Looking for the backstory of a particular character? Want to know more about Viking ships? You’ll find it here in my blog.
Writing historical fiction is a multi-step process. This post will focus on the first steps in that process: researching and outlining.
The city of Kiev (Kyiv) in Ukraine has seen much warfare in its long history and has borne witness to many sad events. This post will focus on one of those events – the Siege of Kiev in AD 968 – which plays a major role in the opening scenes of my novel, Sigurd’s Swords.
Grand Prince Sviatoslav, ruler of the Rus in the 10th century, features largely in my novel, Sigurd’s Swords. He is a courageous man and a warrior’s leader, but did his courage lead to his downfall?
Christianity did not come quickly to the early Scandinavians. While the majority of western Europe had already accepted the Christian faith, the Vikings preferred their old gods and resisted the incursion of the new faith. It was not until the 800s that one man began to change that. His name was Ansgar.
There has long been a debate about whether Olaf Tryggvason was at the Battle of Maldon, a battle believed to have taken place on Aug 11 in AD 991. This post will take a closer look at that question and hopefully shine a bit more light on that subject.
From the feedback I’ve received, it’s clear that more is known of the Vikings in England, France and Ireland, and that fewer readers know about this place called Kievan Rus’ or Gardariki – a place that will eventually become what is now called Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine – or the important role it played in the Viking story and in the history of Eastern Europe. Hopefully this post will help shine a bit more light on that bygone kingdom.
I am thrilled to announce that my fifth novel and the second in the Olaf Saga series of books, Sigurd’s Swords, is now available to order on Amazon in print and eBook formats.
The second book of Olaf’s Saga, Sigurd’s Swords tells the story of the future king of Norway, Olaf Tryggvason, and his time living and fighting in the war-torn kingdom of the Rus. Read more and pre-order today.
Writing historical fiction often presents difficulties. In my most recent book, Sigurd’s Swords, one of those challenges was understanding the place called Novgorod.
We all know mistletoe as the twig we hang in doorways and thresholds during the Christmas or Yuletide season and under which we kiss. But why? Where did this tradition come from and why is this parasitic and poisonous plant at the center of it?
During previous Octobers, I have written about Viking creatures and things that go bump in the night. This October, I decided to investigate a simple question: did the early Scandinavians (who I will call Vikings for simplicity) celebrate Halloween? This blog post unveils what I found.
In my latest Viking Age novels, I introduce a female character named Turid who yearns to fight alongside men in battle. To me, it seemed natural that during the Viking Age, there might be women who wanted to –– and did –– fight. This post takes a closer look at the plausibility of that.
Much has been written about Viking ships. How they were constructed. Their various sizes and names. So rather than ply similar seas, this post takes a closer look at the resources, economics, and “person-power” it took to get just a single Viking ship into the water.
In my latest novel, I have the pleasure of bringing my readers into the world and life of Olaf Tryggvason. This post describes the background story of Olaf’s lineage, his birthplace, his early life, and the circumstances that defined his upbringing.
You may have noticed my recent social posts in which I quote various stanzas from a poem. The poem is called “The Saga of King Olaf” and it was written by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
With COVID-19 spreading globally, it made me wonder about diseases during the Viking Age and whether early Scandinavians (who I will call the Vikings) ever dealt with a pandemic. As it turns out, they did.
From the bestselling author of Hakon’s Saga comes Forged by Iron, the first in a series of thrilling books about Olaf Tryggvason, one of the most legendary and enigmatic kings of the Viking Age. Find out more in this post!
In the year AD 933 or 934, a battle was fought in a place called Mollebakken, not far from modern-day Tønsberg. Though the poet and historian Snorri Sturlason describes the battle in a few short lines in Heimskringla, the battle proved to be one of the more consequential battles in Norway’s history.
I’ve been traveling through Italy and there is one spot where myth and history combine to tell an interesting tale of the Vikings. The place is called Luni.
There has been plenty of research and writing about the Viking Age, when it began and why it began. In this post, I wanted to take a step farther back, to what may have led to the Viking Age, and just pose some questions to think about…
Much has been written about the Scandinavians going viking, and how those raids evolved from attacking vulnerable targets and collecting booty and slaves, into the conquest and colonization of kingdoms. With this post, I wanted to bring your attention back to the home front, where the strife between the Scandinavians followed a similar trajectory.
I could not be more excited to share with you that my third Viking historical fiction novel, War King, has released today. Like the others, War King tells the story of Hakon Haraldsson and his trials as king of Viking Age Norway. Read more about the novel, and where to get it, here.
In my previous posts, I have focused all of my attention on Norway, and in particular, on the kings and sub-kings of present-day Norway during the 9th-10th century AD. I now would like to shift the focus east, to what was then called the Way East, or Austrvegr.
I am thrilled to share the cover art and synopsis of Book #3 of Hakon’s Saga with all of you. The book is called War King, and as the title suggests, it’s full of action.
This week’s people of interest are Harald Fairhair’s son, Olav, and grandson, Trygvi, both kings of Vingulmark (and later, Vestfold), which is the area around present-day Oslo, and whose name means impenetrable forest.
This week’s people of interest are Harald Fairhair’s son, Björn, and grandson, Gudröd, both kings of Vestfold as their forebears Harald and Halvdan had been before them. Read on to find out more.
One of my favorite characters in my novels about Hakon the Good is Sigurd Hakonsson, the jarl (or earl) of Lade. Read on to hear his story and how he factors into the life of Hakon the Good.
Today, I wanted to take a closer look at King Athelstan, king of the English, and more specifically, at his possible influence on his foster son, Hakon the Good.
Social class. It is one of those storytelling elements that can affect plot, character, and setting. But what happens when the social hierarchy is not so clear?
How does a writer create believable characters if the characters lived decades ago, centuries ago, or even, millennia ago? One of the methods is through their speech, which manifests itself in dialogue. Here is my five-step recipe for creating believable historical dialogue. Hopefully, it can be useful to you too…
It’s been 12 years since God’s Hammer was first published, and today, under the stewardship of my publisher Creativia, God’s Hammer has finally reached the #1 spot (or bestseller status) on Amazon.com in Historical Fiction.
I’m excited to let you know that Raven’s Feast, the sequel to God’s Hammer and the second book in Hakon’s Saga, has launched and is now available in print and ebook formats.
To be quite candid, God’s Hammer has had a rather strange life that exemplifies both the changing face of publishing and the challenges facing authors today. Read more about its strange life in this post.
That is the central question that Hakon Haraldsson must answer in GOD’S HAMMER. It is not an atypical question for the Dark Ages. There are countless stories of warlords and kings dying in their pursuit of the throne, or dying to protect it. Yet Hakon’s story stuck a chord with me because Hakon was not the typical Viking leader.
One of the most difficult judgment calls in writing historical fiction is the handling of names and place names, especially when dealing with time periods where written resources are scarce. Here’s why…
A number of people have asked me over the years why I chose Hakon Haraldsson (or “Hakon the Good” as the sagas call him) as the protagonist in the GOD’S HAMMER series (yes – it’ll be a series. I promise). While we don’t know all of the facts of Hakon’s life, we do know that even if marginally true, Hakon’s story takes many of the norms of Viking literature and turns them on their head. In many ways, Hakon is the anti-Viking, yet a memorable hero nonetheless. And that’s precisely what drew me to him.
Get even more free content!
Be the first to know when my new books come out. Plus, get a FREE sample of Forged by Iron, special access to cover art and giveaways, sneak peeks and special excerpts from upcoming books, and more.