Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Norse Gods were never politically correct

The Norse gods aren't politically correct; at least they weren't in the original mythology.

Writing for a modern audience, I've kept many of their core attributes--but softened others, given not only the target audience but also my own ideas on what gods should be like.

CreateSpace will feature an excerpt showing my depiction of Freya soon. She's not Auntie Mame--or anyone's aunt--but her personality is very much in keeping with her origins.

And you will meet new gods from different pantheons, all in alliance against a common enemy, whose nature you'll find more about in this book.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

If you could ask any question of a god or goddess, what would you ask?

If you could ask any question of a god or goddess, who would you choose to speak to, and what would you ask? I'd be happy to see your posts below.

My character has an exchange with a goddess, who shall remain nameless but perhaps you can guess who she is.

       The goddess didn’t pay any attention to me; she absently stroked the wolf’s head, whispered to him and then he vanished so swiftly I wasn’t even sure in which direction he ran. He was just gone. She spoke to me again as if nothing has happened. “Human beings conceive and perceive gods in a way comprehensible to themselves and their nature. And we do our best to accommodate them, so that we may communicate with and help one another. But when the time comes, you will learn more about my father.  Perhaps your paths will cross, if he so wills it or the Fates do. I truly do not know.

            “I know questions are swarming in your mind but you must be patient. They must wait. We have work to do.”

            I couldn’t help thinking about metaphysics. I wanted to know the answers to questions, well, Otto would never think about but questions I’d think about, the questions the truly wise had asked forever, without ever finding out the answers. Despite what she said, I had to ask, I couldn’t help it. “Please, Your Highness, I have to know! Zeus, the king of the Greek gods – he must be your father! Does he get along with Odin? And is there a king above them all? Or are they adversaries? What do you think about our Judeo Christian religious beliefs? What about atheists? And what about Native American sacred traditions? Who or what is the Great Mystery that Ohiyesa wrote about?”

            She smiled. “Don’t you find it impolite to discuss people’s religious beliefs? If people disbelieve in my existence, who am I to challenge their convictions? Belief is not the same as truth, I think. Yet you will find a common thread in true wisdom that is intermingled with folly.

            “Know this: your knowledge of Native American religions and its pantheon will serve you in good stead when you meet others in the journey that lies before you. To your first question, your answer will come soon, depending on your success in your journey. I cannot deny that there are great perils and the danger you face is potentially mortal.

            “To your second question, I would ask you does not the choice of name provide the answer to your question, and reflect human wisdom?  Human wisdom – sadly, there has been a dearth of wisdom through the ages, ages beyond your imagining. Even if I am not the goddess of wisdom, the truth is plain to the least of us. I would answer only that the Great Mystery is the Source of every one of us, yet does not interact directly with mortals. An aspect of Him exists in His children, including for better or worse the gods, and also within his mortal godchildren, the last for want of a better analogy.

            “But I am not here with you now to speak to the child philosopher. When you meet my brother, you will have much to discuss, for in some respects you are kindred spirits. Our time is limited in this realm, you cannot stay long. Sadly, now is a time of war and battle, not one of peace.”

            I didn’t mean to sound whiny, but I couldn’t help getting upset. “But you, a goddess, have to know the answers to why are we here, how did the universe come to be, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world, why does evil happen, why are people so cruel, why there is disease and death and hate, what purpose do we human beings have?”

The Kindle edition of the book is free to purchasers of the Trade Paperback @ and available here: Son of Thunder Kindle Edition

Friday, February 13, 2015

Magni, Son of Thor, Son of Thunder

Since not a great deal is written on Magni, Son of Thor, I felt free to embellish the character. He has many of the characteristics of his father - courage, great strength, warmth, loyalty - and like his father, he's not a brilliant, cunning god but one who enjoys masculine pursuits, from drinking to fighting.

But that doesn't mean he's not perceptive and funny, although not always intentionally.

Most important of all, in addition to his power and bravery, is his compassion and inability to accept defeat.

