As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market a self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.
Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Michael the Red, who is taking his latest book, The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. He will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about him and his book.
Luckily for us, Michael was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth.
OP: Tell us a little bit about The Norskvall Saga: The End of Youth. What is it about?
Michael: It is basically about two grandchildren of the Norse goddess Frigg finding out what they can really do on their own. Starting just four years after the end of the last book, Anders decides it is time to begin to fulfil his vow that he would save the dark elf Nixius from her death even though she had been an apprentice to a great evil. He suspects that she ended up in Hel’s domain after she died. When his cousin Raghilde receives Nixius’ crystal ball from her father it gives them some clues, which are later confirmed by Nixius’ own mother who sends a nephew to find them when they pass close to an Ancient Path between worlds. She also wishes to have her daughter and son back who were killed by Loki and the cousin’s white wolf. With her help she is able to send them on the quest to return her children from death. Through the course of their adventure they find out that Raghilde’s crystal ball is actually The Orb of the Dark Elves, an ancient relic of their people which has laid dormant for tens of thousands of years after it was taken by the high elves and subsequently stolen by Nixius. Somehow, though she is not a dark elf, the orb ‘awakens’ for Raghilde and she is able to harness its power to advance their quest. In the end she is confronted with another truth, that she was destined to lead the dark elves out of their caves and give their world back to them which had been taken by the high elves.
Although the book is the second of a series it could easily be read as a standalone since much of the information from the first book is reintroduced through new characters.
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
Michael: A very good question that isn’t easily answerable. Partly it came from boredom on Saturday afternoons. Another part of it was the first stories appeared on the Asgard-saga.com website and I received lots of encouragement to get them published. Unfortunately the website is no longer up and running anymore.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
Michael: Although the book is being advertised as a coming of age tale, anyone who has interest in the Norse gods or just fantasy adventure in general would find something in it for themselves. There are plenty of elements of mystery and intrigue for just about any age. What is it like in Hel’s halls? If you know very little about the Norse pantheon of gods you will know far more after reading it.
The story is very complexed; however, I wouldn’t be so pretentious to say that it takes a college degree to figure it out. It certainly doesn’t. The last couple of chapters explain many questions the reader may still have and, hopefully, leave them wanting to know more. There is good reason the last words of the book are, “The End and a New Beginning.”
OP: What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
Michael: It is a Viking love story in a classic sense without the flowery language. One thing I have often heard when talking to people who have read my writings is that I do manage to keep the story moving along at a good pace. I do not believe in long and drawn out character monologues or taking five pages just to describe a setting or person. I find it far better that reader discovers who the characters are through their actions and words.
One things that was really fun for me is having an entire world, the dark elf home world of Svartlheim, to build upon and use for further stories. There is next to nothing mentioned about them in the Norse sagas. The world is more than likely not what the reader would think it is, bleak and foreboding. Fairies live there too and thrive. The considerations you have to give to something like that are truly immense. Such as, who are the dark elves and why should the reader care about them? Of that there are many reasons and the high elves aren’t the Tolkien type. Why should they be? They also need to have a history that is their own, which reflects in how the past affected the current day. They didn’t even have a standing army or someone to lead them until Raghilde showed up one hundred thousand years after their last king predicted her coming.
OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
Michael: This is the second book in a series. The first was simply titled The Norskvall Saga and is available through Amazon and other online outlets. Though there are now two books in the series, how many more there might be I can’t really say for sure. As of now I already have three more books mostly done. I say ‘mostly’ because there are always other new ideas that can be slipped into them and it is great being so far ahead of the curve that they can have small changes added. As far as ending the series, there was one definite ending I was looking at and now, well, let’s just say that the more I look at the saga the more possibilities I discover.
OP: Thanks for your time, Michael! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
Michael the Red is a fantasy author who has been creating stories and adventures for nearly thirty years. An avid fan of Viking history his own Norse heritage can be traced back over two thousand years. As a lifelong resident of Minnesota he enjoys writing, fishing and taking long walks in the lush forests of his native state.
For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/thenorskvallsaga
This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”. Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.
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