I could not have chosen a better land to inspire my writing than Norway. Just in thought, she takes my breath away. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I want to write about Norway!” Nor did I research her and say, “Oooh! This is a beautiful country (and it is)! I have an idea for a book!”
It was a very logical process that led me to Norway and it all began with Kallan. Some of you may know about my tantrum. I read a book where the women were all weak and…let’s just say the book made me angry. I slammed the book down and announced out loud, “I will do better! I will create a woman of intelligence and strength!” And on the spot I pulled a collection of characteristics that screamed “strength” because one characteristic was not enough.
“She will be an elf…and a warrior…and a queen! And she will throw fire! And I will call her Kallan!”
Yep! That is how the elven witch, Queen Kallan came into existence. Queen, witch…easy. Elf? That threw me. Where do elves come from?
Here is where I started my research. The monologue went like this.
Where do elves come from?
Dungeons & Dragon! (Laugh away, nerds)
Where did D&D get their stuff from?
I remembered the clothing depicted in the D&D version 1.0 that I had as a teen.
Vikings. Norse. What’s Norse?
Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.
Where do they get their info from?
At once I found the “Prose Edda” and “Poetic Edda” written by Snorri Sturluson, the 13th century Icelandic monk.
I have to pause for a moment to say this…Before I wrote Tales of the Drui, I dedicated my time and mental devotion to the full analysis of three compositions. I mean, I read these works, composed outlines, then drew up a grid that referenced and located each connection to a previous reference. In other words, I mapped the authors’ webbing.
Harry Potter books #1 through #6. I did this three months before book #7 was released and I included an essay on my predictions. I still have it. It’s fascinating to see where I was right and where I was way off.
Tolkien…all of it…from Silmarillion to Return of the King. I also mapped my own version of Tolkien’s maps as a way to learn and memorize the layout of each…and my maps included Valinor and Numenor.
KJV of The Bible. I made it through to the end of Numbers. I need to continue with Deuteronomy. Leviticus is Latin for “Law of the Leviites” of which Aaron was the first priest and he laid down the laws. Numbers literally counted how many people there were. My favorites book was Genesis which reminded me so much of Homer and Silmarillion. Gorgeous book. I loved the Genesis.
This took me about two years. By then of the two years, I read that one book that made me angry and I composed Kallan. When I read the Prose Edda one thing became very clear to me. Tolkien had done the same research. Reading through the “Voluspa” was like reading a sign in the prose that read “Tolkien was here.” Don’t believe me? Here’s an excerpt of the Voluspa.
11. Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.
12. Vigg and Gandalf) | Vindalf, Thrain,
Thekk and Thorin, | Thror, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath,– | now have I told–
Regin and Rathsvith– | the list aright.
13. Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
Heptifili, | Hannar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori, | Fræg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.
I mean really!? He didn’t even bother to reorder their names! *laughing* I have never touched Game Of Thrones. I haven’t read the books. I haven’t watched the show. My girlfriend is a huge fan and she insists I did the same research as Martin. I informed her that Tolkien did as well.
I have high seat pillars with wolves carves into the wood. Why wolves? Because the high seat pillars that were found in Iceland a hundred years ago were described as having the heads of wolves carved into them. I assume Martin found the same passage as I did.
I began my research into elves, trolls, giants, and Norse Mythology and examined my options. First no more Tolkien. That’s right. Terrified I would subconsciously pull from Tolkien I did two things:
- I banned myself from all things Tolkien until I could see my own world as separate.
- I banned myself from touching Game of Thrones until Tales of the Drui is 100% complete.
The next part of my research required I choose a starting point. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland. For the reference made that the first Viking voyage sailed from Norway, I selected Norway and I am so thrilled I did! Iceland wouldn’t be established for another 300 years and Sweden has zero—none, nada, zero, zilch—history until the 11th century. Denmark was a world of its own where Norway was concerned. For the longest time it warred with Norway to gain leadership over Norway and often had a puppet king in place.
So I selected Norway and began my research into the realm of Northern Lights, Viking Ships, and awe-inspiring fjords. I dove deep into the realm of Norse Mythology! Oh! I had only begun to scratch the surface.
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Blood waters the fields of Alfheim. War rips across the land of usurped kings and elves. The Fae gods draw near, and Queen Kallan’s strength is tested as she follows King Rune into Alfheim. But the Shadow Beast caged within Rune’s body writhes in hunger, and Kallan’s newest companion, Bergen t...More info →
Determined to hunt the gods who have tracked her across Midgard, Kallan journeys to Mimir’s Well to seek the answers to her questions. There is just one problem. To get to Mimir’s Well, Kallan must enter the Dvergar realm, Svartalfheim, and walk the Death Road to Helheim.More info →