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Ask Brian Volume 4

Baby Bungo Asking Father Abbot A Question
Illustration © Christopher Denise

In late 2001 and early 2002, Redwall.org ran a newer Ask Brian contest, this time answering well over 200 questions sent in from fans all over the world. In the short period Redwall.org was accepting entries, well over 10 000 participants submitted their questions. Brian Jacques himself has picked the cream of the crop out of the questions and answered them for Redwallers around the world to see now. Here they are:

Q: Does anything land or lie beyond the seas to the east in Mossflower country?
A: Perhaps, in another tale.

Q: Are you sometimes overcome with inspiration and begin to write a poem, song, or story, think it's mighty clever and well written, but wake up the next morn and suddenly don't think it's so wonderful? If so, do you throw it in "the circular file" or save it for later?
A: Fortunately, this rarely happens, but I understand what you mean.

Q: When you write your amazing stories, one notices the English accents. How does this affect the books translated to the many other languages?
A: The accents, riddles, and wordplay do cause problems for translators, they do tell us this, but somehow they always overcome their difficulties.

Q: Dear Brian, I heard that the Redwall TV series remains true to the book. However, some of the adventures never happened in the book! Why is this?
A: Extra storylines were added by Nelvana scriptwriters so that each episode can "stand alone" (for viewers who may only see one or two shows)

Q: My son, who is six, goes to bed listening to the audio cassettes of Redwall and Martin the Warrior each night. Are these the only two audiobooks out that are unabridged? Also, will there be any audiobooks coming out for Mattimeo, Mariel of Redwall, Salamandastron, The Bellmaker, and Outcast of Redwall, as I haven't been able to find audio versions of these anywhere.
A: Unabridged audio cassettes are always great fun to make. I narrate the books and a cast of up to 20 actors play all the other characters. Up to now we have recorded Redwall, Martin the Warrior, Mossflower, Taggerung, and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman with more to follow I promise!

Q: In your book Salamandastron, the baddie is named Ferahgo, which means "mixed." Does this refer to his assortment of knives?
A: Well spotted.

Q: Why isn't Mother Mellus mentioned in Tribes of Redwall: Badgers?
A: That's a shame, but it would be impossible to include everybeast.

Q: How long does it take for a publishing company to realize that there has been a typo?
A: When somebody informs the publisher of a mistake, they should rectify it before the printing of the next edition. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen... PS If you find any, please write to the publisher!

Q: In the pages in the front of some books, there are small descriptions of each book, and that there were two mistakes in one. The first mistake was in Mariel of Redwall where it said that Mariel and Joseph were thrown overboard, but they weren't. The other mistake was that Luke had to kill a pirate fox... it was a stoat! I'm just wondering, did you know that?
A: Printing errors! Thank you for pointing them out, please write to the publisher.

Q: Who decides who rules Salamandastron with so many badgers?
A: It is written in the stones and is a mystery.

Q: At the end of Mattimeo, you wrote how the tunnels the moles dug were very handy in the Winter. How come you never mentioned them again? I think it would be a good idea, especially when there are arrows raining down in the attacks.
A: Maybe they were used again.

Q: We know that Redwall was built over the site that Kotir once stood. I've always wondered about the creatures who built Kotir and why they built it. Do you think you'll ever write about them?
A: There is always a chance.

Q: What type of typewriter do you use to write your books on?
A: A small portable, a reliable old friend.

Q: I take Latin and noticed that Lutra is the Latin word for otter. Are there any other Latin based names, or words in Redwall? What other languages do you use in the creation of names and titles?
A: I chose Lutra for that reason. I often use words from Italian, French, Spanish, and Latin.

Q: How do you feel when you finish a book to your complete satisfaction?
A: Jubilant, but also saddened that I am leaving the characters, like saying goodbye to my family.

Q: Are the moles in your books star-nosed moles?
A: No, but Nelvana chose that type of mole for the animation.

Q: Why didn't you explain how Matthias got to Redwall in the first book, but you did in the television show?
A: Nelvana felt that Matthias' background should be included.

Q: I noticed that in the first book, Redwall, that you used large animals such as horses and a large cart that Cluny traveled in. Were you trying to start your books out in a human-like setting? Or was it something else?
A: Redwall was my first novel, I didn't expect it to be published! After Redwall I decided not to include reference to humans again.

Q: Will you ever have a mole warrior? I know that moles are usually good natured and all but what if a "good mole choild" was forced by an odd situation to take up the sword of Martin and prove how even a good natured mole can be brave? I think that would be awesome! Will you?
A: An interesting thought...

Q: Did Mattimeo ever have a child? If he did was the child a warrior?
A: Yes, Martin II.

Q: Will you ever quit Redwall?
A: I will write for as long as I am able.

Q: Will there be a Redwall movie in the next five years? I'm eagerly awaiting it!
A: Hopefully.

Q: Mr. Jacques, I absolutely adore music, and Redwall. I have read that you love music such as classical and opera, and yet the only instrument that I have read of is Gonff's reed flute. Is there any reason there aren't any other instruments, or is that just the way it is? I hope there are some more in the next books.
A: There are many musicians and instruments in my books, keep reading.

