hello. I have been a avid fan of your work for many years, and you have given me many, many hours of reading pleasure. I have a question about your main characters in your books. They all seem to share a common characteristic, in that they are all people who stick out like a sore thumb in their surrounding, for want of a better expression. Sharpe is a officer who has jumped up from the ranks, and doesn't belong in that sense, Derfel is a Saxon but is brought up to be a Briton, Uhtred is similarly a Saxon who is more at ease with the Danes, and Starbuck is a northerner, fightin for the south. Do you purposely put your characters in this situation to add to the story, or is it a sub-conscious detail that has crept into your work? I know some authors draw on their own experiences, when writing characters, and with some just for the purpose of making a more interesting character.thanks. Richard Jones
I'm sure it's sub-conscious, though I do have a conviction that heroes as outsiders make for more interesting characters (though I can't say I've invested a huge amount of thought in that). Rider Sandman of Gallows Thief is fairly normal? But you're right, most of them are square pegs in round holes. There's probably a psychological explanation involving my childhood, but as I try very hard not to remember that period of my life, I'm not going to look for that explanation!