Thursday, 3 October 2013

FALL #teamragnarok Blog Tour - Sequel to #Fade by @AKMorgen -exclusive author interview-

Vikings and animals are greatly connected in Norse Mythology and one norse fantasy writer who has demonstrated this more than most in a modern day world setting with gripping action, pure emotions and a heart wrenching love story is author A K Morgen.

I LOVED her first book in her Ragnarok Prophecies FADE:
Click on me for my FULL REVIEW
And now I'm extremely excited to announce the sequel to Fade, titled Fall (yes there is a pattern and meaning but you have to read on to find out) is being released within the next couple of days!

How do you save someone who doesn't want to be saved?

'Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren't strong enough to stop it.
Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.

It's up to Arionna to stop him before it's too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn't sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?'

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two will be available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble on October 5, 2013 from Curiosity Quills Press.  FADE – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One is available now at Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

I managed to grab AK Morgen for a great interview about viking gods, legends, wolves, writing and more.

1. When did you first get interested in Norse mythology?

I grew up on mythology, so I was introduced to the Norse view of things early on. My first mythology class in high school is where my love really took off though. Delving into the history of the Norse Æsir was a refreshing change from the Greco-Roman pantheon.  

2. Do you have a favourite Norse god/goddess/creature?

Naturally, I love Geri and Freki. There is just so much creative potential there! I also find Odin pretty fascinating. He's such a complex deity.

3. Do you have a favourite Norse myth?

I have so many different favorites! I love incorporating pieces of those into Ari and Dace's world. But I think one of my all-time favorites, outside of the obvious, is the myth of Loki and the dwarves. Loki causes so much mischief throughout the Norse myths; it's kind of nice to see him get what's coming when they sew his mouth shut.

4. Did you do a lot of research into the mythology of Vikings?

One of my goals with The Ragnarök Prophesies series is to introduce these characters in a more modern setting. So I spend a lot of time delving in the mythology, trying to find a way to bring them to life in our world without losing sight of their motivations and heart. I mean, there is already so much history and potential there… setting that aside in favor of completely reinventing these characters seems a little crazy. Not to mention, leaving out the best parts of the stories I fell in love with defeats the purpose of bringing them into a world we're familiar with.

5. Have you always liked wolves or was there something about Odins favourites that sparked an idea in your imagination?

I've always been fascinated with wolves, but I got the idea for this series after a college professor challenged my environmental science class to pick a cause and fight for it. A friend introduced me to the fight to keep the wolf on the Endangered Species list and stall legislation aimed at allowing the hunting of wolves for sport. It just astonished me that a sizable portion of the population viewed them as such a threat that they completely disregarded the fact that the animal had, literally, barely recovered from the brink of extinction. I needed to make wolves real for people, and the myth of Geri and Freki was such a great way to do that without getting political. I didn't want to divide people. I wanted to make them think and form their own opinions. What better way than a love story with an apocalyptic, mythological twist?

6. What was it about the Ragnarok myth and prophecy that made you use it in the story plot line?

This goes back to the whole idea of making wolves real for people. In one way, the Ragnarök myth shows the worst of wolves. Fenrir is this monster lurking in the shadows. He's destructive. He's angry. And, to a lot of people, he's evil. He's such a great personification of the way some people view wolves.

The myth had so much untapped potential, especially when Geri and Freki are such an extreme opposite to Fenrir. Incorporating their story into the Ragnarök myth was such a way to show both sides of the story while letting me play around with my favorite myths, the ups and downs of romance, and the end of the world. Why not put all these things together in one big adventure?

6b. You capture such a deep and believable essence and character of wolves as animals and yet display their wants and emotions as complex as humans. Did you have do any kind of study into wolf behaviour to get this across in your writing or were the wolves strong characters in your imagination already?

Wolves are such complex, fascinating animals. A lot of what I use in the series is based in reality and on real wolf behaviors, so humanizing them comes easy. I mean, they are already so human-like in so many ways! That makes bringing them to life such an effortless part of the process. 

7. Did you have to plan your story plot well before you wrote it or did it evolve as you started writing?

A little of both. The series as a whole has taken shape over the course of seven years at this point, so it has changed and evolved as I've grown. But the heart of the story has always been the same, even when the plot changes a little along the way. So far as the writing process itself, I used to just wing it, but I'm a lot more careful to plot now.

8. How did you create the fascinating characters of Dace and Arionna (both beautiful names by the way)?

I'm not sure I did create them. I think they created themselves and are just taking me along for the ride! But there are little bits and pieces of so many people in both of them. Dace is stubborn and overprotective like my husband, and intelligent and focused like my brother. Ari is relentless like my sister, selfless like my friend Chelle, and feisty like my friend Naomi. She's also her own sort of innocent and naïve. They're both so complex, which is great because they are, literally, two different beings in one body.

