Do you work in close collaboration with the artists that do the covers for your books so the characters look like you imagined them?
Yes, I design my covers and the artists send rough sketches for my approval. We have been working together so long now that both the U.K. and U.S. artists, Chris Baker and Troy Howell, are very much in tune with what I like. Both seem to still be able to delight and surprise me every time by coming up with more and more wonderful work!
Are you going to use Luke the Warrior (the father of Martin the Warrior) as a main character in any of your books?
Luke is to be the subject of my next book. I bow to the many many of my readers who have asked for his story, so... it is on its way!! (Webmaster's note: The Legend of Luke has since been published)
In "Redwall," the ferret Killconey in Cluny's army is sometimes referred to as a "he" and other times as a "she." (At least, that's the way in the American edition.) Which gender did you intend for Killconey to be?
Killconey is a male character. It is a typesetting error which I have requested correction on, but which never seems to get done.
In the story Mattimeo there was a creature called the Wearet. It looked like a mix between a ferret and a stoat, so why is it called the Wearet?
The Wearet is an invention of my own, a cross breed animal which is evil and unpleasant. So, like were-wolf I wanted it to sound bad.
Where did you get the idea for the Wraith in The Outcast of Redwall, and did you see Veil as a good guy in the end?
The wraith was another invention (it suited my mood for that part of the story). As to Veil and his final motives, I deliberately left that for the reader to decide. I have had many opinions and the jury is still out.
Why didn't Mariel and Dandin get married in "The Bellmaker"?
They may have done, but maybe therein lies another tale.
Why are badgers, hares, and otters never chosen to carry the sword of Martin?
They very well may be in other tales.
The Redwallers live in an abbey, that means they must have a religion, what religion are the Redwallers?
There is no religion in my stories and no hidden meanings. What you see is what you get. The Abbey is just a place of peace and comradeship, where creatures choose to live together.
How do you come up with actual story ideas?
This is very difficult to answer. The stories start to come to me in all sorts of ways. I dream some of the parts and I find myself restless when a story starts to weave in and out of my thoughts. Then I must get down to writing. It won't let me rest until it is on the page! (Webmaster's note: click 'Ideas' up above for more information)
When will your next book be released in Tasmania?
Usually about three months after U.K. publication.
On the official Brian Jacques homepage, it says the Redwall animated series is in European-style animation. Is there a difference between American animation and European animation?
We find European animation to be a little softer and more 'traditional' looking.
Mr. Jacques, about how many schools and bookstores have you visited?
I couldn't begin to total them up. I have been doing visits for ten years now!! (Webmaster's note: This question and answer are from 1997)
Where do you come up with the ideas for the foods the characters eat?
I just think of what I would like to eat and embellish it. It comes from having a very frugal childhood.
What is your favorite food that you have written about in your books?
I haven't a favourite as such, but I do enjoy the sweet concoctions. I am not a great sweet eater, but when I decide to indulge I like them full of lots of goo and cream and icing and nuts on top, so I take great care over those creations.
Do all the male badgers in the Mossflower area sometime in their life go on their quest to the badger lord mountain Salamandatron?
Good question. Most of them feel the call to go questing at some time in.their lives.
I was wondering, All the hares say Wot! Wot! What does Wot! mean?
They say wot wot because I like it, it sounds like British upper classtwaddle, and that is basically the hare character. It is properly spelt "what what".
Why did you choose an Abbey instead of, say, a castle? Are there more of them in England?
I chose an abbey because it is a place of peace and tranquility, where ordinarily the cares of a busy and frantic world do not intrude.
I'd like to know if any your books have any influence from Tolkien's works?
Not at all. I have never read Tolkien's work.
In 731 AD, an English monk, Bede, wrote "...the preaching of Bishop Ninian... Ninian's episcopal see, named after Saint Martin and famous for its stately church ... and is commonly known as Candida Casa, the White House, because he built the church of stone, which was unusual among the Britons." Is this where the names and idea for Redwall, St. Ninian's and Martin the Warrior came from?
What impressive research work!! But as this is the first time I have seen this, my answer is no. I have been influenced by my own environment of red sandstone buildings and a diet of high adventure books as a child.
Do you draw the maps that are in the front of your books yourself, or do you tell the artist what to draw?
Yes, I draw them in brief, and then the artist redraws the beautiful ones which appear at the front of the books.