. My question is will there be another release in hardcover of this trilogy, in the near future? Thank you. Frank Cester

A

Hardcover? No I don't believe so.


Q

I have just finished reading 'Fallen Angels', and loved it - I raced through it, hoping that Campion could trust Gitan, and needing to confirm the identity of Lucifer! I must admit that I initially bought it because of the French Revolution setting, as another of my favourite books is 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' - were you influenced at all by Orczy's stories? The heroine of your tale, Campion, reminds me of Marguerite Blakeney - beautiful, brave, and slightly naive! Gitan, the anti-hero in black, came across as a composite of Sir Percy and Chauvelin, with his selfless bravery, magnetism, and mysterious past. All of this was a bonus, as I only sought a different perspective (perhaps darker) of France in the 1790s - characters that my rather devoted imagination could link with Orczy's creations just added to the story for me! Heroines like Campion, worshipped and loved by all, beautiful but kind at heart, appeal to me more than the 'modest', plain narrators of writers such as the Brontes, so I was in my element. Had you read 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' before writing 'Fallen Angels', or does it take a fan like myself to spot the similarities with Orczy? Either way, I found your story fascinating, exciting, romantic, evocative - thank you! Sarah Powell

A

I must have read The Scarlet Pimpernel, but probably read it between 40 and 50 years ago! But it's such a classic that I'm sure its influence lingered. It is the quintessential French Revolution novel, so I'm certain it had an effect on Fallen Angels - even if only a negative one - i.e. not having any character too like Sir Percy! And thank you for your kind words!


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I'm afraid I couldn't wait until January for The Pale Horseman to be released here in the states, and ordered a copy from Amazon.co.uk. I know you have no say in the release dates for your books, but I was wondering if you know why they tend to be released in January here in the states? I was under the impression that most publishers tried to get new books pushed out for the Christmas gift season. James Moore

A

I don't know why - publishers seem to work in mysterious ways!


Q

Hello again, Mr Cornwell! Have read Ken Follet's 'Pillars of the Earth', and if so would you recommend it? I bear in mind your advice over Conn's books! Why is it that Penguin published your Warlord series, while Harper Collins has Sharpe and Thomas, among others? Also, I must ask what your favourite/most desired automobile might be! Thanks very much for your work! Stuart

A

I haven't read it, sorry. I did read William Golding's The Spire, which is a wonderful tale, and seems to have been an inspiration for Follet.

Mainly because my editor at HarperCollins moved for a time to Michael Joseph (which is part of Penguin) and I followed her, and then followed her back to HarperCollins when they had the good sense to bring her back. I suspect that for most authors their primary loyalty is not to the publishing company, but to their editor in that company, and I've had the same editor for over 25 years and don't intend to lose her!

I already own it. She's a 1948 MG TC, cream body with burgundy fenders. A creature of transcendent beauty. She runs well, but never goes out in the rain or when the roads are wet. She's undergoing restoration - not that she needs much, but I put back her original 19" wire wheels (she had 15's when I bought her) and last winter had the scuttle (firewall) replaced - a huge job. This winter she'll get a paint job (I think), and I need to strip the dash back to raw wood and re-varnish, send the instruments away to be rebuilt, and replace all the previous owner's Philips screws. She has a totally inauthentic leather strap over the bonnet, and equally inauthentic louvres on the top of the bonnet (not just on the sides), but I'll keep those features because I like them.


Q

Dear Mr. Bernard Cornwell, I am a big fan of your books and I have read all Portuguese publications. The stories are fantastic and the history details are fantastic. The way you describe the battles makes us feel like if we were participating in them. But sometimes I have difficulty trying to viewing the battles. It would be helpful if, when you were describing a battle, there were a map showing the soldiers positions and directions. Sometimes there are maps in the beginning of the book, but when we arrive to battles descriptions if there were a map it would send us right to the location. Unfortunately, my English is good for technical documents but not good enough to read and appreciate your books in English, so I have to wait for the translated versions. Please, do not take my words as a critic but as an idea. Thanks for the numerous hours of pleasure reading your books. Best regards DBB - Portugal

A

I think it's a very good idea! The difficulty is persuading the publisher to go to the extra expense of another map or maps that have to be bound into the book - but I'll mention it to them - again - and thank you!


Q

Have just been enthralled by Fallen Angels - any chance of any more books along this line? best wishes - Jennifer

A

No plans for it at the moment, but who knows....?


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Thank you for the many hours of entertainment that you have given us. We enjoy your books and look forward to what's next. I'm a school teacher and a Local Historian and I have a few brief questions. Do you research a particular event in history and then (decide to) place your characters there? or the other way around? Do you travel to those locations and then get your ideas? Just interesting to know. Thank you again, John

A

Not sure what the answer to that is - I suppose I decide on a period of history that interests me, otherwise the novel wouldn't be any fun to write, so I suppose the period comes first. The ideas start coming right from the start, but I do always travel to the place where the action is set - not so much for ideas, but to make sure I get the setting accurate.


Q

I wondered whether you had read The Great Siege, Matla 1565 by Ernie Bradford. Having been beaten in Rhodes the Knights of St John base themselves in Malta. Which is then attacked in 1565 by the Sultan of Turkey with 40,000 men against six hundred Knights of St John and 9,000 men from Malta. It's a compelling read and a storyline crying out for further development. Mark French

A

I have the book, and have read it at least twice, and you're right - it's a magnificent tale and it is calling out for a novel - so who knows? I've had it in mind for years, but that doesn't mean I'll ever do it, alas.


Q

I have always enjoyed your books, particularly as the places referred to where I was born & brought up (Essex & the Thames Estuary) & where I now live (Mid Devon). One question though, were you influeneced in your writings by the novels of George Shipway? Richard Knightley

A

Probably yes, but a distant influence because I read them so long ago - but I thought them utterly brilliant and compelling, and I'm sure they served as a template for the sort of book I hoped to write. The only problem with Shipway was that he didn't write enough!


Q

Just hazarding a guess - would Wellington be Sharpe's father? Tim

A

No cigar. Wellington was only 8 years old when Sharpe was born!


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