Author Interview – D.W. Ross (Cold From The North)

Cold From The North Book Cover

I’m so happy to be posting another author interview and this time round with the awesome self published debut author D.W. Ross. Ross’s first book Cold From The North, published Nov 20, is the first in The Onyxborn Chronicle and my review right… here will tell you just how good I think it is.

A little good news is that D.W. Ross has informed me that the book has been edited to include a map of Gelenea since my review was published. This goes for both physical and eBook versions.

Psst.. there are links to order a copy in the review. Be sure to check it out.

Cold From The North – Synopsis

Driven by the promise of an ancient prophecy which will bring the dark ways of an old god back to power and prominence, an army of invaders swarms Ogulf Harlsbane’s homeland slaughtering all those who oppose them.

Along with his people, Ogulf must seek refuge from this savage force. In his search of sanctuary, he is tasked with finding the one person who can put a stop to the onslaught.

Doing so will send him across lands and seas, have him and his closest friend navigate the intricacies of a civil war, and try to win the help of the princess fighting for her throne.

If he fails, darkness will prevail and the reign of the Onyxborn will begin.

Author Bio – D.W. Ross

D.W. Ross is a Scottish writer of fantasy fiction. He was unknown (until now), because he spent a long time trapped in the self-doubt riddled cage of his own brain. But now, those shackles are off and his debut novel, Cold From The North – An Onyxborn Chronicle, has been published and is available to purchase on Amazon! He is currently working on polishing the second book in the Onyxborn series. When not writing or working his 9to5, he can be found watching wrestling, lifting weights, drawing terribly, reading, following the Houston Texans (even though they cause him pain), and most importantly, spending time with his amazing wife.

Hi Ross and welcome to Book Vagabond. It’s great to have you here.

Let’s get straight into the questions..

  1. How did you come up with the idea for Cold From The North?

It was a D&D backstory that got out of hand, that’s how I explain it as it is so beyond accurate. It was in my first game too, I wanted to be a bit creative with my characters past and a few things came up – like Esselonia, Broadheim, some names and things for characters in the book and it all spiralled from there.

Originally, I had planned to build a world setting for a new game of D&D with some friends and over time it just kept growing arms and legs and the next thing I knew I had a whole country, then a continent and finally a story. The first draft is an absolute nightmare, very different but thankfully I took my time with it and it seems to have developed into a good story. 

  1. What book would you recommend above all else to the readers of Book Vagabond? (It can’t be Cold From The North) 

Okay – I have two. One is my favourite book of all time, The West Coast by Kate Muir. I must point out it is NOT a fantasy novel. It’s a coming of age story about a young lad growing up and finding himself set against a beautiful backdrop or Scotland and the gritty bits of England. 

The other book I would recommend is a fantasy novel (YAY) – A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie. It has been my favourite read of this year. An absolutely fantastic ride from the first to last page. Full of the characters you would expect from the man himself, the right blend of humour and action and a page turner story. The Trouble with Peace is a perfect follow up of more of them same and I find myself eagerly awaiting Sept 2021 when The Wisdom of Crowds is released!

  1. If Cold From The North was to be made into a film who would you cast as two of your protagonists, Ogulf and Melcun

Ah, this is so difficult. Funnily enough, my friends and I have been fantasy casting some of the only ones we can’t get anywhere near right are Ogulf and Melcun. If I’m put on the spot I’m gonna say Toby Regbo for Melcun. Ogulf is so difficult. It’s going to sound like a cop-out but I’m going with Jordan Patrick Smith who plays Ubbe in Vikings – there is no hiding that Ogulf is highly inspired by viking looks/weapons etc. so yeah, characters like that played a part in building him up in my mind.

  1. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year to write a book that took place in the same setting, where would you choose?

Oh, love this question. I’m going to go with the Highlands in Scotland. It’s right on my doorstep as it is, but still there is no other place I would rather go. We’re a small country but places like that feel so big with so many possibilities and places to explore. 

If not, then I’m going to go with Scandanavia, Norway in particular. I assume you can pick up that I have an interest in all things Norse and Celtic ha.

  1. As an author what is your main goal? Do you intend to challenge the way people think or simply entertain for instance?

Purely to entertain people with my stories. I don’t for a minute see myself as being a ‘gamechanger’ – for the most part I’m still not fully confident in my writing and it only just started to feel real that I was actually giving this a go. Long term I just want to write for myself and if people enjoy the stories I share then that is the coolest thing ever.   

  1. Are any characters in Cold From The North based on anyone in real life? You can be honest with us we won’t tell.

I wouldn’t say so. I’ve definitely taken levels of inspiration from as wide a spectrum as my interests allow but I’ve tried to build them around things I enjoy and traits I find interesting but none are based on anyone specific. 

  1. As we know book 2 of The Onyxborn Chronicle has been written and is going through the initial edits. Can you give us a sneak peak of what the readers are in for?

Yes! This book is a bit more of a rollercoaster. We see some introductions of some very pinnacle characters. We have more battles, more magic, we answer some questions that linger through the first and most of the second book and sadly we lose a few bodies along the way. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just dull a build to the third book which would have all the action like sometimes happens, so it’s packed full of exciting new strands of the story and some really interesting new POVs. All in all another epic dive into the battle for Gelenea. 

One particular character I am looking forward to sharing with people is Cort. He was a dream to write.

8. Finally, sword or shield and why? You can only choose one.

Shield. Because eventually the sword wielding enemy gets tired right? Can also be used for sliding down hills or stairs (a la Legolas)…Where as a sword is just a sword. If you said a flail, an axe, or even a hammer…then we’d be talking!

I hope you enjoyed this author interview with D.W. Ross on Book Vagabond and I hope there are many more in the future.

Thank you for reading.

Professional Reader

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