Author Interview: CF Welburn

CF WELBURN. Everyone calls me Dave. Sorry, that was the template. Everyone calls me, Craig.

1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

I’ve just released/am releasing my first grimdark book on Oct 5th! It’s got axes and swans and snow and lots of blood and swearing. I’d best describe it as a revenge meets chosen-one mashup… with a nordic/fairytale twist.

2. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way. 

My main series the Ashen Levels is epic/dark fantasy. It has subtle elements of gamelit in that the magic system was based around gaming mechanics. You do not have to be a gamer to enjoy it, though. In fact I nearly always think of it as being epic fantasy. If you like strange races, unpredictable plotlines, mystery and lots of conniving characters, you might like this…

My new book is called I Shall Return with Winter (ISRWW – for future reference!), and as I said above, it’s an epic, grimdark, revenge, chosen-one tale and looking to be book 1 of a series…

I’ve also written a couple of novellas, called the Linguist (think Poe), and Toybox (think Black Mirror).

3. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

Marketing has always been my achilles heel… I like to think that over the six years I’ve been self-publishing I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks, but I still feel like a fish out of water.

4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

I enjoy most stages of the writing process. I love a good rough draft. I’m usually stumbling with my characters and as shocked and surprised as they are… But I like the satisfaction of going back, tightening it up, layering it and making it look like I knew what I was doing all along!

5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

JK Rowling’s ability to buy a private island.

6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best? 

I’d probably blackmail him. I’m writing a sequel, you know. Things could either go very well, or very badly for you. By the way, you’re paying for the drinks, right? 

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

Well, I would lose, for sure. I love Poker, but things never quite go the way I intend. Oben, form ISRWW might win, if it was in the prophecy that he do so. Despite what he wants/tries to change, his fate is always just beyond his control… The last book I read was Og-Grim-Dog. Yeah, a three-headed ogre has to win. They could come up with ingenious bluffs, arguing with each other.

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

Time for me has always been one of the most difficult things to manage. I am quite organised, but on the slow side and have so many hobbies and projects waiting on the sidelines… The last year has been hectic with a new addition to the family, but now my son has finally started nursery, I’m hoping to take advantage of the mornings!

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe. 

Thanks for your time!

My new book (ISRWW) is out oct 5th and will be on sale for 5 days. If you are quick you can snap it up here for less than a cheap coffee:

If you are interested in my current and upcoming projects you can sign up here for infrequent and sporadic emails.