Your Questions

Q

Hi Bernard, Huge fan of your work, and I agree with you the Warlord Chronicles are my favorites as well, good old Derfell. In addition to Sharpe, & Arthur, another fav of mine is Gallows Thief, Ryder Sandman is an excellent character who has lots of stories to tell. Do you think one day you might write a sequel/prequel? Anyway many thanks for such wonderful writing, you make my daily commutes a just that little bit more bearable. Rod

Will you be writing any further novels with the protagonist from Gallows Thief?
Betsyann Duval

A

I am considering a sequel to Gallows Thief.


Q

Dear Bernard While I love your books I read the comments that after the Viking books another Sharpe novel would be on the way. While the Sharpe novels are fun could he not take a holiday for a bit so Starbuck could take the stage?? It has been roughly ten years after all. Quite a long holiday by anyones stretch of the imagination. Besides after recently re-reading Bloody Ground there are several plot threads left hanging/ Billy Blithe, Delenay as the spy, The Starbuck/Sally/Lassan traingle and Faulconers reaction at the murder of his son.??? And I wondered if you had read either Winter War on the Rhappahonock by Francis Rilley on the Fredricksburg campaingn or This Terrible Sound by Peter Cozzens on the battle of Chickamauga Often seen as the Soldiers battle of the US Civil war. Do not get me wrong I love reading about Sharpe but Starbuck does deserve 1 more book to tie up the lose threads. All the best Tony.

Mr. Cornwell, First of all, thank you very much for many hours of fabulous reading as I traveled along with Richard Sharpe in his chronicles. I have also enjoyed the Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles, and have recently finished "The Bloody Ground". So, obviously, my question is, when will Mr. Starbuck march again? Again, thank you for your excellent writings, I plan on enjoying your career for a long time to come.
Shawn Bryant

Just like to echo all the messages on the bulletin board begging for a fifth Starbuck book. I can't believe that some people think this series of books aren't as good as Sharpe, I've read most of the Sharpe series (and watched the TV adaptations - before I discovered the books - sorry!) but think Starbuck is much better. Although I enjoy Sharpe, in particular the Indian campaign, and 'Sharpe's Prey' was fantastic, I can't seem to get Sean Bean's face out of my head when reading them whereas Starbuck's features get more ragged with every battle! Thank you and keep up the good work and please - more Nate Starbuck!
Graeme Fayers

I am a big fan of the Sharpe and Starbuck series. Will Starbuck ride again?
Daniel

A

Starbuck will ride again some day!


Q

Sgt Harper's home townland is Tangaveane. Is that the Tangaveane not two miles from Dungloe? ! Dr Declan Bonar

A

I honestly can't remember - it's been much too long since I was last in Donegal and even longer since I first said Harper came from Tangaveane that I can't remember whether I made it up, or named it for a place I once passed through - or what. Sorry.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I've read somewhere in these pages that you are writing another Sharpe novel but that it won't be out until next year...I don't think I can stand the suspense!! I am having withdrawal symptoms and the rest of my Sharpe collection is buried somewhere in an MFO (military freight organisation) box, as I have just left the Army. WHAT DO I DO?! Please, please include Sweet William, he is my favourite character in the series (apart from Sharpe and Harper, of course!). And what did Captain von Lossow get up to after disappearing after Sharpe's Gold? Sorry to keep going on, hope to see you this side of the pond one day! Keri (Yes, she of 5/60th fame!)

A

Captain von Lossow? I don't know. Maybe one day he'll appear in another book and I'll find out.


Q

I had a notion to construct a novel on our family in the West Indies Regiments...but the task of creating endless "conversations" which would be totally fabricated seemed really onerous...ie totally fictious.and seems to take up a lot of "time" in the novel...but of course you are writing fiction....this seems in conflict with the purpose of the author whom I assume is trying to instruct some truthful episodes of historical reality...your comments. BC

A

Not quite sure what to say about this! Dialogue is hugely important, not just for delineating character, but also for subtly moving the action along. The trick of it is to make it sound natural, when, of course, it's working very hard to do those two tasks. I like writing dialogue. If I found it onerous I suspect I wouldn't be writing novels. Everything is constructed. Dialogue isn't there to decorate the book, but to make it work, and I suspect you'll have to give it some of the burden that is presently taken up in non-dialogue patches. Good luck!