Q: I know there are several English words and phrases that mean different things in the United States. When your books are released in the US do they contain the exact same text as the books released in England, or are some words and phrases changed to retain the meanings you intended?
A: Many spellings are changed for the USA editions.

Q: Squire Julian Gingivere is undoubtedly a descendent of Gingivere Greeneyes. I find it odd, however, that the Squire is described as a "marmalade" cat and not a wild cat. Does "wild" merely describe the Greeneyes' harsh ways, or Gingivere's particular species?
A: Marmalade describes the breed and colour.

Q: I am very curious about Matthias' history. Did he come from a line of great warriors? Will his history ever be revealed to us?
A: See Nelvana Episode 1 Redwall.

Q: I was wondering how one would pronounce Simeon.
A: SIM-EE-ON.

Q: In Redwall, Matthias asks Cornflower how her father is doing and is referring to Mr. Churchmouse. That is the only time that Cornflower is considered part of the Churchmouse family. Is Cornflower part of the Churchmouse family?
A: No, read Redwall more carefully!

Q: Will any new Redwall items be added to the giftshop in the near future?
A: Yes - The Redwall Reader's Club will soon be selling hooded sweatshirts and wallets.

Q: What person do you most admire?
A: Many in different fields, but in the world of opera it's Mario Lanza.

Q: Mr. Jacques, I have two guestions. 1. Where is Slagar's slave trail found in Mossflower? 2. In Salamandastron there is a big inland lake, but in The Long Patrol the sea to the east is where the lake was, which one is really there?
A: 1. Slagar appears in Mattimeo, 2. The lake and the sea are different things.

Q: In Mossflower, what happened to Ashleg?
A: Maybe he went on to other adventures.

Q: I really enjoyed the detail of Brockhall in Mossflower. I was wondering, are you going to write a book especially about Brockhall, and the badgers who live there?
A: See Triss

Q: Why in the movies about the Redwall series do the abbot and the brothers and sisters of the abbey wear brown habits? (They're supposed to wear green habits)
A: Contact Nelvana.

Q: How do you plan on ending the Redwall series?
A: Why should there be an ending?

Q: How do you come up with so much passion for your books? They are always so filled with love and sorrow. Just how or where do you get all of that from?
A: Life brings joy & sorrow, I draw on my own experiences and that of those around me.

Q: Would you ever consider creating and selling blueprints to Redwall abbey? I think that these would be great.
A: Build your own Redwall Abbey Kit is the closest we will get to that. It is available from the Redwall La Dita book club.

Q: I was looking at the old Ask Brian contest and it said something about a Redwall CD. Are there still plans to make it? It's been a while since anything's been said about it.
A: That project is on hold.

Q: How does the webmaster at Redwall.org get all the stuff for the contests? Does anybody else get stuff like that?
A: Prizes are donated for the purpose. Other people can buy the items in the usual way.

Q: Do you have copies of all your books in every language, paperback and hardback, all editions, all the poster etc.?
A: Yes.

Q: Where are Triss and Loamhedge placed in the chronological order of the Redwall books?
A: After Taggerung.

Q: Can you tell all your Castaways Of The Flying Dutchman fans more about the next book, The Angel's Command? All I really know is that it takes place in the Carribean and there are pirates etc.
A: Further adventures for Ben & Ned, in the years after they leave Louis the Shepherd and before they arrive at Chapelvale.

Q: Are the tapestries that might be given away as prizes the same as the one you gave away at a book signing? (I didn't get it)
A: Yes, produced by Nelvana.

Q: Do you still have a copy of that story you wrote when you were a kid about a bird that cleaned a crocodile's teeth?
A: No.

Q: How do you feel about the Harry Potter books? Have you read them?
A: It's great that so many people are reading & enjoying children's literature. I don't read the work of other children's authors.

Q: In Mattimeo, all the sparrows were slain but five. Did the sparrows ever replenish thier numbers? If so, why are they never mentioned again?
A: It is inferred that the Sparras continue to reside in peace at Redwall.

Q: In Mossflower there is a searat captain Ripfang. In Lord Brocktree there is another searat captain Ripfang. Are both these searat captains the same animal?
A: No just a coincidence

Q: I love the Redwall series very much and have read each book six times, I have seen a reference to a "Tribe" of badgers in one book (I cant remember which one).Is there to be a tribe or clan of warrior badgers in the future? I dearly like to think so, but I know two male badgers supposedly dont get along in the same household.
A: Maybe you are thinking of Redwall Tribes - Badgers? a small book & large wall poster available from the Redwall La Dita Book Club.

Q: I read on the jacket of one of the (awesome) Redwall series that you host a radio program on Sunday afternoons on BBC radio. I found a BBC World News being broadcast via internet from London. Do you still do Jakestown, and if so is that the right station? If it is, what time exactly does your show begin?
A: Yes Jakestown, BBC Radio Merseyside - Sundays 1 - 2.30pm.

Q: Are you a vegatarian? If not, whats your take on Mad Cow Disease?
A: No I am not a vegetarian, and I continue to eat British beef.

