Blog Archive

View My Stats
Monday, March 20, 2023

Interview: A.C. Cobble, author of the Wahrheit series

Book Links: Find links to buy the books here

AUTHOR INFO: AC Cobble is the author of Wahrheit, The King's Ranger, Benjamin Ashwood, and Cartographer series.


Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! Welcome back to the Fantasy Book Critic, and I hope you’re having a good start to your year. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, and your ongoing series, WAHREIT?

Hello and thank you for having me! I’m AC Cobble, author of the Benjamin Ashwood, Cartographer, King’s Ranger, and Wahrheit series! They’re all what I think of as pretty classic epic fantasy. Think small parties going on big adventures, traveling expansive worlds, and facing impossible odds. I draw a lot of inspiration from 80’s and 90’s era epic fantasy that I grew up reading, as well as from personal experiences. If you pay close attention, you can see where some of my worldbuilding is taken from real places. My favorite hobby is travel, so my characters are always on the move! I also find ideas in history, modern politics, science, and other fields. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction, so why not use it!

In Wahrheit, the loose genesis of the story was the German 30 Years’ War. It began in 1618, and in parts of Germany, 60% of the population died off because of the conflict. It was mostly a civil war, though foreign powers were drawn in generally to their regret. Religious, political, and economic differences were all drivers. Basically, it was a horrible mess! But… what if there had been magic and dragons? That’s where I started, but Wahrheit has grown into something quite different. This series is certainly not a historical fiction or alternate version, but the roots of the story should give you an idea of where I’m going.

And while there are big battles, political intrigue, themes relevant to the modern age, and world-spanning conflicts, the books are focused on a small handful of characters and their personal journeys. From peasant to spy to dragon knight to queen, how do people deal with what is happening around them? If you like big stakes, political intrigue, adventure, and witty banter, this series is for you! Conspiracy, Book 1 in the series is out, and Revenge Book 2 is coming March 21st!

If you had to summarize the premise of your upcoming book REVENGE in five words or less, what would you say?

Conspiracy successful, cost was high.

Five words?? I write epic fantasy!! Grr. Let me try again.

Title is spoiler, people die.

 In the same vein, what three adjectives would you choose to describe the WAHREIT series?

Epic, intriguing, adventure.

This is not your debut series. How would you say the way you approach your writing has changed over all this time, and what themes and ideas will always be a part of your books?

Yes, so this is my fourth series, and Revenge will be my seventeenth book. I like to think they keep getting better! I’ve got some really dedicated fans to my older books, but the reviews are actually better on this series, so hopefully I’m doing something right. When I think about what’s improved, or if not improved at least changed, it’s that I’ve acquired a lot more confidence in what I’m doing. On some levels, it’s basic grammar. I spent a lot of time on the first books learning how to effectively communicate, knowing the grammar rules so my writing was clear, and figuring out when to break them so it was interesting. On a deeper level, I’m also more confident with my storytelling. I’ve wrapped up several series, so I know I can do it again, and that encourages me to take bigger risks.

The nuts and bolts come easier, I trust my gut on structure of the overall story, and I’m comfortable creating threads, knowing I have the ability to tie them off. That lets me focus a lot more on building in themes that are relevant to the story, and to our modern lives. Truth, for example, is a key theme in Wahrheit. Which matters more, truth or belief? And how can political leaders use the power of “truth” to their own advantage? It’s a topical theme, but outside our modern context still an interesting exploration in a fantasy setting. My confidence also gives me a chance to gamble a little on story choices which push the reader in unexpected directions. I think that’s what people are responding to in recent reviews. The stories are most importantly fun, but they resonate on other levels and take you to unexpected places.

Big, epic, adventure books have been a part of the fantasy shelves for decades, and while they occupy a large section any SFF shelves, there are other kinds that are now also as popular. What keeps you attracted to writing these, and could you tell us something about your early influences, as well as the books you loved growing up?

