Q&A WITH AUTHOR HUGH B. LONG
Q: Why did you write this book?
A: "This is the book I wanted to read 25 years ago, but it didn't exist. I imagined a world in which Norse mythology was more than just the basis for epic stories. I wanted to see what a future might look like if the world had been formed as described in the old stories, and one tale in particular: Voluspa, which is part of the Poetic Edda, highlights the mythic beginnings of the world. I fantasized about what the world would look like with those beginnings, and projected that into the future."
Q: How did you become interested in the topic?
A: "Like any kid, I was fascinated by adventure. That included hard-boiled survival stories by the likes of Farley Mowat. Fantasy was also a big influence, starting with the Arthurian myths and continuing with the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, which is where I discovered the Runes. That lead me to Norse Mythology, which Tolkien borrowed from heavily. I've since written several non-fiction books on Norse Mythology and Norse culture. Then, because I was also fascinated by science and technology, I began reading science fiction. Vern, Heinlein and Asimov were some of my early influences. So, I wanted to write stories that had a sweeping epic feel, had Norse DNA, and were set in a future world."
Q: What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book?
A: "All my non-fiction books were designed to educate people on the impact that Norse culture has on our present day lives - for example: Five days of the week are named for Norse Gods and Goddesses. Why did they not teach me that in school?
With my fiction, I want to continue to educate people on those times and culture, but mainly I want to entertain. I'm writing exactly what I would want to read."
Q: Who is your intended readership?
A: "People who love a mystery, adventure, and want to be emotionally invested in characters. I want to tell gripping tales, but also ensure that humanity is present in all it's raw and ugly glory. I expect people who love fantasy, science fiction, as well as historical fiction, will enjoy my books. I'm really blending those genres."
Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
A: "From the time I was maybe 14, I knew it was my ultimate dream. I dabbled throughout my career in hi-tech, writing technical articles for a magazine, but only recently took the plunge and began writing full time. I was recently reading about Lee Child and how he started writing at 40, well I was 41 before I made the commitment."
Q: How did you research your book?
A: "The fiction is the easy part, with regards to research, but I did want much of my science to be at least based in reality. Sure, I digress from reality, but hey, it's science fiction! For example, worm-holes are really based on the theories of Einstein and Rosen, hence the Einstein-Rosen Bridge. And in my book we use microscopic bridges for instantaneous communications without a limitation on distance - The ERBT (Einstein-Rosen Bridge Transceiver), most folks just call it the stellar-comm. Other bits of technology like my starship power plants, use the concepts of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. My characters use a gadget called a Dark Matter Tap to pull that energy into phase with our Universe so we can use it to power hyperdrives."
Q: What surprised you about the process of writing your book?
A: "Although I plotted in great detail, many parts of the book just took off and wrote them selves! It was amazing! I've written several non-fiction books, so I'm used to dealing with a representation of facts, and organizing material, but when my story began to live and breath in front of me...that was simply awesome!"
Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A: "I collect functional swords, enjoy Nordic Walking, and I read voraciously (2-3 books per week)."
Q: Are you working on another book?
A: "Absolutely. I have 9 books planned in the Tribes of Yggdrasil series, and I'm also writing a serialized story called "Draugr's Saga" which is about Viking Zombies. I release one episode a month (about 30 pages) and will be doing 12 episodes. After the 12'th serial, I'll publish a paperback Omnibus."
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.