Writing Magazine


Cornwell’s Gambit

Mega-selling Sharpe creator Bernard Cornwell became a novelist as he couldn’t get a green card.

He had left his job as the BBC’s Northern Ireland head of current affairs to move Stateside in pursuit of his future wife, telling her, ‘Don’t worry darling, I’ll write a novel.’

Reflecting on the incident to Alison Flood for the Guardian, he added, ‘You know as well as I do, journalists all think they can write a novel.’

He secured representation by hassling, literally begging, an agent he met at a party, Toby Eady, who got him a seven-book contract within a few weeks and remained his agent until he died in 2018.

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