Amazing, really. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the Norse world — or at least my version of it. There are more novels to come but there may be a big leap in time period for the next one. I’m thinking of setting it in WWII.
What drew you to the werewolf myth, and the particular periods of history you’ve chosen for your novels?
I don’t know — it just hopped out of me fully formed on the page. I like the werewolf because of the lack of control, the idea of the ancient animal heart beating beneath the civilised surface, ready to run amok in our lives. Big teeth, too — everyone loves big teeth.
I love the Viking period for the strangeness of it. It’s like our world though so different from it. The way people think bears small resemblance to the way they do today. I have no idea what mentality sets off in an open boat across the North Sea on the off chance that there’s something on the other side. Similarly with the medieval period I deal with in Son of the Morning. The world is infused by religion and everything seen through a religious perspective. I enjoyed thinking about the Christian mythology of the day and asking ‘what if this were true? What if kings did speak to angels and devils did stalk the earth?’
Any lessons learned/anything you would have done differently?
The lessons learned are that I should keep my books under 300,000 words. They’re quicker to write and you have a better chance of selling them in translation — the length of Son of the Morning meant it would be very costly to translate, a gamble for any publisher. That said, the story wanted to be a long one and I thought it was as good a piece of writing as I’m capable of.
What are you working on now/next?
At the moment I’m working on Son of the Night — the follow up to Son of the Morning — which is pretty much the story of Charles the Bad. He was called Charles the Bad in an age when you had to do a little more than moonwalk and tip your hat to get called ‘bad’. One of the most treacherous and devious men in history. Great fun to write.
I’m also working on a video game with a company here in Brighton. It’s an SF thing and I have high hopes for it. It will be going to Kickstarter soon!
M.D. Lachlan‘s Wolfsangel series is published by Gollancz: Wolfsangel, Fenrir, Lord of Slaughter and The Valkyrie’s Song. As Mark Alder, he has also written Son of the Morning, which is also published by Gollancz. For more, be sure to check out the author’s website, and follow him on Twitter and Goodreads. Here’s the synopsis for The Valkyrie’s Song:
The Harrowing has come to the North. And the wolf of Viking legend, a wolf that will kill a god, is on the hunt…
M.D. Lachlan’s brooding and powerful tales of Vikings, Norse gods and werewolves have already won praise from, amongst others, Joe Abercrombie, Adam Roberts, Mike Carey and Chris Wooding.
With an original and terrifying take on magic, an ability to bring the Norse gods to vivid life on the page, a keen historical eye and a knack for fast-moving and brutally effective plots, M.D. Lachlan’s series has won over critics, fellow authors and readers alike.
VALKYRIE’S SONG moves the action to Norman England and the Harrowing of the North. An immortal wolf and an immortal woman are on the run, fighting for their lives. They carry a magic within them, runes which flare with power when brought together. But others hold runes of their own, and the runes desire to be united.
And when they are, Ragnarok will come.