I must admit, I’ve always been fascinated by those hairy Northmen (and their lovely but fearsome blonde wives, let’s not forget them). Their mythology and culture have had an amount of influence on modern Western Society that I sometimes find surprising. So many common things in our culture, that I didn’t even realize came from the Norse. For example, the honeymoon. That word comes from a practice prevalent in Norse marriages, in which the newlywed couple would drink special ceremonial wedding mead for one month after their marriage. Mead is made with honey; in those days, “moon” meant “month.” Thus, “honeymoon.”
At any rate, I’ve recently been struck with a story idea set in Scandinavia, at around the year 810 AD (the year Charlemagne died). It involves a woman who has lost her husband to a terrible quest, and becomes obsessed, herself, with completing his quest. It explores themes of love, loyalty, revenge, betrayal, grief and moving on, and, something I find most interesting, the clash between Paganism and Christianity in this era. Historical fiction is not my usual genre for writing in, but I’m finding this idea very compelling, and of course I’ve always loved Vikings. I’ve been doing research on them for the story, and I’ve become re-fascinated….
So be prepared for random Viking facts if you talk to me on a regular basis. :D