Q: What do you imagine when you look at the clouds?
A: Depends on what shape the cloud is.

Q: Did you have a nickname in school?
A: No.

Q: Mr. Jacques, are you a northpaw or a southpaw?
A: I am right-handed.

Q: In The Taggerung I noticed that Sister Alkanet said that she didn't want Mhera to "take charge". Yet in the end when Cregga gave the position of Abbess to Mhera, Sister Alkanet said she would've made the same choice. I'm very confused. Did she change her mind?
A: As Mhera's character develops, Sister Alkanet realises that she is the one for the job.

Q: I know that the blind children inspired you to write your books. Do you still visit them often?
A: I am still involved in fundraising and I visit as often as I can.

Q: What are advanced reading copies of books?
A: Books produced ahead of publication date for bookstores, librarians and press to review.

Q: Dear Mr Brian Jacques, I am from Singapore and have read all your books. Is the name Methuselah related to that from the Old Testament? In the Old Testament, Methuselah was a man who lived to over 900 years old, and Methuselah in the book Redwall was also extremely old. Is there any relationship between the two? There is also the wine bottle sized Methuselah, which is holds about 6 liters or 8 bottles of regular wine. Is that also a connection to Methuselah's wisdom?
A: Methuselah is as you say a name connected with age and wisdom and that is why I used it.

Q: Is the name Pasque related to that of the Pasque-flower, or Anemone, which has vivid colours and is very attractive?
A: I have always liked the name Pasque.

Q: Mr. Jacques, a question of utmost importance, would you like to come to dinner?
A: It's a little far to travel!

Q: In The Legend Of Luke, when the dunehogs relocated, whatever happened to them? Did they continue scaring off vermin in their ghost costumes?
A: That's a nice thought!

Q: In a previous version of Ask Brian you said that the difference between goodbeast and vermin was like black and white, with no gray shades. However It would seem like both Outcast of Redwall and the new Taggerung would contridict that. Have you ventured into the gray? Or do you still see the heros of those two books and being black and white?
A: Yes.

Q: Will you ever have a mole as the Abbot or the Abbess of Redwall?
A: You never know.

Q: In your books you state that the first ruler of Salamandastron was Lord Brocktree, was there a ruler before that? If not, what became of it before the Badgers ruled it?
A: It was waiting for the badgers to arrive.

Q: Are there any other lands like Redwall?
A: Possibly.

Q: Are you planning to do a sequel to Taggerung?
A: Possibly.

Q: I know there will be a sequel to Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, but are you planning to do an entire saga of these books? If so, are you thinking about setting one of these books in the United States?
A: It is not a saga, the two stories are entirely separate. Part of Angel's Command is set on the North American continent.

Q: My son, who is six, is in love with Redwall. He is constantly humming the theme song from the PBS show. Is the music available comercially anywhere?
A: See Nelvana's website.

Q: Are all these Redwall tales somehow conected into one long story?
A: If you read the books you will see the connections, usually many seasons between them.

Q: Are you planning on continuing on making more of the animated series?
A: See Nelvana's website.

Q: How do you get better and better stories everytime you write?
A: Thank you very much!

Q: In Taggerung, Cregga Rose Eyes was still living. Why did you chose to have her still alive?
A: I liked her.

Q: In both The Pearls of Lutra and Lord Brocktree there are mountain hares. Why doesn't Clecky speak with the same accent as Bucko Bigbones?
A: Bucko is from further North.

Q: In The Taggerung, why did you not reunite Mad with her daughter and restore her sanity?
A: Such is life.

Q: How did you get the word Taggerung?
A: From my imagination.

Q: When you were young, did you ever envision yourself becoming a world famous author?
A: Never.

Q: What is your middle name?
A: My name is James Brian Jacques.

Q: How do you come up with all those cool names for your books?
A: Imagination.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: I would never live anywhere but Liverpool.

Q: If I sent you a list of names that I made, would you consider using any of them in an upcoming Redwall book?
A: No, as I haven't run out of my own ideas yet!

Q: Have you ever thought about asking some one to make some board games about Redwall?
A: No.

Q: how did you feel when the World Trade Center towers were hit?
A: We were all shocked and saddened by the tradgedy.

Q: I've always wondered, sir, if you started writing Redwall before the others, how did you get the chronology so perfect?
A: Thank you, sometimes it's tricky, but I created the "history" so generally I remember what I invented.

Q: Has Martin the Warrior ever visited you in your dreams?
A: Lots of people and characters visit me in my dreams!

Q: Do you ever imagine yourself inside Redwall while you're writing? Like to visualize everything and everybeast?
A: Of course.

Q: When you first made this series up, did you know it would end up being this big?
A: No.

Q: I was wondering if you have ever come to or will come to North Dakota or Minnesota in the United States on tour, and if you plan to could you possibly tell me when?
A: Contact Penguin Putnam in New York, as they arrange my USA tours. [Tour information will also be posted on Redwall.org]

Q: What does Mariel mean?
A: I chose it because it sounds like a bell.

Q: In Redwall, it says that the climb Jess was attempting to take was never recorded in history. However, both Rufe Brush and Samkin made the same climb in other books. Is this a detail you put in your first book and did not think about later?
A: It must not have been recorded.

