Your Questions

Q

Mr Cornwell, Like so many others, I thank you for the many hours of thrilling reading you have provided and I look foward to many more. I would also thank you for this excellent website and your obvious enthusiasm for corresponding with your fans - unique, I think, for such a successful novelist. My question is if you have any plans to add to your very full plate by writing of the late Victorian era such as the British army in Afghanistan, the Great Game, etc. I'm a great fan (while waiting for your next book!) of the George Macdonald Fraser "Flashman" series and think it's a fascinating era. Best regards Andrew Barlow

A

I utterly detest the Victorian era, so I shall do my best to avoid it like the plague. I only like it when I read about it in Flashman . . .


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell I just want to say that I love your books, especially the arthur and grail ones. They are truely a great experience and are the best books I have read in their respective areas, bar none. Also the Uthred books are awesome. I would like to ask you a few questions, firstly why do you seem to favour the pagan side? or seem to use this as a basis for the main character's belief? does it allow the character to be invloved in more intersting situations? Secondly, do you believe the holy grail exists? Thirdly, have you ever considered writing about the crusades? And finally, I would really like to know where your interest for legend and history came from. Thankyou for your great books. Matthew Michaelides

A

I think it's more interesting . . . more tension, anyway.

I think it was a real object which probably got chucked onto a Palestinian trash-heap sometime in the 1st century.

The Crusades? I've thought about it, but have no plans for it at the moment


Q

Dear Bernard First let may say thank you for sigining my copy of Pale Horseman on your recent tour in London. I finished it in only a few days since I could not put it down. Great stuff. Second in regards to Starbuck will the next Starbuck novel bet set around Frecricksburg? And have you ever thought of getting him to Stones River in Tennesse the last and first battle of 62/63 or to some of the other Western battles or will you keep him to Virginia ??? Does Starbuck ever settle affairs with Billy Blythe???? Does he ever find out about Delenay betraying him and being a spy and that it was he not his brother Ridley who had Sally raped??? Will he ever get back with Sally (Julia Gordon never really seemed too measure up as either charachter love intserest for Starbuck) ???? And in a previous post you mentioned about Starbuck meeting Lincoln, will he ever meet the man who won the war Ulyesses.S.Grant??? And Will his abolitionist farther who comes across as more preaching war on the South than less as liberating slaves ever meet William Sherman the man who defined war is hell but hated black people. And finaly on a lot of message boards to do with the US Civil war there is always the debate on who is the better general Grant or Lee. In your opinion which do you think was the better general??? Geraint

I received my copy of The Pale Horseman last week and read it in about 3 days. I have never been a book reader but as I spend lots of time commuting thought I would give it a go. Your books have given me more than I could ever have imagined and now regret the years I have wasted. When is the next Uthred story coming out? soon I hope! Also any more thoughts on future Starbuck Chronicles as that story has only just begun and you can't let Billy Blythe get away with it! Thanks more than I can express. Neil

Wow, a new series! (The Last Kingdom). However, I am hesitant to embark on reading it, being that I've been left hanging with the Starbuck Chronicles for nine years now! Please bring Nate back from vacation, and wrap up this valuable series. You may say he's like Sharpe (I disagree), but the series is also valuable from an historic point of view. Norman Jack

I bet you get hundreds of emails.I have been a fan of your books for years and have actively promoted them to friends and anyone who will listen.I am a particular fan of the Starbuck series as it is set at the same time as our own New Zealand landwars of the 1860's.I have read alot about these hard years, when this country was a frontier nation and this envirnoment produced some amazing characters, who have gone onto become legends. Not unlike some of the characters you portray. Anyway are you going to produce a fifth book in this series ? This would be up to Gettysburg 1863 ? Regards. David Russell

Hi Mr. Cornwell. I was very sorry to hear about your illness, and am equally glad to hear that you are feeling better. In an answer to a previous posting, you mentioned that you have all the research done and the plot outlined for the next Starbuck novel. Would I be correct in assuming that it concerns the battle of Frederickburg? If so much is already done, why not see if you can get it out some time in 2006? I would think it would be comparatively easy, almost a working holiday, one might say. And please, stay well for many years. Alan Kempner

A

Because the publishers want two other books for 2006, so those are being written, and if I produce it for 2007 then folk will want the next in 2008, and that either means Uhtred has to go by the board, or Sharpe, so when one or other of those two are out of the way then I'll go back to Starbuck. And yes, you're quite right, it will be Fredericksburg next . . . one day.

Who knows? Grant won, but Lee was probably the more classically perfect. They're so very different. Could Grant have lasted as long as Lee if he had only Lee's resources? Lee has finesse, but what's unarguable is that Grant won! I'll pass on the choice!


