Today we welcome Sandi Layne and her new novel,
Eire's Captive Moon, which is available now.
Eire's Captive Moon, which is available now.
From the blurb:
Éire’s Captive Moon, the first book of the Éire’s Viking Trilogy, brings you to the unsettled era of the early Viking raids along the coast of Éire – today’s Ireland.
Red-striped sails make their first appearance on the shores near the village of Ragor and the peaceful life of the villagers is obliterated in one deadly raid. Agnarr Halvardson and his overlord, Tuirgeis, have come to Éire for treasure, honor, and slaves. After slaying her husbands, Agnarr claims Charis, the healer of the village, as his personal medicine woman – and sex slave. Cowan, a local prince, is captured by Tuirgeis to serve as translator for trading journeys. Leaving the smoking ruins of Ragor and Bangor Monastery behind them – as well as the children Charis had carefully hidden from the Northmen – the invaders sail away.
Cowan, a Christian, is captivated by the pale, widowed herbalist, and finds himself in love with her by the time they reach Nordweg, where they will spend the winter. He is compelled to leave her, however, to serve his master. The winter brings many trials. An invasion from another village’s warriors throws Cowan and Charis together more intimately than she is prepared to handle equitably. Her own feelings are growing uncertain, though she reminds herself that she has to return to Éire and the children she left there. As winter passes in Nordweg, Charis plans vengeance upon Agnarr even as she learns to see him differently.
Beset by accusations of witchcraft, hounded by Agnarr’s betrothed and her slave – a refugee Charis herself healed more than a year before – and having to adapt to the strange language and customs among the people around her, Charis still makes her plans. Will she be able to put aside her feelings and escape when spring returns?
BIOGRAPHY: Having been a voracious reader all her life, Sandi never expected to want to write until the idea was presented in a backhanded manner. Once the notion occurred to her, though, she had to dive in the deep end (as is her wont) and began by writing historical fiction. She has since written more than twenty novels—most of which will never see the light of day. Sandi has degrees in English and Ministry, has studied theology, spent years as an educator, has worked in escrow and sundry other careers, but research is her passion. She won an award for Celtic Fiction in 2003, but as well as history, she is also fascinated with contemporary research and has self-published several novels in the Inspirational Romance genre. She has been married for twenty years to a man tolerant enough to let her go giddy when she discovers new words in Old Norse. Her two sons find her amusing and have enjoyed listening to her read aloud—especially when she uses funny voices. A woman of deep faith, she still finds a great deal to laugh at in the small moments of the everyday and hopes that she can help others find these moments, too.
MFN: Hi Sandi, and welcome to My Fiction Nook. Let's start with the first question: What was your inspiration behind Eire's Captive Moon?
Sandi Layne: The inspiration to write something with this flavor came after reading How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. But the plot for this story happened, seriously, in a dream I had in which a man who wasn't a Viking was fighting in a snow-swept square against a man who WAS a Viking. And the fighting took place in the North. That was in my dream so the book sort of led to that scene and away from it.
MFN: What kind of research did you conduct into Viking raids and the lives of people in the 9th century Ireland and what is now Norway?
Sandi Layne: Ancient civilizations have long been a hobby of mine. (My brother and I used to study them on our own when we were younger.) When it came down to the 9th Century, I looked into early Medieval Europe, for basic notions on societal rules and inclinations, and I read the old laws of the Túath, the ways and peoples of Éire. I also investigated the Brehon Laws, since I decided Charis lived in a rather anachronistic village, cut off from much of the church-culture of Ireland at that time.
Viking raids were largely found in poetry - how the people felt about them - and in watching documentaries on The History Channel and such. The weaponry, the fighting styles, the rationale... All of it was investigated and incorporated insofar as I felt it fit my story.
MFN: What kind of rituals do you have when you write? Listen to specific music, absolute silence?
Sandi Layne: Ah, I don't have time for major rituals unless I'm in a "compelled productivity" mode. Most of the time, I write a word at a time, one ear listening for a child, or on open tabs or twitter or whatever. Like, today? I have a doc open with one of the final chapters of Éire's Viking, ECM's sequel, and I've been working on that off and on while answering these questions.
Now, when I am compelling myself to produce? I work for maybe fifteen to thirty minutes. Headphones are on, meaning that I am not listening to the kids or my phone or a timer in the kitchen. The music I listen to varies, when I feel I need it. I don't use music to inspire, but rather to give my brain something to do, while the part I need write works harder. I might listen to Celtic-inspired instrumentals or a random mix from my '80's playlist. Devo and Duran Duran are great for busying my brain so I can write. :)
MFN: Charis is a very strong woman, persevering against great odds. Is she modeled on someone you know?
Sandi Layne: Charis has no model save her own self. She is, as you say, strong and from my earliest glimmering of an idea for her, she was this person. She tends to be a bit contrary. I will not confess or deny whether I am, too. ;-)
MFN: How is Éire's Captive Moon different from Captive Irish Moon? What changes did you make?
Sandi Layne: Great question! CIM was written in 2003-2004, and was self-published in 2008. When it was taken on by TWCS, we entered into a really busy editing time. Changes made included a prologue adapted from an award-winning story I had written back in 2003, as well as some minor tweaks to one of the characters, since it was understood that ECM would be the first book of a trilogy and I had to make that feasible. Additionally, I did a bit more research and found new terms for things I had not known before. This last was, for me, the biggest rush.
MFN: What is next in Charis' story? How soon can we expect the next installment?
Sandi Layne: I will be finishing book two this week and it is tentatively scheduled for release early in 2014. As soon as I finish it, I'll be starting the final book in the trilogy.
Charis will be featured in all three books of this series. The second book opens with her narrating the prologue, as Achan does in ECM. And I will say this, whereas ECM is a work of historical fiction, its sequel is definitely an historical romance. As to further particulars on that, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to wait.
Buy links: Amazon | TWCS PH
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
All promotional materials provided by The Writer's Coffeeshop Publishing House. Buy links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement by this blogger.