Q: How was Redwall able to be built over Kotir if Kotir was under water?
A: It was many seasons later after the water had settled.

Q: I attened one of your book signings earlier this year and you mentioned that you were coming out with a Redwall cookery book. About what time is this to come out?
A: 2003, Contact Penquin Putnam, NY for further information.

Q: Brian, when you were writing the books with badgers, was it hard to think up names and desriptions for each badger lord?
A: Not particularly.

Q: Who was your favorite character in The Taggerung?
A: Tagg.

Q: Do you visit sites in England to get better pictures your mind?
A: I enjoy spending time in the Welsh countryside, the beauty is inspirational.

Q: You are a wonderful author. You bring the tale to life, not just in fiction, but you feel like you're in it. How do you manage to accomplish that? It takes a true writer to do that.
A: Thank you.

Q: Where is Malkariss in relation to Southsward?
A: Malkariss Kingdom is far North and Southsward is in the Deep South.

Q: Sir, do you have a recipe for mint tarts? If so, do you think you could send me the recipe?
A: Look out for the Redwall Cookery Book - coming soon.

Q: I know that characters in your books usually represent real people. In the book Taggerung who does Tagg represent?
A: Tagg's personality is a compilation of good qualities from many people I have met in my life.

Q: I am one of many parents in Detroit who are deperately waiting for your video to come out in the American format. When will this occur? There are at least ten children, ages 5 to 8, in this play group who keep asking their parents for this video.
A: Contact Nelvana. [Update: NTSC formatted videos have been spotted at retailers!]

Q: Did the Rambling Rosehip Players later become the Traveling Noonvale Company? Also, do you plan on a movie which will be released in the countries too?
A: The Noonvale Company were in the tradition of the RRP. See Nelvana's website.

Q: What is your favorite character that you have created?
A: Gonff! (me as a kid)

Q: Where did you get the idea for Martin the Warrior?
A: From my imagination!

Q: When the mice of Loamhedge still lived in the Loamhedge area how did they live? in Mossflower it says that they couldn't have built an abbey because there was very few natural stone to use for an abbey, so how did they eat and sleep and all that stuff?
A: A village community.

Q: In one book they have a fruit gelatin thing at the feast in the end, but how would you make jello in their vegetarian world? Doesn't gelatin come from cow hooves or something?
A: Arrowroot can be used to make a fruit setting gelatin.

Q: In the book Mariel of Redwall, the great tapestry is being made. In this book Brother Hubert, who is supervising, picks out a thread and says, "This color should suit if you're starting the face of the warrior." (found page 369, USA paperback edition), but then in the book, "The Legend of Luke", Martin brings back a small picture of his Grandsire, also named Martin. Columbine comes up with the idea for this picture to be center of a big tapestry for the great hall (found page 373, USA hardback edition). Are there actually two tapestries, were the mice in "Mariel of Redwall" repairing that original picture, or was this simply an easily made mistake?
A: The tapestry is many, many seasons old and needs to be repaired and maintained regularly.

Q: Mr. Jacques, in all of the Redwall books there are a variety of beers and wines. I was wondering if they contained alcohol because even the youngest of creatures in your books drink them.
A: No.

Q: Why don't you ever hear of female searats?
A: You haven't read carefully.

Q: In The Taggerung, Rillflag said he called his son Deyna because his great-grandsire had the same marking of a speedwell flower on his body. For Deyna, Rillflag's son, this was the mark of the Taggerung. Does that mean that Rillflag's great-grandsire was the Taggerung at one time?
A: No!

Q: In many of the Redwall books, it says that Lord Brocktree was the first Badger Lord of Salamandastron. But in Lord Brocktree, Stonepaw was Lord of Salamandastron before Brocktree. Why is it that Lord Brocktree is called the first Badger Lord of Salamandastron, while Stonepaw was before him, along with other Badger Lords, like Urthrun the Gripper and Spearlady Gorse?
A: Re-read Lord Brocktree, it says that it is he who organises them the way in their later military fashion.

Q: Have you ever suffered any elongated writers' block?
A: Never.

Q: Will there be a book on Martin's grandfather?
A: Maybe.

Q: If something is troubling me, I feel I can escape into your books. Have you ever felt like that?
A: Yes, I can really lose myself in a good novel.

Q: Dear Mr. Jacques, I have never listened to your books on tape because I prefer to read them. Since I have never listened to them I don't know if you sing the songs that are in the books. Do you?
A: Yes, but it is usually the actors/actresses playing the parts that sing the songs.

Q: Where do the North and South Paths lead?
A: North and South.

Q: Beyond the Western Sea, is there another land, or is it just ocean?
A: Unknown lands lie there.

Q: Do you plan on writing a story detailing the actual construction of Redwall and what obstacles it entailed?
A: It's a possibility.

Q: I know that Redwall Abbey was based on that building that is near your home, but is Salamandastron based on anything?
A: No - it's my own creation.

Q: Did you think up the idea for the mountain Salamandastron when you were writing Redwall, or did the idea come only when you were writing Mossflower?
A: The mountain was always there, waiting for a story to be told.

