Dirty Dozen Author Interview J.M. Ney-Grimm

Author: J.M. Ney-Grimm

 Please tell us about your publications. I write fantasy in which the intimate and personal intertwine with the great forces of history and culture. Most of my stories are set in my North-lands, a world inspired by the watercolor illustrations of the Danish artist Kay Nielsen. My novels include: Troll-magic, Livli’s Gift, Caught in Amber, Fate’s Door, and The Tally Master. I also have a handful of novellas (plus a few short stories), among them: Sarvet’s Wanderyar, Hunting Wild, and Winter Glory.

Caught in Amber

What first prompted you to publish your work? In 2007, I re-discovered Maddy Prior’s amazing song ‘The Fabled Hare.’

Listening to her powerful lyrics and expressive voice, I grew suddenly aware that time was passing, I was getting older, and I didn’t have forever.

The imagery of the hunter and hounds closing in on the hare made me feel as though death were snapping at my heels.

If there was something I really wanted to do, something I had not done yet, I’d better get going or I might miss my chance entirely.

I didn’t ‘click the publish button’ in 2007, but that year and that song were the beginning of my publishing journey.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I do some of each.

I prefer having a skeletal outline at the start of a story. Doing without —pure ‘pantsing’—feels like walking a tightrope over Niagara without a safety net. Very uncomfortable! And yet…I’ve done it.

Once I awoke in the middle of the night, so afire with inspiration that I got up out of my bed to write the first scene of what would become the novel Caught in Amber. I didn’t work out an outline until I was a third of the way through the book!

More usually, I sort out the foundational plot line before I start writing. I need to know what happens, but (oddly) I need to not know how it happens. I discover the how as I write, and that keeps the story feeling fresh to me.

Even when I follow an outline, I always feel free to ‘have a better idea.’ Sometimes my outline writhes like a river in flood!

 

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? I’m going to pretend you asked me about my writing journey. 😉 Because there’s a piece of advice that I really, really needed and didn’t get, way back when.

For some reason, I thought that the process of writing was much more cut-and-dried than it ever could be. Why I thought this, I don’t know. Perhaps because I formed the impression when I was very young, at age ten or eleven.

But the result was that, when I sat down in my early twenties to write my great fantasy novel, and didn’t get anywhere with it, I concluded that I must not be made of such stuff as goes into the bones of real writers.

I longed to write novels, and believed I could not. I spent more than two decades believing this and writing poetry and story vignettes and gaming adventures instead.

And then I listened to Maddy Prior’s ‘The Fabled Hare’ and got serious about my creative aspirations. I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, did every last one of the written assignments in the book, and read several of the titles in its bibliography.

That’s when I encountered Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande, and one of her suggestions set me free.

So the advice I wish I’d gotten? Find out how other writers do it! Not just one or two, but dozens. Ask them. Read biographies. Whatever it takes, find out.

Because if I’d learned that there are as many ways as there are writers, I might not have concluded so wrongly that I was not a writer. I might have been writing novellas and novels (as well as poetry and vignettes and gaming adventures) between 1980 and 2007. I might not have been so unhappy in my creative desert.

 

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Do not go there! Reviews are a reader space. What reader wants to write his or her honest opinion and then discover that the author of the book has been peering over his or her shoulder the whole while?

 

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters. Good plot. Awesome world-building. Technically perfect.

As a reader (not a writer), I want them all. If the characters aren’t great, I have no interest. If the plot is stupid, I get cranky. If the world-building is unconvincing, I get thrown out of the story. If there are grammar errors, I’m tempted to email the author with the necessary fix. Gah!

I believe I’m known as what one writer calls a ‘fussy reader.’ That’s being kind!

As a writer…what can I say? I go for all four. One of my writing mentors told me that I need never worry about grammar or word choice; in her words, I’m stellar at that.

My readers tell me that my world-building is so thorough that they feel like they are ‘watching a movie on the insides of their eyeballs.’

Another writing mentor says that plot is clearly one of my strong points.

And yet more readers claim that the relationship dynamics between my characters feel utterly real.

 

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? A surprising amount! I’ve heard those who don’t write fantasy speculate that fantasy writers need do no research at all: they can just make it all up.

Nope!

Because my world is make-believe featuring magic and fantastical creatures, it is all the more important that I get the details of living there right. Horses better behave like the real beasts. The combination of wet and cold better be appropriately dangerous. Travel attempted under medieval conditions better be realistically inconvenient. And so on.