Q

In the Sharpe chronology, what are the sequence numbers and historical years of Sharpe's Mission and Sharpe's Justice? Roger Kallhovd

A

The films Sharpe's Mission and Sharpe's Justice were written by screenwriters for the tv series and are not based on any one of my books. To get more information about these films, click on the link for The Sharpe Appreciation Society and then click on 'Video Reviews'.


Q

Hi I was just wondering when the next book in your viking triology is out, as I have just finished the Pale Horseman and can not wait to read the third one. I have read several of your triologies and find this one the most compelling. Laura

I know it's a little soon after the Pale Horseman has just come out, but I was wondering whether there was going to be a next installment and whether it will be in the UK sometime in the new year or whether it will come out in 2007?Thank you and keep writing - the books are fantastic!
Simon

A

It won't come out in 2007. It will be published in 2006 and the book will probably be called The Red Ship. It's written, all but for a final polish, and the first line reads - 'The dead and dying lay at the foot of the green hill.' Which is a clue that it begins at the same moment that The Pale Horseman ends. I like it (but then I would). And you won't have to wait too long for it because it seems likely that we'll publish in June instead of October (probably, not certain) to make room for a Sharpe in the autumn.


Q

Canterbury Talk & Signing Tuesday 4 October 2005. We really did enjoy your talk. It was if you were addressing a small group of friends, despite the large gathering. As members of a Family History Society we all envied you that your family tree goes back so far. The question I would have liked to have asked you was: How do you feel about film makers altering your well thought out plots and characters? Tricia

A

They have to! They have different constraints. If I insisted that they changed nothing then nothing is what I would get, because they simply couldn't afford to shoot the books as I wrote them - it costs me nothing to conjure armies out of words, but it costs a small fortune to hire thousands of extras! And often, such as casting Pete Postlethwaite to play Hakeswill, they improve my creations immensely.


Q

Hi - just finished the Pale Horseman (or Dervel rides again, as my Dad calls it...) What always strikes me about all of your books is the celebration of being a warrior, or perhaps just the celebration of manhood... If you had your time again would you ever consider a soldiers life? Just to feel that battle song yourself perhaps? Do you feel that you've missed out in not living that life (I do - much more so when I read your books!) Also the (totally understandable) revulsion to organised religion. Too many wars fought over that. And finally the celebration of the Celts. Can one be too Irish?? I wish you well - you opened my eyes to a history or Britain I never imagined, and now actively persue. Look after yourself. Martin

A

I suppose I do celebrate warriors. The very first book I wrote carried an epigraph from Samuel Johnson - Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier. I wanted to be a soldier, but was born with truly lousy eyesight, so the recruiting sergeant offered me a prospect of the Pay Corps, which is a noble and necessary outfit, but it didn't quite match my youthful dreams, so here I am, scribbling instead!


Q

I have one comment and two questions. My comment is that I loved The Pale Horseman as much as I did The Last Kingdom which so many times isn't the case with second books in a series. My first question concerns the time period for the third book. Will it follow directly after The Pale Horseman leaves off or will it be moved forward in time. I guess I'm anxious for Ethelfleada to grow up and be the herione you said she would be. My second questions is why the West Saxons had no queens. You made a point of this in both novels and I'm curious. Does anyone know why? Again, I thank you for writing such exciting books. Ann Madonna

A

The first line of the next book reads - 'The dead and dying lay at the foot of the green hill.' Which is a clue that it begins at the same moment that The Pale Horseman ends.

I don't! Eventually they did - it just seems to be a curiousity.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell. May I start by saying how much I've enjoyed your books over the years, I've read all of your work with the exception of the Pale Horseman which I'm half way through. Do you have any plans to do a series of books based around the English civil war with maybe the hero being a Royalist and therefore on the losing side?? Many thanks, Jonathan

A

In a brief answer - no. Longer answer? I doubt it. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I have too many projects to finish (Sharpe, Uhtred, Starbuck, and folk asking for a follow-up to Gallows Thief) so I suspect it's unlikely. Mind you, I hate the puritans, so it would be fun . . . .


Q

Hello there, out of curiosity I thought I would ask: How early on in the writing process had you named King Callyn, and do I owe you a pint considering my earlier request? Or perhaps it was a coincidence and there is a more clear-cut naming in the works! That would be fantastic, many thanks in advance! Thank You for Uthred, he's the perfect antithesis to Derfel. Allyn Mills

A

I wish I could remember, but I can't. I don't even know where the name came from - probably one of my source books for the Arthur trilogy. My guess, for what it's worth, is that I needed a British name, scuttled over to the bookshelf, found one I liked and never gave it another thought. Wish I could be more helpful, alas!


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