17th of November 2022
How did you strike a balance between history and fantasy? Was it difficult?
Very difficult, yes. At least at the beginning. Us, modern day people, mostly don’t believe in magic or giants or multiple gods, so we discount past accounts thereof easily, but to the Vikings these things were real. I began to wonder: who is to say there is a line there at all, or precisely where it lies?
1st of November 2022
When I started writing The Hanged God trilogy, an epic fantasy about Vikings and Norse gods, there were few depictions of Vikings in modern media.
Now it seems that Vikings are everywhere. From the critically acclaimed “The Northman” to the iconic tv show “Vikings” and the hilarious Norwegian show “Norsemen”.
Below are five films that came at a time where Vikings were not quite as popular and which therefore remain relatively unknown today. Only true Viking connoisseurs will have watched them all. How many do you know?
28th of October 2022
Most people think horned helmets when they hear 'Vikings', so here’s the irony: Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets.
Only two horned helmets have been unearthed in Scandinavia. Both are dated to more than a thousand years before the Viking Age. It’s even hypothesised that they were imported from the Mediterranean area. Why, then, do we associate horned helmets with Vikings, when it had nothing to do with them?
19th of March 2022
Is it easier to further develop characters you’ve already written in book one?
I think it’s definitely easier than to start from scratch. In a sequel the base work has been done. Usually by the time I’m ready to write a sequel I know my characters so well that they often take the story into their own hands, whereas when I first encounter them, I’m still trying to figure out who they really are and what they care about...
21st of March 2022
We’ve already met Alvilde and the skeleton in Grave C 22541, but there’s no one quite like Auðr…
When talking about strong Viking Age women, many will likely think of female warriors like Lagertha, known from the TV show Vikings, Alvilde whom we heard about previously, or even Hilda from the Hanged God Trilogy, but female strength does not necessarily have to take the form of physical violence.
8th of March 2022
While legendary stories are a great source of inspiration, reality is not far behind.
When digging into the earth, we sometimes find mysterious pieces of the lives of Vikings whose stories are yet to be told. Stories we can only imagine from the little we’re given. Such is the fate of a skeleton in Norway called C 22541.
2nd of March 2022
The story of Alvilde is going to sound familiar, but likely you haven’t heard it told quite this way.
There was once a Norse woman locked up in her room, guarded by a big snake-like dragon. Whoever could slay the beast would win her hand in marriage, but any who tried and failed would be beheaded and their heads would be displayed on poles at the entrance.
26th of October 2021
Who is your favourite Norse God or Giant and why??
My favourite god or giant… hmm instinct tells me to say Odin the great Alfather, since he is both a god and technically also a giant (born to giant parents, I kid you not). Plus he is just a really interesting character.
But if I am to pick a god who is talked about less often, then I always had a soft spot for Njord, who is the god of the sea.
26th of October 2021
As for the actual writing itself, you write very precise and vivid fight scenes, is this a strength of yours, a favourite to write, or do you find your comforts in other parts of the writing process?
This might come as a surprise, but what I struggle with the most is fight scenes. When I started writing Northern Wrath, battle scenes were my biggest weakness. The thing that no matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t get right.
Maybe that’s why there are so many of them in Northern Wrath.
25th of January 2021
What parts of this culture did you really want to highlight through the narrative and what lessons have Vikings from the past taught you about living today?
At the forefront of my narrative is the idea that culture dictates everything else. The Vikings acted as they did because of their belief-system, which dictated their culture.
If you truly believe that in order to get to the cool afterlife, where the awesome gods feast, you first have to die an honourable death in battle… Well then you have to go out and get into some fights to find those battles. Otherwise there’s absolutely no chance of you ending up in that awesome hall in the afterlife.
21st of December 2020
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers, particularly those tackling large books or trilogies?
Knowing where you’re going is crucial. I think this is especially true for larger works because there is a lot of room to be blown off-course.
About a month into my first draft I began to write one of the last chapters of the entire trilogy. I kept writing on it, on and off. Having a solid ending meant that no matter how much the story changed, I always knew exactly where I needed to end up and how my characters had to evolve too. It kept me grounded and allowed room for things to change and be fluid.
2nd of December 2020
How many rejections before someone asked for a full manuscript?
My current day agent was the eleventh agent that I contacted and the day after I sent him a query, he responded wanting to see the full thing. But.... Then the waiting game began and I continued to query because I had been in a similar situation before and been rejected. By the time my agent had finished the manuscript and we met up, I had received more rejections than I can count on my hands and feet.
16th of November 2020
Should an eager reader flip open Northern Wrath and land on page 69, they would find only a few lines to digest.
They would land at the end of a chapter and this particular chapter is from the point of view of a minor character in Northern Wrath. One might therefore assume that it would not be representative of the novel as a whole, and yet… On this very page, the reader would discover the heart of the initial conflict of the novel,
16th of November 2020
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?
The title, Northern Wrath, immediately tells a potential reader that there are some people in the north, and that these people are pretty angry. So that certainly puts potential readers on the right path.
The title also encapsulates the first book in a different way for readers, as it references both a scene and a physical symbol within the book
4th of November 2020
What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?
The first one I remember was back when I was 12. Unable to wait for the sixth installment of Harry Potter, I stretched my fingers and wrote a fanfiction. It followed Cho Chang and there was a whole section from Draco Malfoy’s point of view where he got bitten by a werewolf and was in terrible pain but other than that I don’t remember much about it. I abandoned it after 9 chapters.
2nd of November 2020
Thilde Kold Holdt entraîne le lecteur dans une épopée Vikings
Thilde Kold Holdt, ce nom pourrait bien briller à l’avenir, dans le monde de l’édition. Cette Danoise de 27 ans publie chez Solaris le 1er tome d’une trilogie fantastique aujourd’hui terminée: Northern Wrath.
La diffusion couvre la Grande-Bretagne, les Étas-Unis et tous les pays de banque anglaise. L’oevre, plus de 2000 pages, a été écrite à Roquebrun, et aura demandé cinq ans de travail.
1st of November 2020
Is Odin the figure that interests you most from Norse Mythology?
Odin is a fascinating figure to me because although he is the Alfather and this grand figure who is basically the god of gods, he is also not a dashing hero, and maybe that’s why none of my characters truly are either. The very idea of a dashing hero to save the day seems at odds with the decisive figures that populate Norse mythology.
November 2020 Isse
We gather you’ve sailed on a Viking warship! How?! What’s that like?
It’s a magical experience of camaraderie. During one cold night sail I slept curled up at the aft, freezing, when a headlight shone into my eyes. I awoke only to see that it was the full moon rising above the curved sail. A lightning storm flashed in the distance. Magical.
29th of October 2020
How long did the first book take to get from "idea" to "done"?
Great question, it depends on what we consider "done". But let me try to break it down to give you a better idea.
I got the idea end August 2015 (I think that's the right year?) and then I did research. I began writing on the 27th of September. By June the following year I had a first draft that was about 200 000 words long. Add an additional year of editing while I wrote the next instalment (or what I thought would be the next instalment), and I had something pretty good.
28th of October 2020
Did you have many inspirations when writing Northern Wrath and if so, what were they?
I took my inspiration for Northern Wrath almost exclusively from real history and Norse beliefs. My main inspiration was the research I did. I especially relied on the Poetic Edda, which tells the naughty stories of the Norse gods and which, more importantly, gives a real insight into the culture of the Vikings. A culture that I had grown up within.