I’ve researched the horse sandals of the ancient Romans (horseshoes weren’t invented until 500CE), the forging of Bronze Age swords, the details of how fishes’ gills work, and more.

 

How influential is storytelling to our culture? To be human is to be a storyteller. We remember our past with story. We predict and plan for our future with story. We make meaning out of our present with story. We cannot be ourselves without story.

That’s an existential answer to a more grounded question, but I stand by it. 😉

 

Which authors have influenced you the most? I love the sense of wonder present in the fantasy of Robin McKinley. I adore the cultural creativity in C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series. The poetry of Patricia McKillip’s storytelling inspires me. And the great characters within the amazing worlds of Lois McMaster Bujold carry me completely out of myself.

 

What is your writing space like? All I need is my laptop! I prefer quiet, but I can write amidst noise and hullabaloo if need be. (I learned how when my kids were still little and would nestle against me while I tapped away on my keyboard.) When I had a badly broken foot (doctor’s orders to keep it elevated and bearing no weight for 10 weeks, so as to avoid surgery), I learned to write while semi-reclining on the couch. I got so used to this position that I use it still!

 

Tell us about your latest piece? My novel The Tally Master released in April 2017. Here’s a little bit about it:

Seven years ago, reeling from a curse in the wake of battle, Gael sought sanctuary and found it in a most perilous place.

The citadel of a troll warlord—haunt of the desperate and violent—proves a harsh refuge for a civilized mage. But Gael wields power enough to create an oasis of order amidst the chaos.

Set in the Bronze Age of my North-lands, The Tally Master brings mystery and secrets to epic fantasy in a suspenseful tale of betrayal and redemption.

 

What’s your next writing adventure? I’m really excited about the novel I’m working on now. Its tentative title is To Thread the Labyrinth. Here’s a bit about it:

Ohtavie de Bellay craves safety. Craves obscurity. She seeks solitude and secrecy and shadows. Because only hiding holds death at bay.

But Ohtavie fears that all her care—decades of prudence—won’t be enough. No, she knows it won’t save her.

One day an angry mob will come to drag her forth from her long retreat and stone her. Or pinion her within her refuge and burn it down around her. Or, worst of all, summon the executioner who will hold her unmoving with his enigmatic magic, while his great axe parts her head from her living body with brutal precision.

So Ohtavie lurks and hides and fights her fears alone.

Until that one day arrives, bringing…no mob, no stones, no flames, and no axe.

Just one sweet-faced girl who threatens Ohtavie with something more perilous still.

A gripping story of quiet courage and fortitude.

 

Is there a message in your books? I don’t deliberately include a message, but I suspect my most cherished beliefs seep into my fiction.

There is hope. If the first attempt fails—or the second, or the third—try again. How you do a thing will shape who you become, as well as the ultimate result. You are loved. There is beauty in existence. ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’

 

Links

Website: http://jmney-grimm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009200970533

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JMNeyGrimm

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/315055.J_M_Ney_Grimm

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.M.-Ney-Grimm/e/B006QRFNAS/

 

J.M. Ney-Grimm lives with her husband and children in Virginia, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She’s learning about permaculture gardening and debunking popular myths about food. The rest of the time she reads Robin McKinley, Diana Wynne Jones, and Lois McMaster Bujold, plays boardgames like Settlers of Catan, rears her twins, and writes stories set in her troll-infested North-lands.

Author Interview 117 – E. H. Howard Fantasy

Welcome to EH Howard, (Pen name of Eric Tomlinson.)  

Where are you from and where do you live now? Born and raised in Manchester in England. As possibly the oldest geek in captivity, my work has taken me to many places in Europe and the USA, but currently I split my time between Cheshire and Wales. I’d love to one day escape to a Greek Island, but at the moment life keeps me around the UK.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write about dragons, swords and magic. My heroes wander castles, caves and deserts. Therefore it would be considered ‘high fantasy’, but I hate the term. I do love to write short stories when I give myself the chance. At the end of each writing cycle, I try to enter a couple of short / flash fiction competitions to sharpen my style. My style is definitely high speed, rather than the turgid flow of most fantasy.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? In my first Amara book I created a side character, Stella. She was a ‘foil’ for the main character to play off and to add contrast. It was my editor who started to cheer every time she appeared. As the writing progressed her part in the story grew. In book two, she is still a secondary character as the mother of the hero, but still a fabulous creation. When I asked John (my editor) what was great about her, his first reaction was ‘She has great boobs and no morals.’  I’m pretty certain I’d never dwelt on her figure, but he had an unshakeable image in his head. Actually, I think she has morals, they just don’t always align to what might be expected.