Like Val, the Valkyrie, he's out of time but he's fit in better since he enjoys the athletic competitions of our era, in which he's participated.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Valkyrie out of Time...

I've introduced the character of a Valkyrie as one of the leads in Spear of Odin: Son of Thunder.

What is a Valkyrie? 

From Encyclopædia Britannica:

Valkyrie, also spelled Walkyrie, Old Norse Valkyrja (“Chooser of the Slain”),  in Norse mythology, any of a group of maidens who served the god Odin and were sent by him to the battlefields to choose the slain who were worthy of a place in Valhalla. These foreboders of war rode to the battlefield on horses, wearing helmets and shields; in some accounts, they flew through the air and sea...
Some Valkyries had the power to cause the death of the warriors they did not favour; others, especially heroine Valkyries, guarded the lives and ships of those dear to them. Old Norse literature made references to purely supernatural Valkyries and also to human Valkyries with certain supernatural powers. 

 Link:  Entry: Valkyrie

Since the Valkyrie in my story is from a different age, a different time, she views the "culture" or customs of our era skeptically, given her nature and love of battle and heroism.

Initially, her introduction takes place on earth or Midgard. But soon she and Peter, the protagonist of the story, leave our world - for a time - and her powers and abilities come to the fore. He's a little overwhelmed after their first encounter, but things change.

Feel free to download a preview of the book for your Kindle or other device at this link:

Son of Thunder: The Spear of Odin Book One


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meet the Volcano Giants!

I've just posted an excerpt of the first appearance of the super wicked Volcano Giants, as they're christened by Peter Perkins.

Take a look via this link to CreateSpace:

Volcano Giants preview: Son of Thunder

And yes, I'm still waiting for the Kindle version, I hoped by this week but not yet. Maybe next. And the price should be very reasonable.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Preview of first chapter of Son of Thunder

Although I've posted the first chapter (excerpt) from Book Two of The Spear of Odin, The Cloak of Freya, I've now posted an excerpt of the first book Son of Thunder, Book One of the The Spear of Odin trilogy.

The Cloak of Freya excerpt will only make sense - or make more sense - after reading the first book in the series.

In any event, I hope you enjoy these excerpts and that they stimulate your interest. Feel free to comment, as I've included some questions on the CreateSpace site. 

Note that you only see the Greek, Norse and Chinese protagonists in the second excerpt from The Cloak of Freya. The size of the post is limited, otherwise I'd have included the entire chapter for each book.

The latest revision of Son of Thunder should post to Amazon shortly. The paperback's price (with really high quality paper, not like the newsprint in most bestsellers that you buy nowadays) was raised to the minimum to allow greater distribution, i.e. Independent Bookstores, libraries, etc.

And without further ado (Kindle edition on its way!) here's the link:

Chapter One excerpt from Son of Thunder


I've posted the rest of Chapter One, Son of Thunder, plus a sneak peak of Chapter Two.


Here's the link:

Son of Thunder conclusion of Chapter One and Chapter Two preview 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

On bullying...

My coming of age story concerns a young man who's been bullied. I think bullying is a topic that is relatively common in the mainstream media, meaning one can see stories on large outlets like the U.K.'s Daily Mail, and news pages and sadly all too common in every day life.

Yet the perspective I present in my story is of a young man who's life is changed - at least initially for the worst, then later for the better having survived an attack. Since Son of Thunder is a work of fiction, principally set in a world where Norse gods are common and active, nothing in the writing proposes a solution, other than the changing understanding my young hero has for himself, and understanding his true nature.

I suspect that targets of bullying are frequently of better character than their attackers. Yet when we consider bullying, we should think of the cost.

There are no easy answers; the environment in schools isn't always focused on education and developing good character. Parents must be sympathetic and supportive, yet not every child will reach out, sometimes unaware.

Unlike the character in my story, the typical young person can't journey to other worlds and fight monsters; instead I think he will have to find the inner strength to endure and prevail.

And in drawing upon that inner strength potentially within each and every one of us and describing it, that aspect of my novel isn't as "fantastic" as the fantasy elements.