A new book, sort of, is coming this summer.
Originally called How to Be a God, Why Odin Drinks explains that when the Gods first found themselves in the Nine Worlds, they didn’t know how to God properly. Similarly to Maya in The Ten Worlds, they have to discover what it is they apparently do, and that can only be done by trial and error. Maya’s task is easier.
Why Odin Drinks is going to be a series of novellas, released as e-books as I finish each one. Initially it looked like Thor and Two Ladies would be ready first. But… before Thor could start admiring the female beauty, he had to be created. But not before the cow Audhumla. And many other things, such as celery…
Wh– why is this a thing that is happening?
The original creation story talks about Odin and his brothers, Vili and Ve. Vili and Ve never appear in the mythology again (I believe one of them gets a passing mention). I’ve always wondered – what happened to them, then? If Odin is the All-Father, than what are Vili and Ve, are they All-Uncle and All-Stepfather? Where do they live and how do they spend their days? I decided to investigate those important topics.
As I pondered those questions, even more came to me. How exactly did Odin come up with the idea that the right way to get the runes is to hang himself from Yggdrasil with a spear in his side? (I’m not a God yet, but if I were trying to learn how to write I think I’d go about it differently.) Since Frigg knows the future, why won’t she simply share it and be done with her irritatingly insistent husband? How come Thor married Sif and who Sif even is? Since Loki is neither one of the Æsir nor the Vanir, what is he – and where does he come from? Children fills the gaps in and between the myths, but instead of the dark psychology and politics of Children I went full-on bjørnkers.
Loki, of course, gets the most screen time everywhere else, so I’ll be focusing on the others. Still, “my” Loki’s voice turned out to be similar enough to Joanne Harris’ The Gospel of Loki that I had to stop reading her book, because there was no way I wouldn’t accidentally plagiarise it by osmosis. There will be a story in Why Odin Drinks where Loki makes his first appearance, as I can’t write an entire series of funnies without Loki in it. Once I’m finished with this one I will finally be able to read The Gospel of Loki.
Why Why Odin Drinks?
I write in multiple genres, so, as usual, I have a branding problem. Where Children and Land are heavy books with my humour in them, How to Be a God was going to be all the humour, the more abstract the better (if you follow me on Twitter you know what to expect) with some dark bits – Norse lore isn’t all fun and laughs. Still, it’s going to be a Bjørn Larssen book set in the Norse universe. I had to come up with a way to make it clear that it’s not a sequel to Children, and vice versa.
Not long ago I’ve had one of those evenings when I wasn’t feeling like writing or reading. My inner Loki took over, I guess, putting me in a silly mood. Another question needed answering. Odin only subsists on wine. Why is that? Something quite intense must have happened there. Gill Sims’ fabulous series Why Mummy Drinks somehow came to mind and with it more questions. Why does Valhalla exist? (This is unrelated to Why Mummy Drinks.) I wasn’t really in the mood to go philosophical, so I made this fake cover instead (please don’t sue me). A while later, as I was already working on Creation, I remembered the joke and reposted the image on Twitter. Lyra Wolf fell in love with it and demanded that I change the title of the series.
Irritatingly, she was right.
Apart from all other pros, the new title immediately made it clear that this is not “Norse mythology for kids.” (I hope. If your kids drink, please reconsider your parental choices…) Obviously, the cover couldn’t be even slightly similar to the Gill Sims one – but also nothing like Children. I wanted an illustration, not a photo or anything too…elegant for a book where one of the best jokes (according to my long-suffering beta readers) features the word “ass-thetics.”
That illustration will be drawn by Ragrfisk. We’re (she’s) already nearly finished. It’s going to be absolutely fabulous. And it will have Odin on it. Before he invents clothing. I refuse to take responsibility for the actions of parents who buy their kids a book with a naked man (who drinks) on it.
(That’s an awful lot of brackets.)
Oh Gods. Fewer brackets, more details, please.
The “first” cover reveal will take place on my ko-fi page. It now features blog, some of which is a supporter-only section. It’s even simpler than Patreon, as I don’t have tiers. If you throw a few bucks in – doesn’t matter if that’s 3 or 3000, although I won’t protest if you pick the latter – you get access for 30 days. If you set a recurring payment, and again it doesn’t matter whether that’s $3 or $3000 a month, every supporter-only post is yours.
A week later, the cover will be announced in its full glory at the Queen’s Asylum blog. To quote the Queen herself, “you’ll have to pay for it (not money, I don’t know what yet, but you’ll pay for it)” and I am, obviously, already terrified. On the same day, the novella will become available as a free download for all my ko-fi supporters for two weeks. Once I put it on Amazon, I will be forced to take it down – but hopefully two weeks will be enough time.
I don’t have a release date, since I still have to finish the last rewrite, send it to my editor, then simultaneously to reviewers weird enough to want to read it and to my proofreader. Beginning of August seems feasible. August is literally the worst moment to release anything, unless you really like flopping, but if there has ever been a summer read, it’s this.
I am working on Land, the sequel to Children. I pinky-swear. I had to take a break, though, because where the readers described Children as “dark,” the beta readers described Land as “heartbreaking.” It’s inspired by current events, after all, and I haven’t been enjoying the world in 2020/2021 an awful lot.
There is still a lot of research to be done for Land. I also have the betas’ feedback to go through. And I have only rewritten the book seven times so far, which for me is practically a sketch. Fortunately, Fjorn of Fjorn’s Hall – a person who, unlike me, knows what he’s doing – helped me a lot. Unfortunately, while I don’t have 19 books to read now, I still have 19 pages of distilled information to go through. Not all of it is convenient for me, so I have to restructure parts of the book. Which, sadly, means that you should expect Land in 2022, rather than 2021. I need mental rest (and I’m pretty sure y’alls do as well).
There will be 4-5 of those novellas. Thor and Two Ladies will explain how exactly he married Sif, then took Járnsaxa as a lover. Odin and the Runes (yes, I know those titles are highly amusing and original) will answer the question where the runes came from – and why he felt like hanging off the Tree with a spear in his side was THE way to figure it out. The theft of Freya’s necklace will feature and so will Skadi’s foot fetish. (Before anybody suggests this one, Thor’s wedding has already been taken care of in Children.) Once I have all those I’ll put them together, add some extras in-between (I’m quite excited about the one where Frigg pops into the future to discover the latest fashions before Freya) (I don’t think this one was included in any of the Eddas), and release as a paperback + a complete e-book somewhere between not-yet and Frigg-knows-when.
(Thank you for reading. This was the last bracket for today.)