I enjoyed writing her because she is a ‘force of nature’ she doesn’t have to engage in the self- examination of the main character.

Are your characters based on real people? I guess a lot of my characters are either me or my wife. Not always identifiable by the gender. I once wrote a parody of fantasy fiction where I based all of the characters on friends and acquaintances. I did wonder if anybody would identify themselves, but as it never reached first base in the publishing cycle I guess I’ll never know. The heroes were a dark haired male barbarian and a blonde, efficient female warrior. Yep, me and her again!

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? At school I hated when the teacher asked us to identify and discuss the themes in a story. Only when I started writing many years later did I see how this worked. The Amara stories scream a couple of my ‘truths’: Gender, race and orientation are no measure of a person’s worth. I have a lot of female friends and my soapbox is the increase in reverse sexism prevalent in certain circles.

My other theme is that relationships aren’t just about sex. It’s awful that most children will now view porn before they have a clue what a relationship is about.

Why is a theme important? For me, it helps in the creation and editing. Sometimes I write entire sections and then delete them because they don’t fit with the central theme of the story. I believe it helps me to stay focused on where I am taking my main characters.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? E-Book is the most normal format for my writing. They are available in paperback. I’ve considered other formats, but at the moment, I don’t want to distract from finishing the “Shudalandia Series.” Once the final book is out, I will take a little time to promote and increase the reach through alternative formats.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? My editor, John Hudspith, is my Higher Power. If he says cut, I cut, if he says more, I write more. I get a story as far as I can and then let John take it to the next level. He has been known to throw out the whole thing. The reason for a story, for me, is to entertain, not lecture. I might have a theme, but it mustn’t clog up the story telling process. People read to escape and that has to be the primary objective. I might know where I am going, but my editor will get me to rephrase, explain more, or simply cut out, to shape the final product. The reader has to immerse and stay immersed, not be jogged out of the fantasy by a jarring sequence.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Typically it takes me two years to take a book through to finished standard. I’ve seen self-published authors who bang out a book a month; typos and inconsistencies abound, but they then have the cheek to claim as a self-published author they can’t afford to pay for editing.

I mix with a group of indie authors who take more pride in their output than any trad publishing house achieves these days.

Do you read work by self-published authors? I read anything that works for me. I rarely consider how the work has been published. I do get seriously annoyed when I pay a high price for an ebook from the trad world and it is full of errors a spell checker would have fixed. I don’t think trad publishers have caught on to ebook publishing.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Although tempting, I’d never respond to a review comment. A person buys, they read and occasionally comment. There’s one comment on the Amara books that states, they consider themselves the wrong age, wrong gender and wrong nature for the book, they don’t read the genre and they don’t like sex in books. At this point, I’d consider them unqualified to comment, but they went on to give a one star review. I wanted to rant and rave, but what the heck. All five star reviews appears silly anyway.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? If I haven’t read the author before I will scan the reviews. If I dislike a book by an author I usually like, I go back and see if I am the only one, or if others are having difficulty with it.

What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? Authors are usually readers. As long as they have genuinely read the book, why shouldn’t they comment. I’m more concerned when a book is launched and immediately acquires a couple of hundred five star reviews. That smacks of collusion, or simply buying reviews.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Free on Thursday 29th September

Amara’s Legacy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amaras-Legacy-Shudalandia-Book-2-ebook/dp/B018GVPBBW/

Amara’s Daughter : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amaras-Daughter-Shudalandia-Book-1-Howard-ebook/dp/B00DBCPVKI/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ehhoward.author/?ref=bookmarks

Website: www.shudalandia.co.uk

Author Interview Sixty-Four – Donny Swords – Fantasy/Horror

Welcome to Donny Swords

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in Puyallup, Washington.  I currently live in Glendale Arizona.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I like swords and sorcery.  A lot of my stories fall in that category- except I love horror, therefore all my books have a dark fantasy/thriller/horror feel to them.  I try to write in a way that provokes emotion, and I “don’t pull punches” as Seth Lindberg put it.  I do not write gore for the sake of gore, or violence for the sake of violence, but it’s in there and it can get frightfully dark.  When you read my novels expect it- I like to take the reader on a ride when I can, like a roller coaster, emotionally speaking.  I want them to see what I see, feel what I feel.  If it’s funny I attempt to convey humour in an accessible manner.  If its horror, I want them to lose sleep.

Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere.  The crazy life I’ve lived…

Do you have a favourite character? (The Vampire Faus)- star of my yet to be released novel Dragon Stone.

If so why? She has everything.  She is smart, but makes foolish errors.  She is tactful, but often abrasive as well.  She is compassionate, but she can be as tough as nails if it is required of her.  She cares.  She does what is right- She is a vampire- who possesses more humanity than mortals do.

Oh and she can really prevail- think Conan- with teeth, but mystical.

Do you have a character you dislike? Stefan, from my novel Ways of the Stygia- Fallen Song

If so why? Stefan is a vampire lord with the ability to compel his subjects to the point that they have no wills of their own.  His “Empire” is a loathsome, despicable place where humans are separated into three groups- breeders- workers- and guards.  Deaths are dealt daily in Savishelm.  I could go on, but I won’t…

Are your characters based on real people? Yeah- mostly myself- distorted by lies and fiction.  In my story “Boots” from The Indie Collaboration’s collection, Summer Shorts- that character is decidedly me, and that story is less fictional than one might think…

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? No.  Though I use traits I despise to build my foulest characters and then I kill them off.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? For the Vampire Faus, I did a ton of research on Carthage and the Second Punic War, most of which was left unused, but it helped me get the feel for 200 B.C. so that I could then twist it to suit me.  I did a ton of research for a book I wrote 15 years before Fallen Song, but that typed manuscript met with the fire pit, via an angry ex-girlfriend.

Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I do, but I’d rather wing it.  The resources depend on the research, the internet, the library- speaking with the right people- movies…

Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Yes.  Shadows are stretching out over society and we need heroes to bring us light.  Of course, heroes come in all forms.

Do you feel this is important in a book? No. Engaging the reader is most important.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Uh. That’s the order.  I like deep characters.  In any Ways of the Stygia novel, a character might end up in several realms, seven actually- Quantanost, Havendell, Purgatory, the Barrens, the Fringe, the Underworld, or Earth. So the characters have to be malleable to their environments…

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Print and eBooks.  I am planning an audio release of The Bitter Ends series.

Do you self-edit? It’s 50-50. I have an editor, Jennifer Herring, who is doing my books for now on.  She’s the editor for The Bitter Ends- and Ways of the Stygia- Banner.

If so why is that the case? Because I operate on a tight budget and Both Ways of the Stygia- Fallen Song, and my Sept 19, 2014 release, Cult of Morgod have huge word counts.

Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? Fallen Song didn’t- the rough- mistake filled first eBook sold a ton of copies- the more polished revision I slaved over for three months did less.  A book suffers if the writer’s prose is rough- or weak.  If the plot and characters fail to entice the reader… A mistake is not the end of the world.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Yes.

Why do you think this might be? Because everyone thinks they can write- but I digress.  You cannot write if you haven’t lived.  Because quality is up and down across the board.  Some do it as a hobby, and others shouldn’t at all.  It’s a shame that the good ones sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Quite often.  Some of them really resonate with me- You (A.L. Butcher) are one of them, I really want to read Shane Porteous’ novel and I was just stunned by Jesse Duckworth’s story in Nine Heroes.  When I get done researching the Hell series, I want to read these authors more.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? Don’t- unless it is to say thank you.

How important are reviews? More important for the sake of website algorithms and from a marketing standpoint than they used to be.  So, very. But they are harder to get than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? No.  I buy what interests me.  I read the samples though.

What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? I do it.  It helps, though some of them are quite disingenuous.  I don’t care who you are, read the whole book, then post a review.  Don’t read less than 10% and bag on somebody’s hard work.  If it sucks that bad- stop reading, but let the artist be.  On the other hand post an honest review.  Have some integrity, and treat the work fairly.  I have read a few books this year that I genuinely did not care for, but I look for merit where I can find it and focus on that.  If it’s a 3 star or less book, I don’t bother posting a review.  I have too little time to finish reading the book, let alone review it.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? You get to hear the characters thoughts, there’s an intimacy involved in this that cannot be conveyed properly in other mediums- except perhaps in audiobook.  The Sacred Band is an example of the powers of top-notch literature expressed through voice… I wish I could do what Chris Morris did there, but my pronunciation is not up to par.