Q: Do the Redwallers read any books beside the Redwall historys and diaries?
A: Oh yes.

Q: Who will the main character in the book Loamhedge be?
A: Martha, a young hare.

Q: I noticed what you said about how you used fans names to make Arula and Samkins names and wondered whether it was possible you would ever do that again
A: I might.

Q: Why aren't there any more beavers in future Redwall books?
A: This reflected the fact that there are no beavers in Britain.

Q: I'm reading The Bellmaker for the third time, and I was wondering if you have any more books, or plan to come out with some, with Blaggut in it. If so could you tell me?
A: Perhaps, in another tale.

Q: Where exactly do the Badger Lords come from? I mean they always end up wandering to Salamandastrom but how do they end up not being born there?
A: Some of them were born there, others travelled there.

Q: I love the language in the your books especially the Wot Wots that are frequently used. Are you by any chance a reader of PG Wodehouse? Wot Wot!
A: I have read his books in the past and enjoy Jeeves and Wooster.

Q: Are the Wandering Noonvale Companions the decendents of the Rambling Rosehip Players?
A: Not necessarily.

Q: Will a girl ever become the redwall champion and have Martin's sword?
A: See Triss.

Q: How did Martin the Warrior know about Matthias enough to leave all those clues behind?
A: It's a mystery.

Q: Were there Marlfoxes in the land when Urthwyte lived on the island in the great inland sea?
A: There may have been.

Q: What is the difference between a pastie, a flan, and a turnover?
A: They are all delicious but different in their own way. A flan is usually a pastry base with filling, a pastie is usually savoury enclosed in puff pastry and a turnover is pastry folded over the filling.

Q: In some of the Redwall books, it says Salamandastron was once a volcano. When did it become extinct? Will we ever see a story set in the time when Salamandastron was still a volcano? Will the mountain ever become an active volcano again?
A: Perhaps, in another tale.

Q: In your Redwall series, there are many differents lands, such as Mossflower, Southsward, the North etc. I'm wondering, will any of the books venture to the East, and will there be any defined countries in the future of the Redwall series?
A: Maybe.

Q: Are you more of a poet or a writer?
A: What do you think?

Q: I just finished reading Mariel of Redwall and at the end of it, it says that Rufe Brush placed Martin's sword on top of the Abbey. Here is where I am lost, at the end of Legend Of Luke, Martin asked Krar Woodwatcher to put it up there. How did it get up there?
A: Look at the timeline and read carefully.

Q: Does the artist Fangorn get his psuedonym from Fangorn Forest in Tolkien's Middle Earth?
A: That is a question for Chris Baker.

Q: I have an annoying habit of wanting to know every single thing that has to do with some subjects. So, my question is, will we ever see the characters from the books later, in the future? For example, Songbreeze, or Dandin and Mariel.
A: Songbreeze is mentioned (long after her death) in Taggerung.

Q: Why does Martin never get Married? Is it because he isn't over Rose?
A: This could be implied.

Q: How do Martin the Warrior and Mossflower tie together? At the end of Martin the Warrior, Martin goes off because of Rose, but in Mossflower he doesn't mention anything; he says he doesn't remember his past. I just want to know how this fits in.
A: Martin doesn't want to talk about his past because it is too painful to do so.

Q: Are there going to be any more horde-leading rats in Redwall? Cluny and Damug are probably pretty lonely!
A: Cluny was an exceptionally big and strong rat, more may follow.

Q: In the book Redwall, is the rose that flowers late the same rose that Aubrita and Bultip brought in Martin the Warrior?
A: That was my intention.

Q: Is it hard for you to decide who dies and who doesn't?
A: The fate of each character is plotted out as part of the story.

Q: In Triss is the girl would will wield Martin's sword a squirrel?
A: Yes.

Q: I have noticed that the whole Redwall series is divided into several chronological sections. I have seen from the Archives that you don't usually have a large amount of time on your hands, but will you ever write any books to "fill the gaps?"
A: If I get the ideas and the time I will oblige!

Q: Are log boats like canoes?
A: Yes - a hollowed out tree trunk.

Q: Have you ever considered titling your chapters?
A: No, I prefer not to.

Q: Are you ever going to write the story where Martin hangs up his sword and becomes a peaceful Abbey dweller?
A: Perhaps, in another tale.

Q: Do you get annoyed when people are always asking you questions, or wanting you to sign books, bookmarks, etc?
A: No, I am happy that so many readers enjoy my work.

Q: Aren't you afraid of losing pages of a story, ever?
A: Yes.

Q: Reading through 9 of your books already, I have not encountered a female member in the vermin hordes. And aren't the vermins deserving of Mother's and Father's or elderly too?
A: Read more carefully.

Q: When will the animated Martin the Warrior be on television? I love to read the book so now I am hoping to see it in animated action.
A: See Nelvana's website.

Q: I am desperately looking for a picture of Badrang the Tyrant. I looked in the gallery and he is not listed. Is there anywhere where I can find a picture of him? I'd also like to see a picture of Cap'n Clogg and single pictures of Brome and Rose.
A: See Redwall Friend and Foe.

Q: On the back of the book Mossflower it says that Martin, Gnoff, and Kinny go questing but in the book Kinny is Dinny. Why?
A: Typo error.

Q: Is constance related to Bella of Brocktree?
A: Maybe distantly, but this is not inferred.

Q: Will there be a book about the era before Mossflower? We could get to know, maybe about the follow-up to the Battle of Marshank, and about things like how Ashleg got crippled, the rebellion of the woodlanders, the history of St. Ninian's, and even what Verdauga was like before he got old.
A: Great ideas! If only I had time to write about all the topics my readers request...

Q: Have you ever gotten half-way through writing a story and found out you've mixed up two of the characters names? I know when I'm reading them, I do that a lot. Especially with the moles.
A: Rarely.

Q: Why does Gabool have a pistol in his belt on a Mariel Of Redwall cover?
A: A ghastly mistake by the artist! Rectified in later editions.

Q: In The Outcast of Redwall, when Sunflash the Mace was reunited with the Lingl-Dubbo clan, the offspring of Tirry and Bruff didn't seem to have grown much since they were only able to hug Sunflash's legs. But according to how long it has been since Sunflash last saw them, they would be fully grown hedgehogs and moles now, right? If Veil could've grown to be older than a Dibbun in that time period, why didn't the young ones of the Lingl-Dubbo cave?
A: Maybe they were just shorter?

Q: I looked up stoats, ferrets, and weasels in the dictionary and it seems that stoats, ferrets, badgers, and otters are all a different species of weasel. Are the weasels in your book a particular species?
A: All creatures in my books are native to the British Isles.

Q: In your books there seem to be two kinds of otters: sea otters and river otters. Are they two different species of otter or do they just live in different places?
A: Check your animal encyclopedia.

Q: In the book Mossflower, Boar the Fighter had control of very few hares in Salamandastron, but in all the other books involving Salamandastron, the mountain always had at least forty hares and sometimes over a thousand, as The Long Patrol suggests. Was there any particular reason the amount of hares in Salamandastron fell and rose dramatically numerous times?
A: No real reason.

Q: When you write a book, do you imagine the ending, and work backwards, or think of a plot and let your mind go from beginning to end?
A: The whole story, beginnings, middles and end are plotted in my mind, but I make many changes whilst writing, as other ideas occur to me.

Q: When you make products based on Redwall, what is the possibility that they could be made by the people who do the book cover rather than Nelvana?
A: The rights for different products are tied up with different organisations.

Q: I am an actor, Is there anything in Redwall, that I could get involved in, that would have to do with my aspiring career?
A: Watch out for companies producing the Redwall Opera, perhaps you could audition?

Q: Do you have any idea about the age range of your fans? I just thought you might be interested to know that they are all ages.
A: I know from the wonderful letters that I receive. Redwall readers range from under 8 to over 80!

Q: Can you please use some Irish accents in one of your next books? (I'm Irish and would love to hear/read an Irish accent - Ireland is in the british isles y'know!)
A: Read Mossflower and look for Irish accents elsewhere, there are many as this is a part of my heritage.

Q: Over the last few months, I heard that the club Dibbuns Against Bedtime was to be used in the book The Taggerung. I have recently read the book, and noticed that the club was not included in the book. I was just wondering if it was actually ever supposed to be included in the book, and if so, why was it left out?
A: It's in Triss.

Q: How would your character react if being confronted with humans? Would they see us as foes?
A: Humans will never be a part of the Redwall world (except as readers of course - and we are all friends aren't we?)

Q: In the first volume of Ask Brian, you stated responding to a question that there were no bad woodlanders and no good vermin. But I find that this is not true. What about Blaggut, the sea rat from The Bellmaker, and Fenno, the murdering shrew from Marlfox?
A: Good will always shine through in the end.

Q: In Mattimeo, you repeatadly said that Ironbeak was the most feared figher in the North. If this is true, how come Stryke Redkite killed him so easily? Wouldn't have he put up more of a fight or perhaps even kill her? She did barely recover from her injury, after all.
A: Such is the nature of battle.

Q: How long did it take to write Taggerung?
A: 4-5 months.

Q: I can't find The Great Redwall Feast in any stores. Where can I find it?
A: Available from Redwall La Dita Book Club.

Q: Is Bryony a version of Brian?
A: Never thought of that - does sound like it, though.

Q: You say you started to write these books specifically for the blind. Do you still feel these books are mainly for the blind?
A: My books are for everyone to enjoy, but I still try to be very descriptive in order that those who cannot see might imagine the pictures in their minds eye.

Q: Why are hares so insulted when they are called rabbits.
A: The hares consider rabbits to have inferior brainpower (how rude!)

Q: You say you have almost no spare time. How much spare time do you have?
A: Since my illness I have had to change my lifestyle considerably and make time to relax. I now go to Tai Chi classes and the dog gets lots more walks!

Q: Do you enjoy answering "Ask Brian" questions?
A: I certainly do!

Q: Does writing ever suck up your energy (make you exhausted) or is it relaxing, like a hobby?
A: It can be very tiring but exhilarating too.