For sure, I’m attracted to this because it is what I grew up with. I was either going to write epic fantasy or thrillers! But what’s kept me writing epic fantasy is two things. First, really supportive fans and a robust community that’s always hungry for more. People ask for more stories, and I’m here to deliver! Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fans, I wouldn’t be writing. I shouldn’t say this, but I’m not one of those authors who would write no matter what. The first book was fun as a hobby, but it’s too much work to churn out seventeen of them in my lifetime without a lot of encouragement from people! Two, with epic fantasy, you’re only restricted by the bounds of your imagination. I mention thrillers, and think it’d be a blast to write one someday, but I’m having too much fun dreaming up worlds and magic systems and all of those extra layers that go into fantasy. Those elements keep writing an enjoyable exercise, rather than work. I don’t always use the ideas, but I’m always thinking of crazy things I could put into a book.

Speaking about your reading, what do you think are your most quirky reading habits?

In the last five years or so, I’ve only been reading the first book in a series. That means I almost never get closure on a story, but there are So Many Good Books! I have dozens of author friends, and of course as an author active in the community, I see hundreds of other books coming out each year. I want to read them all. I’m intrigued by premises and writing styles and new ideas, so to absorb as much of that as I can, my compromise is never seeing the end. I realize this is weird, and I don’t recommend it to others, but I just cannot pass up some of the stories other authors are putting out there.

On the writing side, what do you think they’ll be shocked to find out is a part of your process? How do you envision a book or series, and what do you find to be the hardest part of publishing a book?

At the start of a series, I do a lot of brainstorming on characters and worlds. Around six months before I write the first sentence, I’ve got an idea of who is in this story, and what sort of world they’re going to be up against. I flesh out all of that long before I think about a plot. And to a lesser extent, I do the same with each book in a series. To me, the plot is just the natural course of each character’s actions based on whatever situation I put them into. It’s rare I’m structuring plot first, and modifying the characters to go along with it. That means I know the beginning of a story really well, but I don’t know the end!

As far as the most difficult part, it’s the physical writing & editing of an entire whole ass book. Ideas, worldbuilding, dreaming of your characters, all of that is easy! Putting it onto paper takes months for me—a thousand hours or so—and no matter how excited I am about a story, there are parts of it that are a slog. Maybe because it’s a necessary element which isn’t as fun to write, or maybe because I’m just tired that week, or that I’ve already read the thing three times but I’m still finding typos, but each book involves a little bit of struggle. The way to think about it, this is my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, and I never want to stop this job, but the actual writing & editing is still a job.

If you have would give younger you, or aspiring authors any advice, what would make the top three on that list?

First, be honest with yourself what your goals are. You have to know where you’re going before figuring out how to get there. Do you want this to be your career? Do you want fame & awards? Do you just want to tell your stories? See your book on shelves? Be part of the community? Have people recognize you as an author? Go to cons? Buy an airplane? None of those have wrong answers, but they steer what decisions you need to make. Second, have realistic expectations. Writing a book is hard. Selling that book is even harder. The odds are against you, even if all you want is a few strangers to pick up and enjoy your story. Know the scale of the challenge going in. It’s easy to get discouraged as an author because you put so much into it, but it’s more manageable when you’re expecting the speedbumps. And third, find your people. I have a good group of author friends, and I rely on them for so many things. Whether it be grammar questions, marketing, emotional support, sharing a laugh, spitballing about the future and AI, or sharing recipes and reading recommendations, I chat with some of them every day. I can’t fathom trying to tackle this long term without a support group.

Do you have any authorial goals that you’d like to tell us about?

This is probably a boring answer, but I want to continue to improve my craft. I know I’m a better writer than I was when I started. I hope in five years, I can stay I’ve improved again. I hope I never find a plateau where I think, “ah, that’s good enough.” The challenge is making each book better than the last, and if that goes away I’ll probably stop writing.

Thank you for answering all these questions! If there is one thing you’d like our readers to take away from this interview, what would it be?

Every once in a while an author has to be shameless. So… I hope fans new or old check out my Wahrheit series. It has my best reviews—by a lot. And every fan I’ve spoken to agrees it’s my best work! Conspiracy: Wahrheit Book 1 is out right now in all formats, and on March 21st, Revenge: Wahrheit 2 drops on ebook and audio (narrated by the legendary Travis Baldree!). If you’re a fan of my previous series, or a fan of big epic fantasy series, then I honestly believe you will like these books. So go on, check it out! And if you’re still reading, thank you so much for taking time to read my silly answers  Happy reading!



Click Here To Order “Cardinal Black” by Robert McCammon!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Cyber Mage” by Saad Z. Hossain
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
Order HERE