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Rebecca Gable: Of course! You asked if I could imagine writing a novel based on your famous board game.
KT: I had read one of your books and was so excited about it, I wanted you to bring the story of the settlement of Catan to life. What was your first thought when I asked you?
RG: I thought, "This must be the most unusual and fascinating project ever proposed to me." What gave you the idea for a novelization in the first place?
KT: In the game, seafarers land on Catan. They harvest, trade, build, and settle the island. But where did those seafarers come from? Who are they? Why did they undertake this dangerous journey? The game doesn't answer any of those questions. I had some ideas but no story yet. Then you entered the picture.
RG: We met in Cologne to discuss some basic plot ideas, and it turned out we both had the word "Vikings" in our heads. What is so "Viking" about the game?
KT: Catan is set in the Early Middle Ages, and at that time the Vikings were the only seafaring people to venture into the open ocean, and therefore the only ones capable of reaching a fictitious island in the middle of the Atlantic. That was probably at the back of our minds.
How do you move from a draft outline like ours to developing your characters? Do you use people you know as models?
RG: Never. I'm fond of my friends and want to keep them, so I make sure the characters in my books don't resemble them. Speaking of characters: If you had to choose, would you rather sit down in a beer garden with Candamir or Osmund?
KT: Well, I'd prefer a little flirt with Siglind. But if I may only choose one of the men, I'd like Candamir to explain to me how to build a nice wooden chest. I still need a Christmas present for my wife.
How did you come up with the idea to season the novel with Austin, a likeable character who so insistently (and unsuccessfully) tries to evangelize his master, Candamir?
RG: The game inspired the creation of Austin. You've got to be clever and sometimes mean to win at Settlers of Catan, but whenever I play, it strikes me that what you need most is the ability to cooperate and compromise. Austin stands for that ability, I think--though he can be clever and mean, too.
KT: In your telling of the legend of Catan, the god Odin falls in love with Tanuri, the king of the Albs' daughter. Normally Odin can have any woman, but Tanuri makes a fool of him when he creates an idyllic island for her. Grief stricken, he moves the island to a place where nobody can find it. Of course, the island is Catan. Where did you get this wonderful idea? Did it come from an archetype in Norse mythology?
RG: It's not based on any particular Norse saga, but I tried to capture the atmosphere and narrative patterns of the form. I also wanted to emphasize how very special Catan is--not just in the book, but for millions of fans all over the world who love the game. Catan is a mythical and wonderful place.
The beginning was a little hard, the pronunciation of names In particular, but. Once with story evolved the action and excitement began, I was immersed into the world of the... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Burl A. Etue
Excellent book. Could not put it down. Author did a great job. Good adventue yarn. Viking stories are enjoyable reading.Published 1 month ago by J. P. Erler
Even though this book is a novelization of a popular game for those aged 8 and up, this book is NOT suitable for children, even though it seems to be written on about a sixth grade... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Har.b
I bought this eBook because it was on sale and thought I'd give it a try. It's on my top 5 favorites. Definitely a good read. It's got it all.Published 3 months ago by LovesToRead
Interesting read, wish it didn't end where it did. Maybe a sequel or a series would be good, I would buy another book by this author.Published 3 months ago by Stephanie Winger
Despite the length (660 pages!), this was a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and the characters. It was like "reading" the game. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nick Kaspar
The descriptions of the landscape of Catan take the reader to this island with its beautiful forests and barren desert formed by volcanos. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Margaret Cohen
I admit to begin with that I bought this book because I got it inexpensively and wanted to have it on my bookshelf. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michael Wiser
Kept my interest throughout the entire story of people leaving their homeland and starting all over in a new and unknown land.Published 4 months ago by Tjay