Q&A With Bjorn Leesson

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Q&A With Bjorn Leesson 

Another Q&A to start off the month of June is with author Bjorn Leesson. Mickey Mikkelson was kind enough to connect us. Bjorn is the author of Runes of the Dokkrsdottir & Rune of Renewal. 

Q: Bjorn the books Runes of the Dokkrsdottir & Rune of Renewal I can tell are inspired by Norse Mythology. I love myths from around the world. Would you please give a brief description of both books for the readers of the blog & I? 

A:  Runes of the Dokkrsdottir follows a young Norse girl from birth to young adulthood in Scandinavia during the Viking Age.  She is not your stereotypical Norse female however.  She is half Northern African and half Norse, so not your typical “pale skinned, blonde haired, blue eyed” Viking.  But even more, she has a supernatural power of both Light and Dark vested within her along with the murky and vague promise of a supernatural destiny ahead of her.  She proves herself to be an outstanding warrior and extremely clever – albeit impatient and impulsive.  She faces some heavy tragedies, betrayals, and losses, all the while her sense of destiny hangs over her head.  Despite her great ability for violence, she now wishes for peace and simplicity in her life, so she joins a settlement in a land to the south.  Through another series of unfortunate events there, she winds up still proving herself as a natural leader and still a great warrior, despite her urges to resist being either.  She eventually finds herself very unexpectedly in another place and time – completely foreign to anything she has ever experienced – and is forced to yet again be the leader and outstanding fighter as her purpose and destiny slowly begins to come into clearer focus.  Along with some of her own descendants, she faces down a Dark foe she never expected to face.

Rune of Renewal picks up where Book One leaves off, but she again finds herself in yet another time and place, but this time, she finds that a complex system of support has been arranged for her, by entities known and unknown starting a very long time ago, to guide her along to fulfill her purpose to the living world.  She makes new friends and allies, loses more loved ones, and has to fight like hell several times to push back the advance of the Dark.  Through gradual revelations made to her by a small army of her descendants, she begins to understand just how momentous her purpose is – to millions of people.  She struggles with her internal powers, maintaining relationships that are strained along the way, all while having to adapt to a new culture, and basically, a new world.  Not one to ever shy away from a challenge, she throws herself into her purpose giving her all to the point of martyrdom more than once.

Q: Where did the ideas for Runes of the Dokkrsdottir & Rune of Renewal come from?

A:  The Outside the Thalsparr series (with Books One and Two being only the beginning) was born from the melding of several of my personal interests: history, genealogy, psychology, the supernatural, and a few other things thrown in.  The development of the protagonist, Myrgjol the Dokkrsdottir, was actually formed from some aspects of my own genealogy as well as some recent revelations in archaeology that prove with hard evidence something that legend has long maintained – that there were Viking female warriors that were honored and celebrated for their achievements, and women were afforded many liberties and rights that women in other parts of the world at the time were not.  It was a chance for me to shatter the commonly held picture of what a “Viking” was, and to do so in a believable and convincing fashion (perhaps minus the supernatural aspects of the story, of course).  And in addition to keep it interesting, I wanted to paint a picture of this wild and complex woman named Myrgjol – with her complicated personality, supernatural powers, and general badassery – would do if removed from her familiar world and dropped into a landscape she could not have imagined.

Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or did that realization come later in life?

A:  I always liked to write since I was very young.  As a young adult and into my later years, I really never focused on writing fiction fantasy – always preferring to write technical and nonfiction works, and even then, for myself or for the company I worked for.  It wasn’t until now, in my more advanced years, that I really dove into fiction fantasy on a massive scale.  In the span of less than a year and a half, I have written drafts of six installments of this series and am currently writing the seventh.  At first, I wondered why I hadn’t started writing this sooner, but I think I realize that I needed those years of experience in the world to be able to.  And, with my advanced years, came the confidence and courage I needed to put my work out there in the court of public opinion.  This old guy is ready for it!

Q: Are you currently writing a sequel to Runes of the Dokkrsdottir & Rune of Renewal? Or will it be a new series or a standalone novel?

A:  I am.  Definitely, there will be five total installments, and very likely both six and seven will be just behind that.  After that, who knows?

Q: How long did it take you to write Runes of the Dokkrsdottir & Rune of Renewal?

A:  Combined, the actual writing of both books took about two or three months.  I started writing Runes of the Dokkrsdottir, and I just kept on writing (and still am).  I figured until I ran out of steam or felt like the story was told and properly finished, I would just keep on going.

Q: Since we know we both enjoy myths, have you read Mythology by Edith Hamilton & Norse Myths by Neil Gaiman? I love Edith books as she has Greek, Roman & Norse myths in them!

A:  I have not.  Unfortunately, I don’t have very much time for pleasure reading.  What reading I am able to do right now is mostly limited to research of nonfiction sources.  I hope that one day, life will slow down enough for me to be able to do some good pleasure reading.  These you mention very much have my interest piqued.

Q: If Hollywood were to get the rights to your books, who would be your dream cast? Which myths, it doesn’t matter which culture, do you think would make a great movie or show that isn’t the umpteenth movie about Hercules, The Trojan War & The Odyssey?

A:  Seeing this series – part of or as a whole – on film is my “unicorn and fairy dust” dream!  I can so clearly imagine this story on film.  Admittedly biased, I can see so many people waiting to binge the film adaptation of Myrgjol and the other characters.  There is just so much depth and richness to the story and the characters that it has a little something for everyone.  As for a dream cast. . . I am not sure.  Myrgjol and Ingrid (a major supporting character) are very distinctive looking.  They might be a little hard to cast.


As for a great movie or TV series about a myth that hasn’t been done-to-death. . . Outside the Thalsparr!  Seriously though, I personally would love to see a speculative work about the Greenlandic Norse exploration of North America.  Again, there is a lot of legend about how far and how extensively the Norse ventured into the west, and science is very slowly beginning to prove it.  I can just imagine a story of Leif Eriksson and his adventurers – who did indeed make it to North America beyond Greenland – and what they found here.  Hmmm, maybe a new book series after “the Thalsparr is finished with me.”