Four years ago, if you had asked me what I knew about Norse mythology, I would have shrugged and mumbled something about Thor dressing up as a woman to get his hammer back. I couldn’t even remember the name of Odin’s wife, and Loki was little more than a dark figure in my mind. Nonetheless, it was Loki who sparked my imagination.
Útgarda-Loki beamed at Thjálfi, then turned his attention back to Thor and Loki. “I would be honoured to keep the three of you as guests this evening. You are free to wander as you please—you will find nothing that I wish to keep hidden. But I will keep no one who is not the master of some task, so after our meal, I will test you. If you pass, you may stay with me in my house as long as you like and enjoy all the pleasures you find within.” Gracefully sweeping his arm to one side, Útgarda-Loki gestured towards his many guests, all of whom watched the odd trio with intense curiosity.
The thought of her husband made Sigyn’s stomach clench. It was not like Loki to return to the Northlands so late in the year after his annual journey south. That had always been part of their marriage agreement: he would stay with her and the children during the hard, lean northern winters but would be free to travel south during the relative comfort of the summer months. Loki always came home with stories of his adventures with Thor, and his ability to change shape made him a most entertaining storyteller.
Sif is Thor’s wife and the mother of Thrúd and Ullr.
Little is known of Sif, but some speculate that her golden hair and her relationship to the god of the sky suggest she is an earth goddess and that her golden hair signifies wheat, flax, or other crops.
Okay, so I wrote this book, see? It’s my first complete full-length novel, and it’s super long (245,000 words!!) and told in non-chronological order, so I was concerned that publishers would see it as too much of a risk. Either that or they would try to shorten or reorganize it, and then I’d jump up on their shiny hardwood desks and shake them by their designer collars while screaming “GET YOUR BLOODY MURDERING HANDS OFF MY PRECIOUS WORDBABY!” in their faces.
That would not be a good thing. So the original plan was to self-publish.
When I started writing Black Wolf: The Binding of Loki back in February 2015, I had no idea what a crazy trip I was embarking on or how much of my sanity I would have to pay out to get to my destination. There’s a lot to know and plenty to puzzle over when it comes to Norse mythology, as the myths, poems, and sagas were transmitted orally by the Vikings but not committed to paper until more than a century after their pagan religion and way of life had vanished.