Hi Lena. Thanks for joining us today. Please tell us about your latest book, "Runes of Fate".
What's your book about?
Runes of Fate blends a classic murder mystery with everyday life in a Viking village, but it's also a story about freedom, and wanting to be more than what you are. The story starts out with Sissa locked up in a shed, waiting to be sacrificed to the Gods. She eventually faints, and when she wakes up the next morning, they find out that another girl was sacrificed instead. While Sissa struggles to find out who's responsible for the death of the other girl, she also has to decide if she can accept her place as a thrall in the village, and the young man who is willing to give her a safe and traditional life. I've really loved bringing a part of my Scandinavian heritage to life in this story, and I really hope that my Viking ancestors would have appreciated how the story turned out.
What should readers expect from you titles?
I write in different genres but I think that a common theme in my books are strong characters with lots of good qualities but also plenty of flaws, just like everyone in real life. My stories, the Adventure/Mystery ones in particular, often makes unexpected twists, and they are all written with an underlying sense of humor, sometimes bordering on the ridiculous.
What is your favorite way to procrastinate?
Eating candy. I'm actually not sure it's my favorite way, though, and really wish it was something healthy instead, like taking long walks with my dogs, running or doing yoga, but hand me a big bowl of candy and I can push writing way too far into the future. Because it's perfectly impossible to type and chew at the same time, right? When I'm dawdling in earnest, I might even decide that it's absolutely necessary to sort all my Jelly Beans in flavors, or colors, before I start writing.
If you could have dinner with an author, who would it be?
The writer can be living or passed away.
If you could travel to another time, would you choose past or future or would you stick where you are at? And Why?
Since I'm all excited about my new novel, and it's set in the Viking era, I'd love to go back to that time. There are so many conflicting interpretations about their lives and even after wading through tons of books and articles I still had to make assumptions, so I'd like to go back to see how accurate I've been.
Do you feel music has inspired your writing?
Absolutely! I have music on all the time when I write, and picking the right song definitely puts me in the right mood for the scene I'm working through. Sometimes it's a soft and sweet moment, and then I often end up playing my favorite country station on the radio. Another time it's danger and drama, and then I put something like Take Me To Church by Hozier on repeat.
What's your writing process like?
My stories always start out with a vague idea bouncing around in my head, and I usually let it stay there for quite some time. While I stew on the idea I start thinking about the characters involved, who are they, why are they in this story? I'm also an illustrator so often I draw crude sketches of the story that goes up on the walls around my desk. Once I decide to start writing, it moves along quite quickly. I type up a brief plot/story line, mostly like extended chapter headings. Then I start writing, and as I move along, I also add details to the story line. Once I'm at the magical 'the end', I go back to tighten it all up, often deleting quite a lot. Then I let a few others read it and comment, after which there's usually things to add/explain/re-write. Next step is sending it off for edit. Then, finally, I take a deep breath and declare it to be done. As I wrote this down, I was actually baffled at how simple it sounds - when in reality it's a rather grueling process with many hours of wrestling out words, obsessing over the tiniest details.
What's next for you as an author?
I'm working on two projects right now. My next novel, Wilder, is planned for release in late September, and it will be a spin off from my three books in the Dreughan-series. The first three books take place in another time, a thousand years ago, but Wilder will instead be a modern time fantasy where my heroine has to find clues in the past to save the world as she knows it. I'm also doing illustrations, and my other project is an adult coloring book called Catching Dreams, which is planned for release at the end of summer.
Thanks again for joining us!
I'd like to send huge thanks to my readers! It humbles and inspires me that I get to take you away from your busy lives for a little while. I hope you'll find Runes of Fate entertaining!