Novel is Finished – Off to the Longships

Posted by: on Feb 21, 2012 | 12 Comments
The ceremonial helmet discovered at Sutton Hoo, England.

So metal.

The initial spark for The Band of the Crow, my newly-finished fantasy novel, came to me in 2006. I was really getting into metal music at the time, especially the doom, death and black varieties.

Ah, black metal. So much to be admired, so much to be despised. It occurred to me Christianity isn’t really a “foreign” influence on Scandinavian culture. At least, not any more. You could no more eviscerate Jesus from Norway than you could chop off your own head and expect to survive for very long. And no amount of church burnings is going to accomplish that end in the first place. Sorry, Varg. That idea, and The Sword‘s debut album were really inspirational to me. Something just sort of clicked.

front cover of Age of Winters, The Sword's debut album.

Buy this album. Buy it now.

Giddy with excitement, I set about fleshing out my world – the cultures, the languages, the history, the religions… until finally, five and a half years later, I realized I hadn’t written a single word of the actual story. I gave myself a year to write it. A year and a half later, I was done.

Now the scary part begins. It’s easy to sit around and dream about the wonderful story you’re going to write. Actually writing it, facing up to your own deficiencies, is when the going gets tough. Harder still is shoving it out into the cruel, cruel world, for everyone to rip to shreds. I’d like to say I don’t care about rejection, or negative reviews, or indifference, but I do care. A lot. If I didn’t, I’d have to find another line of work.

I’ll post updates on my quixotic quest right here, of course, so stay tuned. Whatever happens, I know Band of the Crow is the absolute best storytelling I’m capable of, and that, in itself, feels like a victory. Thanks to my brothers, my wife, my parents and of course Ben for all of their support and their terrific comments.


  1. Ben Sweetser
    February 21, 2012

    Very exciting, r! I look forward to seeing your story in print! Hang in there with the hard part!

  2. Rvid
    February 21, 2012


  3. marc
    February 22, 2012


  4. Rvid
    February 22, 2012


  5. Rafael
    March 5, 2012

    Now I’m curious:-).

    What can we aspect from this novel? Odin, Loki and at the end Ragnaröck and manly sweaty vikings, who have manly, sweaty sex with gorgeous women, to prove that they are really not into guys*please don’t hit me^^*?

    No, seriously, what is the story about, I really want to know:-).

    Friendly greetings from Germany


  6. Rvid
    March 7, 2012

    Yep! Gay vikings. No, hah hah.

    It’s about a failed young sorcerer, a half-troll, and a fledgling witch, in a world where humanity has been pushed to the brink of annihilation by flesh-eating giants. The characters are forced to go on the run from a corrupt sorcerer queen and the “darklings”, the inhabitants of the shadowlands where magic comes from.

    That’s it in a nutshell. Actually, that was a lot better than the query letters I sent out a few weeks ago…

    DOH! At least I can use this for the next batch!

  7. Rafael
    March 8, 2012


    Sounds great, now I will seriously buy it!

    And another question, before I forget it again: When will we see Oblivion printed? I’m waiting sooo long now and it’s sound so interesting (I just love your work):-(.

    And what’s not cool about gay vikings? Think about, there is actually nothing gayer than some overmuscled, sweaty guys, who are swinging big, penislike thingies and touching each other very roughly while resting.

    Think about it;-).

  8. Juan Ferreyra
    March 21, 2012

    Hey! Congrats Arvid!!! That was Faster than I expected!
    Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  9. Rvid
    April 2, 2012

    I had an idea for a story about two gay crusaders trying to get back to Normandy after abandoning the siege of Antioch. Sort of a Fantasy/Horror/Dark Ages Brokeback Mountain. You can imagine how many publishers are beating down my door for that one!

    The original plan for Oblivion was to get it into print well in advance of the film. That’s changed; the novel’s going to come out closer to the time of the movie.

    The GOOD news is, the movie is humming right along, they’ve got almost the entire cast lined up. Believe me, I’m bursting at the seams to get the story into the world! Working on it was a real honor. Joseph Kosinski is a really smart chap, and his assistant, Emily, provided so much invaluable editorial advice.

    The best thing about Oblivion, for me, is that it’s REAL science fiction. It makes you think. It kind of harks back to the best sci-fi of the 1960s in that way.

  10. Rafael
    April 8, 2012

    Gay crusaders?

    Hmm, maybe you should speak with an publisher in the uk about this idea? Maybe in Europe, they are a bit more open minded, about this idea? And is the lovestory the focus or some sidebusiness (I don’t know a better word at the time) of the book?

    This are my thoughts to this topic, although I really don’t know how publishers think, but I also think that there is a audience for this kind of novel.

    To Oblivion: Hurray! Im excited:-D!

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