Interview with a Fictional Hero

Christina here. Next week sees the publication of the fifth book in my Vikings Runes series, PROMISES OF THE RUNES, and today I thought I would interview the fictional hero, Ivar Thoresson, in order to introduce him to readers. He has quite an interesting story to tell! As long as you believe in magic, that is …

Promises of the Runes BlogHe arrives to the interview dressed in black jeans and biker boots, but with a Viking tunic instead of a t-shirt. It’s pale blue and trimmed with beautiful handwoven bands and he tells me a special someone made it for him. All manner of things hang off his leather belt – a pouch, a knife and what looks like a real battle axe. Intimidating if I didn’t know that he’s only brought it to show me. His dark blond hair is long, but pulled back into a manbun, and he has a closely cropped beard. Basically, he has the look of a very modern Viking.

Christina: Ivar, thank you for joining us today. I know you’re a busy man, basically living a double life. Can you tell us a bit about how it all started?

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A Norwegian Adventure

FlagChristina here and once again I’m going to take you all armchair travelling! A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to Norway on a research trip. My older daughter and I drove around the southern part of the country covering 1230 km in five days! Exhausting, but very rewarding.

We began our trip in the capital, Oslo, a beautiful town situated next to the Oslo fjord. In the city centre old houses mixed with new, overlooked by the royal castle up on a hill at one end of the famous Karl Johan Gate (street). Everything was within walking distance, including the cathedral, the harbour and Akershus, a medieval castle.

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Mood Music

Christina here. Lots of authors seem to listen to music while they write in order to get in the right mood – sometimes the same song over and over again to inspire a particular scene they might be working on. Many of them have specific playlists for each book with one song per chapter, which they mention either on their blogs or at the start of their books so that readers can listen along with them. I can’t do that. I need silence in order to compose my thoughts and disappear into my own little world, and music would drag me out of it because when I listen to something I really like, I get lost in that instead.

ThorThat’s not to say I don’t find music inspiring. I do, but I like to listen to it before or after I write, not during the process. And I also love to watch music videos as some of them are mini stories in their own right and they can trigger plots or characters in my head. Today I thought I would share with you some of the songs, music and/or videos that I’ve found helpful while writing my Viking stories and the reasons why.

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A Baltic Cruise, Part 2

IMG_4639By Mary Jo

Part 1 of our Baltic cruise covered Stockholm, Finland, and Estonia.  The cruise is called Viking Homelands, and many of the places we visited were founded as Viking trading ports. Now some highlights of the rest of our journey.

Russia;

St. Petersburg, Russia was the easternmost stop of our voyage, and it's a city with more than its share of glamour and drama.  It was founded in 1703 by Czar Peter the Great as his "window on the west." At the time, the country was largely landlocked (Archangel, the only other port in European Russia, is far north on the White Sea and frozen for a good part of the year.)

Peter wanted to make his country 2017_Viking_Homelands Mapmodern and European, so he toured the great capitals of Europe for inspiration.  Built at the mouth of the Neva River, the marshiness of the area led to numerous canals as well as grand boulevards, elegant palaces, and splendid churches with characteristic Russian onion domes.

 

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The Northern Lights!

Northern lights 2Nicola here, just back from a cruise along the coast of Norway taking in some spectacular scenery and the stunning beauty of the Northern Lights. Standing on the deck on the ship at 2am in temperatures of -13, it did occur to me to wonder what our ancestors had made of the extraordinary phenomena of the aurora. It’s so beautiful and other-worldly that even in these days when it can all be explained by science, it’s still pretty mind-blowing.  How did people view the aurora in the past? Fortunately there was an excellent lecture on the ship that covered everything to do with the Northern Lights and it was so interesting that I thought I would blog about it here.

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