Q: For the first many books there were just mice abbots and abbesses. Was this done on purpose? If so, why did you change it and make Tansy, the hedgehog, an abbess?
A: The Abbot or Abbess has always been chosen on merit and suitability, not species.

Q: I think you should create a videogame where you can play every book. Would you ever think about it?
A: No.

Q: Why can hares eat so much and why do Redwallers have always loads to eat?
A: Ravenous appetites have always been a trait of the perilous hare. Redwall's plentiful supplies are due to the industrious nature of the community.

Q: What sort of book is your favourite, prequels or sequels?
A: Sequels are easier because they can be all brand new characters but sometimes prequels become very complicated as you have to link existing characters and places.

Q: Is there a limit to how long the choronology of the Redwall series is? I mean, won't there be a time when Redwall is not mentioned in stories after Redwall?
A: Redwall will always be included or referred to in the Redwall series.

Q: What do you think of all the Redwall websites on the internet?
A: Redwall.org is excellent - bravo Dave Lindsay. Many of the others are also very good.

Q: Why are the covers on your American books different than the covers on your British books?
A: Different artists employed by different publishers.

Q: Do you plan to write any other Tales like A Redwall Winter's Tale but with a different season?
A: Maybe.

Q: Is the Marlfox the old English Wolf that died out about 1000 years ago?
A: Marlfoxes are a creation of my own and have no relation to wolves.

Q: Did you get your ideas for the forest Mossflower because you live on Mossley hill?
A: Just a coincidence.

Q: I know that many Redwall fans write Redwall fan fiction and post it on the internet. Do you ever read any Redwall fan fiction, maybe to see how your fans write, or just out of plain curiosity? If so, what do you think of it in general?
A: I do not use the internet, I rely on my trusty webmaster Dave and my Redwall Readers Club team.

Q: Have you ever thought of producing a Redwall comic book or graphic novel? Perhaps written by yourself and illustrated by Fangorn, Howell, etc.? If so would it be based on an existing Redwall novel, or more of a series that would be specially written for comic books?
A: No.

Q: What do you think of the Redwall television series? Does it appear as you imagined it when writing the books?
A: As the author, I would prefer every word and action to remain as I wrote them. However for animation this is simply impossible, but overall I am happy with the end product.

Q: Do you know the name of the main character in your next book?
A: Yes.

Q: My Dad's side of the family has a strong Cajun (French) background. Did you get the idea of how an otter acts from Southern French people, Cajuns in Louisiana, or the sailors that you said you lived near, and hung around with?
A: The otters are general sea-faring types like those in the stories I read as a child.

Q: Gonff was based on you as a kid, right? Well is there any character based on you as an adult?
A: Similarities in various characters, eg Sawney Raths painful stomach - ouch!

Q: You've said that you only use British/European species in your books. Monitor lizards, though in the Redwall series, are most definently not European. Why did you include them and not other non-European species?
A: They travel from the island of Sampetra, a fictional far away island.

Q: How do you make-up the songs in the book like the one Boorab sings in the Taggerung?
A: I have always been a singer/songwriter, and this has always been a pleasure for me.

Q: Do you know if there will be a continuation of the Redwall series on Television, I would love to see how some of the characters from the books are interpreted visually.
A: See Nelvana's website.

Q: Why do all the dibbuns speak their own language, and how are they to understand each other?
A: Young creatures (including humans) don't always speak properly.

Q: How do you make up such good riddles? I was wondering if you might make a book that has some of the riddles that you made up? Maybe all of them?
A: I have always enjoyed word games and crossword puzzles.

Q: Have your children and the rest of your family read your books too and do they like them?
A: Yes

Q: What is your favourite thing about being a writer?
A: Freedom.

Q: You have written numerous poems and songs in your book. What is your favourite, most memorable one?
A: No particular favourite.

Q: How are things proportioned in the Redwall world? In Redwall, there is a horsecart with a horse, suggesting there are humans. So then wouldn't things like fish and fruit, etc., be much to large for the woodlanders to hold and eat? It says in Redwall that the one fish fed the abbey for days, yet apples are sized according to the mice. It seems that things don't work out to be the same proportionally. Is there an explanation for this?
A: Everything in the Redwall world is as large or as small as your imagination would like it to be.

Q: Out of all the Redwall maps at the start of the book, is there one with all of the maps put together?
A: No - the Redwall Map and Riddler is the closest item to that.

Q: How come we never hear about the vermin's reletives (mother, father, grandma, grandpa)?
A: They are mentioned. See Taggerung, Outcast of Redwall, Redwall, and more!

Q: In the Middle Ages they used catapaults, how come there isn't any in Redwall.
A: See Mossflower (Timballisto).

Q: How do you feel when you open a letter from one of your fans?
A: Deeply honoured.

Q: When you finish a book do you know when it's exactly right?
A: Yes, or I would not consider it to be finished.

Q: Do you feel that Redwall is as real to you as real life?
A: It is a world I can visit to get away from real life.

Q: If I sent you a letter, and gave you ideas to write about in your book, would you use them?
A: No thanks, I don't need to use other peoples ideas, as I have not run out of my own yet.