What advice would you give to new writers? Read.  Keep writing.  Edit yourself.  Get feedback.  Don’t buy into trends, write for real.  Read more.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? Keep going- don’t give up.

What are your worst? Don’t talk smack on social media posts- although I have done this, it isn’t endearing.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Heroic Fantasy’s Nine Heroes.  (My review)

Did you enjoy it? Loved it.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? This is a tie between Robert E. Howard and Clive Barker.

And your favourite indie/self-published author? Hmmn… I’m going to have to say you, even though I am just at the halfway mark of the Light Beyond the Shadows Chronicles.  I have enjoyed all the stories you put into our Indie Collaboration books.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Sure, go ahead, knock yourselves out.  However, I don’t think any of my free stuff is really helping me get sales or reviews.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I first shaved my head to get into a Seattle Mariners game free on “Jay Buhner” day.  I looked in the mirror and thought, I’m keeping it this way.  I’ve never grown my hair out since.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

All things Donny Swords

Donny Swords author (Facebook)  (Blog)

Primal Publications (Facebook)  (Blog)

The Indie Collaboration (web)

Novels & Links:

The Bitter Ends

Somewhere in the Bible Belt Gateway has gone insane.  Who knew what would come?  Thrust into the end of times, Gateway’s citizens attempt to outrun the zombie outbreak…
Discover 12 unique stories, and see how Gateway’s main cast fares against the deadheads.  See how they live.  Watch lives expire and people become heroes or villains.  The Bitter Ends is more than just a book about zombies.  It is about the characters, like Anna.  It is seeing what ordinary people might do in a zombie apocalypse and unordinary ones too.
Will any of them survive?  Or Will They All Meet Their Bitter Ends?

(Amazon)  (Facebook)  (iBooks)  (B&N)  (Kobo)

Ways of the Stygia (Facebook

Ways of the Stygia- Cult of Morgod  (Book 1)  Releases September 19th 2014

Destruction.  To see something destroyed, gone.  None can deny its appeal.  To the abyss, nothing is forever.  To the World-Eater creation is flawed… Flesh is weak.  Souls are fodder- fuel.  Power is endless.  The Stygia grants unlimited strength to the daring… Slavery and death are a means to an end…  For Morgod , everything must burn.  Ruination must reign immaculate.

Heroes come in many forms.  For who is truly evil?  There are shades of light and dark.  Left with two choices, survival or total annihilation, the cosmos displays signs of harmony…

They face a common foe.

Ways of the Stygia- Fallen Song  (Book 2)

Thomas Van Pelt lived a normal life. On one dreary raining evening that all changed. His work as a CSI investigator had led him to yet another crime scene, and there, prompted by his primal senses he discovered the ancient artifact that would that day forward alter his own life and the fate of the universe itself. The ancient weapon Fallen Song summons Thomas, and reawakens his forgotten past. He embarks on his new calling- bringing justice to the guilty, the ones who would otherwise remain free to perpetrate their vile acts on the unsuspecting.

Thomas is reunited with past allies and embarks on an epic adventure involving demons, necromancers, deities, vampires, sorcerers and the terrorists of Purgatory itself, the night stalker. Get pulled away to new lands, terrible enough to cost you sleep and see what ends Thomas will go to in his quest to bring a new era of light to an ailing universe. Ways of the Stygia- Fallen Song is intended for mature audiences. (Facebook)  (.99 Nook)  (B&N)  ( Amazon)  (.99 Kobo)

 

Ways of the Stygia- Banner  (Character Novella 1)   In Purgatory, there is one law.  It is damnation.  The abyss plots as the gods use its powers to suit themselves.  Born of the void, to the hostile landscapes of Purgatory, not as a child, and not as a man, Banner must overcome his roots.  The realm of Purgatory does not forgive so easily, suffering is ceaseless.  It is a realm where death grants rebirth so suffering can begin anew.  Those of his race are bred killers, evil, and cold to their marrows.  Banner, a night stalker set apart from his peers in extremity faces an uncertain future as he attempts to leave Purgatory and the nightmares behind.
He cannot do it alone…  (B&N)  (Amazon)

Anthologies:

All books by the Indie Collaboration are Free on Smashwords across all e-reader platforms.

