Did the questions really start for you after that?
what literally happened for me – it was all outed in a very negative
way because there was that case with the FBI [in 1996, Cornwell’s brief
relationship with a female instructor at Quantico was revealed during
an attempted murder investigation] and that became very public because
of the crimes that man committed, who is now in prison. That’s not the
way I’d have wanted it to come out. If somebody had asked me, it would
have been fine. But it just wasn’t a topic of conversation when I did
interviews in my earlier years. The fortunate part about it is, even if
people do something for the wrong reason, sometimes it can be the right
thing to do. It made it easy for me – “OK, it’s out there, so if you
want to talk about it, go right ahead. It is what it is.” One thing I
don’t believe in is telling a lie. It’s incredibly personally damaging if
you aren’t honest with yourself. I think all of us in the community
know the sickness of the soul that occurs for people who won't tell the

You credited Billie Jean King with teaching you the importance of speaking out for equal rights. I’m wondering, in the past couple of
years, with all of the setbacks for the gay community, have you found
it easier to speak out for what you believe in, or is it always a bit
tough to go there?

No, you know, I won’t let it be tough because
it’s the right thing to do and it’s even more the right thing to do now
than it has ever been because now, with this last election, the visions
between people, unfortunately, become even more galvanized. You’d think
it would be less divisive because of the enlightenment of having Obama
for president, but it’s worse because people with prejudices are now
taking a more militant stand because they feel more threatened. People
tend to be angry and hateful toward things they fear, and they tend to
fear things because they just don’t know about them. I think it’s
easier for me to take a stand because it’s so right to do. How could
anybody who knows me or knows some of my friends say, “You’re a
horrible human being or you’re evil.” It’s silly.

I know we
really can’t go into detail, but I know this has been a year of ups and
downs for you. How do you keep your head up given everything that’s
going on?

Well, again, it’s about telling the truth. A lot of
times life throws you things you don’t want and that are very
unfortunate and you’re forced into positions you really don’t want to
be in, but you’ve got to live with the position you find yourself in. I
know what you’re talking about, and it’s sad when you’re put in a
position that causes you to take actions that really aren’t your first
choice. I’d much rather live my life and write books and be busy than
have to fight with people.

And on that note, I have to ask
this one for the ladies: The rumors are out there that a Scarpetta
movie is being developed and Angelina Jolie is attached to star.

rumors can be true, that’s a true rumor. I have a deal with 20th
Century Fox and it includes the prospect of Angelina Jolie playing
Scarpetta. She’s a wonderful actress. She would be good playing any
role she decides to play. The film is still in the very early stages of
development, so there’s a lot that has to happen before anybody sees
Scarpetta on the big screen. We will see where this all goes, but that
is an accurate rumor.

Tags: Books