Q: In the Redwall books, why do you never talk about a female horde leader? I like the female vermin too!
A: Tsarmina!!!

Q: Mr. Jacques did any good Redwaller ever turn evil because of an event that happened to them like an accident of some sort?
A: No.

Q: Will the good creatures of Mossflower and other places ever defeat the evil vermin?
A: There will always be good and bad in life.

Q: Why did you decide to have the Taggerung not be a great vicious killer, but just to hurt someone enough so that he can do what he needs to do?
A: Tagg was not like the vermin who raised him.

Q: Why dont you team up with Dreamworks and make a movie?
A: See Nelvana's website.

Q: Is there going to be another book who's focus is primarily pirates, like Mariel of Redwall?
A: Lookout for Angel's Command - Further adventures of the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman.

Q: Have you ever thought of having a rogue badger in your stories? Badgers to tend to get aggressive towards other animals.
A: Badgers are always on the side of good in my books.

Q: You mentioned wolves in, one or two of your books. Do you plan to expand their role in future Redwall books?
A: Maybe, the wolf is being reintroduced to the British Isles and Northern Europe

Q: I would like to see more female main characters/heroines, are there going to be any more?
A: Triss!

Q: In Redwall it says that Martin killed Tsarmina, but in Mossflower it says that she drowned. What really happened?
A: He defeated her in the water, so probably both are true.

Q: Since your characters are all based on British animals, do the places in your stories relate to real places in the British Isles?
A: Some do.

Q: When are the Tribes of Redwall (badgers) going to be relased in America
A: Check with Penguin, New York, or buy online at Amazon.co.uk.

Q: Is a season equivalent to a year, if not then what?
A: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter (4 seasons in a year).

Q: Did you base Rockjaw Grang on any one?
A: On several people.

Q: Will there ever be a prequel to Mariel of Redwall?
A: You never know.

Q: Will there ever be a prequel to The Long Patrol?
A: You never know.

Q: I have noticed that on your tours you visit a lot of smaller cities that alot of authors would never consider visiting. Is that intentional on your part?
A: Yes.

Q: Why did chicken hound not care about his mother at all?
A: He is a baddie.

Q: What certain country in the world has a climate similar to Mossflower country? The northlands? Southsward?
A: Great Britain. The Mossflower climate is very similar to English and Welsh (at its best).

Q: I know there are no humans in your books, but how did the path of Mossflower get there? The tale of a future novel?
A: The path was made by the woodlanders.

Q: Do you enjoy going back and reading some of the books you've already written?
A: I hardly ever read my books after publication.

Q: Mr. Jacques, the story of your life sounds very intriguing. Have you ever considered writing some sort of autobiography, or are there already parallels between your life and the characters/events in your novels (like Gonff, for instance)?
A: Penguin Putnam, my American publisher is planning a biography in the next year or so.

Q: What inspired you to write Castaways of the Flying Dutchman?
A: As a child I enjoyed pirate stories and tales about the Flying Dutchman.

Q: How come in every book you kill off a main character?
A: Such is life.

Q: I know that you come up with all the riddles that are in your books but how long does it take you to make them up?
A: It depends on the riddle.

Q: In the book Redwall, Matthias goes up to the roof with the sparrow, the sparrow calls itself a sparra and I was wondering if the sparrows are really called sparras because when I was reading the first ask Brian questions they said sparra and so did Brian Jacques. Are the sparrows called sparras or sparrows in real life?
A: I use a regional accent for sparrows and that is how the word is written in that accent.

Q: I have noticed you like to talk about candied chestnuts when they are going to have a feast, did you come up with candied chestnuts before people actually made them?
A: No.

Q: What happened to Mr. Squirrel from Redwall.
A: No particular story is attached to Mr. Squirrel.

Q: Will you ever include any previously mentioned characters or places in future books?
A: Possibly - wait and see.

Q: Will you ever include any different animals in your books?
A: Possibly - wait and see.

Q: I have been reading Redwall for over 10 years now and anticipate each September for your new book to arrive. Which novel do you think was your best work?
A: I haven't finished writing them all yet!

Q: In Castaways of the Flying Dutchman did Ben ever tell anybody that he had been on the Flying Dutchman and that he now has everlasting youth, as well as having the ability to talk to Ned?
A: No.

Q: In Taggerung and Tribes of Redwall: Badgers books we get a lot of insight into the culture and rituals of the various species. Is this something you plan to extend upon in the many books to come?
A: Possibly.

Q: Do you think up all the twists in the plot as you go along or do you add them when you think of a great idea?
A: Usually as I go along.

Q: After writing your first book what drove you on to make a whole series of books?
A: The ideas kept on flowing.

Q: In Martin the Warrior, why did Rose have to die?
A: Sometimes bad things happen to good beasts.

Q: In one of your earlier questions, you said that your favorite job was a stand-up comedian. I started wondering, were you good at it? Do you consider yourself funny? What were some of the jokes you told?
A: Other people seemed to think I was funny (they still do).

Q: Have you ever, or will you ever, model your Redwall stories after real historic events?
A: No.

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