Q

Dear Bernard, i have just read Fallen Angels and must congratulate you on another fantastic offering. I remember when A Crowning Mercy came out the second time around you said that there were three books in this series, or you had written another book under the Susannah Kells pseudonym. What was the title of the third book, is it available, and where to your knowledge, or will it be re-published? Looking forward to the next Sharpe also, any idea where it will be set, and how long till publication. Many Thanks Neil

A

The third Susannah Kells title is Coat of Arms (The Artistocrats is the US title). There are no plans to re-publish it, but it can be found on the used book market.

The next Sharpe book is set after Sharpe's Escape (ie in 1811), probably in southern Spain (around Cadiz) and I hope it will be published in spring 2006.


Q

Dear Bernard - Just a note to tell you how very much I enjoyed "The Last Kingdom" - truly another fantastic 'tale of long ago' rivaling the Warlord Chronicles. In your Historical Notes, you mention "consulting a host of secondary works" as sources for the period. I suspect one of which was Beowulf, but could another source possibly have been Monty Python? I couldn't help but re-read the passage where King Edmund meets his fate and in my mind replace Edmund and the Danes with the Pythons - what a good laugh !! I half expected the pincushioned King to sit up and tell us he's not quite dead yet! (Methinks the Author might have truly enjoyed writing that bit !). Also, I very much admire your use of such an obscure concept as the "sceadugengan" to bring us into the otherwordly portion of Uhtred's heroic journey. P.S. Was great to read the March 22nd post on you BB by Dr. Richard Abels- I do believe I've seen him on TV's History Channel on occasion. As always- Thank you for posting the first chapter of your upcoming work. Any plans yet for US or Canadian book tours? Best Regards, Kelly Dudgeon

A

I don't think I consulted Monty Python. I just remembered it fondly. No US or Canadian book tours on tap at the moment.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I just finished reading The Last Kingdom. It's a brilliant work and it drew me in immediately. Strangely, my ancestral home is also Bamburgh Castle in Northumbria (about 15 miles from Alnwick?). According to our published geneology, my family, the Fosters, held Bamburgh until 1709. It was then sold to Nathanial Crewe, Lord Bishop of Dunham. Lady Crewe was the daughter of Sir William Foster. This particular branch of the Fosters was sprung from the loins of Reginal Foster. It appears that he can be traced back to Anaker, Great Forester of Flanders. Looks like someone jumped the Channel at some point. I wonder, are we related, Mr. Cornwell? Or is the Foster geneology incorrect? Regardless, The Last Kingdom thrilled me, as does Alfred, pious, self-rightous, priest-wanna-be that he was. For without him, I seriously doubt that I would be speaking English today, if I even existed. Can't wait for the next book! Donna Yelton

A

It would be nice if we were related, wouldn't it? But alas, my forebears held Bamburgh Castle back in the late Saxon period and lost it even before the Norman Conquest, so I suspect your lot are latecomers! But what lucky families we come from, to have once owned such a gorgeous place!


Q

Greetings and thanks from a new fan! I saw the article in the Boston Globe and started looking for your books (O.K., so I let the article sit awhile before I acted on it)! My husband has just recently become "a reader" and he also is enjoying your work. We have just finished Wildtrack. Wonderful! Can eggs really be preserved by boiling them for 5 seconds? We read Sharpe's Tiger and will continue the series. Also read The Heretic. We live in Chatham most of the time and have been to England a few times so that is what sparked my interest. Don't worry, we'll never show up on your doorstep!!! Thank you for giving us so many hours of pleasure. Jean Williams

A

So I'm told. The effect is to seal the interior off from the air (shells, believe it or not, are permeable). If you seal an egg it should stay fresh for months - I did once varnish some eggs and that worked for a long voyage, except some of them stuck together.


Q

Hello Bernard I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Grail quest which I have recently fininshed. I studied modern political history at University in Scotland and never really appreciated medieval history and warfare. Are you going to write any more books with a medieval warfare theme as I found your stories spellbinding - by the way I have also been a huge fan of Sharpe over the years. Please give Thomas of Hookton something else to do now he has discovered the Grail! Neil White

A

I am going to write more mediaeval adventures - but whether any will feature Thomas I don't know, and suspect not.


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