Guest post: Norse Influences by Tim Hardie
Today I’m delighted to host Tim Hardie, the author of Hall of Bones (SPFBO7 finalist), Sundered Souls, and soon more – so that he can tell us how Hall of Bones came to be and (gasp) how he did NOT read the myths for inspiration!
floor blog is yours, Tim.
When Bjørn Larssen asked if I’d like to contribute to his blog, I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated. Mr Larssen is a scholar [he really isn’t at all – B] when it comes to all things Viking and Norse and for a while I debated whether I should back out. My reason for thinking this, which I’ll expand on in this post, is my book isn’t really Viking or Norse at all.
This is, of course, a form of imposter syndrome. I particularly dislike that whole ‘You’re not a fantasy writer until you’ve read A, B, C … X, Y, Z, the short story collection for D, E, F … and the prequels for blah, blah, blah’. You get the point. By all means shout from the rooftops about the books you love. Authors need the support of their readers and fans. Seriously, though, if everyone had to read all everyone else’s favourites before they were allowed to put pen to paper the literary world would be dead. It’s a form of elitism which, taken to extreme, stifles creativity. If you want to write – just write.
As an aside, I’ve not read Malazan, will never pick up The Wheel of Time and I’ve DNF’d The Way of Kings, the first book of The Stormlight Archive. Bite me.
So, having gotten that out of the way, Bjørn asked me to write about the Norse influences of my book. I found myself thinking about this for some time, because I tend to describe my series (The Brotherhood of the Eagle) as Viking-inspired fantasy, with an emphasis on the word fantasy. You won’t find the Norse gods in my writing because my fantasy world has its own mythology and pantheon of flawed deities. It’s interesting how Norse fantasy has become a ‘thing’ in recent years and is now incredibly popular.
When I set out to write Hall of Bones, way back in 2011, I wanted to use a Viking culture as it provided something a little different to the standard/generic medieval fantasy setting. I couldn’t think of a comparable title back then. By the time the novel was finished at the end of 2015 the genre had caught up and that trend has continued apace.