Last year I had the pleasure of Interviewing Sandi Layne for the first of her Viking Trilogy novels, Eire’s Captive Moon. It is my pleasure to be able to present the first of a two-part interview with her about her new project. It is called Eire’s Viking and is the second book in her Viking Series.
It has been about a year since the last time I interviewed you. I know since that time you’ve become an award winning writer and a best-selling author of Norse and Viking Novels on Amazon.com. How does that feel?
Hey, I won my first award for Celtic Fiction in 2003. It’s an old award, but I am proud of it. Since then, I have been honored and tickled to have landed twice on Amazon Best Selling lists for two different niches, so that’s been very, very cool. Honestly, it wasn’t something I even thought of …until it happened. lol
Your new book has been out on the market for about a week now. How do you think its doing?
I have no clue, except that it’s been on that Historical Viking Romance list. I have terrific readers and I hope that when they do get around to reading this book that they’ll review so I can see how it’s doing. I won’t see actual figures on this title for a while.
Since this is the Viking Trilogy, when can we expect to see the next novel in the series?
This, I cannot tell you. I am still writing it, and I blush to say that it’s not finished, but telling Tuirgeis’s story has been hard. He was a real man who walked on this earth with a real history and I want to do him justice.
So tell us the story of how the sequel came to be. What inspired this new tale?
Well, back in the stone ages (read: before I even had internet) I had the idea for Charis to be an immortal and to live for a thousand years. Originally, her tale went through ten books, touching down in pivotal points of Irish history.
I have since learned that this is hard to do. *grin* So I am thankful to have a trilogy for the larger story arc that I’m working with at present.
When I originally wrote Captive Irish Moon, the “first iteration” of Éire’s Captive Moon, I wrote it to be a stand-alone, regardless of my delusions of grandeur. However, when the title was picked up by The Writer’s Coffee Shop, I told them about the three-story arc I had once considered and they thought it sounded good. My sister, Wendy Perrotte (who also pre-reads for me) encouraged me to get Éire’s Viking off the ground.
I must confess I haven’t read the book yet. I Plan on doing it over the next week and have a review up next Friday or Saturday. Can a person come in to this second volume without reading the first?
Warren! *gasps in feigned shock*
Seriously? One recent reviewer has recommended reading the first book before tackling this one. I did try to touch on the necessary elements to flesh out the world and characters in Éire’s Viking, but it might be helpful to have read Éire’s Captive Moon first.
Do you secretly compare your Viking books to other Viking media, like the Viking Series on the History Channel? (That’s a lot of Viking in one sentence…)
You pack those Vikings in like sardines, don’t you?
And funny you should ask… Actually, I am particular about my Northmen, it’s true. However, when I watched Vikings from the History Channel last year (and will be watching them again this year) I reminded myself that those Vikings were from the nation to be known as Sweden. As such, they had a different culture than my Northmen from Nordweg.
(Just for your Information: Sandi likes to comment on History’s Viking series with fellow author Lissa Bryan. You can find the series here and check out more about Lissa Bryan by clicking here. – WCB)
How much actual history are you packing in to these three books?
How do you mean? I am using many actual dates of documented events in the course of the Trilogy, as well as incorporating historical facts about kings and the establishment of cities and so on. But as it is historical fiction, I am also tinkering with these facts.
Historically speaking, how much time do you think all three books will encompass? How many years/decades/centuries/millennia/epochs.
The books encompass something like twenty actual years from the beginning of chapter one in book one to the end of the final chapter of book three. This time frame does not take into account the initial prologue or the series epilogue, however.
Are you trying to show a part of history that might not be seen in other historical fiction books? Or are you just trying to tell a good story?
One thing that I am hoping to do is give a face to Tuirgeis, currently known as the bloodiest tyrant in Ireland’s history. He’s known as the Devil King in some circles. In my learning, though, history is written by the victors, and by those who are literate enough to do so. His history was written, in large part, by the monks from whom he stole and whose strongholds he violated. I doubt they wrote entirely unbiased accounts. I’m kind of saying this:
History tells one tale of him; I will tell another.
What draws you to telling a historical story instead of a purely fictional one?
History fascinates me. Always has. Also, it’s a huge challenge for me to bind myself into the framework of history in order to tell a “What if?” kind of tale.
Do you think you’ll visit other areas outside the Viking age when this trilogy is finished?
I am currently working on a Regency-Era romance, actually. It deals with topics like Post Traumatic Stress and spousal abandonment, among other things. So though it will rest in history, I hope to cover topics that are pertinent to today.
And, of course, I have my contemporary romances.
I know you can write some great Sci-Fi. Do you think you’ll visit other genres outside of historical fiction and romance?
Are you referring to that cyberpunk story? Actually, I am considering going back to that one, anyway, at some point. Be afraid…
(Don’t be afraid. IT was really good and she should delve in to the fantastical or Scifi a bit more. In My Humble Opinion. – WCB)
Don’t you think you should write something awesome that takes place in the 80’s? I do. Because, you know, the 80’s rock. Like, totally.
For sure! That’d be totally gnarly, dude!
Actually, I have never considered it. However, having grown up in Southern California during the height of the Preppies and Valley Girl phenomena, that might be fun.
Have you ever thought about writing for other media? Like comic, movies, TV series or even radio.
Once upon a time, ages ago, I was privileged to be asked to write for a comic book. The project didn’t get completed, but I thought it was a valuable experience. If that artist ever wants to return to that comic? I’m game.
I have not, though, considered screenplays or anything similar.
15. What else would you like the readers of this blog to know about your Viking Trilogy?
Historical fiction with a splash of the supernatural can be fun. I invite your readers to lose themselves in a world that’s been gone for more than a thousand years, but that does, I hope, have people with whom they can relate, even so. The trilogy is for anyone who is interested in Vikings, in Ireland, Medieval Europe, and/or a story of how cultures clash and blend.
I hope they find themselves on a skipniu or in a langhús in the near future.
Just for clarification, I’ve known Sandi for many years. I always enjoy having her on my blog and hope to have more of her posts in the future. There will be at least one more, since this is only the first blog tour stop on my site for her new novel. Expect the second in two weeks! In that one we delve a bit more into her process of writing. You can find more stops on her tours by clicking here. That is also her website so make sure to look around and read many of her fine posts. I’m going to see if I can get her on a podcast at some point this year as well… *dun dun duuuuuun*
Look for Part Two on February 14th and my review of Eire’s Viking next week.