Authors Interviews

My conversation with C.S. Burrough

Tell us a little more about yourself?

I’m a Sydneysider who writes. I love cats, sunshine and beaches, ride a scooter and read a lot. My name is Colin.

Quickly, tell us about your upcoming releases?

My new novel Or Forever Be Damned, newly released eBook on Amazon, will be paperback released in September/October 2014. It’s  an historical saga spanning eight decades, following the lives and families of two very different women who escape the slums of northern England’s ‘Cottonopolis’ in the 1930′s Slump — a simmering irrational enmity that lives on in modern day Australia.

Do you have any specific inspiring incident that turned you out as an author?

After spending years on the road, touring with theatrical shows, many years ago, my closest loved ones died prematurely, each within a few years whilst I was away. With no remaining home base or people to return to, I began losing a sense of belonging, began questioning life and my sense of self. I kept journals expressing my grief and exploring my shaken psyche. The journals evolved into my first full length memoir and numerous short stories. My writing progressed from there.

Who designed your cover art? How did you choose the image?

The printed front cover art is by Sydney artist Shayne Chester, a brilliant painter and photographer who, being my very dear friend, had also helpfully read through and commented on my first finished draft so understood the story better than anyone. I wanted the image to resemble something fished out of an old attic chest of one of the main characters, to tie in with the narrative. It needed to look eerie, evocative and poignant. I love the end result.

Do you outline your work before you write?

Only maybe a few sentences, in synopsis form. I see solid, detailed outlines are as obstacles to creativity. I need spontaneity, self-imposed creative restrictions. A story needs the freedom to unfold organically as I create it.

How do you like spending your leisure hours?

I read a lot and when it’s warm I love Sydney’s beaches.

Which genre is far more appealing to you as a reader?

Non-fiction, mostly historical biographies. I also love some British 1920s-30s modernist literature and all the great 19th century literary classics. 

What inspires you to write? Is there any level of similarity with the events or characters in your book and in reality?

I like the idea of character study, of creating a fiction al person and watching them come to life as I write and discover who they are. My writing is all character driven. Plots are merely the characters’ decisions and actions. I don’t borrow from real life events to shape and steer plots.

Which is your current read?

A wonderfully thick, heavy hardback biography of my favourite author Jean Rhys, by Carole Angier, entitled Jean Rhys: Life and Work.

What, in your opinion is the toughest part while carving your book?

Deciding whether to allow my characters to move in directions they seem to want to go in, which vary from what I anticipated. Sometimes when I’m reading back over an important scene it’s as if one of them calls out to me: ‘Excuse me, I’d never do that! This is what I’d do ..’ (Of course, this is preventable by disciplined early plotting, which I’m strongly against, as I find over- plotting makes for a stiff, wooden feel to the end result. Many writers differ from me here, but that’s my way.).

Share a word of advice with our readers and authors, if any?

Keep an open mind and low expectations when writing and reading characters. Try to get into their skin, not judge them. If they do things you wouldn’t that’s surely all the more interesting.

Share one of your favorites from your music band collection, if any?

I’m a bit over band music nowadays, but I love the Café Del Mar series, most ’60s &’70s sounds, classic jazz and most musical theatre. Peggy Lee’s Is That All There Is? tells a wonderful tale I love to listen to:

If you’re a foodie, tell us about your favorite dish?

I’m a vegan and love my Sunday roast veggie dinners with extra virgin olive oil, freshly crushed garlic and chili and herbs.

List any giveaways or surprises in mere future?

I hope to give away five signed copies of the paperback edition of or Forever Be Damned at its official online launch later this year.

Where can we find your books?

Find currently available work on (then use purchase like to whichever your country’s Amazon branch is): Latest book listing

My previous publications are also listed on AustLit:

We would love to reach out to you, please share your social media active platform

I use mostly Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter:

Facebook fan page

Goodreads Author page

Thanks for reading my conversation 🙂 

Love to hear from you :)

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