For about 200,000 words, I thought I knew what I was doing.
In regards to the landscape, that is.
My books take place in Norway, or at least a mythic version of Norway. Perhaps in my books the sky is a little bigger, a little bluer, the mountains taller, the fjords deeper. The earth, or Midgard, that Raef Skallagrim is a part of, is very much a living, breathing character in my books. At least that’s how I feel, and I hope my readers will, too.
During the time I spent writing books one and two, I imagined my mythic Norway quite vividly and I was entirely satisfied. But then I hopped on a plane last August and approximately ten hours later I discovered that I had it all wrong.
Okay, maybe not all, but during my all too brief ten days in the land of the midnight sun (alas, it was rather more like a ten o’clock sun by then), I became saturated with images of a land far more distractingly beautiful, bewitching, dazzling, and downright epic than the one I had been able to imagine.
I was more than a little in awe.
When I returned to the States, I had new words to describe Skallagrim’s fjord-side home–because, though I have taken those images with me as I wrote another 100,000 words spanning a great deal of landscape, this place, above all, had to be right, whatever that meant. I think I got there.
Here is a sampling of some of my favorite pictures from Norway. I challenge you not to taste the fresh air (really, it was) and the clean water (it was delicious), or feel the sun warming the back of your neck, or understand what it would be like to watch the stars turn in that massive, dark sky.
Maybe, just maybe, you’ll catch sight of a sleek, swift longship riding the wind around the bend of a blue fjord….