Believe it or not, I found a basis for including people of colour *in the mythology.*
It has been a long time coming, but Black Wolf: The Binding of Loki is now on the verge of publication. After several production snags resulting from the sheer length of the book and structural changes at the printing company, I am expecting the e-book to be released shortly, with the paperback novel to be available by early March. This week, I have been working with Renaissance Press to finalize the back cover copy, and we are ALL looking forward to finally setting this little bird free.
Though he was not quite of age, Thor had grown snugly into the mantle of manhood. He was broad and brawny, already quite adept at the skills of warcraft, and he frequently bested more seasoned athletes at games of strength and agility. His coarse hair had grown into a great mane of brassy blond, and his beard was full and streaked with copper. He could be quick to anger but just as quick to forgive, and his jovial demeanour made him many friends amongst the Aesir.
But as he strode across the fields in search of his younger brothers, his mind was clouded by thoughts of his parents’ strange behaviour in recent days and the increasing weight it placed on his shoulders as Odin’s eldest son. Frigg’s rational and compassionate leadership had lapsed suddenly when Baldr grew frail, and Odin’s disappearance had only exacerbated her fragility. Odin himself had remained distant and secretive since his return.
Someone or other once said “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Well, I keep making plans and life keeps happening. That article on Vikings and volcanoes I started in April is still on the backburner because I need to do a bit more research, but other things have been occupying my time. Like my book and paying work—in that order.
I was almost half-done this round of revisions on Black Wolf when I decided it was absolutely necessary to eat a frog that’s been croaking at me for over a year—I needed to revise all the crappy part and chapter titles that have been mocking me ever since I wrote them.
Let me start by saying that perfectionism is a curse that rots your brain and hacks away your self-confidence until you’re nothing but a quivering pile of dogshit. I am author, hear me whimper.
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.
Freedom of speech does not protect you from criticism; rather, it subjects you to it.
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.
Back in August, the DigiWriting Book Marketing Agency held #CanLitPit on Twitter so authors could tweet their books at them. On October 22-23, 2016, they will be hosting the Stratford Writers Festival in (where else) beautiful Stratford, Ontario.