The Indie Collaboration Presents:

Snips, Snails, & Puppy Dog Tales

(The Wacky Adventures of Bob & Dill, Case of the Missing Ghost & Barracuda Blast by D. Swords)

Summer Shorts

(Boots by Donny Swords)

Spectacular Tales

(Sparks by Donny Swords)

Tales from Darker Places

Releases October 25th, 2013

3 stories by Donny Swords

Coming Soon:

Ways of the Stygia – Cult of Morgod- Street date September 19, 2014

The Bitter Ends – Other Side of Town- Tentative street date Oct 25th, 2014

7 Slices – November 2014

Cult of Morgod 300dpi Donny swords art 1 donny swords art 2

Character Interview Number Six – Soren Gormson – Historical/Paranormal

Tell Us About Yourself
Name (s): Soren Williamson (AKA Soren Gormson)

Age: 32

Please tell us a little about yourself. I was once a fearsome Danish warrior who killed more men than I can count.  The name Soren is known far and wide for the victories that I won.  I was a Berserker who fought without fear and had no equal on the field of battle.  I came to Frankia as part of a huge fleet of warriors to raid the land and take control of Paris and its riches.  We took Rouen and then continued on to lay siege to Paris.  During the siege I had a violent disagreement with one of the Jarls (that was resolved by my blade) and I left the campaign to set out on my own.  During my travels I did battle with evil creatures that were plaguing the land.  I faced each of the beasts, and with the strength of my arm and the edge of my blade spilled their blood and put an end to their miserable lives.

I now live the quiet life of a fisherman with my wife and son.  Although I am no longer raiding villages, my sword remains sharp and is always close at hand.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Tall, broad shouldered, rugged, hard.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? I do now.  When I was going Viking with my fellow Danes I would kill anyone who stood in my way, and enjoyed doing it.  But now I believe in protecting the innocent and destroying those who seek to harm them.

Would you kill for those you love? Yes.  I have before and would again if needs be.

Do you like animals? I have not had much luck with animals, having tangled with wild boar, bear and sharks to name a few.  I did make a nice cloak out of a bear’s fur once though.  But I guess other than roasting them over a fire to eat, I don’t much care for animals.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? As a teenager I was knocked into the sea during my first battle and spent several years surviving on my own in a strange land.  It was during that time that I grew into manhood and became a Berserker.  I had to kill to survive not only became very good at it, but learned to love watching an enemy fall to my sword.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I have an ancient rune burned into the palm of my hand.

Tell Us About your world

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. I live on the coast of Frankia in a village made up of both Franks and Danes who have learned to live together in peace.  Our village is unique, however.  Many of my countrymen continue to live the life of raiding and pillaging further into this land, as well as in places across the channel like Mercia, North Umbria, East Anglia and Wessex.

This is a time of war and conquest, where a multitude of different forces are fighting each other for land, wealth and power throughout the region.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? Yes there are many religions and beliefs.  Yet rather than bringing greater compassion and understanding to the world, these religions have been the cause of many of the wars being fought today.  In fact, there is currently a battle between the Christians and what they call the “Pagan religions” like those practiced by my countrymen.  Men continue to fight and die over their religious beliefs.

I was raised to worship the warrior gods like Odin, Thor and Tyr, but was later baptized as a Christian to worship their one true God.  After learning many amazing truths from an ancient warrior, I developed my own personal faith which blends the two religions into one.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I hail from the land of the Danes and have travelled to the Norse lands and across the sea to Frankia.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? There are some that believe in magic and others who say that it is nothing but simple tricks meant to confuse the weak minded.

The Christians see magic as a sign of the devil and believe anyone who uses it is evil. I have learned to harness supernatural powers to both heal and destroy, and have seen other beings with the same abilities.  I know that magic is very real, but it is the user who is either good or evil, not the power itself.
Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. Thor’s exploits against the Jotuns, Tyr sacrificing his hand to chain the great wolf Fenrir and Odin and his brothers creating the first humans are but a few of the legends told by my people.

Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Yes, I can personally verify that there have been Nephilim, Dark Nephilim, Demons, Demonspawn, Hellhounds and Dragons in this land.  After the things I have seen and done battle with, I believe that many of the other creatures thought to prowl the night exist as well.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears.

Iron Song – Book Two of the Nephilim Chronicles

Author name:Travis Ludvigson

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Website:  http://norseman73.wix.com/land-of-the-norseman

Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Travis-Ludvigson/e/B00BNASEIG

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Drop-of-Ink-The-Written-Works-of-Travis-Ludvigson