Your Questions

Q

Dear Bernard, The Sharpe series are excellent books and you may be intrigued by this: is it possible a sub-conscious association produced the hero's name? In the 'Battle' or 'Battle-Action' boys' comics from the 1970s there's a minor comic strip character from the 'Rifles' with a prominent scar on his face. There's also lots of brutal hand-to-hand fighting and a particularly gritty style to the stories. That's not the only co-incidence: the character's name is Sharp. There, you'll be happy to learn, the similarity ends, since the stories are very different. They're about an unpleasant World War Two coward: 'The Rat of the Rifles'. Even if there's no association, it's certainly interesting. http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/ComicInformationPages/BattlePages/BattleHomePage.asp>/a>. I'd be interested to learn if you read comics when you were younger! Regards, Dave

A

Thanks! I never did see those comics, so I guess there's no sub-conscious association. In fact Sharpe is named after the Cornish and England rugby player, Richard Sharp, as a deliberate act of homage to one of the greatest backs ever to play the game!


Q

Mr. Cornwell: I read what you said about sending you ideas, but think of this as a suggestion: An American by the name of John Cabell Breckinridge (statesman,lawyer,soldier) would make a great subject for one of your novels. I can find no published books about this person, only research data. I can find no novel featuring this person as a central character. There are at least a couple of biographies about him. "Statesman, Soldier, Symbol", by William C. Davis; and "Proud Kentuckian, John C. Breckinridge, 1821-1875", by Frank Hopkins Heck.

Because you are my favorite author, I'm bringing this to your attention only. Thank you. Sam D. Harrison.

A

I've read the book by William Davis, and you're right - it is a fascinating story about a fascinating man. But me? Too many other things lined up at present! Thanks, anyway.


Q

Dear Bernard, The Sharpe series are excellent books and you may be intrigued by this: is it possible a sub-conscious association produced the hero's name? In the 'Battle' or 'Battle-Action' boys' comics from the 1970s there's a minor comic strip character from the 'Rifles' with a prominent scar on his face. There's also lots of brutal hand-to-hand fighting and a particularly gritty style to the stories. That's not the only co-incidence: the character's name is Sharp. There, you'll be happy to learn, the similarity ends, since the stories are very different. They're about an unpleasant World War Two coward: 'The Rat of the Rifles'. Even if there's no association, it's certainly interesting. http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/ComicInformationPages/BattlePages/BattleHomePage.asp>/a>. I'd be interested to learn if you read comics when you were younger! Regards, Dave

A

Thanks! I never did see those comics, so I guess there's no sub-conscious association. In fact Sharpe is named after the Cornish and England rugby player, Richard Sharpe, as a deliberate act of homage to one of the greatest backs ever to play the game!


Q

Hi, I'd just like to say I LOVE your Saxon Stories! I grew up as a SCA kid. I'm currently in College and there is no SCA here. Your books have been my outlet . I'm probably your biggest Saxon fan! Well I guess I'd like to get to my question. I've looked around and no one seems to know for sure if there will be a 4th book. If there is a fourth book, when will it come out? I tend to preorder them so they are cheaper, and I get them faster. (Cheaper is the main reason) I would also just like to say Thanks! I know you probably don't read all of these, but just thought to say thank you *grin*.
Chris

I love the Saxon stories! I just finished Lords of the North. Do you have a planned date for the release of the next book? June Johnson

A

The fourth book should be out in October.


Q

I emailed you yesterday about the Saxon series, wanting to know how quickly you were planning on writing the books and how many there would be in the series, but I have since found your answers to previous questions on the same subject here on this website. You say the next book will be out in October this year (good!) and there will be at least 6 books in the series (excellent!) Now I don't want to spoil the enjoyment of others, but on the very first page of "The Last Kingdom", Uhtred, presumably writing as an old man, says of Bebbanburg: "I dream, and know that one day I will take back the land from those who stole it from me". Was this an inadvertent plot spoiler? Jenny

A

He might know it, but do I? It's his hope! Let him dream on . . . . . .


