Thursday, 30 July 2015

Tolerance and an open mind in Horn of the Kraken

            Balance in all things. In writing Horn of the Kraken I realised that I might wrongly vilify some people. The truth is politicks and privilege corrupt and to be honest a modern Pagan would probably find they had more in common with a Christian from the first or second century CE than with many of the Pagans of the time. Most Christians I have known have been descent people just trying to get by. For this reason, among others, I worked in the story of Abselema, a haugbui who follows the white god and proves a wise and good friend to our band of heroes.  It allowed me to show a different aspect of the faiths involved and touch on the universal nature of faith. Don’t get the impression that this book harps on things or preaches, it doesn’t. I use many things as a backdrop.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Women of Power

            Women of power. I’ve never cared for helpless women in life or fiction. One, I can be a jerk. I need a woman who will growl back at me if I’m out of line. Two, helpless anybody is too high maintenance; you’re always putting out one fire or another. Give me a woman that can dust it up any day. This doesn’t mean she has to be physically stronger than the men. I make this point with Sigurlina when she fills in for the men on the oars, so that they can relieve themselves or get a bite to eat. She can keep up with the other rowers for a short time, but only for a short time. This acknowledges the simple truth that men have more upper-body strength than women. Women have better oxygen metabolism, endurance, and generally a higher pain threshold. Plus Sigurlina is a Seith, she wins hands down. :-)
            In Horn of the Kraken I play to strong women doing many of the roles they would have done in Norse society. The Norse did have a division of labour based on gender. Men did not work looms or grind flower. This didn’t unbalance their society because both sides had restrictions. I have been told that if a man wanted to study Seith he would have to live as a woman while he did so. Dressing as a woman doing woman’s work, the whole nine yards. Conversely, if a woman wanted to go a Viking she would have to live as a man for the voyage. Frankly, on a small ship this makes a lot of sense.  Gender was defined by clothing and social function similar to some of the North American first people’s tribes.

            I was temped to include this aspect in Horn of the Kraken, but for the sake of the Fjorn, Sigurlina relationship, and the mind set of modern readers, I decided against it. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Guest blog at Kellan Publishing

            Just want to let you know that I have a guest blog going up at the Kellan Publishing site on July 25, 2015, that’s Saturday. I’ll be talking about my writing process and illustrating the way I work using my newest release Horn of the Kraken. So drop on by and enjoy.

Excerpt from blog:

            During the time period I was restricted to the Roman Church was backing some kings in a bid to conquer the Norse territories. Religious intolerance is a recurrent theme in my work. As a result this seemed a natural fit for a motivator.

            Looking further I found the rivalry between Eric Bloodaxe, a Pagan Norse King, Jarl, and his half brother, Hakon, who Rome backed in a bid to take the north. These two historical figures, and their conflict, gave me a backdrop with high stakes.

            For more drop in and read the blog at: