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About the Book
This is the first volume in a collection of short stories set in Midhgardhur, the Norse fantasy world of Colin Anders Brodd. Most of these stories were previously published online in the Channillo series "Tales From Midhgardhur." Prepare to meet vikings and shieldmaidens, giants and dragons, wonder and horror, swords and sorcery! This collection includes The Tale of Halfdanur the Black, a prequel to The Saga of Asa Oathkeeper!
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Keep reading for an interview with the author:
Where are you from?
I'm from the great state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, a state with a great tradition of dark and weird literature (E.A. Poe worked there for a time, and H.P. Lovecraft was a native son). But I started writing professionally in Phoenix, Arizona. I've found some great local community for authors out here!
Do you have a "day job"?
I am a teacher of Latin and Classical Humanities, although more recently, I've been devoting much of my time to my foster and adoptive parenting.
What genres do you write?
Fantasy - My first book was more like epic fantasy, with a sound and rhythm like the storytelling voice of the Norse sagas. But I am heavily influenced by swords and sorcery fiction and dark fantasy, and I think that comes through in my short stories.
Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?
Science Fiction is the genre I enjoy the most after fantasy, and I'll probably try my hand at writing some . . . someday . . .
What inspires you to write?
I can't help it. I have words in me, stories inside me, and they need to come out. They burn their way out of me if I don't excise them through writing!
Do you have a daily word or page count goal?
I don't have a "set" word count, but when I'm working on something big, I like to get at least 2000 words a day down. I can't help but edit as I go, which slows me down.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
I've done it in a month (I've "won" NaNoWriMo several times), but the thing is, that's not a finished novel. The revisions can take months or years. Really, my first novel needed a couple of years before it was truly finished.
If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?
I would not want to be most of my characters! The most dreadful things happen to them! But I think sometimes I would want to spend a day as Asa Oathkeeper, the protagonist of my first novel. It would be interesting to be such a strong and physically fit woman (I'm a not-so-fit man!), and to be able to see some of the wonders and horrors of her world in person. I know how they look in my head, but it would be quite another thing to experience them!
What is your writing process?
I usually need to get clear in my head the outline of the story I want to tell and the basic elements, then sit down to write it. I can't help but edit somewhat as I go, but I like to do several rounds of read-throughs and edits after that. Although I like to be able to "see" some scenes in my head before I write, I don't have to - it just takes longer. And so far, I always start at the beginning and write to the end - I just can't jump around the way some authors do!
Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?
Any and all of the above. One nice thing about having more short stories than novels is the variety of different styles to experiment with. My first novel was third-person. My second (so far unpublished) novel was first-person. My stories have variety. I actually have one story ("Remember!") which is a rare 2nd person story, of which I am quite proud.
Are you a pantser or outliner?
I fall firmly in the "outliner" camp. I tried pantsing it, once . . . and honestly, I still haven't finished writing that book.
How do you come up with the titles for your books?
Well, the books have been easy so far. "The Saga of Asa Oathkeeper" was meant to be a saga-style recounting of the adventures of a character named Asa, called Oathkeeper. My other 2 published books (so far!) have been collections of stories from my online series "Tales From Midhgardhur," so I have (rather unimaginatively) called them "Tales From Midhgardhur, Volume I" and "Tales From Midhgardhur, Volume II." But I do agonize over the titles of short stories. Many of them are meant to have some kind of clever twist or double-meaning or even triple, when I can pull that off (e.g. "The Trade" was about a sort of troll changeling who had been traded for a human baby at birth, but it's a first-person narrative about the profession of troll-hunting, which the narrator refers to as his "trade" - "Burning Spirits" contained some combustible alcoholic spirits, some characters with metaphorically fiery spirits, and some actual faerie-spirits, one of whom eventually burns).
What are you working on now?
Short stories for "Tales From Midhgardhur" on Channillo. They'll be collected into Volume III, eventually.
What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?
Finding time to write is always the hardest thing. I have four children; at the time I wrote my last book, they were 17, 16, 5, and 3 years old. They take a lot of my time! But aside from that . . . getting bogged down with scenes that were essential to the book, but not very fun to write. Sometimes I just have to write things that are not fun to write, although I hope they are fun to read.
Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy my work! I would love to hear more from fans - please reach out on social media! I would be glad to answer questions and discuss my work more!