Today is my stop on the North blog tour and I am here today with an interview with the author!
Title: North Publisher: Clink Street Publishing Published: 1st October 2019 Format: Paperback Source:: N/A Add It:Amazon UK. Goodreads. Summary: After one of the most decisive warring campaigns in European history between Barbarians and Romance, the sheer possibility of a full-scale Roman invasion into Barbarian lands launches a lifelong recruitment process, which drives to the re-discovery of old mighty forces in the long forgotten North. The most apolocalyptic pan-tribal conflict amongst central and northern European natives will ensue.
What is your favourite thing about writing books? My favourite thing about writing is full concentration, attaining deep focus, getting in the groove of no-time-awareness. Usually, when the day is over and no more obligations tie me to the world, listening to music lets me get into this state. Reading does this too, as well as writing or drawing. It leads to a feeling of very satisfying and adventurous discovery (or self-discovery). The exploring, investigating, learning about the weird notions of our world can spring forth a string of bits and bobs that can result in a song, a painting, or a book in this case.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why? My favourite character is Oss, a.k.a. Cerrunnos. He is a crucial character because it is his family line that brings the whole plot together. There are so many gaps that he can fill when one reads the works of Snorri Sturlusson. A pagan, heathen forlorn deity driven away from our common European memory is grandfather to the four Harts. His “antlers” are a staple mark of pagan European culture, as were bull horns (in the name of Mitra) on Gaulish helmets, so many times, annoyingly, mistaken for Viking helmets…
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing? Whilst writing, ginger and lemon Tea is the best choice at night and sports drinks to boost the carbs, sodium, and potassium intake to keep the mind nice and focussed during the day.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing? Bad habits regarding writing… I write but there are no detrimental habits, really, I find I am a bit like a reporter, (this might be an unconventional take as opposed to methods of writers-by-trade) if it is system to what the question aims at: I gather information relevant to the topic, I assemble it, edit it and rewrite everything making it all fit my vision. Everything, big and small, has to do with everything, I mean, all the info put on the table has to do with the end goal, the big picture works because of detail. Following the writ, I can’t remember any more, how many endless times I had to re-read the whole thing to put everything in proper order, checking for spelling, grammar, changing words, checking facts, double checking facts, plus a long list of related etceteras…
How do you research your books? My research was quite particular because it stemmed from doing family ancestry research.
I thought of the family of the Norse gods, I could not stop once I started reading about them realizing I had made several new connections. The thing is that Snorri Sturlusson created a full compilation of north European folkloric stories, poems, songs, tales, legends, and myth, all of it mixed and jumbled into the stories he knew of the old gods. To me, in spite of it all being a mammoth achievement, it was up to us, today, to see through the thick of it to extract this story-line of the gods.
I started with the reproduction of images from actual Rune stones then slightly retouched some with graphic designing tools. I then went into the old northern European alphabet called the futhark and decided to incorporate it into the illustrations to convey messages of my own as they appear on real rune stone messages.
The trickiest part was to make the family trees line up. Because due to many time inconsistencies in the sagas, poems, and stories many of the names appear as kennings which describe the possessions or attributes of the person in question, so reading into this can generate quite a lot of debate as to who is really being referred to. Some-times characters appear as old or too young to coincide with a chronological sequence of stories in the sagas.
After a lifetime of love for the Scandinavian ideological history and ten years of concentrated watching as-many-films-as-possible, reading as much as I could, travelling and investigating in situ, looking at imagery and reproducing parts of interest it was all gathered up, producing a straight forward sequence of ordered events that offers a transversal look upon the preconception we hold today of Norse Mythology.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? I would say a plotter, although, I could also see myself contradicting myself. I think I have a bit of both behaviours. Routine and perseverance work very well but it also pends over flexibility and versatility to which, then, one can get alternative ideas, view-points, or ways to solve problems.
Would a pantser-plotter be an option?
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why? The fictional world of choice would stand in the future like in the genre of science-fiction suggested in films such as: Ex-Machina, The Martian, Blade Runner, The Island, Oblivion, The Fifth Element, AI, or some of the big-city settings of Star-Wars.
These films offer such a clear direction for what humans are wishing. Basically, the future takes shape like on a live vision-board, slowly materializing, bringing elements from series such as star-trek to our present reality. These types of films debate or question human moral issues like cloning, or the probability of life in space. The neo “Columbus’ leap” to Mars. And this makes me wonder in fascination if I will be able to witness any resemblance of it… I love the idea of a completely utopian world hosting humanity dressed in full blown bio-technology coexisting harmoniously with nature.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why? The fictional character I would love to befriend should be Gandalf the Gray from The Lord of The Rings because he is a Wizard fun enough to hang-out with a friend at a sun set while still maintaining “the love of the halfling’s leaf…”
About the Author
Lucas Ehrenhaus was born in Belgium. Raised in Argentina, lived in Spain for fifteen years, travelled western Africa, Scandinavia, and the north- west of South-America.
Growing up his primary education took place at a Scottish school in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Struggling with secondary studies he started working in a vending company as a driver. Illustration was a constant throughout this period. In Spain there were a series of odd jobs in ten years whilst experimenting with photography and graphic design; two years after the economic crisis hit Madrid, he became an In-Company English Teacher in several big companies for five years during which his passion for northern European history took over. An urge to help other people drove Lucas to travel to Scandinavia in order to go through a programme for volunteering. This took him to western Africa, north western South-America and back to Scandinavia, living mainly in Norway and in Denmark on & off. This added to a broader insight to Northern Scandinavian culture where the finishing of the book North took place.
He currently lives in the U.K.