Q

I know you're busy, so no need to respond to me. I am a fan of all things "Arthur" so I was psyched when I came across some fiction about him, that was/is well recieved. I just ordered all 3, and am happily thru half of The Winter King, its AWESOME !. I hope I enjoy it as much as Mary Stewerts books on Arthur, starting with 'The Crystal Cave" I wonder if you have read her, she is such a great writer. I am enjoying your book so much more than that garbage written by E.B.White. I am from Boston, and I am pleased to know you are on the Cape. I will be reading all your fiction, history is great isnt it ?
John Ford

A

She's terrific! Yes!


Q

Mr. Cornwell Thank you for the books that you write. I am an Emergency Room Nurse in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, USA. I have an approximate 40 minute drive to work daily nd found one of your Audiobooks to listen to on my way to work, first being Harlequin. I have enjoyed them very much. They relax me to and from work and actually let some of the stresses of my job go away before I get home to my family. I have listened to the Authur series, and just recieved "The Lords of the North" yesterday. I will relisten to the first 2 in the series prior to hearing this book. Right now I am on disc 14 of A Crowning Mercy, which is a great story. I have not yet listened to Starbucks or the Sharpe series, but hopefully get a chance to find them on cd. I am having trouble finding Stonehenge on cd but have found it on tape. I do not get much time to read for pleasure at home due to my family, and I am a student again (taking an American History class and some more nursing classes)so I listen to your words.Incidently the story of Durkus Slythe, "Lady Campion of Lazender" and her story fit right into the English imigration into the colonies as I am studying that now. Jamie Glover is my favorite narrator of your books, if you have any say over it please persuade him to do more of them in the future. I do have one question: Is Stonehenge on cd or just audiotape? I cannot find it locally here in the States. Again thank you for your books, and the fact that they are on recorded so that I can listen to them. It is a real joy for me. David Buchta RN Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA

A

Thanks for your message. Stongehenge is available in audio, unabridged CDs on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk (you'll find links to both websites on the Stongehenge book page of this website).


Q

Dear Bernard, this is a question on writing style. I've got advanced plans for a "Saxon era trilogy myself and have begun book one. However, being a history graduate and not an author Ive discovered how difficult it is to write a novel! Ive heard that some authors just write the bare bones of a story, getting the basic plot down and then going back and building around it. Being a novice, I tried to start from page 1, writing the story as if I were reading it. Ive found this difficult as I find it hard to write descriptive text or to paint a scene. However, I have a clear idea of what I want in my three books and especially for book one, i.e. this person goes there, that person does that, he says this etc. Should I just start from the beginning and write a finished article so to speak, or go along the lines of an extended plan and just get my story down in detail before going back and adding the fancy descriptive bits? Any advice would be grateful as Ive read your books for many years and think to a novice author your advice would be invaluable. Dave Green

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I just wanted to say thank you very much for providing me with so many hours of entertainment. I have read many books in my life and you are one of my favorite authors. I have never been disappointed by your work. I am aspiring to become a historical fiction writer myself and I was wondering if you could possibly offer any advice on the actual writing process. For example, how do you research a subject like the Civil War? How do you start writing - do you make a list of characters etc... or do you just begin typing and it all comes together? My problem is I can't seem to finish anything I write. I have the humble beginnings of five or six great novels and I seem to just leave it at that! If you could offer any advice I would be most grateful. I know you must be very busy so please reply at your earliest convenience. And, if you do not have the time, I would understand and would like to again thank you for your work which I really enjoy immensely. Sincerely, Dave Dockery

A

For a bit of writing advice, click on the FAQ page, scroll down to the 10th listing and you'll find a link to a page of 'writing advice'. Best of luck to you both!


Q

While I live in Dublin I am a native of and frequent visitor to Tangaveane near Glenties in Co Donegal. I often wonder why you have in your books come to use this townland as the birthplace of Patrick Harper? Con Ward

A

I can't remember why now! Sorry! I was in County Donegal a lot, but that was thirty and more years ago (oh gawd), and I remember Tangaveane, and can only suppose something about the place struck me! But for the life of me I can't remember what!


Q

Enjoy reading your different series over and over again. When is the next Starbuck book you mentioned in This Bloody Ground coming out? Will you do any more sea stories like Wildtrack and Storm Child? I recorded and produced on our local television your presentation on King Arthur at the MBL lecture series. When I am out in Chatham in a few months I will drop off a DVD copy. Bob Hinrichs

A

I don't have a timetable for the next Starbuck book. And I'm not planning any more sea stories at the moment.


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