FAQs–Frequently Asked Questions

What are FAQs and who asks them? Well, you do, the people who buy and read my books and keep me doing what I do.

For the past twenty years, since my first book was published here in Canada in 1992, I’ve done a lot of travelling, meeting and talking to my readers at festivals, conferences and public appearances of all kinds, and the Q&A sessions at the end of each appearance have always been my favourite part of the experience. But throughout all that time, I’ve been amazed at how often certain specific questions come up time after time—very differently worded from occasion to occasion, of course, but variants of the same basic curiosity just the same, covering the entire range of what it’s like to be a writer. People are invariably curious about how I work; where I find my information; how I do my research; how, as a professional writer, I deal with agents, editors and publishers; how the changes in the publishing world affect me personally and professionally; and on and on…

I’ve been thinking a lot about that, recently. The building and preparation of our new site, even prior to its launching, has made a lot of demands on both our Webmaster Mark, who built it, and on me—I who am responsible for its written content… That written content has built up over a lot of years. This site, in its original incarnation as camulod.com, has been around for a hugely long time as far as websites go, and over the last year or two it has, unfortunately flagged and sagged from time to time.

That was due in part to the ageing of the original site platform, which was structured on creaky, antiquated early Nineties technology, and the rest was my fault, attributable almost wholly to the fact that for a while there I was punching out a book a year, as opposed to my “natural” output of a book every second year. The two-year schedule had always allowed me time to do other things, like combing my hair occasionally and tending my website; the book-a-year scenario, on the other hand, cost me most of my hair and meant I barely had time to say Hi to my wife from day to day.

So, along comes the shiny new website and it brought with it the question of what I should purge as being too old and no longer relevant. I thought that would be a snap; that all I would have to do is delete items beyond a certain age, consigning them to The Deep. But it didn’t work out that way and the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page is a case in point. I looked at the dates of entry and they were all old and hoary—deletable by definition. But then I looked at the content, and the questions are all as valid today as they were when I first answered them; they haven’t changed at all from the questions I’m still asked by newer readers today—sure, there are differently-phrased and more recent variants to most of them, but the fundamental queries are no different, and so I decided to leave them intact and to keep them open for anyone who cares to look and read what others have asked in the past, and how I have answered their questions.

Of course, what I would really love to see is a new batch of questions from today’s new contributors to the site… there’s nothing in there at all at this time about the Knights Templar books, and nothing about the new series and/or Wallace and Bruce…

I have had several questions from readers the world over about the development of the eBook market and my own opinions on—and plans for—that new field, and I’ll be taking a stab at answering those questions in the very near future. I’ve been thinking about that for months now and it’s not an easy matter to deal with—too many ongoing changes of direction and policy happening higgledy-piggledy and too much confusion caused by what amounts to war between the traditional print publishers and the new ePublishers.

So here we are with a whole new, versatile and exciting site to play with. I hope you’ll check out the FAQ page and visit the Forum, where I’ve opened a new thread, at the bottom, for QUESTIONS. If you have anything you’d like to ask me—anything at all—that’s the place to do it.

4 Comments

  1. lolvickib
    February 15, 2012 @ 5:33 am

    Hi Jack:

    I attended my book club last night and your book Forest Laird is next on our list. One of the members said she just about decided “not” to read it because of the prologue. Then asked why a prologue was necessary. I figured I’d turn to you to answer that one as I have read some prologues that were downright misleading and others that drew me in to keep reading.

    By the way, I did encourage her to keep reading. We are a bunch of retired teachers, nurses and library personnel so a mixed group, but avid readers all.
    Cheers
    Vicki

  2. Jack Whyte
    February 17, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    Hi, Vicki,

    As I just finished telling another member who’s also waiting for a response from me, I’m up to my futtock shrouds (check out Hornblower) in work right now, with 12 days to go to my deadline… Until then, I’m playing like “Hogan’s Heroes” Sergeant Schultz: I know nozzing; I hear nozzing; I say nozzing. Auf weidersehen!

  3. lolvickib
    February 17, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

    Ha! Dinna have to look it up! I’m a Hornblower reader, and an O’Bryan reader too. As well as a reluctant sailor. We can wait, especially if it means getting your manuscript to the powers that be in a timely fashion.
    (Also an army brat that lived in Germany, so can understand some German, speak less, and spell even less!)
    Auf weidersehen!
    Vicki

  4. andersm
    March 4, 2012 @ 4:08 am

    Jack, you mentioned The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail as your inspiration for your Templar Trilogy. Did you ever read Bloodlines of the Holy Grail?

    I left a comment on your Facebook page regarding a book called Born in Blood – for me it begged another book after Order in Chaos.

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