Hiking is one of my main interests besides writing books. I like to walk to places with a purpose of finding out about their own unique histories. I've found old buildings, farms, hill-forts, old trails in the mountains and much more on my journeys, and some questions always pop up in my head. "What imprints were made on this land that shaped it into what it is today?" and "Who did it?" and "Why?" During my studies of nature philosophy I learnt how to get answers to these questions and I became very fascinated by the "Spirit of the Land" and the "Songs in the Wind". I had thought about putting it all down on paper for a long time. I had kept some kind of a messy journal mixed with historical research, old myths and my own experiences from my walking. Then I joined the "National Writing Month" in 2013, a contest where the participants are supposed to produce 50.000 words in a month. I grabbed the opportunity and transformed my research into a story. I won the challenge, but there was still a lot of work to do to finish the novel. All I had was a very raw text that needed to be put a lot of effort into to become a manuscript, and I suddenly got that nudge in the right direction of going through yet another transformation - making the novel a collection of poetry and short prose. I happened to love to write in such a free manner. I chose a writing style that had few strict rules, and my creative imagination and intuition got the chance to flow more easily when I didn't have to think about rules and compositions. My pieces of writing became snapshots of my own experiences. They became descriptions of moments that can stand alone, although I think they are strongest when they are read together from start to end.
What traits and tidbits do you share with your main character?
I think I share with her the need for wandering around while wondering, and by doing so, opening up to get possible answers to questions nobody else bothers to care about. By getting those answers, the questions seem to get important after all, you just didn't know until you got the answer. The overall concept of my texts has a student-teacher theme. My main character is the student, and all of her experiences are her teachers. I guess I can relate to that.
Did any of your inspiration for this book originate in your real life experiences?
The wanderings and the landscapes are real. I have changed some details to make each text go together with the concept of the whole story. The insights and teachings that sprang from them are presented by the teacher-archetype by the bonfire.
What made you decide to self-publish?
When I finished my manuscript I thought thoroughly through how I should get it out for people to read. Then it dawned on me that it would be a very time consuming task for an unknown writer without the right network like me to even be considered of interest. I needed that time to go hiking on new adventures, researching my new book, and writing. I knew that it would be very hard to sell a lot of books without a big publisher, and if I chose to work with a small press, the benefit for me would probably not be enough to be worth it, but on the contrary I also found out that I am not interested in doing changes on my piece of art to make it more marketable. It is what it is. Some will like it, some will not. Some will never find out that they would have loved it because they never gave it a try. I don't really care. I decided to walk the self-publishing path because of freedom.
Are there any specific authors whose writing styles or subject matter inspired your book?
Many authors and scientists deserve to be mentioned for their works that woke my imagination:
- Philip Carr-Gomm, for all of his writing and teaching on the topic of druidry
- Tom Egeland, for being my favourite author, and specially for having written the book "Paktens Voktere"
- Harald Sommerfeldt Boehlke, for having written "Viking Serpent"
- Phillip Gardiner, for all of his works on Gnosticism
- Fish, for all of his poetry up through the years
- Snorri Sturlusson, for making the stories of the"Edda" available for us so many years later
- Maria Kvilhaug, for her thesis on Norse Mythology "The Maiden of the Mead"
- Toril Nikolaisen Kilde and Dag R. Linnerud, for having written "Norrøne Arketyper" and helping people to know their roots
- Ingvild Forbord and Marit Clemenz, for having written "Gudinnens fortellinger" and for waking up the Goddesses
- Tryggve Bernt, for his thesis on hill forts in Norway
I've also been greatly inspired by the Bible and Campbell's Biology for giving me sparks of Life and Light, and a dual perspective.
Do you have another project in the works? If so, what is it?
Besides working on making the e-book available in paperback and translating it into Norwegian I have started doing some research for the runner up to "The Dragon Leaves". I've also enrolled the studies of the ancient culture of Nubia to learn more about how people lived and organized themselves thousands of years ago. I have given my next book the working title "The Priestess of the Waterfall" and it will be some kind of a runner up to "The Dragon Leaves". At the moment it will be another collection of vignettes. I can say as much as it will be a story of a girl that plunges in the waters to fulfill her task of nursing the old dragons, giving them a chance to come back with their way of living, teaching the people of today that there is a better way.