8b. My favourite part of Fade is Arionna's dream of Odins wolves and ravens leading a charge of animals against the giants at Ragnarök and I think its something the old Norse Vikings would approve of as their gods all had close animal links. Do you have a favourite scene or section in Fade and Fall?

One of my favorite scenes was in FADE when Ari and Buka found Chiran. Ari's first instinct was to comfort him. Buka's was to protect her. I think that scene is so heartbreaking and beautiful at once. Writing it was intense because it's so real. I have animals, and we've had that same sort of scenario happen, where my first instinct was to go to the wounded animal and help, and theirs was to keep me away to protect me even when they were grieving. Grief is such a universal emotion.

9. Was the story of Fade always intended to be the first part of a series or was it simply too big a story to fit into one book?

I always thought there would be three books, but there is so much involved in the series, it's realistically closer to five. I wish I could have combined FADE and FALL into one book, but again, it was just too long and involved. I think it worked out for the best though.   

10. Did you have to plan Fall in a similar way?

Luckily, I knew exactly where I needed to stop in FALL… I just wasn't sure where I wanted to start! The beginning of the book was rewritten numerous times before I figured it out.

11. How long did it take to write Fade?

I wrote FADE over the course of about six years. I'd write it, and then set it aside before going back to it. I didn't have any desire to publish at that point, so I wasn't in a big rush to finish it.

12. Was Fall easier or harder to write then Fade?

Oh, that's tough. In a way, FALL was easier to write because it happened much more quickly despite all the rewrites and I'd already spent so much time with the characters, I knew them. But I take a medication I wasn't on when I wrote FADE, and it really screws up my cognitive function. Focusing was a huge struggle this time around, so was finding the words! I fought for every page, and felt horrid every time I had to tear it apart and do it again.

13. Did you ever find the plot or characters doing or saying things you didn't plan or expect? Was it a good or a bad feeling when such things happened?

Definitely! Ronan is really bad at surprising me, which is great because he's such an intriguing character himself. But at the same time, I'd find myself like, "Really, dude? You have to say that now?! I was going somewhere else with this!" He doesn't listen though. None of them do. It's quite frustrating and amusing at once.

14. Do you have a writing routine or just write when and where you can?

I don't really have a routine anymore. I'll write anywhere I can, whenever I can. So long as I manage to get words on a page regularly, I'm happy!

15. Do you have a special place to write such as an office or shed?

I used to love piling pillows in the floor and writing there. Now, I tend to get comfy on the couch to write. I hate writing at a desk. It's so uncomfortable and seems so much more like "work".

16. Did Fade and Fall take a lot of editing and rewriting and was it a hard process? Was it with an editor or independent task?

There was a lot of editing and rewriting involved, both on my own, with an editor, and with my beta team. The girls read so many different versions of both stories before the editor ever saw either of them, and then they did it again while we went through the various rounds of editing.

17. Do the titles Fade and Fall mean something to the stage of this epic story being told? And will book 3 have a name beginning with F?

The titles do relate to the stage of the story, or maybe I should say to a particular element of that place in the tale. Though I kind of like letting the reader decide how they relate or what they mean. The rest of the story also begins with "F" words… They are FLAME, FEAR, and FOREVER.

18. How was your experience and efforts getting Fade published? Do you have any advice and tips to share to us wannabes?

My journey was so bizarre. My family and friends would not leave me alone until I tried to publish. I thought I'd send out a few queries, be rejected, and then they'd leave me alone. I got a contract offer within three months, and then another one a couple of months later. I have no idea how I lucked out like that! I am grateful for it though. The entire process has been so much fun.

My advice is to keep going, no matter what anyone else says. Your first draft will be terrible. Your second and third may be terrible as well. You will get rejections. You will get bad reviews. You will deal with all sorts of wild, stressful things that make you question whether you and your book are "good enough." But those aren't failures! They are only failures when you decide to let them stop you from going further. You don't know everything. You will make mistakes, and you will learn and grow. Embrace that! Your writing will be stronger for it.

18b. I describe your book belonging to a new and growing genre style I describe as Norse fantasy. Have your read any books with a similar Norse myth theme?

I've seen the spike in Norse myth related books and movies, which is so exciting! There is so much untapped potential there. So many ideas just waiting to be put to use. It's awesome to watch that unfold and to be part of that. That said, I haven't had the chance to read a whole lot of the genre yet. My TBR list is insane! 

19. Can you give us any clues to what Arionna and Dace face in book 3?

Oh, I hate to say anything that will give away or spoil and part of FALL. I will say that FLAME is action packed, intense, and has a massive surprise or two in store. I'm actually really excited about FLAME. There is so much happening, it's a blast to write! 

About the Author:
A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three dogs, and demonic cat. She has a graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Law, and plans to save the world some day. When she’s not writing, she spends her time teaching her niece and nephews how to cause mischief. You can also find her dancing in the grocery store, building a spork army, and fundraising for nonprofits close to her heart.

You can learn more about Ayden at or by following her on Twitter, Goodreads, or Facebook.

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